Steve Gibbs of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum has issued a memo to the competitors in Nostalgia Top Fuel following the 2012 NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion that addresses the concerns the organization has about the number of oil downs and down time generated by the cars. During the event, there were 14 N/TF cars and those 14 cars generated nearly three hours of downtime, according to the memo (which you can read below). If you watched our live broadcast of the race, you remember that it seemed every pair lubricated the track or caused the track crew to check for oil or other liquid on the surface. By contrast, there were more than 30 Nitro Funny Cars on the grounds and they generated a total of 31-minutes of down time over the course of the weekend. It seems as though the oil downs from N/TF were the last straw for the museum as this memo intimates changes that may be coming for the 2013 season, including a reduction in the size of the field from 16 to eight cars.
Darr Hawthorne of DragRacingOnline posted a copy of the memo on Facebook yesterday. Read it below:
To: Nostalgia Top Fuel Participants
From: Steve Gibbs
Re: Continuing Oildown Occurences
I hope you will forgive the blunt nature of this bulletin, but the continuing oil down problems leave no choice but to take firm action. This past weekend, at The California Hot Rod Reunion, we had 14 Nostalgia Top Fuel Cars competing, and experienced 2 hours and 44 minutes of downtime due to track cleanup caused by oil downs from cars in the class. (Nostalgia Funny Cars had 34 cars competing, and had a total of 31 minutes of cleanup time.) Sunday’s eliminations were concluded at 8 p.m., rather than the scheduled time of 5:30. This was detrimental to the event and cannot continue.
It is apparent that the class rules and policies, as they are now written, are conducive to parts attrition and we have been collectively unable…or unwilling to modify rules and/or behavior, as to improve the situation.
Track operators have been unable to agree on a uniform policy for oil downs, so we have continued with much talk…and little action. Please be advised that the following changes are under consideration for the 2013 California Hot Rod Reunion:
Nostalgia Top Fuel Eliminator – If contested – will be reduced to an 8 car field due to lack of participation.