Page 76 - AZ Extreme - AEM Volume 8 Issue 2
P. 76

GUEST EDITORIAL BY JEFFERY A. SEFRANEK
The following is an editorial that does not necessarily reflect the opinions of AZ Extreme Motorsports, its sponsors or advertisers, and is the opinion of the writer only.
Over the past few years, I have argued that DRAGCAR’s non- breakout race format not only
provides for more realistic drag racing with it’s “first one there wins” style, but also that it’s safer than the traditional breakout formats because it allows racers to concentrate fully on where their car is going rather than where their opponent is while also eliminating the temptation of getting on the brakes on the top end out of fear of the dreaded breakout. Now, it seems there is evidence that this argument held more water than even I imagined as a recent drag racing tragedy just may have been instigated by such circumstances created by the breakout format.
When I saw the story this past weekend of Randy Alexander’s fatal wreck in Atlanta with Bob Mandell III stating that Alexander ran 7.41 @ 160 mph, I fairly quickly started wondering if it was more than just a “car got out
of shape” type incident, and I went
to the timeslip for more information. After analyzing that data, it looked pretty reasonable that Alexander was on the brakes on that pass which really
increased the chance that it was a braking issue that started the car out of control. When you look at the timeslip data, it’s apparent that Alexander was passing 170 mph as he stopped the 1000’ timers and still accelerating, but still only clocked a 160 mph trap speed even though his final 320’ speed average was still almost 170 mph. This could only happen if he in fact exceeded 170 mph for some time through that final 320’ section. So in my own supposition, I would say that Alexander reached around 175 mph at about 1100’ where he then hit the brakes and scrubbed
off that 15 mph in the last 8 tenths of a second of the run before crossing the finish line already sideways.
But how could I raise this argument when most people would think I am faulting the driver for some elementary mistake when the fact is that I am faulting the breakout format itself for tempting good racers into such risky predicaments.
Now, in an article on Competition Plus, Bob Mandell III (the other racer involved in the crash) said of Randy Alexanders’ fatality, “He was doing the
threat of losing by running too quick is part of the race format. This has been an issue for even longer than I have been racing (since 1983) and it will continue to be as long as the breakout remains the decider of race winners.
Top Sportsman and Top Dragster
are two categories that could really benefit from adopting the American DRAGCAR SportComp Eliminator non-breakout format as most of these racers really just want to race to the finish line because they all know just how dangerous sudden braking can be on the top end at speeds approaching and even exceeding 200 mph. And here is possible proof, because I’m sure that Randy Alexander actually felt that he was just touching the brakes while his adrenaline had him popping that pedal harder than he really wanted to, and that’s a mistake he now doesn’t get to correct. v
Jeffrey A. Sefranek American DRAGCAR USDRAGCAR @aol.com
RENOLL
DESIGNS SHOOTOUT
T By Justin Renoll
he intention of this race was to bring something different to our regular event. We had nothing but great feedback.
This was something that most have never see done with a payout like it was.. There were 28 racers going head-to-head in something most of them have never experienced.. Each pair in the entire event, every round brought their “A-game”! We had racers that traveled from Colorado, Texas, Nevada, California, and ofcourse our home state of Arizona!
It finally came down to an awesome semi- finals where Keoki ‘Kj ‘Desa defeated Chase DePasquale and Braden Bettis defeated Connor Pesqueira-Murphy. The final consisted of Nevada vs Texas with amazing driving efforts of both drivers, but Keoki was victorious over Braden! Final payout was Winner:$1350.00 and Runner-up: $400! I want to give a huge thanks to everyone: Jim Hughes for letting Junior events happen every year, Matthew DeYoung, Mari Tatge, the Tucson Dragway Staff, the families, the racers, my wife Tara Renoll for working hand and hand with me all day on this, John Dexter for his help and awesome announcing of the shootout, the list goes on and on.. Thank you again EVERYONE for making this event possible.. I can’t wait to see where this takes us! v
best he could have done. Anybody out here would have probably done the same thing he was doing.”
What made Randy Alexander’s car turn left from the right lane at more than 170 MPH?
“We’re not 100 percent sure,” Mandell III said. “. . . we’re thinking maybe we seen in the video that he was definitely in the marbles towards the wall. We don’t know if the car drove itself that way or if he was trying to really look for me and see where I’m at and he drove the car that way. And then when he knew that I was nowhere around, he laid on the brakes and got the car out of control,” he said. “We don’t know. We can’t talk to him.”
In Mandell’s own opinion, “He [Anderson] was looking for me and he tried. I think he got on the brakes hard,” Mandell continues, “. . . he knew he
had to start closing up the gap, I think he got on the brakes a little hard and the car started drifting and he was just going for a ride after you get the car that sideways.”
And that’s my point, good drivers will get into these situations as long as the
         DRAG RACING EDITORIAL CON’T.
best - has Hartford brimming with confidence unlike any   the NORRA race this year.”The Mexican 1000 is a five-
 he’s experienced since his highly-competitive days in the sport compact realm.
CKR Racing on the Move!
Lloyd Coker of CKR Fab Works is moving his shop to larger quarters during the opening weeks of June. It will have much more space for him to be able to work his magic building headers, fabrication of all kinds, new dragster chassis & more. The new address is 9845 N. 21st Ave, Phoenix 85021 (just down the street from the present shop. Phone number is 928-821-0103. Call first and then check it out!
Prudhomme to Race Mexican 1000
While four-time NHRA Funny Car champion and drag racing legend Don “the Snake” Prudhomme is best known for his performance in a nitro-burning Funny Car, he also has a history with racing in Baja. In 1968, Prudhomme entered the Mexican 1000 Baja race in a Porsche-powered buggy built by racing innovator Tony Nancy and owned by actor Steve McQueen. Shortly before the race, McQueen had a movie conflict so Nancy reached out to Prudhomme to fill the seat as the co-driver. Now, 50 years later, Prudhomme is returning to Baja competition in the 2018 Mexican 1000 – and he’s out for redemption.
“In 1968, we burned it up,” says Prudhomme. “Never even made it onto the dirt, which I’m embarrassed to tell you. Haven’t been back since.” The 2018 Mexican 1000 will be the “Snake’s” first competitive driving appearance since 1994 when he retired from the NHRA tour. He’ll return to competition in a 2018 Polaris RZR 1000 prepped by P.J. Jones of PJ’s Performance in Mesa, Ariz., and will race in the Stock Turbo UTV class. “This thing can move out,” says Prudhomme. “If we’d had this in 1968, we would have finished the race. We’re gonna do it right for
76 Arizona EXTREME Motorsports
day, off-road rally run by the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) as a celebration of off-road racing history and vintage off-road machinery. The race began Friday, April 20th in Ensenda and ended Thursday, April 26th in San Jose del Cabo.
[EDITOR’S NOTE:] Prudhomme would finish 96th overall, 10th in class.
Breakthrough in Diesel Emissions
New developments from Bosch could enable vehicle manufacturers to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) so drastically that they already comply with future limits. Even in RDE (real driving emissions) testing, emissions from vehicles equipped with the newly premiered Bosch diesel technology are not only significantly below current limits but also those scheduled to come into force from 2020. Bosch engineers achieved these results by refining existing technologies in the past few months. The company said the breakthrough is a combination of advanced fuel- injection technology, a newly developed air management system, and intelligent temperature management. Even with this technological advance, the diesel engine has not yet reached its full development potential, according to Bosch, which now aims to use artificial intelligence alongside the new technology.
“This will mark another step toward a major landmark: the development of a combustion engine that—with the exception of CO2—has virtually no impact on the ambient air,” according to the company. v
That’s it - we’ll see you at the races!
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