: Has this change at NHRA events changed the way Comp Cams does business with the NHRA?

SB: Yes, as we move on, less and less of the people in the stands have a reason to come visit a Comp Cams display. You know, years ago they’d come up and say, “Wow, I’ve been waiting for you to come so I could talk to you about my car.” Well, now they walk up to ask if you’ve got a couple of decals. They wouldn’t know if it was a cam decal or a rocket ship decal. It’s not a big deal to them. That has changed, and that’s something you see when you walk around the parking lot, figure out what kind of cars they drive.

Now, having said that, the change in fans has changed Comp Cams’ whole approach.  This year, I don’t think we’re going to more than seven or eight NHRA races with our display. We’ll still send people to all of the races and they’ll walk around the pits, talking to the five or six hundred cars that are there, but that’s a much less expensive way to carry the message than to have a truck there that probably costs you $20,000 a race to put it in a spot.

: Is there a place outside of NHRA drag racing that you think is a better play for Comp Cams?

SB: As we have pulled away from the NHRA National events we haven’t done less events, we actually will do more events. We found Pinks, we found Goodguys events, we found some of the 10.5 wide events, some of the non-traditional, non-NHRA events that have a, let’s say, more enthusiastic fan that’s in the stands. You can’t, as I said before, send a big display rig to a race to interface with the racers anymore. They’re very prepared and they don’t really have time for you.

As I see it, our whole reason for being at a race  is to interface with the people in the stands. Pinks is a good example. There’s no racing there, it’s all about entertainment, and the people in the stands are into the race and into the cars, and are like sponges. They want this information because they’ve never been exposed to it. So we try to find those events that are down the food chain a bit from NHRA.

: What about the NHRA Lucas Oil Series?

SB: You know, we do some points meets. My suggestion to NHRA was to take this Sportsnationals format and blow it completely out of sight. Make it as fine an event as any of those cars ever went to, give them something special to call their own, and in a few years it’d probably turn into something. Ultimately, take the Divisional race format that exists today that probably everybody hates, and turn it into some sort of Sportsnationals type thing to grade your cars and all that, and reinvent that thing into something that people would feel special about going to, as opposed to feeling like they were forced to go to in order to get grade points.

: Do you feel like NHRA isn’t focusing enough for the manufacturers on their Sportsman program to bring customers to you guys, and concentrating maybe too much on the show portion, Top Fuel, Funny Cars, Pro Stock?

SB: Well, again, it all about selling tickets, and as bad as it hurts me to say it, I don’t think a Sportsman car puts many butts in seats. I think they’re doing what they have to do and that’s okay, but at the same time, if you were to develop a race format that a professional car wasn’t even allowed to go to, I guess they could go run Super Comp if they wanted to.

: They used to have that. It was called the Sportsnationals. It was a national event and they got away from it.

SB: As I remember it, I sat in line a long time at Bowling Green, KY, to get through traffic to get in there, and it was a fun event. But again, that was a different day, a different time. I still think you could reinvent that whole idea into something that could work very well.