You used to work for Mike Ashley. Has this drama regarding
the ADRL and NHRA Pro Mod series affected your relationship
with Mike Ashley?
NOWLING: Not at all. I will
admit though that when I was told that Mike went on some message
boards told people that his Pro Mod program was going to be
better and under improved leadership that my feelings were
definitely hurt. I poured my heart and soul into that program
and did as good of a job that I possibly could have. Unfortunately
that information came second hand because I’ve quit
reading message boards. It’s the negative and many times
uninformed few people on those boards hiding behind false
names that keep me from even looking at them, let alone participating.
As long as Dave (Wood) and Tommy (Lipar) think I did a good
job for them I’m satisfied.
How did the ADRL come about and why?
Nowling: AJ Ashe and I had
wanted to put on a stand alone Pro Mod race for some time.
A good friend of AJ’s, J. Lee Didier approached him
and offered to back a quick 8-race we jumped at the opportunity.
We called that race Dragstock! I decided it looked better
if it was sanctioned. So I approached Flowmaster, Dave Wood
and Tommy Lipar to back the race they agreed. Mike Ashley
himself made a sizeable contribution to the first Dragstock
event. After the success of Dragstock we formed the American
Drag Racing League, LLC. A few weeks later we signed a title
rights agreement with Flowmaster, and the rest as they say
We noticed that even though NHRA as of today doesn’t
have a Pro Mod program, you've taken pains to make sure the ADRL
schedule doesn’t conflict with the IHRA or NHRA schedule.
Why is that?
NOWLING: The ADRL isn’t
in competition with either of those two sanctioning bodies.
Our rules are nothing like theirs, but a lot of our racers
race with those sanctioning bodies so we wanted to make sure
they didn’t have to make a choice.
Are the rules going to change at ADRL events for next
season? We hear there is a possibility of you adding an outlaw
ten-wide class and perhaps a stand-alone turbo Pro Mod class?
NOWLING: The rules won’t
change in our Pro Extreme class. Nitrous injected, turbocharged,
supercharged or nitro, just about anything goes. Whatever
combination you can think off is welcome as long as it passes
our safety and chassis inspection, has working doors, left
hand steer and meets our maximum wheelbase requirements. As
for the ten-wide and turbo Pro Mod classes go, for now both
we have changed the rules to allow both to compete in Pro
Nitrous as long as they aren’t supercharged. If they
are they will have to run Pro Extreme.
You’ve added some new tracks and changed the
location of some races. You’re taking some steam on
those message boards for moving Dragstock to Rockingham supposedly
without telling the owners at Carolina Dragway. Care to comment
NOWLING: Again, I now longer
read message boards so I haven’t read any of that. I
will tell you that I spoke with Jeff Miles, one of the owners
of Carolina Dragway prior to our press conference at the PRI
show and informed him of the change and why it was made. That
conversation took place in the company of several people who
I’m sure could attest to what was said. I expressed
to Jeff that the decision was business related and involved
a potential new sponsor. I also expressed a desire to possibly
hold one of our proposed All-Star races, like the one we are
planning for Sacramento in the summer there next year and
that it was a possibility that Dragstock IV could be back
their in 2007. If that is no longer possible that would be
a real shame. Carolina Dragway was where the ADRL was born
and I will always have fond memories from there. Again, it
was a business decision, and one of the toughest I’ve
ever had to make.
We hear that the ADRL races will be broadcast with
a minimal delay on ESPN2’s Inside Drag Racing’s
Sunday time slot. Will the program just be part of the Inside
Drag Racing format or will the entire show be dedicated to
race coverage of the ADRL event?
NOWLING: We are very excited
to bring the ADRL to ESPN2. It will be covered on Inside Drag
Racing, which is a huge plus, the entire IDR show less a little
time for Butch McCall and the ARP quarter-mile quiz will be
dedicated to the race. The 11 AM EST time slot on Sunday mornings
is about as good as it gets for race fans.
Last Question. You’ve driven race cars in the
past including a NHRA Comp Eliminator Car that was a DRO project
car. Any chance we’ll see you between the tubes of a
Pro Mod car or will you be content to just be the president
of the ADRL and count your money?
NOWLING: I enjoy driving
a great deal, so anything is possible. For now I am enjoying
the challenge of growing the ADRL so much, I simply don’t
have the time. As far as counting the money, I’ll let
you know as soon as we make some. In all seriousness, it’s
the challenge that motivates me not the money. I’ll
take when it comes though.