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Lack of track prep

Bruno

Nitro Member
#42
For years I have been whining that these cars are too fast, slow them down and go back to 1320 racing. 100 plus gpm fuel pumps are ridiculous. Take a pump away (when they were running two 55 gpm pumps), spec pump, anything. Less fuel means less blower, less carnage, less..... Then they start diluting the glue and it was a slap yourself in the head and say "wow! I could have had a V-8" moment! Why didn't I think of that?? Simple, effective, fair. Great call in my opinion.

On the same topic, I did a track walk at last year's Mile Highs for the first time. Mind you I have walked many tracks through the years - match racing at smaller tracks or never run on a track before, it is wise to walk it and check it out, look at the shut down, etc. Most smaller tracks are only a couple notches above a Wall Mart parking lot! The current national event tracks are unbelievable. I was shocked. At the finish line I could barely make it across the track to the other side. I had to carry my friend because she could not pull her feet up off the track. A million thoughts go through your head - no wonder they are running these numbers.....the fuel cars are STILL black tracking to the finish line even with this glue......all you can think is the load being put on the motors to burn the nitro at the top end......no wonder.... If you have not done a track walk it is an eye opener.
 

none

Nitro Member
#44
I couldn't agree more. I understand the need to slow them down, but putting them on an unsafe race track is not the answer. I'm a diehard, lifelong fan of drag racing, but i'm not paying good money to see a bunch of smoke outs. I don't care if they run 3.85, or 6 flat, as long as they are power on from stripe to stripe. To not make the finish line is, imo, a failed attempt. Just like a strike out, or gutter ball. I have RT 66 in my back yard, and Norwalk in my front yard, I skipped them both this year. How much longer is nhra gonna beat this dead horse? Just slow the cars to what you want, simple, but give a safe surface, and less carnage.
Bless you my son. This is no longer drag racing and if nhra has concerns about the funny car speed they need to find another way to slow them down. And I have a real problem with Alan Reinhardt taking issue with what Tim Wilkerson had to say about the right lane preparation. If he has 5 million dollars to put into a funny car operation to see what especially the single car teams have to deal with put it up or SHUT YOUR MOUTH . I know who signs his check. And I’m not impressed!!
I couldn't agree more. I understand the need to slow them down, but putting them on an unsafe race track is not the answer. I'm a diehard, lifelong fan of drag racing, but i'm not paying good money to see a bunch of smoke outs. I don't care if they run 3.85, or 6 flat, as long as they are power on from stripe to stripe. To not make the finish line is, imo, a failed attempt. Just like a strike out, or gutter ball. I have RT 66 in my back yard, and Norwalk in my front yard, I skipped them both this year. How much longer is nhra gonna beat this dead horse? Just slow the cars to what you want, simple, but give a safe surface, and less carnage.
Smoke/Pedal fests ARE NOT drag racing. :(
 

none

Nitro Member
#45
Bless you my son. This is no longer drag racing and if nhra has concerns about the funny car speed they need to find another way to slow them down. And I have a real problem with Alan Reinhardt taking issue with what Tim Wilkerson had to say about the right lane preparation. If he has 5 million dollars to put into a funny car operation to see what especially the single car teams have to deal with put it up or SHUT YOUR MOUTH . I know who signs his check. And I’m not impressed!!
You know Paul you’re right. I was there and the racing sucked. My ultimate regret is that I might not meet you in Indy. I have been there the last 32 years but maybe not this year.
 

JHOLE

Nitro Member
#46
Paul,

Not arguing, just asking. If you think the solution is "Simple" then what would you do?

Most of us insiders agree that the cars need to be pulled back a little. They don't need to be going 340 MPH to put on a good show. The cost is also ridiculous to run them that hard. Not sure how mechanical you are, but in throw down conditions it's very common for a set of connecting rods to make one run, then go in the trash, or a crankshaft to have a life span of three runs. When even the Schumachers of the world think it's expensive that's saying something.

Here's my theory, if you have more traction than power, then you will always be running the engine at 110% capacity trying to squeeze every last once of performance from it to go fast. And any mechanical device being run at max speed and load is going to have a short life.

But: If you have more power than traction, you automatically have to dial back the power level to get it to the ground, that will make the parts last longer, and should also minimize the explosions that come along with pushing parts past their limit.
The crew chiefs know how to do this, when the track temp is 140 in the summer they know they can't utilize all the power, so they back down the power, and nobody has to buy any new stuff, use what you have and don't beat it up so badly.


I talked about this on WFO Radio a few weeks back, there's also an interesting interview with Ed McCulloch on competition plus about the subject.

Saying the track is unsafe is completely wrong, there is simply a little less traction. Again, when we're in Norwalk, or Sonoma and the track temp is 135+ is the track unsafe? Of course not. Can you set records? Also, of course not. Because you don't have as much grip, so you back up the power to match the grip. Just like they are having to do now.

All of this is my opinion.

Alan

Yep.. I remember when the driver was in charge of track prep... I also remember when VHT came in 1 Gallon bottles.. AND... just to push it.. I remember being at AA/FC booked events - and turning around to make the next round - MAKING SURE THE TANK WAS FULL OF ALCOHOL...!!! It used to be about winning a race on the track you were given - and tuning / driving to win..

There's a real sense of entitlement and digestible hierarchy that people have been coddled into.. So much so, that people have come to expect a record run to win a race.. THAT AINT WHAT DRAG RACING WAS EVER ABOUT..!!!

This predigested version of the sport is BORING..

Hell, you brought up Norwalk / Sonoma.. How about Sharon PA. / UBLY / Tri - County in Saginaw.. and a ton of other tracks that built this sport.. Shit - Byron and Union Grove would put on shows that would make today's National Events looks like a mini-mall mustang get-together.. ( and you were expected to bring your own VHT - and either make the track gooder - or run the track that was provided..)

And... Just to light up a few of the precious "numbers racers / calculator cowboys.." - I'm all for safety.. - that's EXACTLY why we need to turn it back to less prep.. It was safer in the 70's than it was in the 00's ....
 

none

Nitro Member
#47
You know Paul you’re right. I was there and the racing sucked. My ultimate regret is that I might not meet you in Indy. I have been there the last 32 years but maybe not this year.
And I have been to Union Grove and I saw those shows with Big Daddy in the pits so don’t any of you tell me how it should be. You WERE NOT THERE
 

JHOLE

Nitro Member
#48
And I have been to Union Grove and I saw those shows with Big Daddy in the pits so don’t any of you tell me how it should be. You WERE NOT THERE
Just in case your response was aimed at my comment to Alan... I can assure you I WAS there.. I WAS there so many times.. I have pictures OF Ray-Mar.. to go with all of the pics from Ray-Mar...
 

none

Nitro Member
#49
Bless you my son. This is no longer drag racing and if nhra has concerns about the funny car speed they need to find another way to slow them down. And I have a real problem with Alan Reinhardt taking issue with what Tim Wilkerson had to say about the right lane preparation. If he has 5 million dollars to put into a funny car operation to see what especially the single car teams have to deal with put it up or SHUT YOUR MOUTH . I know who signs his check. And I’m not impressed!!
Really? You have offered nothing. You disagree with me? Fine. What's your suggestion? I'm listening......

Edit: Everyone knows who signs my checks, that's why I sign my name to everything I write, so there is no confusion. I'm not hiding anything. But when I post, I am posting MY opinions, I'm not posting for anyone other than the name I sign. In this case I asked for an explanation. If it's simple, please explain. I may not agree but I want to hear what you have to say. And I really don't care if you are impressed or not, I'm not trying to impress you. Or anybody else for that matter.

Alan
 
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#50
Bless you my son. This is no longer drag racing and if nhra has concerns about the funny car speed they need to find another way to slow them down. And I have a real problem with Alan Reinhardt taking issue with what Tim Wilkerson had to say about the right lane preparation. If he has 5 million dollars to put into a funny car operation to see what especially the single car teams have to deal with put it up or SHUT YOUR MOUTH . I know who signs his check. And I’m not impressed!!
Actually this is closer to how drag racing used to be! The little guys have a better chance now then they had on the mega glued, it'll take all the horsepower you can throw at it tracks. Let's face it, nitro cars have always blown up. That's part of the attraction, to see these warriors wrestle an explosive beast down the track, right on the edge of imminent demise from fire, explosion or crash. Prior to the change the little guys had two choices when facing a mega team, run what they could and hope the other guy made a mistake, or try to run above their ability, often with expensive results. With a simple change to the glue formula, the NHRA has come closer to leveling the playing field with the simplest possible solution, take away some traction. No mechanical changes, no new parts, just let the tuners tune to the track they're given, and make the drivers actually drive the cars.
 

Dave

Nitro Member
#51
I'll offer suggestions. Pick an ET and MPH that is reasonable for 1,320 racing and lets make it happen. 2 things seem to make the most power - more air and more fuel. Limit both. Put a restrictor plate or shrink the size of the intake opening. Limit the fuel volume allowed. You can pump as much of it as fast as you can, but the line is only going to be "x" amount in diameter. It's been a few years but they did manage to go from 85% back to 90% in the tank. Let's go to 80% instead. That should take some power away. Change the funny car header angles to nearly straight up with no set back. Take the 2 degree max wing limit (except denver) restriction off the Top Fuel cars. Downforce = drag. Take the cut off spoilers away from the funny cars. Put big old wings on the back. Helps with traction and acts like a parachute. Get rid of the rev limiter. Restrict the rear gear even lower. Take away the clutch management.

They seem to keep the TAD class in the 5.20 or slower range with the rare 5.teen popping up. They keep the TAFC cars in the 5.40 or slower range with the rare 5.30 popping up. Mostly at 280 in TAD or 270 in TAFC or less.

I have no doubt that every single one of my suggestions will have a response of why it should or shouldn't be done. Most likely due to the costs the teams will have to endure to change their setups. But you can't sit here and say "the only thing we can do is take away traction." A restrictor plate and 80% nitro is of minimal cost and would slow the speeds right down. Right after the 1,000 foot change, that was the plan. Slow the cars and get back to the 1,320. Then all of a sudden you just never heard any more about it and it was business as usual. I only mention that because slowing them down and still only running to 1,000 foot wouldn't be very exciting to me personally. Perhaps others would really love it. Shoot for a 4.70 TF and 4.90 FC and 300-310 quarter mile run. That was the proposed and projected numbers they were looking to achieve in 1998. Ironically right after Steve Evans gave that report, Cory McClenathan broke the 320 mph barrier.

It would be great for one last hoorah and a 340 mph run before the changes happen. Also I haven't heard about any tire chunking concerns on those high mph funny car runs, and I can not remember the last time a tire blew due to the speed it was traveling.

Someone mentioned pedal fests. The way the cars are now with the timers and throttles and fuel flow you almost can not pedal them without creating a bomb. I talked to TJ in the pits after round 1. He said he did his normal throttle slap but as soon as it blitzed the tires it dropped a bunch of cylinders and as soon as the throttle reopened it was a bomb.

I talked to a few other people in TF, FC, and PS and apologized that my home track was a one lane racetrack. I was told that the track prep was the issue and that the racetrack is great. The track prep problem was worse in pro stock and makes the 2nd half of the track scary. They already lack downforce and its a dangerous situation for them. I asked why they didn't talk to NHRA about it and was told it would fall on deaf ears. Apparently there is a small dip or bump in the right lane at Route 66 and as soon as they went over it without the extra traction to make it through it, it was game over. Pro Stock was the worst offender with only 2 wins coming in the right lane, 1 via a holeshot. That doesn't explain to me how Blake Alexander can go right down the right lane as the first pair on Sunday and go 3.77 and 331 mph. Tim Wilkerson was unhappy with that lane. John Force crashed in that lane. Hardly any Pro Stock car won from that lane.

One final note from Joliet. The Greek apparently missed his chance to make it into the field on the final qualifying run because he was sent down a lane that had oil on it. That was the word from their pit area. The car was dry when it came back and it lost traction right where the clean up started. No rerun. No apologies from the NHRA.


EDIT - one more thing since I touched on the taboo 1,320 subject. It has been rumored that the switch was because the teams were going to boycott if they didn't. (Which I think is BS because they still ran Norwalk after E-Town and that place doesn't even have a sand trap, so if they were really concerned with safety it would have been done right away.) If that is the case then the NHRA should step up and remind them who is running the show. Just like NASCAR did to all the big name drivers that walked out at Talladega when it was first built. They came back didn't they? I also remember in 2010 that PRO issued a statement that the drivers would not race a 4 wide event for points again. Unlike the NHRA, old Bruton Smith said okay, maybe I can find a better use for my racetracks. 8 years later and there are TWO 4 wide nationals on the calendar. If the big hangup on the switch back (or any change in slowing the cars, track prep, etc) is the teams not willing to do it, they can go run IHRA. Oh wait..
 
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none

Nitro Member
#52
Dave, You're an idiot!

I'm KIDDING!!!!!! I appreciate your well thought out and typed out suggestions. I am currently in the Denver airport and (Hopefully) leaving shortly for Richmond. I disagree with most of what you said, but am willing to discuss it with you in detail. Don't have the time right this moment, but will be back.

Here's something for consideration. An injected nitro dragster is allowed 426 cubic inches and no clutch management. Look at the numbers they run. Give Randy Meyer or Tom Conway 500 cubic inches and management and they will be going 4.80 at 310 mph before lunch tomorrow. Do you really want to pull them back that far to go back to 1320? No more blowers! Top Fuel cars are going 299 to the eighth right now, so you're not talking about taking away 1000 or 2000 HP, you need to remove 5000 HP to go back to 1320. Do you REALLY want that?

And as I stated earlier, if you take away power they will be killing parts trying to get the most power they can. Has a small pump stopped the carnage on the nostalgia circuit? No. they run them lean to maximize power and burn pistons, and kill rods. But give them less traction, and I don't are how much power they make if they can't apply it, then they will adjust. accordingly.

Please, let's discuss
Alan
 

Dave

Nitro Member
#53
My only thoughts were if we have to slow the down THAT much, yes! Go 1320! I don't know how the casual fan will react to 4.0 funny cars when they saw 3.79. I know for me it sucks! But my thought was, if you're gonna really reign them in, going back to the 1,320 was the compromise to at least have them on the loud pedal that much longer.

Don't restrict the pump, restrict the air or the amount of nitro % that can burn. That might help! But that's my uninformed opinion.

Holy crap they'd go 4.80 at 310 tomorrow?!? DO IT! Merge the classes and you just doubled your car count! Leave the poor blown guys behind though... Then you'd have true Top Alcohol classes. Man the later it gets the better my ideas are. We'll fix this thing yet!

Hopefully no flight delays for you. Safe travels!
 
#54
Alan, I have total confidence in our crew chiefs. In my opinion they are the best in all of motor sports. We've had discussions of all the ways to slow the fuel cars. Smaller fuel pumps, one pump, smaller blower, one mag, rev limiter, now less track prep, etc.etc. I suggest leave it up to the chiefs. The simple solution is, ......just put a speed limit on both classes.
Everyone wants to see 300mph so maybe 305 FC & 320 TF. The jets have had this for decades, works fine. We would have less carnage, less down time, save money on clean up, save teams money on parts, nothing made obsolete. No advantage to teams that run well in hot weather, or those that run better in cold. It would make closer competition.
The crew chiefs will do it in no time. It's a win-win.
 

none

Nitro Member
#55
I guess the real question is what is the magic number NHRA wants the fuel cars to run? I sure hope something is figured out soon as for the most part and I’m speaking only about my viewpoint the last couple events weren’t even worth watching.
 

none

Nitro Member
#56
Alan, I have total confidence in our crew chiefs. In my opinion they are the best in all of motor sports. We've had discussions of all the ways to slow the fuel cars. Smaller fuel pumps, one pump, smaller blower, one mag, rev limiter, now less track prep, etc.etc. I suggest leave it up to the chiefs. The simple solution is, ......just put a speed limit on both classes.
Everyone wants to see 300mph so maybe 305 FC & 320 TF. The jets have had this for decades, works fine. We would have less carnage, less down time, save money on clean up, save teams money on parts, nothing made obsolete. No advantage to teams that run well in hot weather, or those that run better in cold. It would make closer competition.
The crew chiefs will do it in no time. It's a win-win.

Paul,

Every Crew Chief that makes a suggestion as to the "Best Way" to slow the cars down has an idea of how to beat it. And running a car 4.80 310 in the quarter is easy, but that's not racing. Racing is not trying to hit a speed limit. When they were experimenting with Dixon's (Snake's) car in Dallas years back they made three runs in that zone and never hurt so much as a spark plug. But they weren't racing.

And as I posted before, if you cut back the power then they will be running them at whatever the max output is, and that hurts parts. What you need to do is force them to cut back the power because they have no use for it. As for the jets you referenced, they are putting on a show, not racing. Tell them that the fastest guy (or girl) get's paid double and they will start racing.

Pro Stock is the perfect example. They were turning close to 12,000 RPM and an engine would be out of the car every 10-12 runs, and numerous valve springs would be changed every run. When they got cut back to 10,500 RPM now engines are going over 40 runs without coming out or apart. A 5 HP electric motor will run my compressor and last about two years, the 8 HP motor that I bought 8 years ago is still going strong, the key to longer life is less load, not less power running at max every run.

My opion,
Alan
 
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Greggo

Nitro Member
#57
So... are we saying that we want TF to become TD-like??? If a TF car goes too quick, that run gets DQ'd?

I'm with Alan on this. When you are on the other side of the ropes, you are always gonna search for the edge.
 

TSK

Staff member
Nitro Member
#58
Forget speed or e.t. limits. TF and FC are not meant to be spec classes. Besides, leaving things up to the crew chiefs gave rise to the 339 FC and 336 TF “records”, in 1000 feet.
Limit the teams to two (or just one) engine blocks per race.
They can change the internals all they want or can afford.
But, if they trash the blocks, they’re done.
 

PJ

Staff Member
Staff member
Nitro Member
#59
Give the crew chiefs time they will get it balanced out.
I don't want constant smoke fest but a pedal fest every now and then is good. Seeing the smaller car have a chance is good as well.

While we all love to see record times, after all the need for speed is what drew most of us to the sport. We also have to be realistic that until safety and technology catches up, there will have to be periods where thing get dialed back. Insurance, tires, cost of racing, track length and several other variables play into it. While I love the go all out mentality, that sometimes isn't the best for the long term viability of the sport. Sure many of us here can guess a time at the track but to the masses they can't tell a 3.80 to a 3.95.

As long as they keep it so certain numbers are attainable Joe Fan will be happy, Harvey Hardcore fan (wait that may be a poor name choice :eek:) might not like it but their opinion hasn't mattered for awhile now.
 
#60
Paul,
but that's not racing. Racing is not trying to hit a speed limit.


My opion,
Alan
Alan are you saying that all the .90 guys "are not racing" ?
Also you made my point, if you DON'T run them on max, you don't hurt them.
No need to make 11, 12, 13 thousand hp.
It would also make the "little guy " competitive with the big guns. Not all top fuelers can run 3.60s, but they can all run 4.0s.
Another plus to the speed limit is you could even go back to full 1/4mi if you want. [ personally I think NHRA's decision to 1,000ft was the best they've made in decades] but that's another topic.
NHRA should not universally mandate everyone to the same engine restrictions, let each chief restrict themselves how ever they choose, to run the number. They can do it best.
Paul
 

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