Last week I spoke about the future of .90 racing partly because I was asked my opinion. Of course, opinions are like certain parts of our anatomy, everyone has one.
The question raised during that “opinion” was about the legitimacy of an NHRA official stating that the .90 classes were “the most populated of the sportsman classes.” Of course, bear in mind that was spoken to me several years ago. Maybe even more than that as it appears as if time goes by rather quickly, flying by when you’re having fun; and even when you’re not.
Certainly, it might appear today the traditional Stock and Super Stock classes may be more populated than the .90 bunch. However, bear in mind the .90 “bunch” have gotten more options for them to play in than the Stock/Super Stock “bunch”. Some of those .90 racers, tired of maybe the on-and-off-the-throttle-type racing have moved into the newer Top Dragster and Top Sportsman classes. And still, some are chasing the big dollars available at the many high dollar bracket races. This naturally doesn’t mean those .90 classes are dying, but it has given them options.
Not so; at least until this year; have the Stock and Super Stock guys and gals have anything more than NHRA-type races to compete at. Actually, that’s not entirely true as there are several circuit-type races they can run across the country. But those are far and few between. With this year’s three big dollar races; the Southern Sportsman Shootout, Class Racers Revival and the Class Racer Nationals; Stock and Super Stock racers will have had the chance to be celebrated and compete for justifiable purses. Hopefully NHRA is keeping track of those happenings, so maybe, just maybe, things may become a little better for all classes.
So what is the future of those classes? Again, my “opinion”…
It’s apparent the influx of “new” cars; COPOs, Mustangs and Challengers; has breathe some new life into those classes, but they are expensive and maybe out of touch for a new racer (read as “young”). And naturally, those classes have changed in the way they run to almost become a somewhat bracket race, save for the occasional heads-up run where you had better bring enough oomph to the party.
The class was also built on strict regulations as far as what can and cannot be done to a vehicle. I don’t want to say that’s been relaxed at all, but it has somewhat changed. The “old guard,” the ones charged with maintaining the integrity of the class (tech inspectors), have either aged out or changed their attitudes towards what is legal and what’s not.
At the first divisional event I attended a “while ago,” (okay so it was in the late ‘70s) driving a very good friend’s Super Stock ’64 Chevy II, I was bounced in Tech Inspection for a simple infraction. That year of car, like many others of that era, used a cardboard glove box enclosure. With the glove box located in the dashboard directly under the windshield, as would typically happen, the windshield would leak and ruin the integrity of the cardboard forcing it to become part of the circular filing cabinet (the garbage can). I don’t remember the exact outcome of the encounter but I doubt something like that would be “caught” in today’s Tech Inspection world. In addition, I’m not sure that should even matter, but it just goes to show how thorough Tech was back then. This is certainly not to allude that today’s Tech is lax in any regulations, but it just shows how things were back then.
Granted, it does get tougher to maintain the rules of the class. Back in the ‘70s, you only had maybe 20-years of cars and engine combinations to keep track of, as opposed to today, where we’re going on 70 years of NHRA racing and almost that many years of car combinations.
So what’s the future?
As I stated last week, NHRA probably has more to concern themselves with than any of the sportsman classes. I believe that as long as the divisional events stay healthy; and they are now; any of the sportsman classes are safe and the future bright. Now that can all change in a heartbeat, but for now, I doubt the future will change much in similar fashion to the demise of Modified Eliminator in the early ‘80s.
Your turn. Flame away. Let me hear it.
The cool part is we all have options. Look at the prize money for Sportsman Racing. It has not changed and In some cases is lower than years past. Sponsors used to flock to help sportsman racing but over the years the money went to more to admin than racers. That’s of no value to race businesses trying to help racers. The new races popping up are taking care of the racers because the overhead is minimal. Anyone who has ran an association knows how much work goes into putting on an event. They deserve to be compensated for their time. My hats off to all these folks making it happen for all the classes.
Raceless in California!
There is your problem, expensive and out of touch. Many new cars can run 12's or even 11's in the 1/4, and I'm not talking about the high-dollar COPO or Hellcat cars but rather just Mustang 5.0's, Camaro LT1's, etc, which are very affordable. The class is called STOCK, so make some rules where they can be raced competitively in near-stock form.
^^ Agree. Also some of the factoring makes widely available cars non-competitive from the start, IMO.
Yep! MFG made sure they were competitive from the start. Then the AHFS works like welfare..run your car slow, drag the average backwards then ask in writing for a horsepower reduction.. Bam! instant 1.0 plus under player.. No car should be under factory advertised HP! Period!
Raceless in California!
over the next 10-15 years, stock and super stock classes will be decimated as their competitors retire and die.
Sure, every young kid has a 100k burning a hole in his pocket to spend on a COPO or anything else. I gave up on racing SS ages ago, but I'm glad I tried it for it a couple of years. Nothing like getting bounced out for using local unleaded fuel because it's oxygenated by the blender!
I can appreciate the idea of "who can go fastest in highly regulated class" but too many combinations are grossly impossible to make the index, at least on paper.
Plus I can't imagine taking 3 days off work to stage/park/tech/qualify/go home after round 1 for half the field.. When I could take 3 days off work and race everyday.. but that's a different topic..
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Who knew the Globalists were fixing the indexes in drag racing. Well, at least someone is making money drag racing.
F J B
So... back to Stock and SS...
I don't disagree with you. There is, however, a "Politics" section of this forum.
It's "Stimulus" checks not "Stimulant" Checks.
Stk and SS are both solid, car counts are good, National events have quotas that fill up quickly. The main problem I see is that NHRA is milking these classes and the .90 classes to pay the purses for Comp, TAD and TAFC. Payouts have been stagnant for 25 years and the contingency program is all but dead. I would love to see these S/SS independent races expand and compete with NHRA.
Maybe they should come up with a class like cubic inch to weight.
We ran B/FX and C/G for a few years with the Scribner "Clan" and John Kocyilla. I was a lot of work, a lot of money but a ton of fun, fun because it was John's money. If memory serves me right, (that was a long time ago) both classes were 7.0 pounds per CI and about a 1,000 pounds of dollar bills per cubic inch. Not a class for the weak hearted or someone not getting a bunch of Stimulus Checks.
Today it's hard to find folks that are willing to invest that much money and time running a class that pays peanuts, it has a terrible return on investment (ROI). Perhaps that's the reason the car counts in Comp are so low.
The same could be said of Stock and Super Stock to some degree except the car counts are still good. Interesting and fun but scary expensive. The three Super Classes are more reasonable but the purse structure is embarrassing. One year at Sonoma I told the woman handing out the checks at the Pay Window to keep the money it looked like they needed the money worse than me. I would have been embarrassed to cash the check. Not joking, I really did!
I don't know where this pandemic is going to lead us but for the moment NO ONE can say that it looks great. The Pro classes will take the biggest hit, I have Family, other hobbies and projects to fill my days, for them it's their job and their livelihood . It has to be a little concerning to all of them, I wish all of them good luck. NHRA has to be bleeding money right and left.
Actually Pete and Kyle (Fling Anything) have a great working formula, their car counts are over the moon.
I have arrived at the caboose on this train of thought, have a great day everyone!
BobThis message has been edited. Last edited by: RPROGAS,
I'm not in stock to make money, never have been. Its about the challenge!, driver, car, motor and tuning. If we make enough to offset the trip great! If not it is OK! If I were in it for money it would be a low dollar bracket car.
At my age it is about me, I could care less what anyone thinks. My head is in our programs.
Raceless in California!
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I to was involved in S and S/S more than 50 years ago. Do they tech the winners anymore? I took a hike when I could win more every week local bracket racing than I could at a National event in NHRA. S/S had become a case of who had the most money with the same people winning every week and the number of racers became less and less--racing almost died but bracket racing saved it. Looks like George Howard (RIP) Big Jed, Anthony Walton and Michael Beard, Peter and Kyle, and the late guy to the show SFG may save it this time until that type of bracket racing don't have enough well financed participants to survive. What next?
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