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: Increasing the field would encourage a lot more innovation. Racers could choose a combination they’re familiar with, whether it’s a supercharger or injection carburetors with nitrous. It really opens up a lot more variety with the cars that are out there.

JH: Right, right. You’ve got all kinds of motors: You could go all motor, big cubic inch, or you add a power enhancer. It’s great. It gives you the opportunity to run whatever you want, but then you’ve got to work on the car to get it down the track. That’s the key. You’ve got to go fast, but you’ve also got to be consistent. It’s nothing more than a fast bracket race, and then you can get standardized throughout the country, because we’re all nothing more than glorified bracket racers going really fast.

: There are fewer sportsman racers attending NHRA events this year, even though NHRA has added Top Sportsman and Top Dragster. What do you think is the reason so many sportsman racers are moving away from NHRA?

JH: A lot of it, no doubt, is the economic situation we’re in. It’s tough. A racer has to be financially secure enough to go out and run these events, to be able to take the time to get to a national event on a Tuesday in order to get a decent parking spot, and then stay there Tuesday through Sunday night. And then you may only have the opportunity to run your car the first thing in the morning and the last cars down the track. All these racers are the ‘customer’ of NHRA, and I feel that NHRA needs to take care of their customer no matter what level they’re at, whether it’s Stock, all the way up to Top Fuel. When you treat your customer like a red-headed stepchild... People have a choice, and the customer can decide, “You know what, I’m going to park my car and buy a boat or go camping or something,” and go have fun with the family.

: You mentioned IHRA. Does your company do a lot of business with IHRA sportsman racers?

JH:We do. We are national event sponsors for both NHRA and IHRA.  I love every opportunity to go out there and work with different racers, whether they’re racing with the PSCA or a nostalgia race, NHRA’s Heritage series, it’s all good. Everyone’s out there for the same reason: to support whatever sanction they feel works for them. IHRA, they’re different. They’re more sportsman friendly. They cater to the sportsman racers, and I think that’s a good program. It gives you a little bit of everything because they do have a full Top Sportsman and Top Dragster field.

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