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What up and down for the 2010 seasons
It’s that time of the year, dear reader, when the old Burkster polishes up his old third eye and takes a peek into the future of the drag racing world.
In 2010, nitro junkies are going to have many more choices when it comes to shelling out their hard-earned bucks to see nitro burning race cars than in the past. They can opt to see the senior circuit’s (NHRA) Top Fuel and Funny Cars compete for a world championship. The junior circuit (IHRA) is offering booked-in Top Fuel, injected fuel dragsters, and AA/FC acts with no traditional racing or points system. The Goodguys will continue their abbreviated circuit with Nostalgia Top Fuel and floppers. NHRA’s Heritage Series is intact for the West Coast and there are at least one or two AA/FA circuits and a wide variety of independently produced nitro fueled “events.”
In 2010 the IHRA will offer its fans what the old Burkster is referring to as “Nitro Light.” The IHRA’s pro series (now called Nitro Jam) will now feature booked-in cars running modified Chicago-style exhibitions featuring injected Top Fuel cars, a Nitro Funny Car class, and the occasional blown Top Fuel and Nitro Harley field. The whole deal reminds me of the old UDRA circuit.
The NHRA and all of the other major league auto racing series will continue to struggle with decreasing event attendance and TV ratings.
NHRA’s Top Fuel class will struggle to deliver 16-car fields at more events. Many, many more Top Fuel teams will reduce their schedule to the 10 races closest to their geographical base. The touring core of Top Fuel teams will drop to 10 teams or fewer.
The NHRA Funny Car class will continue to have the most cars and major sponsors.
2010 will be the last year for the ADRL’s Pro Extreme class to be a truly unlimited doorslammer class. History has proved over and over, from Formula 1 to NASCAR’s Cup Series to NHRA Top Fuel, that unlimited classes can neither be sustained nor grow when money is no object.
In 2010 NHRA supercharged Pro Mods and NHRA-legal Nostalgia Funny Cars will regularly exceed 250 mph in the quarter mile.
IHRA’s injected Top Fuel cars will discover that just removing the supercharger from a Top Fuel dragster engine combination won’t keep them from blowing up and burning up parts with 100 percent nitro in the tank.
The number of alky Funny Car teams will continue to drop, but performance figures will continue to improve. The costs to be competitive in that class will keep rising, resulting in more and more alky F/C racers switching to Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car.
Mountain Motor Pro Stocks will gradually begin to disappear from the drag racing scene as a viable professional class and many of the Mountain Motor teams will either quit or switch over to 500-inch NHRA Pro Stock racing.