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Lack of track prep

#1
Am I alone in being discussed with the "NEW" track prep?
It seems we've had more carnage already this year, then all last season.
I'm not paying to see an explode a thon. Will nhra go back to proper prep, or do we have to kill a driver first?? Your opinions........
 

Jeff

Nitro Member
#2
disgusted ... autocorrect probably bit you

i personally prefer watching the old way, but i do think the teams will adjust .... and when they do the MPHs will be very close to where they are now. I don't like the concept of great weather means less track prep....
 

Just Paul

Nitro Member
#3
Kinda beating a dead horse here, but I'll play along.

Pros-
Top fuel first round yesterday- The first 5 round winners had never won a national event before. I'll admit that was cool, but the luck only holds out so long, and eventually you get down to the regular players anyway.

That's about all I can think of.
Want to slow the cars down? Make the speed trap longer. Kidding, but they have messed with it before.

Cons-
Lots of tire smoke. A good pedalfest once in awhile is fun, but nowdays I'm sure these guys duck every time they have to get back on it, which is often.

It helped the under performing teams for while, but the smart guys are still the smart guys and still winning. JFR Won the last 3 funny car events, Clay and DSR the last 3 TF events.

Joliet Friday night qualifying - It's impossible for me to be excited with a 3.91 low ET in funny car.

I've been to a lot of tracks in record setting conditions, wondering if history will be made on this pass or the next. I've been lucky enough to see a lot of good runs over the years.

I'll end with this. If you walk though the pits at a random national event and ask the fans who won top fuel at the 1988 US Nationals (Joe Amato over Gene Snow) not too many people will know that. If you ask who ran the first 300 mph or first 4 second run I bet a lot of people will know those answers. It's all about performance.

The quest for the next record should never be put out of reach.
 
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Dennis

Nitro Member
#4
I'm 100% for it. I say remove more glue.

Put the driver back into the equation. Anyone can blow sh*t up on max kill - these guys are smart they will figure out how to get from point a to point b.

If reducing traction is what allows the sport to survive (ahem insurance companies), then that's fine by me.

To the point of records - sure maybe back in 1999 everyone would know who ran the first 300 or the first 4. I don't think the current fan knows, or cares, what numbers came up on the boards 26 years ago. Talk drag racing to the casual fan and 3 things come up: John Force, Shirley Muldowney and Don Garlits.
 

Jack

Nitro Member
#6
I can't help but wonder if the mega teams might push the prep issue a little harder with the NHRA behind the scenes. The old saying is that money talks and this is a money business...........
 

Jer

Nitro Member
#7
I can't help but wonder if the mega teams might push the prep issue a little harder with the NHRA behind the scenes. The old saying is that money talks and this is a money business...........
Didnt sound like tommy johnson was to happy about it
 
#8
You wanna slow 'em down? Just park 2 police cruisers near the 800 foot mark with their lights flashing, and involuntary reactions will cause them to get off the throttle sooner
 

none

Nitro Member
#9
The change in track prep has just about turned me completely off from the big show. To me drag racing is about big numbers on the scoreboard. I have always been a swing for the fence guy when running cars and watching FC's for the most part running low 4's doesn't excite me at all. I have to believe it is responsible for a fair amount of the carnage we are seeing. 100 plus gallons and tire spinning doesn't make for a happy engine.
 
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mick

Nitro Member
#11
IMO this new prep is a great move. nobody is retooling parts, in fact i doubt no one's costs are changing, unless they can't read the track and
constantly go into smoke causing engine damage. when you watch the crew guys out on the track with that twisting device that measures some form of adhesion,
i get the impression those tools must have about 4 readings......sticky....really sticky....super sticky.....stupid sticky. i think for last few years they got 'stupid sticky' reading
more often than not. now they mite be getting middle two. so adjust.
and if this new prep fails, racing is not close, teams complain, then change the % back to stupid sticky. then if sport still needs to slow down, nhra can mandate parts
changes, that will cost money, and teams will complain about unnecessary costs.
 
#13
Track prep is not the problem, the egos of crew chiefs and drivers that won't allow them to adapt is. The same teams are still blowing the bodies off their cars as were before they are just using the new track prep as their excuse now.

NHRA tried equipment restrictions and it wasn't working, but the 5% change in mixture for track prep is working across the board equally for everyone.

Without scoreboards telling you the times, you cannot see the difference in a 3.85 run and a 4.0 run. And the casual fan really doesn't who won the last round let alone who won what when or when/what record was ever set. They just want to see/feel/hear the nitro cars run. That is why Fridays and Saturdays have more spectators. They just want to witness runs.
 

ironpony

Nitro Member
#14
NHRA's version of affirmative action
You can not go fast ? O.K. we will slow everyone else down.
No money for spares ? we will have the big teams give you some.

PS version.
Sorry MOPAR you cannot use the parts you want to build a competitive HEMI
BUT
we will let you buy a DRCE
 

Dennis

Nitro Member
#15
NHRA's version of affirmative action
You can not go fast ? O.K. we will slow everyone else down.
That's not even close to being the issue, in my opinion. Good Year (and I'm sure insurance companies) have set a speed limit. NHRA is doing something that should have been done decades ago. The alternative is to let everyone just keep pushing the limits until the tires simply disintegrate. My fear is that once that plug is pulled from an insurance company standpoint, you've seen the end of Top Fuel eliminator.

The problem stems from the fact that the NHRA got "too good" at track prep and made every track as sticky as possible so that crew chiefs could throw everything at the run and it would stick. In my opinion, this happened somewhere around 2000, give or take a few years. NHRA basically said we'll have cookie cutter tracks and everyone has to run a cookie cutter car. Go back to the 80's and 90's and that was the last of ingenuity from the crew chiefs.

NHRA needs to turn back the clocks and reduce track prep even more. On the flip side they need to allow more deviation from the cookie cutter top fueler, as well as reining in liberties taken with bodies in FC and PS. Put the driver and the crew chief back into the equation.
 

Huge

Nitro Member
#16
Track prep is not the problem, the egos of crew chiefs and drivers that won't allow them to adapt is. The same teams are still blowing the bodies off their cars as were before they are just using the new track prep as their excuse now.

NHRA tried equipment restrictions and it wasn't working, but the 5% change in mixture for track prep is working across the board equally for everyone.

Without scoreboards telling you the times, you cannot see the difference in a 3.85 run and a 4.0 run. And the casual fan really doesn't who won the last round let alone who won what when or when/what record was ever set. They just want to see/feel/hear the nitro cars run. That is why Fridays and Saturdays have more spectators. They just want to witness runs.
As usual Virgil you by far have the best and most accurate post in this thread. Maybe instead of looking so hard at the teams that are blowing their stuff up every other pass we need to concentrate more on the teams that have clean passes and are still running pretty good.:)
 
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#17
Track prep is not the problem, the egos of crew chiefs and drivers that won't allow them to adapt is. The same teams are still blowing the bodies off their cars as were before they are just using the new track prep as their excuse now.

NHRA tried equipment restrictions and it wasn't working, but the 5% change in mixture for track prep is working across the board equally for everyone.

Without scoreboards telling you the times, you cannot see the difference in a 3.85 run and a 4.0 run. And the casual fan really doesn't who won the last round let alone who won what when or when/what record was ever set. They just want to see/feel/hear the nitro cars run. That is why Fridays and Saturdays have more spectators. They just want to witness runs.
From an actual racing standpoint, it's pretty tough to argue with anything you said. But what about entertainment?

Awhile back in another thread, I made a comment that I still stand by; NHRA (with regards to the fuel cars) needs to decide if they're in the racing business or the entertainment business. The topic of die-hard drag racing fans being vastly outnumbered by the casual fans gets talked about literally all the time. And when you consider that the casual fans, who have limited knowledge and/or care for the technical aspect of the sport, are there to see the nitro cars, it seems to me that the nitro cars then become as much, or more about entertainment as they do racing. These fans represent the numbers. The numbers that pay the bills. That said, I think every measure needs to be taken to ensure these cars get down the track the majority of the time. Like most others, I have my favorite classes I like to follow, but I have appreciation for what it takes to be competitive regardless of class, but when it comes to fuel, there's simply nothing like 2 fuel cars thundering by with the candles lit, especially at night. NOTHING.

I've posed the prospect of traction control on several occasions, and of all those times, the only response I got from someone that's out there doing it was a while back from DeLago. For the most part, his only "issue" with it was that it would hurt his business. While I can see his angle, I can also fathom that it really would have no effect. No matter how good a system like that would be, nothing is fool proof, and at the end of the day, there will always be a need for someone that knows how to build power and manage a crew, especially if a change like that would bring out more teams. As a veteran of the sport who has seen so much, I'm guessing you fall on the purist side of things and see no value in that, but I would be interested in your opinion on the subject as it could pertain to where the fuel classes, as well as the sport itself has evolved to today.

Sean D
 

TSK

Staff member
Nitro Member
#18
Personally, I have never really cared about what numbers show up on the scoreboard. The ONLY thing that matters in a drag race is who gets to the finish line first. With the prior emphasis on making a perfect racing surface, the mega teams, who already have an abundance of the best parts, could afford to push their cars to the limits on every run. So what if they have to change engines and clutches every run?
The independent teams, who might have only one spare anything, have to be smart about their tuneups. If they should survive the first round, they might not have the parts to make the second round, giving their next opponent a bye run. I don't know anybody who likes watching a bye. It's no fun in person, and it definitely does not look good on TV.
Reducing the track prep gives the independent a fighting chance of actually winning more than one or two rounds, without destroying their parts inventory.
Besides, who doesn't enjoy a good smoke-filled pedalfest? Everybody (I was there) who saw the FC final between Cruz Pedregon and John Force at Ennis in 1992, still says that is one of the most exciting races of all time. Nobody cared about the E.T.s.
Since national records don't award points, why show the clocks at all after qualifying?
Let a coin flip decide lane choice. OK, that part was a bit tongue-in-cheek. My point being E.T.s only really matter to the crew chiefs in their battle of "mine is bigger than yours."
I enjoy watching the single car teams taking down the so-called giants.
 

ironpony

Nitro Member
#20
That's not even close to being the issue, in my opinion. Good Year (and I'm sure insurance companies) have set a speed limit. NHRA is doing something that should have been done decades ago. The alternative is to let everyone just keep pushing the limits until the tires simply disintegrate.

I am aware of this situation also however a car spinning the tires on the big end far exceeds the MPH they are turning if they have traction, hence the big booms. I can speak from some experience with aircraft being at the Wright Patterson AFB where they do, landing gear and tire testing. How does this apply you ask, well this is where Goodyear and JF sent the slicks they were running to be tested after Eric Medlens death. WPAFB is the only place with the equipment to spin a tire, under load, that fast until it fails.
So, I do agree but disagree at the same time.

and the affirmative action was meant to be a little sarcastic, I keep asking for a sarcasm emoji but no luck yet.
 

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