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Fast forward more than a decade after the first “exhibition” NHRA Pro Mod series, and despite serious commitment by the Pro Mod racers, the series remains a de facto exhibition series for the NHRA and enjoys none of the perks or recognition afforded NHRA’s Pro classes that are featured in the NHRA/ESPN2 broadcasts of National Events.
I’ve known for a while that owners/representatives of NHRA Pro Mod teams have been meeting with Tom Compton and members of his staff in order to chart out the future of the Pro Mod class. What future, I ask. NHRA has already distributed a memo stating unequivocally that if a new sponsor isn’t found a year before the current contract expires, they will drop the class entirely.
So the question is this: what can the Pro Mod racers and owners do to bring the class to the same level as the other NHRA Pro classes? The answer is relatively simple.
First they need to have a single person representing them to the NHRA, and whoever that is has to have the power to make a deal with the NHRA with the Pro Mod team owners’ complete support. Second, they must have a competent public relations representative to attend each NHRA race where Pro Mods compete to meet with local and national media to get them to cover the class. And they must give this person a large enough budget to do the job. Third, their rep has to find out what it will take for the NHRA to include Pro Mod as part of the ESPN2 TV coverage. Without national broadcast TV coverage, Pro Mod as a class will never be thought of as a Professional class by the mainstream media or Corporate America and major sponsorship of teams simply won’t happen.
The bottom line is that if the mostly wealthy NHRA Pro Mod team owners want the class to ever be recognized as a Pro class, they either have to become as serious about the business of Pro Mod racing as they are about their own businesses, or be satisfied being seen by those that count as an nothing more than an NHRA exhibition class.