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Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Speedway, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Speedway

    Speedway Member

    Coming off the NHRA US Nationals, I am curious of everyone's opinion on the sport of NHRA drag racing - a subject that gets very little attention here on SportsJournalists.com. Have you covered a race? attended a race? If so, how was the experience? What is your opinion of the sport's current and future place in the overall motorsports/sports landscape?
  2. Bad Guy Zero

    Bad Guy Zero Active Member

    I've attended a couple of events. They're quite exhilirating when the vehicles speed down the track. Unfortunately, for every five seconds spent watching them travel at ridiculous speeds you spend five to ten minutes baking in the heat. It's a sport tailor-made for tape-delay on television. They can go in and edit out all the downtime so that you see nothing but one race after another.

    I wouldn't be opposed to attending another event. It just won't be at the strip in Ennis.
  3. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Drag racing is one of those events you have to go to once in your life. There's nothing quite like it. The sights, the speed, the smell (of course), the sounds (don't forget your earplugs), the way your chest reverberates as the cars are revving up. Just an exhilarating experience, even if you're not a gearhead, which I'm not at all.

    Still, in my opinion, easily the most accessible "major" sport to cover, as well. From John Force, who really sets the tone for everyone in the sport with his engaging personality, down to the most anonymous crew members, there is little of the pretension in the garage that you'll find everywhere else. Covering NHRA will spoil you rotten, most days.
  4. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    I shot photos at a race in Topeka a while ago. Probably the most insane sports event I've covered. It's so loud you can actually feel it. One thing I hadn't known before is that they have to go out occasionally and scrape the rubber from the tires off the concrete. The event was capped with a jet engine car. Every piece of paper at the track ended up on one of the fences.
  5. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Echoed. Went to the U.S. Nationals once. It was fun to do, but I wouldn't race (no pun intended) to go back. Although as a reporter (I covered them one year), it is almost amazing how much access you get compared with other sports.

    As for the U.S. Nationals, it's a damn shame they tore down the Clermont Drive-In across the street.
  6. Del_B_Vista

    Del_B_Vista Active Member

    A buddy here at work tells the story about going to his local drag strip when he was in high school. A car takes off and the blower explodes off the top of the engine. Few seconds later, he hears this insane scream right behind him. Looks around, and a guy has a chunk of engine sticking out of his thigh. Good times.
  7. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Funny ... I figured this thread would be about the feud that broke out between the Pedregons and the Forces at Indy yesterday.


    1stADD:<blockquote>Force was in the semifinal against one of the drivers who works for him, Robert Hight. Hight was 11th in points and needed to beat Force in the semi to get into the Countdown to 1 playoff. In 10th place and needing Hight to lose against Force, was Cruz Pedregon, last year’s season champion and Tony Pedregon’s brother.

    Both Pedregon brothers predicted in advance that Force would tank his semi so that Hight would get the final Countdown berth.

    When Force smoked his tires and Hight did indeed win to knock Cruz out of the Countdown, things turned ugly.

    At the far end of the track, Tony, who had just lost to Force’s daughter, got out of his car and started berating the 14-time Funny Car champion.

    Force, threw his cap and glasses to the ground, returned fire and the two went grill to grill screaming at each other. For several minutes without letup.

    Pedregon called Force a cheater and Force said that Pedregon was just mad because Ashley Force Hood had just kicked his butt.

    They had to be separated several times by team members and NHRA officials.

    In separate TV interviews afterward they continued ripping each other’s integrity. Tony Pedregon, who had driven for Force for eight years and won a championship at John Force Racing, said he knows that Force issues team orders. Force said he gave Pedregon a job and taught him how to drive and should know better.

    Pedregon: Force cheats and he should be ashamed of himself.

    Force: I’m not going to play that game.

    Perhaps the seamiest part of it all was former driver and current TV analyst Mike Dunn lining up with the Pedregons and accusing Force of cheating. For like 20 minutes. Dude.

    Did Force tank? Only one person knows for sure.</blockquote>http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/nhra-the-big-go-was-an-incredible-go-sunday-in-indy/
  8. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    Yup, covered the races in Kansas a few moons ago for TV. Loved the experience although I can't say I really understood the sport.

    Most unusual part:
    Kenny Bernstein sent me an autographed glossy at the station, thanking me for interviewing him after a race. A race he didn't even win. Not even sure how we got or even remembered my name.

    The only reason that is important is that, 13 years later, I still remember it.
  9. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Easiest interview in sports: Press the record button, ask John Force how things are going this weekend.

    Second easiest: Darrell Waltrip, same process.

  10. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    With all due respect to Pedley, whom I love...EVERYONE knows. A reaction time of .209 when his average is a .06 or something? Getting out of the groove immediately? Rolling over to the wall?

    At least Force should know to fake it a little better.
  11. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    As much as I love auto racing, I just can't get into drag racing. I don't really like sprints in any sport, be it track, swimming, horse racing, etc.
  12. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    Hardest: First time with Ward Burton, same process
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