Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 4, Page

  I think that was something people were confused about.

Polburn:  It is confusing, but we are Live Nation and that's what we are.

  NHRA president Tom Compton said in an interview with National Speed Sport News that the NHRA was considering adding more races to their series. He said that when he came on (was hired at the NHRA) in 1993, they had 18 races, and they then added five races immediately. Interestingly enough, the time line corresponds with when Billy Meyer bought the IHRA. Now Compton says the NHRA has reached a point where they could and may add more races to their series. Do you have plans to add more races to IHRA's program?

Polburn: Yeah, I think we do, but I think we all better be very, very careful because on the NHRA side or the IHRA side, the more races we have on a professional level, the bigger the budgets have to be. Right now, with the big budget (NHRA) teams it is how much do you want to win and how much money do you want to spend to do it that rules the day. Quite frankly, that kind of atmosphere benefits the IHRA. It makes us more attractive for the lower budget teams. We have a great opportunity here simply because single car teams have great difficulty in competing on that NHRA platform, if winning is what they need to do. Now granted, you're not going to get a $4 million sponsorship program for your race team if you come race with the IHRA, because we haven't got enough races. But to go back to your original question, I would say that overall, in my opinion if we got above 14 events a year, I'd be really surprised.

  So, you are actively pursuing more race dates for the eMax professional series?

Polburn: We are actively looking for dates, sure. But remember, the first thing you've got to have is a market. Just because somebody says I'm going to build a track or whatever, it doesn't necessarily mean we want to put an event there. 

  Could we see a return of an IHRA national event in Tulsa?

Polburn: Oh, absolutely. That’s number one on my hit list and we are getting very close to getting it done.

  Are you actively seeking a new major sponsor for your sportsman program?

Polburn: We already have Mr. Gasket and Summit. This is Mr. Gasket's final year and we are going to a meeting with them here within the next 30 days to discuss 2007, '08 and '09.  I think Summit has two more years on their program, so we have two great sponsors, it's just a matter of getting them to recommit.