Grandstand view

Grandstand view

On Sunday at Seattle, I watched John Force do something I have been hoping to see for some time now. Even if it was for a brief moment.  John Force went into the grandstands. It’s a perspective that seems to have been ignored by the suits at NHRA and…more than a few race teams. It’s been my experience, there’s a lot of wisdom among us ticket buying spectators and, sadly, nobody’s seem to have been asking us how we like the show. True, NHRA has been asking…for more of our money, just not our opinion. Given the chance, here are some of the things we might say:

Maybe we would have told them that after the 300 miles per hour barrier was broken, we really can’t tell the difference between 305 and 335 so, given the choice, we would have preferred slowing things down in order to keep the quarter mile, full fields, and close competition, over faster mph’s and lower et’s.

Maybe we would have told them that elapsed times and miles per hour aren’t everything. We miss the long burnouts and the Brahma bull like snorts of the funny cars as they approached the starting line.

Maybe they would have found out from some of us who had attended his drag racing school that Frank Hawley had taught us that the first time a race car driver sees the shutdown area of a particular race track shouldn’t happen at full speed behind the wheel of a race car.

Maybe we could tell someone at NHRA to make a pre-race inspection of the race track and the shutdown area a requirement for all of the professional classes before they’re allowed to compete.

Maybe they would have noticed from our seats that with such a large concentration of nitro cars under the mega-teams of Schumacher, Force, and Kalitta, a lot of us are getting our dose of nitro and then skipping out before the finals. In other words, sponsors be damned, we care more about beating the traffic then sticking around to see who wins.

Maybe they would noticed that we’re kind of attached to the word relevant, so when Pro Stock kept getting further and further away from anything related to the production cars they were supposed to represent, we gravitated to Factory Stock and used the Pro Stock rounds for our bathroom and beverage breaks.

Maybe if they had asked us, it wouldn’t have taken decades after the last weed whacker had lost its carburetor for Pro Stock to have gone to fuel injection.

Maybe they would have noticed that, unlike Street Outlaws, we like the brand under the hood to be same as the body of the Pro Stock car, even if today’s Pro Stock now resembles IROC. If NHRA is determined to keep Pro Stock, please fix the problems that prevent the other brands from participating. Don’t try masking it this way.

…and there’s more

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