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New FC Header Rule in '18


Nitro Member
I've seen several drivers go over the line after the stripe today already, in fact it's not uncommon with the fuel cars. Meaning, not unique to Force.
Sure, others do it too, but he seems to be making a bad habit out of it recently. You'd think somebody with as many passes under his ass as him could do a better job. It seems TJ jr. might be right on the money.
Sure, others do it too, but he seems to be making a bad habit out of it recently. You'd think somebody with as many passes under his ass as him could do a better job. It seems TJ jr. might be right on the money.
Age could be a factor—John Force is 68.
To give that some perspective Don Garlits was 55 when an '87 blowover accident ended his last great NHRA period.
After 5 years of retirement his last full season attempt was in '92 at age 60. But a detached retina made it impossible to complete the tour. Garlits only raced sporadically thereafter.

FCs are much harder to drive than dragsters and fuel cars today are moving a lot faster than the early 2000's.
Reaction time slows with age so we shouldn't be too surprised about what we've seen this season.


Staff member
Nitro Member
Force will retire when they pry his dead, cold hands off the butterfly steering wheel. I don't mean that as in he'll be in another nasty wreck, I mean it as in "I'll retire when they pry my dead, cold hands off the keyboard", being the die hard geek I am.


Nitro Member
You guys do realize that every time you try to retire Force he just goes out and wins a couple more championships?:D


Nitro Member
At one time in the 1950's, there was a car called the Speed Sport, modified roadster. All glass body, rear engined, short wheelbase, and all 8 exhausts ran out the back of the car. Car ran both unblown & blown, and at one time held the record as the fastest car in drag racing, regardless of class. That car compared to today's cars is apples & oranges, but you gotta wonder how much the exhaust system contributed to the cars' speed. If you did that with a modern day T/F or F/C, it would almost be like jet assist, provided the cars would go straight. Just a wild hair thought but does make you wonder why someone hasn't tried that. I think the current F/C headers are giving close to the same effect w/o giving up downforce. Gary Beck tried headers on his T/F car that were kinda giving the same effect, but the car had a tendency to get out of shape because of it.
You should have heard the Speed Sports roadster run! What a sound!


Nitro Member
David, I never saw the original run back in the 50's, but did get a chance to see 3 of the Speed Sport cars in the 1990's at Firebird, at a nostalgia meet. The sound is really unique. I found out that the late Don Maynard, who was the Greek's crew chief, was part of the Speed Sport group. That man was sharp, & I think he is why the Greek ran that 204 at Alton, Illinois in 1960. People still argue about that run. Can you say Hydrazine?:rolleyes:


Nitro Member
CompPlus link on 1st page of this thread:

“I think their reasoning behind it is they say there are some people having trouble driving the cars, well in my opinion, that’s just tough luck,” Johnson Jr. said. “You need to make your car better, make it drive better and do a better job. There’s plenty of us who aren’t having any problems. What aggravates me about it is they are penalizing me for being a better driver than somebody else. The last time I checked it was called professional drag racing, you’re paid to be better than somebody else, that’s what the job is. It aggravates me that they are making it easier for people. It should be harder. I know for a fact there a couple of cars out there that have 40 degrees now, they are being used as an example of having a hard time, so what is going to help them? Nothing. I don’t understand the reasoning that’s going to fix it.”

What also is perturbing Johnson Jr. is he believes most of the Funny Car drivers have adapted to the 32-degree headers.

“The majority of us don’t have any problems,” Johnson Jr. said. “There’s a few of them who do. I don’t understand the reasoning why. If it was something where we were all about to crash, I’m all for it, and they are harder to drive, but I like it being hard because it gives me an advantage over somebody because I do a better job. Now, they are taking an advantage away and it’s just a natural ability advantage, it’s not like it is a technical advantage. I just do a better job than somebody else. I see (Ron) Capps, Beckman and (Matt) Hagan we all work really hard to make our cars drive better and you’re going penalize us for working hard. I will go on the record as John Force is probably the biggest reason they are changing the header rule and I don’t agree with it.”