It's well into this month of October and that means to this writer a very personal milestone. No, not Halloween, although we try to be prepared for those trick or treaters. And that's not personal.
But October is to me, a very special extra time to give thanks, a month earlier than the traditional day. For it was this month, Oct. 26, 1999 that I underwent successful open heart surgery to replace a faulty aortic heart valve that I had with me through my years.
It was with me even when I was galloping horses on Thoroughbred race tracks and when I passed the Marine Corps physical.
Yeah, 1999 was also the first year I was invited to pass along these offerings by Rick Green for Drag Race Central and FastNews Network.
Hope you've enjoyed, I have, and Happy Early Thanksgiving.
So much for the personal items, but since I'm giving thanks, here are a couple of items to which drag racing fans might add an Amen.
Next time you're at a drag race, consider how lucky you are to be able to stroll right up to ropes and get autographs or a few words with your favorite driver.
This item I pulled from one of my 2002 offerings, shows what can happen elsewhere:
"Drag racing fans may wonder what all the fuss was about concerning folks who have no business being on pit road or in the NASCAR garage area. For the price of a pit pass, they can mosey right up to ropes of all the cars (and drivers and crews) taking part in a NHRA National Event.
"And to our knowledge, no problems.
"Well, you noticed the fairly recent flap about a female 'fan' who claimed she was "assaulted" or shoved on pit road by NASCAR/Winston Cup driver Tony Stewart, who already has been fined and is on probation for the reminder of the season.
"A grand jury refused to bring charges against Stewart, but a NASCAR spokesman has said the sanctioning body's rules of garage and pit access is under study and there may be some new rules in 2003."
Yeah, right, like putting in the stipulation for only acredited media members in the garage during practice and races,
"Good, but let's don't allow this crackdown to hamper members of the press -- read that media -- who already have enough trouble. That is, getting to drivers in the NASCAR garage area, not reaching drivers or crews at NHRA National Events."
And you may have noticed this same Stewart was (is) on probation for running into another competitor, Brian Vickers, during a Busch race they were both running as storied "Buschwackers." Yeah, he's on probation, but only in the Busch Series. Never mind it happened in NASCAR sanctioned event.
Commit a crime in the infield and you're only on probabtion in the infield, right?
In NHRA, if an individual gets out of line, that individual is on probation, period. It's not like if you're on probation in Miami, but you have a clean sheet in Gainesville.
Now, nobody asked me but:
Wouldn't you like to see Morgan Lucas win a race?
Not just for himself, but for car owner Joe Amato and the late Darrell Russell. Amato was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame this year and a National Event victory in 2005 would be a fitting cap.
And as for winning:
What about those Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future rookie candidates?
Robert Hight and Chip Ellis already have victories, but wouldn't it be nice to see Erica Enders and Jack Beckman close out their rookie seasons with a visit to Victory Lane?
If you disagree with any of the above, you can let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org as text.
(Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Froscher's Forum are Norm's and not necessarily those of Drag Race Central, its editors or advertisers, Brian France, Bill France Jr., Mike Helton or Tony Stewart).