Six years ago, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) had tentatively sold their professional operation to a consortium of investors called HD Partners. However, that deal fell apart with the onset of the current Great Recession. It appears a new deal with a new group … is just a hopeful rumor.
Actually, the news coming out of the NHRA is that Sunoco will become the official fuel starting in 2015 (go here for more). VP Racing Fuels is who supplies the NHRA right now.
What if the rumors had been true? It probably would be good news for everyone. Television would finally be able to control the operations of an event more easily and the Pro classes would be able to rid themselves of the stagnant and sometimes confounding ways of Glendora. I’ve mentioned this before but some years ago an influential man in sports marketing told me that if the NHRA was ever to be a major sport in the United States, one thing they would have to do is get rid of the Sportsman classes.
And speaking of Sportsman, the NHRA could finally turn their attention to the much maligned classes and help promote the grassroots of drag racing. As far as what this might mean for Nostalgia drag racing is a bit more sketchy. The Heritage Series is run through the NHRA Museum, which more than likely stays in the hands of the NHRA. With the Sportsman classes and Nostalgia being the focus of the NHRA, they could start promoting the events and putting more emphasis on the the Heritage Series which gets almost no support from Glendora.
Again, we can only hope that some sort of promotion-minded business comes along to wrestle drag racing from the clutches of NHRA’s non-profit operation. Until then, don’t expect much in the way of advancing drag racing past the midnight television slots and being delayed while the local women’s ping pong tournament from Bangladesh finishes up.
Daryle W. Hier