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Drag Racing Unplugged XIX

With the 2017 season over we are, for the nineteenth year in succession, pleased to bring you the finest comments from the year's Event Coverage on Eurodragster.com - and other quotes we didn't publish at the time.

We open with the Quotes of the Year of the Eurodragster.com staff...

Tog's Quote of the Year

"His ego had to hold its own referendum about leaving the EU"
-- The one-liner which lifted the gloom and helped to save Eurodragster.com from closure

Simon's Quote of the Year

"Someone snuck a throttle stop on board and I started wondering why it slowed down at the start"
-- Paul Hudson and his new Super Comp dragster, curiously named Pension Pot

Kirstie's Quote of the Year

"I've got this weather app on my phone, it says it's going to rain in six minutes"
(Six minutes later) "It now says rain in seventeen minutes"
(Seventeen minutes later) "No rain in the next hour"
-- Five minutes later it rained on Wayne Jackson and his weather app

Julian's Quote of the Year

"You have to take the view of the crowd into consideration. What does he think?"
-- Phil Evans of the FIA Drag Racing Commission looks out of the window during a discussion whether to call it for rain

...and of our Pit Photographers...

Diana's Quote of the Year

"I'm going to need a gumshield next run"
-- Clive Dandridge drives his Nostalgia Super Stock Mustang to a Personal Best into a headwind

Thaliah's Quote of the Year

"To go into the race leading and come out third or fourth, how does that happen?"
-- Talking about 2016, but it worked out better for 2017 UK National Super Pro ET Champion Scott Hauser

...and the rest of the 2017 Drag Racing Unplugged collection in chronological order...

"Super Pro ET is a good class with a nice bunch of people, everyone enjoys it, and that means that if you lose a race then it's not the end of the world"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Geof Hauser enjoys his racing

"He'll drive the wheels off it and he brings enthusiasm"
-- Marc Wesler of Eurodragster.com sponsor VP Racing Fuels looks forward to Jonnie Lindberg's entry to Fuel Funny Car

"You can put it all in the oil, or put it all in the fuel, or put in half and half, you can't make a mistake with it"
-- The beauty of Lucas Oil Products' Complete Engine Treatment according to Eurodragster.com sponsor Les Downey

"They asked some incredibly technical questions which I couldn't answer!"
-- Wayne Jackson fields queries about Super Pro ET from Loughborough University students

"I wouldn't let just anyone drive it but everything Birgitte does she does well"
-- Jason Phelps hands the spare set of Gladiator Fuel Funny Car keys to Birgitte Bremnes

"We're going to beat Andy Robinson, and when we beat him we'll beat him again!"
-- Pro Modified racer Bert Englefield starts the pre-season mind games in January...

"We're experts at changing stuff and going slower!"
-- ...so this could be a deliberately misleading statement

"The chassis is tagged 6.29 or quicker so I can go as fast as I like, but I am not sure I want to go 6.29 or quicker!"
-- Wayne Allman finds the red line on his blown-alcohol VW pick-up

"The plan was to be seriously in contention in 2017 but it went better than expected"
-- 2016 UK National Super Pro ET Champion Chris Parker takes the title a year early

"The body will arrive at the end of January or the start of February and then it will be all-guns-blazing with early mornings and late nights and weekend working so that it doesn't affect our work for our customers"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Jon Webster builds himself a Pro Mod

"Taking a year out gives you some surprises though, you find you have something called "money" in your bank account".
-- Deborah Laugher counts the pennies

"I drive it on the street and I race it hard but that proves that I'm tuning it right"
-- A clean bill of health for the motor of Mark Todd's Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator GTO

"I have bitten the bullet and will be using E85, I just wish my local petrol station sold it"
-- Fellow Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Al Williamson could always just ask

"It was hard to take a year off as Champion, but we had executed a five year plan which culminated with our title"
-- Simon Gough makes a brief return to Super Pro ET

"I kept my foot in and it straightened out through the finish line and then I got a puff of oil on the visor"
-- If Wild Bunch racer Tom Hawkins will drive a seven-second slingshot then what does he expect

"The contact patch is two strips each sixty millimetres wide on each tyre"
-- That is at 200 mph in Mark Todd's street-legal GTO

"It also makes me happy that other racers are cheesed off as Santa Pod is paying for my fuel!"
-- Stephen West's Sportsman ET Nissan Leaf is refuelled by the pitside electricity supply

"I have driven dragsters for my entire racing life and have got to get rid of the habits of the last sixteen years that won't work with a Funny Car"
-- Birgitte Bremnes straps into the Gladiator Fuel Funny Car

"As long as I am having fun, I will still be at the race track even if it is not riding"
-- Thomas Joswig puts his Funny Bike up for sale

"I was on the throttle for three seconds, could have gone further but you have to respect the bike"
-- Neil Midgley testing on Chris Hannam's Supertwin

"If I come back after a run and the crew are happy, then we have done everything we need to"
-- Happy crew on several occasions this season for Nostalgia Funny Car racer Tony Betts

"I broke out by seven thousandths but at least it went straight"
-- Pro ET racer Paul Brown returns after a top end crash

"I used to leave as the final yellow started fading but the LED lights don't fade, so I have to judge when to leave and it is working fine"
-- Lucas Oil Junior Dragster racer Jordan Payne gets used to Santa Pod Raceway's new Christmas Tree set-up

"The crosswind is a bit of an issue as the bike is susceptible"
-- Graham Balchin's Super Street Bike goes walkies

"All last year the bike wanted to turn left and we got it to go straight, then with the crosswind at the top it started pulling left again"
-- Same problem for Sean Mills in Comp Bike

"A lot of the reactions had worsened with the new LED lights on the tree but ours held up well enough and I held on for the win"
-- Brad Jackson faces Super Pro ET team-mate Chris Parker

"Dropped a bollock on that run against Tom yesterday. I thought I was racing him, turns out it was still qualification. Found out I lifted half a second before the stripe when looking at the data. Suitable punishment from wife"
-- Super Pro ET racer Chris Parker omits to check the calendar

"I wanted to test in the class here but it was tight on time and the bike hasn't even been on the dyno"
-- Dave Smith makes a welcome return to Super Street Bike

"It hasn't been straight for ten runs and we have tried fitting new tyres and adjusting the wheelie bars but it does not respond"
-- Phil Crossley's Funny Bike tries to pitch him off

"'It keeps trying to tuck the front end under and washes out when it comes down from the wheelie bars at around 330 feet"
-- Similar problems for Alex Hope on his new Pro Stock Bike

"The driving of a Funny Car is completely different to a Top Fuel dragster, much more steering input and the controls are in completely different places"
-- Steve Ashdown agrees with Brigitte Bremnes about Fuel Funny Car

"I have a thing about Travellers"
-- Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Antony Wilkins likes Morrises, not caravans and piles of rubbish

"Good call by Ian Marshall"
-- Steve Saunders' Super Pro ET Zephyr is shut off on the line

"We went under the dial-in, redlit and I forgot to set the data logger. Apart from that it was fine"
-- Multiple Super class UK National Champion Brian Pateman first-foots in Super Pro ET

"A birthday present from my team"
-- Johan Oomen's Super Pro ET Viper has a new motor

"Year off... with a bit of racing"
-- Ian Powell contests three events in his year off from Super Pro ET

"We're in a nice place"
-- Birgitte Bremnes is enjoying Fuel Funny Car

"Any car could go to the top"
-- Magnus Pettersson finds Pro Stock tight

"I have got married recently and we have a new sponsor Dico and new paint, and so I am happy"
-- Kudos to Pro Stock racer Stefan Ernryd for listing things in the right order

"It's due to the hard work and dedication of my crew"
-- Franklyn Borg qualifies #2 in Super Street Bike

"We have taken a step backwards to go forwards but at least we have something to tune to"
-- Jemma Venables is happy with her Super Street Bike qualifying form

"We don't want to back it down too far, as that would have no benefit"
-- A different approach for fellow Super Street Bike racer Rick Stubbins

"It was one of the best days of my life!"
-- Jndia Erbacher makes a Top Fuel Dragster licence pass

"Wayne Nicholson once told me that every team that runs a clutch needs a clutch guy as so much depends on it"
-- Mark Flavell gets on top of the Crower in his Super Pro ET Funny Car

"I moved and had to sort out my new house. Now that we have settled in, I have come back to blow the cobwebs away for next season"
-- Jeff Meads returns to Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator

"It's been a difficult track for us, we learned nothing in testing and it pointed us in the wrong direction"
-- A tricky start to Michael Malmgren's Pro Stock season

"We want to replicate and improve on the previous runs, the track is good and the team are all smiles"
-- A good weekend so far for Pro Modified racer Wayne Nicholson

"When you drive you learn more about how the car performs compared with looking at the data"
-- Sandro Bellio takes the seat of Eurodragster.com sponsor Danny Bellio's Top Methanol Funny Car

"We shook badly on the second run so we have put more power in to get wheel speed up on the launch and it will either go or smoke the tyres"
-- The eternal dilemma for Top Methanol Dragster racer Jonny Lagg

"There is 1000 horsepower more and an animal to drive in comparison, and the gearshifting is different. But there is less work to do in the Pro Mod cockpit"
-- Multiple FIA European Pro Stock Champion Jimmy Ålund drives Magnus Pettersson's Pro Mod

"We are trying to get back to where we were"
-- Chris Hope tries to tame Alex Hope's wayward Pro Stock Bike

"It wheelied off the start line and made a great move, and at the hit of the last clutch lock up I knew it had stayed stuck to the track"
-- Antti Horto sets a new Personal Best in Top Fuel Dragster eliminations

"There was a lot on my mind but I focused on doing the best I could against the reigning Champion"
-- Stig Neergaard involved in what was then Europe's quickest-ever side-by-side race of the 1000-foot Top Fuel era

"The tyres spun and she corrected it very well, many other drivers would have had it in the wall"
-- Fellow Top Fuel Dragster racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Urs Erbacher appraises daughter Jndia Erbacher's licencing pass

"Yesterday the track started coming in and so we tuned the bike up and waited for the track to come to us"
-- Patience rewarded for Super Street Bike racer Mogens Lund

"At least we are happy that the spare engine is quick"
-- It's easier for Kenneth Holmberg to list what went right with his Pro Stock Bike

"We set the bike up for a hot track, but conditions cooled so it overpowered the track"
-- Top Fuel Bike racer Rene van den Berg temporarily forgets that he is in England

"Did you fly here?"
"Well, the plane flew, I just sat in it"
"I miss that kind of humour"
-- Your Race Reporter encounters an English ex-pat behind the counter at Tierp Arena

"We thought that better than hiring a US tuner and I can put on the car Tuned by me, myself and I"
-- Andreas Sjödin gets advice on tuning his Top Doorslammer from US racer Brandon Pesz

"I got so excited, I really wanted to try it and felt I had found my calling"
-- Maximilian Marnell remembers his first Junior Dragster run

"'You can't take account of the transmission, the tyres and the track on the dyno"
-- Too many variables for Carla Pittau and Rick McCann's Stock / Superstock Camaro

"I want to run deeper in the nines and the car's paint has to shine!"
-- Fellow Stock / Superstock racer Krister Fogelin keeps it simple

"I need to drive it better as it has run a 6.58 and should be there"
-- Richard Sundblom can be forgiven a small amount of rust after running a limited Pro Stock schedule in 2016

"I was a little nervous and will remember my first pass in this car for ever"
-- Tommy Lundström enlists for the Pro Stock wars

"I have rejoined the circus"
-- Tommy Leindahl also returns to Pro Stock

"I have to drive the cars in a different manner and at least on one car I knew what to do"
-- Jimmy Ålund does double duty in Pro Stock and Pro Modified

"We have what it takes but we need to perform"
-- Bengt Ljungdahl unhappy with his form in Pro Stock

"We had a new motor setup at the Main Event and don't really know how much power to take out of it, but it needs less power at the hit"
-- Stig Neergaard smokes the hides in Top Fuel Dragster qualifying

"I started nervously having to license and worrying about the engine and the weather, so we aimed low"
-- However, Mikael Joneskog got his Pro Modified licence

"I couldn't see"
-- Mats Logren's Pro Mod hits tyre shake

"I have a big family and they take up a lot of my time so I race when I can and if I'm in the mood"
-- Robert Karlsson: Pro Stock Bike racer, when he feels like it

"I am getting used to the bike, but it's pissed-off at me and we're supposed to be friends"
-- Not yet the Special Relationship for the US' Tommy Grimes on Per Bengtsson's Supertwin

"I have used the block, intake and heads from the old car but otherwise it is all new and feels great"
-- Roger Johansson returns to Pro Modified after his horrifying crash in 2016

"The shocks collapsed yesterday and I got very close to the wall"
-- Håkan Persson managed to sound very matter-of-fact about a near wipeout in his Pro Mod

"We know the car so well I feel it talks to me and tells me what it wants"
-- What we want to know is whether Micke Gullqvist answers back to his Pro Mod

"I brought a penknife to a gunfight"
-- Dave Wiggins wins the Gearhead Garage No Prep Nationals

"I had the car for nine years from Steve Hendry. In that time I've had six engines and four transmissions and have been changing them to get the car more consistent and reliable"
-- Trigger's broom has nothing on Guy King's Nostalgia Super Stock Chevelle

"I am doing footbrake launches and apologise to everyone I beat"
-- Santa Pod Raceway Track Announcer Colin Theobald never told a lie in his life apart from "I'll never race it"

"It was a road car that I had for ten years after saving it from scrap - only the roof was in good condition"
-- James Oliver's Pro ET Firebird turned out OK

"I used to race a slingshot in the Wild Bunch about fifteen to twenty years ago, then a family arrived"
-- Sportsman ET racer David Smith breeds Junior Dragster racers

"It is road legal and I take it camping when it is not broken"
-- Jason Turnock holidays with his VW Sportsman '69 Bay Window

"I'm the main problem. I got off the throttle when I had enough but it was too early. I don't want to push it into an area where I'm not comfortable"
-- Neil Midgley continues testing on Chris Hannam's Supertwin

"I don't know if the track can hold any more, I will try to step up a little but don't know how much by"
-- The cautious approach from Pro Modified racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Marco Maurischat

"My semi-final opponent Kev Slyfield came to ask for his pushrod back that he lent me yesterday!"
-- Mick Payne makes Pro Modified E2

"I'm on a learning curve as I've never ridden a motorbike on the street"
-- Bradley Head sets out in ET Bike

"We could go quicker but we want to be consistent so I am happy with the results"
-- The caution pays off for Marco Maurischat

"I have a great bunch of guys and they dug deep"
-- Rob Elsom appreciates his Nostalgia Funny Car crew

"It's so new I want to be gentle with it as I don't want to break it"
-- Laurie Hilton takes his Gasser Circus Chevy from the Hot Rod Shop straight to Dragstalgia

"As I am a funeral director I have named it Stiff Shifter"
-- An inspired name for Joel Kerr's new Supercharged Outlaw Pontiac Star Chief

"We will definitely leave the nitrous off today!"
-- Richard Warburton doesn't bottle it in the Willys Wars

"I couldn't quite take it in"
-- Bike racer Pip Higham is elected to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame

"We are ready to go but it's not playing"
-- Dave Gibbons deals with the petulant transmission of Bob Gleadow's Nostalgia Funny Car

"I crewed with Mark Bracking for almost ten years and fancied having a go myself"
-- Wayne Young enters the fray in Outlaw Anglia

"'We had a fantastic reception and after the competition were invited to the local museum which stayed open late especially for us"
-- Nervous Nick and the Gasser Circus go to the Isle of Man

"It did big wheelies and I calmed it down, but now I am missing them"
-- Martyn Hallam should feel free to bring back the Gasser Circus wheelstands

"I like to work on one car at a time and will only work on Mopars"
-- Nostalgia Super Stock racer and race car builder Dave Billadeau knows what he likes

"Seeing as I am working in Kazakhstan I have arranged my holiday to be back here for the European Finals and National Finals"
-- Chris Orthodoxou: have passport will drive Pro Mod

"When you drop the clutch, it's difficult to keep your foot on the gas, I managed to do that and then missed all the shift points"
-- On the swansong weekend of the Moore Brothers' Pro Mod Viper, tuner Dave Moore has a drive

"My best of 6.306/228 should have been a 6.1"
-- Marco Maurischat wants more from his Pro Mod

"The rear wheels locked up so the front of the car just grazed the wall, so there is an Elastoplast on it now"
-- Fluid under Wayne Nicholson's tyres + a smoke-filled cockpit = one slightly dinged Pro Mod

"Don't you have any ugly women in this country?"
"We do, but not here. We set our Preferences"
-- A race official lets slip a tech secret at Tierp Arena

"Girl power!"
"Tuned by a man"
-- Laura Saksa runs a five in her Pro Mod and Your Race Reporter cracks after three and a half days of Track Announcer Spice

"Kågered will be kicking himself when he gets back to the pit"
"He has a crew member who does that for him"
"You probably shouldn't have said that so loud"
-- Alternately the Track Announcer could have turned his microphone off

"Dick"
-- n. (vulg.) What Your News Editor gets called for attempting to protect Eurodragster.com's copyright and sponsors

"Tool"
-- n. (vulg.) What Your News Editor also gets called for attempting to protect Eurodragster.com's copyright and sponsors

"Bob even lifted the front wheels as a tribute to Rick McCann"
-- Official Supplier of Sloppy Kisses to Eurodragster.com Tracy Doyle watches husband Bob wheelie in Super Pro ET qualifying

"We have called the car Frankenchevy as Pierre Rydberg had an incident before selling it and we had to replace the front bodywork"
-- Stefan Jansson's Super Pro ET Chevy had one careful owner

"I like to race here as we get a good number of passes and the other Pro ET competitors are so friendly"
-- Alex Mahl continues the love affair with Santa Pod Raceway

"We have spent a lot with a new front end on the Camaro, repairing the Vega and winning three rounds in it at Shakey, and even a new firesuit for me"
-- An expensive Pro ET season for Mike Lacey

"It's also draughty at the top end, I opened my helmet visor and ate about fifteen flies!"
-- Paul Hudson races in the open after years of doorslamming

"I started in Sportsman ET with the car as a part finished project running thirteens and have developed it into a ten-second car"
-- David Withington's Pro ET success story

"We found there was too much downforce at the front which caused the boost to drop out at three hundred feet which then caused tyre shake and unloaded the rear tyres. We will have to look at that"
-- Jon Webster, master of understatement

"Rather than do well in testing and then slowing in qualifying, we want it to be the other way round"
-- Eurodragster.com sponsor Chris Isaacs gets back into the Isaacs and Tramm Pro Mod

"We have improvised a replacement fan and could say we are in R&D mode"
-- Paul Hudson does emergency DIY

"I'm fine, it's only metal, it hasn't happened at all to us in all the years we've been racing"
-- Dave Day's Super Comp roadster breaks its transmission visibly, very visibly

"I wanted to step up and was inspired by Street Eliminator and so pushed to enter"
-- Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator racer Rob Slater makes his move

"It's such a special place, and so many of the faces are familiar, they are our soulmates and part of the sport"
-- Top Fuel Dragster racer Anita Mäkelä's love is requited

"My mum and dad said if I won the Super Comp Championship I would go into Top Fuel"
-- EDRS Super Comp Champion and, consequently, Top Fuel Dragster racer Maja Udtian

"If it rains, there is more time for chatting!"
-- ...but we're sure that former Top Fuel Dragster tuner Ben Allum would rather be taciturn

"We are sneaking up on it and trying not to make any major changes"
-- Jonny Lagg takes it carefully in Top Methanol qualifying

"The track is good, the Pro Mod numbers prove that, and we are thankful to the Santa Pod Raceway track crew who have worked their hardest to provide us with a good racing surface"
-- Top Methanol racer Dennis Habermann speaks for every racer on the facility

"I have worked hard for the title, with a personal trainer at seven a.m. every day giving me endurance training so that I could focus better on Sunday"
-- Duncan Micallef wins the FIA Top Fuel Dragster Championship to the strains of Eye of the Tiger

"Is he burning coal?"
-- Paul Lynas blacks out the TrackCam with the Darkside Developments Arosa prompting a query from coverage fan Kai Plathan in Finland

"It was a great experience but the cars are animals!"
-- Super Comp racer Leah Kellett sits in a Fuel Funny Car during a warm-up

"We just try to win and don't work out the points. In fact I won a couple of Championships without realising that I had"
-- Brian Huxley and the Dark Horse team profess ignorance of another Pro ET title

"My car is street-legal but I couldn't run Street Eliminator as the car needs wheelie bars"
-- We say that Outlaw Anglia racer Phil 'Ginner' Middleton needs to give it a try at least once

"I have had no drag racing or competitive driving experience, I just turned up on the day and the team showed me the ropes and then I did my launch"
-- Kevin Chapman lives the dream in one of Rune Fjeld's Top Fuel Dragsters

"I have been a crew member on Mick Payne's Pro Mod and said I would never be a racer"
-- Pro ET racer Andy Thetford tries the Colin Theobald approach

"We'll just keep doing what we've been doing"
-- Stu Doignie goes into the UK National Finals with a shot at a Super Comp / Super Gas Championship double

"We wanted to come to the event and fortunately my son David's bike was available"
-- Super Street Bike racer Garry Bowe gives 9.50 Bike a try

"Has your companion left?"
"Yes, I only paid her to half past"
-- Your News Editor's late-addition Plus One has to depart Ian and Nikki Marshall's wedding breakfast just before the koftas are served

"A legend - just ask him"
-- MC Bob McClurg introduces US Funny Car star Tom Hoover at the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Bench Race

"We all remember when he was a kid!"
-- Ed McCulloch pulls seniority on fellow US legend Connie Kalitta

"You've paid three hundred dollars to put yourself through this - they should pay us!"
-- Jeff Lutz does Hot Rod Drag Week

"At the hospital a nurse came in with a container for Prudhomme and asked me to hold it for him. I said "We're close but not that close"!"
-- Tuner Roland Leong has to say "Pass" to Brokeback Prudhomme

"Well, in the last fifty years they invented the telephone!"
-- How Santa Pod Raceway promoter Roy Phelps got the US faces to race in England

"Before Jesus, I think!"
-- The date of Connie Kalitta's first race

"I quickly worked out that you don't race the same car you want to take your girlfriend in, it breaks!"
-- Bob Muravez determines to get a proper race car

"I promised myself that next time I would go to the end of the track and see how dark it was"
-- UK legend Dennis Priddle has a never-again moment in his first night race

"You don't need lights, you need stupid young men"
-- Floyd Lippencotte Jr's night racing requirements


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