Tag Archives: bracket racing

Passing Of Sportsman Racer Should Give All Of Us Pause

It’s sad to hear of the passing of Derek Sanchez.  Sanchez was a Super Gas driver and that in of itself should be something we as Nostalgia drag racers should consider.  Just because we don’t go 300 mph in four seconds doesn’t mean that drag racing isn’t a deadly sport and that we don’t need all the safety equipment we can get our hands on.

Derek Sanchez at Pomona -- Tim Marshall photo (DRO)

Derek Sanchez at Pomona — Tim Marshall photo (DRO)

Often we complain — me included — about the expense of racing and because the sportsman classes are not nearly as fast or quick as the professional or nitro cars, that somehow we don’t need to be as concerned about our welfare.

The reason I bring this up is that it’s been said that Sanchez was not wearing a HANS device.  Honestly, I don’t know if that’s true or not.  And to be frank, we don’t know if a HANS or similar safety equipment would have saved him.  Regardless, I think it’s time we start taking this dangerous sport more seriously when it comes to safety.

I’m not saying that everyone needs to go out and buy the top-of-line stuff like the HANS Adjustable and Pro Ultra; still this accident and subsequent death five days later should give us pause and be an alarm along with making each one of us think about what we need to do to be safer.  This isn’t the 1950s, so we don’t have to play Russian Roulette every time we set out on the drag strip for another burnout and race.

HANS devices can be purchased here or at any a sundry places in your town or on the internet. I realize there’s no perfect world and danger is inherent in motorsports, but look into racing safety and find out for yourself what’s truly needed to be adequately safe.

Derek Sanchez was 47 and from from Yuma, Arizona.  He is survived by his father, mother, stepfather and sister (source: Yuma Sun).

Additional source: NHRA

Daryle W. Hier

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Little Leagues

There’s a certain cuteness to Little Leaguers.  The innocents, the fun, the endearing aspects of a childlike naivety to it all.

Know how you enjoy a certain level of sophistication but not all leading up to it.  For instance, football fans love the NFL (it’s the most popular sport) and will eat up almost anything regarding professional football … that has to with the best of the best.  The CFL (Canadian Football League) has exciting games on those very huge fields.  Does it get much notice?  No and in fact struggles to stay afloat, so then how about the other professional football leagues?  Yea, what leagues?  And does the press follow diligently these 2nd level competitions?

When considering drag racing, the NHRA and IHRA get top billing over other series’.  When talking about Nostalgia Drag Racing, believe it or not, we have big leagues and little leagues.  The Hot Rod Heritage Series through the NHRA Museum and to a lesser extent the Goodguys Vintage Drag Racing are the big leagues.  And by adding the Goodguys, therein lies the answers to what makes you bigger in drag racing.  Nitro and head-to-head racing.  Nitromethane to be exact (CH3NO2), is the organic compound which is the key to any popular series in heads up drag racing and their ability to offer fans, fire-breathing, ground-thumping, ear-splitting and nose-running nitro-burning behemoths of the quarter-mile.  Consider when promoters need to get fans attracted to a meet but they don’t have nitro-classes … they bring in (& advertise) a handful of nitro-powered machines for either exhibition runs or match-races – all heads up.

So where does this lead me?  Well, I love nitro and heads up racing, that’s for sure, but more important than I are the rest of the drag racing public – they like nitro and heads up racing too.  Which then brings me to the other Nostalgia drag races.  A few have asked in the past why I don’t talk about or help promote races like ANRA.  Nothing against ANRA as we ran it for years – when they had the nitro classes and were “heads up”.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for indexed bracket racing.  And you can run alcohol or gas to have fun and be successful.  But in ANRA’s case, they don’t have either popular style; no nitro or heads up racing.  And because of this, not a lot of people go to the races to watch these slower classes where nobody knows who won until they check the rules.

Until crowds (& press) start coming out to watch the band and not the football team, I’ll stick with the big leagues.  If something really interesting comes up, that’s one thing but pending these unusual occurrences, we’ll stay with what we like most: heads up and nitro contests.

You can watch cute, but I enjoy heads up racing and the king is nitro – as they say; “Gasoline is for cleaning.  Alcohol is for drinking.  Nitro is for racing”.

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