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The latest update as of February 28, 2023

65th annual Good Vibrations March Meet

Despite some seriously atrocious weather happening on the west coast, the latest reports from Bakersfield indicate mostly sunny skies, BUT some very cool temperatures, like 50 to 60 F. Even a chance of showers on Sunday, but the rest of the event should stay dry. Usually "getting there is half the fun" but for lots of long distance racers, it's going to be no fun at all traversing through snowy mountain passes and impassable roads enroute from the northwest and points east.

While this year's edition of the March Meet was shaping up to have the largest Top Fuel field in nearly a decade, with 19 confirmed pre-entries, the weather and road conditions may cut those numbers down to a barely full 16-car field. It's still going to be a ground-breaking effort with some serious money on the line for the winners, and payouts all the way down to the non-qualifiers, and tow money for the long-distance attendees. Due to some very generous contributions by Custom Floaters and Planet Fitness, and others, the total prize money for Top Fuel will be $60,000.

Read all about it in the Competition Plus article THE BIGGEST PURSE IN MARCH MEET TOP FUEL HISTORY ANNOUNCED. The question that's got to be asked is: what about the Nostalgia Funny Car guys? When are they going to find that kind of money to equal what the Top Fuel racers have secured?

The gates opened today for registration and parking, and tomorrow is first of two days of testing 'n' tuning, before qualifying starts on Friday morning. Eliminations will begin late on Saturday and continue through Sunday until the champions are crowned in the Famoso Winners Circle. We're not sure where the action will be broadcast, but Competition Plus always covers the race in detail and provides video on YouTube so we're hoping it's going to be the case again for 2023. Fingers crossed.

We did receive a photo credential for the race for Bob Snyder but his recovery from a recent hip transplant is progressing slower than he'd like and he's still going to be on the DL (disabled list) for another couple of weeks. It looks like his first event this year will be the 3rd annual Funny Car Chaos Classic at the Texas Motorplex in mid-March. We are hoping that our Denver correspondent, Dale Fackler, who will be shooting from the grandstands and Dyan Lover, who always seems to be at almost every race, will be able to provide us with some photos to fill the gap that Snyder's absence left.

3rd annual Funny Car Chaos Classic

Following two very successful editions, with HUGE participation numbers, this year's edition is guaranteed to be another true classic drag race. It's the opening event of the nine race 2023 season for the Funny Car Chaos gang. The pre-entry list is already showing 53 racers, including at least two dozen nitro burners ready to run. In addition to the floppers, there is a 20-car Outlaw Fuel Altered Association show, and the usual assortment of jet dragsters, Dirty South Gassers, Nostalgia Eliminator, and more.

With four 8-car fields of Funny Cars and a 12-car field of Fuel Altereds, the total prize money of over $55,000 will bring out some great performances by series regulars, and as always happens at this event, some one-off entrants. Back for another try with his A/Fuel Funny Car will be Randy Meyer, with young Julie Nataas at the wheel. Last year's series champion Kirk Williams will be gunning for back-to-back series titles, and he'll be joined by almost all of the 2022 Top Ten racers. There's always at least several "Big Show" nitro cars and this year will be no exception, with what appears to be no less six such beasts on the list.

Unless Mr. Snyder's recovery takes too long, we will have lots of great photos of the action to share. And we've finally given in to the inevitable and have signed up for yet another streaming service (FLO Racing) to see what's happening at the FCC events in real time.

NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Top Alcohol Points Structure

This change was announced on January 18th, but it slipped under our radar until we came across it on 2023 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Points Structure. After a one-year "experiment" with a modified points structure, ie. best four of six regional events and best six of ten national events in 2022, the NHRA reversed course and went back to the structure that had been in place for quite a few years. Here's the official announement, courtesy of NHRA.


National Championship:

Each Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car driver is eligible to earn points at their first five regional and first ten national events. A driver’s best three regional and best seven national finishes from their eligible points-earning events will constitute their NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series national championship points total.

This is only conjecture but the reason for the change in 2022 must have been either to cut down on travelling costs for budget-conscious racers, and/or try to increase participation at regional events with a view to attracting more spectators. That's our take on the subject but we're open to different interpretations for the change and the change back.

Races scheduled for this week

Starting tomorrow with test 'n tune sessions is the aforementioned 65th annual Good Vibrations March Meet in Bakersfield, CA. On the east coast, the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Eastern Regional, the "Baby Gators" is on at Gainesville Raceway starting on Thursday, and just down the road at Bradenton, FL is the $100,000 to win Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod (a 48-car invitational event) that begins qualifying on Friday and concludes with a 32-car eliminator on Sunday.

It's going to be a very busy weekend of drag racing, coast to coast, and we'll do our best to bring you at least some of the highlights from each race. Stay tuned for updates throughout the weekend.