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Crazy Idea

Nunz

Nitro Member
#21
Oh Alan I totally get the difference, and maybe at the end of the day, and after years of us keyboard CCs coming up with solutions, the answer might be: It is what it is. I realize it's hard to go backwards, and it seems like nobody in the big show wants to, but the level of destruction is at a whole new level. I just pray that NHRA doesn't end up making a knee-jerk move at some point and lower the nitro percentage, as has been done before. It really changed the sound of the cars.
 

Dave

Nitro Member
#22
Nunzio,
Everyone out there can run 3.90-4.00 time after time and pretty much never hurt anything, but they aren't racing when they do. Anybody remember when Dick LaHaie was running the Miller car with Larry Dixon, and they were talking about lower compression and blower limits? At Dallas Monday after the race, LaHaie put the combination in his car and made three runs between 4.80 and 4.90 (quarter mile) all at about 305 mph (if memory serves) but decent conservative runs and never so much as flattened a bearing. Many people were proclaiming that this was the answer. If the rules were changed, the costs would come down, the carnage would cease and no one would ever hurt another part. But LaHaie wasn't racing, when I asked him if he would have the same set up if Bernstein was in the other lane he said "Oh, hell no!" If he was racing he would have to try to win! Not try to make three runs without hurting anything. And anybody that remembers LaHaie remembers that he HATED blowing stuff up. Trying to make a clean run and trying to win a race are two VERY different things.

Alan
My only thought would be - he was putting that combo in for testing purposes, but if it was by rule instead of by choice, then everyone else in competition has to have the same thing.
I get that they would just move to the next area and find it somewhere else. It is said the setup they have now to go 1,000 feet won't last to 1,320. Would the motor grenade if they stayed on the throttle for another .6 of a second? Speaking of finding it somewhere else - not to get off topic but why are the Top Fuel cars going faster than ever when they used to struggle to reach 330? There were 7 or 8 drivers in Top Fuel over 330 at Phoenix. That hasn't happened in a while! What happened?

Secondly, as much as I would love to see the original posters idea about a smaller displacement and slowing the thing down and maybe even making it to 1,320 again, I don't want to lose what we have. I hate that everyone still shuts off 320 foot before the finish line, but they have been doing it for almost a decade now. I guess I'm getting used to it. Now I can't wait to see the first .799 60 foot time, the first 1.99 330 foot time, the first 300mph 660 foot speed and the first 3.599 1,000 foot time. Clay already got the 2.89 660 foot time barrier at Pomona. Bring on the season of power!
 

Frank

Nitro Member
#23
To Alan's point, racing hard to win is always going to cause carnage regardless of what changes are made to the engine package. So to me, I think the change has to be made to the mentality of the crew chiefs and drivers involved and not to the engines and cars. If you run them on the ragged edge all of the time, you're going to cross the fine line sometimes and have massive explosions. I mean think about it. What other machine out there is so finicky that if you remove your foot from the throttle for even a half second and then reapply throttle pressure, your odds of exploding increase exponentially? Fighter pilots can slow down and speed up on request. NASA can do controlled burns on and off throughout a mission. NASCAR vehicles can slow down and speed up for 500 miles, but Top Fuel and Funny Cars you pedal the throttle just once, and fuel curves are thrown off, clutch timers are thrown off, cylinder pressures are out of whack and the chances of the engine exploding go through the roof.

Instead of trying to fix/strengthen the alloys (which was mentioned in the Force Lindberg crash thread) or changing the engine combination (which has been mentioned countless times since Scott Kalitta's and numerous other incidents), why not limit the amount of engines to two per weekend? If you can't keep two engines together for eight runs, then you don't deserve to win. You're allowed one engine in qualifying and if you hurt it, one more on race day. If you grenade an engine in any round of eliminations, besides the finals, you are disqualified, and the fastest loser from the same round is inserted back into eliminations. Using this weekend's race as an example, John Force is disqualified after blowing up in round 2, and the quickest loser from round 2, Matt Hagan, is reinserted into the semi finals (thus ensuring the fans don't have to watch a bunch of bye runs throughout eliminations if lot's of cars blow up/oil down). This approach has what I feel are numerous positives. It would reduce the costs it would take to race a 24 race schedule. It would reduce downtime, both during qualifying and on race day (maybe more live TV, more sponsors??). It could potentially increase car counts. It could also potentially cut down on the nasty, and sometimes fatal, explosions/crashes we've seen over the years.

Now, before you go off on me about how stupid this idea is, keep in mind I basically took Don Garlits' idea and modified it. I talked to him at Indy about this a few years back, and read an article or two, where essentially his position is each team/driver should have only one engine for the entire weekend and that's it. You blow it up, you're done.
 

none

Nitro Member
#24
My first thought about this is that it would be possible for a guy to get beat three times and still be given the Winning Wally at the end of the day. And I know that's an extreme example, but it could happen. The other thought is that if I'm last pair and I know that Driver A won and blew up, that might make me race for the free pass and not the win. I like the fact that sometimes the second best run of the round goes home and sometimes one of the slower ones can advance.

I can also picture more cars sitting out qualifying just to save that spare engine in case they need it Sunday. What would you tell the fans when only two cars run Saturday because they can't afford to hurt an engine and be disqualified from the Sunday race?

Not arguing, just discussing,
Alan
 
#25
To Alan's point, racing hard to win is always going to cause carnage regardless of what changes are made to the engine package. So to me, I think the change has to be made to the mentality of the crew chiefs and drivers involved and not to the engines and cars. If you run them on the ragged edge all of the time, you're going to cross the fine line sometimes and have massive explosions. I mean think about it. What other machine out there is so finicky that if you remove your foot from the throttle for even a half second and then reapply throttle pressure, your odds of exploding increase exponentially? Fighter pilots can slow down and speed up on request. NASA can do controlled burns on and off throughout a mission. NASCAR vehicles can slow down and speed up for 500 miles, but Top Fuel and Funny Cars you pedal the throttle just once, and fuel curves are thrown off, clutch timers are thrown off, cylinder pressures are out of whack and the chances of the engine exploding go through the roof.

Instead of trying to fix/strengthen the alloys (which was mentioned in the Force Lindberg crash thread) or changing the engine combination (which has been mentioned countless times since Scott Kalitta's and numerous other incidents), why not limit the amount of engines to two per weekend? If you can't keep two engines together for eight runs, then you don't deserve to win. You're allowed one engine in qualifying and if you hurt it, one more on race day. If you grenade an engine in any round of eliminations, besides the finals, you are disqualified, and the fastest loser from the same round is inserted back into eliminations. Using this weekend's race as an example, John Force is disqualified after blowing up in round 2, and the quickest loser from round 2, Matt Hagan, is reinserted into the semi finals (thus ensuring the fans don't have to watch a bunch of bye runs throughout eliminations if lot's of cars blow up/oil down). This approach has what I feel are numerous positives. It would reduce the costs it would take to race a 24 race schedule. It would reduce downtime, both during qualifying and on race day (maybe more live TV, more sponsors??). It could potentially increase car counts. It could also potentially cut down on the nasty, and sometimes fatal, explosions/crashes we've seen over the years.

Now, before you go off on me about how stupid this idea is, keep in mind I basically took Don Garlits' idea and modified it. I talked to him at Indy about this a few years back, and read an article or two, where essentially his position is each team/driver should have only one engine for the entire weekend and that's it. You blow it up, you're done.
This is what I am looking for, alternative ideas!!

In NASCAR, if you change an engine you go to the back of the field. In F1, you get 5 engines to last you the whole season! Now, I get there are many things that make drag racing unique from other motor sports, but they are all powered by motors that have to get you to the finish line to win.
 
#26
My first thought about this is that it would be possible for a guy to get beat three times and still be given the Winning Wally at the end of the day. And I know that's an extreme example, but it could happen. The other thought is that if I'm last pair and I know that Driver A won and blew up, that might make me race for the free pass and not the win. I like the fact that sometimes the second best run of the round goes home and sometimes one of the slower ones can advance.

I can also picture more cars sitting out qualifying just to save that spare engine in case they need it Sunday. What would you tell the fans when only two cars run Saturday because they can't afford to hurt an engine and be disqualified from the Sunday race?

Not arguing, just discussing,
Alan
We have a point system where you could win the first 23 races of the season and not win the Championship.

Your second point is much more of a concern (to me). Make 1 good qualifying hit and then put it on the trailer til Sunday. There might not be much happening at all on Saturday. I can definitely see a real draw back to that scenario for us fans.
 

none

Nitro Member
#27
My only thought would be - he was putting that combo in for testing purposes, but if it was by rule instead of by choice, then everyone else in competition has to have the same thing.
I get that they would just move to the next area and find it somewhere else. It is said the setup they have now to go 1,000 feet won't last to 1,320. Would the motor grenade if they stayed on the throttle for another .6 of a second? Speaking of finding it somewhere else - not to get off topic but why are the Top Fuel cars going faster than ever when they used to struggle to reach 330? There were 7 or 8 drivers in Top Fuel over 330 at Phoenix. That hasn't happened in a while! What happened?

Secondly, as much as I would love to see the original posters idea about a smaller displacement and slowing the thing down and maybe even making it to 1,320 again, I don't want to lose what we have. I hate that everyone still shuts off 320 foot before the finish line, but they have been doing it for almost a decade now. I guess I'm getting used to it. Now I can't wait to see the first .799 60 foot time, the first 1.99 330 foot time, the first 300mph 660 foot speed and the first 3.599 1,000 foot time. Clay already got the 2.89 660 foot time barrier at Pomona. Bring on the season of power!
Dave,
My point was more he wasn't cranking MAX timing to it, he wasn't leaning it out up high, or for that matter trying to give it extra fuel in the middle like they do. He was running a test not a race, and when you're just trying to go down the track it's not the same as trying to beat somebody down the track.


Alan
 

none

Nitro Member
#28
We have a point system where you could win the first 23 races of the season and not win the Championship.

Your second point is much more of a concern (to me). Make 1 good qualifying hit and then put it on the trailer til Sunday. There might not be much happening at all on Saturday. I can definitely see a real draw back to that scenario for us fans.
Chris,
Not to split hairs, but if you win the first 23, you will have the championship wrapped up before you get to Pomona....... But I get your point! LoL
See you at the #LV4Wide
Alan
 

Frank

Nitro Member
#31
My first thought about this is that it would be possible for a guy to get beat three times and still be given the Winning Wally at the end of the day. And I know that's an extreme example, but it could happen. The other thought is that if I'm last pair and I know that Driver A won and blew up, that might make me race for the free pass and not the win. I like the fact that sometimes the second best run of the round goes home and sometimes one of the slower ones can advance.

I can also picture more cars sitting out qualifying just to save that spare engine in case they need it Sunday. What would you tell the fans when only two cars run Saturday because they can't afford to hurt an engine and be disqualified from the Sunday race?

Not arguing, just discussing,
Alan
Alan, I'm very open to having a good discussion and not arguing so we're on the same page. My thoughts on your response. The scenario of a guy losing multiple times but still able to win is possible today at the 4 wide nationals in Charlotte. Plus, isn't Vegas going to run 4 wide once per year in the near future as well? So NHRA has already introduced "the guy can lose once or twice but still get to the finals and collect the Wally" scenario, right? Does it really bother fans if Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt finish 2nd or 3rd in the first heat, 2nd or 3rd in the second heat, and then kick ass when the gold medal is on the line in the last heat? It's still entertaining to watch them, even if they don't win every heat or set a world record on every lap/run.

To your next point, believe me, I know all about one of your favorite sayings, "Drag racing is sometimes a right place at the right time kind of sport," and trust me, I fully appreciate it. In my mind though, I think the possibility of being reinstated adds a whole new level of drama that didn't exist before. You would be able to announce after each pair who is on top of the 'reinstatement board' and what the reinstatement bump spot is should their be a disqualification. Will the teams ease up knowing there is an open reinstatement spot because one of the winners blew up? Maybe, maybe not. Does it hurt the fan experience? I don't think it does. I think the teams knowing they could be reinstated if they keep the engine in one piece, means more full pulls (even if they are a 3-8 hun slower) and less oil downs which is always a good thing, no?

To your qualifying point, I don't have an easy rebuttal off the top of my head. That is a bad scenario that does hurt the fan experience so I'd have to spend some more time thinking about that one.
 

Porkchop

Nitro Member
#33
Nunzio,
Everyone out there can run 3.90-4.00 time after time and pretty much never hurt anything, but they aren't racing when they do. Anybody remember when Dick LaHaie was running the Miller car with Larry Dixon, and they were talking about lower compression and blower limits? At Dallas Monday after the race, LaHaie put the combination in his car and made three runs between 4.80 and 4.90 (quarter mile) all at about 305 mph (if memory serves) but decent conservative runs and never so much as flattened a bearing. Many people were proclaiming that this was the answer. If the rules were changed, the costs would come down, the carnage would cease and no one would ever hurt another part. But LaHaie wasn't racing, when I asked him if he would have the same set up if Bernstein was in the other lane he said "Oh, hell no!" If he was racing he would have to try to win! Not try to make three runs without hurting anything. And anybody that remembers LaHaie remembers that he HATED blowing stuff up. Trying to make a clean run and trying to win a race are two VERY different things.

Alan
Alan, I believe Dale also tested for NHRA when he was with Snake. In my opinion why not take 1 pump away and lower compression? No decision is gonna make everyone happy.
 

camaro

Nitro Member
#34
Chris,
Not to split hairs, but if you win the first 23, you will have the championship wrapped up before you get to Pomona....... But I get your point! LoL
See you at the #LV4Wide
Alan
ok i know this is silly but what if u won the first 23 races and the second place guy, runner upped at the first 5 races of the countdown and set a national record at 3 or 4 countdown races and won race # 24 while the guy that won 23 races loses first round or doesnt qualify. wouldn't the guy that won race# 24 win the championship:D
 

none

Nitro Member
#35
ok i know this is silly but what if u won the first 23 races and the second place guy, runner upped at the first 5 races of the countdown and set a national record at 3 or 4 countdown races and won race # 24 while the guy that won 23 races loses first round or doesnt qualify. wouldn't the guy that won race# 24 win the championship:D
Nope!
Alan
 

none

Nitro Member
#37
Alan, I believe Dale also tested for NHRA when he was with Snake. In my opinion why not take 1 pump away and lower compression? No decision is gonna make everyone happy.
Jerry,

You are correct but how much do you want to slow them down? 1 mag 1 pump would equal what? I'm thinking it might be less than what an A-Fuel car makes now. Bet it would be close. You really want to go that far?
Alan
 

Porkchop

Nitro Member
#38
Jerry,

You are correct but how much do you want to slow them down? 1 mag 1 pump would equal what? I'm thinking it might be less than what an A-Fuel car makes now. Bet it would be close. You really want to go that far?
Alan
[/QUOTE
Alan, 2 mags 1 pump? 90% What compression would you use as a max? Times should be in the 4.70's high 60's speeds a lil over 300. But how long would that last, right?
 

none

Nitro Member
#39
Jerry,
Not arguing, just talking. You keep saying 1 pump. They have 1 pump now. It's a great fricken big one, but it is just one piece. So are you going to put a gallons per minute limit on it? Or something else.


Alan
 
#40
I still think cubic inch limits and blower limits will let the racing stay the same, the sounds stay the same and maybe the tune-ups don't change a heck of a lot....but less power will mean slower times
Utilize the equipment every racer has, just change the sleeves and pistons. The rods and crankshaft might stay the same, the blowers losing displacement will be the biggest cost to teams in the beginning.
Also, maybe some development of heads that use rotating valves with no springs to break (keep it at 2 valves per cylinder) so less blower explosions happen.


 
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