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Tue, 19 Nov 2002, 10:31 AM

Time to Give Thanks
By Norm Froscher





Believe it or not, here it is November already and the month of Thanksgiving -- as if those other 11 months are not worthy of it also.

Everyone has much for which they can be thankful, even if they wait until that official day of Nov. 28 to voice it.

Perhaps you'll see a couple of those items here, as this writer tries to set down a few of the many, many things for which we're blessed. Oh, yeah, not everyone of them is in an ultra-serious vein, but I think you get the idea

***

First, thanks for being in this wonderful, free country where even if you don't care for that, you won't be thrown in jail just for a dissenting comment.

Thanks, personally, for my many present and departed friends, too many to try and list, but in their name and memory we try and carry on.

Thanks for the pre-race ceremonies at every drag race, auto race and other sporting events, which hammers home that point of our beloved freedom again and again.

Along that line, the flyovers, the parachutists and the Star Spangled Banner.

***

...Thanks for the ever-present aroma of sausages being grilled at a National Event.

***

In our sport, thanks for Pastor Ken Owen and Racers For Christ, which have helped direct more than one errant individual back on to the correct path.

And help give comfort and strength to racers and their families and friends in time of sickness, injury and need. And yes, thanks for DRAW, the Drag Racing Association of Women, for all the good they've done and continue to do.

Thanks for Don "The Snake" Prudhomme's ambling strut, win or lose...and for that trademark scowl when a writer or fan approaches him at the wrong time.

And thanks for the memories of Shirley Muldowney and her traditional battles with "Donald" Garlits...and for "Big Daddy" and his almost copyrighted expression of "Poppycock".

Thanks for Doug Herbert's big heart and his "Dougzilla" drive for injured friend Billy Williams.

Thanks for Eddie and Ercie Hill of this sport, who although they may not now be competing, continue to be friends to all who are.

***

...Thanks for the hammering noise of burnouts, especially in the fuel classes.

***

Thanks for Joe Amato, who continues to be a true (5-time) champion long after climbing out of the cockpit...and for Kenny Bernstein, for the same reason, along with his showing us just what life after 300 mph can be like.

Thanks for legendary Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins. A guy with a constant cigar like that has to be OK...and for Bob Glidden, a champion who's always been willing to give of his time.

Thanks to Frank Hawley...and Roy Hill, and their drag racing schools. They didn't just retire from driving to a rocking chair, but began schools to impart their years of knowledge and experience to upcoming racers.

Thanks also to NHRA/POWERade and their points system, which unlike NASCAR/Winston Cup, is not the target of frequent cries for revision and which also rewards top qualifying and setting of records, unlike those stock cars.

***

...And thanks for the Sunday traffic jams at National Events, which remind us to arrive earlier next time.
***

Thanks to the Driver of the Year foundation, which through its panel has recognized John Force (in 1996) as the best and earlier this year signaled out Larry Dixon for its second quarter laurels against drivers from all forms of U.S. motorsports competition...and give that panel guidance to consider that same Dixon, the new Top Fuel Champion, for its annual award.

Thanks for that same legendary Force, who doesn't really need a question in order to give an interview...

***

...Thanks for the hundreds of sportsman and bracket racers who toil week after week at their home tracks. Hey, that's how this sport started, right, Wally? Along that line, thanks to the many publications and TV outlets who are beginning to call illegal street racing just that, NOT drag racing.

***

And Thanks for our most recently crowned NHRA/POWERade Champions. May they represent the sport well.

Finally, thanks for you, dear readers, with whom Froscher's Forum and my sometimes off-the-wall comments, couldn't continue to exist. A very best Holiday Season to all.

The opinions expressed in Froscher's Forum are his own and not necessarily those of Drag Race Central or more specifically Osama Bin Laden, NASCAR/Winston Cup, anyone who doesn't like the smell of cooking sausage or highway traffic control officers).





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