Drag Racing Unplugged XX

With the 2018 season over we are, for the twentieth year in succession, pleased to bring you the finest comments from the year's Event Coverage on Eurodragster.com - and other quotes which we didn't publish at the time.

We open with the Quotes of the Year of the Eurodragster.com team...

Tog's Quote of the Year

"The Junior racers are all asking if the Little Santa is here. Do you know who the Little Santa is? It's you"
-- EDRS' Yasmine Bengtson gets her Tog and Tomte confused

Simon's Quote of the Year

"My first pass yesterday was planned to be a sixty foot launch but the team who had prepared the bike as usual said "See how it feels and keep on it for a little longer if you like" "
-- Filippos Papafilippou's Maltese Sixty Foot lasts for 5.4 seconds, good for a 6.0-second Top Fuel Bike licencing pass

Kirstie's Quote of the Year

"I want to run a nine while the car is still road-legal and then get a pint of milk after the run"
-- Outlaw Anglia racer Gary Hill has the shopping list ready

Julian's Quote of the Year

"I told her that the car had 2000 horsepower and she said "I've got an 1800 Escort" "
-- TV presenter Maggie Philbin is meant to be driving Dennis Priddle's Top Fuel Dragster

Diana's Quote of the Year

"When you put your helmet on it doesn't matter whether you're a man or woman. If you want to win you have to beat them all"
-- Anita Mäkelä takes out Jndia Erbacher in Top Fuel Dragster E1

...and the rest of the 2018 Drag Racing Unplugged collection in chronological order...

"I took tyres down to the Barn for the track crew. Steve Saunders was having handling trouble so I shot down to the Barn in the golf cart and the tyres hadn't been cut up. Steve put them on and went the quickest he had in years, but then he blew it up"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Geof Hauser does too good a favour

"We don't have any new products to show you, we just keep trying to sell more of it"
-- Disarming honesty from Barry Miller of Brown and Miller Racing Solutions

"I can kill myself but I don't want to kill my son"
-- Andy Wright Senior adjusts a badly-fitting seat on the BA Racing Pro Mod

"We told NHRA "This is coming, either you work with us or stay as cavemen" "
-- Tim Anderson explains Eurodragster.com sponsor Racepak's new cloud-based Junior Dragster datalogger...

"NHRA didn't like Cameron driving the Junior Dragster. He is licenced for Top Fuel Dragster, Nostalgia Funny Car, Super Comp and Super Gas but NHRA didn't like it!"
-- ...as tested by Racepak's (adult) Marketing and Social Media manager

"Last year I had eight motors in my trailer and I took one out after the motor in the car was damaged - I made too many runs on one crank"
-- Top Fuel Dragster racer Stig Neergaard, a man of means

"Whenever anyone gets hurt they have not been using the equipment correctly. We see in every class from Juniors to the top that people don't know how to use their safety equipment. The rules say what you need but not how to use it"
-- Which is why Jan Phersson of Eurodragster.com sponsor Simpson Safety Europe arranges seminars for racers

"We just have some calibration work to do on the converter and then we will be ready to make some noise!"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Jon Webster pretty much set with his Pro Mod

"You bastard"
-- Sitting next to Your News Editor, it dawns on Eurodragster.com Pit Reporter Simon that he is the subject of the citation being read out for SPRC's Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy

"Just think, if there hadn't been an ambulance on-site you would have been in the Hall of Fame last year"
-- Heart attack survivor Jerry Cookson and family are voted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame

"We have got lots of good stuff on the car to make it run well"
-- Kevin Chapman cross-licences to Fuel Funny Car

"So far I have only sat on the bike in the pits while it was being fired up"
-- Filippos Papafilippou, go straight into the Fives on the Gulf Oil Drag Racing Top Fuel Bike, do not pass go, do not collect £200

"But if you don't have a go, you'll never know"
-- Matt Griffifths first-foots in Modurstang Pro ET

"I saw the car on track and it was very consistent, so I thought I could get into the sport by buying it"
-- Fellow Pro ET racer Ben Newsome goes turn-key

"The nitrous is putting out an extra 120 hp playing it safe but I could have 150 hp out of it"
-- Outlaw Anglia racer Ronnie Mercer, you know you want to do it

"My Fordson which has a 540 ci engine with 14-71 blower should be very entertaining"
-- And fellow Outlaw Anglia racer Simon Barlow kept his promise

"I'm really pleased that the car ran straight and quick"
-- Someone tell Scott Crookston that one out of two is the usual score when driving an Outlaw Anglia

"My ambition is to get to the other end of the track - it's only my second time in the car"
-- Outlaw Anglia débutant Shane Bird

"I adjust the wheelie bars to be six inches off the ground and ignore any comments I get when I run it on the street"
-- Outlaw Anglia racer Gary Hill could always put the milk on top of them

"Gary has a set of cut slicks but I won't let him use them until he runs a nine"
-- Gary's partner Kelly holds the key to the larder

"You have to go to as many events as you can, and this one's fun"
-- An weekend doing the NSRA for multiple Super Street Champion Leigh Morris

"We didn't do a lot over the winter apart from some freshening up, we just want to save money and keep it reliable"
-- Super Street racer Dave Cherrett speaks like a true racer

"I'm enjoying this event as we're against cars we usually wouldn't race"
-- Darren Shephard describes one of the several selling points of Webster Race Engineering 4 Cylinder at The Doorslammers

"I did a lovely burnout across the line this morning, had a misfire in first on the launch and the boost pressure popped the grille off"
-- Mixed fortunes for Carl Goldsmith's Spal Front Wheel Drive Golf

"I have a floorpan car for racing in the US and a tube framed one with nearly identical mechanicals for the UK"
-- Why stop at one mental VW Beetle when, like Richie Webb, you could have two

"We need to make some four link adjustments as it went sideways on the second pass but still recorded our best speed of 138 mph"
-- Jon Turner writes his name on the track in OCS Group Big Bracket testing

"I've not driven so far with this new set-up, we are here mainly to test, if it goes well it is a bonus, but it is great to take part in the event"
-- Spal Front Wheel Drive racer Allan Duthie has that Doorslammers feeling

"We took all the power out of it but it still blew the tyres off it after forty feet. We then increased the boost and power to load the chassis up, but that didn't work"
-- Martin Smith works on the launch in his Lucas Oil Pro Street Bentley

"We fired it up but it didn't sound right"
-- James Willday's new Mazda spends time in the pits before a last-ditch EBC Brakes 6 Cylinder qualifier

"If we get to the second round we will have reimbursed our entry fee as well having made a lot of test passes"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson profits in all sorts of ways from VP Racing Fuels Pro Doorslammer

"I want to run 200 mph then I might put the car up for sale for a tenner"
-- Save your pennies and Mark Flavell's Gearhead Garage Super Pro ET Funny Car could be yours in 2019

"It got into the engine and there was oil everywhere"
-- Super Pro ET racer Mike Hollaar and the self-locking nut which didn't

"It's good to support young people in drag racing, they are the future of the sport"
-- Mark Exley explains why he sponsors Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer Matthew Dowdy

"I was in control and the team were happy to stand in front of the car when I went through the burnout procedure"
-- Kevin Chapman's crew trust him with a Fuel Funny Car

"I couldn't hear my burnout as we did ours at the same time as Jürgen"
-- That must have been some racket to mask Jonny Lagg's A/Fueller

"The car is really amazing to drive, it's my baby"
-- Jndia Erbacher bonds with her Top Fuel Dragster

"I asked Rune whether he thought I should do a half pass and he said "See how it feels" and it felt good"
-- Thus did defending FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Duncan Micallef run 309 mph

"The track is going to be good but we don't want to push the car too much at this stage"
-- Bengt Ljungdahl takes it sensibly with his Pro Stock on Santa Pod Raceway's new concrete track

"I did three starts on Thursday and it was eye-opening but much nicer using the two step"
-- Although the motor is detuned for Super Pro ET, Matt Peters gets the Star Wars effect in Norbert Kuno's spare Pro Mod

"The car is a little bit squirrelly going down the track, but it's me rather than the track, I'm still used to driving a doorslammer and was over-correcting on the steering"
-- Paul Hudson takes his Super Comp long and thin

"We have made engine changes to make more power and have a new clutch from our sponsor Molinari, and with the new track we have a lot of variables to work with"
-- Plenty of balls in the air for Top Methanol Funny Car racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Sandrooo Bellio

"The track feels really good and there have been PBs in so many classes, it was a good decision to lay it in concrete"
-- Top Fuel Dragster racer Antti Horto joins in the chorus of approval

"The car was out of shape before the eighth mile and I lifted, only to find later that was a normal issue on these cars"
-- That tyre mark in the shape of an A was Aaron Fensome licencing for Super Pro ET in a blown-alcohol dragster

"On the passes the cam belt started hopping over the teeth so we have had to soften the setup. We also lost the RPM track on the data logger. It's usual start of season problems"
-- A philosophical Hans Olav Olstad returns to Supertwin competition

"The clutch pack is twenty years old, but better develop the bike with that than get a new pack which we don't need yet"
-- Allan Davies takes the conservative route on his Supertwin

"There are just niggly things we have to sort out"
-- No mean racer himself, Chris Hope oversees son Alex Hope's Pro Stock Bike

"The team have worked incredibly hard, there's no substitute for it"
-- Pro Mod racer Wayne Nicholson loves his crew

"It was a perfect weekend and I'd rather be lucky than good"
-- Marcus Hilt looks back on his VP Racing Fuels Pro Doorslammer runner-up finish at The Doorslammers

"Our set-up has given us confidence but each round is an empty page to be written on"
-- Lots of heart doodles in Anita Mäkelä's Top Fuel Dragster diary

"I had no idea what happened to Duncan so I pedalled five times, at one stage all four wheels were off the ground"
-- One of those Top Fuel Dragster cannonades then Stig Neergard takes the race

"We already feel as if we've won!"
-- Jürgen Nagel takes out Sandro Bellio in round one of Top Methanol and Crew Chief Frank Schwimmer is happy enough

"We have the parts but don't know if we've got the time"
-- Chris Hannam and team face a thrash to get Neil Midgley to the line for the next round of Supertwin

"As a spare engine, it's performing well"
-- Stu Crane and his six-second Funny Bike

"We don't have any tracks in Austria so it is amazing to be here"
-- It's a long but rewarding haul to Santa Pod Raceway for Erich Gruber to contest Super Street Bike

"We only discovered the flywheel problem last night and now we're back to where we were on Thursday on car set-up"
-- ...and now it's Monday and Peter Lantz has to send Stefan Gunnarsson into round one of Top Fuel Dragster

"The Procharger engine set-up is new and it runs fine on the dyno but not on the track"
-- Racers around the world will recognise the syndrome affecting Pro Street racer Anders Back

"I consulted with my doctor who gave me clearance and am looking forward to getting back in the saddle"
-- Per Bengtsson's welcome return to the saddle of The Beast Supertwin

"When you strike the tyres at the start there is no point in getting back on it in qualifying as the momentum will have been lost"
-- Car owner Rune Fjeld has Top Fuel Dragster racer Liam Jones well-trained

"It was fantastic to go to Santa Pod, but I got the last parts for my all-new engine the day before so it was really no more than testing for us"
-- Micke Larsson takes his Top Methanol Funny Car overseas

"There's not much difference between Santa Pod and here, except you don't get walls at Santa Pod and you don't get wind turbines here"
-- Mark Hope takes his Super Street Bike to Tierp Arena

"I don't know what's best, the improved reliability or running in the fives"
-- We all know Pro Mod racer Michael Joneskog's secret answer to that one

"We forgot to have the fuel test, we were celebrating so much"
-- Andreas Arthursson doesn't set a new European Pro Mod record

"Will the track take it or not? In three to four hours, we'll know"
-- Crew Chief Ulf Hultholm sets up Timo Lehtimäki's Top Fuel dragster

"It was strange for the stage bulbs to be on for so long, in qualifying I was used to leaving soon after the stage bulbs were lit"
-- Sandro Bellio's Top Methanol Funny Car leaves long before the lights run

"I thought the tree was slow to activate but Sandro left earlier than me with the tree advantage"
-- Dennis Habermann's view from his Top Methanol Dragster in the other lane

"The car doesn't eat parts and feels well balanced and as strong as hell"
-- Top Fuel Dragster racer Björn Måtensson is happy with his ride

"We knew we had something in the car and found it and unleashed it"
-- Magnus Pettersson empowers Jimmy Ålund to lay all before him in the Old 51 Pro Mod

"The weather is changing all the time and we never got into anything that works perfectly and we are chasing the tune-up"
-- Not such a good weekend for fellow Pro Mod racer Micke Gullqvist

"The times were off our Personal Bests as we had silly problems and too much power leading to spinning the tyres and tyre shake after launch"
-- Jens Eklund ended up winning Comp Eliminator, though

"I couldn't see Liam, I could hear him but didn't know how close he was"
-- Pretty damn close but Anita Mäkelä wins Europe's quickest- and fastest-ever Top Fuel Dragster race

"The car seems not to like concrete tracks which are now the majority of the Championship"
-- Bruno Bader and his fussy Pro Mod

"So far we've adhered to the script, but anything can happen"
-- Andy Robinson halfway through a successful MSA Pro Modified round

"I was in the right lane and the next thing I was looking at the left hand wall, I didn't know what had happened"
-- Fortunately Pro ET racer Andy Thetford hit nothing and fortunately it happened in testing

"I looked at the rules and thought "That works" "
-- Adrian Portelli's Charger is a nice fit in UK Nostalgia Superstock

"We had a bigger engine this year but had electrical problems so went back to what we were used to and, after checking it out, tuned it and it responded really well"
-- Pro Mod racer Bobby Wallace, not the first man in history making the plea that size isn't everything

"We are trying to go quicker with little changes, and we mean little"
-- Kev Slyfield nudges up on his Pro Mod

"I was nine when we started"
-- Bert Englefield celebrates thirty years in Pro Mod

"We are enjoying our racing!"
-- Fellow Pro Mod racer Wayne Nicholson gets into the 6.2s

"I'm over the moon with four runs in the sevens, went bouncing in the shutdown area after pulling the chutes which was interesting"
-- Paul Watson discovers what blown-alcohol altereds get up to on the QT

"We want to get it down the track without any dramas, and it's our turn to beat Fred"
-- Engine builder and Eurodragster.com sponsor Jeff Bull outlines his Comp Eliminator game plan for wife Belinda's pick-up

"We had clearly been trying too hard on the Test Day"
-- Rick Stubbins turns down the wick on his Super Street Bike and promptly goes quicker

"I can still drive it on the street but it's not pleasant!"
-- Pete Jackson's '32 Ford can run nines

"That's what we set it to run so it's a good start"
-- A brace of 8.3s for Supercharged Outlaw racer Jim Usher

"These are like the bikes I came and raced at the track in the 1970s so it is genuine nostalgia for me"
-- Charlie Draper returns to two wheels at Dragstalgia

"All the work on the Willys is on the front drive as my garage is too small for it"
-- Dave Hinson enters the Willys Wars fray

"The engine isn't responding under load and doesn't sound right"
-- Nostalgia Funny Car crew member Herb Andrews with a mechanical explanation which even Tog can understand

"All the parts are about thirty years old, so it's good to see it go so fast"
-- Clare Rule's Nostalgia Pro Stock Bike runs its best-ever speed

"The bike is exactly as I raced it with the addition of wheelie bars, which we made only yesterday"
-- Sean Biddlecombe cuts it fine with his Nostalgia Pro Stock Bike

"I usually run nines on it and it's great fun"
-- Martin Wilmot and his blown Triumph join the NSA at Dragstalgia

"It was like being on a different planet at that race"
-- Ian Messenger raced a drag bike at the 1970 US Nationals

"I don't want the team to be under pressure in this weather"
-- Probably the first time that Nostalgia Funny Car racer Bob Glassup or any other UK racer said this

"There is no word to explain how much more powerful nitro is"
-- So Nostalgia Funny Car racer Doc Stinger uses four words, which is fair enough

"I'm so glad we can retire the car by performing well and giving the fans a good show"
-- Someone needs to tell Nick Davies and Rob Loaring of the Havoc Fuel Altered team that the UK's retirement age keeps changing upwards

"I launched in top gear, we thought it was too soft and changed the clutch settings and then had to change them back again after we discovered the mistake"
-- Not everyone would admit to Dave Grabham's error in the Freddy's Revenge altered

"We rely on attention to detail and checking everything to keep the performances good"
-- Legendary Fuel bike racer John Hobbs keeps the legendary Hobbit sweet

"We will be back with a repaired engine, it's racing and it has its ups and downs"
-- Mike Olie waxes philosphical after his Funny Bike puts a rod out

"The car is showing me what it can do and I'm happy"
-- Jndia Erbacher's mother love for her Top Fuel Dragster continues

"It's hard to tell but things like that shouldn't happen and we must be careful"
-- Anita Mäkelä and team try to diagnose a reflector-punting qualifying pass

"It happened after ten runs and they are only supposed to be in danger of breaking after twenty runs"
-- Duncan Micallef's careful accounting comes to naught as a rod breaks in the motor of his Top Fuel Dragster

"The best runs always feel more comfortable, you don't think the car is going that fast"
-- Top Methanol Dragster racer Jonny Lagg explains that the concept also exists from inside the car

"To say we suck is an understatement, but we've got lucky"
-- Jimmy Ålund makes the Pro Mod semi-final

"Our first issue was to figure out the race track - we are spoiled at Santa Pod Raceway"
-- Andy Robinson takes the Anger Management Pro Mod on a rare overseas visit

"Even if we could organise the spare parts necessary it would be too risky to run again"
-- Rolf Amman's Coupe zings its motor in Comp Eliminator qualifying

"The problem with ignition issues is that you lose power but when you solve it there's too much power"
-- ... but Micke Gullqvist ended up winning Pro Mod anyway

"We don't want to do anything crazy on race day, just to get the win light, although the field is tight"
-- Antti Horto's Top Fuel Dragster game plan

"The win is more important than a new record, and we need the points to finish better in the Championship"
-- Liam Jones keeps a level head during Top Fuel Dragster eliminations

"I have worked for twelve years on the car and it means a lot to me"
-- Kenni Neergaard takes his first Top Fuel Dragster round win

"I did not expect a six straight off the trailer, the bike felt lazy and the sixty foot time was slower than my best"
-- Dale Leeks' Funny Bike gives him a surprise

"We did three nice passes and turned it up a bit on each and didn't go backwards"
-- Mark Smith's Pro Stock Bike DNQs but the team are happy enough

"I'm still learning the bike, it's got better each run and I feel at one with it"
-- PBs for Pro Stock Bike racer Charly Abraham

"The riding style is different between the two, getting the body weight transfer right, but I'm getting used to both"
-- Alex Hope switches between Super Street Bike and Pro Stock Bike

"Walter had put more in it than I had thought!"
-- Steve Mead's Super Street Bike PBs with help from tuner Walter Sprout

"I have the Hockenheim curse and my clutch master cylinder failed"
-- Super Street Bike racer Graham Balchin cops it

"We have had to overcome issues like language but the racing has been great"
-- Ollie Dummer organises the Junior Drag Bikes at Hockenheim

"I had no steering and it kept bouncing and the side of the car hit the wall and the chassis is bent. Not the way I wanted to finish the event"
-- Billy Everitt's weekend in Super Pro ET finishes far too early

"It can be a handful as there is little weight on the rear"
-- The good news is that George Scanlon runs a pick-up so that's easily sorted

"You have had your hair cut. You look nice now..."
"...you looked nice before"
-- A compliment from a Tierp Arena race official incorporates a save worthy of an errant Fuel Altered

"Can we move to Sweden?"
-- Andy Marrs' son Zak learns that the Swedish word for speed is fart

"When the throttle stop came on I took my foot off the gas, thinking there was something wrong!"
-- Brett Featherstone first-foots, albeit briefly, in Super Gas

"It had never wheelied like that before"
-- Pro ET racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Tig Napier goes up so far and for so long that he can calculate his ET by the intervening change in the sun's position

"Santa Pod's a nice facility and has good track staff who understand Junior racing"
-- Randy Ditzel of Halfscale Inc likes what he sees

"This is our lifestyle and what my family do. If there is a race, you have to go"
-- My name is Anita Mäkelä and I'm a Top Fuel Dragster racer

"If I win the race I may even return"
-- Urs Erbacher doesn't win his last race in Top Fuel Dragster but it doesn't have to be the last, Urs

"There is no easy way through in this class, but I have learned to stay calm and professional after the disappointments because, if not, you lose the team"
-- Duncan Micallef misses defending his FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Championship

"It would be a good prelude to next year, and definitely help in sponsor negotiations"
-- Antti Horto looks to take the Top Fuel Dragster event title

"The engine is from a breakers' yard and is a cheap way of getting horsepower and torque"
-- Pete Huckle's Wild Bunch slingshot sports a supercharged Jaguar straight six

"The higher the percentage the more it wants to go quick"
-- Bob Hawkins tips the can slowly but surely on his Wild Bunch slingshot

"Over time I will give it more boost and hope the bottom end holds out"
-- Wild Bunch racer Jim Tanner turns the blower up

"We had to change the four link and alter the tyre pressures, a process of trial and error, but it's an education"
-- Graham Smith's Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator Chevy is now shod with Hoosiers

"I'm due to race at Drachten for the first time this coming weekend, so we will have to strip the engine down tonight and order the parts on Monday and then rebuild as soon as I have all the parts"
-- Supercharged Outlaw racer Andy Fadster gives up sleep as a bad job

"I could put 700 hp of nitrous in the engine but no-one is really pushing me"
-- A strangely-restrained Outlaw Anglia racer Colin Millar

"There was a big bang and I stopped"
-- Ronnie Mercer's Outlaw Anglia breaks a propshaft

"Sorry for your Swedish weather"
-- After day one of the UK National Finals is rained out, longtime Event Coverage fan Kai Plathan commiserates from Finland

"Amazing, isn't it, how I'm evil but not so evil that people won't steal Championship standings off my web site"
-- In it went, there was nothing in there to stop it, so out it came the other side

"The English word is "Swinger" but that implies sex parties. Is there a Swedish word for that?"
"I actually don't think we have a Swedish word for swinger. We use the English word!"
-- A revelation as Honorary Eurodragster.com Staff Member Christer Abrahamson tries to assist Your News Editor in explaining what his day job title doesn't mean

"The Alcohol Funny Car was actually a handful, but with a nitro car you have to be prepared for anything"
-- Jonnie Lindberg has both hands full in Jim Head's Fuel Funny Car

"Virtually all the Pro Stock teams have bought the clutch, although they may not be using it. We only know if they use it if they contact us for spares"
-- Ulf Leanders enters the secretive world of Pro Stock

"I have always tried to be a private person, if I was a miserable bastard people would steer clear of me and it worked!"
-- UK legend Dennis Priddle excuses his reluctance to be the subject of a book

"We seem to have drifted away from the core of racing - the best thing we could do is to get rid of timing equipment. It's first to the line!"
-- Where former Santa Pod Raceway Promoter Roy Phelps thinks it has gone wrong

"When I first started Dennis and Clive were there and that's who you wanted to be!"
-- UK legend Barry Sheavills turned out OK

"You would not believe how much marinated salmon one person could eat"
-- Dennis Priddle introduces his crew to smorgasbord on the ferry to Sweden

"The most phenomenal buzz you can have is to do a proper burnout in a Funny Car with handfuls of lock. The sheer joy of doing a burnout, the motor going through absolute torture and it's under your right foot"
-- Dennis Priddle on the joys of Funny Car

"If you understand then no explanation is necessary. If you don't understand then no explanation is possible"
-- Dennis Priddle quotes another wise man

"Every bloody year I try and get on that quotes list and never make it, maybe I need to clean up my quotes a bit"
-- Learn from The Boy, Marrs

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