Secret confession: I’m a ‘Pinks: All Out’ fan
I don’t know about you, but I like “Pinks: All Out.”
I don’t know what it is that draws me to the DVR every night to see if it has recorded a new episode of Pinks: All Out but I like that show. I guess it proves that as long as somebody is going down the track I like it. I think having normal bracket cars is part of what I like as well as the wide variety of cars that show up.
Did you realize they are averaging about 375 entries for these events? Is that for real? We couldn’t get that many cars to a free $10,000 bracket race and Pinks limits the field to 16 cars that accidentally group up around a common E.T. Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t like the original show “Pinks”. I think that show stunk it up with the arguing, sandbagging, junk cars, etc. I have no time for that show!
I’ll admit the personalities are a bit strange. Rich isn’t really a racer and probably doesn’t know what is involved to put the cars together or how to even start one. He is a good showman and that’s part of it for sure. The tech guys and the two guys in the tower running the log sheets trying to find a group of cars for some head-ups racing seem to be getting better at every event.
The grandstands have more people in them that I have ever seen at a divisional points race or any bracket race. What’s the attraction? There are Chevies, Mopars, Fords, Imports, pickups, Anglias, Pro Mods and on and on. The cars cover about every possible type of drag car out there.
The drivers are just “good old boys” who like racing. No egos, no hassles just “let’s line ‘em up and see who gets there first” type of guys. I think seeing racers who remind me of the hundreds of great friends I have made racing is part of the draw for me. What do these guys who are about to reach out for their 15 minutes of fame do during the week? Are their kids there watching them? I love it. They can hardly talk in front of the camera, yet they can’t wipe that smile off their face either! It’s great!
Is the future of our sport going to be determined by events like Pinks: All Out? You know what, I don’t think it is such a bad idea. Run time trials, group the cars into ET “clusters” and run these “clusters” heads up. Stage the cars and Instant Green. Practically eliminate red-lights and add some new fun to racing.
If you run too fast for your “cluster” you are out. If your MPH is 3 or 4 slow you are out. Run it flat-out or get out. I like it.
Final eliminations can run the winners of each group in a physically handicapped start. Half a car per tenth or whatever it takes to get it pretty close. It would take a little experimenting to get the handicap system figured out but in a few time runs you could get it pretty close.
I have a dragster and I would definitely be willing to try a deal like this. Cluster the dragsters at say 7.85. Tune them to run as close to it as possible flat-out. Doesn’t matter if you use throttle stops, NOS or whatever. Consistency and good reflexes will win races. If you hit the spray to take the stripe you will be too fast and you are out; if you drag the brakes to keep it close your MPH will be off and you are out.
Sort of like index racing but until you get to the track you aren’t sure what “cluster” you will race in. At least it is something different and that is enough to get me interested in it. It could make for a fun day at the track and if the prize at the end was $2,000 or something like that it could rewarding on that end as well.
I know some of you are thinking that I have officially “lost it.” That’s okay; everyone has opinions and that is the way it should be. I feel the attraction to Pinks: All Out has to be the grass-roots type racers they have on and the absolute pure enjoyment they seem to be having. I think it’s great and I commend Rich Christensen of Pinks for sticking with his idea and selling it to Corporate America. If it were a totally bad idea companies like NAPA, GEICO and many other sponsors wouldn’t have signed on for another year. They sign up because ratings are strong, and that means people like it. I agree with them, I like it!
Just to change the subject a little bit:
You have all probably watched the NHRA national event broadcasts right? Do you really think after four or five events it is even a little bit interesting? They talk about the same four or five teams, the same sponsors and even have the same drivers do their same funny segments.
I find that coverage ten times harder to watch than even a rerun of Pinks: All-Out! Why don’t NHRA and ESPN show the final rounds of sportsman racing? Why not an interview with a sportsman racer who may have won his first national event after 25 years of trying? I’ve got to believe that interview would be SO MUCH more interesting than hearing another pro driver thank his sponsors and tell us the car shook a little then moved around before it tossed the blower belt.
I am ready for some fresh faces and exciting interviews. Trust me, when I won my first national event I was operating on adrenaline for about six hours. It was truly a dream come true and a moment I will never forget. There was no TV interview but I had a lot of fun anyway. I hope a lot of you readers will get to experience something like that someday. That is WHY I think sportsman champions deserve a one-minute interview and 10 seconds of their winning pass shown on the TV coverage. What would be better: The Super Stock Champion’s run with his Hemi-Cuda and the wheels three feet in the air and that ear-to-ear grin in the turn-off area, or another “wake me up when it’s over” repeat interview with a Top Fuel driver that couldn’t tell you anything about the car he just won in.
Let’s add some “REAL WORLD RACING” to the TV package at NHRA and IHRA. If they take a look at their ratings, nobody is watching now, maybe it would add some viewers.
(Disclaimer: We don’t actually print letters every few hours.)