News and Analysis

Five Questions for Carl Weisinger

Ron Lewis Photo

On August 10 Carl Weisinger, long-time promoter at Florida’s Orlando Speed World Dragway, announced he would not hold the 2011 edition of his classic World Street Nationals. DRO editor Jeff Burk had a few questions and Weisinger gave his answers.

Q1. You have postponed the 2011 World Street Nationals to 2012. How can you assure the racers and fans the event will return next year, and will the 2012 race be noticeably different from what we have had in the past?

CW: I don't know that I can assure anyone of anything. We're going to be watching what happens with other events and classes to see what is well received and what isn't. Then we'll consider the factors and make a decision.

I can tell you this, it won't be 1/8 mile and we won't be trying to run 10 or 15 classes made up primarily of "index" or "open comp" classes.  If I had to make a decision today as to what we would run it would be Super Pro Street, Heavy Street, 8.50 Index, and Extreme Import.

Q2: Was the fear that there aren't enough quality cars and teams attending the race a major factor in your decision to postpone the race?

CW: I don't know that fear is the right word, but it was a consideration. I've never been one to hide my head in the sand and pretend things were going to be wonderful because I wanted them to be.  Our economy is in the tank right now.

Q3: What has to happen in the next year in fast doorslammer racing to insure there is a race next year?

CW: Basically I have to be convinced this style of racing still has appeal to the fans and racers. Right now I'm still optimistic.

Q4: Are you worried about another promoter or track putting on a clone of your race and replacing the World Street Nationals on their schedule?

CW: I'm actually not worried about anything. I don't need my ego to be massaged and I don't need the money. Orlando took quarter-mile heads up doorslammer drag racing to a level of success that was envied and copied by a lot of other promoters and track operators. 

Simply because there are so many events offered now it is fair to say Orlando will never match the very best crowd we ever had. But no one else will either.

Q5: Is there anything you would like to say now that wasn't in your press release? 

CW: Not anything that I would like to say. However, here is something that needs to be said. Short-sighted independent promoters with not much to lose are driving heads-up doorslammer racing off a cliff and some uncreative track operators are giving them the keys to do it. 

Am I smarter than the rest? No. But, billionaire sheiks have never made a dime with a race series and this old American-born Arkansas boy has never lost one. That makes me proud.

Read an InnerView we did with Mr. Weisinger in 2005