This Week’s Rant

Back from the PRI Trade Show. Lots of people. Cold weather, but I think I covered that in last week’s blog, so I won’t beat that dead horse again.

People always ask “What was new there?”

The short answer, “not much.”

I’m sure there were some interesting things to be seen and a lot of people talking about what they have that’s new, but in general, not much really is. It’s my belief the industry has gotten so big and there are so many things out on the market today that it’s kind of hard to come up with really new and interesting ideas and products. Once again, that’s not to say there wasn’t any new stuff; QA1 had their new Mod shocks which allows one to re-valve their own shocks without taking the shock apart, billet blocks-heads-you name it. There were also the announcements of new teams and the like: Steve Matusek’s new Pro Mod ride with Elite Motorsports; Don O’Neal’s NGK new Top Sportsman car; the Straightline Strategy Group’s announcement of the formation of a team of Clay Millican, McLeod Racing’s Paul Lee, Matt Hartford’s Pro Stock team, Jeff Lutz’s No Prep car and Pro Fuel Harley rider Janette Thornley. Probably some other things as well, but as far as what was really “new,”… Maybe not much or maybe I’ve been around this stuff for so long that it takes quite a bit to really turn up my excitement.

I was glad to see the trailers were now on display inside rather than out on the street. I don’t know why anyone would want to walk outside in freezing temperatures to see a trailer but that’s the way it was in past years in Indy. This year they were displayed over in the Lucas Oil Stadium floor in a big room behind the goal posts. I don’t know what they would use that room for during games but it was large enough to have probably about 20 or so trailers and trucks in there. The only issue was that it was quite a walk from the main rooms of the Convention Center, but I guess I could find something to bitch about no matter what, the least of which was the weather, but oh yeah, I said I wouldn’t beat that horse again.

I went to an interesting meeting regarding the Pro Mod class where the talk was about so many different Pro Mod organizations; NHRA, PDRA, etc.; and the rule differences. The talk centered on trying to somewhat formalize the rules between them all to allow the racers more places to go race. Dissention in the troops if you will, which got me thinking about the footbrake classes.

With the advent of big dollar races for the footbrake crowd, there are also some rule differences, minor ones but still… Are trans brakes allowed? Automatic shifters? And the like. I know in some divisions, trans brakes are allowed and not in others. Should there be some simple parameters?

As an example, I wanted to run my Super Stocker at one of the bigger footbrake races yet as a Modified Super Stock car we use a trans brake even though it’s off the bottom bulb. Couldn’t run the races I wanted and I’ve never run the car off the footbrake only. Yet, I know I can run it that way at some local tracks. Of course, at those tracks, the class isn’t called Footbrake so maybe that’s the key. It’s either Box or No Box. Follow the rules of wherever you run. Now, I’m not lobbying to have the rule changed in any way, but simply wondering if we should have a set of uniform rules.

One of the other interesting points brought up during the Pro Mod meeting was the cars becoming very predictable, yet the popularity of the class was somewhat based on their unpredictability. I think the class as a whole is probably the most exciting class in drag racing from a spectator’s point of view. Add in the variety of cars and engine combinations which makes them interesting. Plus, I think those guys (and gals) put on a pretty great show. But with all the new car models being used and now I guess they’ve been invited to use the wind tunnel more, they could become pretty predictable which might lose some of their edginess. I liked it when you had the old Corvettes and Willys coupes competing. But I guess when you’re trying to win and go fast, things like that will happen. Adding to the aforementioned “new” things was the talk of adding a fourth power-adder to the Pro Mod class in the form of a ProCharger. No ruling has been made but there has been some testing with that combination and it appears NHRA is keeping a close watch on it.

That’s it for another week. If you have any comments please let me know. Send me an e-mail or shoot us a message on Facebook.