Hey - does anyone remember when NHRA came out with the "spec" dragster for comp eliminator??? Well, I was in favor of it and e-mailed NHRA in support. When the program was axed, the response I received from Mr. Compton was that too many comp racers protested because they had hundred of thousands of dollars invested in their race programs and didn't want a "cheaper" entry into their class.
Okay, let's follow that logic -- trucks can run in comp of the super classes. Sure, trucks use small blocks, so their engines MAY be cheaper than the expensive pro stock car engines (NOT) and like the cars, they are driving a chassis that costs somewhere above $70,000. Now, add in a truck and trailer and I believe those racers have more than $100,000 invested!
Hell, we're just "Sportsman" racers -- even though racing is the only thing my husband has done for the last 12 years along with working for Aeromotive as the "fuel pump guru." I can easily verify that we have over $100,000 invested in our Aeromotive racing program of 3, soon to be 4, racecars, Kenworth tractor and 50-foot trailer, NOT to mention support equipment!
Every truck racer should be bombarding NHRA with complaints! Hey, guys, it worked for the comp racers (no spec dragsters in comp)! Unless you're a Rob Slavinski (that's a complement - not a slam), the super classes welcome the trucks into their class; we don't care, we're here to race! However, I'm sure the truck racers don't want to "lower" their chassis to our class (that was a joke).
At Denver this year, we had a 45 minute down time due to the lack of racing NOT rain! So, how is NHRA going to fill those 90 minutes between rounds if they continue to eliminate classes?
Entry fees - this is another open wound with NHRA. The "Sportsman" entry fees have continued to increase, but our small NHRA payout has not increased in 10 years! We understand that these entry fees help pay the track workers. Why not charge the trucks (and all pro classes) an entry fee with "gold" cards for the 10 ten (no fee)? This would generate a few thousand dollars for NHRA. (I doubt that NHRA added workers to help with the increased numbers of cars do to truck entries.)
Let's play fair NHRA! If comp can push out new designations in their class -- leave the trucks alone, or at least, let them run under the pro stock car rules!
This is a silly move by NHRA, trucks are an enormous part of the big 3's market! Why risk pissing off the automotive manufacturers? Along with Winston (who is leaving), the auto industry continues to support drag racing. However, that too may go away!
Debra J. Fickler, Esq.
MORE ON TRUCKS
Yeah, I know, never. The big BUCK always wins.
DURING THE '60S? WE'RE AMAZED YOU CAN REMEMBER
EVEN MORE ON TRUCKS
CAN'T WAIT TO SEE GARLITS!
As far as I'm concerned-Indy can't get here soon enough. If you haven't got your tickets yet, you better hurry. I don't care if you have to sell your house... GET TO INDY!!!!
Kevin A. Bennett
MAYBE JOK IS ONLY HALF-BAKED?
LET'S TRY METALAX ... OR MAALOX ... OR SOMETHING
NOW HERE'S A PLAN
1st I would split TDRA into two groups. The real-estate group (RG) and the operations group (OG).
I would turn the real estate state group (RG) into a real estate investment trust (REIT) which are very popular in the investment industry now. REIT's now pay about 9% interest to the bond holders and sell for around 10 times earnings. If an event produced just $1,000,000 in profit you could allocate $500,000 to track rental and get $5,000,000 from the offering. Now if you owned 5 tracks that would give you a pie of $25,000,000 to buy other tracks (or build). It appears that other associations (not drag racing) have and are doing this. This should be fairly easy and is not rocket science. Opening the books should not be a problem as the interest paid is governed by law. Ninety-five percent of profits must be paid back to the bond holders yearly. Usually in quarterly dividends.
The running of the Operations Group (OG) would be a privately held corporation to start. I would trim as much unnecessary and repetitive jobs and eliminate all fiefdoms. The key to TDRA survival is getting OG profitable so that it can be taken public similar to CART or NASCAR. CART ( symbol MPH ) sells at a multiple of 22 times earnings. $1,000,000 of profit converts to $22,000,000 in stock.
Now that we have TDRA financially responsible, we can tackle some of the other problems.
One representative of each pro division owner would be elected to the board with a equal representation from the TDRA plus one. All money matters would be on the table. All decisions would come from this board.
Some of the changes might be as drastic as having the national events split into separate weekends, with the pros ( dragster, funny car, stock, motorcycle, and pro-mod ) run one weekend and all the other class another weekend. The possibility of an all fuel only events could b explored. Nostalgia type vehicles would fill the time in-between rounds.
Sunday shows could be shortened to three rounds only. The possibility of qualifying only 8 cars for each field could be researched. The total payout would stay the same, but round money would increased. Running 3 round only would reduce running time to 3 1/2 hours or less. If the show where split into different weekends the unused space in the pits could be used for auto shows, parts meets and other automotive events. This will bring in new faces and income. Maybe a multi tier type ticket allowing access to the non drag racing section only.
And I know you have many more ideas to add. Let's hear them.
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