There’s a Reason It’s Called a Funny Car

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Can we have a frank conversation about funny cars without getting all worked up?

Yesterday, John Force Racing revealed the new Camaro funny car body designed in partnership with Chevrolet.  I was interested to read the conversation in the Facebook comments.

The conversation could be about innovation in safety and aerodynamics.  The conversation could be about whether it’s in the best interest of nitro funny car competition for a team to have exclusivity with an automaker (in my opinion, no).  The conversation could be about how John Force is the greatest showman in the history of drag racing (after all, he did make news last week for falling off an elliptical machine).  The conversation could be about the trade off between down force and drag in funny cars and how funny car aerodynamics have evolved over time to the point where trap speeds are higher in funny cars than dragsters.  The conversation could be about GM’s considerable investment in NHRA drag racing.  The conversation could be about Force rising from the ashes and thriving following Castrol and Ford leaving JFR in the same year.

The conversation wasn’t about any of those things.   A selection of the comments:

  • “Camaro”
  • The resemblance of a 2016 Camaro is amazing!! *sarcasm alert..
  • Same shape, different paint. Yawn

Why is this conversation still happening?  It’s been 50 years since the earliest funny cars.  Funny cars looked funny 50 years ago.  They look funny today.  Get over it.

You can’t have 1,000 ft. elapsed times under 4 seconds at over 300 mph AND have funny cars that look like their production counterparts.  I can see a production car driving down the highway any time, but I can only see those ridiculous performances in a short wheelbase car with the engine in front of the driver in NHRA Mello Yello Series competition.  I want my car to look as funny as it needs to look to win races.

If manufacturers back our sport and their only contingency is making the headlights and tail lights look somewhat like the production cars, I will gladly call that car a Camaro.  This show exists because sponsors support racers and fans support sponsors.  Join me in celebrating GM and their commitment to drag racing!