Probably not going to write anything earth shattering here, but I’m sure some of these thoughts rolling around in this empty head of mine are the same a lot of other people are thinking
Okay, so as recently as Monday afternoon, we finally have a “revised” NHRA schedule (www.dragracingedge.com), as if it hadn’t been “revised” before. Whether it comes to pass or not is anyone’s guess. The actual release sent had no real schedule other than to note a start date of August 1. It wasn’t until I searched around that I found the actual schedule of tracks and dates. I would have thought that should have been attached to the NHRA release but it wasn’t. I honestly don’t know if the date schedule was even supposed to be published but I saw it on so many other sites that it obviously wasn’t very secretive.
The other question with the Monday release was a schedule for Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, the divisional events; the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Series; Mickey Thompson Tires NHRA Top Fuel Harley Series; and SAMtech.edu NHRA Factory Stock Showdown series. Officially the release mentioned they will be released following the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series announcement. Does following the Mello Yell Drag Racing Series announcement mean hours, days or weeks? As I write this neither has come through while we all sit and wait.
Now we’ll all have to wonder if the August 1 date even comes to pass. And of course, I would imagine the individual states have to approve of having fans in the stands, or standing shoulder to shoulder in the pits breathing in nitro fumes while a fuel car warms up. Oh, I forgot, I thought I read somewhere that nitro fumes and burnout smoke kills the virus.
And the question could be “Will fans even want to attend an event where social distancing and face masks might not be a priority?”
Or another one, on the schedule it shows 16 weeks in a row of racing. While the pros will be run on a two-day schedule with two qualifiers on Saturday followed by Sunday eliminations. The sportsman cars will be run on Friday with probably eliminations throughout the remaining two days. But 16 weeks in a row? I wonder how many teams will be able to withstand that type of marathon?
I can tell you one thing, people want to go racing, just like they want to do some many other things. This past weekend, over 300 cars showed up to race in Tennessee. Over 500 showed up in Oklahoma for three $5,000-to-win races. In Pennsylvania, an ATV park was opened, a 2,000-acre place with trails and the like where it was reported on the news (yeah, like we really can believe the news), but they had interviewed one of the patrons who said there were probably four times the amount of people there that they normally would have.
Now if tracks don’t open, will that perpetuate street racing? There have been some (not racers I don’t believe) who have expressed that opening too soon can be detrimental to the effort. However, as some others have also said, if something is open and you don’t feel safe going, don’t go. If you don’t want to wear a mask, don’t wear one. And you shouldn’t be looked at as an uncaring person. That’s what freedom is all about.
I am happy to see more tracks beginning to take an initiative on their own and open up. If the NHRA schedule doesn’t come to pass, it is refreshing to know that drag racing is alive and well. I believe there are something like over 200 tracks in this country, each of whom now have the unique opportunity to rethink the way their business has been run. Could it be that more of an emphasis will be placed on having fun than racing for big bucks?
Just some thoughts. What are yours?