• 30
The NHRA has acted very quickly in an effort to improve the safety of its Top Fuel and Funny Car races. Due to the tragic death recently of '94 and '95 Top Fuel champion Scott Kalitta, the drag strip for these two fastest classes will be shortened from the traditional 1,320 feet to 1,000 feet. Race officials and team managers believe that this compromise will continue to make for an entertaining race as the cars will still be hitting speeds of around 300 mph. This is an interim change as the sanctioning body investigates the crash and its causes, and will stay in effect until more definite changes can be made. The first race which will incorporate the new shorter track length will take place on July 11-13 at the Mopar Mile High Nationals in Denver, Colorado.

[Source: NHRA via AutoWeek]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ah... just make it 300 Meters

      • 6 Years Ago
      I agree. I'm all for safety but this just sounds kinda dumb. Quarter mile racing is quarter mile racing and yea, it is dangerous, but turning it into arena football is not the answer, short term or long.
      • 6 Years Ago
      skip the artical if you dont want to read man!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not sure I agree with this... Bandimere is a very well laid out track. from the Rocky Mnt News:

      "Our job (at Bandimere) is just to make our track as safe as possible in terms of our track surface, retaining walls, sand traps, nets and the medical staff we have at the track and how quickly they can respond," Bandimere said. "We send thousands of cars a year down our track, and we are extremely picky when it comes to technically inspecting cars for safety issues. That's not to say other tracks aren't, either, but that's the way we do things.

      "Plus, when drivers get behind the wheel, they understand the risks that are involved with racing."

      Jeff Sipes, media-relations director at Bandimere, said there hasn't been a driver fatality during the 28 years of the Mile-High Nationals. In the 50-year history of the speedway, there have been two on-track fatalities, he said.

      John Reynolds, of Loveland, died in August 2003 when he crashed his 1991 Pro Modified Corvette during eliminations at the Super Chevy Show. Frank Quitter, of Thornton, died in September 2004 when he wrecked his motorcycle during a race weekend."

      I think it is an unnecessary precaution.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry about the double post, not sure what happened....
      • 6 Years Ago
      Don,t shorten the track. What i saw was the chute didn't open because it was on fire. and there were not proper emergency barriers at the end of the track. Real drag races are 1/4 mile. Its not the indy 400, or the 23 hours of Le mans. My sympathy to the Kalitta family. but leave the 1/4 mile alone.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe if the made the cars out airbags or or put a 1360' bungee leash on them. Or put a 100' thick wall of bubble wrap at the end of the track. That would all make a lot more sense then removing the concrete wall plus post and lengthening the track. But then again there might be WMD's beyond that Concrete wall. Heck Sadam could put them there. Oh the what to do what to do. Life is so complicated.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It will be interesting to see how the die hard drag fans react to this, and what the NHRA can come up safety wise as a standard for the shutdown areas. This will give the cars a little more shut down room, but considering what happened, I don't know that it would have helped in Kalitta's situation.
      • 6 Years Ago
      drag racing is a 1/4 mile. Period.

      If there are safely concerns, they need to change the cars, not the track. Impliment restrictions and new manditory safely hardware or something.

      This is not the answer and i think it's going to be much more unpopular than they realize.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Im foreseeing something akin to the arrestor wires on an aircraft carrier.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm the 1000 foot mark was chosen since tracks allready have a set of timing lights installed, no need for renovations.
      • 6 Years Ago
      eww that sucks. 1/8 mile is really lame, this makes it just as worthless.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is so dumb.
    • Load More Comments

    From Our Partners

    2014 Jeep Cherokee
    MSRP: $22,995 - $30,095
    2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
    MSRP: $51,800 - $103,200
    2014 Chevrolet Cruze
    MSRP: $17,520 - $24,985