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Nytrozilla

Concerning the NHRA TV lineup

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NHRA does not build tracks. They are a sactioning body with rules and saftey to make racing safe. NHRA is much more than what is seen on TV with the pro catagories. If people are only gonna comment on what they see on TV, I'd consider that very ignorant. You want to a little thing called Google. Search the divisional races, search SCEDA, or NMCA,  or any of the others that put on safe races, that are in no way shoving anything in your face but safety. If safety isn't your thing, then fine. But I'm gonna do what I want to do, safely. I'm not ever gonna risk the public or my own life, PERIOD! 

Considering how the OP started this thread about their current and possible future TV program I think that all comments about TV are relevant. I have yet to say anything about unsafe programming being superior,if you were to "do a google" yourself you'd find that the people that make the shows I've mentioned are far from the cast of Jackass or Nitro Circus. No reason to get all uppity over something you don't understand.  

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I understand it perfectly. When it's said that NHRA got in an uproar over a particular show, they need to realize why NHRA had something to say about. It's the stupid kids with Daddys money trying to replicate what they see on TV. It's not the shows fault people feel the need to go all Jonny Knoxville on the streets.

If you don't like what is being presented on TV for NHRA Pro classes, that's your decision, which is fine. I don't the garbage that is being presented as "street" racing when it's a lie, even if it wasn't a lie, my opinion is I don't like that. I'm putting my support towards a legitimate and long standing form. Not in a TV fad. I look forward to seeing what is coming on the horizon with NHRA and Fox. I hope they add more to it to make it more "viewer" friendly. But I know this. Televised NHRA will be around way longer than a fake street racing show.

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I've just had one of those, "Stop and smell the roses", moments. I saw things getting a little heated concerning street racing and immediately thought of Big Willie Robinson. Wally Parks started the NHRA, but Big Willie made it popular in a way no one else could. He knew that kids were dying on the streets in their parents cars and he stepped in and got them to channel their desires in a safe and sane manner. 

I almost fell into that trap right out of high school when I owned a 64 Fairlane. My friend and I yanked the 260 out and popped in a 289 from a Mustang that got wrapped around a telephone pole. Yes, the 'Stang was street racing, but not our problem. That couldn't happen to us. We're smarter than that. Fortunately, my daughter was born and my priorities changed. Yes, I sold it for a station wagon. SHUT UP!!!!!!!

The point is, I always wanted to street race, but I only wanted to do it because I knew it was wrong.

It's been a while, but R.I.P. Big Willie and tell Tomiko we said "Hi".

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I still have my Camaro. I have a Chevy pick up to pull it. But I do have a Kia. I think there's a lot of people who had or have family cars there not real proud of. Iam lookin to trade in the Kia for 2013 or newer Durango though.

 

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I'm a little confused as to where you got the idea that I support street racing,I mentioned Street Outlaws without even saying the name and I'm assuming that triggered you? Not a single person in this thread has said "Street racing is totally fine". Either way the reason I mentioned it was because while it may be another piece of TV-executive produced drivel it has one thing that most NHRA shows don't and that's viewership.:unsure: If they want to increase viewership they need to change something, either add fake drama or make it relatable to more viewers. I'd rather them not make it another reality TV pukefest so I'd be in favor of making it more down to earth. Why not have a show where two teams are both given the same car and a budget of 10K to spend on the car,at the end of each episode they compete and the winner is put against next weeks winner. I can tell you that I'd be more inclined to watch cars race that don't cost more than three houses and have actually soul put into them. With what they currently put on it's more or less "Left or right,which highly engineered billboard is going to be slightly faster than the other" it's something I'm sure could only be improved by the viewers consumption of liquor.:wacko:

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Let's get back on track. We know why NHRA exists and that there a ton of crud tv shows about cars. 

NHRA has tried to keep T.V. viewership by using the carnival show playbook. Rivalries, stars of the sport, spotlight segments and lots of sponsorship placement. They forgot one thing, to let the racer innovate. Stagnant innovation means the same thing over and over. If there is something new, we don't hear about it because it is simply not that sexy to show some new innovation vs. "what happened to the engine after the run" coverage. 

And other than Mike Dunn, who else on the announcers cast is actually a racer or has been in the sport for years? I think ESPN punishes some of their announcers by making them work NHRA events or that is where they send them out to pasture. Or is it World Poker?

Regardless, I honestly do not know how to fix it other than the usual lineup of categories that make the T.V. show. The Factory Hot Rods are nowhere close to factory anymore and sorry, but Pro Bike is flat out boring. 

 

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Being a fabricator/mechanic, the driving itself is the last thing Im interested in when it comes to drag racing, regardless of the class. Drag racing has always been a mechanic's sport. The action has always been in the pits and garages for me. When I see someone reset a record, the congratulations are never for the driver's seat. Its for the 36 hour days, weeks without sleep, blood, sweat and tears that is required to run at the front of the pack or to improve personal bests. Its very hard to go fast and its even harder to stay in front of the pack. People who complain about teams like Force, Schumacher, KB Racing, etc. dont understand what it takes to be in front and maintain it. "oh, well if I had the money they had, I would win races and lead the pack for the next three decades"........

Your chances are quite slim, if not down right impossible. It takes years of R&D to do what these teams do, and no money in the world can buy you that. Schumacher has proven time and time again that building a team, with the best equipment, the best talent with the "do or die" mentality does not, and will not give you a winning team. Some people just dont work well together no matter how much you pay them.

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My biggest issue with pro stock is it is almost all Chevys . If pro stock is going to survive ford and Chrysler need more involvement. At least pro mod has a variety of body styles.

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You make some excellent points Jesse. At times it seems like Mike Dunn is the only one who is truly jazzed to be there doing what he does and his expertise is unequaled. Let's hope that FOX brings him and maybe another ex-driver along.

You're on the right track too John. It all comes down to equipment and mechanical talent to get these cars to perform the way they do. The driver's job is to get off the line first, then if the car mishandles due to mechanical issues or track conditions, correct it to the best of their abilities. When it performs perfectly, that's because of the boys with the wrenches and the knowledge. Also, when a safety issue arises, the driver's can make all of the suggestions they want, but who makes the changes happen? (There are always exceptions to that generalization, like Jim Head and Tim Wilkerson.)

Bob, when it comes down to it, these cookie cutter cars are hurting the sport to it's very core. We need diversity. We ain't gettin' it. My love of all things Dodge and Hemi came from the early years, when it meant something. Now I root for personalities, not manufacturers. Unfortunately, I can't go the the dealership on Monday and buy an Erica clone.

Finally, is it only coincidence that Rodger Brogdon sells his operation to Elite Motorsports the same weekend these Pro Stock changes are announced?

Edited by Nytrozilla

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My biggest issue with pro stock is it is almost all Chevys . If pro stock is going to survive ford and Chrysler need more involvement. At least pro mod has a variety of body styles.

I agree. The lack of manufacture involvement absolutely kills the class. For YEARS, teams have been giving the big three credit and FREE advertisement with little to no influence on drag racing, except for two factory drag cars. And thats the only involvement in decades.

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Yes more factory involvement from the big three and the Pro Stock cars have to look more like the cars they are supposed to be, I mean, if you put a stock 2015 Camaro beside the Pro Stock version the body shapes are so different that it's two different cars.
Same for the Funny Cars, a wedge with a small bubble on top and if you see the body without decals you don't know what they are supposed to be.

 

Edited by Force

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GM backed WJ and KJ for years, till they started to slip and Warren started throwing around retirment, then not, then he is, then he isnt. But yes, I hope the manufacturers get more involved next year, or start this year on some level.

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Right about the funny cars. Force modified the mustang shells to be Camaro.

Well he had to, he didn't have time to do a completely new body so JFR did some modifications to the Mustang body mold to more resemble a Camaro.
For the record, it took a year or more in the wind tunnel for DSR and Mopar to develop the 2015 Charger body they use today...Force had two months to do his...so NHRA gave him a break and allowed him to do what he did, but for next year I think JFR will have new Camaro bodys.

I like the Funny Car class but I still think the bodies they have today are ugly as...well you know what.
They were a lot better before the Firebird and Camaro bodies came 1995 (except for the Bernstein "Batmobile" Buick from 1987), the Firebird/Camaro body developed more downforce than the others due to the fact that the roof didn't go all the way out to the body sides, so to equalize the competition NHRA allowed the others to narrow the roof on their bodies to the same dimensions as the Firebird/Camaro, later they were allowed to widen the front of the body to get even more downforce and voila, we have the butt ugly door stop wedge with the small bubble on top.

As far as announcers go. I hope they never bring Cruz Pedregon back. He was not a TV guy.

As long as Cruz is racing I think you are safe. ;)

Edited by Force

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As far as announcers go. I hope they never bring Cruz Pedregon back. He was not a TV guy.

As long as Cruz is racing I think you are safe. ;)

Mixed emotions for me. I have to wish him success to keep him out of the booth? I think I'll take up Professional Air Hockey for my new sport. sigh

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I feel your pain. I'm not a Pedregon family fan. Well, their brother Frank wasn't too bad, he seemed the most level headed of the 3.

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Forces cars don't look like Mustangs or Camaros. Jelly beans. Aerodynamic blobs.

So called "nostalgia " car actually look like they should. Modern FC's suck, the don't even have a vague resemblance to cars. You can't tell what they are supposed to be unless it's painted on the side! OOOPS! I mean vinyl stickers.

AND both T/F and FC are ugly billboards, devoid of soul and character. I miss the days when a racer didn't NEED to be a corporate stooge!

Jungle Jim would puke!

I'm 62 years old, drag racing will NEVER be very popular on TV. For 50 years the NHRA has tried it, but it just doesn't translate well.

Drag racing has painted itself into a corner with the "big show". I don't think some of you understand how important insurance is for example. REAL racing doesn't need to be so expensive and doesn't need the BS manufactured carnival type phoney drama. If you weren't around in the 60's-70's, you just won't ever get how much better it was then.

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I used to watch the drag racing all the time back in the day with dad,   nowadays I never even know when its on tv. And if it is on its on in the middle of the week and during the day when I'm not home anyway.  So pretty rare I even see anything.

 

 

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Forces cars don't look like Mustangs or Camaros. Jelly beans. Aerodynamic blobs.

So called "nostalgia " car actually look like they should. Modern FC's suck, the don't even have a vague resemblance to cars. You can't tell what they are supposed to be unless it's painted on the side! OOOPS! I mean vinyl stickers.

AND both T/F and FC are ugly billboards, devoid of soul and character. I miss the days when a racer didn't NEED to be a corporate stooge!

Jungle Jim would puke!

I'm 62 years old, drag racing will NEVER be very popular on TV. For 50 years the NHRA has tried it, but it just doesn't translate well.

Drag racing has painted itself into a corner with the "big show". I don't think some of you understand how important insurance is for example. REAL racing doesn't need to be so expensive and doesn't need the BS manufactured carnival type phoney drama. If you weren't around in the 60's-70's, you just won't ever get how much better it was then.

No they certainly don't, the so called Dodge Charger's DSR uses don't look like Charger's, the Toyota Camry's used by Kalitta Racing and the Pedregons don't look like Camry's either, and the Camaro's and Dart's in Pro Stock doesn't look like the cars they are supposed to be...NHRA has let it go too far.
I don't even like the where the Nostalgia Funny Cars have evolved to, they are a lot better and you can for sure see what car they are supposed to be but in my opinion they have gone a
 bit too far with their low sides and even many of them have the undesirable wedge shape.

If you don't like the corporate sponsorship and billboard cars we have today you have to blame Tom McEwen and Don Prudhomme for that as they were the first to do it, it's a professional sport and they need money to do it as it costs somewhere between 3 and 4 million Dollars per car per year to run a top level championship contending nitro car, Pro Stock isn't that far behind with at least 2 to 3 million Dollars per car to do a season.

I don't know the answer but I think they maybe have to go back more to the roots to be more interesting, get more factory involvement, and for sure, the sport don't need any of the "fabricated phoney drama" the TV production companies often want's it to be...it's racing and it should be exciting enough without that.
I'm involved in drag racing over here and the friendship in the pits is great and you can go to almost anyone and borrow parts if you need something, we are enemies at the starting line but when the race is over the hostilities are also over and most are great friends.
I'm not that sure Live broadcasting is good for the sport either, oildowns and rain destroy the fun and you can do more good doing something else than look at the NHRA people drying or prepairing the track. it's no good for the economy for the racers eiter as they have to have more people on the payroll and more hardware to be able to meet the deadlines as the time between rounds are getting shorter and shorter wich Live broadcasting demands.
But this type of racing needs TV for the sponsors as they want to be seen of as many as possible, if you don't have any TV coverage you can't get sponsors and the sport will...maybe not die but not far from it as you can't get any money from it, like it's over here in Europe, almost no TV coverage and finding sponsors that pay any money are almost impossible and the prize money for winning a race are rediculously low and doesn't cover the costs to race by far.

 

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My idea of what Pro Mod should be. Stock looking body, this is my favorite current race car of any class! The

Renteria Brothers run this Valiant without chopping it up, to 5.50's at 250 +! One BITCHIN' race car!

 

 

Sean-Renteria.jpg

Nostalgia funny cars! THAT LOOK LIKE CARS!!!

 

JeffUnfried_aafc-bodies-up.jpg

Motor up front where it should be!

 

front motor.jpg

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Nice pics Gary. I'll help make your point on the F/C's. Vega, Camaro, Barracuda, Corvette, Corvette, Challenger, Mustang, Vega, T-Bird, etc.

Now, try pulling 20 random people out of the grandstands and ask them to identify these rides. Even if I have one wrong (cough, Challenger?, cough), I'm betting you get 30 to 40 percent correct answers at best.

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Maybe instead of a true nostalga class, make them run funny cars that actually represent the model they're supposed to look like.  If you want 2dr's make them actually look like a Mustang, Challenger, or Camaro. Want something slippery and the  number of doors be danged, make them look like the Fusion, Camry, 200, Malibu, ect. Yes, distort them some to fit the chassis, but make them look enough like the model they're based on without resorting to just grill and lights stickers on a blob as an identifier.  More Stock in Pro Stock would be good too, instead of everything special and specific, why not build it off a stock platform or at least go back to stock bodywork on a tube frame with an engine that is somewhat related to what's on the street, even if it's made specifically for racing . Then when it comes to EFI vs Carbs, look again at some of the street racers, tuners, hobby racers that don't have as stringent rules and are willing to play with modern technology, there's power to be had in a good EFI system, and not some "lipstick on a pig" TBI nonsense that even GM gave up on by the late 90's either.

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They have been running TBI's in NASCAR a couple of years now and that seems to work fine.
Yes there are power to be made with EFI, but I think NHRA decided on TBI for two reasons, first, a TBI setup is most likely cheaper than a set of fully modified specially built Holley Dominators they use today (they also need two sets of carbs for each engine, one set when they dyno the engine and one set for the races where the dyno set doesn't work as well, with a TBI they just change the mapping), and the TBI's will fit on the manifolds they use now, second, I believe NHRA don't want the progress to get out of control and still want to have some control over it...good or bad...well...we'll see next year...remember computers are not allowed to control and regulate anything in drag racing, just for monitoring, and everything must be adjusted before the run...and I think they haven't changed that rule.
If racers want to go more extreme there are classes for that, Pro Mod allows almost everything except Nitro.

Edited by Force

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Here's my long two cents on the subject:

@ Force;  you are probably right regarding the carbs, from the time the teams receive them who knows what modifications if any are done to them.  I remember reading about Bill Jenkins ordering a ton of Holly Denominator Carbs at a time placing each one on his flow bench, either returning the ones he didn't like or selling them to others.  The ones that flowed well we're the ones he would tweet into Race Carbs, Cams,,,  until he got the best of the best.  That takes a huge pile of cash and the time to work the parts.  (If I remember right it was in an early to mid  70's CARS magazine).  I've read a lot of articles on Bill Jenkens over the years, he always intriegued me with his methodical approach to his engines, chassis and overall set up.  Gotta know the successful Teams are doing lots and lots of R & D work still.  I think going to Fuel Injection will help bring some competitiveness back to Pro-Stock.  The other step NHRA has to do is get the Big Three back into the picture, if the excitement is there for the fans they'll buy their cars.  It's happened before.

I hate the Unrecognizable Jelly Bean Blobular Funny Cars with their Vinyl Wraps, maybe it's done for weight reduction (in theory).  Just hanging a manufacturer's Badging on them doesn't make them Mustangs, Camaros, Chargers... It just makes them a Blob with a Manufacturers's Badges on them.  The fact that Team Force could take a "Mustang" body and  call it a "Camaro" and have NHRA buy into it is proof that the Funny Cars are Unrecognizable Blobs.  There was a period during 80's through 2000 then the Funny Cars became not so recognizable in name of aerodynamics, until NHRA put their foot down and told the Teams to make the cars look like they were what they said they were supposed to be!  NHRA, it's time to put your foot down again, bring back the driver talent that was once needed to drive these cars.

Top Fuel, what do you say, they aren't supposed to look like anything production and never did.  It might be time to return this Class to the truly "Unlimited" Class it once was, where only the best of the best drove them and survived!  NHRA would have to mandate across the board Safety Upgrades to every track the Fuel Cars run on or they don't run there period!  It took the death of Dale Ernhardt Sr. to change the walls of the NASCAR tracks, it has seemingly worked.  NHRA still hasn't done the things needed to assure Driver's have as safe of a racing surface as possible, that goes for all the "Pro" classes.  

I never have got all that excited about the Pro-Stock Bikes for some reason, they're sort of an extension of the Sportsman classes.  A door slammer without the doors!  TV coverage would either be better dropping Pro-Stock Bike and having more interviews, showing close Sportsman Class races, viewer educational stories, how and why things are done, new innovations...

Announcers - Mike Dunn does a really good job, especially giving the Driver Perspective which is much needed side of the stories most of the time.  He also knows when to shut up and let the story tell itself, something that's needed in sports announcers across the Dial, get tired rather quickly with announcers who just drone on and on.  That's what the mute button is for!  Back a while ago, years, when TNN was broadcasting the NHRA events they had great announcers who knew what was going on, as well as the relevant sidebar stories to highlight, Bob Frye was really good at that. (He's probably retired or gone by now.)

Edited by Skip

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