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April Fools Follies, 2002

By Phil R. Elliott 

Today is April Fools Day and the following, which I noticed on another website a couple weeks ago, gave me a real chuckle. It was in the classified section:

"A while back my father passed away. He was a major pack rat. A big barn full of car stuff. Lots of Hemi motors (so far have found nine), some with blowers. One very odd, full bodied, looking dragster. Have no clue if it ever ran. It has two blown hemis sitting side-by-side, tilted with a transfer case and complete. It looks like it had just made a run, but full of dust and cobwebs. I have no idea what chassis it is; there are no numbers, but sure looks awesome. There is another dragster that has a full body and plastic canopy with an Olds motor in it. The exhaust sticks out of the body panels.

There are some all-steel roadster and coupe bodies (17 total), frames, parts for what I think are street rods. I had no idea he even had this stuff and have no clue what this stuff is worth. My interest is elsewhere. What is this stuff worth and is anyone interested in buying it."

The ad was signed "Nimbles" and the Email was "OneReallyHopes@"

(I'm leaving the provider off – the Eddress didn't work anyway.)

This wonderful ad caused a fervor of response! Most were duped, and begged for the proper Eddress. A day or two later, more observant folk were pointing out the errors of the others' ways. All were wishing such a find could be made.

I wish I'd thought of doing it. It points out just how much we all want to walk into a bargain, and how much we desire to find that always-garaged '32 Dusenberg that only needs the battery charged and air in the tires and the little lady in the house says "Oh, it's an old car – sure kid, $200 and you can haul it off." I know I'll never find that deal. People seem to see me coming, if you know what I mean.

***

News that you may or may not have heard:

George Marnell just signed Matco Tools to his Pro Stocker. The happy Marnell stated simply, "We've started the year extremely well and the guys at Matco Tools have taken notice." It's good somebody noticed that after starting with a Pomona win, and running good at both Phoenix and Gainesville, the points leader deserves a little help. The Matco Tools logo will reside on the GM Motorsports Pontiac Grand Am through Englishtown. Though Marnell has won several rounds on holeshots, he was quick to credit his team's success to Swedish-born crew chief Marcus Svensson, who is in charge of the Reher-Morrison powerplant. Marnell leads WJ by one point going into race four.

***

So after two events, NHRA will institute alcohol oildown penalties. In my race coverage, I've briefly put out a warning that this eventuality was on the horizon. That horizon is nigh… TAD and TAFC entries pretty well lubricated the Winters and Gators where the NHRA Competition Department monitored what went down, literally. In a press release issued post Gainesville, NHRA Senior Vice President-Racing Operations Graham Light stated, "It was extremely disappointing to discover that we experienced a significant increase in downtime this year over last year." The release further stated that NHRA will now "implement penalties for flagrant offenders at national events."

What has taken so much energy is the difference in points structures between Pros and the alcohol racers. It has been difficult from a philosophy standpoint to place monetary and points impositions on supposedly sportsman drag racers. In a nutshell (and please check National Dragster or NHRA class rule updates for the exact wording), a verbal warning will be issued for the first oildown. A second oildown (at the same event) will result in a $250 fine and that run will NOT count toward qualifying or lane choice during eliminations. A third oildown will lead to disqualification from that event.

This may sound harsh but I think everyone has seen that something needed to be done. It is certainly better than deleting the eliminators completely! Parameters have done wonders to speed up the nitro show and maybe this will do the same for the alcohol teams.

***

I'm kind of excited to see Scott Geoffrion return to the quarter-mile later this year. He was extremely good as the #2 driver for Warren Johnson, and also with other teams over his career. He won nine NHRA national events in Pro Stock. He'll be joining Hurley Blakeney in a Ford Mustang with engines by Panella Racing. The only other Ford currently on the circuit is the Patrick Family Mustang with Sonny's power. Geoffrion spoke to that by saying, "the Ford fans need something to cheer about, so we're going to try and give them something to be proud of." He also suggested that the team "has every chance to succeed very quickly." They may not show up until the western swing but I suspect that Scott and Hurley will do their best to get their act together before that.

Flyin' Phil Elliott

 

Thanks for checking out the PhilZone portion of Draglist.com. If you have accolades, complaints, comments, questions, or if you want to share a story, please feel free to post it on the PhilZone Message Board. Phil
 

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