On my recent trip to the March Meet in Bakersfield Ca., I couldn’t help from overhearing the unbelievable and unsubstantiated rumors regarding “phasing out” the “King Of The Quarter Mile”; the Top Fuel front engine dragster. As opposed to the Nitro drenched, ear splitting sounds these beautiful four wheeled monsters belch forth, the negative sound I was hearing was understandably coming from track promoters and chassis builders anxious to promote a new and different product. In speaking with a prominent chassis builder at the track, his comment was that there were people involved in the management of the sport that think the cars are too dangerous. Dangerous? This is obviously a story shaped, so a new series of chassis can be built to resemble the first back motored cars. After all, business is a little slow these days and track promoters are always looking for new ways to increase gate receipts.
Much hard work and dedication is in effect within the Heritage Series group at the NHRA Wally Parks Museum to keep this division of the sport alive.
For those that would even think of eliminating the marquee of Nostalgia Drag Racing, here’s my view on the subject.
The name of this particular division of nostalgia drag racing is the HOT ROD HERITAGE SERIES (Inherited – Birthright)! The foundation of nostalgia drag racing is the TOP FUEL FRONT ENGINE DRAGSTER! It’s our heritage. It goes back to the days of the “Thingy” (Body-off and run it), dangerous? Of course they are. What racecar is not? Auto racing is a calculated risk. How about back-motered cars, look at Daryl Guinn and what about Darrell Russell and Blaine Johnson? Remember Scott Kalitta and Eric Medlin? All Funny Cars are front motored; are they dangerous? And how about Altereds with your butt sitting over the rear end with 3,000 + hp. and 115 in. wheelbase, dangerous? Midgets, Sprints, Outlaws, IndyCars, F1, Bonneville cars and Drag Boats; Dangerous?
We, in the sport are constantly seeking and receiving improvement in the safety of auto racing. To recklessly declare, for personal gains, that the top fuel front engine dragster should be phased out because it is dangerous is to ask for the foundation of the very thing the series is built on to be destroyed. It is thoughtless, insensitive, irresponsible, greedy and detrimental to the entire sport of drag racing. That’s my opinion…
‘See ya’ at the races…