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What killed NASCAR? Is NHRA making the same mistakes?

#2
Pretty much everything that gets talked about in our sport, from the outlandish costs, to the pay-to-play drivers and the overlooked importance of asses in the seats. I could go on and on about that video and the parallels to drag racing........

Thanks for posting it, David. It was definitely worth the listen.

Sean D
 
#3
Very interesting video. I agree with everything said, plus I'll add taking the driver out of the equation. Today's race cars of ALL kinds have so many aero-aids that they scope of people that can be competitive in them is much larger. I read an old article years ago about Willie Borsch and read his blow-by-blow of what it took to drive an AA/FA. I remember him saying he left at little more half-throttle, then worked on not over-driving the car to keep it in the lane. Today's stomp and steer cars take some of that finesse and skill out of the equation, both in NASCAR and NHRA. However, here's my thinking: know how everyone bitches about money ruining racing? With less money, we're seeing the re-emergence of the little guy, and that's a bonus in my opinion. The less money to be made, the less high dollar people and marketing partners there are. I'm OK with Jeff Diehl, Paul Smith, Troy Buff and other guys I can relate to in the pits that may not be there otherwise. That's my glass-is-half-full view...
 

TSK

Staff member
Nitro Member
#4
You could have substituted "NHRA" in place of "NASCAR" and have a hard time telling which sanctioning body was the subject of the video.
The attendance part for NHRA hasn't been really strong for a long time.
I've attached two pictures, shot at least 15 years apart at Texas Motorplex. I've attended many national events there, usually from the same seat.
I'm not exactly sure of the year of the first picture. But, it's not after 2001.
The second picture was shot at the 2016 race.
There's just not a whole lot of difference.
In the late '70s, or early '80s, either Car Craft or Hot Rod Magazine had an article which said "the year 2000 will probably see no drag racing."
I took both magazines at the time and can't remember which said that. But that quote really stuck in my head because that was the time frame of soaring fuel and insurance costs. I had a feeling it was going to be prophetic. Thankfully, it hasn't. Yet.
But I don't see drag racing going away completely. I'd like to think that as long as there are two people with cars, they are going to see which car is fastest. And I want to be there to watch.
Ennis earlier.jpeg
Ennis 2016.JPG
 
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#5
I think our sport is doing good and going to get healthier, some top fuel cars are coming back next year. I didn’t want to see pro stock go to 18 races. But I think it’s might be better then we all think. I went to Dover for the nascar race in the fall and the fan experience is way better in NHRA than nascar. Pit passes are like $430 each! Plus the seat were barely 3/4 full Also you DIDINT EVEN NEED EARPLUGS! I think it’s super good that every ticket is a pitpass in nhra.
 
#6
I wonder if over exposure isn't part of the problem. Back in the 60's- 70's there was little or no tv coverage. But Connecticut Dragway could pack the stands with 15-20 thousand fans to see a 16 car funny car show. Now every NHRA race is on national tv and they have a hard time filling the stands.
 
#7
I've attached two pictures, shot at least 15 years apart at Texas Motorplex. I've attended many national events there, usually from the same seat.
I'm not exactly sure of the year of the first picture. But, it's not after 2001.
The second picture was shot at the 2016 race.
There's just not a whole lot of difference.
It looks like they added some more empty seats in the latter picture.
 
#8
I wonder if over exposure isn't part of the problem. Back in the 60's- 70's there was little or no tv coverage. But Connecticut Dragway could pack the stands with 15-20 thousand fans to see a 16 car funny car show. Now every NHRA race is on national tv and they have a hard time filling the stands.

Good point 75" flat screen, surround sound, AC, snacks., no down time, ...................I would personally still rather be there
 
#9
I wonder if over exposure isn't part of the problem. Back in the 60's- 70's there was little or no tv coverage. Now every NHRA race is on national tv and they have a hard time filling the stands.
With they way people are now, Instead of waiting in traffic, standing in line, spending more than their budget allows, They can simply watch the race on tv or DVR it and watch it when time allows.
 
#12
I went to Dover for the nascar race in the fall and the fan experience is way better in NHRA than nascar.
I went to Atlanta Motor Speedway in February for the Folds of Honor 500, my first taste of NASCAR after 44 years of flying the Atlantic to attend NHRA races. I didn't travel all that way to be disappointed, but I was. Spectacular facility, but the stands were 3/4, maybe even 4/5, empty -- rain on the day didn't help, but did it cause 40,000 to stay away? The atmosphere was flat and a distinct air of despondency hung over the whole thing.

Contrast that with the Four-Wides at Las Vegas six weeks later. The place was packed all three days and the atmosphere was hopping in the pits even at 8.30 on Friday morning.
 
#13
I wonder if over exposure isn't part of the problem. Back in the 60's- 70's there was little or no tv coverage. But Connecticut Dragway could pack the stands with 15-20 thousand fans to see a 16 car funny car show. Now every NHRA race is on national tv and they have a hard time filling the stands.
I think 23 National events is killing the Show! Too many races and to few sponsored teams. You think Pro mod would get 28-30 cars if they ran every race???
 
#16
How about adding value for the fan, racers and aftermarket.
1-free parking at all national events
2-$20 a head, under 16 free
3-Holders of a NHRA competition license and number free admission to national events
4-Allow coolers in events
5-If you advertise in ND, you can set up at the Nitro Mall -free
6-All NHRA management personnel at all races, in the pits and in the stands mingling with the customers
7-Allow teams, large and small, to sell shirts out of their trailer.
8-$100 entry fee for all sportsman cars and lose the silly grading points deal
9-$1 a pound ice cream at all events

If the place is packed with cars and spectators, wouldn't one think it might be easier to sell NHRA to corporate America?
 
#18
No one wants to state a BIG reason why NASCAR is "dying" because of "political correctness," so I am going to be "that guy" who does: The whole "shtick" of a bunch of hillbillies that cannot enunciate a complete sentence going around in circles 200 times and fistfighting when they get into a wreck simply does not work on Millennials and Gen-Z'ers.
 
#19
No one wants to state a BIG reason why NASCAR is "dying" because of "political correctness," so I am going to be "that guy" who does: The whole "shtick" of a bunch of hillbillies that cannot enunciate a complete sentence going around in circles 200 times and fistfighting when they get into a wreck simply does not work on Millennials and Gen-Z'ers.
When was the last time you went to a NASCAR race Sam?o_O That more describes a lot of the NASCAR fans.:)
 
#20
No one wants to state a BIG reason why NASCAR is "dying" because of "political correctness," so I am going to be "that guy" who does: The whole "shtick" of a bunch of hillbillies that cannot enunciate a complete sentence going around in circles 200 times and fistfighting when they get into a wreck simply does not work on Millennials and Gen-Z'ers.
I'm with Eugene on this one, the NASCAR Champion is from Connecticut, runner up from New Jersey, 3rd place from Bakersfield, CA. and 4th calls Las Vegas, NV. home. All Very well spoken, and I think we had as many fights as they did this year.

Also, NASCAR isn't "Dead" they are in a transitional time, as are all sports. At a seminar at PRI this week an industry insider read a story by a professional journalist that stated (I'm paraphrasing) "Drag Racing is dead, it will disappear in 5 years, there is no interest, no sponsors, and fans have seen it all. There is no future for the sport." Dated 1971.

I don't care what your business is, you adjust, constantly, you grow when times allow, you pull back when necessary, you hope that you recognize quickly and react correctly. Sometimes you nail it as if you had a crystal ball, and sometimes you don't. And you hope what you learn will help in the next cycle (which will be different).

The sky is NOT falling. We will adjust and we will survive.

As always, this is Just My Opinion.
Alan
 

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