Drag Racing Unplugged IX

With the 2007 season over we are, for the ninth year in succession, pleased to bring you the finest comments from the year's event coverage on Eurodragster.com - and other quotes we didn't publish at the time.

We open with Tog, Simon, Roger and Kirstie's Quotes of the Year and that of our good friend, Honorary Eurodragster.com staff member and occasional pitside reporter Christer Abrahamson.

Tog's Quote Of The Year

"If you think you can do any better then why don't you run the f***ing web site yourself"
-- Eurodragster.com's famously genteel Pit Reporter Simon finally cracks after hearing one moan too many

Simon's Quote Of The Year

"How many Hail Marys is that then?"
-- Fuel racer Gary Page's response upon hearing that Simon swore

Roger's Quote Of The Year

"I haven't got time for this crap"
-- Andy Willsheer (recurring): now widely used around Race Control when things don't go according to plan

Kirstie's Quote Of The Year

"They don't get any wages, they just get shouted at"
-- John Everitt describes the lot of the Super Pro ET crew. Kirstie is on John's team, a fact we present without comment

Christer's Quote Of The Year

"That's really impressive, how do you remember all of that?"
"Ah, but how do you know it's not all bullshit?"
-- On her first visit to a drag race, Tog's friend Julia discovers one of the secrets of track announcing - at least when Tog is doing it

And the rest of the 2007 Drag Racing Unplugged collection in chronological order...

"I found out the same way as you did - on their web site!"
-- Martin Hill is apparently taking his Fireforce 3 Jet Funny Car to Vienna in July

"He turns up, unloads the race car, puts up the awning and then takes it all down again - he is the perfect sponsor!"
-- Nigel Payne's Super Modified team includes Eurodragster.com sponsor Steve Clark of Nimbus Motorsport

"The Nitrous guys are maxed out anyway, so we will catch them up!"
-- Nigel Payne again

"I am so confident in the product that I put my friend Spuff behind it"
-- The ultimate trust in his product from Nigel Hoskison of Eurodragster.com sponsor Allegheny Technologies Ltd

"When I went I thought I was going to have a heart attack! It's a form of motorsport which you can't appreciate until you've seen it."
-- Phil Matts of Winged Aviation has his first taste of drag racing

"The engine was pulled out of the car last Sunday, Luke polished it on Tuesday, and I brought it up here on Wednesday!"
-- Pro Mod racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson describes off-season maintenance on his 6.1-second Studebaker

"I've done even less than Andy!"
-- Top Methanol Dragster racer Dave Wilson describes his own off-season maintenance

"He comes to the USA with his truck and trailer and he always ends his trip by coming to MSD. You can't help but support a guy like that"
-- Joe Pando of MSD explains why he works with Top Methanol Funny Car racer Leif Andréasson

"The car now runs much straighter and no longer travels down the strip in an arc"
-- Street Eliminator racer Jeff Meads, no fun any more

"I heard a rumour that Paul Marston was entering Super Mod"
-- Andy Hone explains his return to Super Modified

"There are so many cars to set up that we have not run our own so far this weekend"
-- Street Eliminator racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Jon Webster, maybe a bit too helpful

"I was a five year old in 1966 when Alan won the race here. He jumped the fence in celebration and I followed suit but was held back and I wasn't happy."
-- Super Comp racer Paul Letchford's uncle wins an early race at Santa Pod

"If it sounded like a Fuel Altered last time, it sounds like a lawnmower now"
-- Super Gas racer Steve Wells having a bad time with his new fuel system

"I was asking the crew "Did I win", but when my father arrived he was shouting "It was a four"!"
-- Siw Nystad getting to grips with Top Fuel

"The only difference is that I am fifty pounds heavier than Barry Henson and this has affected the handling"
-- Super Street Bike racer Steve Venables: not one for excuses

"He's up there with the aeroplanes"
-- 9.50 Bike racer Chris Jones comments on teammate Ed Smiley's wheelies

"On the second run yesterday the starter motor fell apart, so it hasn't been our weekend"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Paul Watson works with Pro Mod racer Ray White

"On the last run the oil got on my visor and I couldn't see where I was going. I had to do the chute and turn off the fuel practically blind"
-- But, Jim Usher, you're in a Fuel Altered, what do you expect?

"It was worth running the new motor to pull those wheelies"
-- We don't have Stock/Superstock in the UK so Carla Pittau has to do it in Pro ET

"It's nice to go away from the race with the car in one piece"
-- Ian Jackson speaks for all racers after a weekend of Street Eliminator

"I'm just pleased to show that you can do well in Super Pro with a door car"
-- Who has Spencer Tramm been listening to then?

"We will be going for the six second zone and guardrail to guardrail action"
-- John Everitt planning ahead for blown-alcohol altered action

"The launch is so brutal and there is so much power and adrenaline, it ought to be a human right for everyone to have one of these"
-- Jonas Dantanus goes Pro Stock

"Although I have three Top Fuel dragsters, I am not really looking for drivers unless they have both brains and sponsorship"
-- It's a seller's market for Knut Söderquist

"The only problem on the 5.78 was that I had one front tyre taller than the other which caused the car to go right and the parachute hit the wall and tore"
-- Freddy Fagerström moves to Top Methanol Funny Car but still has Pro Mod moments

"It must have been travelling at about 230 mph, there was a big explosion, and a huge pressure wave and it was like suddenly going from night to day"
-- The lights go on for Håkan Fällström in an early Fuel Funny Car outing

"We spent all Thursday night on it and all day Friday after one hour of sleep. We finished it on Saturday morning and took it to the MOT shop and from there straight to the track"
-- Steve Nash, Mick Franklin and Chris Isaac get the new Street Eliminator Cougar to the track on time

"It's fun looking at the sky, but I'm considering a set of wheelie bars"
-- We need to get a petition together to stop Pro ET racer Steve Bolton doing this

"The announcer is a rather serious dude; you need the Eurodragster coverage for the thinly-veiled smart-ass commentary"
-- Eurodragster.com US correspondent Ed O'Connell listens to the Easter Thunderball via the internet audio stream, but doesn't desert his colleagues

"I don't get involved in the tuning decisions - Luke and Garry say "You concentrate on the wheel and stick and we'll look after the tunes"."
-- That does give Street Eliminator racer Colin Lazenby two people to blame, though

"In future I will pay more attention to where I am going"
-- Fuel Funny Car racer Leif Helander hits the guardrail

"The air's still this time and I don't think breakouts will be a big issue, but there are some that can now break out at will"
-- Chris Jones describes 9.50 Bike

"The front came up in the air, the car banked over to the left and then nosed over to the right as it came down, then, boing boing, all four wheels were off the deck"
-- Bob Glassup rides out an all-four-off wheelie in Nostalgia Fuel Altered Association qualifying

"It all went wrong since Tog's passenger ride; the extra weight caused chassis flex"
-- Super Modified racer Rob Smallworth, the latest to find the easiest target

"I planned a one-year sabbatical and it ended up being ten years"
-- Not quite going to plan for Street Eliminator racer Bill McDermid

"We have placed an air inlet in the fairing which feeds through to the engine via a length of B&Q plastic drainpipe"
-- Supertwin Gas racer Les Harris does it himself

"We ran a 6.98/192 but the car was awfully light at the top end and I was about two feet from the barrier in the right hand lane"
-- Clayton Round gets a reminder of what the FA in NFAA stands for

"There was no way I was going to lift"
-- Pro ET racer Neil Hunter goes for his first nine

"I'm trying to get into the sevens - I like to surprise people who think I run nines"
-- If John Atkinson ran nines he would be in Pro ET, not Super Pro ET

"We have some new guys on our crew and we didn't practice activating the fire bottle before the run. So they had to learn at the start line"
-- Eero Knihtilä starts the Pro Stock season

"The times are so tight that with a greater number of cars entered you may not qualify if you have a misfortune"
-- Magnus Hansson was OK, though, with a PB of 6.87 in Pro Stock qualifying

"The English spectators are true drag racing fans and are so keen on taking photos and collecting things"
-- If P-O Eriksson didn't tie down his beautiful Pro Mod then we would certainly have it away

"The car is quite nervous as it's either full throttle or idle with nothing in between"
-- Not a Fuel car but Gary Springford's Pro ET Shogun

"It took ten years for me to get into the teens, but Danny does it on his second run"
-- Carl Spiering supplies Danny Cockerill with a new engine for his Pro Mod

"We have a problem! Mr Confused has messed up again! I am announcing drag racing in Borlänge on Friday and Saturday"
-- Saturday being the day upon which track announcer Christer Abrahamson had months ago arranged to meet up with Tog in Stockholm

"I like English men, especially the rugby boys"
-- The manageress of a bar in Borlänge warms to former scrum half Tog...

"I finish work at two if you want to come back for a talk"
-- ...but don't get excited, she probably only wants to talk to Tog about finding her white stick and guide dog

"Are you his interpreter?"
-- A teenaged Swedish girl doesn't know that Christer Abrahamson is actually there to prevent Tog committing faux pas

"What are you doing here?"
"Well, we were going to Mantorp, but a woman was reading the map"
-- Top Methanol Funny Car racer Ulf Leanders encounters Tog at the Borlänge Street Open

"When I got home I reversed into my driveway and thought I did a good job of reversing. Then I saw that the trailer was empty. I had to drive back down the road looking for the boat. I found it by the side of the road about two and a half kilometres away with some scrape marks and a hole in the hull"
-- Christer Abrahamson loses his new boat...

"How can you lose a boat off a trailer and not notice?"
"It was dark. You don't know how dark it gets here in the winter"
-- ...and then tries to explain it away...

"I said to him that I was not sure I had enough fuel for this session but Boman knows about boats and said that there would be enough"
"I meant enough for that session we were doing then, not for the whole day"
-- ...and then two old guys bicker about whose fault it was that Christer's boat ran out of fuel on Lake Mälaren

"The sixty foot time was fine but after that was no fun"
-- Jörgen Leanders checks the time slip after a Top Methanol Funny Car pass by brother Ulf

"The car still has its own life and its behaviour can change between rounds"
-- Leif Andréasson agrees on the vagaries of Top Methanol Funny Car

"I am happy with the car and am enjoying Top Fuel. There's a lot to learn but thankfully I am with a good team"
-- Janne Ahonen goes Top Fuel

"We seem to run better at tracks which have less traction than others. After the weather here, that could favour us"
-- Top Methanol Funny Car racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Dan Larsen ready to turn the hose on the strip at Mantorp Park

"This is completely different game and great fun"
-- Danny Bellio moves from Comp Eliminator to Top Methanol Funny Car

"The first run felt so different from the Top Fuel bike - it shakes more and you need to lean more to keep it straight"
-- Roel Koedam takes over the seat of Ton Pels' Supertwin

"I tell my friends I will race another twenty years until I am seventy and then park the bike at the finish line and advertise it for two Euros"
-- But Funny Bike racer Asko Määttä's bike is worth more than two and a half pence isn't it?

"It might look easy but I can tell you it's not"
-- Dave Wilson aiming for a record fifth consecutive FIA European Top Methanol Dragster Championship

"I was unhurt but it is hard to say whether I would have been better off staying on it"
-- Peter Andersson Ström bails out of a wayward Top Fuel Bike

"I donno"
-- Rune Fjeld, when asked who was driving his Top Fuel Dragster as it was lined up for Linda Thun Tønseth's first licencing pass at Santa Pod Raceway

"My mechanic is from Switzerland and he is like a watchmaker"
-- So Super Gas racer Werner Zudrell has an elf for a Crew Chief

"It took me three years and will go 4 mph but I have two 24 volt motors at home..."
-- Bringing the kids up right: Dave Day takes time out from Super Comp/Super Gas racing to build a replica roadster for son Elliot

"It's an exclamation from Cheshire and has become my catchphrase"
-- The reason why Simon Rowland's Pro ET dragster is called E-Hell

"I love it but the engine's in the wrong place!"
-- Roy Wilding briefly swaps a Wild Bunch altered for a rear-engined Super Pro ET dragster

"My hernia operation got put back to 19th September and Martyn told me he didn't think it was a good idea to drive ten days after the op"
-- But Super Pro ET Crew Chief turned driver Crunch would have done it had Martyn Jones not been the sensible one

"Karl was my mentor in getting my Impala to run as quick as 9.84 and in return I encouraged him to start the business"
-- And presumably Pro ET racer Anders Envall is on ten per cent of Karl Ellwein's engine-building profits

"My car was all over the track and the data shows we spun the tyres three times and it got loose at a thousand feet and felt like it was skating around"
-- But when you've driven a Pro Mod like Thomas Nataas, a 4.7 Top Fuel Dragster pass is a piece of cake...

"The Championship doesn't mean as much to me as going quick"
-- ...spoken like a true racer, Thomas

"The races are like operas with ups and downs and we've tried to ride with the emotions of the the team after the incredible amount of work that is put in to prepare for the race"
-- Hugh Whitworth of The Gamma Project puts together a reality TV series about Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Urs Erbacher

"Driving the dragster is not easy, but if you drive a Funny Car you will be able to drive a dragster but not necessarily the other way round"
-- Having driven both Top Fuel Dragster and Fuel Funny Car, Gary Page knows what he's talking about

"I have trouble driving with the body flexing and not being completely fixed in the seat of the car, and working the pedals is difficult"
-- Other than that, Top Methanol Funny Car racer Kjell Sjöblöm has no worries

"He's like Zorro!"
-- Tommi Haapanen's team watch his Top Fuel Dragster's rear slicks write a Z on the track

"I can see the scissors being sharpened"
-- Ponytailed Top Methanol Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Derek Flynn gets closer to that Five

"As in, not getting any"
-- There's a fuel problem on Gordon Appleton's Pro Mod

"All Bob's cars have been great to drive and this is the next in line"
-- John Spuffard likes the new Showtime Fuel Funny Car

"We're happy overall but losing those runs sucks"
-- Crew Chief Magnus Petersen bemoans the breakage of a two-cent part during Niclas Andersson's Pro Mod qualifiers

"I'm really happy that now we can see the way after tyre shake problems"
-- Is Top Methanol Funny Car racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Dan Larsen speaking literally or metaphorically?

"The other guys going for their licences may have thought it was easy to do, but it's not"
-- And if anyone knows about driving a Funny Car then it's Leif Helander

"I said on the flight over that it was about time we replaced it"
-- Magnus Lindahl should predict the lottery numbers then, not discuss Pro Mod blower belt wear

"The car was unsettled and went sideways and up on two wheels. I kept in my lane though"
-- This is either going to be a Fuel Altered racer or a Pro Mod racer and it's Pro Mod's Rolf Ammann

"I spoke to my wife back at home and she is OK with it"
-- Supertwin racer Gunther Söhn runs a new Personal Best...

"I have discovered there is a big difference between riding a bike at 6.7 and 6.5, particularly when slowing it from over 200 mph"
-- ...but there's something he isn't telling the missus

"We are ready for Eero in the final - I was born ready"
-- Jimmy Ålund takes on all comers in Pro Stock

"The driver won that race"
-- Tuner Glenn Mikres is impressed with Urs Erbacher's first-round win in Top Fuel Dragster at the FIA European Finals

"I was surprised by Derek red-lighting and it cost me time. Next time I will do better"
-- Top Methanol Dragster racer Peter Schöfer gets distracted

"Qualifying is one thing and racing another"
-- Anders Abrahamsson keeps it real before Pro Stock Bike eliminations

"A blistering twenty three-second ET couldn't crack the tough eleven-second Top Fuel field. If my Subaru ran Nitro, I might have made it. Definitely Europe next year"
-- Every year Eurodragster.com US correspondent Ed O'Connell has the choice: the IHRA race just up the road in Epping, or the FIA European Finals. Every year we tell Ed to fly to England, and every year he goes to Epping, and every year our event is better

"Security, security, that guy's taken my case"
-- Loudly shouted in the middle of the huge foyer of the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas as Roger assisted good friend, film maker and Main Event video producer Dean Papadeas with his baggage after he'd checked in

"Urs couldn't get any TV time for what would seem a very interesting story, but he is neither in the Countdown nor sponsored by Budweiser so Brandon's kidney stones will get more air time than a guy who spent thousands to travel halfway across the world to compete"
-- Eurodragster.com US correspondent Ed O'Connell tunes in to the ESPN TV coverage to follow Urs Erbacher's progress in Las Vegas

"It's the best Christmas present I could wish for"
"Present? Is your wife paying for it then?"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Derek Flynn's Top Fuel Dragster deal is confirmed

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