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When will NHRA management get the clue that their fans want more nitro classes? It is generally acknowledged by the NHRA management team and most NHRA national event track operators that nitro classes are what a majority of ticket-buying National Event fans come to see.
Today’s national event ticket buyers and TV viewers are not the diehard car fans that used to attend NHRA races because more often than not they could see headliner cars they recognized as something they drove. None of the vehicles in any professional class now resembles anything that can be bought from a car dealer.
The TV ratings for the NHRA’s broadcast have been miniscule when compared to any other professional motorsports’ numbers. The NHRA national events and their network TV shows have not altered the content or story line of their broadcasts much for over 20 years and the average numbers of viewers has not changed except to drop o remain the same during those decades. The band members change but they keep playing the same old song.
So my question is, when will the NHRA management and TV broadcast teams get the clue that what they are broadcasting is boring for all but their hardest or hardcore fans? Hardcore fans don’t care much about content or when the show goes on the air; if an NHRA race is broadcast they will watch it. The problem drag racing has is putting something on TV that will attract and keep new fans of the sport.
It is my opinion is that neither the revered Diamond P Productions of past years nor the current Adelson/NHRA production had or have content that will attract or keep the 18-45 year-old age group interested.
The NHRA must attract the 18-45 age group if it is to grow its aging fan base. In my opinion that means the NHRA needs pro classes that are relevant for the 18-45 year-old male target group. I’m not sure what those classes should be but I would suggest at least one new class such as nitro doorslammers or a Sport Compact class.
The NHRA management has said in the past that one reason they don’t add more professional classes is that they already have too many winners on race day and that confuses their mainstream fans and the elite sports media. At this point, with diminishing ticket sales at some of their national events and TV ratings in the tank (according to an industry tracking TV viewers the NHRA race at Maple Grove drew approximately 241,000 viewers and the following race at the Texas Motorplex 291,000 viewers), the NHRA really needs to evolve their program for the times and quit living in the past.
The silence from the IHRA management team of Chris Lencheski and Mike Dunn regarding the IHRA series for 2017 is deafening. As of Oct. 31, 2016, there has been no schedule released for either an IHRA national event schedule or for the Summit Racing Equipment sportsman series. But there have been some info/rumors about the 2017 IHRA season that I think are worth noting.
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