« PREV. PAGE NEXT PAGE »

Drag racing sanctioning organizations are changing and so is the sport

With very little drag racing going on this time of year, often the news is more about what the major sanctioning bodies are or aren’t doing.

Since most, if not all, sanctioning organizations operate in a monopolistic manner and generally don’t share much information about their business with their dues-paying members, competitors, or fans, I’ll just have to share with you readers a few facts, opinions and guesses. Besides, who is driving for whom and who is tuning where just isn’t that interesting to me anymore.

So, let’s start with the biggest, most powerful -- and often arrogant – of the drag racing sanctioning organizations, the National Hot Rod Association. Based upon what I’m told by NHRA sources, 2010 wasn’t a stellar year. I’m certain of that if for no other reasons than the amount of rain and resulting decline in attendance. But I’ve just had the opportunity to review their 2009 tax returns (my analysis and copies of some of their returns can be seen in News & Analysis) and I can guarantee you that 2009 was a tough year for the NHRA. A tough year that saw their revenues drop by around $14 million from 2008.

So, what is the NHRA doing to make things better for the 60,000+ dues paying racers and the fans? Well, let’s see. As noted in a previous Blast, they’ve added expensive new safety related rules for nostalgia nitro racers. They’ve also added expensive new performance-restricting rules for most of the Pro Mod class, completely ignoring the 20 years of general failure and grief that other sanctioning bodies experienced when trying to “level the playing field” for the Pro Modifieds.

Meanwhile, the classes that supposedly need so much help, Top Fuel and Funny Car -- classes that former crew chief Dan Olson is paid over $200,000 a year to supervise -- evidently will have no major rule changes forthcoming. This after telling us they were going to cut the cost of nitro racing and after spending a lot of NHRA’s and the dues-paying members’ money testing all kind of new engine combinations. So that class needed no changes or help after all?

Ah, but the Chairman of the NHRA Board of Directors, Dallas Gardner, ($330,000 per year) announced the addition to the Board of a lawyer, Michael C. Cohen, and a former NASCAR executive, Ken Clapp, both of whom are experienced in the ins and outs of track sales and acquisitions.

I’m just making a guess here but I think that Tom Compton is still trying to sell the NHRA. In my opinion that would be the only reason to add a high-powered lawyer and a former NASCAR executive to the NHRA Board. Call me a conspiracy wonk, but that’s the way I see it. 

DRAG RACING Online will be published on the 8th of each month and will be updated throughout the month.

DRAG RACING Online owes allegiance to no sanctioning body and will call 'em as we see 'em. We strive for truth,integrity, irreverence and the betterment of drag racing. We have no agenda other than providing the drag racing public with unbiased information and view points they can't get in any other drag racing publication.

 

EDITORIAL

Editor & Publisher, CEO Jeff Burk
Managing Editor, COO Kay Burk
Editor at Large Bret Kepner
Editor at Large, Emeritus Chris Martin
Bracket Racing Editor Jok Nicholson
Motorcycle Editor Tom McCarthy
Nostalgia Editor Brian Losness
Contributing Writers Jim Baker, Steven Bunker, Aaron Polburn, Matt Strong
Australian Correspondent Jon Van Daal
European Correspondent Ivan Sansom
Poet Laureate Bob Fisher
Cartoonists Jeff DeGrandis, Kenny Youngblood

PHOTOGRAPHY

Senior Photographer
Ron Lewis
Contributing Photographers Donna Bistran, Steven Bunker, Adam Cranmer, James Drew, Todd Dziadosz, Don Eckert, Steve Embling, Debbie Gastelu, Chris Graves, Steve Gruenwald, Zak Hawthorne, Rose Hughes, Bret Kepner, Jon LeMoine, Tim Marshall, Richard Muir, Joe McHugh, Dennis Mothershed, Mark Rebilas, Ivan Sansom, Paul Schmitz, Jon Van Daal
Videographer
Les Mayhew

PRODUCTION

Creative Director/ Webmaster Matt Schramel
Production Assistant Clifford Tunnell

ADVERTISING

Director Dave Ferrato
(504-237-5072)

FINANCIAL

Chief Financial Officer, Accounts Manager Casey Araiza
   
Agent 1320
At the Back Door
(caption contest)
Letter to the Editor
(for publication)
New product press releases
 
Racing Net Source LLC
114 E. Elm St. , Ste. 8
O'Fallon, MO 63366-2642
636.272.6301 / fax 636.272.0412
« PREV. PAGE NEXT PAGE »