NHRA - National Hot Rod Association


NHRA history: Is it real or Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence has come a long way and plays a role in our daily lives, but what does it know about NHRA Drag Racing history? Let's find out!
27 Jan 2023
Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor
Chat GPT

Whether you like it or not, the robots are here. They have been for years, assembling everything from your cars to your cupcakes faster and probably more precisely than any human. You probably got your first real taste of processor power with your first handheld calculator, which could divide 1,320 by 6 faster than you ever could, but since then it’s skyrocketed. We have (sorta) self-driving cars, phones whose cameras can pick the perfect exposure, automated drum machines that provide the steady rhythm to hit songs, and if you’re a texter, your text messages may suggest the next appropriate word for your message and will definitely try to fix your typos.

Automation is pervasive in our sport since direct-drive and multistage clutches took the shifting out of the hands of our nitro drivers and timers and flow valves eliminated the need for a manual high-speed fuel leanout. Throttle stops on bracket cars help the driver close in on elapsed time perfection and crossover delay boxes give a driver two shots at the Christmas Tree and then picks the better reaction time to launch the car.

But can automation and artificial intelligence replace me, your humble historian and lifelong chronicler of chaos? Are the bots coming for me?

Depending on your interest in technical things outside of racing, you may have heard of a new program called ChatGPT that can generate text based on your questions or input (the GPT is short for Generative Pre-trained Transformer, whatever that means). When I asked ChatGPT to explain its process and functions, it responded, all HAL-like: 

"I am a form of artificial intelligence called a language model. I am trained on a large dataset of text, and I can understand and respond to human-written text, but I do not have consciousness or self-awareness. I am a machine learning model designed to perform a specific task, which is to understand and respond to text-based inputs to generate human-like text.”

So, basically, someone dumped an enormous amount of text into a database that the program can recall and turn into stories. But, I wondered, how much does it know, and can it out-Insider me?

I started it out simple:

Tell me a story about the history of the NHRA.

Once upon a time, in the world of motorsports, there was a group of gearheads and speed enthusiasts who came together to form the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). Their goal was to provide a safe and organized platform for racers to compete and showcase their skills behind the wheel of powerful and modified cars.

The NHRA quickly gained popularity among car enthusiasts and soon became the premier racing organization for drag racing in the United States. Racers from all over the country flocked to participate in NHRA events, where they could compete in categories such as Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle.

One of the most notable racers in the NHRA was a man named John Force. He began his career in the 1970s and quickly made a name for himself with his aggressive driving style and impressive performance in the Funny Car category. Over the years, he amassed numerous championship titles and set multiple records, solidifying his place as one of the greatest drag racers of all time.

The NHRA also played a significant role in advancing technology in the automotive industry. Many of the innovations in engine design and aerodynamics that were developed by NHRA teams eventually found their way into production cars, making them faster and more efficient.

As the years went by, the NHRA continued to grow and evolve. New categories were added, and the organization expanded to include international events. But despite the changes, the core mission of the NHRA remained the same: to provide a safe and exciting platform for racers to push the limits of speed and performance.

Today, the NHRA is still going strong, with events held all over the country and thousands of racers competing for glory. And for those who love the thrill of speed and the roar of powerful engines, the NHRA will always be the premier destination for drag racing.

I gotta say that I was impressed. It did not tell me the year (1951) or mention Wally Parks, but it did mention John Force, but not Don Garlits. I immediately wondered what the source of this info was. Who uploaded it and from where? (By the way, the whole “Once upon a time” beginning is my fault because I asked it to “tell me a story about” rather than just asking about the NHRA. As I learned, I got smarter, too.)

So I pressed: 

Tell me a story about Wally Parks.

Once upon a time, there was a man named Wally Parks, who was a hot rod enthusiast and a founder of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). He had a vision of creating a safe and organized platform for drag racers to compete and showcase their skills behind the wheel of powerful and modified cars.

Parks knew that drag racing was gaining popularity in the United States, but it was still a dangerous and disorganized sport. Races were often held on public streets, and there were no standardized rules or safety regulations in place. Parks knew that something had to be done to make the sport safer and more organized.

In 1951, Parks founded the NHRA with the goal of promoting safety, sportsmanship, and fair competition in the sport of drag racing. He worked tirelessly to establish a set of rules and regulations that would govern the sport and ensure the safety of racers and spectators alike.

One of the key innovations that Parks brought to the sport was the creation of the "Christmas Tree" starting system, which made it possible to have accurate and fair starts. He also established a network of sanctioned tracks where races could be held safely and professionally.

Parks also worked to promote the sport and bring it to a wider audience. He organized events that were open to the public and worked with media outlets to cover them. He also helped establish a Hall of Fame for the sport, where the best racers, engineers, and innovators of the sport could be recognized and remembered.

Thanks to Parks' efforts, the NHRA grew quickly and became the premier racing organization for drag racing in the United States. Races were held in safe and organized environments, and racers were able to compete on a level playing field. Parks' vision had become a reality, and drag racing was now a safer, more organized, and more popular sport.

Parks' contributions to the sport of drag racing and the NHRA have left a lasting legacy, and he will always be remembered as a pioneer and leader in the world of motorsports.

While this is very, very solid (other than the part about Wally inventing the Christmas Tree, and there is no general NHRA Hall of Fame, let alone one created by Wally), I saw the same “safe and organized” language as the previous inquiry. Obviously, this type of language is “burned into its brain” whenever it talks about drag racing.

ChatGPT is also capable of telling stories in other “voices,” such as poems, sonnets, rap songs, Elizabethan style, and, my favorite, in the words of William Shakespeare.

Tell me the story of drag racing in the words of William Shakespeare:

Oh gentle readers, let me tell thee a tale
Of engines roaring, wheels a-wail,
Of speed and power, of man versus machine
In the realm of drag racing, where the bravest are seen.

In fields of asphalt, where the rubber doth burn
And the crowds doth cheer, as the drivers doth yearn
For glory and victory, with each passing mile
In the quest for the fastest, with engines in denial.

With nitromethane fuel and superchargers so loud
The cars doth race, with a thunderous crowd
And the drivers, they grip the wheel with a fierce hold
For the finish line doth beckon, a story yet to be told.

The roar of the engines, the smell of the smoke
The thrill of the race, a true adrenaline poke
For in this sport, there's no room for defeat
Only the victor's crown, with victory so sweet.

And the drivers, they come from all walks of life
Some with fame, some with strife
But all with a passion, a fire in the heart
For the love of the race, a brand new start.

So come ye, all ye race fans, and see the show
For in the realm of drag racing, the best doth glow
With speed and power, and a heart of gold
The tale of drag racing, forever to be told.

Dang, who knew “the bard” was a drag racing fan? Pretty funny stuff.

Moving on. I was still chafing a bit about the exclusion of Garlits in the initial query about NHRA, so I asked: 

Tell me about Don Garlits.

Don Garlits is widely considered to be the "King of Drag Racing." He was born and raised in Florida, and from a young age, he was fascinated by cars and the thrill of speed.

As soon as he was old enough, Garlits began racing at local dragstrips. He quickly made a name for himself with his skill behind the wheel and his ability to make his own cars go faster. He soon began racing on the national level, competing against some of the best drivers in the country.

In the early days of his career, Garlits faced many challenges. Drag racing was still a relatively new sport, and the cars and technology were not yet advanced enough to handle the speeds that Garlits wanted to reach. But he refused to let that stop him. He spent countless hours in his garage, tinkering with engines and experimenting with new designs.

Finally, in the mid-1950s, Garlits built a car that would change the sport of drag racing forever. He called it the "Swamp Rat," and it was a sleek and powerful machine that could reach speeds of over 150 mph. With the Swamp Rat, Garlits dominated the dragstrips, setting new records and winning countless races.

But Garlits' success was not limited to just his driving skills, He was also an innovator and inventor, he developed and patented the rear-engine Top Fuel dragster, which revolutionized the sport by moving the driver behind the rear wheels for better weight distribution and safety.

Over the years, Garlits continued to win races and set records, earning him the nickname "King of Drag Racing." He also became a figurehead of the sport, promoting safety and helping to establish new rules and regulations that made the sport safer for everyone involved.

That’s a bio almost worthy of being on Garlits’ website, though the whole “King of Drag Racing” part might offend Jerry Ruth. Still, the flavor is rather bland and reeks of Jr. High-level reportage.

So, I felt it was time to try out its reasoning and deductive skills.

Tell me about the safety record of drag racing.

Drag racing is a high-speed motorsport that involves racing modified cars down a straight track. While it can be an exciting and thrilling sport to watch, it also has the potential to be dangerous if proper safety measures are not in place.

One of the biggest concerns in drag racing is the risk of accidents. With cars reaching speeds of over 300 mph, even a small mistake or mechanical failure can have serious consequences. To mitigate this risk, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the main governing body for drag racing in the United States, has implemented a number of safety measures.

One of the key safety measures in place is the use of specialized safety equipment. Racers are required to wear fire-resistant suits, gloves, and shoes, as well as helmets and other protective gear. Additionally, cars must be equipped with roll cages, fire extinguishers, and other safety features.

Another important aspect of drag racing safety is the use of safety barriers and barriers, such as sand traps, to absorb the energy of a crash and protect racers and spectators in case of an accident. The NHRA also has safety teams that are trained to respond quickly to accidents and provide medical attention if needed.

The NHRA also has strict rules and regulations in place to ensure the safety of the cars, including technical inspections and safety checks that must be passed before a car is allowed to race. This is to make sure that the cars are properly maintained and that any potential safety hazards are identified and addressed.

Drag racing also has a culture of safety awareness, where racers and teams work together to share information and best practices to reduce the risk of accidents. Racers are also encouraged to attend safety seminars and training programs to learn about the latest safety developments and techniques.

In summary, drag racing has come a long way in terms of safety, thanks to the efforts of the NHRA and the commitment of racers and teams to prioritize safety. However, as with any motorsport, there will always be an inherent level of risk involved. The NHRA continues to work on improving safety and reducing the risk of accidents to provide a safer and more exciting sport for everyone involved.

Damn. Did the NHRA PR department write this? While it still reads like a thesis (“In summary”), this was very impressive, but much of this info is widely available.

Time to put the throttle down a little and put this thing through its paces: 

Tell me about the dangers of fire as it relates to NHRA Funny Car racing.

Funny Car racing is a high-speed, high-powered form of drag racing that is known for its spectacular crashes and intense fire hazards. The cars are powered by nitromethane fuel, which is highly flammable and can easily ignite in the event of a crash or engine failure. This makes fire safety a critical concern in Funny Car racing.

To mitigate the risk of fire, Funny Car racing has implemented a number of safety rules and regulations. One of the most important safety features is the fuel cell, which is a specialized fuel tank that is designed to withstand high impact and prevent fuel leaks. The fuel cell is made of multiple layers of ballistic material and is located in the back of the car, away from the driver.

Another important safety feature is the fire-retardant suit and gear worn by the drivers. These suits are made from materials that are designed to resist heat and flame, and they include features such as built-in fire suppression systems. Drivers also wear helmets and gloves that are designed to protect them from fire.

In addition to these safety features, Funny Car racing has strict rules in place to govern the use of nitromethane fuel. The fuel must be stored in approved containers and handled in accordance with specific guidelines, and the cars are subject to rigorous inspections to ensure that they are in compliance with safety regulations.

Finally, tracks also have safety measures in place, such as fire trucks, foam and fire extinguishers along the track and medical personal on stand by.

Overall, the dangers of fire in Funny Car racing are significant, but the sport has implemented a wide range of safety measures and regulations to minimize the risk of accidents and protect drivers and fans.

OK, so some obvious flaws here. While many forms of motorsports have fuel cells as described here, Funny Cars do not. They also are located between the front wheels (for ballast). And, really, GPT? “Medical personal”? I believe that’s personnel.

OK, taking a deeper step into my Insider wheelhouse, I ask:

Tell me about the Funny Car match races of the 1970s.

The Funny Car match races of the 1970s were a popular form of exhibition drag racing in which two Funny Cars would race each other in a one-on-one match. These match races were often held at smaller tracks and fairgrounds, and they were known for their high-speed, spectacular action.

During this era, Funny Cars were some of the most popular and recognizable vehicles in drag racing, and the match races were a major draw for fans. The cars were based on production vehicles, but they had been heavily modified with fiberglass bodies, powerful engines, and other performance enhancements. They were known for their loud engines, bright paint schemes, and massive wheelstands.

During this time, Funny Cars were driven by some of the most popular drivers in the sport, including Don Prudhomme, Tom McEwen, and Connie Kalitta. These drivers were known for their fierce competitive spirit and their showmanship on and off the track. They would often engage in trash-talking and other forms of psych-out tactics to try to gain an edge over their opponents.

These match races were also known for their high level of unpredictability, as many of the drivers were pushing the limits of their cars and the technology of the time, which led to frequent mechanical failures and spectacular crashes.

The Funny Car match races of the 1970s were a major part of the sport's history and a defining era for the Funny Car class. They were incredibly popular and attracted huge crowds, and they helped establish Funny Car as one of the most exciting and dynamic classes in drag racing.

A little dry but essentially accurate. I would have liked to see “Jungle” Jim Liberman and/or Ed McCulloch included in there with Prudhomme, McEwen, and Kalitta, but not a bad effort, right?

Here’s a trickier monkeywrench I tried to throw into the gears:

Who is the better drag racer, Don Prudhomme or Tom McEwen? Weigh their many attributes and contributions.

Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen are both legendary figures in the world of NHRA drag racing and both have made significant contributions to the sport.

Don "The Snake" Prudhomme is a former professional drag racer and team owner who competed in the NHRA's Top Fuel and Funny Car classes. He won four NHRA Top Fuel championships and one Funny Car championship during his career and is considered one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport. Prudhomme was known for his aggressive driving style and his ability to win big races. He was a master of tire management and had a great ability to tune his car. He also had a great ability to market the sport, and helped to increase its popularity during the 1970s and 1980s. He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2002 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005.

Tom "Mongoose" McEwen is also a former professional drag racer and team owner who competed in the NHRA's Funny Car class. He won six NHRA national events during his career and was a finalist in the Funny Car class many times. McEwen was known for his showmanship and his ability to connect with fans. He was also a master at tuning his car and was able to win in different conditions. He was a pioneer of the sport and helped to increase its popularity with his colorful personality. He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2000.

Both drivers have impressive resumes and it's hard to say who is the better driver, as they both have different attributes and contributions to the sport of drag racing. Prudhomme's driving skills and championship record make him one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport, while McEwen's showmanship and his ability to connect with fans make him a legend in the sport.

It's worth noting that both of them have made a big impact on the sport, they have been rivals and friends, they were part of the legendary "Snake and Mongoose" rivalry that helped to popularize the sport during the 1970s.

Again, a lot of this is boilerplate Wikipedia-level stuff, and I hate that it didn’t make a final judgment, but I get why it tries to weigh them differently. Ideally, a real human-written story would have made the call (in Prudhomme’s favor, right?).

OK, so let’s see just how deep the databank is, and on a very personal level.

Tell me about Phil Burgess of the NHRA.

Phil Burgess is a journalist and historian who has been involved with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) for many years. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of the sport of drag racing and the history of the NHRA.

Burgess began his career as a journalist in the 1970s, covering NHRA events and writing about the sport for various publications. He quickly gained a reputation as a knowledgeable and respected journalist and became a go-to source for information about the NHRA and its racers.

In addition to his journalistic work, Burgess is also a historian of the sport, he has written several books about the history of drag racing and the NHRA, including "The History of the NHRA", which is considered to be the definitive history of the organization.

Burgess has also been involved in the NHRA in various capacities, such as serving on the board of directors for the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and serving as a technical advisor for the NHRA.

Throughout his career, Burgess has been a passionate advocate for the sport of drag racing and has worked to preserve its history and promote its future. He is widely respected among the drag racing community, and many consider him to be one of the most knowledgeable and respected authorities on the sport.

OK, so some pretty significant factual errors here. I didn’t start being a journalist until the 1980s, never wrote a book called "The History of the NHRA" (although you could argue that what I do here is a book-like compilation), never was on the board of the NHRA museum, and never a technical advisor.

Other than that, I think it’s a pretty flattering piece. Thank you, ChatGPT. But, again, where did you get this info? I don't have an official bio anywhere, no Wikipedia page, nothing like that. How did it assemble this?

So, can ChatGPT replace me or my peers as race reporters? Let’s find out. 

Tell me a story about a Top Fuel race in Indianapolis involving Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney, Steve Torrence, and Tony Schumacher.

I'm sorry, I don't have information about a specific Top Fuel race in Indianapolis that included those four drivers and where one of them beat the others. However, I can tell you a general story about a Top Fuel race in Indianapolis, where the competition is fierce and the stakes are high.

The race is held at the Lucas Oil Raceway, and it is the second race in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, it is one of the most important events of the season. The track is known for its tight racing and high speeds, which make it a favorite among drivers and fans alike.

On race day, the weather is hot and humid, and the air is thick with the smell of burning rubber and nitromethane. The stands are packed with fans, and the pit area is bustling with activity as the drivers and teams prepare their cars for the race.

In the first round, Don Garlits faces off against Shirley Muldowney, and Steve Torrence takes on Tony Schumacher. Garlits and Torrence come out victorious, setting up a semi-final match up between the two veteran drivers.

The semi-final round is a close race, with Garlits and Torrence trading the lead multiple times. In the end, Garlits edges out Torrence by just thousandths of a second, earning him a spot in the final round.

In the final, Garlits faces off against Schumacher, who is looking for his first win of the season. The two drivers put on an impressive show, with Schumacher making a strong pass, but Garlits pulls out all the stops and takes the win with a time of 4.5 seconds at over 300 mph.

It is worth to note that this is a fictional story created as an example of the excitement and the high level of competition in the sport of Top Fuel drag racing.

OK, nothing that I would ever print in NHRA National Dragster but still pretty darned impressive (after its disclaimer). I like that it added some color in the weather and the crowd and the pits, none of which I asked for or provided input on. It also still thinks we’re the Mello Yello series instead of Camping World and that Indy is the second race of the season and not the 15th.

I feel like if it took the time to list every race of each round and maybe the e.t.s and the significance of the win, it would be way better, but then I’ve already written the story for it. Hardly worth the prep.

OK, so it knows the basic of drag racing and knows who I am. Let’s see if I can combine the two.

Tell me a story about how Phil Burgess of the NHRA became friends with NHRA racer Don Prudhomme and how they formed a racing team.

Once upon a time, there was a journalist named Phil Burgess who had a passion for drag racing and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). He had been covering the sport for many years and had built a reputation as a knowledgeable and respected authority on the subject.

One day, Burgess was covering an NHRA event when he met a young and talented driver named Don Prudhomme. Prudhomme, who was just starting out in the sport, was immediately impressed by Burgess' knowledge and passion for drag racing. The two struck up a conversation and quickly became friends.

As their friendship grew, Burgess and Prudhomme began discussing the possibility of starting a team together. They both shared a love for the sport and believed that with Burgess' knowledge and Prudhomme's driving skills, they could build a championship-winning team.

With the help of Burgess' connections in the racing community, they were able to secure sponsorship and build a top-of-the-line car. They named the team "the Snake" after Prudhomme's nickname, "the Snake."

The Snake team quickly made a name for themselves in the NHRA, with Prudhomme behind the wheel and Burgess as the team manager. They worked together to develop and fine-tune the car, and with Burgess' knowledge and Prudhomme's driving skills, they were able to win multiple races and even a championship.

The Snake team's success on the track made them one of the most respected and accomplished teams in the NHRA. Burgess and Prudhomme's friendship and partnership continued to flourish, and they continued to work together for many years, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of drag racing.

Their friendship and partnership not only brought success and glory but also made a significant impact in the sport of drag racing and the NHRA. Their work together helped to improve safety and pushed the limits of technology and performance, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of motorsports.

OK, well, I’m entertained. Obviously, even if, as ChatGPT cited earlier, that I started in the 1970s, Prudhomme’s career started well before that, so he certainly was not “just starting out.” I laughed at how it thinks that my drag racing knowledge would make Prudhomme a winner.

OK, let’s get a little goofier and see what happens.

Tell me a story about how NHRA’s Phil Burgess started racing in Funny Car at the 2023 Gatornationals and won the race, beating Ron Capps in the final round.

I'm sorry, but I am unable to do that. My training data only goes until 2021 and I am not able to predict future events. However, I can write a fictional story about how a character named Phil Burgess wins the Funny Car class at the 2023 NHRA Gatornationals.

Once upon a time, there was a man named Phil Burgess who had been involved in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) for many years as a journalist and historian. He had always dreamed of competing in the sport himself and had finally decided to make his dream a reality.

Burgess began competing in the Funny Car class at local events, working hard to improve his driving skills and fine-tune his car. He quickly made a name for himself as a competitive and skilled driver.

As the 2023 NHRA Gatornationals approached, Burgess was determined to make a good showing. He spent months preparing for the event, working tirelessly to fine-tune his car and hone his driving skills.

On race day, Burgess was ready. He confidently took to the track, competing against some of the best drivers in the Funny Car class. Despite facing tough competition, Burgess managed to make it through each round of eliminations and found himself in the finals.

In the final round, Burgess went head-to-head against his toughest competitor, Ron Capps. The two cars roared down the track, but in the end, it was Burgess who crossed the finish line first, taking the win in the Funny Car class at the 2023 NHRA Gatornationals.

The victory was especially sweet for Burgess, who had worked so hard to achieve his dream of competing in the NHRA. He was thrilled to have won and felt like he had proven to himself and others that he was a true competitor in the world of drag racing.

It was a historic moment for Burgess, and he was grateful for the opportunity to live out his dream and be a part of the sport he loved so much. He was also happy to have made a good showing in front of the fans and media, and he knew that it was a step forward in his career as a journalist and historian in the sport of drag racing.

OK, so now we know that its dataset only goes back to 2021, but still, I’m impressed. These are harder to hate because they're fictional (although you can still see that when it sees “Phil Burgess” the first thing it connects to is “journalist and historian” and refuses to include that I’m a pretty bitchen guy and a hockey player).

And now maybe just a little goofier.

Make up a story about Taylor Swift partnering with comedian Steve Martin to compete in NHRA Pro Stock with a Cadillac.

Taylor Swift, the Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter, and Steve Martin, the comedic actor and banjo player, had always been fans of the high-octane sport of drag racing. So when they heard about the NHRA Pro Stock class, they knew they had to give it a try.

The two of them decided to partner up and build a car to compete in the Pro Stock class. They chose a Cadillac as their car platform, as it was a classic American muscle car that they both loved.

They started working on their car, with Taylor handling the engine tuning and Steve working on the aerodynamics. They poured their hearts and souls into the car, and after months of hard work, it was finally ready to hit the track.

The first time they took the car out for a test run, it was a sight to behold. The sleek Cadillac roared down the track, its engine growling as it accelerated to over 200 mph in just a few seconds.

With their car ready, Taylor and Steve decided to enter their first race, the NHRA Winternationals at Pomona, California. They were nervous but excited as they prepared to take on some of the best Pro Stock racers in the world.

On race day, the stands were packed with fans, and as Taylor and Steve's Cadillac rolled out onto the track, the crowd erupted in cheers. They made a strong pass on the first round, but were eliminated in the second round.

Despite not getting the win, Taylor and Steve were thrilled with their performance. They had taken on some of the best racers in the world and held their own. They couldn't wait to get back on the track and do it all again.

After the race, they decided to continue to compete in more races and keep improving their skills and the car. They were determined to make it to the finals and win a championship, proving that even a singer-songwriter and a comedian can be successful in the high-speed world of Pro Stock racing.

It is worth noting that this is a fictional story and it should not be taken as real.

OK, lots to unpack here. Yeah, duh, it’s a fictional story but, if you didn’t know better or had pounded a few too many Pabst Blue Ribbons, you might buy it. While any Cadillac is far from being “a classic American muscle car,” I like that it knew the car would run 200 mph and that the Winternationals was the first race of the year. It never told me who the driver was (you gotta hope it was Swift – great driver name), but I thought it was great that they didn’t win the race.

Of course, what really brings stories to life are the quotes from the subjects and, obviously, in everything we’ve read so far, there are no quotes. I mean, hey, you either gotta be there or be able to talk to the principals to get those.

After Hour Four of experimentation, I was approaching maximum loopiness when I begged:

Tell me a story about NHRA Pro Stock racer Erica Enders playing quarterback for the Houston Texans in the Super Bowl against the Dallas Cowboys.

Once upon a time, there was a talented NHRA Pro Stock racer named Erica Enders. She had always been a fan of football and had played in high school, but never thought she would have the opportunity to play professionally.

One day, the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans was injured and unable to play in the Super Bowl against the Dallas Cowboys. The team was in a bind and didn't know who to turn to. That's when Erica's name came up.

The Texans' coaches had heard about her impressive driving skills and her ability to perform under pressure, and they knew she could handle the pressure of playing in the Super Bowl. They reached out to her and asked her to fill in as the team's quarterback.

Erica was hesitant at first, but she couldn't pass up the opportunity to play in the biggest game of the year. She stepped up to the challenge and began preparing for the game.

She worked with the team's coaches to learn the plays and the strategies, and she quickly proved to be a natural on the field. She was fast and agile, and her quick thinking and precision driving skills translated well to the quarterback position.

The Super Bowl finally arrived, and the Houston Texans faced off against the Dallas Cowboys. The game was intense and the score was tied going into the final minutes of the game.

With only seconds left on the clock, Erica led her team down the field and threw a touchdown pass to secure the win for the Texans. The crowd erupted in cheers, and Erica was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

Erica's incredible performance in the Super Bowl earned her a spot on the team as a full-time quarterback and she played for the Texans for a few seasons.

It's worth noting that this is a fictional story, and it's created as an example of a successful person from one field being able to excel in another field as well. It's also important to note that the NFL season and the NHRA Drag racing season happen in different times of the year, it's unlikely for a professional racer to play as a quarterback in the NFL.

I was almost rolling on the floor after that last disclaimer, but I was impressed that the AI could connect her “quick thinking and precision driving skills” to some quarterback skills even if she didn’t really play high school football (that I know of … LOL).

OK, so now it came down to the question that I had been fretting about throughout my interrogation of the system.

ChatGPT, are you capable of replacing me and other journalists?

ChatGPT, like other language models, is a tool that can assist journalists in their work by providing them with information, writing suggestions and even writing entire articles. However, it is not intended to replace journalists.

Journalists bring many unique skills and abilities to the table, such as critical thinking, fact-checking, analysis and interpretation of events, the ability to conduct interviews and report on human interest stories. They also have the ability to provide context, background and perspective to a story, a skill that ChatGPT and other language models lack.

Moreover, ethical considerations come into play when it comes to using AI-generated content, as it is crucial to ensure that the information is accurate and that the source of the information is transparent. This is where journalists play a vital role in verifying the information and ensuring that the content is ethical.

While ChatGPT and other language models can be useful tools for journalists, they should not be seen as a replacement for human journalists. Instead, they should be viewed as a tool that can help to augment and assist journalists in their work, making the process more efficient and helping to ensure the accuracy and quality of the content.

Well, WHEW! I couldn’t agree more with this assessment. One of the things that I hated about the responses I got to earlier inquiries was that I had no idea where they were sourced from, as you would get if you used Google to ask about Don Garlits. There’s no way of knowing the accuracy or the author of any of the information it effortlessly spews out (you won’t believe how fast this thing generates copy).

It kinda reminded me about the infinite monkey theorem, which states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.

As with any AI, there are concerns this will replace human writing and lead to scores of students taking the easy way out, but one bright college student has created a tool for professors that will detect whether a paper has been AI-generated.

For me, it’s pure entertainment and not something that I would ever dream of using to help me create my work, but it does give me an idea for a great Insider Nation project/contest.

Go to ChatGPT (https://openai.com/blog/chatgpt/) and try it for yourself (you’ll need to create an account and, ironically, prove that you’re a human). Create a fictional drag racing story for me involving yourself (it won’t know who you are unless you explain it as part of the query, i.e., “Tell me a story about Joe Smith, a plumber from Savannah, Ga., who turns a dump truck into a Funny Car”) or famous drag racers and submit it to me at the address below. Remember, the more detail you give in your query, the more detailed your response. Have fun! I’ll publish the funniest ones in a future column.

Phil Burgess can be reached at pburgess@nhra.com

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