warm ups weak these days? (1 Viewer)


Nitro Member
am I the only one who noticed that warm ups are shorter, the fuelers are backed in keeping the motor away from spectators, and there is very little 'whacking' of the throttle to 'seat the clutch' as I understood the reasons for the spectacular displays in the past. I read about some teams only using alky, I didn't see that, but I did see some very short nitro warm ups that were nothing like they were last year.
The Schumacher teams (And quite a few others.) quit whacking the throttles on the warmup some time ago. They didn't do it when I was in Brainerd in '06 and I had a ticket the Matco pits. They've developed a method that precludes it. About the only ones I know who still do it these days are the Kalitta teams.

Gotta figure the team owners and managers are looking to cut costs these days, doncha think? Every bit of nitro costs money. The less you use, the better I'm sure, when you look at the bottom line in the front office on Monday morning.
i can understand shortening them to save $$, but the warm up IMO
is definitely part of the 'sensory overload' experience that IS
an nhra nat. event.
looking at this from another angle, i could actually understand the backing
in of cars to decrease nitro clouds for the casual fan. ???
LOTS of things that us old timers used to love have fallen by the wayside for economic and competitive reasons.

Among them:

Funny cars that "kinda, sorta, somewhat" looked like the cars they're supposed to be. The current crop of funny cars are like the "spec: bodies in NASCRAP. Virtually identical, with decals that are "upposed" to remind you of what they're "supposed" to be.

The dry hop, and subsequently, the burnout. (Man, I miss the dry hops!)

Jim Head, and others, have made no secret of his opinion that the burnout is completely unnecessary and is for show only. He, and others, believe that with the tires used today, the burnout is completely unnecessary. Iffen he had his druthers, he'd drive around the waterbox and just make the run. He also acknowledges that would be hugely unpopular with the fans, and is why he doesn't make a big deal of it.
Hey! Brainstorm! The underfunded teams can pass a hat around just as they're buttoning up the motor. "If we collect $200, we'll whack the throttle 4 times." I know I'd toss a fiver in to watch my wife jump when they do it. ;)
I think they back the cars in to a) make the exit for the staging lanes easier/quicker, and b) to put the crew further in away from the commotion where they can get their job done without annoyances. But these are both just guesses...
I would guess whacking the throttle or not during warm-ups has more to do with tuner preferenes than trying to save money. Some things that go by the wayside are just a result of changes in technology, such as dry hops and shifting a fuel car. But man do I miss the dry hops, in the alky cars as well. Anyone know why alky cars don't do them, since they still use two-speeds instead of direct-drives? ( I mean the blown cars of course). Also, regarding burnouts, does anyone agree that they are nothing like what they were even a decade ago? I'm sure that it has something to do with tire technology, but remember when a FC did a burnout and smoke just billowed effortlessly from every part of the car? Remember Force and then Skuza doing super long burn-outs? I understand the reasons for not going to half-track, but even the average burnout today doesn't seem to have the same drama as it did awile ago.
The DSR warm ups are weaksauce. Wayne D. on Urs team is nuts,lol. He blips the throttle twice HIMSELF with no gas mask and no ear protection!:eek: I did also notice most of the lower budgeted teams would "blip" the throttle.

It was great to see "The Greek" back in the pits. Amazing to see a guy racing,who was racing when my Dad was my age.:)
These days we have Pro-Jack as a standard in most pit stalls; thank goodness. I've seen a dragster rolled up on 2 oil-changing ramps and 2 x 4's once before, and also once saw them do Della's engine run with a 2-ton hydraulic jack under the rear axle housing..... they had to wait until she was seated, because as she crawled in, the car would tip !!!!
That was some scary-ass sh## right there. Used to look for a few big burly people in the pits to help hold down the front wheels!!! :D
everything that is cool about drag racing just keeps getting whittled away at.There are some serious pit junkies at Gainesvill I dont' know about the rest of the country. There were a lot of dissappointed people. No where near the cheering and hooting and hollering I used to hear after a warm up
The warm up on alky happened last year during the "nitro shortage". It was designed to help make every bit of nitro last.

As of last season I know team Kalitta still did the blip and I agree it too is something I miss. I don't even watch the car, I watch the audience for the first timers and watch them just about wet themsleves.

The dry hop, I woudl love to see those again. Its a big reason why watching the nastalgia stuff is fun.

I don't get why if Head thinks it doesn't help why he just doesn't do them? Especially being lower budget it would save him some cash.
I agree Bob. I think we're at a turning point in the sport. The performances of the "big show" cars over the past several years have been unreal, but now they are being seriously neutered. Lower % of nitro, throttle stops on burnouts, rev limiters, cars that look alike, weak burnouts, and now 1000 ft. racing that is over in 3.8 seconds. Hey, nothing stays the same, and I'm a big show die-hard, but between everything I just mentioned and the fact that the budgets necessary to support modern cars are getting scarcer by the day, resulting in a serious lack of depth (particularly in TF), a lot of the excitement that we could always count on just isn't there.
......I don't get why if Head thinks it doesn't help why he just doesn't do them? Especially being lower budget it would save him some cash.

i can remember one year at brainerd he drove around the waterbox.
can't remember anything else - think he was in TF at time. ?????
Kalitta warm-ups are the best.
Cruz still does two quick ones.

...Wayne D. on Urs team is nuts,lol. He blips the throttle twice HIMSELF with no gas mask and no ear protection! ...

I witnessed this at Pomona. They were warming the car, and under the canopy was solid yellow air. Solid.
No one was able to stand at the ropes, we all had to back away. The crew had masks on. Wayne had no mask, was not coughing, not tearing, nothing.
Just casually went about his business and didn't miss a step.

I remember Nunz,

Back when the smoke from the rear tires came out the front...


Lotsa things are gone from the old days...
I don't get why if Head thinks it doesn't help why he just doesn't do them? Especially being lower budget it would save him some cash.

A Competition Plus article from last year's "nitro shortage" era." I seem to remember from past interviews that Jim Head has said he's tried to bypass the waterbox, and the NHRA has gotten on his case about it, due to the showmanship aspects of it. This piece says he's got over 25 successful passes without one.
I don't ever want them to do away with them either, so thank you NHRA if its true that you have kept them going.

There have been plenty of times where something has happened and a team either got a bad burnout or if they didn't get started in time no burnout(so they didn't hold up the other car) and have made a full pull
Jeff, that's what I'm talking about! Great pic. I know there have been many debates about "big show" vs. nostalgia, racing vs. entertainment, but it seems for most of the sport's history, it has been a great blend of brutal competition and an endless search for performance while being, IMO, the greatest show on earth. We've lost the search for performance in the fuel ranks (and I get it, we don't need 340mph 1/4 mile cars), so I think we need to recapture some of the show, which is why people are going nuts over 30 AA/FCs and 18 T/F FEDs at the March Meet. If you want packed stands, which translates into sponsor dollars, the "show" has to be preserved. I was thinking, a good friend of mine, Rod Phelps, has driven everything under the sun. In the early '80s, I watched him run well over 300 in a rocket dragster (which I believe is still in Big's museum). As cool as that was from a performance stance, I would rather watch nitro cars, with the burnouts, the cackle, fire & thunder, even though they were slower. As cool as the rockets were, a few seconds of "whooshhh" and it was over. It kinda feels like the fuel cars have gone in that direction. Sorry for ramblin'...
Ways To Support Nitromater

Users who are viewing this thread