There appears to be a trend, a disturbing one at that going on the drag racing world in the last decade or so. The trend of breaking records seems to be more important to some than good racing or even getting wins.
Have you ever noticed that there is always that guy/gal, that is on the forefront of technology? They are out there breaking records, but at the end of the day can't seem to win a damn race? Well that seems to be the mentality consuming some of those within drag racing. No longer does the win matter, the only thing that seems to matter is putting up a huge number.
Now I will step back for a minute and state that there are those out there that have managed to do both, but it's not often that happens. I liken this trend in drag racing to a trend that we saw in baseball for much of the 90's and early 00's. The trend where it didn't matter what else you did as long as you launched the long ball. You could have a .215 average, strikeout 200 times, but if you had 55 homeruns that is all that mattered.
So why is it that drivers go for the longball and no one seems to mind? It's the cool thing to do. It's awesome to show up on social media and claim a record. If you are a track owner and you have those records it's a marketing tool. You use it to your advantage to get people to your track. In the grand scheme of things, a record doesn't really mean a damn thing though. I am pretty sure that the three men with over 100 Wallys would tell you the same thing too.
John Force, Frank Manzo, and Dan Fletcher who just joined Frank and John are the only drivers in history with 100 NHRA Wallys. Do you really think that any of those three men care about ET Records? Well John might because it's good press for him, but the reality is that wins are what matters. In baseball terms it comes down to runs scored. It doesn't matter if you have a four homerun game if you get outscored 5 to 4, because at the end of the day it's about the win.
The landscape of drag racing and it's classes are constantly changing and evolving. It's hard to even keep up with records because someone's always claiming to have some record. Whether it's the quickest grayish silver foxbody with a radio and a VIN ending in 8 or a B Swapped Honda with some random turbo kit, there is always someone claiming a worthless record. Do those records pay your bills when you get home from a race? Would you rather go home with a check for $10k or a record that can be broke next weekend?
The Yankees, The Warriors, The Cavs, The Patriots, all have had amazing records but couldn't seal the deal. The same thing is happening in drag racing, only it's these huge one off numbers that last for a week or two, while someone else that was worried about going A to B is spending that money. If you want a real example of where the money matters over a number that means nothing, look no further than the grudge game. It's about the money on that side. Those men and women don't care about some 20x40 light board telling them how fast their car is, they care about taking that cash home.
Listen, I love a homerun and a record just as much as the next fan, but I love great side by side action even more. So just remember, even if you score 4 rd wins, if the other guy has five, they still win. And drag racing is about winning!