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: Do you think that system works?

JH: I think it works. Maybe not so much for the guy that can’t make six, seven, eight divisional races and then he’s penalized. He may have been racing the Pomona Winternationals or the World Finals for the last twenty years and now he can’t get in. So we’ve got guys showing up to divisional races just to tech the car; then they go home without running the event because they can’t afford to take the time off work, but they need the grade point.

: Has NHRA sportsman racing just become too expensive for the average hobby racer?

JH: I don’t think it’s become too expensive as far as the categories go, but when serious sportsman racers have to show up Tuesday to park Wednesday, tech Thursday, make two timed runs Friday, make one timed run Saturday, and then go into eliminations Sunday at a national event, it gets expensive.  I like the SPORTSnationals format. You show up on a Friday, make your timed runs and you get ample timed runs, sometimes four or five. It’s a great show for the sportsmen.

: The SPORTSnationals format is probably more realistic considering the economy today. There are a lot of racers who can’t afford the luxury of taking five days off work for an event. That’s a luxury that many racers no longer can afford. What are your thoughts on that?

JH: I think what also happens is that you spends less time at a SPORTSnationals event because there are fewer oil-downs. I think we’ve been here (Fontana) since Thursday morning. Wr started running Thursday and the track, I believe, hasn’t been down even once for any oil-downs, knock on wood. We had one car go off the end of the track, and that caused a little bit of downtime, but the Safety Safari got them out of the net and we got right back into the action. There’s very little downtime, and I think the spectators like that also.

: Regarding spectators at SPORTSnationals events and at the divisionals: Do you see any way of attracting more spectators to these races?

JH: I do. I think that the Top Sportsman, Top Dragster program is very interesting to watch and will attract more fans. When you have a fast bracket program like that, you can see what’s happening. People understand the spotting on the tree, the handicap start. They’ll understand that more than they understand throttle-stop racing. To hear a drag car leave the line and then go on the throttle stop, that’s not what the consumer wants to hear or watch. People want to see racecars at peak performance and see if their favorite car can outrun the other.

: Are there any other series that you attend as a racer?

JH: I try as much as I can to attend NHRA events in Division three, four, five, six, and seven, as well as the Heritage series, the Goodguys program, Super Chevys, the IHRA events. We spread it around between Kevin and I and Hughes Motorsports so we can try to hit a few venues as much as we can.

: It’s important with your business to be that connected with the customer.

JH: Right. In my opinion, you have to be out there racing and rubbing elbows with the guys that you work with.  It all comes down to customer service. That’s what we’re here for.

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