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The latest update as of June 10, 2010

The story that just continues to write itself

After promising to drop the bad news saga of the sorry excuse for a sanctioning body (AHRA) yesterday, we're seeing even more action surrounding it, both on the web and in the mailbox. Wish I could post all the stuff I've seen, but if even half of it's true, everyone will know enough of the details in fairly short order.

After a two-week lunch break (as in: out to..) the AHRA website has not one, but two postings today, both of course to mention the bleeding obvious: two more cancelled/postponed/imagined events on their Reunion Tour. Frankly, that title is starting to be more than a bad joke, as it looks like the sort of reunion that could be held in a phone booth, instead of at a tour of drag strips.

The postponement of the Marion INTERNATIONAL Raceway event at LaRue, Ohio last weekend was blamed on possible tornadoes. Again with the disaster scenario. How many times are we going to hear that? It's like one of those disaster movies from the 80's where everything short of an invasion from Mars is in the screenplay. Hey, maybe that's the next excuse in their book.

The second announcement concerned the cancellation (or was it only a postponement) of the Calgary event. Yes, we all knew that one had happened yesterday, so it really doesn't qualify as news today, but nevertheless it was finally acknowledged by the management of AHRA. The wording makes it look like the track's fault, and from reports I've heard about Race City, that is at least partly true, as the track does need some serious refurbishment of the racing surface.

Playing the "safety" card and invoking the "sanctioning agreement" clause by the AHRA gang is a little rich though, as NO agreement has ever been signed between the respective parties, and the Father's Day race at Calgary was going to be on a track rental basis. When the required $7000 was not deposited by yesterday's deadline, the event was canned by the Race City folks. To not try to resolve the matter weeks ago and then come out and blame track conditions for the cancellation, as AHRA has done, is more than a little rich.

While I promised to leave this story alone, it's just too easy not to resist. So, if you haven't had more than your fill of this fiasco yet, click on some of these links and see what else is happening, or being said by the various parties. Entertaining, if nothing else. Tomorrow we hope to be able to resume regular coverage of actual (as opposed to imaginary - as in the case of AHRA) drag racing, like the ANDRA Winternationals and the NHRA Super Nationals.

AHRA website - Latest News
Ashcroft Motorplex - Forum
Classic Funny Car - Message Board
Yellow Bullet - Forum
Calgary Drag Racing Association
Drag Racing Online - Agent 1320

And finally, AHRA's own forum, which seems to have a bad habit of losing posts, and inviting some overly "generous" comments from "totally independent" folks. Can you read between the lines. Oh, and remember to bring a magnifying glass or crank down the resolution on your monitor. Could they make their stuff any harder to read?

AHRA Forum

In closing, thanks heaps to all the folks who chimed in with their views on this subject and pointed me in the right direction to find some of the stuff being written about AHRA. And if only we had adequate liability coverage and diplomatic immunity, the stuff I could post now.... Oh boy, don't tempt me. Hopefully, it will all come out in short order by other means. Until tomorrow, stay tuned!

Random thoughts on a rainy Thursday evening

Looks like 2010 is going to be a really rainy season for drag racing. We've seen weather "issues" at several NHRA events already, and yes, it's raining again for the second weekend in a row at a national. With a 6pm curfew, the first day of the SuperNationals was rained out after the first round of comp eliminator qualifying. Stock and super stock got in two and three sessions (respectively) and are ready for eliminations.

By the way, if the event does get completed on Sunday, TSN will break their own speed record by broadcasting the taped show of eliminations on Monday, June 14 at 11:00am. Less than 18 hours after the end of eliminations, a full three-hour show. Impressive, to say the least. If it happens of course. If there isn't a dog show or a tennis match or some curling to pre-empt our favourite straightline sport.

And speaking of exciting, in the rush to post today's slew of AHRA links, I missed one that deserves a mention. Phil, as in Flyin' Phil, Elliot has built a Facebook page to help with his task of writing a book about the history of the AHRA. Hopefully, the current jokers abusing the memory of that storied association will rate no more than a footnote. Good luck to you Phil, digging through the history of the sport back to 1956, when Jim Tice (Sr.) came out of Kansas to challenge the fledgling aristocracy from Southern California, the NHRA.

Despite the rain at Englishtown, the season-ending ANDRA (Australian) Winter Nationals, at Willowbank Raceway just outside Brisbane looks blessed with typically good early winter weather. While the thermometer dips into very low single digits (celsius) overnight, the forecast is for clear, sunny skies most of the weekend, with high temps approaching the 20 degree (70 F approx). mark each day.

For the 485 competitors, the conditions are excellent and the usual capacity crowd should be well entertained with a raft of pro racers, including 9 in Top Fuel, 12 in Top Alcohol, 20 in Top Doorslammer (think Pro Mod with screw blowers), 13 Top Bikes (supercharged nitro burners) and for the purists, 20 Pro Stocks (small-block cars).

Oh, and in Supercharged Outlaws (a Top Comp class where the blowers are mandatory!) a total of 39 entries; 18 closed bodies (doorslammers) and 21 open cars (floppers, dragsters and altereds). Should be one heckuva show. Make that two heckuva shows, with the quickest 16 open and closed cars in separate fields, all with a 6.50 breakout. Did I mention screw blowers are legal? Bring it on boys.

As this piece is being prepared, the first round of pro qualifying is barely two hours away, so we're hopeful to have some early results avaiable on Friday morning. As always: stay tuned! Here we are with the first two rounds of Group One (Pro cars) qualfying and some pass by pass descriptions of the action:

Winternationals Updates

To see previous updates go to the What's Old page