Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What is going on in the world of NHRA drag racing, stat wise? I usually look for trends or hot topics. I can’t say there has been anything in particular to write about…everyone is interested in Countdown, even though everyone keeps calling it the Chase. The other hot topic is whether Ashley Force is better looking than Danica Patrick. Besides being better looking, Ashley has a great personality, like her dad.

So anyways, on to a few stats I thought you may be interested in as we move into the Fall and Indy and the Countdown.

Denver – “Everyone complains about it, but no one seems to do anything about the altitude” (Mark Twain, sort of). The drivers hate the event and love the facility. Is it true Denver is a smoke fest every year? Fact or Fiction:
Fact – Denver is one of two events in Top Fuel where only two cars in eliminations made down the track under full power (2001). The Spring Houston event (1999) being the other.
Fact – In Top Fuel, of all the events in the last 20 years only three events have had all but one round of racing as ‘full under power runs’. In other words, out of 15 side by side runs(number of rounds per event) 3 events, just had one round of up in smoke racing. 2 of these events where in Denver (1991, 2006).
Fact – Even though it is hot and high altitude, the rare air can act as a governor of sorts, to make for good racing on Sunday

Dave Connolly – Usually, I’m going on and on about Dave’s holeshot prowess. His holeshot record was 11-1 in 2004, 12-2 in 2005 and 13-1 in 2006. This year he is 2-3. Maybe his car is quicker this year, there is a different set-up, or whatever. What is interesting is that I spoke to Frank Hawley at Denver, and as was mentioned on this web site previously, he is working with all the Evan Knoll drivers. Dave is one of them. I hope Frank is giving him good advice.
Fast Jack Beckman…fast he his, he is ranked 3rd in mph stats, but quick on the lights he ain’t, besides quick doesn’t rhyme with Jack or Beckman. Jack is not ranked in the top 12 for reaction times and owns the distinction of having the quickest e.t. in Funny Car losing on a holeshot. A 4.662 to John Force in the final round at the last Pomona race in 2006. He’s also thrown away a 4.782 at Vegas this year to Ron Capps, a 4.783 to Force at Reading last year and a just recently a 4.786 to Kenny Bernstein at Brainerd. Fast but not quick. Hey, I just report the stats mam!
Doug Herbert qualified #1 at Somona. Just his 4th time since he came on the scene in 1991. His first time since the Fall Dallas race in 2005. Doug has qualified 268 times, in the top half 124 times and the bottom half 144. When I looked at this stat, I was surprised to find he had only 4 #1’s. Doug is one of the friendliest, down home guys on the tour.
How about Hector ‘da hammer Arana? He last qualified for an event in 2005 (just one). Before that, his last qualified event was 2000. He’s got him one of those nice Buells, dipped into the six’s, won 4 rounds of racing, one on a holeshot. Things are good for Hector this year.
Robert Hight…what a surprise he is ranked #1 (not) in average qualifying position. #2 in 2005, #1 in 2006. The Jimmy Prock tuned car does run well during qualifying. I stood in the staging lanes once and tried to count the number of times Prock went back to the clutch to make a change before a run. I couldn’t keep track.
Pomona…the first race of the season, has the quickest average elapsed time for both fuel classes, this season. I’m still trying to figure this one out…must be the weather or time of year, but you would think that the first race the teams are still working on their tune-ups??? What do you think?
Seattle…another one of those disaster qualifying sessions. Unqualified drivers qualifying, rain, drivers unhappy, and etc. At least I got a few stats out of the race. Nothing is worse, qualifying stat wise, than the Fall Dallas 2000 race, where there were NO qualifying stats!

Great and safe racing to all.



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