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Just Wondering

Just wondering … who's making the decisions on where NHRA's "We Have Ignition" television ads are placed? In a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal they had a story that listed the top cable television shows with the highest ratings. Something like seven of the top ten programs on that list were either WWF or WCW wrestling shows. In fact, it has been reported that the NFL approached the WWF about moving their show off of Monday nights because it was cutting into Monday Night Football's ratings.

Just wondering … why, with the connection between the WWF and the NHRA, the advertising wizards who make those decisions opted to spend NHRA's - and ultimately the fans' - hard earned dollars to launch NHRA's heralded television campaign on this year's NASCAR Daytona 500 broadcast. From personal experience I can tell you that, in general, oval track fans don't care at all about drag racing and they aren't likely to be swayed by an ad that interrupts their most important race.

Just wondering … why didn't NHRA follow the lead of one of their main sponsors, Castrol, who, as the official oil of the WWF, regularly run ads featuring drag racing's most well known racer, John Force, and run their "We have ignition" ad during one of the WWF's shows?

Just wondering … why do NHRA's track owner partners seem to think the answer to declining profits and attendance is (in most cases) to raise the price of a ticket. Have any of those guys noticed the distinct increase in the number of empty seats at NASCAR tracks this season which some insiders at NASCAR attribute to the continued increase in the admission price to a NASCAR event.

Just wondering … I like nitro as much or more than any fan, but how mad would I be if I were a Pro Stock racer or sponsor of a Pro Stock racer who directed a potential sponsor to tune into the Saturday broadcast of the NHRA qualifying from Gainesville only to find out there was no live coverage of Pro Stock qualifying?

Just wondering …I know NHRA is trying to make stars of the drivers, but was leading off the qualifying coverage of the Gainesville event with 36 minutes of driver interviews before the first action really what race fans want?

Just wondering … Why didn't the powers who decided on over a half hour of talking heads instead of race cars insist that the interviewers ask some pertinent and interesting questions? Why didn't someone ask Jim Yates how the loss of his crew chief Rickie Smith two races into the season might affect his season? Why interview Warren Johnson and not ask about his switch to Hoosier tires or the fact that he was running Goodyears at that event, despite the fact that National Dragster did a big story about that same thing.

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large editor/publisher
  Jeff Burk
editor at large
  Chris Martin
contributing editors
  David Cook
Dave Densmore
Don Gillespie

Jeff Leonard

Jok Nicholson
Geoff Stunkard
John Raffa
Dave Wallace
technical editors
Wady Hamam
Ron Iskenderian
Dave Koehler
Larry Wolyniec
Sky Wallace
Jeff Burk
Richard Brady
Don Gillespie
Ron Lewis
Tim Marshall
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  Kay Burk
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  Casey Araiza
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  Brett Underwood
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  Nathan Williams
good mojo
  Jef Waltman
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  Richard Burk
  Ellen Frattini

Just wondering … why didn't someone on the television staff pick up on the fact that at Gainesville, for the first time since about 1984, a Chrysler Pro Stocker with a hemi engine qualified for a NHRA National Event. And the interview with

John Force and Austin Coil could only be described as lame. Not one of the interviewers did enough homework to know that there is a long history of three car teams in top fuel.

Just wondering … Why didn't the TV talent also interview Gary Densham about his part in causing Force to not field a third team and why not interview Dickie Venables or Tommy Johnson, both of whom lost jobs because Force canceled his third car.

Just wondering … If the producers and directors of the NHRA broadcast have ever taken the time to sit in the stands at a National Event and just listen to the conversations. I doubt it, because if they ever had they would know that the fans of drag racing are some of the most well informed and technically oriented fans in all of racing and that they want that kind of info in their telecasts.

Just wondering … When the television executives came to the conclusion that what drag racing fans (or those race fans we want to convert to drag racing) want for television coverage is Regis and Kathy Lee on Nitro.

Just wondering … How we are ever going to bring new fans to the sport through television when most of the shows offer the same tired camera angles, shots from the cheap seats instead of up close and personal and announcers talking instead of the intimidating sound of a nitro engine.

Just wondering … Why NASCAR broadcasts can have color commentators like former World Champs Ned Jarrett and Benny Parson, or proven winners like Buck Baker who can explain what is happening on track to viewers in a matter of seconds and drag racing television can't. Where are the likes of Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney, or Bob Glidden.

Just wondering … If I'm ever going to be able to go to a National Event again and buy a track dog, some chips and a coke for less than $10 bucks.

Just wondering….


photo  by Kay Burk


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