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Is nitro racing dying/dead?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gasser1961, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. lowkroozer
    Joined: Jun 1, 2006
    Posts: 601


    you guys have to go to a nostalgia gasser and fuel meet,,like the one held at Thompson Drag Strip in NorthEast Ohio every year.Sure it is more or less club racing but it sure beats a green team funny cars corporate race any day.!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. Gasser1961
    Joined: Nov 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,104


    Back to nitro racing. I hope its not dead because there is nothing that compares to it. . I.H.R.A. will no longer run nitro classes which leaves n.h.r.a. and nostalgia fuel shows. Without Shumacker[sp?];Kalitta; Allen Johnson; and Force there would be no n.h.r.a. fuel show and now their fucking up nostalgia fuel as well with their arbtrary rule changes some of which make no sense and add unwarranted cost.

    Hit the nail on the head, this is why fuel racing is dying.
  3. dragsled
    Joined: May 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,976

    from Panama IA

    I agree 100% with what LIPPY says ,after beiing in the fuel car wars I walked away from all of it 17 years ago, I decided to get back into it with a flathead nostalgia dragster, most of you know this addiction is hard to kick!! now I'm also restoreing a 72 nitro funny car to match race with, If you beat the bushs there are deals out there ,not everyone thinks their stuff is made of gold, it might take a few years to do this ,BUT atleast I doing it,and yes I have just a normal shit pay job like most of you guys, like lippy said I'm doing what ever it takes to do this , So get out there and build the sport up to what it used to be Thanks I'll get off my soap box now Tim Jones
  4. Nitro racing will never die completely as long as high dollar sponsors are willing to pay for the cars and pay NHRA to keep running them.

    However, it died a long time ago as far a being fun to watch. Actually when we go to an NHRA event and take our cackle car, we no longer even go to the stands to watch them. To us, "the show" is boring. Same cars, same people, same race time and time again with the same results.

    First of all, you have to understand that three people control Funny Car Competition and it isn't NHRA. It's the big three in the class. John Force, Alan Johnson and the guy I can't remember now. Between them they own 80% of the cars left running. Can you believe that guys like Connie Kalita is considered second tier? In top fuel, it's almost as bad. Not only do you have a few people with all the cars, the Arabs control most of them.

    Don't get me wrong. Money talks and the Bull Shit walks when it comes to high dollar racing. I certainly understand that, but i don't have to watch it or pay for it.

  5. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,098


    I still enjoy watching the "BIG SHOW" on TV, or in person. It is not something I personally aspire to do, but it is quite an amazing display of mechanical performance.

    I feel the NHRA has gone through a normal progression of any competitive motor sport. As the best competitors progress in performance, the money follows. Heck, it is that competitive nature that fuels many of us to dream of being involved.

    NHRA is likely in the latter stages of the progression. It may need to re-invent itself.

    Thankfully, we still have nostalgia racing events in the Midwest. I have more cars and more events available than I can realistically handle.

    interesting topic.
  6. rosco gordy
    Joined: Jun 8, 2010
    Posts: 648

    rosco gordy

    Its not dead, first we have a run/drag weekend free to members race as long as the car passes tech, some of our local fuel guys show up, and have since we started it some time nitro sometime alky hey that stuff is hard on parts it has taken 6 yrs to get this thing off the ground and it is expencive one. of our local old supposed hero f/c guys said he would show up for 1500 I think was cheap(eventhough I dont like the guy) the club decides not pay out. a local 1/8 mile track put on a pay show with some f/c and filled the place whats the anwser its a tough one we do have some of our nitro f/c guys that have supportted this event from the start we all loved "Dawson,s Demon" when he showed up at wentsville aways made the weekend everybody loves nitro but its costs!!!
  7. voxnut
    Joined: Oct 30, 2008
    Posts: 205

    from sacramento

    It's not dead, but has become boring beyond belief - nostalgia fuel included. They have just become "big show jr." at their own hands. Drag racers, more than any other kind of racer, have been masters at screwing themselves over because what they think they want ends up dooming them.

    In my opinion, fuel racing really changed forever once they removed divisional points/championships for nitro teams, and started having national events more than 4 times a year.
  8. super plus
    Joined: Dec 14, 2006
    Posts: 566

    super plus

    Going Super Modified Racing , Anyone want their name or buisness on the wing or body of my BBC Super Modified:)
  9. choke
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 323


    I think venues like Eagle Field are the start in the right direction. 1/8 mile w/ no timming system. Keep it under NHRA's radar while your building a cult following then step it up when there's more support. In the 80's you couldn't run an outlaw race in California. You needed insurance for the event. The only insurance company was K&L. Unfortunately NHRA had controling intrest in this company. It was a catch 22 situation. If more car clubs would step up and build cars with combined money you might see more FEDs out there. We definitely need more of these Airport races to get things going.
  10. 64 DODGE 440
    Joined: Sep 2, 2006
    Posts: 4,189

    64 DODGE 440
    from so cal

    AMEN to that Beep. It's all about the bucks and the little low buck racers get shut out. Went to the World Finals a couple of years back, (got free tickets is the only reason), and couldn't believe the circus the "Big Show" has become.

    These events are what will save drag racing for those that remember the "good old days". Racing for the pure joy of it. Eagle Field is the most fun I've had at the drags since the early '60s when I first got into it. Fun running and fun watching.
  11. I'm considering re-creating one of my old cars just for kicks. It was a FE rail built real close to a Scotty Finn design. It had a 352 FE bored and stroked to 428 (before Ford built a 428), 2 speed tranny, had six carbs, Isky roller cam, flame thrower ignition and ran on gas and about 35% nitro sometimes. Damn it was fun and never broke.
  12. Candy-Man
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,713


    Agreed... Most cannot afford to even drive to shows now adays, then the added cost of a Carbon Fiber braking systems on their vintage T/F ride = huge $$$$$...

    I hope nostalgic shows will pick up the slack and offer a venue for the common working guy.... It wasn't too long ago a fellow and two of his buddies would run a T/F car, then Corporate America came along and all aspects of racing changed.... No more huge pay outs, get rid of the wings and they will come....

    See Ryan, TWO DAYS of Racing Is Required !!!!!
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  13. bobw
    Joined: Mar 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,368


    I watched the finals from Pomona on TV and was stunned by the number of empty seats, even during nitro eliminations.

    I have had this image of nitro racing becoming like the Harlem Globe Trotters. Four teams each with 4 floppers and 4 diggers going from NHRA race to NHRA race. Pretending that winning the race is important.

    It was more fun when individual drag strips booked in a match race or a meet.
  14. Right on!

    That is EXACTLY what we did (your first three paragraphs) a couple years ago with the first annual Meltdown Drags at Byron, Ill. Check us out at We haven't had any fuel FED's - yet :) We have a closed track so if any cars do not fit the criteria, they aren't racing with us.

    Also check out the Chrome Czars' Hunnert Car Heads-Up in June at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, Wis.

    It is refreshing to hear from someone who understands the difference between nostalgia and vintage.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  15. 64 DODGE 440
    Joined: Sep 2, 2006
    Posts: 4,189

    64 DODGE 440
    from so cal

    That's the truth, the old Saturday night shows were better racing and the way the circus is going it will turn into a "show" more than a race. When they rebuild the engine between every round, how can the average hotrodder even think of building and racing a car?

    It's not really about the racing anymore, it's about corporate dollars and TV.
  16. Lippy:
    I would love to see you start a thread about injected Nitro and what your new project will be. We run a injected FED with a B.B.Ford and a 2 speed Lenco. Making the change to 50% of the yellow juice. Always looking to see how other people are enjoying it. I read your build of the FED chassis you guys built with the S.B.Ford but I understand it was short lived. Let us know what your new project wil be!
  17. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,269

    from Ks

  18. Gasser1961
    Joined: Nov 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,104


    Attendance at NHRA events is way down, the nitro car count is way down. There are only a few guys running nitro cars in smaller nostalgia world. I don't think drag racing is dying it's just moving away from the traditional style of Top Fuel and Funny Car. Look at 10.5 racing or the PSCA events out West here. There packed with high car counts and spectators. I just think people are moving away from Fuel racing do to a lot of factors and going into "Fastest Street " type racing. You can't go to the junkyard and buy a 426 out of an old junked Chrysler anymore. But you sure as hell can go get an older Mustang or Camaro (90's-2000's) on the cheap. Add NOS and be on your way.

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