Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 10, Page

Hypothetical Saturday Alcohol Eliminations


Will Hanna has two racing websites, InsideTopAlcohol.com and InsideCompRacing.com. He drives TAFC 425.

ust like a movie preview, let me show you where this is going.  Picture this.  Same day, if not live, Top Alcohol eliminations on ESPN2.  Top Alcohol eliminations that were featured at a national event.  Sounds far fetched?  IF NHRA would promote it, IF a sponsor would step up to fund the TV, the below model may open that window with “featured” Saturday eliminations for Top Alcohol competitors.

I’ve brought this idea up before.  Let me predicate before we go any further, WITHOUT NHRA getting behind this and promoting it and/or WITHOUT the possibility of same day TV coverage, I’m not for it.  There are some downsides to this program.  I think it would be worth it for alcohol racers to give up racing on Sunday and pick up a Thursday qualifier to get the above mentioned items.

Okay, here’s a hypothetical within this hypothetical.  Let’s say someone loans me a current Nitro Funny Car.  Big “X” Dragway is holding a single car Nitro FC exhibition with a modest advertising budget.  All things the same, with two events, one with myself and one with say, Del Worsham, it’s a no brainer which will draw a bigger crowd.  Del Worsham.  Why?  Name recognition – it’s just as powerful if not more in some instances as the machines and performances themselves.  Featured Saturday eliminations with same day TV would drastically increase alcohol racer’s name recognition. 

Back to the original hypothetical.  The obvious model we’re working with is making the alcohol series an equivalentof NASCAR's Busch Series. The Busch Series wouldn’t be as

big a deal if you ran their race on Sunday before the Nextel Cup race.  They feature the Busch guys on Saturday.

I’m not just talking about moving eliminations to Saturday.  Here’s how the promotion side would have to work for me to advocate it.  NHRA and national event tracks promote Saturdays in their advertising as: “Friday – Catch Pro Qualifying under the lights – Saturday, Come watch Pro Qualifying and Final eliminations in the Lucas Oil Alcohol categories.”  The alcohol racers would get to be the big featured winners on Saturday.

I also believe this adds value to NHRA’s Saturday program.  Not only does a fan get to watch Pro qualifying, but Top Alcohol final eliminations.  Right now they get to see round one, but it definitely is more interesting to watch a race to its completion.

Same day, if not live, TV would be huge for the alcohol cars and the sponsor that picked up the bill.  Maybe it’s Lucas, maybe it’s another sponsor that would get title rights to the show – or at least the alcohol eliminations.  This is also big for NHRA.  This would put the sport on for at least another hour on Saturday.  More viewers.  The longer you’re on the better.  The closer you can get to the actual event, the more viewers are going to watch it on TV. 

Obviously, this would be huge for alcohol racing if it happens.  Let’s break it down to ‘how’ it would happen.


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