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Challenging Burk’s Blast

I only one other time called out an editorial to its author and it was 8 years ago and I called out Bobby Bennett on an editorial he had written. In this case and for only the second time in my 37 years I would like to call you out on your latest editorial on DRO. In your first segment you call out PDRA's "Make Drag Racing Great Again" slogan. You say "There is absolutely nothing wrong with drag racing. Whether it’s a Wednesday night test and tune or the U.S. Nationals, drag racing is still way cool." You then begin your next segment with the headline "Stop the fight, ref, the Street Outlaws are beating the hell out of the NHRA".

Do you see where you contradict yourself here? If the legitimate drag racing is getting beat up by a fake reality show about street racing, there is a problem. The reality is that most mainstream establishment drag racers and fans ARE tuning in. There is even scuttlebutt at Brainerd International Raceway for their weekly racing about fender exit exhaust because it's "Street Outlaws" cool and was illegal at the track until next year.

I will agree with you that at the grass roots level the sport is getting better. I'm a bracket racer and I can say first hand that car count was up at the tracks I race at in my area. However, the big show is still in desperate need of repair (overhaul really), and until NHRA's board begins appointing marketing minds rather than bean counters to take the reins, it will still be status quo. Sadly, NHRA IS drag racing. IHRA had a wide-open window to rip market share away, but they can't seem to get their house in order and now the opportunity is gone. At the Saturday night and Sunday local bracket races life seems to be good, but not at top. At the top is where the sport gets its most visibility.

What I'm trying to say is someone needs to make drag racing great again and that begins at the top.

Nate Johnston 

Burk Responds:

Nathan, 

I just couldn't disagree more. Your point seems to be that the only great drag racing is the structured and sanitized-for-your-protection NHRA variety. My belief is that all drag racing is great whether it is NHRA national event drag racing or guys racing on Friday night on Hall Street in North St. Louis.

I believe that the Nielsen ratings currently are the only scientific method of determining if their mainstream sports/motorsports fan is watching drag racing. The facts prove that the very small percentage of drag racing fans are dyed-in-the-wool fans of NHRA's brand of drag racing and a much larger percentage of drag racing fans like what they see on the "Street Outlaws" TV show and are willing to buy tickets to watch those "Street Outlaw" racers compete at their local tracks or at national events.