If I were the Grand Poobah of the NHRA
We all have a wish- list of things what we might do if given the opportunity, so in this scenario I’ve just won the Powerball Lotto for the sum of $365,000,000 and walked into Glendora with a wheelbarrow full of cash and bought it lock, stock and barrel. This would be the fantasy future of the sport from the top down.
1 - cut admission fees by 50%
2 - cut sponsor ‘buy- ins’ by 30%. Instantly the sport becomes more attractive to spectators and sponsors. Now you will attract volume in both fields.
3 - 1320’ of racing again
4 - allow other non-Chrysler V8 engines to compete, ie McGee, Batten, Arias, Ford, GM, etc. Max 500” dual engine cars ok, 426” per engine. (This would be on their dime and make it interesting as innovation used to rule back in the day.)
5 - Top Fuel: use the Dale Armstrong 6-1 compression and 35% blower, any nitro percentage rule as Dale proved while working on The Snake’s car. Teams would be allowed one block, one blower block to qualify with (internal parts replacement ok). One block one blower during eliminations (internal parts replacement ok). Cars must be given a “nickname”, the team of Schmacher-Antron-Corradi or “The Matco Tool Special”, something the fans can identify with like in the old days.
6 - Funny Car: all bodies can be modified by no more than 10%. This means no more bubble tops that are 30” across from an original roofline of say 65” for instance. Front ends must retain stock appearance, flat with grills, headlight moldings, etc., within 10% of original. Rear decks may be raised to accommodate tires but trunk lids must be stock length. Any size aluminum rear spoilers may be attached to the trunk lids. Windshields must be within 10% of original size and angle! Engine rules same as Top Fuel: Funny Cars must have a ‘nickname “ prominent on the side taking up entire door area. Example of days-gone-by nicknames, Brutus, Telstar, Fighting Irish, Invader, Assassin, etc. All sponsors names on front or rear quarter panels, hood roof etc.
Top Alky Dragster: any engine combo V8-V6-dual engine etc. Weight brakes to smaller engines, Chevy, Batten, dual V6 combos 1600lb compared to the current 2000lb cars running blown or nitro Chryslers. Current Top Alky, any blower overdrive and any nitro percentage on A/F cars. Cars must have a “nickname” on the side no smaller than 6’ long.
7 - Top Alky Funny: any engine combo including injected nitro engines. Nickname for cars must cover entire side door area, sponsors on front and rear quarter panels.
Again the reason for the ‘nickname” is for fan identification. For example, the fans will hear that the Matco sponsored ‘Invader’ Chevy of Tom Slick took the win over the Prestone sponsored ‘Assassin’ Mustang of Johnny Lightning. It’s about fan identification and not just the sponsor’s name.
How many companies would love to put their name on the side of Jungle Jim’s car these days if he were still with us, knowing the showman he was ? Kids can identify with Jungle Jim, however, not the Ford-Castrol-Matco-Fram-Prestone-Hooters-Jello-Wendy’s Mustang when asked about their winning run by the TV folk. It gets boring and fans need a star, a nickname to identify with. Drivers must mention the nickname of the car when listing their sponsors in front of the cameras.
8 - Pro Stock: keep going with what NHRA is doing, no hood scoops, fuel injection etc. Bodies MUST BE FACTORY STOCK SIZE. Grills, stock with working lights; use of spoilers ok, wheel wells opened up inside for tires ok as it is now; wheelie bars to be shortened.
9 - Top Dragster-Top Sportsman- Comp: leave alone
10 - Super Stock: leave stock alone and cars will be run between fuel rounds as filler during their rounds Saturday and Sunday.
11 - Super Comp and Gas: NO throttle delay after leaving line, no throttle control on any part of the run. Trans brake controlled only by driver, no delay boxes, double step MSD’s, any control must be made by driver’s hand (trans brake) and driver’s foot. Index will be 8 seconds flat for Super Comp and 8.50 for Super Gas.
12 - AA/FA New Pro Class: same rules as Autoclub Famoso Raceway uses. Anything goes for the 6.0 second index class; 8 car field at selected national events; 16 car field for Indy.
13 - Pro Mod: leave class alone except for increasing round money.
14 - Top Fuel bikes: 4 – 8 bike fields at selected national events, depending on availability at venue and booked in.
15 - Jet Dragster: 4 car field modified Chicago. Each car races the other 3 one time. One qualifier- 1 races 2; 3 races 4. First round runner ups in round 1 race each other again and winners of first round race in final round for winner / runner up. At selected national events these cars are booked a booked in show.
16 - Wheel Standers: 4 car field as above, at selected national events also booked in show.
17 - Rocket cars: selected national events, two cars booked in.
18 - Nostalgia Nitro Top Fuel Cars and Funny cars: these can be run at selected national events where that venue can pull in 8 car fields; NFC at one national event and NTF at another to mix it up. These will be a booked in field paid each round and will receive a Wally for their win. Any whining from the Big Show fields will be ignored if they are being up-staged by Nostalgia cars. They will need to improve their own show if they feel they are being up-staged by cars 50mph and two seconds slower, plain and simple.
Any retribution like a boycott will be met with replacing their cars at that national event with a full 16 car field of NFC or NTF on the class boycotting the event. If the Big Show cars cannot entertain the fans like the Nostalgia cars, then they need to step it up. The changes in the Big Car Show with nicknames and bodies that are more stock appearing should help with fan identification. The past 25 years obviously haven’t pulled the fans in so a change is definitely in order.
The ‘exhibition’ style cars and bikes can be alternated throughout the season for national events as their numbers are limited, but they can be brought in and mixed up for the fans to see as part of the show.
NHRA management will also have a minimum of 50% racers involved in the decision making in Gendora and not just the two current mega teams. This will include racers all the way down to Stock Eliminator voted in to have input and a vote. The NHRA will need day to day managers and marketers to run daily operations but cannot make decisions on their own without racer vote.
NHRA will elect a new President every 5 years by NHRA staff and members holding a competition license. The President’s position cannot be held for more than two sequential terms. A two term elected President can come back for re-election after a different President has served out at least one term.
NHRA Chairman and President positions will be paid no more than $100,000 per year with health benefits. This is not a career for an elite group of people with retirements for the rest of their lives. They can invest in their own 401K with NHRA matching no more than $0.50 cents on a dollar up to 5% of the employee’s investment. Five years is the time to become fully vested in their 401K.
NHRA employees will be drug tested at random. First violation will require counseling as provided as part of their health package. A second violation within 10 years of the first will be cause for termination. NHRA is supposed to represent honor and values to the American people, the fans, members and the world. These values cannot be sacrificed due to someone with personal problems. NHRA will not cover up for anyone but at the same time, people will be given a second chance to redeem themselves.
Racers will also be held to these same standards. First violation, 60 day suspension of driving privileges and required to seek counseling under their own health plan, should they have one, or AA, which is free. They must also complete a 12 step program. The fact is people will have a drink once racing has stopped for the day. Drivers, however, cannot have any trace of any mind altering substance in their system at an event. There will be zero tolerance while racing at an NHRA event while racing is going on. Driver’s will also loose triple the awarded points for the event should they be found to be under the influence. Zero Tolerance.
Racer’s second violation will result in one year suspension of driving privileges; all points removed and completion of a 12 step program. NHRA license will have to be renewed again just like a first timer.
Racer’s third violation results in a 5 year suspension of driving privileges; completion of a 12 step program plus re-licensing and a $1000 fine. There is no fourth violation.
Sponsors who give contingency monies will be allowed to display their individual signage along the guardrail and stand backdrops for free as these are the companies that build the parts for and/or part of NHRA Drag Racing. NHRA will take no more than 10% monies put up by sponsors for management use.
Sponsors will be given access to the manufactures row for discounted prices from the past so as to fill the manufactures row to 100% capacity.
Food services will offer $3 burgers, drinks, fries, etc. They can still sell high dollar items, however, the real world has a Dollar Menu and they will need to cater to this market just as McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy’s do in order to give families an alternative. All of the mentioned companies are billions dollar organizations.
NHRA members will receive 10% discounts at all market venues within the racing premises.
NHRA National Dragster will have minimum coverage of Nostalgia Racing of at least 12 pages in ND per issue as these cars run under and are members of the NHRA just as the Big Show cars.
National Dragster will also devote one page per issue to Nostalgia Racers submitted by tracks, racers, etc. as they are part of the ever growing NHRA Heritage Series.
National Dragster will also cover the 4 ANRA events per year with 4 pages as they race under NHRA rules and is the largest sanctioning body today with the largest car count for Nostalgia racing. March Meet and Hot Rod Reunion coverage of 8 pages per event, this coverage would fill part of the required 12 pages of Nostalgia Racing per National Dragster issues.
My two cents
NOSTALGIA DRAG WORLD - By Stormy Byrd