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An Open Letter to the New Ownership of the IHRA

I am an outside observer of the recent IHRA presented by Feld Entertainment. 

My perception is from well-written race reports penned by Larry Crum (not intended to be a suck-up to Larry), from nitro racers I have talked with of the purse payouts and fan reception in smaller markets like Tucson, AZ, and those great photographs of rabid fans and families in packed grandstands who are being entertained – at a moderate ticket price with nitro on the starting line.

Brad Thompson in front of the crowd at the 2012 Nitro Jam in San Antonio.  (IHRA photo)

Now that there are new owners, I have some advice to pass along.

Please remain unique; don't follow NHRA. The IHRA show has been different and in today's economic environment provides a single day of entertainment for the FAMILY with a single winner for each class, each evening of an event. Using drag racers and drag racing as a vehicle to entertain is the idea and there is no rule, to my knowledge, as to how a promoter must provide that entertainment.

If anything, the most recent incarnation of the IHRA has introduced the concept of quick and fast drag racing to a whole new generation.  A generation that is growing up in a digital world, experiencing sports through a hand controller in darkened living rooms and bedrooms, avoiding human contact, and rapidly losing interest in their innate ability to change their own oil, fan belt, battery cable, or even alternator in the family car.