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Maybe between the Covid-19 and jumping on the P.C. "take a knee mindset" is hitting them where it hurts. Top Fuel's McMillen Sounds Off On "Ludicrous" NHRA Payout Decrease More factors are not helping most TV coverage is on premium cable and Satelitte channels and a lot of people whose incomes are now at risk are cutting them. When sponsors are not getting their advertising dollars worth they will cut and run and the high dollar teams will lose a lot of their race budgets and smaller teams may just have to pack it in
 

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John Force has certainly been an astute businessman and I am sure he weighed the pros and cons of bringing his teams to the track this year. While I am sure a lack of fans was one of those cons, I don't think it was everything. He is also one of the few racers that has an operation that operates within its budget. No bucks, no Buck Rogers basically. He probably found it extremely hard to ask his sponsors to pony up the serious money involved when there was certainly a downside to what the sponsors could possibly receive for those dollars.

My take on NHRA is really not a good one. A number of years ago, my Super Comp license and membership fees jumped from a bit under $300 for 3 years to just over $500. Plus inspection fees doubled up. For someone that needed the competition license just to compete at local NHRA tracks - that was quite a shock. I said then that it looked to me as if the suits at NHRA were on a binge to wring ever dollar out of the organization that they could get. About 2 years after that, NHRA went on the "for sale" list and as far as I know it still is. Then they discontinued the National Dragster as a printed publication and lowered the benefits of the insurance program that members sometimes have to rely on in the case of an on-track accident. At times, they have had full control of their broadcast and made a total mess of it. Then gotten into deals with ESPN2 and PAID THEM to actually show it, sometime after the air hockey finals were settled. It's amazing how many wrong steps the organization has taken since Wally passed away but the truth is, they lost focus of what the organization was supposed to be. This latest move is rather simple to understand. The monies are not coming in the door and the golden goose may have run out of golden eggs. I'm like everyone else, I know that most of the Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock people are wealthy, seriously wealthy. But it's the bottom half of the card that you have to feel for - those people may have some good money too but my thinking is that it's more of a balancing act for them. A good weekend making a lap or two in eliminations might be the difference between getting to the next race or not. Everyone has their dreams and it's a damned shame that the management of NHRA has mismanaged it almost to the point of destroying it. Guess we will see what happens next.
 

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Hopefully the tracks don't die too.
Agreed. For the most part tracks are part of an association to simply get the insurance package in place. Purchasing it singly on their own would be a huge cost to them. We have one local facility that over it's 30+ years has switched sanctions repeatedly in an effort to get the best cost on insurance. We also have tracks in the area that are not associated with any organization and I am very wary of competing at those places.
 

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The era of internal combustion engine powered vehicles is in its waning years , the associated racing/ advertisement is declining with it . young people ( under 40 especially) don't , for the most part , care about " cars" other than transportation ..
 

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You're sorta right on that one. I think if we're talking the masses - then dead on. But I do see more and more younger people at the car events I attend. I try to make it to the Asphalt Angels car show every year in February just to check out what people are working on and the crowd has a real good mix of young and old. At the track almost every year there's a new handful of young people getting involved and they're pretty sharp too. They yank out that damned laptop then make fuel and timing adjustments in a couple of minutes that would take me 15-20 minutes to accomplish. It's fun racing against them too - good competitors.
 

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All racing is suffering from the persons in charge that want big takes $$$$$$$$.
NASCAR is doomed with the stupid segments, stop the race line up again and go for 4 segments. Just stupid, don’t watch it. Drag racing just shows the Three classes of top dogs no regular door slammers. Don’t watch that neither. They ruined it. Anything that has the word “insurance” involved is doomed.

Street racing is where it’s at. Not legal but has a dedicated following.
 

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I'm going to put my money on Coca-Cola here. My guess is that somewhere deep in that contract it says something about "failure to perform" and they have NHRA by the short hairs on it. Since they had already withheld a payment on the contract (and no indication that they ever paid it), that signals to me that such a clause does exist. Overall, NHRA is a small time player in the world of corporations and I would be certain that Coca-Cola has the better lawyers.

The bigger downside here is that this is going to end up being a domino effect with other sponsors, not only for NHRA but the individual teams as well. If and I believe it is a big "IF" they are even financially able to hold any of the remaining races for this year, the odds of them finding a major corporation to back them for next year are akin to climbing Mt. Everest in your flip-flops. Let's not forget that NASCAR with their huge TV contract was unable to land a title sponsor and ended up splitting it among four different outfits. NHRA pays to have their races shown on television - how do you entice a big sponsor with that carrot?
 

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After a little bit of research I was stunned to find out two things. One is that CW is interested in sponsoring them next year and two is that Coca-Cola was paying $5.6m for the sponsorship rights. I guess I had it in my head that the money would be a lot better. That works out to about $233k per event.
 
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