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As always, I found the “Ford Leaving Drag racing” Burk's Blast interesting and informative. The Ford segment was great, particularly the note about them extending their agreement with Roush-Fenway Racing at $25Mil per year for five years. As Jeff said, "NHRA, Here's Your Sign."
Jeff's last note was extremely insightful, about the number of influential NHRA track owners who need more revenue-producing events. As my late boss, Bob Daniels, once told me, "When you realize you have some clout, it's important to make use of it when you need it."
Why bother being either a fan or even concerned? NHRA and the Pro Nitro Teams have f****d themselves away from the dinner table. They have boiled a sport down to two days of side by side exhibition and a day of, at the best, side by side passes or usually, single lane passes with what might pass as a "Smokeshow" in the other lane.
Why would any sane person with certain limitations on their discretionary spending money buy into that for any amount, let alone the amount they're asking? I love Drag racing, but I sure as hell won't.
NHRA has created the monster that no one can afford to participate in. Force said, about a year ago, that it cost him roughly $11 million to bring his show to the national events he contracted to be at during the season. Divide that by 4, add 20% because a single car owner doesn't have the same resources and data and you can see why few people want to buy into either Top Fuel or the Nitro Coupes. And Pro Stock is a joke. Funny cars with carburetors, no resemblance to any stock car on the market. Does that answer the question as to why so few sponsors see a return on their investment?
If I invest a million dollars in a sponsorship, I expect at least a million one back. That's the only reason that justifies that kind of investment. Unless you're stupid or screwing the driver's good looking wife! Racing has ceased to be even a marginal investment, simply because there are too many kinds and too many competing for the same buck. Why would I advertise in a marginal type of racing when I could invest a little more in NASCAR (Even the second class "Nationwide") and get a bigger bang for the buck?
Add to that, ALL Professional Sports are having to work harder for the advertising buck, simply because the Government is screwing with the economy and taking away a lot of the National consumer's discretionary spending across the board. I'm sure you're aware of that. If a corporation that sells commodities is having a tough time, you can be damned sure those things we can do without are going to struggle. This economy is killing Drag Racing at all levels, so JFR will probably feel it just as bad proportionately as Bracket Racer Joe Schmuck in Cornhole, Iowa and his racetrack. Shit still runs downhill.