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Just what do fans want? I think there are two levels of drag racing in this discussion. First, let’s consider the national events. I don’t have a degree in marketing from Yale, but I am smart enough to understand when fans exit the stands the minute the nitro cars are done, that they have no interest in the rest of the racing presentation. That same absence of a marketing degree doesn’t make me an expert on how to fix a major event, but I am smart enough to understand if we have a sold out venue, and we added Pro Mod & Top Fuel Harleys, that perhaps more of the same might be in order. I understand that might be highly presumptions on my part, with no degree and all.
I believe that fixing the National Events without a degree would be easier than fixing Sportsman racing. You’re really going to need a degree to do that. There is lots of noise about this, but not many people agree on anything. If more nitro is the answer at Nationals, wouldn’t it follow suit that more nitro would be the answer for Sportsman? Since Nostalgia Funny cars are becoming so popular, might not they become the headliner? Would that create more interest in TAD & TAF? Could we follow that with small motor blown nitro doorslammers in a format that might be a feeder class for Pro Mod? What about putting the “Fuel” back in Jr. Fuel?
Then there are all of us totally conflicted bracket racers. I have my own ideas, but I haven’t seen anyone come up with anything that makes this exciting to anyone but the racers and their families. Perhaps that is good enough, if we could elevate the rest of the show. I hear lots of ideas from the racers but I have yet to read any published opinion from a fan on what they would like to see happen with bracket racing. So what do they want? Any ideas?
Salt Lake City, Utah
Mr. Burk, I just finished reading your column of 5/2, and, per usual, agree with the majority of what you had to say.
I read your reference to the current status of Pro Stock with particular interest, especially the comparison of the cars currently available from Ford, GM, and Chrysler, which would have, in my unsolicited opinion, a lot of fan following because they look very much like the cars in the parking lot. They are prone to wheelstands, and make all the right sounds, and are a great advertising medium for car dealerships (what a concept!), and are what the modern day Pro Stocks evolved from way back when.
A modern Pro Stock car, equipped with carburetors, (note to NHRA: you can't buy a new car equipped with carburetors, anywhere on the planet), a hood scoop the driver can't see over or around, and equipped with a Funny Car rear wing mounted on it, doesn't look anything like any car available from any manufacturer, anywhere, period.