Drag Racing Unplugged XIV

With the 2012 season over we are, for the fourteenth 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 the Quotes of the Year of the 2012 Eurodragster.com staff:

Kirstie's Quote of the Year

"We are so far out of the box we can't see the box; it may not even exist!"
-- Even Top Methanol Dragster racer Dave Wilson is scratching his head at Hockenheim

Simon's Quote of the Year

"I have put everything into drag racing because I love it"
-- Why Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Mark Todd does what he does

Ed's Quote of the Year

"We are planning to run so fast that we will never be able to do it again"
-- Per Bengtsson's Crew Chief Lars 'Putte' Tydinger at Valdosta

Tog's Quote of the Year

"Mrs Tog does stupid things sometimes"
"Well why did you marry her then?"
-- Incisive questioning from Junior Dragster racer Belle Wheeler

And the rest of the 2012 Drag Racing Unplugged collection in chronological order...

"We started the year pretty busy but if we're not busy at this time of year then we're not going to be busy at all"
-- The true economic indicator for Barry Miller of Brown and Miller Racing Solutions

"The complexity has gone up on the wiring side but the hose but is easy - two little hoses where there was one big one!"
-- Barry Miller hails a rule change

"The accountants and bankers seem to think we are recession-proof although I don't know how wise that is!"
-- Steve Clark of Eurodragster.com sponsor Nimbus Motorsport counts the money

"We picked up a lot of help at the PRI Show. It's amazing how coming to shows like this helps with sponsorship"
-- Super Modified racer Nigel Payne does OK for backing

"We were cautious in 2011 and that gave us some consistency - now we'll find the limits but we may find some pain!"
-- JDS Pro racer John Bradshaw plans for 2012

"We made six runs at the Finals and we didn't have to change a bearing - everything looked so much better"
-- Top Methanol Funny Car tuner Steve Turner likes Lucas Oil

"We race on three weekends then there is a weekend off but you are still spending three days a week working on the kart"
-- Multiple FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter retires to spend more time with his family

"We may make it street-legal so that we can race Andy Frost. We're just looking for wipers and a washer pump and we're away!"
-- Bert Englefield reveals his 2012 Pro Mod strategy

"Bert has so much fun that he forgets to pull the parachute"
-- Bert Englefield's tuner and fellow driver Andy Wright shops for carbon fibre brakes

"We can offer various coatings and custom walls - we are not limited by much but by how much you want to spend!"
-- See Kevin Studaker for Total Seal piston rings, and be sure to bring your wallet

"I went for the lazy option, something already done!"
-- Eric Humphrey bought Mark Todd's previous car turn-key

"The body is a state-of-the-art Mustang which is brand new - never raced or rallied!"
-- New clothes for John Spuffard and the Showtime Fuel Funny Car team

"Marketing opportunities are available from five pounds!"
-- You too can sponsor Eurodragster.com sponsor Matthew Wright's wild Outlaw Rolls Royce

"This is the first time ever that we have done nothing to the Camaro over the off season, apart from polishing"
-- An easy winter for Nick and Nicky Frost before the 2012 Super Comp wars

"It was quite last-minute being the first run of the season - it was not fuelled, we didn't take the jumper off the mag, the shift button fell off on the burnout and there was not enough clutch"
-- First run with a new motor for Pro Mod racer Steve Hall

"It took us two days but we are happy the car is running fine"
-- Jean Dulamon tows his Pro Mod some 900 miles to compete at Santa Pod Raceway

"We want to get our performance to the level that when overseas competitors come to the UK we are the ones they are scared of"
-- A veiled threat from Pro Mod racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Graham Ellis

"The conditions are probably beyond our ability to adjust for - when you take too much power out you might go over the knife edge and end up falling flat on your face"
-- Dave Holland's Super Street Bike has plenty of power on tap

"I love Super Street Bike and the support from the other competitors is 100% and why we carry on in the class"
-- Steve Wood keeps coming back

"He showed us a box of trophies and I said that is a pretty good selling point"
-- How Mike Bentley clinched the sale to Super Gas rookie Rick Johnson

"We have the kit in the workshop but it would be problematic to dismantle it in the open air"
-- Pro ET racer Liz Malcolm takes an early bath

"I had the old chassis for twelve years so it was time for a change"
-- Simple enough reason for Danny Bellio to buy a new Top Methanol Funny Car

"I felt very comfortable on the run - it was easier to drive than a Top Methanol Dragster because there is no gear shifting but obviously it is more powerful"
-- Duncan Micallef upgrades to a Top Fuel Dragster licence

"I set the RPM in stage using the transbrake but then forgot to nail it after releasing the button"
-- Martyn Jones sounds disappointed with a 6.858 from his blown-alcohol Super Pro ET dragster

"Thanks to the marshal spotting the leak we have saved a likely broken engine"
-- Vince Gibbs grateful to be shut off on the line during Super Pro ET qualifying

"The maintenance with Four Wheel Drive is complicated and there is a lot of maintenance as we are pushing the engine to the limit"
-- A busy weekend in VW Pro for Andy Waite

"If only we had the same conditions as last Easter!"
-- Pro Mod racer Wayne Nicholson piles on the layers of clothing

"It's a cold track and a colder driver - my teeth were chattering at the end of the run!"
-- ...and let's not forget how many layers there are in Steph Milam's Top Methanol Funny Car firesuit

"Losing front wheel grip under braking is not only hard to control, it lengthens the stopping distance"
-- Another reason you wouldn't get us on Eric Teboul's Rocket Bike

"I am looking forward to having some cars to race - it is getting lonely being the sole Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car in the UK"
-- Wendy Baker will soon get her wish

"We are chasing our tail at the first meeting and if we had to have a bad meeting this might as well be it"
-- Jon Giles first-footing at Super Comp and Super Gas

"After Christmas last year I did a full nut and bolt rebuild and turned it round in time"
-- Super Comp and Super Gas racer Martin Curbishley makes the call

"The only type of person who would race that has to be a redneck!"
-- The Hale family quote the US Air Force member who unwittingly named their Sportsman ET team

"It is different, it sat down well at the start and, being fresh, has the right amount of flex on it to go down the track straight and quick"
-- Gordon Smith likes his new Fuel Funny Car chassis

"On this, the boost takes over after you open the throttle and keeps going even after you close it again"
-- Job Heezen's first experience of a supercharger riding Ton and Vincent Pels' Supertwin

"We will be running the Championship and have no clashing holidays this year"
-- Bob Molden plans his Pro ET season properly this time

"The Holy Grail of a Five is not out of sight"
-- Team member Terry Giles is very pleased with the rebuilt Chaos Fuel Altered

"You can't drive through it if it gets out of shape but usually it's quite well behaved"
-- Twin turbos and a ninety-inch wheelbase make for a lively ride for Super Pro ET racer Joe Stevens

"It's still taxed and insured for the road and I it took on the Kings Lynn cruise but it hammers the fuel"
-- Joe Stevens finds it lively in other ways, too

"It didn't sound right on the burnout, drifted to the left and started making clunking noises"
-- Phil Crossley's weekend in Comp Bike is finished

"The chassis is tagged to 7.5 and the body was in storage and my wife wanted to grow potatoes in it"
-- It's not clear whether Wild Bunch racer Paul Croston is referring to the Topolino or the storage

"I will get the hang of it and then go for something quicker, but not the Dark Revenger yet - that's pretty scary right now"
-- Steve Cherrett enters Sportsman ET

"I am glad we have a good prop shield and it held up otherwise it could have been painful"
-- Adam Price suffers a broken universal joint during Wild Bunch qualifying

"It's good fun to drive the slingshot dragster and not nearly as scary as the Supertwin Fuel bike"
-- Double the wheels and half the fear for Wild Bunch racer Ian Turburville

"The tyres lit up at about 330 feet after shifting and I kept my foot in longer because Leon Green was alongside me and I didn't hear the engine revs rising"
-- Spoken like a true racer: Stuart Williams explains his Easter crash in JDS Pro

"Perhaps the car's name Carmasupra had something to do with it - good karma"
-- Stuart feels it could have been a lot worse, though

"It's a bit hard on fuel, but they are all nice people and we have a lot of fun"
-- ...and that's why Colin Millar repeatedly tows all the way from Fife to race in Outlaw Anglia

"Vince Gibbs came past so early in the run I thought he might have red-lit and after he slowed at the top end I was still wondering whether I had won"
-- Dave Catton has a close race in Super Pro ET

"I saw it at the track and after Martin Holgate offered it to me my wife said "If you want to do it again, why not?"!"
-- Alan Loten reunited with Paranoia and racing with the Wild Bunch

"I went over by choice and knew that I wasn't going to hit the timing beams"
-- Pete Thompson's Super Mod changes lanes

"Funny Bike is a great class as the rules are so open"
-- Kars van den Belt, happy where he is

"We ran a string of 10.0s and then improved by a whole tenth in one go with a footbrake launch"
-- Pro ET racer Bob Lees runs his first nine

"I am having to judge my times carefully in Pro ET as the car is wanting to run eights now"
-- Paul Brown avoids the breakouts

"I borrow a caravan close to one of the shower blocks, which is always good for seeing Swedish girls walking by"
"If you have a Swede, is that one of your five a day?"
-- Tog's daily-commute companion Emma gets away with a salad reference

"You must be joking, we'll never get that good a reaction!"
-- Darryl Howells declines wife Sarah's suggestion of ModUrStang decals to qualify for the Perfect Light Award...

"Eat your words Mister Howells!"
-- ...so Sarah promptly pulls a 0.000 RT in qualifying session 1 and misses out on £50

"The bike was built by me and has as many British parts as we can"
-- Patriotism from Super Street Bike racer Dave Smith

"I have a new chassis and ran a Perfect ET on my first pass with it"
-- Super Pro ET racer Marc Henney coins it courtesy of Eurodragster.com and Gold RV

"This was a five-year plan that has happened three years too soon"
-- Steve and Sara Unsworth move up from Sportsman ET to Pro ET

"We just planned a launch but it was so good I made a full pass"
-- Manty Bugeja subscribes to the Maltese Sixty Foot convention in Top Methanol Dragster qualifying

"We don't buy lots of new stuff, we invest, for instance our Alan Johnson heads are five years old"
-- Tried and tested kit for Pro Mod racer Marc Meihuizen

"It is easier fitting new parts than an entire new engine which could take all day"
-- ...and Chris Hannam and his Supertwin team have already worked all night

"We are used to the weather being unpredictable at this event and it is the same for all"
-- German Super Street Bike racer Peter Granica is all-too-familiar with the UK

"It's as if he supplied the hand grenade and trained the monkey to hold it"
-- Top Methanol Dragster tuner Charlie Draper works with Norm Grimes

"Yes, I lifted late as I thought the course went on a bit longer than it did"
-- Duncan Micallef also subscribes to the Maltese Sixty Foot convention, in this case in a Top Fuel Dragster

"Tomorrow, we will need a Swedish diving suit"
-- Top Fuel Dragster racer Micke Kågered deliberately flouts your News Editor's embargo on discussing weather forecasts

"We can't run the bike all out at local Czech tracks as they are not prepped fully, so we need to do plenty of runs at Santa Pod which for this bike is our home track!"
-- Top Fuel Bike racer Otto Knebl's home from home

"The next round is against team-mate Jari Halinen but there will be no foul play!"
-- A Rune Fjeld Motorsport match-up for Top Fuel Dragster racer Risto Poutiainen

"With the rain I could take my time getting to the track and Stig has a great handle on his car, he just bounces stuff off me"
-- Top Fuel Dragster tuner John Smith runs his own Funny Car in the USA and then flies straight to the UK to work with Stig Neegaard

"We don't yet know the reason why it broke but when it did, there was total silence"
-- Anita Mäkelä's Top Fuel Dragster snaps a blower belt

"It's my first time in Europe and I have enjoyed it greatly with the friendly people, lots of meals and the rain, although it seems to rain wherever I go"
-- Ladies and gentlemen, we have found our Jonah: US Top Methanol Dragster tuner Norm Grimes

"The transbrake blew and when I looked for the spare I found that that one had been destroyed too"
-- Super Pro ET racer Martyn Jones is forced into a footbrake launch

"I am pleased they are in attendance as the owner's brother sponsors Jimmy Ålund"
-- Pro Stock racer Micke Callin entertains sponsors

"The start is so important; it unsettles the car if there isn't a decent launch and the run becomes difficult"
-- Kev Slyfield explains why Pro Mod racers so often try to write their names on the track

"If they have been racing for many years we have to try to get them to unlearn their habits and be open-minded enough to accept our strategy and be willing to learn"
-- No such issues for Pro Stock Bike team owner Roger Lyrén this season with two young riders on the books

"There is no comparison to driving it against when it had a supercharged engine. Only the seat position, pedals and steering wheel are the same and the handling and controls are completely different with a turbo"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Graham Ellis swaps Pro Mod set-ups

"We like Stock/Super Stock but it doesn't appear to like us"
-- A painful trip to Tierp Arena for Stock/Super Stock racer Rick McCann

"Although it's my second time at Tierp I love running at the small tracks and they have their own atmosphere"
-- Super Street racer Lina Braathen is at home anywhere

"All I drag raced before was a Kawasaki H2 street bike but I raced an ice speedway bike for many years"
-- Ulf Ledström should be used to a handful of bike in Supertwin, then

"We didn't want to be too aggressive and shake and I could mentally hear Jim Rizzoli telling me not to"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Derek Flynn tunes his former Top Methanol Dragster, now campaigned by Chris Polidano

"I have an all-new crew who are much easier to teach than my old friends who wanted it their own way!"
-- Pro Stock racer Jan Palmqvist calls the shots

"It was disappointing but there is always a new day"
-- Anita Mäkelä's Top Fuel Dragster snaps another blower belt

"The rain kicked our asses"
-- Dave the Track Announcer tells the Tierp Arena crowd that that day's qualifying is cancelled

"We knew we had power and were confident to run big numbers but we didn't think it would happen that quickly"
-- Hard work pays off with a 7.2-second PB for Pro Stock racer Martin Bishop

"The level of passion in the sport is the same but there is more of a party atmosphere and the activities are unrestricted"
-- NHRA Pro Stock Bike racer Karen Stoffer works with Fredrik Fredlund

"Ola has done very well to run 6.07; he was on my crew and has clearly learned a lot from me!"
-- Pro Mod racer Urban Johansson faces off against Ola Dahlblöm

"In reality we are racing ourselves and we have more knowledge about the car on each run"
-- Pro Mod racer Robert Joosten builds up the knowledge base

"The only way it could have ended any better would have been to have three cars in the final!"
-- Gary Page hails a Rune Fjeld Motorsport match-up in the final of Top Fuel Dragster

"I can't tell you our plan of attack... because we don't have one!"
-- Dave Cherrett runs his nine-second Pro ET van in Sportsman ET

"I've already told them they're not hanging a door on my ****ing dragster"
-- Dave Wilson's Top Methanol Dragster is crewed by Messrs Robinson, Englefield and Wright

"I have a passport and had nothing to do so I am happy to be here"
-- US tuner Jerry Darien works with Top Methanol Dragster racer Chris Polidano

"I feel much better thanks to my doctor, although he doesn't know I am racing this weekend!"
-- Stig Neergaard sneaks back to Top Fuel Dragster

"I grew up on marginal tracks. This event is like Las Vegas - it's a crap shoot!"
-- US tuner Camp Stanley tries his best in the prevailing conditions at the NitrOlympX

"The team had to watch the TV screens as we couldn't see the car"
-- Team member Kirsten Krause loses Peter Schöfer's Top Methanol Dragster in the tyre smoke

"We haven't lost in some time so I suppose it makes you more hungry for the next event"
-- Sören Svensson watches brother and Top Fuel Bike racer Peter Svensson make an early exit

"It was so important to get off the line but the track is like a casino"
-- Supertwin racer Martijn de Haas gambles at Hockenheim

"On the first run I accused mum of not taking enough steps back and messing up my routine!"
-- Junior Dragster racer Thaliah Gibb discovers the shorter bleach box to start line distance at Hockenheim

"We had a water leak under the car, perhaps it was from yesterday's rain!"
-- Harald Sturhan's Pro Stock is shut off

"I'm not surprised by Thomas' success - he is doing a great job"
-- Multiple European Pro Stock Champion Jimmy Ålund credits Championship rival Thomas Lindström

"It felt loose at the launch and lazy and then I realised it was a driver's mistake and I had started in second"
-- Disarming honesty from Pro Mod racer Roger Johansson

"I was trying for a good pass and it felt good. I just didn't realise that I was so close to the wall"
-- Martin Lundkvist sideswipes the guardrail during Pro Mod qualifying

"We had some Apache ambushes like in a western"
-- Tuner Peter Lantz forms the wagons into a circle for Top Fuel Dragster racer Håkan Fällström

"It caught us out by surprise and on our first pass the shake was so violent that Patrik's nice shiny new helmet was scratched to hell"
-- Patrik Pers' Top Fuel Dragster Crew Chief Mark 'Animal' Bodimeade means this as a compliment to Tierp Arena's traction

"You can drive with a full heart and not worry about the track not taking the power"
-- Anita Mäkelä is enjoying driving her Top Fuel Dragster at Tierp Arena, too

"I have told my son I will quit racing if I don't run quicker than a six this year and he can take the steering wheel"
-- Strictly, then, Hampus Staflund is driving Jonas Staflund's Top Methanol Funny Car next season

"SweDaneNorse, with a few Anglo Saxon words when it goes wrong!"
-- The language spoken by the three nationalities in Arvid Grødem's Top Methanol Funny Car pit

"We are now back to our normal settings, but when you are used to a quarter turn of a screw and then turn it three times, you forget where you were in the first place"
-- David Wilson tries to recover from the Hockenheim tune-up on Dave Wilson's Top Methanol Dragster

"The weather is very humid today, it takes the oxygen out and you can't burn water"
-- Fredrik Fredlund tunes his Pro Stock Bike

"It is hard to get used to the bike as it is heavier and longer than my old bike. So I have to forget all my old habits"
-- Hans Olav Olstad gets a handle on his new Supertwin

"It's really cool, I blow things up for a living"
-- We must clarify that Pro Stock Bike racer Anders Larsson is talking about his day job as a rock blaster

"We are very happy, have just made small adjustments as the final is not the right time for hasty things"
-- A wise old head on Pro Stock racer Thomas Lindström's young shoulders

"It will be a little bit more aggressive but I am not worrying"
-- Nate Gagnon tunes for a Supertwin final

"With three different camshaft profiles it has been like a test session"
-- Arvid Grødem's Top Methanol Funny Car keeps breaking parts

"We needed some answers before we visit the US and would not normally do such a big change in tune-up before eliminations"
-- Svein Olav Rolfstad's Supertwin dips into the 6.4s

"You have a choice to lift off or drive through it and of course I drove through it"
-- No, not Freddy Fagerström, but fellow Pro Mod racer Johan Lindberg

"I wasn't focused on my reaction time as I was wondering if the car would go straight"
-- Micke Gullqvist and his crew had spent all night constructing a new rear end set-up for his Pro Mod

"I hope Micke's tired and am going to try against him"
-- Tired, but not tired enough not to beat Jan Gunnarsson in round two of Pro Mod

"Although it's not a new engine, the adjustments we have made make it feel like one"
-- Roger Lyrén tunes son, Pro Stock Bike racer and Eurodragster.com Blogger Kalle Lyrén's motor

"What did it run?"
-- Martyn Jones after the chutes fail on his Super Pro ET dragster and Santa Pod Raceway's safety crew catch up with him somewhere near Milton Keynes

"I punched one of the parachute packs and the chute plopped out"
-- Problem determination and resolution with Martyn Jones' Crew Chief Crunch

"It feels like I've only been off one winter, but we had to save for a new engine and then two grandchildren came along"
-- Super Comp racer Andy Williams returns to racing

"We put 100 jets in rather than 150 and it went too quick, but there are too many cars entered in Super Pro for us to switch!"
-- Pro ET racer Pel Norman breaks out

"We are here to run quick and we have no Championship points to worry about, just to go quick"
-- Thomas Nataas drives on Andersen Racing's return to FIA Top Fuel Dragster

"The bike dropped a cylinder and we were left thinking "What if". We have talked about "What if" for four years"
-- Chris Hannam's Supertwin qualifier initially looked good for a six-second pass

"We are trying everything to get into the eights and have even taken the wing mirrors and wipers off"
-- Extreme weight-saving and aerodynamic measures for Russ Fellows' VW in Super Pro ET

"I am now sure of my shift points and everything I dreamed of in the bike's performance is now coming true"
-- Gert-Jan Laseur runs into the 7.2s in Pro Stock Bike qualifying

"For me it's draw your pension on Thursday and race on... Saturday, because I don't think my best pass will qualify me"
-- Pro Stock Bike racer Ray Debben celebrated his sixty fifth birthday on the first day of the FIA European Finals

"The track is awesome, it seems to say "Give me more" and then takes it"
-- Super Street Bike racer Chris Reed is having fun

"We are using our spare motor and it has thrown us a curve ball and we didn't quite catch it"
-- Top Methanol Dragster racer Dave Wilson still has tuning niggles

"The transbrake works fine, but just about everything else doesn't"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Graham Ellis struggles to card a time in Pro Mod qualifying

"When I shifted into third it revved to the Moon - I got on the brake quick"
-- Fellow Pro Modified racer and Eurodragster.com Blogger Andy Frost zings the motor

"Yesterday we knocked a reflector into him, perhaps we can improve on that"
-- Roger Moore faces Micke Gullqvist in round one of Pro Mod

"Often, lane choice becomes more a mental thing rather than a true difference between the lanes"
-- Ulf Ögge lets slip a trade secret before Pro Stock Bike eliminations

"When it went from side to side on the pass it was a bit like a big jelly"
-- Steve Carey's Top Fuel Bike moves around its lane

"When it pulls really hard in the middle of the track we know it is a good run"
-- Peter Svensson runs another 5.7 on his Top Fuel Bike

"I made a rider error and didn't hit one shift point and went into 'seventh' gear"
-- Luckily, Thomas Granica was qualifying his Super Street Bike

"Here we call it 'Polish TV' - I have vision but no sound"
-- One of our German readers gets the silent treatment from his girlfriend for excessive webcam viewing

"The amount of data we are getting is awesome - three camera views, multiple sensors, the tuning capability is epic"
-- How fellow Super Street Bike racer Dave Holland went over 204 mph

"You feel part of the bike and grab it with your knees and tuck yourself in"
-- A new riding position wins Jemma Venables the first half of a Comp Bike speed record

"Left, right and left and then didn't respond to steering input"
-- Where Martyn Jones' Super Pro ET dragster went on a qualifying pass

"Is it lunch break?"
-- Radio exchange between two Straightliners race officials

"Did you have trouble finding gears?"
"No, I found third gear in the oil pan. Everything is still inside the motor, just not in the right place any more"
-- Chris Reed discovers the source of the odd noise in Super Street Bike qualifying...

"Starting to drink at one o'clock is too early even for me"
-- ...and then Bois borrows a bike to continue in competition

"I came here to race, not lie around a hospital"
-- Rikard Gustafsson returns to Valdosta to race even though a high-speed sideswipe of the guardrail injured his leg more seriously than we let on

"John couldn't get much of a word in at home with four sisters. Even their dog was a bitch"
-- Stand-up comedy from the minister at 'Big John' Byrne's funeral

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