Motorsports Newsletter 5/08/24

Motorsports Newsletter 5/08/24

By Richard Parks

EDITORIAL: A common but wrong belief is seen in, where Dave Wallace Jr wrote, “Entire books could be written about the many historical milestones recorded during this single season. In February at Pomona, fuels other than pump gasoline returned to NHRA for the first time since the 1956 Nationals—if only unofficially and ‘experimentally.’ Immediately afterwards, NHRA president and outgoing Petersen Publishing Company editorial director Wally Parks expressed buyer’s remorse to his editors at Hot Rod, Car Craft, Rod & Custom, stating: ‘Due to limited field of Fuelers that appeared for participation in the Winternationals, and the great amount of difficulty a number of them provoked, it is doubtful that NHRA will continue to include these classes at its major events,‘ began a February 19 internal document unearthed only a few years ago in the PPC archive (by longtime, now-ex-archivist Thomas Voehringer). Indeed, just as President Parks wished, NHRA stubbornly continued to enforce the gas-only formula for its next (and only other) 1963 national event, Indy’s Big Go. Nearly no one outside of PPC and NHRA knew at the time how close Wally came to extending the unpopular ban beyond its seven miserable years.”

To answer this let us look at some points rarely discussed but relevant to enhanced, oxygenated fuels, including nitro
and alcohol. First, how many drag racers have griped about the increasing costs in drag racing. Second, insurance costs have risen dramatically with the use of enhanced fuels. Third, the number of race teams competing using enhanced fields have shrunk from hundreds to a mere handful at major events. Fourth, injuries and deaths, according to the insurance companies have risen in fuel cars in relation to gas cars. Fifth, according to most people who discuss this topic the FUN has gone out of the sport due to the complexity of regulation (suits or officials) which is due to the increased speeds in the fuel class. When I first looked at the documents, far more than anyone else in the sport has seen, my enthusiasm for enhanced fuels began to wane and for the first time I realized why Dad held on to the fuel ban for so long. I also gave up my bias toward fuel and agreed with my father: enhanced fuel is killing the sport. It hurts when children learn that their parents are right and have to change, but the rational person must grow up sooner or later. The Editor
AND: Don Smith asks, “Is Al Caldwell still alive.” What do we know about Caldwell. Please let us know.

The post Motorsports Newsletter 5/08/24 appeared first on Drag Racing List.

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