NHRA Not What It Used To Be

Posted: June 17, 2016 in Uncategorized


NHRA drag racing made a smart move at the end of last season buy signing a tv deal with FOX sports. I think Fox is doing a great job with the coverage so far this year. I miss Mike Dunn for sure. Tony P is doing fine, but I still would like to have Dunn behind the mic. With Fox carrying the races I hope the ratings are up for the good of drag racing.  

Local drag strips seem to be doing well with full classes, and some new blood in the sport. The other day I was reading that the very popular TV show Street Outlaws has helped get more people into the sport of drag racing. If you haven’t heard the NHRA banned street outlaw stars from participating in a NHRA events last year. They do not promote street racing ,and never have. That’s why Wally Parks encouraged people to come racing with the NHRA. He hoped it would stop the illegal street racing and provide a safer place for young hot Rodders to showcase their love for speed.


In my opinion Street outlaws is popular because of the characters that are in the weekly show. Sure the cops trying to catch them in the first few seasons was kinda funny, but we all knew it was fake. In our house we love the cars and the people that represent the different cars. Each night the racing is for the most part great to watch. Farmtruck and Azn make us laugh out loud all the time. Who knows how much of the pre and post race drama is staged, but it is why we watch. We want some one to root for, and root against. The cars have their own personalities that we love or hate too.  

This is what the NHRA is missing. Drama, good guys and gals, bad guys and gals. I’m sure there are things going on behind the scenes that would make it more appealing to the fans. We don’t need fist fights, but some calling out and maybe a few stories about the home life of the drivers during a televised event. 

Now for the cars, they are all the same. Billboards for corporate sponsors running down the track. One can not tell one make from the other.  Where is the Chevy, Ford rivalry? It’s gone. How about naming the cars like they used to do. Give us something to grab hold of and cheer for. I want some rivalries in all of the classes. Let me pick who to cheer for either the good or the bad, make me pick one. It’s all to polished for TV. I think it is hurting the sport, and has been for awhile. 

We have lost our heroes in the sport. Purdome, Bernstein, Johnson, Glidden, Amato. For some reason it is tough to choose someone in each class that I can really get into. I think they are all to bland. Trust me I have tried to start following a few racers and root for them all of the time, but I find myself just watching the race and not really passionate about any one driver. 

Now on the other hand while watching Street Outlaws we have our guys we like and the ones we can’t stand. For what ever reason we pick sides. I love that, that is how it should be. Reality TV is popular, like it or nor it is huge. Why can’t drag racing be more like that, but not staged for tv. I’m sure there are enough stories going on at every event that we the fans would love to see.  This would let us get more personal with the drivers every week. Building a love or not so much with them on a weekly basis. 

  Maybe I’m way off base here, but I know what I like and modern day NHRA drag racing on TV is good but not great. Going to a live event is totally different. You can get behind the scenes more, plus the sounds and smells are unexplainable to anybody that has not been to a race. TV will never be able to grab the side of the sport, it’s a shame they can’t. That’s why Street Outlaws does so well the sounds and smells are not needed as much, because they have a great story line week after week. We look forward to the next show to see what is going to happen with so and so. That’s what we love. We are built to pick sides,so why don’t  we in professional Drag racing?  

   The pro stock class can barely make a full field some weeks. The nitro classes have like three car owners, and the stands are not real full for the most part. When you have teammates running against each other most of the time, it takes the excitement out of it. I am not saying I have the answers to this, but someone should step back and see what made this sport so popular in the past. Street outlaws have itched a spot that has woke up young and old race fans, let’s hope the NHRA can scratch their itch soon. 


If you have any free time this summer go check out a local drag race in your area. Walk around the pit area, talk to some drivers.  If you enjoy cars you will enjoy a day at the strip. Pick a few cars to cheer for during the day, and see how much you get into each race. 

That’s it for now just wanted to get this off my chest. Thank you for stopping by.

See you at the track. 

John 

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