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Family Software Newsletter #15 - June 28, 2001


1. Opinion - Are NHRA Sportsman Events Really Worth It?
2. New! High Temp Gun-Style Infrared Thermometer
3. FREE Software Download
4. REAL World Technical Support
5. Most Accurate Digital Altimeter

-- Opinion - Are NHRA Sportsman Events Really Worth It? --
I've been 'chasing' the NHRA Divisional and National Events for many years now. Maybe, because I am getting older, I feel more and more, that it really isn't worth it any more. Especially, in the Super Comp category. There are many reasons for these feelings.

We spend a great deal of time and money pursuing these events, much more than a bracket racing effort. In fact, the entry fees, gasoline, accommodations, food, racing fuel, etc., can easily surpass $1000.00 to $2000.00 or more, for just one (1) of these events. Not to mention the initial expense of $100,000.00 to $200,000.00 for the race car, trailer, and motor home/truck. What do we get for our expense and efforts?

We get terrible pit facilities, like the one I had in Columbus, out in a pasture, where I couldn't get my car out of the trailer without dragging the body and frame rails on the rocks and stones they call a pit road. The only dragster pitted with nothing else but 'door cars' with plenty of ground clearance. I complained to no avail. And, I was not permitted to move. There wasn't supposed to be any room left where all the other Super Comp Cars were pitted, but I went down on my scooter and found plenty of open area. It doesn't matter what you have in your trailer, "you'll go where we put you." Maybe we should have racers parking us. That could make a difference. Did I forget to mention that I arrived on Tuesday, a day ahead of time? I was one of the first cars to go through tech at the mall, though when I arrived at the track, there was no room left! Amazing, isn't it? Favoritism, nah. Really!

Yes, we ARE cry babies! But, we have plenty of reason to be crying, believe me! The tracks are never prepped when we get there. The burn out area is loaded with weeks of Friday night street rubber. We are the track cleaners, until the Alcohol cars run. Then things change quickly. The track is scraped and sprayed and then we have to dial our cars within a thousandth of a second on entirely different track conditions for the first round of elimination's. Pretty wild, huh?

Then at the National events, NHRA decides which lane we are to run in and whom we are to run against. It doesn't appear to matter to them that there are lane differences. Some tracks have lanes so bad that the solid cars bounce all the way down the track. Why should NHRA decide whether we are to win or lose in the first round? Just tell me that! It is totally absurd. When anyone is deciding who is going to run whom, and in which lane, that is NOT a random pairing. We racers are better able to manage ourselves than NHRA could ever hope to. When half the racers want the right lane and the other half want the left lane, why not leave them alone? Or at the very least, a coin toss should decide. The current system simply sucks! There is no other way to describe it from a racer's viewpoint! Not to mention, that we all have to suit up at once and sit in our cars sweating our asses off, waiting to run. Because we never know when they will point at you and it's your turn to run in the lane you didn't want.

The Auto Start system was a move in the right direction. But, what has happened? Someone is not paying attention to the correct setup for the different Auto Start settings. I keep getting five (5) second trees on Auto Start and it is supposed to be two (2) seconds. How do you handle a five (5) second tree when you practice a zillion times on a two (2) second start. You don't. You lose, period! So, who is responsible for putting in the Auto Start delay? And why are there different settings for different classes, it is lame. If the default setting was the same for ALL classes (which makes perfect sense), no one could screw up. So, there is no sense to using Auto Start, if human error can still enter into it. Auto Start should work on its own. No human element should intervene. As a computer programmer, I know that this can and should be done, if we are going to continue to use Auto Start.

The electronics are totally out of hand. Illegal devices, by NHRA's own definition, abound. Yet, nothing is done. Now, NHRA believes that possibly MORE electronics would be a good thing. The subject of 'progressive' throttle stops has been voiced. Wonderful! Another computer controlled device. Once again, the manufacturers are making the rules. My opinion? Get rid of ALL the electronics and go back to REAL racing where the driver makes the difference in the outcome of each and every race.

I can understand that changes to the schedule are necessary. But, should one class be skipped over entirely? Not, in my opinion. We are all equal in my book. No class is better than another. How would you like to get up at 6:30 AM because you are scheduled to run that morning only to end up running first round at 5:00 PM. At a divisional race, the only spectators in the stands are racers. To screw over a hundred racers for twenty or so walk in spectators is just crazy. Second round at 7:00 PM? I don't know about you, but after 13 hours, it is almost past my bed time!

What ever happened to the 'New NHRA?' The NHRA that had come to realize that we ARE the backbone of the sport. That the Sportsman racer IS the show, that WE pay the bills, and therefore deserve equal and fair treatment. Got me. I can't figure it out.

Now, there is an idea that each and every Comp car should have their own personal index! Gee, guys, I think they call that Bracket Racing! Super Stock and Stock are already ET bracket cars. Maybe it could simplify things if we had just Fuel Cars and Bracket Cars! And, nothing against the 'big boys.' But, how many trophies do you think John Force would have if he had to win seven (7), eight (8), or nine (9) rounds to get one? Just imagine how many wins each of us would have, if there were only four (4) rounds of competition? The Fuel guys have money coming out of their ass. Let's have them pay the Super classes to qualify! Oh, I suppose that would be unreasonable.

-- New High Temp 'Gun-Style' Digital Infrared Thermometer --
We now offer another Digital Infrared Thermometer with Laser Sighting, Part # IRT4. The new Gun Style unit has a temperature range of 0 to 788 degrees F, has a backlight, an 8:1 Optical Resolution, and an Auto-Off feature. The introductory price is just $99.95! That is about what you would pay for a unit WITHOUT laser sighting and with a lower temperature range. Comparable prices for a unit with these specifications is about fifty or sixty dollars more.

-- FREE Software Download -- The DOS version of our DataMaster Analyzer software, Version 2.0, is available to you as a FREE download on our web site. (The Windows version is too big to download because of all the associated Windows Dll's and other MicroSoft files that have to be installed.) You don't need a data recorder to test the software and see exactly what a DataMaster Sportsman Computer does better than any other data logger system in the world! Yes, better than the most expensive data logger in the world. Only, ours is not expensive. If you have any older version of this software, download this as a FREE update.

-- REAL World Technical Support --
With Family Software, you'll get better technical support than anywhere on the planet. Why? Because, we design and/or use all of the products that we sell. All of my 30+ years of racing experience and knowledge is available to you and our other customers. Try to find that kind of information at any one of our competitors. You won't be able to, I guarantee it! Family Software cares about the racer and his/her success as a racer. The other companies just want your money!

-- Secure Ordering --
You can safely order directly from our web site. All of your information is handled on our Secure Server. We have established a privacy policy and it is posted on the web site. Our company is registered with the Public Eye for safe, secure ordering.

If you have questions or topics that you would like to see covered in this newsletter, please Email them to me.

Bob Kodadek
SC 1596
Family Software - Drag Racing Computers and Software - 610.497.5561(Voice/Fax)

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