Drag Racing Unplugged

Whilst getting ready for the 2000 season, we came across our notebooks from last year's race updates. We thought that, like us, you might enjoy re-living the 1999 season at Santa Pod, Avon Park and Pite Dragway, as described by drivers, Crew Chiefs and crew and scribbled down by the Eurodragster staff.

"Alright John Force, get back here before the fuel runs out"
-- Showtime Fuel FC Crew Chief Bob Jarrett on the radio to driver Bill Sherratt after a storming burnout at the Thunderball

"John Ellis Lethal - like Ray White"
-- Cryptic (or maybe not) note in Tog's notebook

"This bike has been a constant source of annoyance"
-- Lee Baxendale (Super Street Bike)

"I have an extra set of tyres with me, so the long burnouts are on"
-- Lex Joon (Top Methanol Funny Car)

"We experimented with a new first gear ratio, it didn't work so we're going back to the baseline"
-- Michael Malmgren (Pro Stock)

"Power's not a problem"
-- Showtime Fuel FC Crew Chief Bob Jarrett

"I'd better do what I'm told!"
-- Barry Sheavills before his first run in his new Top Fuel Dragster

"Keep your fingers crossed and your cheque books open"
-- Barry Sheavills (Top Fuel Dragster) on his last shot at qualifying at the Main Event

"In a nitro car there's always something to go wrong"
-- Randy Anderson, consultant to Leif Andreasson (TMFC)

"The £25 for the 8.900 paid for the food in the pub last night"
-- Zane Llewellyn (Super Comp)

"It's running like a bracket bike, it's time to turn things up"
-- Ian King (Top Fuel Bike)

"The Swedes? Bring them on!"
-- Nick Davies' Crew Chief Rob Loaring (Pro Mod)

"We've got a little something for them"
-- Gordon Smith (Fuel Funny Car)

"It doesn't matter about the blower being in the way - you can't see with your eyes closed"
-- Rob Moore (Pro ET) on the emotional effect of an alcohol motor with a huge blower sitting in front of the windscreen of his seriously chopped Mustang

"I'll drop the clutch and see what happens - hopefully hold on for dear life"
-- Al Cook (Pro Mod)

"The first run was very conservative and deliberately, since we're working with new parts after what happened at the Main Event"
-- John Spuffard (Fuel FC)

"The new shift light resulted in slower times, so we've taken it off"
-- Roland Chaplain about wife Sandra's 10.90 Bike

"We're close to going very fast"
-- Micke Kågered (TMFC)

"I slept through the thunderstorm - the secret is to drive for two days and nights"
-- Leif Helander (TMFC)

"We're training for Hockenheim"
-- Horst Pauli, usually of Peter Beck's then-TMD crew, lending a hand to Urs Embacher (TMFC)

"Anyone who says Paula Murphy gets two shirts"
-- Old show-off Tog's suggestion scribbled down and passed to Santa Pod track announcers offering a t-shirt to spectators who could name any US racer who has run at SPR.

"He wants me to drill a hole in it"
-- Jeff Meads (Custom Car Street Eliminator) about a scrutineer insisting upon a Nitrous Oxide vent hole somewhere in his Pop's bodywork

"We're pleased except for the timing ticket"
-- Peter Lantz' Crew Chief Morgan Svensson (Top Fuel Dragster)

"Drag Racing is idiotic if you think about it - the amount of money you spend, and all the breakages"
-- Monica Öberg (Top Fuel Dragster)

"I love this sport, I always did"
-- Kent Persson (Top Fuel Dragster)

"We have to check the weather station to decide whether to put in leaded or unleaded"
-- Peter Lantz (Top Fuel Dragster) about the bottle of petrol used to prime the injector

"Get told off for standing too far down the track"
-- Fearless trackside photographer Tog makes a pained note at Pite Dragway

"Sponsors in Sweden are maybe fed up with all the proposals they get"
-- US Autos Top Fuel Dragster joint owner Peter Christiansen

"We're just a bunch of old guys. We're here to have a good time, not to set any records"
-- Kent Persson (Top Fuel Dragster)

"It's not easy putting in a new driver. It can be expensive to teach them!"
-- US Autos Top Fuel Dragster joint owner Peter Christiansen

"I miss it already"
-- Top Fuel pilot Jens Nybo on retirement

"Well, we have won the race. Tonight, we will win the banquet"
-- Peter Lantz (Top Fuel Dragster); a few hours later Tog was too drunk to stand up

"In three days on the dyno we got more information than in the whole of last year"
-- Steve Johnson (Super Pro ET)

"I'm going to join the Let's Get Tog Club, and it won't be during a burnout"
-- Mick Smith (Pro ET)

"There's not an easy first round in Pro Mod any more"
-- Dave Pollen (Pro Mod)

"Wheelbase is the problem with this car - it looks nice but it's a bit short and narrow"
-- John Ellis' Crew Chief Ray White (Pro Mod)

"We're going to try to make it go a bit faster"
-- Bert Englefield (Pro Mod)

"It's the nicest aftermarket block I've ever seen - it's actually one of the cheaper blocks on the market"
-- Martyn Jones (Super Pro ET)

"If my day-to-day drive was this reliable it'd be great"
-- Mick Cheley (Super Pro ET)

"We've polished it so it should go well"
-- Peter Hewitt, father of Junior Dragster racer Jack

"The throttle stuck open on the burnout. We solved that, now I'm waiting for something else to go wrong"
-- Peter Lane (Super Gas)

"I'm not getting it all my own way any more"
-- Dave Holland (Super Street Bike)

"It's loads of fun"
-- Holley Glassup (Junior Dragster) at her first race

"You don't learn anything from squirts, you may as well leave it in the pits"
-- Team Nemesis Top Methanol Dragster Crew Chief Barry Redstone

"He's got to get used to not using the clutch pedal"
-- Shell Racing TMD Crew Chief Martyn Hannis about driver Doug Bond

"We broke everything: engine, rear axle, wallet"
-- Team Nemesis TMD then-Team Manager Bob Gleadow

"We were on altitude and not ET"
-- Dave Wilson (TMD)

"We're using small amounts of nitrous at the moment, nothing outrageous"
-- Al Cook (Pro Mod)

"The car's drama-free - unfortunately"
-- Al Cook (Pro Mod)

"It's better than being qualified sixth and not knowing what to do"
-- Lex Joon (TMFC)

"I left it to everyone else to beat Luke Ramage and they haven't, so it's about time someone did"
-- Spencer Tramm (Super Gas)

"I'm trusting the computer - I know it's not natural"
-- Super Pro ET Crew Chief Stephen Talbot

"Hello. We're back"
-- Fay Fischer (Super Pro ET)

"We'll share the data and the expense"
-- Lex Joon (TMFC) on his 2000 partnership with Rob Guerain

"I'm going to drop a large hammer on it and see what happens"
-- Al Cook (Pro Mod) at the pre-FIA Finals test session

"Rapport på svenska hos Svensk Dragracing"
-- A written course in Swedish from Svensk Dragracing's Christer Abrahamsson

"There was an unbelievable bang, then it was so quiet that you could hear the birds in the trees"
-- Leif Helander (TMFC) on blowing the body clean off the car during a demonstration burnout

"I was so mad they should have turned the fire extinguisher on me!"
-- Leif Helander on what happened next

"Fifty pounds to fix it before, more than two thousand now"
-- Leif Helander on what happened when he got it home

"The English have arrived"
-- Nick Davies (Pro Mod)

"It will go or it will 'go'"
-- Ian King (Top Fuel Bike) on his solution to a series of torched heads

"I went over to Spuffard this afternoon and asked who had the quickest Funny Car here today"
-- Leif Helander (TMFC) on his first five, at the FIA Finals.

"We're ready for tomorrow. Whoever we meet, he is going to have a hard time!"
-- Pelle Lindelöw (Top Fuel Dragster)

"Fagerström 6.57"
-- Scrawled all on its own on a page in Tog's notebook

"All the time and money we've spent this year has all been down to a $200 piece"
-- Gordon Appleton (Pro Mod)

"We had a lot of scrap metal from two runs"
-- Lex Joon (TMFC)

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