: Why do you think a scripted, totally fake reality show about a bunch of Oklahoma racers doing semi-organized street drag racing attracts five times (2.5 million viewers to 500,000 viewers) the home viewers that NHRA/ESPN broadcasts?

DP: Because it IS scripted, edited and thought out. Yet the content of those shows is dwarfed by the power and might of NHRA and IHRA fuel cars that have all the elements to wow audiences that the street guys wished they had. So they compensate.

In any sport, losses are the fault of the manager or coach. In TV, low ratings are the director's.

: If you were hired to direct the NHRA broadcast what would you change and what would you do to make it more popular?

DP: We are an addicted remote-control society. To keep viewers watching, personalize it. Pique his interest. A director should know what viewers want to see. Give it to them. They want to be blown away... all the time. That's when they put the remote away and then your ratings rise; then sponsors and advertisers jump on board. Then you have the explosion and new viewers get attracted.

Drag racing drama on the starting line, two gunslingers facing each other. The mind games. Incredible cackling nitro sounds without talkers. Intense racing up close.

Were I to produce a show, the first step would be to wipe the slate clean. Structure the show around the cars that people want to see, namely fuel. Liven the pacing to high energy. From the fire-up to burnouts to starting line drama to full pass races to shut-off...fire the next pair!

Very limited or no instant replay. Loud nitro sound. Rock and Roll music. Screaming engines on a full burnout. Give them the Wow!
Minimize chatter with announcers on the starting line amidst the action. Insert interviews sporadically and pre-shoot segments.

At least it would be a drastic new look. But I doubt the TV gods would go for it. Yet that will do it.

: Why did you get out of the business and why haven't you produced any new shows for such a long time?

DP: Two sanctioning bodies control drag racing. They have their own TV people do it their way. I don't do weddings. So I wrote a screenplay and will make a drag racing movie.

: For a lot of fans that we hear from here at DRO the Diamond P DVDs like "And They Walked Away" and other videos with Steve Evans and Dave McClelland are the Holy Grail of vids. Why are those so popular with some fans?

DP: Steve and Dave were pioneers of the sport. Giants really. I think Dave McClelland's voice was captivating. Plus, they were both very knowledgeable. They wrote the book. And people love crashes. Diamond P's video was professionally produced, polished and informative. My CRASH & CRUNCH video was very different. Raw. Wham bam thank you ma'am. Cuts, cuts, cuts... Rock and Roll in your face. No narration. What... it's over already?

: Do you think you could make sportsman/bracket racing entertaining on TV and if so how would you do it?

DP: When sportsmen race, grandstands empty. What would you say the TV viewer just did?

Sportsman is simply not an attraction for TV, even if it's the backbone of the sport. I would prefer to profile particular sportsmen and endear them to the viewer. Compile a story representative of the entire class. Then ask viewers if they want to see more of sportsmen. The point is that you involve the viewers in your presentation. Respect their interests. Deliver the goods.