: It is no secret that attendance at NHRA national events the past few years has steadily declined. Have you seen a similar drop at your events? What does the NHRA need to do to re-invigorate their fan and
sponsor base? 

CW: Yes, we have seen a decline. And, from what I hear from my contemporaries, there are a lot of tracks seeing the same thing. What does NHRA need to do? I have some ideas and they generally revolve around the supply of races and the demand for them. One time when I was bitching about NHRA to Tommy Ivo, he told me that I should consider what organized drag racing would be like if Wally Parks and NHRA had never come along. And, in all honesty it probably would not have reached near the level it has. 

I've been fortunate to achieve at least some degree of success in the business of operating a local drag strip and have been able to develop some significant events over the years. But, generally I've been a student of the sport and the business end of it on my level, which is a far cry from the issues the National Hot Rod Association has to deal with.

What do I think they should consider first?

Reduce the number of NHRA national events. The supply of national events appears to be quite a bit more than the demand for them. Start by not having two NHRA national events in a season at the same track. Charlotte and NHRA would just have to pick 2-wide or 4-wide and stick with it. I suggest 4-wide and modify the timing system so ALL of the classes could be run 4-wide. With today's technology, it wouldn't take long for someone to figure out how to run four vehicles at a time with different dial-ins or four with an index. 

That is going to sound awful wild to some people, but we need some new things and there is a beautiful four-lane drag strip conveniently located slap in the middle of the eastern United States that can handle it. Any spectator that says four cars at a time is "too much to watch" is just looking for something to say. What? Are they going to wear a blindfold if they go to a NASCAR race?

: Do you feel, economy aside, a big reason for the drop in attendance for street car-type races is the fact that over the years the cars have morphed from being street driven, licensed cars on narrow tires to being purpose-built race cars with no connection to
today's passenger cars? 

CW: I don't agree that it was cars on narrow tires that started all this. In my opinion it was the "Pro Street" type cars that were the platform for the NMCA and the World Street Nationals to build on: Big engines, big tires, mufflers, headlights, and nitrous or superchargers. The "10 wide" or "10.5" cars really came into their own a couple years later. The drop in attendance can be directly tied to the number of events we are having now. TOO MANY!