Originally Posted by prostreet6t9
Its too bad all the Track Tech's Don't go by the same page and follow the same rules. They can get pretty sketchy in the NW.
I ended my tech career at Firebird International Raceway after 20 years as Tech Director and trainer.
I never, ever told a racer that he had to jump through a hoop unless I could show it to him in black and white in the current NHRA Rulebook and I taught all my students to do the same. I suggested that they imagine a Judge watching over their shoulder as they teched the car and talked to the owner/driver. I remember teching the Budweiser King and suggesting to Kim that the diaper needed padding in it to absorb oil. She got right in my face and said "show me". I opened the book and read the verbage to her. We were pretty fair friends after that, because she realized that I was a professional the same as she was. Here's the verbage from Top Fuel rules....
"A nonflammable, oilabsorbent liner mandatory inside of retention device"
Word would get back to me pretty quickly if one of the tech guys gave a racer a hard time and a word to the Race Director would have the offending tech inspector squared away or gone. I ran the Tech Dept. as a business, just like any other business where you have a provider and a customer. You must be polite with the racers, yet there is a firmness that is necessary, based on the fact that you know what you're talking about and are able to convey the necessities of the situation to the racers in a non-confrontational manner. It goes the other way also; many times in the tech line when I have seen an exceptional way that the racer fabricated something on the car or the way he installed the seat belts or rollbar or cage "by the book", I would call all the other tech inspectors over to look at the car to see how "textbook" actually looks on a real car. Ask me if the owner/builder would grin ear to ear.
I held a National Silver-certified SFI technical inspection license, a National NHRA chassis certification license and National NHRA Fuel Check license.....all the credentials I could hold without being employed full-time by NHRA. I taught many new fellows to be good technical inspectors, with a dozen or so of them achieving the credentials that I held.
If you're having trouble with tech inspectors at a certain track, then the first thing you want to do is to get together with some of the other racers who have had problems at that track and elect a spokesman who will represent all the racers involved. Have that person contact the Race Director or Track Owner/Operator and explain what's going on and the fact that he/she is representing X number of racers who also have had trouble in the tech line at that track. If the Operator realizes that there is a problem in the operation of the tech line, then hopefully He/She will have enough business sense to correct the problem. If the Operator turns a deaf ear, then threatening a boycott of the track would be the next tactic I would employ. If you start gettin' into their pocketbook, they'll usually listen.
If you feel that you need some help from the big guns, please do not hesitate to contact either or both, the NHRA Division Tech Director or the NHRA Division Director. That's what these guys do, work as a liason to keep everything "jake" for the racers out there.
Jonathan Adams, Division Director
818 39th Ave. S.W., Suite A3
Puyallup, WA 98373
Dave Schaffel, tech consultant
Monday and Friday, 7-9 PM, PT
Another way around this getting hassled is to do an extended technical inspection on the car. Call Jonathan and ask where you can get an "ETI". Sometimes the Division Director will hold a chassis certification seminar at a particular track and there would be plenty of qualified technical inspectors available to tech your car and issue an ETI that is sort of like a pass for the following year. You just pull up to the tech line, show your ETI to the first available tech inspector and he signs you off to go race. That is unless he is a complete DDICK, in which case he will have to show his authority by re-teching your car. Some people just do not belong in a position of authority.
You racers will not be out of line to ask to see the tech inspector's SFI card. The first entry level is a bronze tech inspector, then a silver tech inspector, then a gold (you must work for NHRA full-time to get a gold card). If your inspector isn't certified at all and is trying to tell you something that you know is wrong, ask to speak to a silver-certified inspector. If that fails, ask to speak to the Race Director or Track operator.