RANT No. 6,234,012 – 5-22-19

Gonna get up on my soapbox this week. Guess I’ve been on it all along but there’s a couple of things I’d like to point out. In the first case though, I just but alienate some racers but I guess I believe in the goodness of racers more than others.

Here we go. Parking at national events is handled by a very capable NHRA staff. There are times when it takes hours to get racers in and parked. Not that I’m looking to get rid of any of the parking personal but I just wonder why it’s necessary? Why can’t “they” tell us, “Guys, this is how much room you have, have at it.”

I have to say that at least the last couple of NHRA national events, the parking personal have been extremely accommodating. However, “their” comment is that racers will take up too much room, to a point I might agree with. However, I guess maybe I believe in the powers of racers working with one another more than someone taking up too much space. “Do you have enough room?” “How about if I move over a foot or two to give you more room?” And if they run out of room and you have a small area to park, then so be it. I guess you should have showed up earlier.

In this way, it becomes “first come, first serve.” My only “if,” is no saving spaces. Too many times we get to some events where the place looks like it’s been taped off like a crime scene. If you want to park next to someone, they both have to go in together. I certainly don’t want to see anyone losing their “parking job,” so maybe that person (s) should just be the “cop” going around to make sure no one saves spaces. Not sure it would work, but like anything else, why not give it a try? If it works it works, if not go back to the same situation we have now.

Next up is this: I like the Factory Stock class. They did major wheelstands, heads up racing; just exciting cars to watch. However, I think it might be teetering on getting out of hand. In the beginning, they were factory-built machines; expensive but nonetheless affordable to some. It sort of mirrored Pro Stock in the very beginning. There were a lot of guys wanting to build their own cars and did so. Granted, you can’t necessarily do that with the Factory Stock cars, but it’s still possible if you wanted to. The concern of mine is money. Over and above the OEM price of the car, I’ve heard reports of as little as $75,000 to well over $200 to end up with a competitive car. Not sure about you, but that puts it out of my budget.

The saving grace to the class was the restrictive Stock Eliminator rules; more to the point, the nine-inch wide tire. I said this in the very beginning that the NHRA needs to keep a handle on the rules to eliminate it getting out of hand financially. Too late. It already is. In only certain times do we see big wheelstands anymore. They’ve honestly become a little boring to watch.

Now with the amount of power those cars are making; with reports over the 1,400-horsepower number; racers are having to somewhat de-tune them just to get them to leave the starting line on the size tire. In doing so, racers are having to pull 8-10 degrees and more of ignition timing just to get through the critical 60’ section of the track. Doing so somewhat eliminates those great wheelstands the fans like to see. Here’s where the Catch 22 comes into play.

Should they allow them to put on a bigger tire? Then you have more chassis mods required which equates to more money spent. Is it possible to restrict the power? That’ll never happen. Racers always want to go faster so they’ll just find a way to make power.

Could it be that the class is at a crossroads? What do you think?  -John DiBartolomeo