(Story reused with Bret Kepner’s permission) – Proudly we have had more than a few examples of Bret Kepner’s work appear on BangShift over the years. One of the preeminent announcers and historians of the sport, Kepner is never one to mince words or lead readers down the wrong path when it comes to reality versus perception in drag racing. This is clearly not a new trend and there’s some reading down below that’ll blow your mind as proof.
After the big NHRA announcement this week about the NHRA allowing any accepted engine combo in any accepted body for the 2018 season at the teams behest, many people have freaked out. We aren’t blaming them but we are also aware of the fact that when it comes to drag racing, nothing is new and the whole sport operates in some fairly predictable cycles.
40 years ago, nearly to the month Bret Kepner wrote his Super Stock & Drag Illustrated column, “Roadwork” on the subject of the IHRA’s pro stock class and how it sure seemed like any and all pro stock racing was heading in a particular direction. Turns out it was…just at a glacial pace.
Reading this with one eye it seems like a march toward an inevitable end. Reading it with another seems to show how long and hard that inevitable end was staved off for so long by the NHRA. Either way, this is awesome and well worth a few minutes of your time.
Here’s Bret’s own words to set up the piece and it is a HECK of a read –
In light of recent events, I’m going to leave this right here. Just a few months shy of forty years ago, I penned the words in the attached images for my monthly “Roadwork” column in the May, 1979, issue of “Super Stock & Drag Illustrated” magazine. Once published, it became the first of my manuscripts to effect change within the industry. I’m not insinuating the same can be achieved four decades later. If nothing else, this edition will serve as proof to the younger fans there is nothing new under the sun.