Torco Brings Nitro Funny Cars Back to the Rock as Worsham and Ashley to Match Race; Storied Blue Max Funny Car to Make Exhibition Runs Nitro Funny cars have not been seen in IHRA competition since 1992. And it is only fitting that the last IHRA...
Torco Brings Nitro Funny Cars Back to the Rock as Worsham and Ashley to Match Race; Storied Blue Max Funny Car to Make Exhibition Runs
Nitro Funny cars have not been seen in IHRA competition since 1992. And it is only fitting that the last IHRA champion in that class is coming back to Rockingham Dragway--one of the most storied tracks in drag racing--to end the IHRA season in style.
Del Worsham is bringing his red CSK sponsored Funny Car to match race against Mike Ashley at the rescheduled IHRA Udderly Smooth World Finals October 28-30. Ashley, sponsored by SKULL GEAR/Torco, will also be competing in Torco Pro Mod as well as participating in the exhibition races with Worsham. As an added bonus, Worsham will be bringing out the Blue Max nostalgia Funny Car to make some passes as well.
It is a lot to pack into one weekend of racing, but something that Worsham is looking forward to.
"It's a cool deal and we're really happy to come down to the Rock and do this," Worsham said. "We've raced at Rockingham quite a few times, but if my memory is correct I think it's been about eight years since we've been there. It will be nice to get back there, to see how everything looks, and try to put some good laps on the board. I suspect we'll meet a few folks who haven't seen us in while, maybe since we won the IHRA Championship."
With Nitro Funny Cars making their first IHRA appearance in quite a while, the buzz around the rescheduled Udderly Smooth World Finals has been growing.
"There are two sides to that story," Worsham said. "This is just one match race at the final IHRA race of the year, so the spark it creates will be kind of localized, if you know what I mean. But the other side is more widespread, and that's the fact that Nitro Funny car is 'the' class right now. Here in NHRA, it's the Funny Car class where the real dogfight is going on, because the competition is so enormous."
As the Nitro Funny Cars descend upon the Rock--even if it is only for an exhibition match race--the fans will definitely be getting more than what they bargained for.
"Seems to me that people are eager to watch Nitro Funny Cars everywhere, so we're thrilled to give the IHRA fans a chance," Worsham said.
Normally, the return of Nitro Funny Cars to an IHRA national event, driven by two of the biggest names in the sport, would be enough. But the addition of the Blue Max Funny Car should put the Udderly Smooth World Finals over the top.
Even casual fans of drag racing can remember the days back to Pat Minick's Chi-Town Hustler or Jim Liberman's Jungle Jim entries. Right up there in performance and recognition were Raymond Beadle's Blue Max cars. Those cars won the IHRA Nitro Funny Car titles in 1975, 1976, and 1981. Worsham brought back the Blue Max with Beadle's blessing.
"I hope it's a real big deal, and people think of it as just one more reason why they had a great time at the event," Worsham said. "The Blue Max thing is a wild deal, and even though I knew it would be popular and that a lot of people would be excited to see it, I really wasn't prepared for the overwhelming response we got in Dallas when we brought it out for the first time."
Worsham acknowledged that for a generation of Funny Car fans, the mystique that the Blue Max holds is incredible.
"It was like people were getting to see Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig again, like a legend from the past coming back to life. Everyone has been so thankful, so appreciative, but you know we did this for fun and because we really wanted to do it. I'm just glad that everyone likes it so much."
With the Udderly Smooth Finals rapidly approaching, Worsham sounds eager to get the racing underway.
"We'll see everybody at the Rock."