"Holy Toledo!"

July 9, 2008

Carlin & Kalitta

Filed under: Life, News & Politics, NHRA — Bill @ 10:42 pm

Guess who’s back?

Yes after a brief absence your favorite blogger has returned, but I do have a note from my mother. Much has occurred while I was gone, including two VERY significant friends of ours who died.

In truth it is part of the reason I’ve been gone, words to express my feelings were quite simply hard to come by.

As many of you know I am a son of a drag racer, so when I heard the news about Scott Kalitta I took it very hard. The worst part of it was that I was on vacation, supposed to be having fun, then very early Sunday morning I heard about the tragic accident on ESPN Radio (a shitty way to hear about it let me tell you).

It wasn’t until I finally arrived at home a week later that I saw the accident. Damn

I’m not in favor of the new 1000 ft. ruling (in case you didn’t know all nitro cars will now only race to the 1000 ft. mark instead of the traditional 1320 ft. or 1/4 mile (a reactionary measure by the NHRA as a result of the Kalitta accident).

What happened to Scott had little to do with the distance of the finish line. It had much more to do with the short racing surface, the fact the his parachutes didn’t deploy properly, and that he may have been unconscious when the engine blew. One thing I KNOW is that he would never want to be the one responsible for changing the drag racing surface to anything less than 1/4 mile.

Another factor nobody has mentioned is that on his previous run his parachute came out at the starting line. He didn’t qualify on that run because he was dragging the chute. Could he have packed the chutes too tightly? It deserves investigation.

No matter what the cause we lost a great champion, a son, a father, a good man. Drag racing may never be the same again, and it was personal.

– Slightly more than 24 hours later we lost George Carlin. My wife & I had just seen him on April 1st in Santa Rosa, the night of his last HBO live TV special. He looked spry, wearing his Converse tennis shoes bouncing about the stage,

It was like losing a member of the family. I grew up with George, he was my Dad’s age exactly.

All I can say is that he went out on top, he was still great, and as far as I’m concerned he always will be. The man had a command of the English language the likes we may never see again on a comedic level.

Needless to say it was a depressing two days.

But that’s not how either one of them would have wanted it. They would much prefer you think of them as going out in style, doing what they wanted to do, doing what they did best.

To Scott Kalitta & George Carlin, all I can say is thanks for all the memories, the fun we had, and the times we will have reliving the days we spent together.

Life isn’t always about the glorious beginning or the shitty end, it has much more to do with the great times in between, so enjoy them.

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