INDEXES

Welcome to 2020. I saw this written not too long ago, “I can’t wait for January 1, 2021, and then I can say hindsight really is 2020.” Whoa partner! Let’s not rush things along! Time moves fast enough as it is.

I took the last two weeks off from Blog writing to enjoy the holidays and I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Now it’s time to get back down to business. Always seems like not too much gets accomplished in the way of normal business during that period and maybe that’s a good thing.

Anyway, late last year (sounds like such a long time ago when it really was only last week) there was some rumors rolling along on the internet (Rumors? On the internet? Say it ain’t so) about the NHRA lowering the indexes for the Super Stock and Stock classes.

I assume (and we all know what that means) most everyone understands how those classes are contested. For those unclear (which means probably almost anyone), herein is the CliffsNotes version: Those classes qualify off an index set by the NHRA. Furthest under is the No. 1 qualifier and so forth. But when it comes to the eliminator portion of the event, each driver dials-in much the same as any other bracket race. Except in cases where two similar classed cars have to race each other, at which time it’s heads-up, first to the finish line the winner.

There is also the NHRA AHFS (Automatic Horsepower Factoring System). I’m not even going to attempt to explain that, but suffice it to say that cars which make runs 1.20 under their index automatically have their respective index and/or horsepower ratings readjusted before the next event. It’s a little more complex that that, but…

With the quality of equipment we have today, it appears more and more people are running faster than ever before. And maybe part of the index lowering rumor, was to adjust said indexes to acknowledge everyone going faster. Sound thinking, but we tried that argument years ago when it came to the “super” categories and that never went anywhere.

Let’s face it, I’d have to bet that most people running in either of the super classes can run far under their .90 index. I’m sure there are some who might be on the edge, but it’s probably very little. The .90 number has been in effect for about 40 years now. In that time, the indexes of the other classes (Comp, Super Stock and Stock) may have only been lowered once or twice; that is wholesale changes, not one particular combination’s index. But the talk also comes up every time there’s a top end accident of the driver hitting the brakes. I covered that weeks ago in Blog No,62-Locking ‘Em Up (https://dragracingedge.com/the-blog/locking-em-up/) in case you missed it. Regardless, lowering the super indexes might help to stop that practice; might I said, more like I doubt though.

But lowering the super category indexes might also help the aftermarket business as a whole. Let’s face it, why would I spend money on a new set of cylinder heads, torque converter, etc., if all I have to do is run the .90 number?

There was a poll sent out years ago to those super category racers asking about an index change. But in reality, I believe rather than asking one simple question, “Should the index be lowered or not?” the poll asked several questions which made the poll somewhat confusing when it came time to gather results.

So my simple question to you is, “Should the indexes be lowered?” Yes or no, forget by how much. But you can also give your reasoning as to your answer. E-mail me – JOHN DiBARTOLOMEO.