Scott Kalitta

The Tragic Loss of Scott Kalitta
Are the cars to fast or tracks to short...

June 21, 2008 - Englishtown, NJ - Hopefully the headline got your attention and trust me, its no joke to me. You see, I TVO NHRA drag racing for two reasons - so I can scan through the commercials and Pro Stock Bikes. When I cued up todays 2nd qualifying session from Englishtown at 4:45 p.m. PST it was like being kicked in the gut by a gorilla. Scott Kalitta was gone. A kid I've known since 1968 when he was with his dad at Indy. Scott, who I talked to less than 4 months ago when his son was using WDIFL for a school project on the Kalitta family racing history. Scott who retired twice but couldn't stay away - was gone.

Yes, today we lost yet another of drag racing brightest stars - and it should not have happened. Old Bridge Township Raceway was built in 1965 when cars were barely going over 220 mph. Over the years longer tracks have folded like lawn chairs yet this dinosaur has managed to survive and flourish without taking any measures to lengthen the shut down area to accommodate 330 mph speeds. Add to that one of the shortest "sand boxes" on the circuit and - the killer - a CEMENT guardwall at the end of it. A CEMENT WALL ACROSS THE END OF THE FRIGGIN SAND TRAP! And - what the hell was a massive steel camera boom lift doing just on the other side of the wall - center track. It was not lost on me that the car hit it after the wall and that sealed Scotts fate. (See quote from AutoWeek below).

Years ago Johnny West had a slightly similar incident at this very track and it was only due to scrubbed off speed that he did not meet the same fate as Kalitta. I thought then that this was not a good idea - a cement wall at the end of a track. As an ex-fuel driver myself, and as all drivers know, you have a fighting chance if you don't hit an immovable object when you crash - duh. Had this happened at Gainesville for example, Scott would be getting ready to race on Sunday. Instead he is lost to us forever and all the powers to be can offer their condolences. Not enough. Not nearly enough.

There are still a few tracks in operation today that most drivers feel have shrunk over the years and need to be lengthened or removed from the national event circuit. However, economics always overrides common sense and more importantly, safety. After watching way too many vehicles - even the two wheeled breed - go into the Englishtown sand trap, maybe its time to find a new home for the so-called Lucas Supernationals (what ever happened to the Summernationals?) or lengthen the track, and give racers in trouble a fighting chance.

An opinion by Don Ewald - WDIFL.com

My most sincere condolences to Scott's wife, Kathy, his sons Corey and Colin, his his father Connie, cousin Doug and the entire Kalitta Racing family.

If you feel my opinions are either on target or out of line fell free to say so.

E-mail: Kalitta Tragedy

 

Born to be a driver? Two year old Scott Kalitta latches on to the butterfly steering wheel of father Connie's AA/FD following his first major win at the 1964 Smokers Fuel & Gas Championships. Connie (Conrad) Kaletta and wife, Marianne.
Bill Turney Photo

Now its time for a cocktail - as Scott would say, "It's 5 o'clock somewhere".

 

From AutoWeek online, Monday June 23, 2008: (re Scott Kalitta) "The car’s dual parachutes did not properly blossom, and observers at the end of the track where Kalitta crashed estimate he was traveling at more that 250 mph when he skimmed over a sand-trap, through a catch net and into a concrete wall. The massive impact launched his car into an overhead camera boom before it landed in a forested area".

ESPN Sports Statement

Scott Kalitta Photo Page

 

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June 22, 2008 - After some very positive feedback from other racers and fans (below), and after hearing comments by racers at E-Town on NHRA Race Day, I am sure my initial thoughts on this tragedy are right on target. Knowing they still have to be PC, drivers like Jim Head expressed their concerns for race track safety vs. current speeds.

There is no denying that Old Bridge Township Raceway is a very nice, very quick race track that has served well over the years. However, in my opinion, without drastic changes, its no longer an option for 330 MPH cars. The sanctioning bodies must take a long hard look at not only this but all their older tracks and either find more real estate on the top end or move the event to a safe track.

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FAN FEEDBACK

I still can't believe Scott is gone. He "did it for love". This is a tragedy that just should not have happened. Whether you race at speeds of 330 mph for a living or for the love of the sport, you should be given every safety measure available. It looks like Englishtown lacked a lot.

I have never been there but it looks to me like at least three major faults are very obvious. The "sand" trap looks very short and is not sand at all. It looks like pea gravel which I wouldn't think would not be as effective at slowing a high speed light weight missile. The net looks very short in height. Worst of all the concrete retaining wall has absolutely no place at that location.No chance of survival if you impact it at high speed.

I have come full circle from an absolutely wonderful and enjoyable weekend at Bowling Green, renewing old friend ships to this tragic accident .
Condolences to the entire Kalitta family and racing family.

Sincerely,
Dick Venables

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Don

You are right on the mark. I could not believe my eyes, car and driver into a cement retaining wall after passing through a token sand trap, oh and with a catch net, another drivers horror. What an asinine arrangement. It is my greatest hope that the drivers choose not to run today unless something has been done over night to remedy this deadly situation. My heart goes out to the Kalitta's and everyone who will feel this terrible and unnecessary loss.

Patrick Quinn

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Don,

I'm surprised that the sanctioning bodies were not all over this issue way before now. I just hope, like you, that the so called "economics" take a back seat to the very real safety issue that has been put "right in our face". The tracks in So. Cal. in the sixties were pretty much compatible with the speeds we were going, but at the speeds of today,area reaction time is just as important at "the other end" as it is at the stating line. A racer doesn't need a deadly challenge in the shut down area. Heck, even at old San Fernando if you weren't paying attention on a 180 run you could find yourself in a weird situation, I know. It was more embarrassing than scary.

Well I hope this situation doesn't turn to finger pointing and is remedied soon with out negative outcome in the whole big picture. I think all you guy's are doing a great job. Your group has the most experience and judgment to be found anywhere concerning all this stuff. My best to you all and hope something gets done.

Mike Johnson
Albany, OR

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Hi Don, You are right on! Drag racing today is not Drag racing as we once knew it, it has turned into NHRA corporate racing. Good? Bad? kinda both. Having grown up in and around Drag racing in the 60's & 70's, I don't like the direction it's going, I didn't like it then and I don't like it now! The powers to be need to take a long hard look at what's happening, and not be so concerned about the bottom line ( $ ). The fuel guys (TF,FC, even TA/D & TA/FC) need to band together and boycott ANY DANGEROUS situation! (I know driving is inherently dangerous, I been there, done that) NHRA has gotten very fat off Drag Racers over the years, it's time to change . Hopefully it's not to late.

MARKO

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Don, you hit the nail right on the head!! Maybe now the NHRA will take its head out of the its rear end and become more pro-active with safety. The Don Long,Bill Miller episode in testing earlier this year was a complete joke! Hank

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Good Morning Don,

As a guy who grew up in Jersey I raced at all of the tracks back in the day. Englishtown has been the drag racing jewel in the state because it was the only property with all the proper components NHRA requires for National events. It has done wonders for the growth of drag racing in the northeast since 1965.

With that said, and after checking a Google satellite map of the track, it it clear why there is a Jersey Barrier across the back side of the sand pit. The end of the track is bordered by Pension Road. This is a small, but important, secondary county road which will never be eliminated. There are no trees to be cut down to allow the sand pit to be extended.

Where the Knapp family made their big mistake is in the location of the timing tower. They should of purchased the property at that end of the track so as to build the tower 100' or 500' farther back, allowing for the starting line to be moved back and hence the shut down area to grow in length. But that's 20-20 hind sight. At the time the new tower was build, I'm sure speeds and safety didn't come into the decision.

We both know NHRA will never release anything substantive on the accident. But we both also know that between Connie and Force, the truth of the incident will be known.

My Best Regards,
Rich Venza

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Don,

A tragic and fatal accident like this, it doesn't matter if its an 1/8th mile or a 1/4 mile.

You can have the longest shut off area in drag racing and if you have a wall and as short of area of sand as Englishtown and others, well this is going to be a likely scenario. Pomona is no exception.

Here are a few things from Englishtown and Pomona that I feel are of some interest. It makes me that much more fearful about Pomona, mind you the sandtrap is longer. Hard to believe Pomona is almost 200' shorter.

Tommy Naccarato

 

 

 

Although Pomona is dangerously short (the shut down area), its sand trap is nearly 3x longer than Englishtown. Plus the have rigging for 3 nets opposed to one Jerry rigged net at E-Town. And, there is no cement wall IF you ever did get through the long pit and 3 nets. Given a choice - I'd rather go long at Pomona. DE

 

 

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Its hard to believe that my local 1/8 racetrack has as much shutdown as Pomona.

Danny

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Don, I couldn't agree with you more. There have been some good suggestions made, including shortening the lights to 1/8 mile, and the suggestion made by Jim Head, to shorten the lights to 1,000 ft, on the tracks with inadequate shut down areas. I have been called a pessimist by some, but I prefer to think I am a realist, and in that vein, I have to say that I doubt NHRA will implement any of these suggestions. MONEY TALKS, and that is the cold hard fact! I have been involved with drag racing as a racer since the 1950's, and back then, we really did "Do it for Love", and with little money involved. Yes, it is faster, and more exciting to watch now, but at what price? Only those with "connections" or with unlimited funds can afford to go fuel racing now. I am lucky that I did my racing in the early years, as I am not, nor have I ever been, wealthy.

My heartfelt condolences to Connie, to Scott's wife and children, Doug and to all the extended family and crew of the Kalitta racing organization.

Les Elliott

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Don your 100% correct, Every effort should be made by the NHRA and track owners to eliminate the possibility of someone being hurt or killed at an event but unfortunately this goes over looked..

When I worked for NHRA I often wondered what would of happened if a crash that took place at one track would of happened at a different track? And then I thought how bad the outcome would of been if it had.

Like Tony Schumacher's crash at Memphis... Just picture if it would of happened at Bristol.

If Scott's run would have taken place at most of the other tracks on the NHRA tour he probably would still be with us today.

There is just no room in our sport for taking chances. If only the sand trap was longer and there were no concrete barriers.... chutes fail, sometimes cars can't stop... the emergency run off at a track is as important as the track itself.

Rest in Peace Scott, Our prayers are with you and your family.

Bob Gibson
Springfield, IL

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How right you are, Don! I can see that this is an old situation that was allowed to grow more and more critical over the years, but I find the placement of the boom truck to be almost insanity. Time for some changes, for sure!! Dave Maset

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Don

I share your opinion on this issue completely. It is amazing to me that after all these years the NHRA doesn't have a standard length/ width/ depth sand trap for all national event tracks as well as a standard catch net/ nets system. Most of the tracks don't have the real estate to lengthen the strip but in lieu of changing to a 1000' or eight mile which probably will never happen a standard needs to be implemented. I don't mean a minimum standard but a realistic system that can stop the cars and save the drivers. A short sand trap and 1 catch net is not making much of an effort. It wouldn't be that expensive to do it right.

Rich Howell

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I knew when I saw the video what killed him. He could have lived through the fire. Having that wall at the end angers me tremendously! I was brought up to be safe and to think safety and that wall was a death trap waiting to happen! I have been going to Drag Races since the late 60's, when going over 200 mph was a big deal. I have said (to the people who know drag racing) that the cars are just going too fast and any error or malfunction could be a potential disaster. I have seen cars with throttles stuck and drivers unconscious sliding down the guard rails at full speed only to come to an open area in the rail and smashing violently into the protruding section of the rail causing unnecessary harm to car and driver.

It is simple. It is basic knowledge. Today's Drag Strips should all be able to handle a car with burned away chutes at full throttle! Everyone who has stood at the finish line and viewed something passing you at over 300 mph knows that it is just unbelievable. But is it safe? Is it safe for the fans? It sure is not too safe for the drivers. I love seeing it, but this sport that has been so safe may need to re-think some things. I am not a stock car fan but those cars seem to be going the same speed or even slower then they were going 25 years ago. People still love the sport. I may be wrong but I have felt that it was a bunch of luck each and every time these drivers made a 300 plus mph pass that they walked away in one piece. I did not expect to write all this so sorry it is a rambling one big paragraph e-mail.

I lived around the corner from Buster Couch in Decatur Georgia in the 70's , although I did not know him at the time I did get to sit down and have a nice talk with him at a little red neck bar in Conyers, Georgia. (I don't think he was drinking anything but a coke at the time) During this conversation I got to ask him a lot of things that I always wanted to know the answer to. One of the topics I brought up was the safety of the cars that were knocking on the 300 mph mark. He mentioned to me that Don Garlits wife was going to kill him before the sport did if he did not stop racing. He also told me that the insurance companies did not want NHRA to have the cars go over 300 mph for safety reasons. I remember agreeing with that statement since I did not want to see a lot of my "heroes" get killed racing. My understanding is that NHRA became self insured and that solved that problem.

To end these thoughts I just want to say that the cars today are going too fast. Not to mention that a lot of tracks can not handle the speeds of today.

I loved watching funny cars and dragsters going 210 mph!! I love watching pro stocks going 145 mph! I am not saying that we need to go back to that time but we are asking for more sad times ahead if these cars are to continue to go faster and faster.
That track, and that wall is what killed Scott. It is a very sad day for all of the Drag Racing fans.

One a different subject; when did NHRA decide that the bodies on funny cars do not have to look anything like the manufactures original lines??? Look at the funny cars of the 70's and 80's and you see works of art. You see a body that looks like a car! Today they look like the sheet metal oval dirt track cars I use to see being pulled around in open trailers.

Maybe that is one of the things that NHRA can look at. Cars that look like cars. Speeds that won't kill. I loved to see the 32 car field funny car shows come through town. Big names, little names, and it was fun for everyone.

We can not go back in time but we can keep the sport fun and exciting. Something has to change. There are not enough fuel cars out there to even fill the fields.
NHRA says they are dedicated to safety. If they have tracks that can not handle fuel cars with no chutes they need to not use them! Period !

A cement wall at the end of a Drag Strip?????
They will be lucky if they ever have another big race at that track!

James Dodd

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First, I would like to send my condolences to the Kalitta family and crew, this was a tragic loss. After looking at the maps and aerial photos above I,m appalled by what I saw, clearly this is inadequate to stop a runaway vehicle traveling at a very high rate of speed, and that wall is absolute negligence, Where is the Safety Safari on this? They of all people should have recognized the potential for disaster there. Its so damn typical, you see it all the time, Obvious hazards over looked or ignored until something really bad happens, then its reduced to a bunch of finger pointing and blame game lip service, of course the damage has already been done and some poor soul has paid too high a price for someone elses neglect.

god speed Scott Kalitta, you will be missed.

Scott Yapp

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The tracks are too short…same problem at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Doug Kerhulas was almost killed when he hit the cable holding the net at the end of the track, and Jeg Couglin never raced again after his fueler also hit the sand traps and flipped. Problem was, as at Englishtown, a road at the end of the track. NHRA no longer holds the Springnationals there, though I am not sure it had to do with shutdown area. Either move the meet to a track that has a safe shutdown, or shorten the traps to 1000 feet. When Jim Head, one of the smartest guys in drag racing suggests this, we should listen.

I was at Riverside in 1962, when the track held a fuel meet to compete with the then-gas only Winternationals. Garlits was there, with Connie Swingle driving, along with some SoCal cars (Ted Cyr, Archie Ary, etc.). When Connie Kalitta lost in an early round at Pomona, he loaded up and drove to Riverside for more racing.

Suddenly the announcer said, “We have just learned that Connie Swingle’s wife gave birth to a son, congratulations…” It took Swingle about 2 minutes to get to the tower and inform the announcer that he had no wife. “My mistake,” said the announcer, “I meant to say that Connie Kalitta is a new father.” That was Scott’s birthday, with Connie on the road in California, drag racing at one more meet. Scott really was born to the breed. RIP, Scott.

Dave Sorenson

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Don, my name is Sean Parker, and I have been an avid drag racing fan my entire life and a driver for the past 20 years. I have been a member of W.D.I.F.L for about two years now and enjoy the articles and photos. Your article I read today unfortunately was about the tragic accident and loss of Scott Kalitta and your vision of the unsafe conditions at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. It makes me think back to a similar incident at that same track some 18 years ago involving Johnny West. If you remember, Mr. West was knocked unconscious after hitting the wall not more than 100 feet off of the starting line. The car continued down the track gaining speed until there was nothing left, but an ARMCO GUARDRAIL!! Hello, no sand trap, no net, NO NOTHING but a guardrail stretching across the end of the track. What the hell! By the sheer grace of GOD, Mr. West survived the crash with only a broken arm or leg, I can't remember which. But what that tells me is that this track has a history of lacking the proper safety features to ensure a wayward car can be brought to a safe stop. Although with the case of Scott, I don't believe anything would have saved him because of the speed that he was going once the car left the racing surface. I think that even if there was no concrete wall or the camera tower for him to hit, he was in trouble because of the trees that lined the end of the property. The NHRA, as well as the IHRA, needs to look at their drag strips and figure out what needs to be done to accommodate 330 mile per hour land missles safely. Tragedies will always happen in any form of motorsport, no one is denying that. But let's make sure that the ones that can be prevented are.

Godspeed Scott Kalitta

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Hi Don, this is Byron Parmenter, from the Krohn Parmenter Rue race team, I believe you are right on about your idea I thought of some thing, why can't they put a series of nets to catch the cars. Or find a way to adapt a way to put tail hooks on the cars like they do on the planes landing on the aircraft carriers? I am sure between John Force, Connie Kalitta, Kenny Bernstine and the rest of the racers they could figure out a way to adapt some thing like this. This is just a thought i dont know how to get a hold of those that have the knowledge to do some thing on this order? Also if the racers tell the track owners and NHRA that they wont race there until they make there track SAFE they will listen, This happed in 1959 when Pacific Raceways didn't want to pay for little Eliminator Middle, and Top. So the cars just set in the spectators area two weeks in a row until they did agree. If the racers band together they can get some thing like this accomplished. Keep up the great work.

Byron Parmenter

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Hello Don!

I happened onto your article on the web, so I will briefly respond.

I was involved in racing for many years, fuel funny cars for my last 13. Without boring you with details, we have raced and won at E Town in the past.

With that being said:

My wife came to me and said "uh-oh, they just said there would be an update on a Scott Kalitta crash in a few minutes". We had been watching the NASCAR race from Sonoma.

When they did come on the air, we ( my 15 and 13 year old boys and wife) all watched the first ESPN replay. I went into a rage as I saw the block wall and the TV boom shaking and wobbling just after impact. It was very clear what killed Scotty, even on my first viewing. The body being blown off actually helped the situation as we all know. But a head on impact at 250 mph or so is a death sentence. What the HELL were they thinking?

The NHRA regulates the safety requirements of the race cars, as well as scrutinize minor details that have no bearing on safety. The NHRA should have, and needs to, pay attention and adhere to the safety concerns of the racers as it relates to race track safety, which is their responsibility and liability. It is a useless shame on NHRA that Scott Kalitta is not with us today.

I'm done venting.

God Speed Scotty.

Bill Allen

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Hello Don,

They are too fast, and it's not necessary for the racers or fans. Being from the old school of drag racing, anyone can remember the times when many AA/FD and Funnies only ran 225 MPH. There were more side by side races, and surely more cars. The cars today are much safer than anything from even 15 years ago, but 325 MPH is not necessary, or even 4.5 seconds.

Having been away from the sport for 20 years, after we returned for the first live performance, at of all places Englishtown, I just was amazed at how the cars performed. Seeing the races on TV did not bring out what was happening live.
I found myself trying to even see the cars running down the track. If both cars were not side by side, you would look for the other car and the race was over, just crazy.

Were would the cars in Nascar be if they allowed the race cars to be developed for faster and faster speeds. They realized years ago that it is not needed to draw the fans to the track, or produce good safer racing. And how about the costs for all this speed in money and sadly the loss of life, or injuries to bare and carry for the rest of a drivers years.

NHRA should slow things down, take away the big blowers, one mag and one fuel pump. It would not be long till the guys and girls figure out how to get things going too fast again. It's sad that changes only happen through tragedies like Scotty's. Our condolences to the family, I can only imagine what they are going through.

But the changes should be to the race cars, not to the tracks to handle guided missiles controlled by air flow. You know something is wrong when you need to have guards for flying spark plugs, cylinder heads retained by safety straps and cockpits suitable to blast a man or women into space without shaking there brains loose. What will it take for NHRA to see that changes are needed. One of these missiles blasting into the spectators stands, we hope this never happens. All of the fans can figure out why the cars are slower. There is still Sunday, Sunday. There is still the sound and still the old Nitro smell. And yes, the fans can still walk around the pits. To me the number one draw for the drags. Enough is enough, here come the tears again.

Sincerely,

Gary Peters and the Hemi Hunter gang.

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Don, As we say in Tennessee " Ya got that right". As you know it ain't a Pomona Winternationals or World Finals without at least 1-3 pro cars going in the sand trap at the end. When I first saw footage of the accident I was just awestruck that there was a cherry picker at the end of the track and then you have the right retaining wall curving to the left.

I couldn't believe it. This has to be fixed. I grew up at Orlando Speed World Dragway and it's short on the end also. It has as much shut down as national trail ,which we all know ain't much . Gainesville has a nice long shutdown and so does my home track of Bristol. NHRA needs to fix this ASAP before we have another fatality because of short tracks.

They showed something I thought was forward thinking on TV Sunday. Del Worsham has a cable that runs from his burst panel to his chute handles. So if the burst panel goes it pulls the chutes in the process. Also something else I've been wondering. Do the Funny Cars and Top Fuel cars run spring loaded chutes? All I know is the shoots need to be blown out faster and farther out from the cars in my opinion. The catch fences need to be a lot taller and a lot wider like what you'd see on an aircraft carrier. I really hate NASCAR but you got to admit they are a lot more proactive in there safety practices than the NHRA.

Anyway, thanks for putting this feedback up. Hopefully someone in Glendora is listening.

Thanks

Andy
Knox Vegas TN

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DE,

As usual you're right on the money. I remember Scott as a little kid at Pomona '67 or '68 (whichever year Conrad won) Something's got to change with the NHRA and sub-SAFE tracks such as E-town. It don't take an engineer to figure out that Scotty was in deep stuff, hopefully he never knew what hit him. Unlike Gary Allen (Petersen) at the Pond in '67(?). K-rail across the shutoff area, that's tooooo short to begin with...gimeabreak/NO give the drivers a break.

We can all talk till we turn blue...right now we need to be praying for Scotty's family and Conrad. Drag Racin' will survive but it needs some help right now.

The other Don

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Hi Don,

I can see where your coming from, but I feel we need to examine why Fuel cars need ever longer shutdown areas. I don't need to see 330MPH runs. I don't know what it's like where you live, but in the northeast you have an better chance of building a nuclear power plant than you do a dragstrip. I agree updates should be made, but it's unrealistic to build new dragstrips with 3000 foot shutdown areas all over the country. It's sad because this perhaps could have been prevented or minimized but it's still as you know a very dangerous sport. I feel the fuel cars have a very good safety record considering the hundreds of runs made every summer without incident. I also feel that they are bordering on just going flat out too fast. If most tracks were good for under 300 maybe that's what they should be doing.

Thanks,
Eric

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Don,

As usual I FULLY agree with you. This is just another example of the NHRA being more interested in dollars than safety.

On Saturday evening I generated the following E-mail message that I sent to most of the current nitro drivers and car owners (unfortunately I did not think of sending you a copy at the time - shame on me!). I sent a similar message to NHRA. Of course, I have sent similar messages to NHRA after each Winternationals at Pomona when we can almost always count on someone running into the sand box there.

The simple fact, us you too have pointed out, is that today's car are just too fast for most of the tracks they are running on. One of two things needs to occur. Either lengthen the tracks shut off areas or slow the cars down! Making the tracks shout off areas longer is probably not a practical thing to do given the availability of land and cost to do this. Slower the cars down seems like a much better solution! My suggestion is to ban the use of nitromethane (not a new idea as we know). Other solutions to slowing the cars might be reducing the size of the fuel pumps, limiting the methods of fuel delivery, reducing the size of the tires, etcetera. Anyway here is what I wrote - What happen to Scott Kalitta this last weekend was truly tragic! Unfortunately if something is not done this type of incident will continue to occur. It is time to step forward and slow down both the Top Fuel and Funny Cars!

Most of the drag strips that are used to compete NHRA national events were design and built in the early 1960s when cars were only traveling 190 MPH. Now with the cars exceeding 330 MPH there is not sufficient down track shut off run outs areas without running into the sand traps and catch fences. One can almost count of at least one car running into the sand trap at Pomona!

Will slowing the cars down make drag racing as we know it be less exciting if the cars were limited to 250 MPH? No! In fact I think it would make for even more exciting racing! So how do we accomplish this? How about a ban on the use of nitromethane? NHRA tried this once before in the early 1960s for many of the same reasons. I think it is time to revisit this and ban nitromethane once and for all!

Who knows, by eliminating the use of nitromethane the cost of running these cars may be reduced to a point where more will be built and raced – making a better program for the spectators!

I ask you as the driver of a nitromethane car to call upon the NHRA and demand the cars be slowed down in the interest of promoting safety. After all, is not that one of NHRA stated purposes?

Not surprisingly I have yet to have a single response from any of the current NHRA nitro racers! I truthfully had expected to receive something from Jim Head or John Force. Maybe the reason that I did not receive anything is the fact that they get overloaded with this type of stuff.

What I would really like to see is the drivers and owners ban together, sort of like the old Professional Drag Racers Association, and force NHRA (and other sanctioning bodies) to make these older tracks safer before they are raced on again and before we lose another driver as this will certainly happen again!


Bob Nielsen

Scott Kalitta Photo Page

 

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