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Old 03-03-2008
LVracefan
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Default NHRA Not Sold

I have been thinking about this subject for sometime and wanted to share some thoughts. I am reluctant to start a thread as I am sure it will start some back and forth jabs. But then I thought, that never stopped me before, so here it goes.

Simply put the NHRA is not big enough to be sold. Now what I mean by that and I am somewhat qualified to speak on the subject since I work with most of the big funds in NYC, LA, SF etc. (Not important what I do, I am just in the circle)

Now by our personal house hold standards, it’s a lot of money. But not in the business holding circle. NASCAR of which I am no fan of along with Bruton Smith spends more on facility than NHRA’s total net worth. (Fan of Smiths for clarification)

With this being said, in my opinion it would not be the best thing if one person ends up buying the NHRA if it’s even still for sale. For obvious reasons the type of buyer it will attract would be one of the following:

1. Someone who could afford to buy it, but not run it
2. Someone who could afford it’s but not its core business. (I.e. B. Smith)

Using #1 as an example, and I don’t mean a negative thing by it lets say someone like Torco bought it. Its intentions are good and they have the dollars to make the buy. Then they grow and one of two things happens, a health issue or the board decides it no longer likes the risk and business model. Then it gets sold off cheap and set back 10 years.

#2 simply put someone like B. Smith does not need to work that hard for that amount of money. To do it the way he would like to do it makes it a money loser for him. If he put his core into the NHRA the sport could not support it financially for quite sometime.

I now live in Las Vegas and have for quite some time. I a big big fan of big time and small time drag racing. There is a family here and you can put the pieces together that off roads race to the tune of $10m + a year. (Sort of a Jegs style family only much bigger) They could buy it and run it very successfully. They spent large dollars looking at it and could not find a way to sustain the investment.

Now the next time we all complain about the big teams, TV etc. Let’s think about how unlikely it would be, even given the budget that anyone of could do a better job running the show. NHRA grew out of grass roots and in a particular way in today’s corporate world still represents that way. Only with a lot more privileges today than even 5 years ago. I am reminded by this from one of the videos someone posted, remember when it would take 8 days to see the US Nationals on TV. We cry when BB runs over 30 mins etc. If someone else owned the NHRA would the cars go any faster than they are now? Did many of use ever think we would see those types of speeds?

I think NHRA does a hell of job for what it has to work with. They compete for very hard to get dollars and put it to good use over and over. If you stop and think about it before you speak, I am sure you will agree.

You would have to admit, if they went away overnight – the IHRA could never catch up to them in a long long time. TV, facilities, car qualities etc. Let the fun begin.
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Old 03-03-2008
gary4205
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Very well said.
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  #3  
Old 03-03-2008
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ramcharger ramcharger is offline
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Sound arguments except for Bruton. Whether you like him or not he's the best thing that could come along for NHRA. Let's face it...what NHRA was going to HD Partners for was bargain basement fire sale prices. The four tracks alone were worth two or three times the sale price. Smith is into NHRA racing, it's generally acknowledged that his tracks are the finest in the land. He's building a track in Carolina that has a national event scheduled and it's not even finished yet...barely started. I'd have to say that I have NO idea why NHRA selected HD Partners to sell to when Bruton was there all along asking every year to buy the whole nine yards and probably would have paid a LOT more for it.
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Old 03-03-2008
HEMI_guy HEMI_guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramcharger
Sound arguments except for Bruton. Whether you like him or not he's the best thing that could come along for NHRA. Let's face it...what NHRA was going to HD Partners for was bargain basement fire sale prices. The four tracks alone were worth two or three times the sale price. Smith is into NHRA racing, it's generally acknowledged that his tracks are the finest in the land. He's building a track in Carolina that has a national event scheduled and it's not even finished yet...barely started. I'd have to say that I have NO idea why NHRA selected HD Partners to sell to when Bruton was there all along asking every year to buy the whole nine yards and probably would have paid a LOT more for it.
Obviously HDP stockholders disagree. Nothing is worth more than someone's willing to pay for it. If you're right about the tracks... NHRA should sell them individually. Mr. Bruton, lets race 4 cars at a time, Smith could turn out to be a wreckless maverick and ruin our sport as we know it by doing something as nutty as not allowing sportsman classes at national events. Ask any sportsman if they'd like that. I just don't trust the man to anything further than owning some tracks. After all... that's all he's done for NASCAR.

I'm all for leaving things somewhat as they are and try to improve TV ratings. Food for thought... how fun would NHRA events be if they attracted as many fans as a NASCAR event? Pro pit areas are already overcrowded as they are, Norwalk being the exception with their super wide and roomy pit area.
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Old 03-03-2008
Billy W Billy W is offline
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Could Bruton add to the NHRA.. problably.... does he build great facilities.. no dout.....but if he got hold of the NHRA.. i would expect..IMO.... ALL seating to be assigned....no one allowed in with out a seat purchase.... Seat prices to increase... or stay the same.. if they stay the same expect extra charge for pit access...


Billy
its one of those deal.. be carefull what you wish for....
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Old 03-03-2008
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b.guggenmos b.guggenmos is offline
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Default Well Said

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy W
Could Bruton add to the NHRA.. problably.... does he build great facilities.. no dout.....but if he got hold of the NHRA.. i would expect..IMO.... ALL seating to be assigned....no one allowed in with out a seat purchase.... Seat prices to increase... or stay the same.. if they stay the same expect extra charge for pit access...


Billy
its one of those deal.. be carefull what you wish for....
I think Briton Smith had been good for the sport with the facilities he has built being the very nice. I haver never been to one of his tracks but the racers always give them high marks.

But I also have reservations with him possibly buying NHRA. I don't even know why but I just do. People who have big money are in the businees to make more big money.

I was relieved when the HD Partners deal fell apart. Again, it just did not seem to feel right.

Maybe something good will come along as I think NHRA needs good solid ownership and leadership for the long haul.

Thanks, Brian
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Old 03-03-2008
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Rowdy Rowdy is offline
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I just don't understand why some of you people wouldn't want Bruton to own the whole deal. His tracks alone are worth more than the entire NHRA. Obviously he has a vested interest in seeing the sport grow. He has the coin to bring the sport to a higher level. Both spectators and racers would benefit if he had control. He probably would build more tracks or at least bring the current NHRA properties into the 21st century. And you can bet he would hire the best people to run the deal. I see NO down side to Bruton Smith buying out those glendora boys.
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Old 03-03-2008
HEMI_guy HEMI_guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowdy
I just don't understand why some of you people wouldn't want Bruton to own the whole deal. His tracks alone are worth more than the entire NHRA. Obviously he has a vested interest in seeing the sport grow. He has the coin to bring the sport to a higher level. Both spectators and racers would benefit if he had control. He probably would build more tracks or at least bring the current NHRA properties into the 21st century. And you can bet he would hire the best people to run the deal. I see NO down side to Bruton Smith buying out those glendora boys.
see my post above ^
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Old 03-03-2008
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Bruton is a smart man. He didn't make his fortune by making dumb decisions. There is nothing written in stone that says he would force out the sportsman racers. I would expect he knows how important they are to the growth of drag racing and would do the right thing by them. As far as 4 cars racing i don't think you will ever see that again. The TV ratings will never be what you think they should be... at least not under the current regime. Nothing has changed with that in the last 25 years.
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Old 03-04-2008
gary4205
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Honestly, a lot of us, myself included, have a hard time remembering that drag racing is still on the fringes. We're never gonna be NASCAR, that ship has sailed.

We are also never gonna have one day crowds in the 100's of thousands. Not enough room.

In my opinion, NHRA needs to find ways to maximize and accentuate what they've got. We all know the TV package needs some real tweaking. (and NO, this isn't an invitation to bash Paul Page!) The whole show needs to be "kicked up a notch" so to speak.

They've done a really good job of having a consistent start time Sunday nights, at least until summer comes, and time zones where the races are held change. I love what they did for Phoenix, having qualifying late, for us insomniacs, and then repeating it Sunday morning, as a lead in to the live pre show.

I wish they would make the pre show an hour long, and do things like Evans and Big Mac did. Besides cramming in more info, like who has new sponsors! And even hit a local track, to help push that program. NASCAR even does that with both barrels!

I also think NHRA should negotiate with ABC, which like ESPN, is part of Disney, and figure out a way to have The Winters on with Friday and Saturday night shows, prime time, one and a half to two hours, then on Sunday 4 hour prime time. Same goes for the Finals (Pomona II)

Then for Indy, cram in as much as you can, with a Friday warm up show, and qualifying. Live Saturday warm up show, with the Shootouts and on through qualifying. Same goes for Sunday. Then do a big Monday show, with a 4 hour eliminations show. Indy IS a big deal, treat it like it is.

I know everyone has a cow when NHRA "makes money". I know there is a good reason to sock money away for a rainy day, literally. But, in order to grow the sport, it would be worth NHRA paying a couple of extra millions to pull a ABC/ESPN TV package for three HUGE races. (the rest on ESPN, of course.

Currently, NASCAR is getting, what, 20 hours a week in hard core coverage? More? I've grown to really enjoy them roundy rounders. For most of my life if it didn't happen at the drag strip, racing wise, it didn't really happen. The exception to that of course was Sprints on dirt, and Indy. But I love the new car NASCAR is using. great hot rod. But drag racing is still better.

This may sound snobbish, but that's not my intention. I think when everything goes to high definition, drag racing will benefit. I have HD, and while the image is better, clearer, it's the sound that grabs you. No, it's not like you are there, but with a decent home theater sound system, it's pretty darned close!
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