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I recently wrote a small rant regarding my perception that the U.S. Nationals just no longer was the most important race on the NHRA tour. I listed a few of my reasons and suggested that the crowds (other than Saturday night) were “less than stellar.”
Well, I got a nice note from one of the full time professional PR persons on the NHRA tour regarding the blast. Basically the note said I was wrong about the attendance on Saturday and basically taking me to task for always looking for the negative and not seeing the positives regarding NHRA. He was doing his job putting a positive spin on all things NHRA and I appreciate his efforts. He was however calling me -- in much less rancorous way that ex-Vice President Spiro Agnew did when talking about the press -- a nattering nabob of negativism.
I think he is right at least when it comes to reporting on the NHRA. I got to thinking the reality is that most of the readers of this magazine don’t care how many tickets they sell or don’t sell to an NHRA or IHRA or Pro Mod national event or any other financial issues the tracks or the pros are suffering. Anyone paying attention to ESPN2 broadcasts of NHRA events can easily see how many seats don’t have behinds in them. They can also count the number of entries in the pro classes and what the fans are paying for a ticket, track dog, and parking.
So, I am taking an oath of silence when it comes to commenting on fan attendance, ticket costs, or whether the NHRA and its national-event tracks are making or losing money. It obviously has been a waste of time and magazine space since, after two decades of bitching about the base price of attending a drag race, nothing has changed. I will say that there have been some pretty serious discount programs based on the purchase of reserved seating, but no cheap seat tickets. I’ll also cede the point that at some tracks on the tour their fan base is strong enough that cheap tickets make no sense, but you couldn’t say that applied to Charlotte, Bristol, or the U.S. Nats.
In the meantime the NHRA board keeps giving itself regular raises and no NHRA nationaleEvent track other than Heartland Park Topeka has admitted to any financial difficulty or has announced it’s for sale.
So, going forward I’m taking the subjects of cheaper tickets and the decline of attendance at many NHRA tracks off my talk-about/write-about list and try to be less negative. Of that I am positive!
Just Wondering... What the Mopar folks thought (if anything) of a Toyota driver (Shawn Langdon) driving a DSR racecar? What kind of behind the scene deal went on between the Don and the Johnson to put together a program to insure DSR had another T/F car in the Countdown?
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