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Connie Kalittas' Airline Empire (2 Viewers)

J. S.

Nitro Member
But what's going to happen to the drag racing teams when Connie dies? Has he set up a Trust to help continue to fund the teams for the foreseeable future? Who will run the teams? We don't ever hear about Dougie being interested in that position, but who knows. The same questions apply to Don Schumacher and John Force.
 

BigPlanDan

Nitro Member
Yes, Kalitta, Force and Schumacher pretty much own the nitro classes, and someday they will no longer be around. I don't think this domination by a small group is good for drag racing in the long run. As such, I favor a major reduction in the costs of running these cars. This could include fiberglass bodies, single magnetos, standardized blocks and heads, and getting rid of computers and carbon fiber. Get the cost down to the point where there might be a few hundred active funny cars and top fuelers around the country. Obviously, this hurts E.T.'s and MPH. But the cars could still put on a good show that would draw fans. And fans could once again cheer for the local racers and underdogs, and support the operation of more tracks. And getting rid of computers would put a lot more emphasis on driving. I understand that suddenly putting limitations on performance runs against the grain of drag racing. But for anyone who was around to see 64 funny car shows at OCIR, you have to be worried about the direction drag racing is taking with just a few elite teams that dominate year after year. OK, go ahead and kick the crap out of me.
 

TSK

Staff member
Nitro Member
Yes, Kalitta, Force and Schumacher pretty much own the nitro classes, and someday they will no longer be around. I don't think this domination by a small group is good for drag racing in the long run. As such, I favor a major reduction in the costs of running these cars. This could include fiberglass bodies, single magnetos, standardized blocks and heads, and getting rid of computers and carbon fiber. Get the cost down to the point where there might be a few hundred active funny cars and top fuelers around the country. Obviously, this hurts E.T.'s and MPH. But the cars could still put on a good show that would draw fans. And fans could once again cheer for the local racers and underdogs, and support the operation of more tracks. And getting rid of computers would put a lot more emphasis on driving. I understand that suddenly putting limitations on performance runs against the grain of drag racing. But for anyone who was around to see 64 funny car shows at OCIR, you have to be worried about the direction drag racing is taking with just a few elite teams that dominate year after year. OK, go ahead and kick the crap out of me.
Nobody is going to kick you Dan.
It's just that the talk of reducing costs has been going on about as long as drag racing has been around. And, here we are, costs are still going up.
NHRA would like to think it's in charge. But, until the mega-teams agree to any cost and/or performance reduction, nothing is going to change.
 

Cliff

Nitro Member
I will say one thing. Side by side racing is what the fans want, regardless of MPH or ET. Funny Car Chaos does a good job of doing just that. Using them as an example, as have never been to one of their races, but from videos, that would be a great race to go to.
 

ocdart

Nitro Member
Yes, Kalitta, Force and Schumacher pretty much own the nitro classes, and someday they will no longer be around. I don't think this domination by a small group is good for drag racing in the long run. As such, I favor a major reduction in the costs of running these cars. This could include fiberglass bodies, single magnetos, standardized blocks and heads, and getting rid of computers and carbon fiber. Get the cost down to the point where there might be a few hundred active funny cars and top fuelers around the country. Obviously, this hurts E.T.'s and MPH. But the cars could still put on a good show that would draw fans. And fans could once again cheer for the local racers and underdogs, and support the operation of more tracks. And getting rid of computers would put a lot more emphasis on driving. I understand that suddenly putting limitations on performance runs against the grain of drag racing. But for anyone who was around to see 64 funny car shows at OCIR, you have to be worried about the direction drag racing is taking with just a few elite teams that dominate year after year. OK, go ahead and kick the crap out of me.

No crap kicking from me!
I would be perfectly happy if nitro classes ran under rules similar to current Nostalgia rules. The racing would still be tight and fun to watch and the costs would be dramatically reduced allowing more independents to build cars.
Let's go back to the days when a few guys could pool their resources and run a nitro car out of a home garage.
 

none

Nitro Member
No crap kicking here either, just conversation.

I have a couple of questions.


The concern is for what happens without the Big Three of DSR, JFR and Kalitta? JFR sat out last year and Drag Racing didn't collapse. Kalitta parked a car last year, DSR is downsizing this year, Drag Racing wont collapse.

Dan says that the Big Three "Pretty much own the Nitro classes." Would you please explain Steve Torrence?

And last but not least: Do you really want Top Fuel and Funny Car to be slower than Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car?

Alan
 

twostep

Nitro Member
Myself, I could easily become readjusted to ETs and speeds recorded by current-day nostalgia fuel cars. Joe Haas' NFC Mustang recently laid down a 5.20/281mph quarter mile pass and that car sounds as good (there's a video of it warming up in the nitro-TAFC thread) as any current fuel car. And there's throttle whacks in that video! I don't know the exact cost but I bet a competitive Nostalgia operation costs maybe 1/4 of what a top-flight fuel team costs to compete.

Quarter mile racing at selected tracks could conceivably return and FCs, at least, could go back to looking like something recognizable. SOMETHING has to give...as pointed out, the 3 or 4 current major players (Schumacher, Force, Kalitta, Torrence) aren't going to be competing forever and especially in light of the pandemic, many sponsors will likely abandon financing fuel racing operations that cost $3-4 million per car per year.
 

mick

Nitro Member
.......many sponsors will likely abandon financing fuel racing operations that cost $3-4 million per car per year.
and every year F1 generates new sponsors to fuel (petroleum fuel at that) their $100 million plus efforts. the money is there. the exposure offered by the nhra is not.
i see klipsch is onboard with mclaren this year.......hmm, a few years back i recall klipsch speakers at nhra nat. events for the PA system. now i don't see them anymore.
a great american company like klipsch sponsoring an international motorsports series with a british team.......someday i'll own a pair of lascalas.
camping world nhra series begins in two weeks; am cautiously optimistic moving ahead with coca-cola in rear view mirror.
 
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twostep

Nitro Member
No crap kicking here either, just conversation.

I have a couple of questions.


The concern is for what happens without the Big Three of DSR, JFR and Kalitta? JFR sat out last year and Drag Racing didn't collapse. Kalitta parked a car last year, DSR is downsizing this year, Drag Racing wont collapse.

Dan says that the Big Three "Pretty much own the Nitro classes." Would you please explain Steve Torrence?

And last but not least: Do you really want Top Fuel and Funny Car to be slower than Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car?

Alan
Great questions. 1, drag racing won't collapse but the demise of the power players will, in my opinion, knock the wind out of national events. Nobody wants to run 8-car fields or 16-car fields with only 11 cars. Drag racing survived last year...it's just one year...but if there's a repeat in 2021 due to the pandemic or whatever, the low fan counts combined with tracks being closed will seriously affect national-event drag racing. Just my opinion; you'd know a lot more about it than I.

2, of course, the Torrences.

3, if NHRA were to revert to N/FC and N/TF style rules, they'd be forced to slow the alcohol stuff too just like you said. Very good point and one I didn't think about.
 

twostep

Nitro Member
and every year F1 generates new sponsors to fuel (petroleum fuel at that) their $100 million plus efforts. the money is there. the exposure is not.
i see klipsch is onboard with mclaren this year.......hmm, a few years back i recall klipsch speakers at nhra nat. events for the PA system. now i don't see them anymore.
a great american company like klipsch sponsoring an international motorsports series with a british team.......someday i'll own a pair of lascallas.
Indeed, and I don't understand it unless there's a hell of a lot more ROI in F1 racing than I'm aware of.
 

mick

Nitro Member
Indeed, and I don't understand it unless there's a hell of a lot more ROI in F1 racing than I'm aware of.
carl, the whole world follows F1. it's incredible. check them out on tv this season, and their social media is everywhere......AND they are now owned by liberty media corporation
from colorado, usa of all places.
 

sammi

Nitro Member
Could you imagine what a dynamic and skilled entrepreneur like Connie Kalitta to do running the NHRA? Our sport is dying because it is run like a risk adverse, distant from the customer corporation.
 

Under_Pressure

Nitro Member
I get that the idea of "just change the rules to reduce costs!" is appealing on its face, but it rarely is that simple. In fact, it's often counterintuitive- things that seem like slam dunk cost cutting measures that will help the little guy often end up further cementing the advantages of big teams. When NASCAR went to a one engine rule (no more separate qualifying and race engines) it was a boon for big teams that had massive testing and development programs to squeeze every ounce of power out of an engine while maintaining necessary reliability. Smaller teams and independent engine builders couldn't keep up. So a rule that theoretically cut engine costs in half ended increasing costs overall if you wanted to be competitive.

F1 did something similar- engines (er, "power units") now have to last 7 races. I had seen numbers that Red Bull threw out a couple years ago where they used to pay $10 million per car for 20 engines; now they were paying ~$50 million per car for about 3 power units per year. Not to mention the rule has made the racing worse because everyone is worried about babying the motor to make sure it lasts.

It goes on and on, over and over. IndyCar has gone damn near full spec series, and guess what? The more development and innovation is controlled, the more the big established teams- Penske, Andretti, Ganassi, and to a lesser extent Rahal- dominate. Start up teams and Indy one-offs used to buy prior year equipment from the big money teams that upgraded every year. Now that development is frozen and the same cars are used year after year after year, that option doesn't exist- all the teams just hang onto their cars because why wouldn't they? If you want to go IndyCar racing you have to buy your equipment the same way Roger Penske does. It's a great deal for Roger- his costs are way lower. But it completely screws the little guy that they supposedly care about.

Just be careful what you wish for.
 
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