Drag Racing Unplugged VI

With the 2004 season over we are, for the sixth year in succession, pleased to bring you the finest comments from the year's Eurodragster event coverage - and others we didn't publish at the time.

We open with Sharkman's and Tog's Quotes of the Year and those of our Pitside Reporters Christer Abrahamson and Simon Groves.

Sharkman's Quote Of The Year

"Brad O'Connor told me I had run 8.05 and I said "How do you know?". He said "You were so far in front of me that I saw the scoreboard"!"
-- Super Street Bike racer Graham Dance smashes the 9.90 Bike breakout record

Tog's Quote Of The Year

"Hurricanes sound scary because they give them tough names like 'Hurricane Ivan'. They would be a lot less frightening if they gave them names like Hurricane Flopsy."
-- Santa Pod Raceway track announcer Graham Beckwith at a breezy FIA European Finals

Christer's Quote Of The Year

"He was probably the first man in Swedish drag racing history to run over his own crank."
-- Ian Marshall picks up the pieces after Super Street racer Janne Carlsson crashes his Nova

Simon's Quote Of The Year

"You'll see some numbers on the scoreboards that you haven't seen before!"
-- Pro Stock racer Michael Malmgren hails his new Pontiac Grand Am

And the rest of the 2004 Drag Racing Unplugged collection...

"Two years ago, I told Owen Hayward that I was building a new car, and I said "I don't suppose you will want to drive it". Owen said "I will tell you if I don't want to drive it"!"
-- No staffing crises for Houndog Fuel FC owner Nobby Hills

"We usually start looking at it about a week before the season starts! We've got a new sheet to put over it for it this off-season though."
-- Crew Chief Adrian Spencer looks after Gordon Appleton's Pro Mod

"The engine mounts on the left hand side broke, and we broke a body mount. Only half the car got to the other end!"
-- Fuel Altered pilot Jim Seward never forgets tyre shake

"In the end we decided not to quit because what else is there to do?"
-- A decisive Jim Seward

"We had to take it straight back to our shop after we retrieved it from the track because people were straight round to our pit looking for souvenirs!"
-- John Spuffard recalls launching the Showtime Fuel FC body at the 2003 FIA European Finals

"I've now got a spare car in case I have any more accidents..."
"...Can I borrow it if I need to?"
-- Top Fuel Dragster racers Andy Carter and Micke Kågered make plans for 2004

"There's more teamwork with the clubs and the racers - back in the 'good old days' it was like World War Three every week."
-- FIA Championship Promoter and Santa Pod CEO Keith Bartlett remembers the 1970s

"It's all his fault! We were only having a new back end and new paint originally!"
-- Super Modified racer Craig Gibbs blames John Atkinson for the complete rebuild of Obsession

"The only problem is that I want a curry tonight and I can't have one!"
-- Andy Carter, on a new fitness régime

"I am surprised that it is so difficult to find sponsors with the TV coverage which is on offer."
-- Mystified Pro Stock Bike racer Richard Gipp

"I can confirm that he isn't losing any sleep!"
-- Esta Capewell lets slip a bedroom secret about husband Trevor's Top Methanol FC début

"If we don't get to run today then I will take it down the bypass or something!"
-- Super Street Bike racer Steve Venables, impatient to test his new bike

"I promised Ruth that she can have a new bathroom suite this year!"
-- Super Comp/Super Gas racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Martin Curbishley's wedding anniversary

"With Rune and the team I know that the car is OK, all I have to worry about is the driving, so I am looking forward to it."
-- Rookie Top Fuel Dragster racer Thomas Nataas

"The car is capable of high sevens, it is down to the driver and tuner - and they're both me!"
-- Kev Taylor moves up to Super Modified

"Andy Hone came with me and he was very quiet on the way home!"
-- Fellow Super Modified racer Steve Rawlings dynos his engine

"I didn't have the chance to fit a rear view mirror so I could find Andy Hone. I told him that with my black car on a black track the only way he was going to see it would be when I dropped my pink parachute!"
-- Steve Rawlings turns the screw a little further

"Our throttle stop is Paul's foot, and our datalogger is his brain!"
-- Crew Chief Rune-Rune explains Super Comp racer Paul Ingar Udtian's 'electronics'

"Last year was a learning year, this year is a doing year."
-- Top Fuel Bike racer Steve Carey all set

"Tell Henriette that I love her, because she seems to have read everything else on Eurodragster!"
-- All part of the service, in this case for Jaap of Lex Joon's Top Fuel Dragster team

"My missus texted me and said 'Congratulations on being number one qualifier' and I didn't know!"
-- All part of the service for Steve Rawlings, too

"We want to make the final and we will make the final! And if I get into the final I'll win!"
-- Fuel FC racer Gordon Smith in confident mood at the Easter Thunderball

"In the Pro Mod you build the revs up before you go but you just stand on this one and it kicks you in the butt!"
-- Thomas Nataas makes his first Top Fuel Dragster pass...

"I knew when I hit the throttle it would shake or just go, and it went! I thought "Yea, it's going!" and it felt good."
-- ...and Lex Joon makes his first Top Fuel Dragster pass

"I decided in my wisdom to do a rolling burnout and there was a banging noise and a hideous misfire."
-- Super Modified racer Tim Garlick, wise after the event

"I would have been happy with an 8.0 at the end of the season and I've done it on day two!"
-- Comp Bike racer TJ O'Brien peaks early

"Who'd have thought a lowly old Vauxhall would be number two qualifier?"
-- Custom Car Street Eliminator racer Andy Frost

"People have been asking me 'How long have you been racing this car?' and I've been saying 'Seven runs'."
-- Spencer Tramm qualifies #1 at his first race event with his new VW Alternate Engine/Super Gas Corrado

"Can we change Eurodragster's corporate colour to brown and get some new T-Shirts done?"
-- Eurodragster's Race Reporter Tog spills coffee on his white shirt yet again

"It has a whole bank of electric bits and it makes a lot of nice noise when you trigger it!"
-- Top Fuel Bike racer Steve Woollatt has a new clutch management system

"I had a huge wheelie, two fires, the exhaust came off at the finish line - with that sort of luck I was scared to drive home!"
-- Super Street Bike racer Matt Nixon recalls a bad weekend

"It started to produce real boost at the finish line and I wheelied past the fire crew! It did a Pro Stock start at 160 miles an hour!"
-- Steve Venables, ever the showman

"In the end, when you've hit the guardrail the paint isn't that important!"
-- Custom Car Street Eliminator racer John Sleath saves his money

"We're looking forward to seeing him with a Lenco changing lanes every gear shift!"
-- Super Modified racer Andy Hone evens the score with Steve Rawlings

"It was going OK last year so why change things - it's difficult enough without making changes!"
-- Top Fuel Dragster Crew Chief Peter Knight

"Last year I changed my job and my house and made the money to come back!"
-- The welcome return of TMFC racer Arvid Grødem

"I told all our friends that you have to come and see it go quicker!"
-- Horst Pauli of Urs Erbacher's TMFC crew promotes drag racing

"Too easy. Pro Mod is more fun because it's more difficult."
-- NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified racer Freddy Fagerström explains where the TMFC disappeared to

"The engine broke one run too early last year!"
-- Supertwin racer Ton Pels' son and Crew Chief Vincent laments a lost Championship...

"The old bike used to go left, so we decided to build a new chassis. So we built a new bike and this one goes right!"
-- ...and then Ton's secret weapon plays up

"Are you Tog?"
"That depends, do you owe him money?"
-- You can groan, but you'll all be using it tomorrow

"The track is good but the driver made a mistake!"
-- The ever-honest Freddy Fagerström

"When I touched, I thought 'How much of my body will I lose' "
-- Arvid Grødem tags the guardrail

"It feels like we are on the right track and we feel good about the weekend."
-- Optimistic Supertwin racer Svein Gottenberg

"The track is so good that you are able to test things to go quicker, and you don't have to think about traction problems."
-- Fellow Supertwin racer Anders Karling loves Santa Pod

"Now we can actually see if our thoughts and theories have been right during the last two seasons. And they have!"
-- Supertwin racer Ronny Aasen is on the right track

"Please come back tomorrow for some more positive comments."
-- Lasse Bodén of Magnus Hansson's Pro Stock team is not a happy bunny

"How much we step up depends upon others' performance."
-- NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified racer Håkan Nilsson keeps an eye on the opposition

"We had made 170 runs on this block, I don't think there is anything left on the guarantee!"
-- Leanders Brothers Racing Crew Chief Jörgen Leanders after his TMFC's block split in two...

"Take this engine and do what you want with it - we need you out there tomorrow."
-- ...but then Freddy Fagerström plays Father Christmas at the Leanders trailer

"We've done two runs today and it feels like we have done eighty five runs!"
-- Niclas Andersson's TMFC Crew Chief 'Emil' Edman has a busy day

"We're working our way back to the European set-up. It is very different and we have to nibble away at it."
-- Top Methanol Dragster racer Dave Wilson back from the USA

"It's an honour to beat Freddy Fagerstrm."
-- NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified racer Peter Wacker comes over all modest

"We badly need to step up for the final, it's all or nothing."
-- Gittli Koller of Peter Schöfer's Top Methanol Dragster team foresees a tight Championship

"I've got a new, bigger parachute and when it opened I decided I ought to have my seatbelts even tighter from now on!"
-- Super Pro ET racer Pat Talbot bruises her shoulders

"I'm the only one who can fix it if it breaks!"
-- Phil Baimbridge accompanies Steve Woollatt to London City Airport

"I've broken three ribs on this thing this year coming down off wheelies."
-- Super Street Bike racer Shaun Jones, glutton for punishment

"The new headers were affecting the tune-up. In any case these will be louder and that's what we want!"
-- Super Pro ET racer Paul Harvey puts on a show

"Now we have the power we thought we'd better come back to Mantorp!"
-- A welcome return to FIA Top Fuel Dragster for Monica Öberg and Dan Söderberg

"Eddie makes me pull the choke out off the line!"
-- Andy Carter reveals the secret to combatting Mantorp Park's gradient

"They weren't bigger-engine gremlins but the sort of things which arrive between putting the car in the trailer after one event and getting it out at the next one."
-- Gordon Appleton on a bug hunt

"I get to half track and it takes off like a cork out of a bottle!"
-- Top Fuel Dragster racer Smax Smith needs to work on the first eighth

"I've got one of Roger Upperton's baby motors, he says I can't have a big one until I run the times!"
-- Pro Stock Bike racer Rafael Ross looking to return

"It was nothing like you'd imagine. Now I understand why Spencer does it!"
-- Kirstie Tramm after a 9.2-second passenger ride with brother Spencer

"It's getting quicker every time without us doing anything to it!"
-- No new-car blues for John Sleath

"It's been a long season."
-- Lex Joon at the FIA European Finals

"We have changed everything, we're even thinking of putting an anti-static strip on the car so that Gordon doesn't get car sick!"
-- Shockwave Fuel FC Crew Chief Dave Bryant tries every trick in the book

"I feel very bad walking around the pits and looking at all the cars here, and mine is at home."
-- Timo Habermann regrets leaving his TMD in Germany

"Monaco is a long way off - it's three days away!"
-- Ulf Leanders has a shot at the FIA European TMFC Championship

"We are probably going to end up third in the Championship and that's not bad for a team which has been away from the Pro Stock scene for ten years!"
-- Returning Pro Stock racer Jackie Hansen

"To take the trophy and drink the champagne."
-- NDRS Bilsport Pro Modified racer Bert Englefield's goal at the FIA European Finals

"Nitrous really screws you up, before I had the gas the car ran like it was on rails."
-- Super Pro ET racer Ian Bishop bemoans the blue bottle

"Running faster and getting back the number one!"
-- Michael Malmgren has already decided his objectives for 2005

"It's Tommy against Micke in the first round and the only person who is after Micke more than me is Tommy!"
-- Andy Carter, at that point one of four racers with a chance at the FIA title

"Suddenly Smax has become the key to the Championship."
-- Carbon By Design Top Fuel team owner Knut Söderquist sees Sunday's pairings

"We put all the old stuff in, set it softer and it runs faster!"
-- Top Fuel Bike racer Roel Koedam scratches his head

"It only hurt in the wallet!"
-- Pro Stock racer Kenneth Soderström takes a fearsome trip into the guardrail

"Oh, it's alright. I just say "Team Hyena" if I don't know."
-- Graham Beckwith excuses 9.90 Bike racer Fast Harry for not supplying his team name

"Judging by the size of you, Tog, plenty of people have had a piece of you already."
-- Fighting talk from Graham Beckwith

"It's one thing standing there talking about it, but there's a big difference actually doing it - the only thing which is the same as the TMD is the steering wheel!"
-- Dave Wilson licences for Top Fuel

"Have a good weekend and don't crash the car."
-- Text of encouragement from Tog's niece Jennipher before he drives Nev Mottershead's Super Gasser

"Right now if you told me to walk to the edge of a cliff and jump, I'd do it."
-- Tog puts himself in Nev's hands

"Joosten: We have a problem"
-- The headline we finally thought of three weeks after running the news item

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