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NHRA over exposed? Burk’s wondering again

Just Wondering… Could the continuing low Nielsen ratings for all ESPN broadcasts of the NHRA’s races be attributed to the fact that there are too many ways for fans to see and hear the race as it happens rather than wait for an often late or postponed taped broadcast?

This past weekend a fan of NHRA drag racing had many options other than the tape delay show and they are: 1. A computer savvy fan could go to ESPN3.com on his computer, wire it into his big screen TV with surround sound, and watch the unedited live TV feed that goes to the ESPN production trailer; 2. An NHRA member who didn’t want to wait and watch the network show can go to NHRA.com and listen to Bob Frey and his crew’s excellent tower broadcast; 3. There are at least three web sites, including an NHRA one and a well-known web magazine, that post near-real time results, interviews, and photos at each race.

These days it is pretty easy to stay at home and get your NHRA fix for a lot less than the cabbage you’ll spend for tickets, gas and food at an NHRA event! There is one caveat: if you have to snort nitro you will have to go to the drags in person.

Just Wondering… Did Paul Page have a germ of a great idea? The answer is that, without his knowing it, maybe. While watching the Saturday and Sunday ESPN2 broadcast I noticed that Page kept referring to the Gatornationals as a “major”. And the thought occurred to me that to enhance NHRA’s image why not give “major” status to four historically significant events? Make each major a four-day pro qualifying event with bigger purses than the non-major events. Award extra points for qualifying and winning one of the “majors”, charge more for tickets to a “major”, and offer a substantial cash bonus for a pro racer that wins his or her class at all four “majors”! The four races I would vote for would be Gainesville, E-town, Indy and the World Finals. If NHRA promotes them correctly I’ll bet those races would get increased coverage from the mainstream media, sponsors would be willing to spend money for the title rights, and more companies would be willing to sponsor teams for racing at a “major” race.

Just Wondering… Is it just me or is Courtney Force getting too much attention before she has even made one lap in a Nitro Funny Car? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it one more time: Shouldn’t we all wait to see if she can drive one of those beasts before she is anointed as the next big thing in the sport? In the meantime Alexis De Joria and Erica Enders just keep plugging along, winning rounds, and getting little love from the ESPN/NHRA publicity machine.

Just Wondering… Did you know that every Pro Stock driver that qualified for the Gatornationals did so by running a personal best ET to make the field? Thanks to NHRA’s “statman” Lewis Bloom for this tidbit.

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