NHRA National Event results – 1976

This is the list of the NHRA National events for 1976. In particular 1st and 2nd place in Pro Stock.

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This is the same list of results from NHRA.com except that the this list is in order from top to bottom (i.e. the first event of the year is first rather than NHRA’s listing which is last event first).

The source for this list is here.

NHRA Event winner list – Pro Stock: 1976

CLASS WINNER RUNNER UP
WINTERNATIONALS

Pro Stock Bob Glidden Wayne Gapp
GATORNATIONALS

Pro Stock Larry Lombardo Warren Johnson
SPRINGNATIONALS

Pro Stock Wally Booth Warren Johnson
SUMMERNATIONALS

Pro Stock Larry Lombardo Andy Mannarino
GRANDNATIONAL

Pro Stock Larry Lombardo Wally Booth
U.S. NATIONALS

Pro Stock Wally Booth Frank Iaconio
FALLNATIONALS

Pro Stock Wally Booth Warren Johnson
WORLD FINALS

Pro Stock Wally Booth Dave Kanners

Gapp, Garlits And Nicholson Top ’73 Professional Winners

Gapp, Garlits And Nicholson Top ’73 Professional Winners

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1973’s TOP PROFESSIONALS – Wayne Gapp, Don Garlits and Don Nicholson were the biggest winners of 1973 in the Professional ranks, with Ford Pro Stock driver Wayne Gapp (left) leading the way with wins at the World Finals and Supernationals, along with runner-up performances at the Gatornationals and U.S. Nationals. Garlits took the Winternationals and Supernationals, as well as finishing second at the Springnationals, while Nicholson utilized an early season hot streak to take the Winternationals and Gatornationals.

Ford Pro Stock campaigner Wayne Gapp, with 2 wins and 2 runner-up performances this past year, was 1973’s most successful racer in National Hot Rod Association Pro Stock competition. Right behind Gapp’s heels in the close ratings were Top Fuel driver Don Garlits, with 2 wins and 1 runner-up, and Don Nicholson, who had scored 2 victories and no runner-ups.

The 1973 season, with no one professional racer able to produce more than 2 victories, compares contrastingly to the past two years in NHRA professional competition, which saw Ronnie Sox score 6 wins in 1971 and Bill Jenkins matching the feat in 1972.

There were no double winners in Funny Car at all this year, and aside from Garlits’ 2 wins, the same stands for the Top Fuel ranks.

For Gapp, the season started in frustration, losing the Gatornationals final round to Nicholson’s hole-shot, 9.040 to a 9.039, and then dropping the U.S. Nationals run-off to Bob Glidden by one-hundreth of a second, 9.08 to 9.09. He came on strong at the World Finals however, blasting Bill Jenkins’ 9.34 effort with a 9.17, and then got even with Glidden at the Supernationals, 8.87 to an 8.96.

IHRA – 1974 Season results

4 races out of 6. Not bad…

International Hot Rod Association – 1974 Season – Pro Stock

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RACE 1
Southern Nationals
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Charlotte, NC

PRO STOCK
Wayne Gapp defeats Roy Hill

RACE 2
Pro Am Nationals
Rockingham Dragway
Rockingham, NC
PRO STOCK
Don Nicholson defeats Reid Whisnant

RACE 3
Spring Nationals
Bristol International Dragway
Bristol, TN
PRO STOCK
Reid Whisnant defeats John Lingenfelter

RACE 4
Northern Nationals
Mid-America Dragway
Muncie, IN
PRO STOCK
Wayne Gapp defeats Bob Glidden

RACE 5
US Open Nationals
Rockingham Dragway
Rockingham, NC
PRO STOCK
Wayne Gapp defeats Herb McCandless

RACE 6
All American Nationals
Bristol International Dragway
Bristol, TN
PRO STOCK
Wayne Gapp defeats Don Nicholson

Competition Plus and the ‘Taxi’

Saw this article, which is pretty cool.

The industry I have worked in over the last 20 years has made me want to see correct information at all times. I think I got it right here…

– Jeff

———

Dear Editor,

I recently read the article posted on your site titled “THE TIJUANA TAXI: UNDER CONSTRUCTION”.

First of all, thank you for posting the information. It is good to see Roush McClenaghan and Roush interested in creating a replica of the ‘Taxi’.

I would like to make a few comments regarding the article.

1. Sourcing of the article

The author, David Exum, clearly referenced another article on your site by Brian Wood called “Hailing the Cab”. This should be acknowedged and linked to as it is a article that provides a great deal of background and is one of the few in-depth articles with Wayne Gapp that can be found.

Here’s the Brian Wood article.

2. Regarding loopholes

The NHRA Drag Rules for 1974 and 1975 clearly and definitively allowed use of vehicles over 105 inches of wheelbase and allowed for significantly different weight factors for those vehicles that equaled or exceeded that wheelbase.

The ‘Taxi’ was an effort to achieve maximum performance within the established rules…that is not a loophole…that’s just using the rules to maximize effect.

3. Years that the ‘Taxi’ was used in competition

The ‘Taxi’, as stated in the article, did not debut at the 1975 NHRA Winternationals.

The first NHRA national event appearance of the ‘Taxi’ was at the 1974 Summernationals at Englishtown where a runner-up finish was scored against Larry Lombardo.

The Taxi’s last run at a NHRA national event run for Gapp & Roush was on 12-October 1975 at Pomona where the car bowed out in the 2nd round of competition.

The article states that the NHRA changed the rules for the ’75 season and these rule changes prompted the creation of the ‘Taxi’. This is not a correct statement.

The rules that brought the ‘Taxi’ into existence were established by NHRA’s 1974 ‘NHRA Drag Rules’ and the 1975 ‘NHRA Drag Rules’ extended those rules but changed the weight factors in place.

You can see the applicable NHRA Drag Rules here:
1973 – NHRA Drag Rules
1974 – NHRA Drag Rules
1975 – NHRA Drag Rules

The ’74 rules provided a huge advantage in weight for vehicles whose wheelbase extended beyond 105 inches. There were disadvantages (weight transfer over the length of the vehicle for traction, placement of rear tires on the track area and aerodynamics) but the advantages were big enough to move in the direction of building these vehicles. Hence the rush to build the ‘Taxi’.

What’s more impressive regarding the ‘Taxi’ is the performance of the vehicle during the 1975 season given the increase of the weight factor from 6.45/c.i. in 1974 to 7.10/c.i. in 1975.

I did a little write-up of the effect of the rules here.

Lastly, most commentators have stated that NHRA removed a rule regarding the year of production for vehicles participating in Pro Stock and that this rule is the reason that Ford competitors (primarily Glidden and Nicholson) went to 1970 Mustangs bodies.

However, the 1973, 1974 and 1975 Drag Rules state the following:

“BODY: Must be a 1969 or later model/year factory produced coupe, sedan or station wagon.”

NHRA may have intended to keep the rule at 5 years but from what I can tell they never _changed_ the rule to indicate that intention. Given that the 1970 Mustang is 108″ wheelbase vehicle and had two doors the reason for choosing that body style is due to the wheelbase rule and appearance rather than a change in the year of manufacture rule.

Briefly stated, NHRA raised the weight break from 6.45 to 7.10 for the class of vehicle that ‘Taxi’ qualified as. The differences in these factors means that the ‘Taxi’ ran with 237.9 additional pounds in 1975 as compared to 1974. Yet, 3 NHRA national event wins and 3 runner-up finishes were notched in 1975 with another win at the 1974 GrandNational Molson event and a runner-up finish at the Summernationals in 1974.

Link to August 2nd, 1974 National Dragster cover:

Good thing for the competition that NHRA raised the weight breaks otherwise the ‘Taxi’ would have been unbeatable in 1975 given the gains in performance.

3. Construction of the ‘Taxi’

Time indeed was a factor in the construction of the vehicle.

However, it was BECAUSE it would take only 60 days to build the ‘Taxi’ that the vehicle was constructed.

Gapp & Roush were able to acquire the 2-door Maverick chassis and make few changes to the chassis, add the 4-door body from the A-pillar back and get to the track.

Once again, thanks for the information about the ‘Taxi’!

– Jeff Gapp

NHRA rules, weight breaks and the ‘Taxi’

The Gapp & Roush race car known as the ‘Taxi’ was built to take advantage of the NHRA rules in effect.

The story itself is a bit twisted both in actual history and in the re-telling over the years.

Let’s see if I can lay out a straight line…so to speak.

First…the rules

In 1973 NHRA Drag Rules the NHRA mandated weight per cubic inch facteos for Pro Stock vehicles were:

  • 6.50 or more lbs. per cubic inch, for original “true wedge” or incline valve engines.
  • 7.00 or more lbs. per cubic inch, for all other engines.

Additionally, the rules stated:

  • ENGINE, 100 lnch Wheelbase or More: Must be of 1965 or later manufacture and must be the same make as car. Any internal modifications permitted. Minimum total car weight, 2,400 lbs.
  • ENGINE, Less than 100 Inches Wheelbase: Must be of 1965 or later passenger car production, the same make as car, with original displacement 366 inches or less. Any internal modifications permitted. Minimum allowable weight 2,100 lbs.

Seems pretty straightforward. A legal NHRA small block car would weigh, assuming a engine displacement of 366 cubic inches, 2379 lbs.

A big block car, say a Hemi, would have weighed around 2982 lbs.

An extra 603 pounds was a killer for the big blocks. It becomes obvious why the small block cars were so successful during the 1973 season (in fact continuing their success from 1972).

As my Dad stated in a interview:

Problem was, if NHRA had consulted their physics books they would have realized that it wasn’t all that straightforward. There was a thing called inertia, which no one took into consideration. Simply stated, if you take a 2,700-pound big-block car and a 2,300-pound small-block car and you let out the clutch on each one, it’s the inertia off the line that determines the performance during the first 60-feet of the pass, not the horsepower. In other words, if you kick a cement block and a block of wood, guess which one will travel the farthest? So, naturally, Jenkins’ little Vega just jumped off the starting line and consequently it killed the Chryslers during the 1972 season.”

Going into 1974, needless to say, there were a few complaints. So NHRA tried again.

The 1974 Drag Rules state the following:

  • 6.45 or more lbs. per cubic inch, for cars with 105 inch or more wheelbase using true wedge or incline valve engines of original production.
  • 6.65 or more lbs. per cubic inch, for cars under 105 inch wheelbase using true wedge engines of 366 cubic inches or less, original production.
  • 6.75 or more lbs. per cubic inch, for cars under 105 inch wheelbase using incline valve engines of 366 cubic inches or less, original production.
  • 7.00 or more lbs. per cubic inch, for cars over 100 inch wheelbase using all other engines, i.e., Hemi’s, Cammers, etc.

Lastly the weight minimums:

  • WEIGHT MINIMUMS: All cars with 6.45, 6.65 & 6.75 factors = 2,100 pounds. Cars with 7.00 factors = 2,300 pounds.

Reading THOSE rules and representing Ford vehicles a few things pop out:

  • Weight Minimums for the big block cars were lowered by 100 lbs.
  • A car with 105″+ wheelbase has a significant advantage of .55 lbs. per cubic inch over the big block cars and .20 lbs. per cubic inch over the next classification.
  • Ford didn’t make any recently manufactured two doors that were over 105″ that could be used. In fact, the 2-door Maverick was probably considered in the rules as the its wheelbase is 103″.
  • The 4-door Maverick, however has a 109″ wheelbase.

So a legal NHRA small block car over 105″ wheelbase would weigh, assuming a displacement of 366 cubic inches, 2360.7 lbs.

A Pinto would weigh 2433.9. So, that is 73 lbs. MORE than the Maverick with the same engine.

A big block car, say a Hemi, would have weighed around 2982 lbs.

The weight advantage of small block (at 105+ inches of wheelbase) vs. big block has gone UP to 621.3 lbs.

So..what happens? NHRA decides that the advantages provided for in the 1974 season need to adjusted. So they go insane adding complexity to the rules in the attempt to achieve parity. At this point, the rules are out of hand.

I have included the relevant set of rules below. See here for all the engine rules.

The new rules state:

  • Over 105″ 105″ or less Manufacturer and original engine size
  • 7.10 7.30 Ford Cleveland (Small Block) 302 & 351
  • 6.90 7.10 Chevrolet (Small Block) 302 & 350
  • 7.30 — Chrysler Corporation Hemi & Ford SOHC (Big Block)

The Ford vehicles just got jacked…and the Pinto’s got hammered.

Let’s run our weight calculations again:

  • Ford – 366 * 7.10 = 2598.6 lbs.
  • Chevy – 366 * 6.90 = 2525.4 lbs.
  • Chrylsler – 426 * 7.30 = 3109.8 lbs.

In 1973 a small wheelbase Ford could run at: 2379 lbs.

In 1974 a Ford long wheelbase car could run at: 2360.7 lbs.
In 1974 a Ford small wheelbase car could run at: 2470.5 lbs.

In 1975 a Ford long wheelbase car could run at: 2598.6 lbs.
In 1975 a Ford small wheelbase car could run at: 2671.8 lbs.

In 1975 a long-wheelbase small-block Chevrolet could run at: 2525.4

In 1975 a Chrysler Hemi could run at: 3109.8

The difference between the 1974 weight and the 1975 weight was 237.9 lbs. In closing, the performance of the Taxi during 1975 is downright amazing given the attempts by NHRA to factor the vehicle.

NHRA National Event results – 1973

This is the list of the NHRA National events for 1973. In particular 1st and 2nd place in Pro Stock.

NHRA logo

This is the same list of results from NHRA.com except that the this list is in order from top to bottom (i.e. the first event of the year is first rather than NHRA’s listing which is last event first).

The source for this list is here.

NHRA Event winner list – Pro Stock: 1973

CLASS WINNER RUNNER UP
WINTERNATIONALS

Pro Stock Don Nicholson Don Carlton
GATORNATIONALS

Pro Stock Don Nicholson Wayne Gapp
SPRINGNATIONALS

Pro Stock Don Carlton Butch Leal
SUMMERNATIONALS

Pro Stock Bill Jenkins Butch Leal
GRANDNATIONAL

Pro Stock Butch Leal Bob Glidden
U.S. NATIONALS

Pro Stock Bob Glidden Wayne Gapp
WORLD FINALS

Pro Stock Wayne Gapp Bill Jenkins
SUPERNATIONALS

Pro Stock Wayne Gapp Bob Glidden

1975 NHRA Drag Rules

PRO STOCK ELIMINATOR

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Pro Stock World Champion, Bob Glidden, Pro Stock Ford Pinto

Reserved for North American built cars with North American automobile engines with a wheelbase of 100 inches or more and for American sub-compacts – AMX, Colt, Cricket, Gremlin, Pinto, Vega, Astra, etc. – with North American engines with a minimum wheelbase of 94 inches. Body, engine, drive train, chassis, etc., may not be altered, modified or relocated, except as outlined in Class Requirements. Push starts not permitted. One class of competition for non-supercharged cars. Class is determined by total car weight, including driver, divided by total cubic inches engine displacement.

DESIGNATION: PRO, preceded by car number.

WHEELBASE & CLASS BREAKS


Over 105″105″ or lessMANUFACTURER AND ORIGINAL ENGINE SIZE
6.90
7.00
American Motors (Small Block) 360 & 390
6.80
Ford Wedges (Big Block) 352, 390, 427 & 428
6.80
Buick-Olds-Pontiac (Big Block) 400-455
6.80
7.00
Ford Windsor (Small Block) 302 & 351
7.10
7.30
Ford Cleveland (Small Block) 302 & 351
6.80
7.00
Chrysler Corporation (Small Block) 340 & 360
6.90
7.10
Chevrolet (Small Block) 302 & 350
6.80
7.00
Oldsmobile, Buick & Pontiac (Small Block) 350
6.90
Chevrolet (Big Block) 396, 427 & 454
7.00
Ford “Boss 429” (Big Block) 429
7.30
Chrysler Corporation Hemi & Ford SOHC (Big Blocks) 426-427

The use of big block motors – over 366 cubic inches original production – is not allowed in cars having 100 inch wheelbase or less.

CLASS REQUIREMENTS

BALLAST: Permitted. May not be visible in passenger compartment. Shotbags must be contained in accepted weight-box. See Safety Regulations, Ballast.

BATTERY: Trunk installation permitted. Two maximum. Total weight wet and fully charged, including battery box: 100 pounds.

BODY: Must be a 1969 or later model year factory produced coupe, sedan or station wagon. Sports Cars, Sedan Deliveries and Trucks not permitted. Original steel body shell must be retained. Chopping, channeling, sectioning or other body alterations as to contour, length or width is prohibited, raked windshield, “drooped” front end, .etc.). The use of fiberglass or other lightweight components is restricted to hood, front fenders, splash pans, valance panels and rear deck lid, however, they must be exact duplicates of stock components replaced. Liffoff hoods and deck lids permitted. Excessive- weight reduction of bodies or body parts is’ not per- mitted. Roll cages mandatory. Any under the hood modifications necessary for engine installation will be allowed. See Firewall

BRAKES: Four-wheel brakes mandatory. All brake lines must be out of the flywheel and drive line area.

BUMPERS: Stock or fiberglass duplicates required front and rear and may be molded into body.

CARBURETION: Limited to two 4-bbl or four 2-bbl American automotive carburetors with any internal modifications. Fuel iniectors not allowed.

DOORS: All doors must be functional and operable from inside or outside.

DRIVELINE: May be modified or fabricated to fit altered units. See Safety Regulations, Drivelines.

DRIVER: Must be in stock location. Revision of seat location prohibited. No part of the driver’s seat may extend behind the “B-Post.” All drivers must wear full trousers and jackets.

ENGINE: Must be of 1965 or later manufacture and must be same make as car. Any internal modifications permitted.

ENGINE SET BACK: Permitted, provided the front spark plug hole is not behind the front spindle.

EXHAUST SYSTEM: Open exhaust with headers, permitted. Tailpipes and/or mufflers optional.

FENOER SPLASH PANS: Front. Must be retained, cannot be removed, but can be trimmed to allow a maximum of 2 inch clearance around headers. The use of aluminum or fiberglass for fender splash pans is allowed.

FIREWALL: Moving the stock firewall rearward for engine installation permitted. Replacing the stock unit witti one of .028 inch steel allowed.

FLOORS: Replacing the stock floors with .028 inch steel allowed. Any floor that has been replaced must be in stock location and stock appearing. Subfloors and/or bellypans are prohibited. Chassis/Frame and drive line must be below floor. Transmission cover and rear floor behind “B-Post” may be made of aluminum. Minimum thickness .040 inch. Rear floor may not be higher than 8 inches above the door sill. Drive line tunnel behind driver’s seat may be higher if necessary for proper clearance.

FLYWHEEL/CLUTCH: Use of stock type, cast iron flywheels and/or pressure plates prohibited. Explosion-resistant units required.

FLYWHEEL SHIELD: SEMA 6-l flywheel shield required on all cars except those equipped with pre-1961 Hydramatic transmissions. Minimum requirement for all other automatic transmissions is an accepted flexible blanket shield. See Safety Regulations’ Flywheel Shields.

FUEL SYSIEM: Stock type fuel tank must be used. lf the gas tank filler neck is moved into the trunk, the tank must have a pressure cap. The tank must be vented to the outside of the body. The trunk must then be completely separated from the driver’s compartment with a firewall of flameproof material. Extra tank(s) not permitted. Safety fuel cells highly recommended. Fuel blocks accepted. See Safety Regulations, Fuel Systems.

FRAME: Frame from radiator to rear of car may be replaced. Any properly reinforced frame accepted. Additional members may be added for strength and/or roll cage installation.

GRILLE: Grilles must be full stock production for body used and must be visible from front, may have coverlng over back or grllle to prevent air from passing through. Required, all classes.

HOOD SCOOP: Permitted, however hood scoops other than ones produced as factorv equipment for the specific model and year of car may not extend more than 7 inches above the height of the original hood’s surface, as measured from the base of the hood scoop for cars with a wheelbase of 100 inches or more. Maximum height is 5 inches on any car with a wheelbase less than 100 inches. All scoops must be finished and painted to follow the body paint scheme and must be part of the hood. Hood must be stock size, cowl section may be molded to hood.

PARACHUTE: Required.

RADIATOR: Full size stock radiator in stock front location with stock-type water Pump required.

REAR END: Stock type rear end required. Full floating units are recommended.

ROLL CAGE: Required. May be constructed of SAE 4130 Chrome Moly steel or 1% inch X .095 inch dimensions. All welding must be done by approved Heliarc process. Additional frame strengthening members must be of same dimensions and welding as roll cage. Cages/Frames of non-ferrous or exotic metals, aluminum, magnesium, titanium, etc., not allowed. See Safety Regulations, Roll Cage.

SAFETY BELT & SHOULDER HARNESS: Required. It is mandatory that a five point or inverted ‘V’ belt be used. See Safety Regulations.

SPOILERS: All rear spoilers other than those originally factory installed on bodv used must not be more than four inches high and must be mounted behind the rear axle. Roof mounted spoilers other than original for body used not permitted. No air foils allowed. Any rear spoiler must be integrated into the overall body design and must be painted to match the body color scheme. Any front spoiler used must have been factory available for car body used. Minimum ground clearance for front spoiler, 3 inches and must be solidly braced to prevent deflection.

STEERING: Stock type steering located in the conventional front location required. Minimum steering wheel diameter – center to center – 13 inches.

STREET EQUIPMENT: Complete, functional, stock seal beam headlight units are mandatory. Any other street equipment which does not affect the external appearance may be removed except tail lights. Side marker lights optional. lt is recommended that tail lights be operational.

SUSPENSION: Full automobile production-type systems must be used and be equipped with at least one hydraulic shock absorber per wheel. Fabricated units permitted however excessive lightening of stock components is prohibited. Rigid-mounted suspensions or straight front axles are not allowed.

TIRES: Slicks permitted. Treadless front tires built for racing purposes only are permitted. Clearance from outside of front tire to inside of fender at closest point not to exceed 4 inches. Rear clearance 1″ from outside of tire to inside of fender at closest point.

TRACTION BARS: Traction bars or similar devices used to transmit rear axle torque to the frame, thus preventing violent rear spring wind-up under acceleration or deceleration, are considered safety equipment and are therefore highly recommended. However, units must not be longer in overall length than one-half the wheelbase of the car. Traction bars and/or mounting brackets to the rear axle housing must not be lower than the lowest edge of the rear wheel rim.

TRANSMISSION: Any transmission acceptable with forward and reverse gears. Transmissions must in conventional location, determined by engine used.

UPHOLSTERY: Full interior trim must be retained equivalent to factory specifications. Bucket seats may replace stock seats (two required) only if they are fully upholstered and full size automotive type seats. Dashboard exterior appearance must be retained. Gauges may be painted in – simulated. See Safety Regulations, Seats & Upholstery.

WARM-UPS: Due to specialty transmissions having no neutral gear it will be mandatory that a driver be seated in the car in the normal driving position any time the engine is running.

WEIGHT MINIMUMS: All cars with small block engines = 2,250 pounds. All cars with big block engines: 2,450 pounds. These weight minimums are including driver.

WHEELBASE: All cars must retain stock wheelbase length for car body used. All cars may not have a wheelbase variance from left to right of more than one inch. Body to wheelbase measurements must be within 1 inch of factory average measurements.

WHEELWELLS: Rear. Must be seperate for each tire.

WINDSHIELD/WINDOWS: Full safety glass required. No plexiglas or other lightweight components. All windshields and windows must be clear except for factory tinted safety glass. ldentification decals not permitted on windows, backlite or windsmust be closed; windows need not be operative
more lbs.