2009 goes into the trailer; 2010 rolls out....

What do you think the new season will bring us as far as the racing world is concerned? Will we see magical growth at the local level and more professional teams pulling in at national events? Only time will tell for sure but I think the worst of the “economic storm” is behind us.

Will things ever be the same? I doubt it; things never seem to really be the same after major changes in our lives. We will just see things differently and from a different point of view. Our attitudes will have more of an effect on the drag racing community than any possible government decision handed down from Washington. If we all think we will have a better 2010, I think we will be headed in the right direction.

Will we see local tracks offer better customer service; will NHRA, IHRA and the reborn AHRA try new things to increase racer and fan interest and involvement in their programs? I must admit IHRA is taking a fresh look at national events. I like what they are trying because… THEY ARE TRYING TO GET BETTER, not sitting on their butts hoping the same-old/same-old will keep working.

There have been some very interesting announcements in the drag racing world since the PRI Show in early December. Here are a few that I found very interesting.

  1. Tommy Johnson Jr. will be in a Top Fuel car again. The only strange thing on that announcement is the team will be based out of the Middle East. They have a new state-of-the-art transporter, four new chassis with carbon fiber bodies, about a dozen new engines, racks full of cylinder heads, stacks of new tires and wheels. It is outfitted to be a World Championship team but it looks like they will only race a couple times in the U.S and a smaller race series in the Middle East and possibly some races in Europe.
  2. The Million Dollar Drag Race operation has been taken over by Randy Folk. With his impressive resume of major bracket and sportsman wins he has a lot of insight to what might bring a true Million Dollar Winner to bracket racing. His plans will be announced here in DRO as he sets up his 2010 season. We wish him well with this large undertaking.
  3. Local track owners seem to be upgrading their equipment and planning on a big season. Why you ask? I think more racers will be staying close to home for bracket racing. A good local track promoter I talked to a couple weeks ago has hit the nail on the head. He said 10 years ago if he just opened he had 250 cars show up. Last year his attendance had fallen off to under 100 cars. He realizes he has to TREAT RACERS BETTER, GIVE THEM A BETTER FACILITY and RUN THE TRACK IN A FRIENDLY, CONSISTENT MANNER. He admitted he just got lazy and it cost him. I hope it works for him and the others who are getting more aggressive to attract racers.
  4. NHRA reached into their bag of tricks and cut .3 seconds off all the Stock Eliminator Indexes. For the life of me I cannot see why. Why not factor the horsepower ratings of certain cars more fairly? If every class needed to take an Index hit, then why are supercharged factory-built race cars being classified in Stock Eliminator. Wouldn’t the correct place for them be in Super/Stock? Seems confusing and this is just one of those reason I no longer have my Stock Eliminator car. Loved the racing and the people but NOT the politics of Stock Eliminator.
  5. Scotty Richardson, probably the world’s most prolific big bucks sportsman racer, is settling in closer to home to promote a foot-brake series and open his own driving school. There is one school where the lessons learned could really pay off!
  6. NHRA had several tracks show NO INTEREST in hosting Lucas Oil Drag Race Series events in 2010. Citing increased fees to host the event and declining car counts, some really nice tracks will not host LODRS events. South Georgia Motorsports Park, Bristol Dragway and California Speedway in Fontana to mention a few. Why doesn’t NHRA lower the fees, have more LODRS events and attempt to increase the car counts and the attendance? I’d like to hear the answer to that question… interesting I bet.