Tuesday, August 6, 2013


The racer's edge. It doesn't come in a can. (Photographer unknown)

AN EDITORIAL, sung to the tune of The Emperor's New Clothes:

A musty stench of complacency lingers over NHRA headquarters in Glendora, California. But not for long. Due to a magnificent collision of nitro fueled racing spirit and corporate pretzel logic (see last week's blog), drag racing stands poised to reinvent itself. Or become an historical footnote. It could go either way. It must. Static status quo is no longer an option. Alas, whiny finger pointing runs so rampant as to obscure the opportunity of our lifetime. Shame on us all if we don't take responsibility for our own destinies and become proactive.

Personally, as a test and tune guy, the drags at my level have been and continue to be one of the few constants of high velocity stability in my sometimes chaotic life. For that alone, I'm eternally grateful to the pioneers who brought organized drag racing about, and the thousands of hard working believers who keep it going. It's trendy today to be cynical about the subject, but I just love speed, the colorful legacy of drag racing, and having a safe, legal place to test my work. Much better traction than on the street, too. As for the money-fueled Pro category debate, my uninformed opinion has no value today. I'll let my (behind-the-scenes) actions do the talking. I believe it will work out however it's meant to. Thank you.

         So much finger pointing lately, it's hard to see the horizon for the birds. Everybody's doing it.(Photographers unknown)


Those of you with eyesight may have noticed something unusual about last week's post. Several lines of text in Ray Guarino's report on Long Island street racing were obviously censored. I was every bit as shocked, disappointed, and upset as you were to find the blog had been tampered with. So I pulled on my detective pants and got to work. It's what I do. After several days of methodic cyber-sleuthing, traditional flat-footing, and exhaustive arm twisting, I was shocked, disappointed and upset to realize that it was I who mangled the text! My sincere apologies to Ray Guarino and to you, dear readers. You all deserve better.



Lucky again. This is my second cover story for my favorite magazine. Doubly sweet. Get yours now!

Meanwhile, Elapsed Times is leaving smoking black marks on news stand sales sheets. Well deserved, guys! And highly recommended!

Sales of the new CarTech book are brisk (Thank you all!), and I'm hard at work on the next one.

Okay, this is virtual ink, but quasi-retired NHRA scribe Bob Frey did a nice piece on my racing pal Todd Miller, on the Drag Race Central website. Todd's Bill Comstock-constructed T roadster has established an imposing presence in Competition Eliminator this season (Translation: He's kicking everyone's ass!). Congrats, Todd and Bill! You definitely earned it. (Photographer forgotten)

Bedtime stories: This week's selections were carefully displayed for photo purposes. They're normally in a sloppy heap beside the bed.

Last night's choice.

The November '62 HRM (cover shown above) features an in-depth account of Ray Brock and company flat-towing the Hot Rod Magazine Special '62 Plymouth Super Stocker from L.A. to Indy to compete at the Nationals. Event coverage was reported from the inside-out, producing an ultra-credible "you-are-there" reading experience. What a gem. (Photos by Scotty)

August 2nd, 2013, 11:13 PM. Graphic Designer and Digital Fairy Princess Christy Collins uploads Racing to America (my first independently published book) to the printer. This moment has been nearly two years in the making. (Photo by Christy Collins' cell phone. Thank you Siri)

Fingerz Mullan, owner/operator of the Nitro Ape altered. Fingerz and partner Andi sent funds from New Zealand last week to make this week's publishing milestone possible. The transaction took place while transporting their Altered to Australia for a good old fashioned match race tour. Talk about above and beyond. HEROS!!!

 While I push buttons in air conditioned comfort, Fingerz and the Nitro Ape do battle with Australia's nastiest Altereds. Please join me in cheering on the little smallblock that could, this week and next. (Photos courtesy of Fingerz Mullan)

   What the fuss is all about. Will it hit store shelves in time for Christmas shopping? It appears possible as of today, but we'll find out together. That's the Nitro Ape Bantam, flying onto the Lance Sorchik-designed cover. (Image by Jumpstart Graphics, copyright 2013 Gosson Bros. Racing Library, photo digitization by Olympus, image manipulation thanks to Adobe Photoshop user agreement #P7000LMN699-436ZZ85658654BG5789Y6589O48T78TYJFSE89TYN8T87N _345345OIDGJN cheesesneeze88888NERY8ITIH85T58575H___845675658796BN8N85675897N6Y8O8LYL54Y5786, caption italics by Hewlett Packard, under licensing agreement from Blogger.com, courtesy of Microsoft Windows)



Rob James was well into editing the Scotty Gosson Combo video at James Drive Studio when an unexpected game changer put the project on hold this week. I can't tell you what happened yet, but I can guarantee the delay will be worthwhile. The matchbook cover above is an important clue. Those hip to the Red Apple have good reason to anticipate this video... (Photos by Scotty)


Due to funding cuts (to my wallet, not to SourceInterlink or Cartech Inc), my annual summer road trip to gather event coverage has been cancelled. This development threw a monkey wrench into the works of event promoters and publishers alike. It hasn't done me any favors, either. While I'm extremely disappointed, I'm also grateful for a little more time to work on book and magazine projects. Such is life. Sigh... (State and capitol US map copyright 2013 www.mapsofworld.com updated on 13th May,2013)


Stephanie Eggum was a player in the Front Wheel Drive revolution that spawned the National Organization for Pro Imports, and gave Gen X drag racers a big-stage series to call their own. NOPI racing  inspired a new wave of ingenuity in a stagnant quarter mile world. Her turbo Honda pulled Stephanie into the 7 Second Club and several Winners Circles during two years of competition in the Nitrous Express Pro Four Cylinder "Chic Class" for female drivers. She also piloted Top Alcohol Dragsters and Funny Cars. An avowed skydiving enthusiast well before her drag racing debut, Eggum died during a group ring jump with "40 to 50 other divers" last Thursday, according to The Elgin (Illinois) Tribune. The Trib also reported: "Eggum had cut her main chute for some reason, but deployed her reserve chute at (too) low altitude and plummeted into a corn field." Stephanie Eggum was 32 years old. (Photographers unknown)


          You think I don't know why you really click onto this blog? Oh, I know. I know all too well...
These vermin have pretty much taken over the site. I can't get rid of them. What really creeps me out is that they're dead ringers for my high school buddies and I... (Photo courtesy of Floyd Lippencott III Jr.)


Next week: Pontiac Tech Tips from Motormouth Ray, The Sleeper of the Week, and the most promising candidate yet for Squirrel of the Year. Try to find that combination in the new National Dragster. Or anywhere else in the known universe.

                                                                          Party on!!!