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The latest update as of March 28, 2011

Spring Roadtrip - leaving Tuscon

While we're driving from Tuscon to Las Vegas today, the pictures below will be from the weekend in Tucson. Maybe this evening we'll have some shots from the road to post on here, but for now, you'll just have to be content with a few shots from the IHRA Arizona Nitro Jam.

And if anyone doubts whether this new "drag-tainment" format works: just come out to a small facility like Tucson and see the folks packing the grandstands to capacity and standing four and five deep at the fences to almost the finish line. And loudly cheering everything that went down the track. Oh, and the t-shirts being tossed into the crowd by Mark Sanders and Bruce Litton. And the invitation to come down and take a very close look at the Gravedigger after the race, and walk on the track and autograph Bobby Lagana's car.... and the list goes on and on.

In a small market, in a smaller venue like Tucson this concept certainly works and everyone, from the racers to the fans to the officials goes away with a good feeling that they all got their money's worth and everybody enjoyed themselves. Even if it wasn't competitive drag racing as we know it. But don't ever try to tell the racers like Peter Gallen or Tim Boychuk or Mark Sanders or Mike McIntire that it isn't competition. They're out there to kick the butt of the guy in the next lane every time they come to the starting line. No exceptions. It's real racing to them and to the fans.

That's enoughs soapbox pontificating for a Monday morning; time to shower, shave, pack and hit the road. Next step: Las Vegas. Yeeehaaaw!

The first two pairs of pics are from the Tim Boychuk "Troy Lee Designs" pit area during the Fan-Fest nitro warmup, where all the fuel cars fire up en masse and the results would shut the place down forever if the enironmental or workplace standards folks happened to come by. By the time the warmups are complete the air is waaay past the unsafe to breath level and is so thick and yellow with unburned nitro that it's like an acid rain is enveloping the pit area. Just too much fun!

In the top row It's Tim on the left and flopper guru Roland "The Man Hisself" Leong on the right. The second row shows the two doing what they do best: Tim signing autographs and interacting with the fans, while Roland checks out the computer data from the warmup. And in the bottom row: all the work culminates in a great run in the last round of the weekend: 5.83 - 232 mph.

Almost forgot to mention something. People have all sorts of views about America, and I'm certainly not ever going to knock this country, and especially it's people, but it's quite an eyeopener to find quart bottles of Old Crow bourbon for $14 in the drugstore across the street from the hotel. The only thing that leaves me wondering about is..... would it have been cheaper at the gas station down on the corner? Ponder that one for a minute.

Late update: I just checked the bottle as I was packing... and it's not a quart.... it's almost TWO (U.S.) quarts (1.75 liters). For $14.99.... The lord certainly works in mysterious ways when bourbon is almost as cheap as bottled water. AMEN!

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