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is 4 wide reason for low attendance? (1 Viewer)

R.I.P. O.C.I.R.

Nitro Member
zed, all i see is the more changes the less cars and race fans. in the days of old, thursday at pomona was called "the gathering of the eagles" T/F cars showed up in incredible amounts. we had 14 this year with a 8x champ sitting on the sidelines. "houston- we have a problem." it would be interesting to look at a time line of attendance when 1/4 mile racing stopped. funny car burnouts to half track, the countdown, end of wheelstanders,etc. see what that graph would show us. add the pro stock tent era. i have a pic of tony and john side by each at half track and they have not lifted from the burnout yet. unreal pic. took 5 min. for the tire smoke to clear im sure. that ends, we get blip burnouts and wonder where the crowd went. it was so cool to sit around half track as that is where cars came to a stop from a normal burnout, it is right in front of you, and it is at idle and the reverser being locked in. there was drama, rivals, and the crowd could see the cars. the cars would spend minutes on the starting line choosing each other on with dry hops. and we wonder where the crowd went. .....side by side dry hops. someone else can explain that to this generation.
 

Rudos1

Nitro Member
I think the issue is sponsorship as far as not enough cars to race. If drivers and owners were more proactive in getting the corporate $ then guys like Tony would not have to sit out. There are ways to get the cash but it takes salesmanship and effort. Come on guys get it done...
 

Bruno

Nitro Member
I think the issue is sponsorship as far as not enough cars to race. If drivers and owners were more proactive in getting the corporate $ then guys like Tony would not have to sit out. There are ways to get the cash but it takes salesmanship and effort. Come on guys get it done...
You're kidding of course. You think operations like DSR or JFR don't have complete teams in their marketing departments pounding the pavement nonstop plus subcontracting to outside marketing companies? How about if you find the money for DSR and take a 6% commission on it? I'm pretty sure The Don would jump at that opportunity.
 

PJ

Staff Member
Staff member
Administrator
Nitro Member
I think the issue is sponsorship as far as not enough cars to race. If drivers and owners were more proactive in getting the corporate $ then guys like Tony would not have to sit out. There are ways to get the cash but it takes salesmanship and effort. Come on guys get it done...
I can guarantee drivers and owners are very proactive is chasing sponsors. It's trying to talk someone into giving you X amount of dollars to go racing and sell them on what they get in return. How they balance that against other people looking for sponsorship, how they market their business/project in general and so many other factors.
 

Rudos1

Nitro Member
There is money out there they could get. In the 80s and 90s they had sponsors like EZwider, and Wendys, etc. Time to think outside the box... There are sponsors to be had I am positive. Maybe the NHRA should find professionals to assist the smaller guys get some of that untapped cash....
 

none

Nitro Member
Two things,

Dave,
You keep telling us that the sky is falling, and I keep seeing great crowds and competition. And I am there every week. Sure, in the mid 70s there were more cars, but not more
competition. And the crowd that used to show up very early and stay very late doesn't exist anymore. Yes, there were a number of empty seats in Houston, Saturday was an 80% chance of rain, and Sunday started with 30+ mph wind. That scares fans away. But I would happily take $1 for each fan that was in Gainesville, or Vegas as my compensation for the first half of the year.


Ken,
If you really think it's that easy to sell sponsorship then do it. Everyone I know will be happy to give you a solid percentage of whatever deal you bring them. Tony has been to the last couple of races and spoke very candidly about what they are looking for. They could put together a deal for a few races, or do a small program but that's not what they want. They have the winningest driver in history, and a full hospitality, showcar, and marketing program ready to go. And they are looking for the right, long term partner. Does anybody remember when Don Prudhomme sat out a year? He could have raced, but wanted to take the time to build the right program. And he did.


Alan
 

MM

Nitro Member
There is money out there they could get. In the 80s and 90s they had sponsors like EZwider, and Wendys, etc. Time to think outside the box... There are sponsors to be had I am positive. Maybe the NHRA should find professionals to assist the smaller guys get some of that untapped cash....
Your ignorance is shown in all these "solutions" you keep coming up with that already exist...
 

R.I.P. O.C.I.R.

Nitro Member
good description of my feelings alan, but they are sincere as this sport is basically all i have done in my life. again, i have only been a crew man in this sport. other than the moped race at big willies i won!!! :) (hey, i gotta brag about that!) when seattle and other tracks had armco the wheelstanders went right thru the lights on 2 wheels till they could not be seen from the starting line. sparks set off grass fires on the big end that had to be put out. rival floppers at the county took forever to get staged. ya had 2 good burnouts, and as the cars moved in to stage the dry hops were like a street fight ready to happen. so i look at what addicted me to this sport. if today was year 1966 and i went to my first race and they are like today would i have devoted my life to it? ......vs what bill made us survive thru one of his events? it was a matter of survival at irwindale and the county at times!
 

mick

Nitro Member
dsr is now in it's 8th month of finding that new sponsor to put tony back out on the track. the report was funding for beckman and tj was thru 2020? then after that?
leah struggling to stay out there this year? matco/ant in last year of contract w/dsr i think? monster left jfr after 3 years and a championship? toyota was on and mac tools was off kalitta's car at houston, so it is apparent mac tools is not for 24 races? prudhomme finds a drill bit/tool company in montana to help the younger prock, in fact rite now his sponsor for charlotte race is listed as TBA. valvoline made a splash on clay's TF'r at pennzoil race. coors/bud/miller products no longer have interest. tobacco companies are out.......it's a tough sell out there. what would be interesting to find out is what marketing firms would value an annual car sponsorship at......nhra presents data from 24 race series. attendance. tv ratings. web traffic/online sales. where does nhra stack up against other entertainment entities reaching a similar demographic with similar attendance/viewing numbers?.....a car sponsor, not an 'official nhra widget' sponsor.
 
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PJ

Staff Member
Staff member
Administrator
Nitro Member
There is money out there they could get. In the 80s and 90s they had sponsors like EZwider, and Wendys, etc. Time to think outside the box... There are sponsors to be had I am positive. Maybe the NHRA should find professionals to assist the smaller guys get some of that untapped cash....
Actually the NHRA does help people. A few years back I was chasing a dream and contacted them, they were extremely helpful in giving me info that I would need. Yes there is money out there, the hard part is trying to convince someone to give it to you to go racing
 

Reese

Nitro Member
I was surprised that Houston had that many fans show up Saturday. Up until 7am Saturday morning, we were not planning on leaving the hotel(lucky we checked radar) because everyone was predicting a wash out.
Back to the old days. I remember going to State Capitol Raceway in Baton Rouge and Laplace dragway for the Cajun Nationals and was sometimes a sellout. State Capitol has not changed much since those days and no way they could hold a national event today.
So my question is this: What do you think the biggest events had numbers wise compared to todays tracks?
 

Porkchop

Nitro Member
zed, all i see is the more changes the less cars and race fans. in the days of old, thursday at pomona was called "the gathering of the eagles" T/F cars showed up in incredible amounts. we had 14 this year with a 8x champ sitting on the sidelines. "houston- we have a problem." it would be interesting to look at a time line of attendance when 1/4 mile racing stopped. funny car burnouts to half track, the countdown, end of wheelstanders,etc. see what that graph would show us. add the pro stock tent era. i have a pic of tony and john side by each at half track and they have not lifted from the burnout yet. unreal pic. took 5 min. for the tire smoke to clear im sure. that ends, we get blip burnouts and wonder where the crowd went. it was so cool to sit around half track as that is where cars came to a stop from a normal burnout, it is right in front of you, and it is at idle and the reverser being locked in. there was drama, rivals, and the crowd could see the cars. the cars would spend minutes on the starting line choosing each other on with dry hops. and we wonder where the crowd went. .....side by side dry hops. someone else can explain that to this generation.
The reason they dont smoke the tires as hard on a burnout is the compound and stiffness of the tire. Dry hops arent needed because of the clutches now days. As far as "where are the people" They are still in the stands but most people like you just need something to complain about. Back then the stands werent nearly as big and you are still getting well over 100,000 for an event. They still have exhibition vehicles so. As far as sponsers, they come and they go. If you remember Snake sat out an entire year in 86. It happens! Lastly if all you are gonna do is complain about the sport, stop watching!
 

R.I.P. O.C.I.R.

Nitro Member
i can not recall the last time we had a wheelstander or jet car at northwest nationals. the seattle grandstands are very weak on sunday. event is over at 3:30-4pm. it is light out till 10 pm up here at that time of year. so you can spend your money on a half day of drag racing, or spend the entire day at the hydro boat races. anytime after noon on sunday the mello yello outfit shuts down. it becomes a clearing house after the noon hour on sunday as losing teams pack up asap and food stands start shutting down. i can see why mello yello closes down, you can not buy the product anywhere in the northwest. it is not available anywhere near here.
 

mick

Nitro Member
..........So my question is this: What do you think the biggest events had numbers wise compared to todays tracks?
attendance sure is a closely guarded secret. there is no hesitation to tell us there is a sellout, but then why can't attendance be given for the other races? or when it is announced that there is a
sell out, then what is the number? is it 20k? 25k? 30k? what's the number? back in the 90's the digger used to publish attendance figures. i can remember a published figure of 105k at BIR one year; over the course of the 4 day event. BIR only holds about 25k in their bleachers, so do i believe the 105k number that was published? no, not really, but i would believe 70-80k over 4 days. the place used to be packed. but if nhra was counting every pass sold, including every racer's purchased tickets for family and crew, plus any and all promotional tickets, either claimed or not, then all of a sudden your total number goes up.......i'd like to think nhra draws 15k - 20k per day on nat. event saturdays and sundays?
 

Nunz

Nitro Member
Some people here seem to only dwell on the negatives. And sure, there are plenty. But I don’t understand the constant comparisons to the ‘70s and ‘80s, or whatever someone sees as the golden era. EVERYTHING changes, especially a sport over 60 years old. There’s a lot to enjoy about today’s big show. I’m not going to list all that’s good, because I’ve done it before, as have others. The biggest problems today are the cost of racing, and the changing face of advertising. There IS a lot of money out there, but it takes an entirely different approach to go after it. All I know is, I’m going to continue to enjoy drag racing, as it is today, and I wish the people who continuously long for the old days would take the time to really appreciate what we have going on right now.
 

Muddy

Nitro Member
I posted this earlier in this thread as a response to why I quit attending after the four wide in Charlotte; "Alan, as best I recall the Vegas fall 2 wide was my last nat'l event. But I'm unsure what year that was. I didn't quit all at once but tapered off over a few years, perhaps 3 or 4. 4 wide just seemed to crystalize my dissatisfaction with drag racing as it exists today. I understand that it may need to be the way it is because of many influences and that's unfortunate because it's lost most of the things that made it attractive to me. I do occasionally watch the TV broadcast (mostly nitro) but don't get a lot of satisfaction from it. I never watch 4 wide and can't tell you who won last weekend. It's just not enjoyable to me but I understand it may be to others and that's ok with me. I still like cackle cars and until the reunions got so big I enjoyed them. I think they should split the race from the reunions and let us old guys have our reunion without the hassle."

I sure didn't mean to imply, demand or state that we should ever go back to the way it was although I think every person who participated favors that period they raced but most realize it can never remain the same. Many things in your lifetime will change and you'll no longer enjoy it with the same gusto that you once did. Enjoy it while you can and move on without constantly complaining about the changes. If asked, express your opinion and then shut the heck up. Shoot I'm so old I remember when some hated nitro, then funny cars or factory experimental or whatever they were called and then rear engined cars. I could go on but won't...you're welcome.
 

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