The Fallon Film
Video Review of the ADRA Race from Fallon, Nevada
By Danny White
The new video tape release from Main Event Video has been a long time coming and is an above average production in most regards. Dean Papadeas' group was hired to tape the first ADRA race from Top Gun Raceway in Fallon, NV. I won't go into the problems that happened with the race or what later happened to the ADRA. I am here to talk about the tape only.
There are good points with the video. The main thing I like about the Main Event Video is the racing. The nostalgia Top Fuel racing stands out as the focus point and it carries the tape. I like how Papadeas lets the nitro sounds of the actual racing be heard instead of excessive color commentary over the racing. I like seeing cars you usually don't get to see except in print. The beautiful nostalgia Top Fuel cars look and sound great on tape. I love the crisp and sharp sound that these cars make. The best example of this is the close up of Mike Fuller's Westwind Top Fueler; it sounds awesome! What I like best about this tape is that the heavy hitters all came to Fallon to race and are captured here on tape.
The section on Fuel Altereds was great and showed how wild they could get. The drawback is that they show the same runs repeatedly. They also don't mention the car names except contract racers Ricky Ruiz and Roger Langson. This left Rick Hough, Mike Boyd, and Brad Hankins just on tape without mention. The
Funny Car section shows the beauty of the old funny cars. But again, they only talk about Vicky Fanning and not Nathan Bugg and Rob Bruce. This, too, is possibly a contract thing.
The commentators on this tape are Don Garlits, Jon Lundberg, and Alan Reinhart. Garlits and Lundberg did an okay job but there were definite shortcomings with both. I like how they did minimal commentary and usually talked only between the racing, not during the races or burnouts. But the main shortcomings
were that they were not familiar with the specific nostalgia Top Fuel racers themselves.
This was very apparent when Lundberg mentioned that something could be wrong about the short burnouts the cars did. Lundberg kept talking about a five-second pass, but Garlits reminded viewers of the track's 4000-ft. elevation (and its deterrent effect on the horsepower necessary for a five). They treated eventual winner Roger Lechtenberg as if he came from nowhere from the alternate spot to win the race. Roger Lechtenberg in Dale Suhr's Orange Crate dragster is quickest front engine dragster in the country. It should have been a big story for him
NOT to qualify. But they did not know, I guess.
Alan Reinhart is one of my favorite commentators, but they used him on the starting line and in pit interviews. I like Alan's work a lot and I think he could have done a better job than Garlits and Lundberg. The only thing I could see wrong with Reinhart's work is that he was trying to interview some of the car owners (Arnold Birky and Lee Jennings, Sr., for instance) while their cars were running. You could tell that they would rather have been watching their race cars. But Alan redeems himself with
pit interviews of Fred Bach, Vicky Fanning, and Lee Jennings, Sr. (Jennings, Sr., talking about the wild crash he had the night before). I think they should have hired a commentator who follows the nostalgia circuit and could have better explained the racers and the race cars.
The main problem I had with this video is the editing. The clips showing the drivers introducing themselves were out of sync with the tape. Don Garlits and Shirley Muldowney talking on tape is out of flow with the rest of the tape, as was Garlits talking about his museum. I did like Garlits talking to Jim Murphy and Dale Pulde. He seemed less uptight and seemed
as if he was talking to old friends (which he was). The parts with Shirley are like this also, but it just doesn't fit. I frankly do not like Papadeas' slow shutter speed shots and his in-the-driver's-seat shot. It makes it look like a film student trying to use all the little tricks learned in class. The big goof was reporting that Lechtenberg went 270 mph to win. Somebody should have caught this error, but did not. The time is shown on the screen and Lundberg announces it.
If you like nitro and front engine dragsters, this tape is for you. But just remember, if you are a drag racing purist, there are things on this tape that will drive you crazy. This tape was meant to be shown to the general public on cable television and was dumbed down as such. The commentary is not up to the level of the drag racing purist who will buy this
tape. Thankfully, the actual drag racing is.
The Fallon Video is called "The FEDS." You can order it for $19.95 plus $4.95 S+H from:
Main Event Video
PO Box 2749
Daytona Beach, FL 32115