Noble Div. 4 to be 1000'

Discussion in 'System One Pit Buzz' started by Will Hanna, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    respect

    fuelslut,
    first off, let me say your post is pretty tasteless. to throw the deceased under the bus like that without signing a real name to it is pretty low in my book.
    i'm sure there are some people that feel bad about letting him run. i've seen cars and teams out there that i didn't think had any business being out there. whether or not that applied to bobby, i wasn't there i can't say. i think it's totally out of line to say what you said about him. if nothing else, out of respect to his family and friends.
    mark makes some valid points. i'm not privy to what exactly happened to make his car run off the end of the track at such a high speed, but how many 'top' cars would have made it through that same impact? once that car skipped over the sand trap, ripped through the net and hit the tree, would a newer model car really have made a difference? maybe it would have, i really don't know. it didn't in the case of scott kalitta.
    much like what they're doing with the fuel cars, the whole picture needs to be looked at.
    while i've been in favor of 1000' at shorter tracks like pomona, i don't think it's the answer for the alcohol cars. don't get me wrong, i wouldn't be against it, but it's not the answer. regardless of the circumstances of this particular accident, someone will run off the end of the track at a high rate of speed again. the track needs to be designed to prevent that. bottom line the track needs to contain the car, whether its the net/trap or the guard walls.
    i think the 1000' is the best thing that could be done in time for these upcoming races.
    fuelslut, if you feel the need to post again, please use some tact and respect, if not, go to another site.
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2008
  2. blownracer/a-fuel

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    Good job will
    (fuelslut, if you feel the need to post again, please use some tact and respect, if not, go to another site.)
     
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  3. Woodchip

    Woodchip Top Alcohol Dragster

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    I for one cannot believe Jim Collins would allow an unsafe car to run at any event in division two. His credentials and respect by the racers are well known,
     
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  4. Bighead

    Bighead New Member

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    Will Hannah

    Will:
    Please contact J.Lee Didier or Lonnie Grimm @ Thunder Valley in OK this weekend ASAP. They are pitted in the Top Sportsman area. They want to meet with you in person.
    Bighead
     
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  5. Russ Parker

    Russ Parker Member

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    How can you slam fuelslut without taking issue with what Mark said? I personally don't have a problem with what either of them said. I've been around the sport for some time now and have seen cars and drivers that probably should not have been competing. I would be in favor of more strict standards for obtaining a lisence and don't mind more scrutiny of the cars in tech.
    I'm still not in favor of 1000' racing. Was weird to look at the first qualifying round results and see the times and no mph from Noble.
     
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  6. Dave Germain

    Dave Germain New Member

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    I have a completely different idea. What if a driver had a heart attack or stroke on a run and ran off the end of the track? Is that the track's fault? Or the doctor who signed the license app? Weren't Mr Martindale and Mr Shoemaker older guys? Just a thought. Comes from my 29 years as a firefighter/paramedic. Heart attacks and strokes are a dime a dozen in older folks. I call them Mr. because I respect anybody tough enough to be around this earth for 65 years or so. Dave Germain
     
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  7. Neil

    Neil New Member

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    Dave, that's an interesting point. When a driver is incapacitated and the car is under power, the location of the finish line doesn't matter. But there's still a possibility that something can be done to help if the containment system at the end of the track catches the car and stops it safely. On the other hand, if the car hits something hard and gets smashed to pieces, the driver doesn't have a chance. So in that respect, I think the track does bear some responsibility.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2008
  8. 23/cobrajet/tee

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    thoughts about the future

    In my way of thinking we as drivers have responsibilities and the track has responsibilities. Neither can be negligent or the potential is there for the unthinkable to happen. I hope the Drag strip does their part and I also hope that I do mine. We have all seen what happens when a car gets lose and there is contact down track between the cars, its not all about the net and sand trap. It is a 50 50 proposition for there to be a successful competition. I am ready to do my part so we can keep the 1/4 mile contest in the NHRA, I enjoy the tradition of it and the race as well. Thanks for letting me ramble on, and take care everyone.
    Ken
     
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  9. JustinatAce

    JustinatAce Member

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    I was at this event. The track conditions were awesome, as always. I would like to note a few things.

    1) NHRA should mandate Carbon/Carbon brakes on all alcohol cars like all the fuel cars have.
    2) 1000' was the right call, but most of the drivers drove right through it anyway.
    3) While I'd rather they have to tow somebody off the track than peel them off the end of it, they should've been better prepared and had both pull offs opened instead of the end, just to keep things moving along.
    4) Rules to slow cars down are not the answer. We're racers, it is our goal in life to take a set of rules and guidelines and stretch them as far as humanly possible. None of us would be in this sport if we weren't. Look at the fuel cars. 1000' was supposed to help them keep from popping motors. It did for a while. :)

    Bottom line, NHRA needed to be doing safety and track mandates YEARS ago. While I'm glad they are starting to be more pro-active, they are still very reactive.
     
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  10. Dave Germain

    Dave Germain New Member

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    Mandate carbon/carbon brakes???????? And just who is going to pay for them? I am not sure who Justinatace is but I am betting he isn't writing the checks for those brakes. Before folks pop off without thinking things through they need to keep the costs of racing in mind. Most alcohol racers don't have multimillion dollar sponsorships. If the NHRA required carbon/carbon brakes it would immediately sideline probably better than half of the top alcohol racers. Carbon/carbon brakes cost thousands of dollars. I don't know of anybody who has actually had a brake failure. Lots of guys have parachute failures. If the car is going fast enough the brakes only make it bounce. When I had steel brakes I could easily lock up all four tires- you can't ask anymore from the brakes. By the way- I have carbon/carbon brakes on the rear of my car. To change the front over is somewhere between 2-3 thousand dollars. Also many racers who have carbon/carbon brakes didn't do it for the braking efficiency- they did it for the weight savings. Dave Germain
     
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  11. F/C Girl

    F/C Girl New Member

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    I have been staying out of this for a variety of reasons, but now I'm going to speak up.

    First off, the 1000 ft idea was unneccessary at Noble. The track is 3800 ft long, everyone here can do the math. That's longer than several national event locations. Let's just say that if a Fuel car can go well over 300 mph at this same location in a quarter of a mile, why all of a sudden is it not okay for an alky car to go 250 mph. In addition, I'd be interested in seeing some of the data for how long several drivers drove it out the back door, and never had an issue. (of course that's not going to happen, I'm just stating an observation)

    The next issue that was even more dangerous than anything I've seen besides the crane at the end of the track. The 200 barrels filled with Sand at the end of the track that Thunder Valley Management was mandated in order to hold the event. We might as well have had a concrete wall down there, what would be the difference if you hit 15 of them the way they were stacked?

    One of the so called reasons stated for recommending the change at this race was because of an incident last year, well did anyone investigate WHY That incident Happened? I did. It was a Crew oversight that Caused the Brake Failure on That particular Car. Not the track. For those of you who have never been there, Noble is AWESOME!!!!!

    My question is, Why all of a sudden was a particular executive involved from Glendora to dictate these changes to this one track within Division 4 (and only Division 4) when the Sportsman Class and the Lucas Oil Series isn't a true Priority unless we're participating at a National Event? I would really be interested in what the overall opinion is here. Hmm, was a squeaky wheel getting some oil to shut it up????

    In addition, what happened to Chris Foster with one of our new rule changes could have been completely avoided. The Wire that is supposed to Contain our Burst Panel created a worse situation for him & his team than helped. He is not the first driver to experience a problem with this "Wire" but I would say his was the most extreme by creating a wind tunnel that ultimately blew the body off of his car. By all rights, he wasn't happy about this uncalled for modification.

    Dave, I did hear that one mandate being recommended for next years rules are the carbon fiber brakes. I've only ran a funny car that way, so I don't know any different on that. But at this point, it's only a recommendation. If they are going to do this, hopefully it won't wait until mid December to announce it.

    I'm sorry to everyone for going on a tangent, but there needs to be someone to say some of this and I guess I've been holding back long enough. Please Note: We Sign Waivers, so we take full responsiblity of knowing what the unknown may present to us Every Single Time We Go Down The Track. It's a part of the sport, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

    Now mind you, I'm all for safety, in fact it's one of the things I'm probably more aware of than most. But at what point does the safety start becoming an overkill when it's actually endangering more people than helping? And I'm not just speaking about the Alky Class. You take a Top Dragster or S/C Car going 180 mph and they have a mechanical failure, they have the same risk we do.

    I hope if nothing else, people will think about the facts I've posted here rather than just lashing out of emotion. I'm not here to insult anyone, just stating my observations and knowledge of these particular situations.

    Nancy
     
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  12. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    1000'

    Again, let me reiterate I don't think 1000' racing is the answer at all tracks. If a track has adequate shutdown and a functional sand-trap and net, then I don't see a problem racing 1/4 mile.

    If a track cannot afford to make the necessary changes to accomodate the alcohol and faster cars, then maybe the alcohol cars shouldn't run there until they can make the changes. If that means the alcohol cars don't return to certain tracks, it's unfortunate, but safety has to trump everything. I don't think all tracks should be mandated 1000' because a few can't accomodate 1/4 mile racing.

    Whether or not Bobby was incapacititated, the sand trap did not do it's job. Let's remember that the evidence shows that Scott Kalitta was trying to stop his car and suffered the same result. Who knows when it will be, but someone will run into the sand trap at a high rate of speed again. Thats why we must design tracks to be able to take a car at a high rate of speed and contain the car.

    I've heard in many conversations that they beleive that Bobby was dead before he made it to the sand trap and that the reason he ran off the end is that he did nothing to stop the car or slow it down. Let's not be nieve and think that there aren't other opportunities for this to happen again.

    It's usually the circumstances that you don't think of. I've mentioned chute/brake failure. Hung throttle. Sure we're supposed to hit the kill switch when that happens, but how many times to you see people not do that when it happens? I know I've seen it happen more than once. Easy to say, not as easy to do. You're already hauling ass, when you let off, you're expecting it to quit. I don't care who you are, there's going to be an instance of panic. Many drivers don't have kill switches in convienent locations, further complicating the problem. Before you can get to the kill, you're probably going to have to catch back up with what the car is doing, and keep it under control. Even a driver that catches the situation quick is going to eat up some real estate real fast. Possibly in this sequence the motor lets go, perhaps a FC fire. Now the driver has to deal with the blown motor/fire getting the chutes out and trying to get the car stopped. At some point, depending on the track length, you reach a point of no return....you're going in the sand.

    IF THERE IS SAND.....imagine this at a track with no sand and obsticles such as a big berm, railroad tracks, now you're in a hell of a perdicament.

    What about an AFD with a hung throttle? How quickly will some of these low-experience drivers handle that? Ignition kill isn't going to work. Sometimes the fuel shut offs on these cars can be hard to shut.

    We could go on and on, but there are plenty of scenarios other than an incapacitated driver that WILL put another car off the end of the surface at high speed. Knowing that will happen again, everything that can be done must be done to contain the car.

    It goes past the shutdown, it's the whole picture that needs to be looked at.

    His lack of sleep has been mentioned. Who hasn't worked late all week to either get work done at home, then work late to get the car finished/loaded, drive all night, accumulating very little sleep over the course of the week, then to drive the next couple of days after more work and potentially little sleep, high stress.
     
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  13. fuelslut

    fuelslut New Member

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    Will, i think you owe me a apology.
    for one, to think i was throwing Bobby under the bus is a insult. i understand Bobby's situtation, and in his, i might do the same.
    and for two, you know me, and know i'm not like that.
    i have the most respect for his wife and his dear daughter.
    what i was trying to do was open up a conversation that no one else here has. to say that i am not still recovering from the event is a understatement.
    i am not going to bother to quoting you on the statments that you made where you agree with me.
    no one wants to see 1000ft racing, and i agree with nancy too.
    i'm all about safty, i build the the safest cars around, and i pride myself in that. lets just take this case by case though. for every one car that runs off the track 100 don't.
    scott darrow
     
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    Last edited: Oct 21, 2008
  14. fuelslut

    fuelslut New Member

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    uhm Will,
    Bobby was not dead before the finish line......
    i heard many people yell "shut off the fuel" and "kill the mag".....
    i'll just tell you what i saw, and heard....
    his car was gaining speed....
    i heard the engine....he was getting on the brakes.....it was stuck wide open...
    no one would have lived through that.....

    i'm not even gonna get into the guys that helped him, cause they were my neighbores.....
    we invited them over for breakfeast, and to hang out for the day...
    i was there when keter ray's crew help load him up....
    Will....
     
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  15. Randy G.

    Randy G. Top Alcohol

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    Carbon brakes are expensive, but paying for the damage done in one moderate trip into the sand is more expensive. If tracks are required to spend some money stopping the cars why shouldn't racer's share equal burden. If you don't have the money for the brakes, skip an event and take the money you saved by not racing and call Strange Engineering or Lamb and get them.

    My first TA/FC almost 20 years ago had all steel SPE brakes. I could hardly get the car stopped before the finish line on a burnout (slight exageration, but you get my point). My current car has carbon on all four corners. Marc White went 254 miles per hour 5 years ago at Pomona in my car and the chutes wrapped around the wheelie bar. He safely made the turn off. If I had steel brakes on the car he would have ended up at the 9th hole on Mountain Meadows Golf Course. Pomona has just over 2,000 feet of stopping distance and is shorter than just about every national event track.

    I saw Shelly Anderson run 298 miles per hour at Pomona many years ago in her TF dragster with carbon brakes. Keep in mind TF dragsters have no front brakes. Again, the chutes ended up around the wheelie bar but she safely made the turn. Why would you risk not having them.

    Marc told me his routine at the finish line is to hit the chutes as he enters the traps then grab the brakes as if the chutes aren't going to work. When he feels the chutes hit he relaxes the brakes. When I drove I had a bad habit of hitting the chutes, coasting and waiting. If the chutes didn't open it left me very little real estate to get it stopped. Thankfully the chutes always worked so I never tested that one.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2008
  16. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    flattered

    Ok, I think it's time to cut through the BS.

    The word at the track is that I singlehandedly made this a 1000' race. I have so much stroke in Glendora, I called them, emailed them, wrote a column, then the next day, Glendora calls Div. 4 and mandates a rule change. This is what a certain racer was going around and telling everyone in the pits. I'm really flattered to know I have that much authority.

    Maybe it's that whole power of the pen, keyboard thing, I don't know.

    Surely, it didn't have anything to do with the validity of my points did it? It was all because Will Hanna says...or as Nancy so elequently put it, to shut up the greasy wheel.

    So let's get this straight. I write a column, make a few calls, send a few emails, then Glendora makes Division 4 shorten the track distance for TD and TS just to shut me up. Is that the best you can come up with?

    To clear the record, I've had many emails and phone calls to Glendora go unanswered. I've raised as much hell, if not more on other topics, and not had my wheel 'greased.'

    I immediately started beating the bush to get divisional track safety put on the forefront after Scott Kalitta's death. That was back in June. Sadly, not much was done on the divisional level until Bobby Martindale passed away a few weeks ago.

    Crewmember mistakes happen. Drivers make errors. Parts break. Does that mean if we have an excuse it makes it okay for someone to get hurt or killed? There's also times when parachutes rip brake lines out of rotors. Brake lines break. Throttles stick without it being anyone's 'fault' too. To put it in a shorter phrase. Shit happens. It's the NHRA's responsibility to make sure the driver survives when shit happens. Hate to be blunt, but I'm just trying to get on a level everyone understands.

    There's a group of people that say I signed up for this, I know the risks, safety is ok as long as it doesn't inconvienence me or cost money. Everyone's entitled to an opinion, right or wrong. I considered Darrell Russell a good friend and Shelly Howard even closer. When you go to a few of these funerals, safety hits a little closer to home. I saw Jay Meyer get lifeflighted a few times, and he was like a second dad to me growing up. My own dad was involved in a pretty nasty two 'truck' crash at the mud drags a few years back in a blown 2wd, where safety isn't near as stringent. I have a very up front understanding of what can happen out there doing what we do. That's why I'm so adamant about safety.

    So while I get a laugh out of it, it kind of burns my ass to know racers are going around the pits badmouthing me, when all I'm trying to do is promote safety.

    I don't sensor anyone's thoughts on here. This is a public discussion board. NHRA reads this board. Even the executive in question that supposedly has no interest in our classes. I think people would be surprised how much interest he has. If you think I'm wrong, list your reasons why I'm wrong. If you don't think this board is enough, email or call Glendora. It's not hard to find out how to contact Graham Light or anyone else out there.

    I'm just one voice. Every now and then, my thoughts have some merit.

    It also think it's childish the way I was treated by the DD at the event. I'll leave it at that.

    In regards to the sand barrels, I'll admit I never got a chance to go down to the top end and check them out up close. That said, I don't know if they were just old fuel barrels filled with sand or designed sand barrels. I can't tell you if a fuel barrel will work like a designed sand barrel, but sand barrels are commonly used by dot to protect fixed objects from impact, such as pilings, poles, etc. I did some research last night, click on this link:

    http://www.crashgard.com/features.php
    http://www.crashgard.com/simulation.php

    I was told that the track had gotten rid of the armco rail. That was not completely true. The track extended the concrete wall about 300 ft past the finish line, but the remainder of the shutdown is armco. I hope that is fixed by next year.

    Scott, I feel your comments were in poor taste and I stand by that statement.

    Anyone that feels that I advocated 1000' racing to give the blown cars a better chance, well, you can go take some sand out of the barrels and go pound it you know where. I'll be glad to tell it to you face to face. I've got a pretty good track record of speaking my mind on topics, I don't need to hide any hidden 'motives'.

    Now I've got some squeaking to get back to, some people to call, some emails to write with my newly appointed 'power'....
     
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  17. bryanbrown

    bryanbrown Member

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    the barrells at the track weren't like that, they were plastic, 55gal drums packed solid with sand, topped with plastic bags, and had no gap between them, and there would've been no glancing blow, just straight on. Those videos are interesting, though, but they don't look like they're full of sand, so there's less mass in those, and they've obviously been specifically designed. I'm no engineer, but the barrels at the end of the track looked scary to me, and after what happened at shreveport, I was surprised at the choice
     
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  18. Woodchip

    Woodchip Top Alcohol Dragster

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    where were these sand barrels? before or after a sand trap?
    Are you sure they were all filled solid?

    This is the recommended DOT installation array of the crash barriers. Note the distribution of the partially filled barrels

    http://www.crashgard.com/pdfs/installation_manual_1-29-08.pdf
     
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  19. eli

    eli Banned

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    Those barrels were designed for Cars /Trucks going 70-80 MPH with metal body's not cars with thin fiberglass /or no body's, if you hit something going 200. 300 MPH, I don't care if it's a frog you are going to do some damage, notice a baseball player getting hit with a fast ball, what 97 MPH, you got something that weighs 200 300 pounds, hitting it with something going 2 3 hundred MPH, come on think about what your saying. :rolleyes:
     
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  20. Woodchip

    Woodchip Top Alcohol Dragster

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    Gene, what about motorcycles? You don't think the DOT considers them when designing standards for energy absorbing crash barriers? You are not suggesting that todays race cars are engineered to be less safe than common passenger cars? And of course you cant hit them at 300 MPH. why do you think I asked if they were placed before or after the sand trap?
     
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