Safety concerns cause NHRA to limit....
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This is a discussion on Safety concerns cause NHRA to limit.... within the Motorsports Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; The NHRA has acted very quickly in an effort to improve the safety of its Top Fuel and Funny Car ...

  1. #1

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    Post Safety concerns cause NHRA to limit....

    The NHRA has acted very quickly in an effort to improve the safety of its Top Fuel and Funny Car races. Due to the tragic death recently of '94 and '95 Top Fuel champion Scott Kalitta, the drag strip for these two fastest classes will be shortened from the traditional 1,320 feet to 1,000 feet. Race officials and team managers believe that this compromise will continue to make for an entertaining race as the cars will still be hitting speeds of around 300 mph. This is an interim change as the sanctioning body investigates the crash and its causes, and will stay in effect until more definite changes can be made. The first race which will incorporate the new shorter track length will take place on July 11-13 at the Mopar Mile High Nationals in Denver, Colorado.
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    The loss of a sportsman's life is always tragic and although not a drag racing fan by any stretch of the imagination, I am saddened to learn the news.

    Maybe top flight classes have run their course at least for 0-400 metre distances. The number "300" always seemed important for the fan base, but at some stage the "cars" will reach that speed even at shortened distances -- that's the point of the race, after all, to go as fast as possible... I really can't think of a way out of this other than weighing down and slowing down the cars, but then again, how interesting is a contest lasting a few seconds with the winner and loser within thousandths of a second of one another going to be for the next ten years? I don't know. The sanctioning body is apparently walking the tightrope between a "spec" series at 300 mph and differences of 0.xxx seconds on the one hand, and space travel vehicles on the other. I don't envy their task.

    I'd like to see a meaningful measure of true road car acceleration from a standstill, incidentally. 0-1000 m (two and one-half drag race courses) to allow everybody to fill all gears till redline, and see what numbers come up. Magazines used to test this, and it was very telling, but I've not seen it done in years.
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  4. #3
    Buzzz Wannabe's Avatar
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    Tough call, indeed.
    Weighing the cars down is not an option. Nitro burners can make unlimited horsepower as long as they have the load kept on the engine. Weight just adds more load. Then the speeds reached before are much worse at a higher weight as this is just increasing inertia. Much harder to stop, turn, etc.
    We are at the crossroads for the top fuel classes. There is no nitro supply to be spoken of, prices are increasing at an hourly rate, and have doubled in the last few months. Now rumors have the powers that be fraudulently mixing the nitro with other substances to trick the specific gravity while actually selling lighter nitro percentages. After the olympics are done, then nitro can be produced again, but we will not see that nitro until October or so. It is going to get ugly. Then we have the issues of welding on heat treated tubing coming up again, the Tony Pedregon gate incident, NHRA coverups and the like. Really tough time to be a big drag racing fan.
    The 1000 feet thing may be an option. But what about other classes that are not having these problems, but would die as a spectator sport if they were to cut to 1/8th mile, 1000 feet, or whatever. Like the super categories, pro stock, etc. Do we do two different sets of lights and timers as there are no speed traps at 1000 feet at any track right now?
    I dunno. Just venting I guess. Forget whatever I say. I really don't know what I am talking about anyway. Just a little frustrated.

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    Buzzz Wannabe's Avatar
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    I have to go through some of my photos, but this may be the last picture I took of Scott.

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    Geriatric Ginger Mod Rogan's Avatar
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    It's amazing how all the main sanctioning bodies of racing have to seal with this..
    NASCAR with the restrictor plates, NHRA shortening the length, etc..
    I say make the car less aero. Since the HP is estimated, you can restrict them, as well.. maybe in addition to aero changes.

    I dunno. I've been a fan of drag racing for many of years, back when 'The Snake' was a hatchling, prolly (Blue Max, can you hear me?) Ok, maybe not that long, but a long time..
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    Hammerdown Mod of Thunder josnroh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabe View Post
    I have to go through some of my photos, but this may be the last picture I took of Scott.
    That's a great shot of Scott.
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