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Has professional drag racing lost it's audience?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fat Hack, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. power58
    Joined: Sep 7, 2008
    Posts: 432


    Drag Racing lost me when it shifted from the spectaor in the pits to the fast turn around TV watchin group. You could wander the pits and have a good time. Now its all Business Go Go Go. Keep the spectator at bay. Run a Run rebuild go agaqin. Must keep the suits happy. The Fans are a part of the deal that must be tolerated, but in the long run don't matter to the big guys. Land Speed Racing is the last form of racing where you can be a part of the action.
  2. lostforawhile
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,160


    or your local tracks
    Joined: Apr 17, 2001
    Posts: 6,177


    A 6 yr thread back up . WTF !! ...
  4. lostforawhile
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,160


    it's been back up, it's even more relevant today then six years ago.
  5. philly the greek
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,863

    philly the greek
    from so . cal.

    For all those that went to the California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield this weekend , congratulations,,you just saw the best drag race of the year !
  6. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,501

    Little Wing
    from Northeast

    in a way it is,,as your trying to beat something,,someone else's time
  7. Big Block Bill
    Joined: May 14, 2009
    Posts: 300

    Big Block Bill

    I'm afraid....just as in NASCAR....... the sponsors have helped ruin the "SPORT". The major sponsors were certainly needed, they were happy with their exposure, then they got greedy, they wanted to call the shots...... When a sport becomes "BIG BUSINESS" it only has one way to go.....down.

    The costs at the gate have put a national event out of quite a few families. The costs of racing are out of control, I'll bet the cost to campaign a top NHRA Stock Eliminator car from original build and a full season of racing and R&D must knock on the $500K door. These guys race for bragging rights, certainly not for the money, they get no exposure on TV, very little in a magazine...... the "Sportsman" racer.... seems like a pro racer to me.

    Drag racing always gets shuffled around on TV. I catch it by accident every now and again. The demise of modified eliminator hurt I'm sure. I think the Pro Stock trucks were cool, a bunch of teams lost a ton of money due to the stroke of a pen, I heard they were in court over that, I never heard any results. The welcoming of a foreign car to compete might have pissed the purests off. Match racing was cool in its day, but try and book them, the cost is too much, local tracks can't handle it nor can the spectators. It's far from the good old days.

    I think it boils down to a bit of each, but the money issue I believe is the top problem today.
  8. Big Block Bill
    Joined: May 14, 2009
    Posts: 300

    Big Block Bill

    I understand your frustration with bracket racing......... the super classes have that fall on your face then run 300 MPH. The regular bracket classes are better to watch. You just have to learn to understand that kind of racing.

    The funny thing......bracket racing was pretty much a form of racing the guys that couldn't cut it in a heads up class. They are usually the biggest complainers too. Some people, you just can't make happy..............
  9. kurtis
    Joined: Mar 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,989

    from Australia

    I hope you're not a betting man.

    Bill, I suggest you go and do some homework. I can't think of anyone who would or has spent half a million on a Stock Elim. car for a full season.
    The only way to spend that much would be in a truck/trailer with a matching motorhome.
    The upcoming Las Vegas race has close to 170 cars entered which means it's still relatively affordable for many.
    Finally, do you know that you can buy a new factory Challenger or a Mustang almost race ready for alot less than your original figure.
    Having said that it's good that you brought up the subject. You're right when you mentioned the sportsman racer is more like a professional. Some of the pro guys would be in total awe if they knew what these guys can do to a 40 year old cylinder head. Most of those who have submitted their comments seem to have forgotten about this class. It's still the purest form of drag racing where 2 or 3 friends get together and build a car.
  10. slepe67
    Joined: Jan 22, 2008
    Posts: 1,146



    I went to the drags last summer in Seattle (Kent). It was cool, but, I think I would rather go watch cars like mine scrap it out.

    Plus, the crowds....yuch
  11. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167


    When the 18 wheelers, computers and gold chains showed up, I loaded up my
    old Chassis Research dragster and have never been back.
    It was real fun when it was a man to man challenge.
    I'm just happy to have had the early 60's experience and survived it.
    Now days it seems to be more dueling checkbooks. Ugh!
  12. rallisracing
    Joined: Nov 3, 2008
    Posts: 199


    Drag racing started to get the Kids off the streets and to satisfy a need for competion that did not include driving a circle track car. That was still pretty much true until, like EVERY other sport, big sponser money came in. This is when NHRA got greedy and that is what ruined the sport. NHRA gets 10% of every sponser deal with NO help to get that sponser. Thus, if Castrol gives JFR 10 million $, they get a million...for doing nothing. This shifted the sanctioning bodies purpose from racing, to making money. It was the death of what used to be what we all wanted to do...Now, see the shrinking fields and the empty stands at the latest has caught up with them...and don't you know the success of PINKS heads up is killing them.
  13. rick goetz
    Joined: Mar 6, 2007
    Posts: 94

    rick goetz

    I haven't been to a national event in about 15 years and I knew the attendance would be down compared to years ago but I was shocked at the empty stands last year at Route 66 dragway SW of Chi-town.

    Attached Files:

  14. mark62
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 17


    I think big money is alot of the problem.
  15. M.Edell
    Joined: Jun 5, 2009
    Posts: 4,157


    Give me more Nostalgia Events, WAY MORE Super Stock Door Slammers and I'm Happy.I won't waste my money on modern NHRA Events personally....just not my thing.
  16. racer756
    Joined: May 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,324


    Top Alcohol Funny cars and Dragsters provide some of the fastest most entertaining racing at NHRA events. You dont have to worry about seeing the same 12 guys race each other at every event. dragracing NEEDS a shakeup right now, ADRL, Nostalgia FC & Dragsters, Pro-Mod, are all great to watch. This thread is 7 years old and the topic is more timely than ever.

    I also have a "dog" in this fight.

    Don Hudson TA/FC 756

    Attached Files:

  17. bigolds
    Joined: Oct 27, 2006
    Posts: 883


    If I'm not mistaken...corporate money brought us Super Stock, A/FX and some of the other competitive classes. I love going to the nostalgia events, ya get to see all of the cool old shit. They run as brackets or index races though, to make the finish line drama a little more exciting. Yeah sure, you may see a 6cyl. digger up against a 71 big block something, but it's still drag racing. The big boys(NHRA) need the corporate money to go as fast as they do. Goes with the territory. Big time drag racing is still exciting and the sites and sounds are still the same. Big noise, yellow/green tinged clouds in the pits when the nitro cars are warming, hot chicks and personalities that are bigger than Rhode Island. Things change and evolve. For my money, and I don't have alot of it to throw around, drag racing either pro or sportsman is the best motorsports bang for my buck!!!!!

  18. bigolds
    Joined: Oct 27, 2006
    Posts: 883


    Bet my golf cart's faster than his.....where's the closest track????!!!

  19. Snake9t9
    Joined: Dec 30, 2001
    Posts: 140


    There is a cure for the "cubic dollars" wins races problem in drag racing, but to find it we would have to look to the NASCAR sportsman classes. If you have ever been to the local short track and watched the close competition lap after lap in street stock, sportsman or the like, you have seen the answer in person to limiting the costs of heads up racing. Claimer motors!!! I tried floating the idea in my area for a class for 2800 lb door slammer cars, 410 c.i. limit, 10.5 inch slick, any chassis combo, no n2o, no blowers, single 850 carb on gas, but the key was a $2500 claimer motor. It works great for the roundy round guys. I've never heard a good reason it wouldn't work for drag racing. Hell, you could do something similar in a F.E.D. just as easy.
  20. IHRA is revamping their race format for next year as well as some class changes.
    I read an interesting article the Drag Racing list put out on it. Hopefully that will help address some of the fan concerns.
  21. Duration
    Joined: Oct 2, 2006
    Posts: 543

    from Wayne, MI

    claimer motors in a grass roots drag class would be cool! it wont fly in the pros, but it could make local drags interesting & competitive again.
  22. CrkInsp
    Joined: Jul 17, 2006
    Posts: 513

    from B.A. OK

    If you r e a l l y want to have some fun dragraceing look into the HA/GR or SDRA groups. These are cars of the Late 40's, early 50's. There is nothing high dollar about them. It is heads up, side by side fun. The HA/GR rules are posted on the HA/GR forum here, and the SDRA rules are on the forum. Take alook, both will take you back in time when raceing was FUN and it was "man and machine against man and machine".
  23. Zookeeper
    Joined: Aug 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,041


    I didn't read all the posts here, so I apologize if this is a re-post, but as anyone who's been to a "Pinks All-Out" race will tell you, THAT is what pro drag racing needs to be. I went to Sears Point last year and it was amazing! Cars ran from about 9:00 am to about 10:00 pm with a few exhibition cars thrown in and the crowd was full-on into it. NAPA even sponsored an "arm-drop" race here at our local track and it was the biggest race I have ever been to there and I've been going for 30+ years! Heads up, balls out, no break out and no delay boxes, just run whatcha brung racing, the way it oughta be...
  24. shock733
    Joined: Jan 19, 2009
    Posts: 199

    from Florida

    NOT ME!
    I watch it on TV. I drive 5 hrs round trip and spend a small fortune to go to englishtown. I always pull for the under dog but like em all. Could the Force girls be any hotter?? Can John Force can any crazier? Is Shoemacher UN beatable? Will Gary Densham ever win again? Will Pendergon stop crying? Who cares?
    Go into the pits when they lite up a nitro car; sharer terror! I LOVE IT!!
    Too corporate? You dump a million into a trailer in todays economy and try to run independent.
  25. buckeye_01
    Joined: Jun 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,441


    That figure is a bit steep but from your comments you have never really been 'involved' in running a fast (index based) car. Not all of them take thousands of dollars to make fast but there are the gold chainers that will spend whatever it takes to set a record or win class at Indy. I didn't have the cubic dollars for acid porting and coating intake runners so I had to flow about 10 sets of heads to find the best. Of course this is only the tip of the iceberg in stock. There are a thousand different ways to fit inside the box with a stocker and there are PLENTY of 100k plus cars out there today.
  26. choke
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 323


    I would'nt drive across the street to see a current NHRA national event. But I would drive half way across the country to see a nostalgia drag race event especially a grass roots event. NHRA is a cold heartless corporate entity that only cares about the bottom line and that's $$$$$MONEY$$$$$! The only reasonI watched the races on TV last year was because I was working at Kosmans Specialties and I was involved in building Hector Arana's Pro Stock Bike. He won the championship last year. But I still didn't go to the track when the nationals were in Sonoma and I only live 15 miles from it!!!
  27. While on vacation in Pa. two yrs ago I attended my first NHRA National Event at Maple Grove and was blown away by it .From the pits to seeing the Drivers to the experience of actually feeling tha the T.F cars run down the track.I enjoyed it so much that I planned my vac. the following yr to be in the area soo I could attend it again ,wich I did. Last winter I timed my visit to my brother in Pheonix so I could catch the NHRA at Firebird ,wich I did fri. and Sundays finals.I had a Great time and if I can work another race into this yrs.vac. I will. For us guys that don't get out enough. I highly reccomend it. The experience is incredible. I won'nt be going to every race or getting into the $$ or politics,Just enjoying the show whenever I get a chance. Just my 2 cents.
  28. onlychevrolets
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 2,307


  29. superbinder
    Joined: Mar 28, 2009
    Posts: 25

    from topeka, ks

    I can't stand one of the announcers, PAUL PAGE. He talks out of his pig nose and says stupid things. I usually record it and fast forward thru his stupidity
  30. Gasser1961
    Joined: Nov 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,104


    I still go twice a year. The good old days are gone, but I still enjoy the sounds and the event. I love going over to the "bucks down" fuel teams and watching them. It's all heart with thoses guys.

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