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Tony Stewart to NHRA?

Discussion in 'Other Racing' started by rdefabri, Jul 26, 2021.

  1. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Like him or not, I think Tony Stewart is a throwback racer - Indy, Sprint Cars, NASCAR, and now NHRA Top Fuel.

    I was watching the NHRA race this weekend, had no idea that Tony Stewart was engaged to Leah Pruett. Lo and behold, he's been learning from her and actually drove a Top Fuel car in Las Vegas.

    Is licensing and competing far behind? I'd LOVE to see that.

     
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  3. blkfxstc

    blkfxstc Formula Junior
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    He has been to a bunch of races recently, I wouldn’t be surprised. They’d love to have him, they need a big name infusion.
     
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  4. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Oh man do they need it. Would be cool to see, reminds me when John Andretti drove a TF car.

    Could start another thread on NHRA and drag racing, a sport I grew up on. They really screwed the pooch and doesn't seem like they know how to turn back.
     
  5. stever

    stever F1 Rookie
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    Hmmm....what did they do wrong? I don't follow it, other than thinking they went to 1000' tracks......
     
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  6. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    1,000' tracks for the nitro cars is an obvious one. They cut the number of Pro Stock races, which could have decimated the class - I'm shocked it's still in play, that was a near debacle. I believe they still don't run every race.

    I think the biggest issue is they are mimicking NASCAR - cars are boring and look the same, too much aero, less driving by the driver, the points chase (dumb), pay-to-play drivers, too many races (they double up at many tracks which sucks), and of course the cost. They rely mostly on "super teams" like DSR, JFR, and Kalitta, and for me that ruins the competitive nature of it.

    If I were running the show (and I'm not, so I get that opinions are like you know what), I'd go back to 1320', cut the nitro. I think the cars are up to 95%+, make it 50%. Eliminate the ridiculous aero bodies for the funny cars (I don't think it's an issue with the TF cars, but the speeds are outrageous). I'd limit teams to 2-3 cars.

    I'd try to do something to cut the costs for both drivers and spectators. Average ticket price is something like $100 - that's ludicrous, I can just watch it on TV.
     
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  8. lorenzobandini

    lorenzobandini F1 Rookie
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    #6 lorenzobandini, Jul 28, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2021
    Corn-fused about cutting the cost for drivers..... I thought you didn't want pay-to-play......cutting the cost would just mean more would be buying in......

    Everything you suggest is for lowering the bar. Great for the "show".....not for real racing proving grounds.
     
  9. BartonWorkman

    BartonWorkman F1 Veteran
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    Watched some of the Sonoma event on Sunday.

    The first thing they need to address is the engines as in EVERY case, the funny cars and TF
    cars are blowing up their engines all the way down the track. The announcers are making excuses
    for them before the lights go green, "Oh, he had to back off because the #7 cylinder started
    shaking". I was like, "Uh... huh?". How the **** do you know that?

    So, what does it cost to rebuild a NHRA TF or funny car engine after every race, huh? Since
    the parts are gynormous (I have a TF cylinder head laying around here someplace) and everything
    is mega-tech, guessing those tear downs and rebuilds they put the crews through between each
    heat ain't too cheap.

    Not to mention, the time it takes to clean up the track when gallons of oil are poured all over the
    place. The down time between green lights must be boring as hell.

    Regulate their engines, do like F-1 and make them run 3-4 heats before they can rebuild/replace.
    If they blow up, then they get a time penalty at the start line. There's a good place to start.

    BHW
     
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  10. blkfxstc

    blkfxstc Formula Junior
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    Going to 1,000' is what put me off, I went every year before that. There was other was to make it safer for the drivers. I did go last year and the format is better, much less oil downs, less down time on track, etc. Just need bigger names, a new WOW factor every now and again, and more $.
     
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  11. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Yes, lower the bar - you can't sustain 330mph speeds on the tracks they have. What's next, 750 feet?

    There's no way to eliminate pay-to-play, it's existed since the dawn of racing, I accept that. I think lowering costs opens up opportunities for privateers. Back in the day, the privateer could compete - we've seen this is all the other motorsports, it was no different in the NHRA.

    I can't accept that we can't dumb it down for sake of the "racing" - there's barely any racing in the fuel classes anymore.
     
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  13. BartonWorkman

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    As amazing and fast as they are, as a spectator sport drag racing can be, well, a drag.

    If there's half an hour between green lights to clean up the track and the races only last three seconds,
    then that's not much bang for the buck really.

    BHW
     
  14. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    It was done as a direct result of Scott Kalitta getting killed at Englishtown. I immediately thought of scaling back the nitro as they had been slowly increasing over the years. For me, it was just as much fun watching these cars go low 5 seconds at 280mph.

    Shoot, back in the early 80's, they'd smoke the tires early to mid track and still pedal their way to a side-by-side race. Now when they break loose, it's over.

    Too much power, too fast. Still very cool, but it doesn't attract the viewer. NHRA doesn't publish attendance figures (they used to), but I know it's been down, even pre-COVID. Have to consider why?

    A lot of people do not like the 1000' ft.
     
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  15. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    They are really cool to watch, but I do agree that it can be plodding at times.
     
  16. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Great comments. They are blowing up the engines a lot, typically you can tell from the header flames - if there is a clean, light flame from the header pipe, the cylinder is firing normally. If there's puffs of smoke, something is wrong. This happens on almost every run as they are simply pushing the limits of what they can produce in terms of power.

    The engine rebuilds are expensive and it's the "cost of racing", but in the older days, some teams wouldn't do that. Maybe they weren't as competitive, but you could win races on a lower budget. Today? Forget about it.

    I'm a broken record, but you can regulate the amount of nitro - think of it like the pop-off valve in CART. You can't use more than (say) 50% in the engine.

    I'd regulate the bodies - they look like ****. They all look like jelly beans, I much prefer the more boxy look of the cars in the 70's and 80's. So for Funny Cars, have a set number of bodies (let's say 20 different types). That way a team can't go wind tunnel testing and make the body more swoopy.

    Mega teams are crushing the privateer because they can afford to do all the crazy crap that drives the cost up. I like your idea about 3-4 runs before rebuild / replace and I like the penalty idea (I do think they get fined for oil downs, or at least they did in the past. Maybe take points away instead).
     
  17. BartonWorkman

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    And for the sake of all that is human, will someone please shut John Force the **** up already?

    BHW
     
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  18. stever

    stever F1 Rookie
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    I thought everybody loved John Force?
     
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  19. lorenzobandini

    lorenzobandini F1 Rookie
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    By watching the headers, that's how.

    Yup. Let's dumb it down like the rest of auto racing. Not for the "racing".....for the show.
     
  20. lorenzobandini

    lorenzobandini F1 Rookie
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    Every race is racing. You just don't care for the "show". Excellence can be boring to some, and not others..... ;)
     
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  21. pilotoCS

    pilotoCS F1 Veteran
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    The way I have always felt about drag racing is that if you've seen it once, you quite literally have seen it all.
     
  22. cobmw

    cobmw Formula Junior
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    We used to go to events with Leah when she was 10 years old and in the Jr Drag racing program at Pomona. My son raced in the same program. The Pruetts were a racing family with her dad Ron building and driving land speed cars. Nice family. Sadly her dad passed away not long ago.
     
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  23. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    That's fair, and the "show" is still pretty awesome, but it's not as good as it was.

    I'm a curmudgeon, and pine for the old days - probably a rite of passage...:)
     
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  24. kylec

    kylec F1 Rookie
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    I was going to take my dad and 7 year old to Gatornationals and I was shocked at the cost.
     
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  25. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    I found out another big mistake the NHRA made. This impacted multiple privateer racers like Dale Pulde, as well as the "big" names such as Reher and Morrison, who won 3 championships in a row with Lee Shepherd as their driver (RIP).

    The teams used to make a LOT of money on t-shirt sales. NHRA banned that, obviously wanting that revenue for themselves. That caused many teams to fold, and was considered a dumb move on their part.
     
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  26. Turbopanzer

    Turbopanzer F1 Veteran

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    Can one explain how this is going to improve attendance? With current economic conditions and the current social climate, I do not see how any "big name" is going to turn around the motor sports community in the immediate future. At best, it might help TV ratings but I fail to see any long term gains considering the younger generations viewing habits and attention span.
     
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  27. blkfxstc

    blkfxstc Formula Junior
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    I agree with your thoughts overall, however, the NHRA would be remiss to miss out on getting a big name into the sport. The masses are sheep and focus on big name people these days, Tony could only help the NHRA with those who still might want to attend or watch on TV.

    I'm pretty sure Indy Car has benefitted from Jimmy Johnson getting added this year, and he is terrible in the car, only the name and Carvana ads would be the draw to the masses...
     
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  28. lorenzobandini

    lorenzobandini F1 Rookie
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    Immediate furture??? That's funny.

    It's over. :(
     

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