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
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
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.
ESPN Sports Statement
Scott Kalitta Photo Page
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 cars 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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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,
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.
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
Its hard to believe that my local
1/8 racetrack has as much shutdown as Pomona.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
The tracks are too short
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 Swingles 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 Scotts birthday, with Connie on the road in California,
drag racing at one more meet. Scott really was born to the breed.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Gary Peters and the Hemi Hunter gang.
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
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.
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
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
The other 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.
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!