in the world of drag racing
The latest update as of September 4, 1998
Another busy week, and an even busier weekend. First though, congratulations to local Super Gas racer Bill Evans who won the FMDRS meet last weekend at Yakima. A combination of a little luck, some good driving and on-the-money tuning decisions, allowed Bill to prevail over a tough field. Just for good measure, Bill defeated a fellow Canadian racer in the final, Mike Shannon of Kelowna. Canucks rule!!
Now fast forward to this weekend; As I write this piece, I'm being serenaded by the Indy cars going through their first qualifying session on the streets of Vancouver. Despite living on the north side of the harbor, a distance of some five miles from the track, the sound easily carries this far ! Now if only we could have a demonstration event of drag cars at the Molson Indy race (similar to the very popular demos at the Surfers' Paradise Indy event in Australia). . . Can you just imagine how far the sound of a blown fuel car would travel?!? Or even my own blown alky car?
Appearing this weekend, for the second time this season, at Mission Raceway Park are the (mostly) blown alcohol Pro Modifieds of the West Coast Pro Mod Association. It should be quite a show, with the local heroes -- Glen May and Trevor Lowe fending off the invading "yanks", led by two-time Aussie tourist, John Scialpi's 'Woppado'.
The two-page full colour advertisement in today's Vancouver Province newspaper, touts "700 cubic-inch blown alcohol hemis". Man, I've just got to see how someone can build one that big! At least they're only claiming 2000 horsepower, and not leading anyone to believe that 5-second times will be turned. Whatever happened to truth in advertising, anyway? Oh well, a little hyperbole can't hurt, and I'm sure the MRP track announcers will be giving their tonsils quite a workout trying to hype the show. After all, drag racing is an entertainment business nowadays, isn't it?
Down in Indianapolis, Indiana is the "Big Go", NHRA's U.S. Nationals, which started on Tuesday and will finish just before the hockey season starts. With over 1000 cars, 150,000 spectators and many hours of live TV coverage, this 44th Annual "National Championship" is truly the big one. And the turnout of entries in my favourite class "Top Alcohol Dragster" is very encouraging. 35 cars, the largest field of the year, and with 11 injected nitro burners on hand, the qualifying will be very intense. After two (of four) sessions, the bubble is already down to 5.769. And that's with mediocre air and a hot, slippery track. Indy never has the quickest ET's, but definitely will have the tightest field of the year. For the blown alcohol results, visit our Results Menu, which will be updated throughout the weekend. The first session for the Top Fuel cars will be later today, and those results will also be posted.
No news is . . . no news. Chris Blair, the incredible disappearing Division Director is at Indy, but hasn't indicated what came out of the Rules Committee meetings. His only report was on the throttle stop issue, which only concerns me when someone forgets to remove mine after the burnout. Not a word on any changes for the Alcohol classes, though. Hoping that we'll just go away quietly if you ignore us, NHRA?!? Not bloody likely!!! In closing, I'll put up this picture of one person's opinion on the alcohol issue. Sure must have made lots of friends in the staging lanes, eh?
Photo copyright by Auto Imagery 1998