Drag Illustrated Issue 178, September / October 2022 | Page 36


performance from the start and will make adjustments as needed .”
Prior to the announcement , NHRA officials worked closely with teams , drivers , team owners and NHRA Division Directors to develop an A / Fuel engine program that is economically efficient for interested participants . As an added benefit , the ruleset and opportunities afforded by the injected nitro combination can also serve as a viable path for drivers , teams , and crew members to ultimately advance to the nitro Funny Car class in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series .
“ We wanted to come up with an option that will be more efficient for teams ,” said Ned Walliser , NHRA Vice President of Competition . “ We ’ re confident there will be significant savings over the course of a full season running the A / Fuel program . The ruleset will also allow teams to purchase bodies , chassis , engine parts and other items from nitro teams , allowing for a significant reduction in costs .
“ It ’ s also going to provide a better steppingstone for drivers , crew chiefs , and crew members if their goal is to race in nitro Funny Car ,” Walliser added . “ That is a big development and we ’ re excited about that . Our goal is to continue to build participation at every level and this addition to Top Alcohol Funny Car should only help that .”
Drivers in the Top Alcohol Funny Car class were also excited about the decision to add A / Fuel to the category , believing it will aid in longterm success and viability . It will also continue to be a marquee class that tracks can promote at NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series regional and divisional events .
“ I think it ’ s going to be a good thing for our class and it ’ s a step in the right direction to help increase participation ,” said Doug Gordon , the 2020 Top Alcohol Funny Car world champion . “ We needed to step out of our comfort zones and come up with some new ideas to add more cars to the class . I ’ m looking forward to it . I want 16- car fields and I want to have to fight for the win against a full field .
“ By bringing in the A / Fuel program , I think it will help someone jump in one of these cars and be competitive right away , and that will bring more people to the class . I think it ’ s going to be good addition .” DI
While Doug Gordon ( top left ) races a blown alcohol entry , he welcomes the addition of nitro-injected entries like Randy Meyer ’ s pictured here .
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