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Sunday, July 24, 2011

What makes a World Record in Diesel Motorsports?

This only relates to diesel drag racing since the sled pullers use points for year end records. First - running a time slip at a IHRA or NHRA track using their techs and rules is just a run for a time slip since neither sanctioning body have classes or records for diesel trucks. Same application goes for making a run at a diesel promotional event using IHRA or NHRA techs and timeslips since you are using their guidelines and techs to run.

Technically the only legal World Record is set by the only sanctioning body listed with SFI as a race sanctioning body. The affiliate SFI status only gives that promoter the right to use the sanctioning body rules as a guideline with permission. 

What does it take to become a sanctioning body for diesel motorsports? Your own rules approved by SFI and the insurance companies, ability to carry your own insurance using your SFI rules, and having licensed SFI technicians for diesel motorsport's set of rules.

Right now only NADM carries the credentials to properly make that claim and has officially set some World Records that have been set in the past and present. All times must be run during an event or teched by a NADM SFI tech for an official run using the track's timing system. Then backed within 1% of the set time using the same techs, track, and equipment. You can't run one time, come back a week later and back it up!

Here's the real problem in diesel drag racing right now, yes there are a lot of claims for World Records, but how many were made running against someone else like real drag racers in the IHRA or NHRA? Honestly, not that many or any at all, since there are not that many high end diesel dragsters or trucks available to run against each other. 

Even if you had them all in one spot and all running, how many trucks/dragsters are there 9 seconds and faster? Plus how many could make the 3-5 rounds during competition to set consistent times? The list gets so small that it would be a very short show at an event. 

Yes, DIESEL Motorsports® is still young and growing in diesel drag racing but with the downward turn in the economy there are fewer now than there was five years ago. Nothing against the owners, it takes a lot of expense to keep these things going and traveling now days. I know I have attempted to help a couple find some sponsors, it's tough out there right now.

Another thing to discuss is how many will run against each other since so many high end diesel trucks/dragsters represent manufacturers or diesel shops? I have been asked many times at each event who is coming so they would not have to run against each other, even told by some that we are not running against them!! When I asked why not they said what if I get beat, it will be all over the Internet!

Mike Woods of Nitrous Express called me before coming to the A&A East Coast Nationals and asked if there was any others to race against? I had to reply there are only two or three of your class in the country and I would guess the minute he announced he was coming they would not show up. Guess what, they didn't show up! Understand Mike Wood is a long time drag racer and wants to compete, he is from the IHRA/NHRA side who has raced many times and made a name for himself as a tough competitor. He didn't understand that attitude.

Well, I have to agree with Mike! How are we going to build this sport when the top end racers will only run by themselves? Does a baseball player make a name for himself by only hitting home runs at the Home Run Derby every year, no, he does it during weekly games with all the pressures of competition.

That's why we pass out World Records very carefully when they mean something and if they happen during competition. Doesn't mean they are all that way, but we do try and guide them in that direction. When the keyboard racers want to brag about their accomplishments, I never comment, come to the track and put your money down the old saying goes!

It's the only way the sport is going to grow, I would love to tell Mike one day that 5-6 will be racing in his class this weekend. 

Setting a record is not as easy as running it once on your local track and posting the timeslip on the Internet, real competitors come to the track and compete for the title at a sanctioned event!

*Photo courtesy of Kevin Wilson, Diesel World Magazine

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