Dead On – Where Do We Go From Here?
Where Do We Go From Here?
I guess the last forty years of being at drag strips, owning and managing drag strips and seemingly everyday having thoughts about drag racing got me "looking into the future a bit".
Before I ask you "where do we go from here" we probably should figure out where "HERE" is, right?
To me, we are an aging sport, by that I mean the average age of the serious weekend bracket racer and especially the NHRA/IHRA Sportsman racers is probably approaching mid to late-fifties if not 60+ years-old. There is a large gap in ages then we start to see JR Dragster racers who have been entering the bracket races the past 10 years or so. I am guessing that a lot of these young racers are funded by Mom and Dad. For good reasons, it is a very expensive sport if you take it serious and get good equipment. If you are a young adult, starting a family or paying off college loans there isn't a spare $50K laying around very often. Maybe bracket racing has turned into a Country Club sport..only the wealthy can compete at the upper levels (that would mark a sad day in my opinion)
So, does "HERE" mean we are an aging sport that has just sat around and watched it shrink right in front of our eyes? To that I say YES! As participants we have not asked for changes, different programs, etc. We just go to the track, pay the ever-increasing entry fees and race for payouts that have been stagnant for about 10 years. That is NOT GROWTH.. that is the "same old stuff, ground up and once in a while spewed out in a different format (Quick 16, S/Gas, etc, etc.)
As you can tell I am about over the status quo on bracket racing and Sportsman racing. I am seeing mid-six-second dragsters running over 200 mph at local bracket tracks with very minimal safety crews in place, for a $1000.00 to win. I know it isn't the money..well it is when you run out of it and no longer show up every week.
Where do we go from here? I wish I knew the answer but I don't. Something has to change IF the sport and the local dragstrips are going to survive.
Personally, I built a new drag car for where I think the sport is already headed, Project 10-The Hard Way. Cheaper cars, less maintenance expenses, double-entry capable and simple to keep competitive week in and week out. I have a fast dragster too, it killed the 632 and I don't care if it ever runs in local brackets again with a $20,000+ engine. I just don't see that being what will sustain the sport and get young people involved.
I see street cars racing in "Index Classes"; 18.90, 17.90, 16.90 etc. Instant Green starts (no red-lights to deal with), just racing and doing it in an affordable manner.
So what are YOUR THOUGHTS? I know I have been wrong before (many, many times). Let's hear from you, the racers or maybe you just like watching drag racing..... WHAT do you want to see in the future of drag racing?
Let me know at editor@ETDragRacing.com.