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Changes to NHRA Pro Stock


Well-Known Member
Well, I really cannot disagree with the changes, as they will all be good for the spectators. But one change, in particular, is going to end up being prohibitively expensive.

Three changes go into effect, next weekend, at Race Two of the Western Swing. All Pro Stock teams will be required to back their cars into their pit spaces, and no part of the engine can be covered. That's going to wind up at least one team that immediately comes to mind.

Effective next weekend, crew members will no longer be able to touch the cars during burn-outs. This rule went into effect, several years ago, but the Pro Stock teams have been pushing it, having a crewman on each side of the car, nonchalantly holding the car with their knees, whilst keeping their hands in their pockets.

Effective next weekend, the crews will be required to have a windshield header, minimum of 4.25" in height, and a maximum of 4.50" inches in height, to identify the model of the car.

Effective 1 January 2016, the cheese gets binding. All cars will be required to run electronic, throttle-body fuel injection. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a production car with a carburetor? It's about time.

All cars will be required to lose the hood scoops. Everything is going to have to fit under the hood.

The length has not yet been announced, but all wheelie bars will be limited in length. It seems people are wanting to see some front ends hanging high, on the starting line.

But the really big one, the one that is going to cost teams train loads of cash is that the electronic controls on the fuel injection will also limit engine RPM to 10,500. Wow. The 500 inch engine is going to have to be completely re-designed, losing that much RPM. A couple years from now, engine builders will appreciate the limit, but there is sure going to be a lot of midnight oil getting burned, between now and the Winternationals.

But, I still applaud NHRA's decisions. That class is really in danger of drying up and blowing away, at the current rules. Many teams have pulled out. Greg Stanfield was one of the sharper drivers out there, and the money finally caught up with him. Drew Skillman, Erica Enders-Stevens' stablemate is not going west, after Denver, and car owner Richard Freeman has lined up Jeg Coughlin to drive the car at Sonoma, Seattle, Brainerd and Indy. Even Rodger Brogdon has sold his entire operation. Brogdon won at Phoenix, earlier this year, and was even #1 in the championship points, at one point. This fellow owns one of the largest roofing companies in the country, yet he has sold everything and quit? That shows me there is something really wrong. Freeman bought everything Brogdon had, so I suspect Jeggie will finish out the year, driving for Elite.

Gee, is there hope that NHRA might pull a mag and a fuel pump off the fuel cars, as well? I wouldn't mind seeing that, either, as the Big Show has become more of a circus, than anything else. Make them lose a mag and a pump, run the percentages back up, lose the pneumatic timers, get the cars ripping and snorting again, and let them run 1.320 feet. Sure, ETs will go up and speeds will come down, but I think the fans would enjoy the racing a lot more.
Well the first thing that I see is after logging in the colors revert to that great Blue Banner that I like so much. about Pro Stock. I have heard the push for the EFI and no hood scoops for a long time but engine builders and teams didn't want to change. I really see no reason to do anything but change or the question will be What's Pro Stock daddy? Generic cars and equal engines make for a dull afternoon at the races. I welcome the change and just maybe it will help revive the class before it's to late.Now about that Top Fuel thought...Maybe...well we'll see...maybe next year...No, forget it! And I still won't be going to another race in my life time.

I have lost just about all interest in drag racing. I never really liked pro stock, I follow some of the pro mod stuff and top sportsman, only because some family members run in top sportsman.

I went to the NHRA race in Bristol this year for the first time, in years. It was interesting to see 15 cars in a pro mod field running a power glide and the other one running a Lenco.
I'm with you, Ron. Drag racing used to be about building things, innovating things, sleeping in trucks, sleeping in trailers, eating warm bologna sandwiches.

Now, it is becoming just another money game. Who can afford to throw the most money at it?

Back in the mid-70's, a Comp car was killer, if it could run a tenth under the index. Myself and another fellow built an A/ED, in a single-car garage. And when I say we built it, the door trim on the door between the garage and the house was all bruised up, from where we had been bending tubing around it. We built a steel rod, TRW piston, 462" motor for it, and were so out in left field, we put a Turbo 400 in it. And on its second trip to the race track, we were running the index.

Try and do that, today. There are very few racers left. People do not race any more, they buy things they hope will go fast.

But be sure and tune into ESPN2, tonight. Unless Girl's NCAA Hopscotch pre-empts it, you will be able to hear the commentators talking about the 'bad blood' between Force and Schumacher. Screw. Me. To. Tears.
Well the first thing that I see is after logging in the colors revert to that great Blue Banner that I like so much.
You threw me off, a bit with this one. You must be using the Default XenForo theme, to view the site? Because the Intrepid-TBF theme contains just about every color in the spectrum, other than blue. :cool: I really had to stop and think about why you were seeing anything blue. Personally, I find the XenForo Default to be more than ugly, so I never use it. As you can see, I use it so infrequently, I forget it is even there, :barefoot:
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You threw me off, a bit with this one. You must be using the Default XenForo theme, to view the site? Because the Intrepid-TBF theme contains just about every color in the spectrum, other than blue. :cool: I really had to stop and think about why you were seeing anything blue. Personally, I find the XenForo Default to be more than ugly, so I never use it. As you can see, I use it so infrequently, I forget it is even there, :barefoot:

I have it all set to blue as well
Back to Pro-Stock. I applaud the new changes - Mix it up some and at least make the cars somewhat closer to stock looking...Its about time on the fuel injection. I also like the fact that they will have to back the cars in and not cover the engines.

I hope they can incorporate a new engine size rule in a few years - bring down the cubes to something in the 350-400ci range. Detroit hasn't made a production 500 ci gas motor in a long time! Some more interest and exposure in this class might entice another manufacturer to join in the fray. Doesn't look like Ford will do this anytime soon, but perhaps Toyota... Getting pretty stale seeing all Chevy;s and a handful of Dodges.

It was fitting that Larry Morgan who has been pushing some of these ideas for years, took home the Wally in one of the more exciting Pro-Stock finals I've seen in some time. Gotta love a good staging showdown by two of the best. Morgan held out over Johnson and then nailed it on the tree -great finish!
Ben, some of the chatter I'm hearing indicates an engine change would cause more than a couple of teams to simply quit.

Trying to build a 500 inch motor to build power in the 8,500 - 10,500 RPM range doesn't sound as if it would be much different than building one to make power from 9,500 to 11,500 RPM range, but they are two, completely different animals. The RPM limit is going to be the biggest hurdle for everyone. Costs are initially going to soar, so NHRA's suggestion that this is a cost-saving change has a few holes in it.

For the teams to make these changes, then be faced with turning around and building 358 inch, or 400 inch motors, somewhere down the line? We're talking about an even larger expense.

Plus, that would suddenly make the Pro Stockers a that much slower category than Pro Mod, and most of them would not hold still for it. The Pro Stock racers are some really elitist snobs, who want a lot of categories removed from 'their' races. They hate PSM, and it was their bitching about Pro Stock Truck that killed that class. Speaking only for myself, I would love to see a class with a stock roof and quarter-panel car, running a maximum 358 inch engine, in some kind of a Junior Pro Stock. But the 500 inch guys would hate it.

But something has to be done, otherwise the class is going to start looking like Top Fuel. Let''s be open and honest, here. How much do you suppose NHRA pays people like Chris Karamesines, or Luigi Novelli to show up at a national event.? Heck, we're getting to a point where even Terry McMillen is putting oil on the track, more runs than not. Look at last Sunday's show, in Denver. The 'real' cars were running 3.80's, and Jenna Haddock qualified (because there were only 16 cars) with a 4.15, over 40 MPH slower than the next-fastest car. McMillen - 4.15. Steve Chrisman - 4.48. Scott Palmer - 5.62. C'mon, the guy cannot even run a 4? But again, if those four cars had not shown up, it would have been a 12 car show.

The 'shake-n-bake' cars are unpredictable as the Dickens, but what real chance did Palmer have of turning on a win light? And look at Jeff Diehl's Funny Car. The guy must be made of money, because he keeps hurting stuff, and coming back for more. And he has turned on how many win lights? Oh. Yeah. He's never won a single round of racing.

NHRA needs to make some sweeping changes. Cut the total race number in half. Limit the fuel pumps. Limit the mags. Limit the blowers. Eliminate the multi-car teams. I won't deny the guy has brought a lot of money into the sport, but my favorite fuel drivers are whoever is lining up against a Schumacher car. Are you watching the ESPN coverage, of late? ESPN got their wrists slapped, for making John Force their centerpiece at each race, so now they are talking to Courtney and Brittany. And listen to Brittany talking about her Monster deal. "When we had no money, we had to race conservatively, but now that we are burning up Monster's dollars, we can afford to blow up motors." Uhhh, excuse me, but didn't Britanny runner-up at Denver, last year, prior to Monster coming on board?

What do you suppose Tony Schumacher's first-round boomer cost the Don, in terms of engine damage? What is laughable is that it was Tony's first, charged oil-down of the season, so it cost him a $1,000 fine, and 5 points. What do you suppose the Don's expenses were for the weekend? And we're supposed to think that $1,000 is some kind of punishment for oiling the track? Puhleeze! The team was hurt more at the loss of 5 points, than it was at losing a grand.

And none of this addresses the very real problem NHRA doesn't want to talk about. Pay real close attention to the video coverage. ESPN is pretty good about not taking any video of the stands, but at some venues, it is almost impossible. At Joliet, the stands were not even 50% full, whilst the fuel cars were running, on Sunday. Twenty, thirty years ago, fans would have been lined up, 10 and 12 deep, at the fences, trying to see the track. The year we were at the World Finals, they actually closed the gates, because the facility was over-full of people. Track owners pay horrendous amounts of money to bring in a national event, but they can't put butts on the boards, so how much longer is that going to last?

Are you old enough to remember Indy being a 32-car Top Fuel field? There probably aren't 32 Top Fuel cars in the entire country, in this day and age. There haven't been but a couple of full Comp fields, this year, so how many Comp cars will show up for Indy's 64-car show? Some of the LODRS races have been getting fewer than 10 Comp cars show up, for a 32-car field.

It's time to eliminate the foo-foo, corporate crap, and bring the racers and fans back to the race tracks. And that is going to take some drastic, cost-cutting measures. The racer cannot afford to race, and the fans cannot afford to watch. NHRA is pretty proud of their new TV deal, and I do hope it is a step in the right direction. But, it already is showing serious flaws. 45 minute turn-arounds are already a bad thing, and trying to shorten them for more live race coverage just aggravates the problems. Let's stop worrying about the TV deal, and start putting on races, again.

Another one that drives me insane is the way the announcers handle the shows. Did you hear Mike Dunn explaining what a head gasket is, yesterday? " is designed to seal compression into the motor, and keep oil out of the cylinders." Huh? If a head gasket is keeping oil out of a cylinder, something is bad wrong. And, did you catch Dave Rieff talking about Shawn Langdon's Knuckle Sandwich Toyota? Toyota?? Errr, excuse me, but what Toyota showroom did that model roll off? I like Mike Dunn, but let him talk about what he knows, and stop trying to script him into nonsense. It will be interesting to see if Mike Dunn will be part of the Fox Sports productions. I would like to see them keep him around, but they may have other plans.

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