Notes written on a coaster from the historic Missouri Bar and Grill downtown St. Louis… and some wondering

I’m getting more than a little concerned that NHRA drag racing is becoming less and less a sport for the average drag racer and more an elitist hobby for the rich and retired. It is painfully obvious that the days of anyone but millionaires being competitive in any professional class is almost impossible. (Pro Stock Bike racer Matt Smith might be the only exception to that rule.)

I think it is way too late in the game for any changes that could make the nitro, Pro Stock and Pro Mod classes accessible to the average racer, but I do think that the NHRA could make some small changes in policy that would increase interest and participation in NHRA drag racing. (I did come up with this idea while discussing this issue with Gateway Motorsports Park VP Chris Blair.)

One of the great experiences I’ve had as a drag racer was when my brother and I flat-towed our D/S Ford Galaxie from Amarillo, Texas, to race at the World Finals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1968. It was a life changing experience that hooked my brother and me on drag racing for life. In those days racing at an NHRA national event was available to almost anyone who wanted to go.

Sadly, that isn’t the case anymore. Racing at an NHRA event requires spending lots of time, effort and money just to be eligible to enter.

In today’s NHRA World most local racers who race at a national event track or one of the tracks in the same NHRA Division have almost no chance of being eligible to enter when that track holds its national event. The sportsman classes generally are filled with NHRA professional or semi-professional sportsman racers, leaving almost no room for the local weekend racers to compete. And therein lies the real problem.

The NHRA national events ought to be gateway events for local rank and file racers and should afford the local racers, their families and sponsors a chance to enjoy the NHRA national event experience.  

When the NHRA came to my current home track of Gateway Motorsports Park, only a very small percentage of racers from the St. Louis area even tried to go to the race. I asked some of the racers who live in my subdivision why they didn’t enter the race. There were two reasons that most of them cited: 1) They didn’t want to pay the $300-400 entry fee, get just two qualifying laps and then have to race a professional sportsman racer, and 2) They didn’t have enough NHRA points to qualify. So most of them and their families just opted out of going to the NHRA national event at all. That is a shame.

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.


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


Senior Photographer
Ron Lewis
Contributing Photographers Donna Bistran, Steven Bunker, Adam Cranmer, James Drew, Don Eckert, Steve Embling, Mike Garland, Joel Gelfand, Steve Gruenwald, Chris Haverly, Rose Hughes, Bob Johnson, Bret Kepner, "Bad" Brad Klaassen, Jon LeMoine, Eddie Maloney, Tim Marshall, Matt Mothershed, Richard Muir, Joe McHugh, Dennis Mothershed, Ivan Sansom, Paul Schmitz, Dave Stoltz, Jon Van Daal
Les Mayhew


Webmaster: Axel G.
Production Manager: Axel


Director: Dave Ferrato


Director: Casey Araiza

Agent 1320
At the Back Door
(caption contest)
Letter to the Editor
(for publication)
New product press releases
Racing Net Source LLC
607 Seib Drive
O'Fallon, MO 63366
Phone: 636.272.6301