View from the Editor’s desk…
by Connell R. Miller
Borrowing a well-used word from long-time “Hee Haw” funnyman Gailard Sartain’s alter ego, “Mazeppa Pompazoidi…”LAWZEE!”
It has been a whirlwind of work the last few months since Rob, Martin, and I joined forces to bring out Nostalgia Drag World, and it’s hard to believe this is already Issue #4. Complaints? Not a one, as bringing this little puppy to life each time goes along with the old saying, “ain’t no big deal if you’re havin’ fun!”
The great acceptance of what we strive to do - bringing you stories and articles that encompass everything from the beginnings of the sport up to and through the current nostalgia movement - has been successful and very heartwarming, to say the least. We’re so pleased with not only the positive e-mails thanking us for our devotion to this fast growing segment of the sport of drag racing, but also the contributions of articles, event coverage, and photos sent to us from folks in every part of this country as well as from overseas.
One thing of which I’m very proud is the quantity and quality of photographs we run in every issue that come from the cameras of our own Martin Libhart and contributors such as Chris and David Graves, Pam and Darrell Conrad, Mike Sopko (Senior and Junior), Jay Mangum, Paul Hutchins, the Steves – Scott, Thomas, Wilson and Weston – and many others (check our listings). The sheer number of images (and don’t forget your ability to click on and enlarge each one) is not to be found in any other online or print publication. Hats off and two thumbs up to all of you!
Last month I was commiserating about the declining interest in drag racing by the younger generation. Now the sport is taking another hit, but from the other end of the spectrum, as the Ford Motor Company announced their plans to end sponsorships of cars in the “Big Show” at the end of the 2014 season. This could possibly affect the John Force Racing juggernaut, Tim Wilkerson, and Bob Tasca big time unless other funding can be found. It’s bad enough to see barely enough funnies show up to qualify for a 16-car field, and we’d be shaking our heads in pity – and disgust – if that number were reduced by two, three, or four. The only silver lining in that cloud is that Ford did admit they would still support Sportsman racers, keeping the Cobra Jet doorslammer guys happy.
Could Ford’s move and the possible echoing by other manufacturers in the future have a positive effect on the nostalgia movement? Wouldn’t it be great if a light bulb could pop on in the head of a Ford muckety-muck and Dearborn could start and sponsor a low-cost class in nostalgia racing? Think an injected, Ford-mandated, small-block Funny Car class with pre-1990 bodies. Or a Ford-powered class of “econo-type” altered or dragsters with strict rules to keep costs down. A points series with some season-ending championship cash and a new pickup to the winner.
These nervous manufacturers should take a hard look at why the grass-roots nostalgia movement has grown so fast over the years. They would find that a lot of folks come over to “our side” as rule changes and the escalating costs to remain competitive have forced them to look for a less expensive way to race. Once in the fold, many find they also rediscover the true fun that drew them into the sport in the first place and that perhaps has been lost along the way! With less outlay to the “Big Show” and the bean counters once again with smiles on their faces, Ford – heck, maybe all of the “Big Three” – could relax and get back to “Racing on Sunday; selling on Monday!”
I might also mention that, if you are a manufacturer, retailer, strip operator or promoter, at Nostalgia Drag World we offer great advertising rates to present your products or event to our thousands of readers. For information and rates, please contact Rob Huckstadt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 815-791-7942.
Nostalgia Drag World - by Connell R. Miller; Editor-in-Chief