There has been talk lately on the drag racing newsgroups lamenting the
loss of "little guy" fuel racers because they no longer race at
NHRA divisional events. I used to love seeing fuel racers at the
divisionals. It's one of the things I really miss about the old days.
However, there were a couple of things that made the pros want to STOP
these races as part of the points system. For one thing, the pros didn't
want to run these things for peanuts when there often were more lucrative
match races available. In fact, the big pro racers themselves were the
ones who pushed for the year long points race as we have it now.
Another thing the pros didn't like about the divisionals was the
relative softness of some divisions and how some racers scored huge points
with two or three car fields in contention, when other divisions had 30
cars trying to make the field. I'm talking about Division 2 in particular,
in the fuel classes. There often were less than full fields and the
division winners were arguably less competitive than other national cars.
The same thing can be said for some of the other divisions as well. Then
you had Division 7 and all its killer racers trying to make those fields,
when the first eight alternates could have qualified and won in other
All that being said, I think the divisional races were absolutely great
and indeed, their demise went a long way towards weeding out the little
guys in the pro classes. The Division 7 points meet I saw at OCIR in 1977
was nothing less than a national event. Absolutely terrific fields in Top
Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Comp, and EVEN Pro Stock, which often was somewhat
light in Division 7. Too bad we won't see divisional races again...