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The latest update as of July 22, 2010

Mission Raceway Media Moves

After a long time out of the media spotlight, Mission Raceway has been filling the airwaves with radio ads bannering this weekend's Funny Car NitroFest! and catching the TV audience too with their high octane, high volume, Be There!-style ads on the telly. And now the newspapers (at least some of them) have joined the party with an article in the Mission Record yesterday and today a nice story featuring Tim "The Iceman" Nemeth in the Vancouver Province.

So what, or who, is leading this resurgence in the "real" media coverage of Mission Raceway? Is it someone from the club, or more likely, one of the hardest working men in drag racing: SpeedZone's Dean MUrdoch. If so, good on ya mate for spreading the word in the papers. Obviously the radio and TV ads are the work of the club and they are well done, but to develop interest in the track and the races, especially the big feature events, every possible form of media coverage must be used.

Whether Dean's work will produce some real dividends remains to be seen, but it certainly can't hurt the "cause" to be seen on a regular basis in the local papers. Try it sometime yourself if you've got a local weekly paper and you might be surprised at how a local angle can develop into a real story. I know, I've done it myself by simply submitting a picture of my dragster racing at the Winternationals (Brsibane, Australia version) and it turned into a front page, colour photo, story in the North Shore News.

Here's a fact from Marketing, P.R.,& Journalism 101: Most news stories, aside from natural disasters and crimes, are fed to the media. The reporters don't go out and find them, the stories are brought to them by p.r. folks, marketing people and members of the general public with a story to tell. While the majority of submitted items are discarded with barely a glance, if the story has human interest, a local connection, or a unique angle, it can and will be used. It's really surprising how easy it can be if you can connect at least some of the "dots". Give it a try and you might be very pleasantly surprised at the results.

We;ll be back later this morning with some more news about this weekend's NitroFest! at Mission Raceway, more NHRA news and one final nail in the coffin that contains the remains of the AHRA. Any other targets today? Not so far, but the day is still young.

A whole bunch of Odds and Ends

I've been building up a bit of a backlog of unwriteen or unfinished stories lately (gee, now where have you read that before? hmmm....) and I've just got to get them dealt with before they are either too stale to bother with, or I forget why I was wrting about them. So, in no particular order, here's a paragraph or four about some of the topics that have been filling up the inbox lately.

AHRA - My intrepid internet spy, Agent 99, sent along a link to the Eagle Motrplex forum earlier this week, with the expected announcement that the AHRA has almost officially folded their tent by canning the remaining events on their "calendar" for 2010. Two were scheduled to run at Ashcroft's Motorplex in August and September and one other event at Ohio's Quaker City Raceway early next month.

It's interesting to note that Quaker City still has the AHRA logos on their home page but not on the ad for what was originally to be a Reunion Tour event on August 6-7. It's now a Quaker City Raceway "Bracket Blast" and in bold letters at the bottom of the flier for the event, clearly states "This is a Quaker City Race, NOT AHRA".

There's really not much that needs to be said, is there? Checking again on the AHRA website shows that we've gone four full weeks without an update, the forums are still in "maintenance mode" and for all intents and purposes, the reincarnation of a once-storied name in drag racing history is now just that: history. We offer our sincere condolences to all who were hurt, absued, or otherwise used by the gang of idiots that sullied the memory of that once great sanctioning body. R.I.P.

One final note concerning this travesty: the Eagle Motorplex appears to be rising from the ashes of disaster as they're planning a replacement event for the August 14 - 15 date (originally reserved for the Reunion Tour event) and are going to try a novel concept of putting together teams and having spectators randomly assigned to cheer for the various teams. It's a unique idea, but I have my doubts about it working unless they get a large turnout of racers and spectators. To amp up the show, they've got two jet cars coming, billed as a "husband - wife" grudge match between Brad Janishweski and his wife. Hmm, could be interesting; especially on the way home afterwards. Stay tuned for more news on this event.

Larry Pfister 2010

Just in case you thought this guy was gone forever, he's just resurfaced in a city on an island close to Vancouver, and he's still doing photography and video work, just not of the motorsport variety... at the moment. Click on the pic to see his new "straight" website, or if you want to read what's he's doing with Horsepower Heaven, just click on the link here.

Larry's always been a bit of a controversial figure in drag racing circles over the years, and certainly his 180-degree turn over the past year has caught more than a few people off-guard. There's no shortage of comments by his friends (and enemies) over the direction he's going in his personal and professional life, but far be it from me, a well-known glass house dweller, to catapult the first boulder. He's still Larry Pfister, for good or bad, warts and all, a little older, and maybe not any wiser, but he's still out there and still doing his own (very different) thing.

I'm of the opinion that it would be good to see him at the track(s) again but the chances of that happening in the near future range between slim (and he's just left town on the ferry to the island...) and none. Still, we wish you well in whatever you're doing Larry, and one of these days I hope our paths cross again. Take care.

Jason Howell Jason Howell

Here's another blast from the past. Can you recognize this man or his "way ahead of its time" or "a very bad idea" (your choice) A/Fuel Dragster from a few years back at the Northwest Nationals? Give up? Come on now folks, it's Jason Howell, former employee of Brad Hadman (chassis builder to the stars) and Bucky Austin (for a VERY short time). He's driven just about everything there is to try in drag racing, short of a rear-engine Top Fuel dragster or late-model nitro Funny Car, but he's shown an aptitude to strap himeself into almost anything with four wheels and learn to drive it well quickly. Not only drive it, but learn the mechanics of it and how to improve it by designing and fabricating whatever is needed to make it quicker, faster and better.

You can click on the pics to see the full-size images and we'll have some more pics on a separate page later this week, but for now, it's time to close things off the day and head out to take care of some real-life type business. It always gets in the way of things around here, doesn't it?

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