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If you were lucky enough to attend the March Meet this year, the first thing that should have hit you right square in the face was the crowd. Now yes, I understand that when you have a place that seats ten thousand, filling that is not like filling a fifty thousand seat place. However, the fact is that full is full, and the “Patch” was just that on Friday and especially on Saturday.
Walking through the pits this past weekend at the March Meet, the one thing that seemed to permeate was how healthy the sport of drag racing is. Now am I talking about the NHRA “Big Show”? No, not necessarily. I am speaking about the sport in general, and nostalgia racing in specific.
Once again, there was a great group of funny cars on the grounds. One of the prominent teams missing was the ‘Nitro Thunder’ bunch out of Utah. The word is that the Harrises have not one but two new Neal and Parks dragsters under construction at this time, hopefully to debut at the Nightfires.
Even with that, there were still a very small number of dragsters out and about, which will have an effect on the class. As we know, the price of fuel is starting to rise again and for some, that will keep them from attending. If people who have cars don’t start attending more events, it will hurt the class.
Hey, West Coast racers! If you haven’t noticed, more and more of the East Coast and Midwest runners are headed this way. A kid from Wisconsin (Yes, Wisconsin, home of cheese and ranch dressing) won the March Meet on your turf!
In addition to the pros, there were 32 cars in Nostalgia Eliminator 1, and a full sixteen car field in 7.0 Pro.
So with full or nearly full fields, good racing on the track, and grandstands full of people, this should be a home run on the business side of the equation for any track. One would have to think that the management of the Patch would be extremely happy with their weekend.
The stands were full, the pits were full, and I will have to say outside of a three very scary incidents on track where all the drivers where shaken but ok, the thing that struck this reporter was the smiles on the faces of the patrons and competitors.
This race has its own unique vibe. It is very Southern California and it is like stepping back in time. Pin-up girls, rat rods, and custom cars jacked up so high you need an elevator just to get in or slammed right down on the ground. Whatever flavor you seem to like in drag cars or automotives in general (with a nostalgia twist), you will find it at the March Meet.
.The fact of the matter is that right now the way I see this is that this nostalgia is the healthy part of our sport of drag racing. There just is “product” recognition of the funny cars, along with different and great looking paint jobs. The dragster are still very different one from another, they do not appear to be cookie cutter cars, which is wonderful.
And with the crowd being huge all weekend and there is sure to be huge crowds at the Nightfire in Boise, and at CHRR, and other stops this summer, the rumors, and confirmations of new cars being built. It is easy to see why nostalgia racing is so relevant right now, and could be the savior of the sport of drag racing.