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NHRA Sponsorships (1 Viewer)

Randy

Nitro Member
Just to put my comments in perspective...

Several years ago I was sponsored by Rancho Valley Chevrolet in Pomona. One Christmas season we entered my TA/FC in the Pomona Christmas parade which was down Holt Avenue in Downtown Pomona. About 5 minutes into the parade (towing the funny car) two of Pomona's police officers pulled up beside us in their squad cars and asked us if we knew where #&%? we were. I said "Yes, we're part of the Christmas Parade, representing the Chevy dealership." They told us it wasn't safe for us to be there, and then escorted us out of the parade all the way back to the shopping center where had we parked our truck and trailer. One of the officers stayed with us until we completely loaded the race car and left. Later we learned that Downtown Pomona is one of the more dangerous areas of the inland empire. I had no clue.


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vegasnitro

Nitro Member
Just to put my comments in perspective...

Several years ago I was sponsored by Rancho Valley Chevrolet in Pomona. One Christmas season we entered my TA/FC in the Pomona Christmas parade which was down Holt Avenue in Downtown Pomona. About 5 minutes into the parade (towing the funny car) two of Pomona's police officers pulled up beside us in their squad cars and asked us if we knew where #&%? we were. I said "Yes, we're part of the Christmas Parade, representing the Chevy dealership." They told us it wasn't safe for us to be there, and then escorted us out of the parade all the way back to the shopping center where had we parked our truck and trailer. One of the officers stayed with us until we completely loaded the race car and left. Later we learned that Downtown Pomona is one of the more dangerous areas of the inland empire. I had no clue.
Why were you not safe during a Christmas parade?? I would understand if you were there at 2am, but in the middle of a parade?
 

Randy

Nitro Member
Why were you not safe during a Christmas parade?? I would understand if you were there at 2am, but in the middle of a parade?
That's what I was trying to figure out at the time. I since learned anything in and around east Holt Avenue is heavy gangs, drugs and prostitution. You can look up crime stats on the internet. Recently the police have been very proactive in fighting crime in the area they call "The Blade".
 

mgty3whlr

Nitro Member
That's what I was trying to figure out at the time. I since learned anything in and around east Holt Avenue is heavy gangs, drugs and prostitution. You can look up crime stats on the internet. Recently the police have been very proactive in fighting crime in the area they call "The Blade".
Well maybe, if you had a prostitute sponsor you, The Pimps would have protected you.
 

sammi

Nitro Member
Wouldn't that make an curious sponsorship? Sponsor activation (to use the silly words of the marketing creatures) would be interesting.
 

Randy

Nitro Member
Randy, what was it like racing in Japan?
We went in 1993 and 1994 thanks to Carl Olson and Melvin Record with NHRA. We raced the FIA International Drag Races held at Fuji International Raceway in the shadows of Mt Fuji and Oita Aso Racing Park in Kyushu (Southern Japan). Bret Williamson, Shirley Muldowney, Greg Underdaul, Bob Rheel, and several others from the US came along with some of the hitters from Europe and Austrailia.

On our second trip the event at Fuji was being rained out. They told us 80,000 people showed up (huge crowd) paying the equivalent of $80 US money each to watch knowing there was a chance of rain and no rain check policy, meaning they took their chances to see us and lost. The promoter asked if we would tow our race cars down the track in the rain so the fans could see them before they announced the event was rained out. I flat out refused. I told them those people took a chance on seeing us and they will. I said I plan on making a run no matter how hard it was raining. Once I said that everyone else agreed and did the same thing.

I took a plastic trash bag, wrapped up the ignition and taped it up. From the garage area we towed around the track to the starting line in the pouring rain. The guys fired me up and dropped the body where I proceeded to get a lap full of water. Water was coming in through the roof hatch and around the windows. Because it was so wet all I could do were short burnouts sliding all over the place. I did a series of those to half track and backed it up. The guys pulled me up to the starting line beams, then I lit the pre stage bulbs, rapped it a couple of times, then hit high "C" and went in to stage. I remember seeing the photographers along the guard rail backing away thinking "He's actually going to do this!" When the ambers came on I dropped it back to an idle and did another series of several slippery sliding wet burnouts until I got way past the finish line. The announcer told the crowd we weren't required to do this but we wanted to do the best we could considering the weather and all. They were very appreciative because we could have said flat out "No." Robert Rheel had a good point when they asked if the top fuel cars would be able to do the same thing. He said it would be too dangerous to risk a wet ignition cross fire with a load of nitro in the supercharger and someone might get hurt. I wouldn't have done it, either. Alky is a little more forgiving. Now I can say I'm one of the few people who has made a blast down the track in TA/FC in full on rain. LOL

I have a bunch of stories from our trips that took two weeks each, but the most significant part of my trip was getting to know Leslie Lovett, the NHRA photographer who passed away not long after our first trip. Richard Brady and Teresa Long were also there as NHRA photographers as well. And Kathy and I became good friends with Rahn Tobler and Shirley as well. Plus the Swedes and Auzzies. We were like family there.
 

Butch

Nitro Member
Randy; You should get together with Comp Plus and do a top 10 stories of your racing life.
I find it always interesting when you tell us about, This One Time at *******.
 

Chili

Nitro Member
Wouldn't that make an curious sponsorship? Sponsor activation (to use the silly words of the marketing creatures) would be interesting.
NHRA would poach the sponsors. They would become the official Pimps and Hookers of NHRA. Sorry I couldn’t resist.
 

Cliff

Nitro Member
Thanks, Randy. Wasn't there a year that an Australian won the T/F championship in Japan. Can't remember the name, but there were Australian, European, USA racers present. Closest thing we've had to an international race.
 

mike

Nitro Member
Thanks, Randy. Wasn't there a year that an Australian won the T/F championship in Japan. Can't remember the name, but there were Australian, European, USA racers present. Closest thing we've had to an international race.
Rachelle Splatt won from memory. The next year the event was on; Robin Kirby an independent Australian Fuel Car racer went over to represent Australia. I can not recall him winning but I do have a magazine at my dads with the event report from that meeting and will check when I pop over for a visit this week.
 

Butch

Nitro Member
A racecar driver with the last name of SPLATT, well it just doesn't:eek: make a good image in my head. Just saying.
 

Jeff

Nitro Member
If Dick Trickle could make a career in Nascar the name can't be an issue.
 
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