: Recently NASCAR announced a 10-year arrangement that paid NASCAR and track owners $8.2 billion. Do you see any way that the NHRA and its track operators could get money from a cable network for the rights to televise NHRA racing?

TC: I don't know the numbers over at NASCAR, but the money you’re referring to, I think, came from their television deal.

: Right now, you pay ESPN, correct?

TC: Well, it’s a mixture. They pay us a rights fee. It goes back and forth.

: So that is a misconception on the part of the fans that you pay for your show, for your air time, the broadcast of your national events?

TC: It's not a time-buy, no. They pay us. We pay them. It's a complicated arrangement, actually. A time-buy is where we would buy the time – [for example], three hours on Sunday – and do everything else ourselves. That's not how we do it. It's somewhat complicated, but it’s not a time-buy.

: Do you see any series of events that would return the NHRA to quarter-mile racing?

TC: Let's put it this way: Going back to quarter-mile racing would be very challenging, and I don’t know that it’s necessary. We're seeing growth in attendance again. We can talk about television ratings, which are just doing fantastic this year. Great side-by-side racing. The challenges of going back far outweigh the benefit of doing that. I should mention our television ratings are up this year. I should mention that the live shows that we did in Epping, Chicago, and Denver all were up multiple levels. This was a fantastic success. We're going to try to do more of those in the future.

: The whole concept of the live broadcast is a little confusing. Unless somebody is trained to sit down at a particular time, it won't matter if the show is live. Or if people say, "Hey, I'm going to be out doing something and I'm going to TiVO or DVR the show," then everybody has wasted time running around, scrambling to make it live. Part of the concern is that when one hears "live broadcast," it's cool from the excitement level of the announcers. But if we have no – in Kenny Bernstein's words – "TV memory," where we would normally sit down at a particular time and watch drag racing, it could be for naught. It's a cool idea, but if people aren’t trained to watch it live at a certain time, is the effort to do it worth it? Don't know for sure – just asking.

TC: I'm not sure what you're asking, but let me say this: The energy, when I watch the tapes, is second to none. It's different than when it was just tape-delayed. I've heard that from a lot of people. And there's an element of suspense: "Is he going to make it back to the line from the pits?" There's tension. I think it’s really cool. And I think it's compelling television. I can tell you the fans feel the same way. Our ratings in Epping were up 28 percent. Our ratings in Chicago were up 19. And our ratings in Denver were up, like, 53 percent. I think the fans see the same things I just described.

: And how's that going with the teams?

TC: It's challenging for them to turn around quickly. But they see the importance of it. They can make it, and they have. I don’t think anyone's not made it. And they can do it in a safe way.

: Why do you not market the extreme nature of NHRA drag racing? America loves extreme.

GE: What makes you think we don't take advantage of that from a TV standpoint, just for my own education?

: That's why I'm asking. Maybe you think you are marketing it that way. I'm not perceiving that.

TC: If you watch our television spots, I think you'll see. I think we've got a new campaign. It's called "Baptized By Nitro" – people jumping in the pits when they test the engines. All of our television shots show spectacular explosions. We talk about zero to 100 in eight-tenths of a second. We really do emphasize that part. At the same time, we emphasize the unique nature of the format: the family environment and all that you can do at one of our events that would be more difficult to do at another motorsports event. If you think about it, think about a kid who doesn’t know the sport very well. Is he going to come and sit in his seat for three or four hours and watch the races? That's really hard for him to do. Our races are quick and we have rounds and everyone can wander around and get autographs and see the cars and try the simulators and [all]. 

And I think that's why right now – this is another [misconception] – NHRA, according to Scarborough Research, one of the leading research companies in the world, has the third-youngest fan base among all major sports. The only sports that have a younger average fan base are the NHL and the NBA. No one else is younger than the NHRA.