Today was the deadline to register. Could it be an undisclosed portion of his penalty for his conduct at the Finals?
If it was, that would have been the worst decision ever made by the NHRA, that's for sure.
Weird that a full-time defending champ would not attend one of the biggest races on the tour, especially right after testing in AZ.
Winternat's just 2 days away. We'll find out soon enough. Will the premium parking spot be empty Thursday?
I just hope it is not a health issue...
Agreed. Hope all are well there.
He was just in the car at Phoenix testing so I doubt it is health related. He'll still win a few races and make the top 10 and run for the title. Maybe he realizes there's no need to dominate the season only to lose it all, might as well save money and be the one that steals it.
Maybe he didnt want to get boo'd again at Pomona lol
Jeff Diehl may have confirmed they will not be there:
Would have to assume that this is in protest of the new participation ticket to the countdown. By skipping a racing, they will not have guaranteed countdown spot and have to EARN IT. I respect the move if this is the case.
Is there a nitro race in Tulsa this weekend? Where’s Big Daddy? Tulsa 72? Nah. Can’t be. Can it?
What a slap in the NHRA face that would be!
While Steve and Billy not attending is a HUGE issue - the fact that Palmer (who's team would have been a beneficiary of the 'participation trophy countdown spot') not participating at Pomona is REALLY the big story here.
Now 2 teams besides Torrence not coming.
This thought crossed my mind as well. Let's face it - NHRA isn't raising the event or championship purses, but they want a full-time commitment from more teams. NHRA, the Teams and Sponsors are all stakeholders in this deal.
I'm quietly predicting that the Countdown is losing relevance and may be gone by 2021, paired with a 20-event schedule.
I agree with you, and at this point it makes sense to get rid of the countdown and scale the schedule back. The prize purse isn't incentivizing enough to get the self funded teams to come out and play, especially when you've got part timers like Billy who can out run 90% of the field and finish top 5 on a part time schedule. This rule change was a smack in the face to Billy, Vandergriff, Salinas, and any of the other part time teams who have no trouble hanging with the rest of the pack. Would much rather see any of them show up, be competitive, and earn a spot in the top 10 on a limited schedule than having some leaker show up, never make a full pull, oil down the track every weekend, and "earn" a countdown spot. There is certainly something to be said about racing on a low budget, and I agree that there are ways NHRA could help support these racers to get car counts up, but I don't think this is the way to do it. Maybe they should discuss with guys like Pat Dakin, TJ Zizzo, or the other part timers who can actually run well and go rounds to determine what they need to show up to more racers before making stupid rule changes.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong... but from my understanding of the new rules... if they were in place last year, Billy Torrence would have finished 5th. Meaning... they wouldn't have made any difference to him.
You are correct. Alan made a very clear comment to this effect on Nitromater today.
I feel like ST is sucker punching the NHRA , very uncharacteristic of him .
Ha! I see what you did there....
Confirmed just now on his FB page:
"Due to untimely circumstances beyond our control, It’s in the best interest of Torrence racing to not participate in this weekend’s season opener in Pomona, California. We cannot thank our fans enough for their continued support and understanding at this time."
Was he ever on the entry list?
Palmer and Diehl still are, but they have withdrawn...
Add Welch, minus Diehl and Palmer. 13?
Why has it taken so long for successful business owners to understand that investing in the NHRA is bad business. Once your ego stroking high wears off and your accountant won’t return your phone calls ,the NHRA still rolls on .
NHRA isn’t the one that says you have to have 2 semi's to race T/F or F:C. Checkout the Greek and others.
NHRA doesn’t demand you use nothing but high dollar, exotic parts. It’s the mega money racers and car owners that spend massive $$$ in things like CNC machines and blower dyno’s that have raised the price to play. They hired the high $$$ guys to figure out where to spend more money to get that next mph gain. That’s what has driven prices up.
John Force didn’t start out with mega money. But with his baloney eating family and crew he now has considerable wealth. The difference between DSR, CKR and JFR isn’t where they started. It’s how and where they spent the resources they had that’s made or kept them successful
Those that have gone broke from spending too much and not winning enough money (or sponsor $$$) can’t blame NHRA anymore than I can blame the lottery for my ticket not winning last week.
NHRA’s possible mistake was allowing the cost to be competitive going up from things like allowing carbon fiber to replace Fiberglas or even Fiberglas to replace factory steel. The T/F and F/C’s racing right before Fiberglass came into use impressed those of us watching.
I’m old enough to have gotten hooked on drag racing before Fiberglass, carbon fiber and billet blocks became necessary to win in the nitro classes. In the late 70’s Big Daddy was still using factory forged steel cranks and winning. The Indy race was packed and I always enjoyed the heck out of it. Today I highly enjoy nostalgia drag racing even though the ground doesn’t shake, the ET’s are higher and the mph is lower.
If you check drag racing history, you can find many track owners who increased the purse and/or paid a lot for the show that few were willing to pay to see. This isn’t the Post Office and those track owners aren’t track owners anymore.
Ego? Yep, ego ruins many drag racers financial wealth just like it does many track owners. With great racers like Rampy and Fletcher having to change the way they support themselves, it’s obvious smart people are keeping their ego’s in check. NHRA isn’t in the ego control business.
How much will you spend for a Wally?
NHRA is the enabler, the horse is way out of the barn . Slowing the cars down to achieve fiscal sanity is the only answer. Bernstein, Force and Schumacher ruined Nitro racing . The haves and the have nots have never been separated this far in the history of the sport . What NHRA needs is a Mitch Stott of the gassers type , to have some Ba$$s to stand up to the money manipulators. It’s so bad , the perpetrators are now crying poor mouth .
The Lottery is an enabler but people any good at math don't play most of their paycheck every week.
Many that are bad at math still do and there's alway that one guy out of a million who will be this weeks "John Force". The little guy that did.
I'm not a lottery fan and wouldn't miss it if I either was totally broke or the Lottery plug was pulled.
But if I went broke drag racing or the tracks closed, I would miss drag racing a lot.
The Pro Stock racers that aren't on the Elite or KB dole are either very wealthy, a tenth or more back or working on a divorce.
The KB and Elite guys have pushed the Pro Stock price to play so high, Pro Stock only keeps going by them personally financing the bulk of the field.
T/F and F/C could easily end up doing the same thing. Schumacher Electric and Kalitta Air have very, very deep pockets.
I think NHRA needs to come to terms with the fact they can have a good show and still lower costs for their competitors. The situation now is just a state of denial. There is a simple concept that involves just saying "NO" which society seems to have lost. With all the pro classes there things that drive costs out of reach, whether it's the nitro load in the fuel classes, blower size and developement out of control to ridiculous prices for shocks in the pro stock cars, there are elements that can be identified and controlled or removed. To me it appears NHRA is afraid to tamper with their tried and true formula of "the cars need to be faster and set new records every year or nobody will watch". That's just a phobia that good marketing can alleviate. Yes, racing like anything needs a goal to have participation. They might want to consider that the "well offs" might well encourage price escallation to keep the "have nots" out of their game. Naw
Remember now... NHRA brought on EFI in P/S as a cost saving move. LOL... Now that we're a years into that, I'd like to hear from people that know..... IF and how much that's "saved" anyone. Have they even yet been able to offset the initial investment of making the switch???
Well said. Especially that last point.
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