DRAG RACING IS DEAD – 5/29/19

First, here’s a question: I can understand why the National Anthem is played prior to Sunday’s eliminations for national events, but it almost bothers me as to why it’s played prior to just alcohol eliminations at Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series divisional events. I guess that’s not exactly a question but more a statement.

Here’s the rub: Eliminations have usually already begun at the divisional events yet the National Anthem and prayer is played prior to when the alcohol cars run. Why not play it prior to eliminations themselves? There’s the question.

It’s almost as if the sportsman cars don’t count. Or do they? Prior to eliminations at a bracket race it’s played, why do we wait until after sportsman eliminations have begun to kick off the event with a prayer and a salute to our nation?

Okay, so much for that “question.” Here’s a statement; not a true one but one we hear sometimes: It appears that drag racing is dying. Not sure I agree though. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s all we might hear and see. Are we seeing dwindling fields of participants at some events? Is it becoming harder to get new sponsors involved? Are there some events where fans are disguised as aluminum seats? Yes, yes and yes. But that’s not the big picture.

Yes, there are all sorts of excuses as to the above, but in the big picture, drag racing is rather healthy. The problem is that it has become very splintered in that there are so many other types of drag races to contend with. There’s the outlaw classes, No Prep, big dollar bracket events and the like. Look at it like this: If there are only a thousand racers in the country (and there are way more than that), if there is one event to go to on a weekend, chances are you’d get all thousand of them there. However, now imagine ten events on the same weekend and it means that each might only draw 100 at each. Will each one of those ten look “dead?” Yes!

And the same goes for fans. Thirty, 40 or 50 years ago, you only had a limited number of events to go to. Now, it’s almost endless as to the number of events; not to mention the tons of other things to do on a weekend; that in some cases each one might draw little participants and/or fans.

I’ve said this for a while in terms of advertising; although it’s hard to imagine doing it any other way. Imagine that each reader of a magazine or newspaper had $1,000 burning a hole in their pocket looking for a place to spend it. If there were ten advertisers, chances are each had a ten-percent chance of earning some of that money. Now when there are 100 advertisers, the odds drop as to each one’s chance to make a sale. But again, it’s hard to imagine any other way to advertise a product. It’s just something that has to be done in today’s market. They say when business is slow, advertise more, and that is the plain truth. In that regard, it’s the reason you get tons of junk mail not only in your physical mailbox but also that e-mail one as well. Everyone is looking for a chance at your money or for your attendance at an event. It’s really just a fact of life that as we grow, our lives just become more cluttered with things.

So, is drag racing dying? No, no and no. Certainly not. One of the problems could be that as we age, we become a little jaded. Maybe even like the senior citizen sitting on the porch yelling at the kids, “Get off my lawn!” When in fact, we should be welcoming those kids to come on in and tear it up. Youth brings exuberance, energy and enthusiasm.

OMG, now I sound like some self-help guru. Screw that. Drag racing is dead! (Not really!)