I may be a little late to the party on this one, but it has been on mind since it happened.

As such; something which lit up the internet; was the incident which took place at the OG Million Dollar Race in Georgia, whereby one competitor swerved over into his opponent’s lane after the finish line. Whatever the reasoning was behind it, it obviously drew the attention of the NHRA even though it wasn’t an NHRA national or divisional event yet simply was held at an NHRA-sanctioned track.

I would assume after careful consideration, the NHRA chose to pull said person’s racing license until January 1 of 2023. This person has run some NHRA events so we’ll assume he has an NHRA license, however, it begs to ask so many questions, the least of which is, “What would/could they have done has he not had a license?

We all assume (that’s sort of a bad word to use) that everyone who runs those high dollar bracket races has a license but… A fairly recent podcast of the popular Sportsman Drag Racing Podcast with hosts Luke Bogacki and Jared Pennington brought up this topic. Jared attends a lot of these type events and Luke posed the question, “What’s the percentage of racers at those events who have an NHRA license?” Surprisingly to both myself and Luke, the answer came back as only about five-percent.

As for me, I would have thought the number to be closer to 50-percent. But it also begs to ask another question, “How many of those cars could pass an NHRA inspection?”

It was quite a while ago at a high dollar race in Memphis where I clearly remember the promoter making the announcement on Day 1, “Tech inspection will begin at 9:00. Bring your tech card to the head of staging. I repeat, bring your tech card; not your car; to the head of staging.” No actual tech inspection.

Some may be alarmed at this, but it was several years ago when the NHRA did away with actual car inspection at national events. No tech inspection. And then that process was expanded last year to include no actual car inspection at divisional events as well, seemingly blamed on the pandemic (isn’t everything blamed on that today?). There are probably a number of other reasons for that and they do hold spot checks from time to time, so other than spot checks, what makes that any different than what happens at some of these high dollar bracket races? Although I’ve yet to see any “spot checks” at bracket events.

Now truthfully, I can almost understand no tech inspection at national events. It’s there where in order to attend a national, you must have attended a certain number of divisional events; events where there is; or was; an actual car inspection. So in most cases, a person attending a national event has had his or her car inspected numerous times. However, any one can attend a divisional event, fill out the online tech card and never have the car inspected by an NHRA official, albeit spot checks are supposed to occur.

Honestly, and this is just my opinion and with no disrespect to anyone, if you don’t want to wear the correct safety equipment, that’s on you. I see that all the time at some of the events I attend. It’s sort of like not wearing your seat belt in your street car. However, if your car itself is unsafe because it lacks one or more pieces of certified equipment or it’s generally not safe, then potentially you could be endangering your fellow competitors. I’m sure this may not find favor with some, but as I mentioned, it’s just my opinion.

I really don’t want to see anyone harmed and it does alarm me when I see loose seat belts, no neck collars, cut fingers off safety gloves and the like. I’ve advocated spot checks at the bigger events, not so much in any way as to disqualify a competitor, but rather to simply educate a person.

Once again, this is my opinion, what’s yours?