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  #1  
Old 03-26-2018
a21stud a21stud is offline
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Default IHRA blew a great opportunity for promotional success.

Unfortunately IHRA’s Mike Dunn and Chris Lesinski found out the hard way you don’t mess with the main money maker of rival NHRA. IHRA’s idea of a new World Top Fuel program (T-1)using some of NHRA’s experienced nitro talent was stillborn when NHRA yanked their nitro teams back in line quickly. They shouldn’t have given up on the idea, just where they were trying to get talent for a new racing class.

Dunn and Lesinski should have looked to the many talented and experienced Pro Mod teams to develop their T-1 program. Pro Mod has more ready to run drag racing teams around the world than any other 200+ mph class.

NHRA has been extremely slow to support Pro Mod and only let them finally race on their stage after requiring the Pro Mod teams to find their own purse paying sponsor. Even with finding their own sponsors, there are many Pro Mod teams that still do not have much of a chance of ever racing at an NHRA national event. NHRA’s stepchild treatment of Pro Mod is likely due to Pro Mod being originally developed and supported by rival IHRA. That would have made it a natural for IHRA's new leadership to kiss and make up while giving the Pro Mod teams top billing on IHRA's stage.

IHRA’s Dunn and Lesinski missed an opportunity as there were and are plenty of Pro Mod teams around the country that might well have loved to have put their various proven “power added” Pro Mod motors it in a uniquely modified T/F style dragster chassis that utilizes electronic traction control. While electronic traction control is outlawed in the NHRA classes, it works extremely well for the outrageously quick, small radial tired cars in the southeast. Adding electronic traction control to a Pro Mod, power adder motor in a lightweight and aerodynamic new chassis would eliminate the uncontrolled tire spin and most dropped cylinders/valves/banged blowers/etc. that plagues the NHRA nitro teams. If IHRA embraced electronic traction control in a new T-1 program, it could drastically reduce downtime needed to clean up after blown motors while adding a fan pleasing variety of turbo, nitrous and blower motors for those spectators to cheer for.

But the real blessing to IHRA Drag Racing would have been the addition of new crowd pleasing show with new stars while not starting a war with the NHRA or their nitro stars.

Putting current Pro Mod motors and power adders into a shorter, very aerodynamic chassis with either a Garlits style mono-wing or unique wings incorporated in the body itself and not on the tall stands would make the racecars lighter and IHRA unique while also reducing support vehicles expenses and making the racecars easier to transport.

NHRA has mistakenly believed that Pro Stockers couldn’t run 210 mph safely unless they were modified into identical looking, aerodynamic lump bodies. But Donald Long and the many RVW racers have proved that to be wrong. (Especially after last week’s $101,000. winner, Mark Micke, used a boxy Malibu with its dinky wing to make multiple 220 mph passes in winning the biggest single race purse paid in drag racing.)

Wouldn’t it have been fun to watch the IHRA’s new T-1 class’s elapsed times drop and their MPH soar as the teams figured out the maximum potentials of the various new power adder combinations on traction control in a lighter vehicle? Would the Crest tooth paste backed, American Dental Association sponsored nitrous powered ride “be the hot setup or would a Blackhawk helicopter style turbo be the hot setup for the Army’s newly sponsored Turbo T-1 racecar?

Come on IHRA. We've heard how deep the pockets of your current ownership is. Don't fold and bail as there is money to be made. It's not to late to do this... is it?
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a21stud only refers to the more common 21 stud flathead motors early drag racers coveted before the Chy. Hemi and sbc came along.
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  #2  
Old 03-28-2018
a21stud a21stud is offline
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Wow… with the exception of the Summit Racing sponsorship of their bracket and index classes, IHRA really is toast. (How long do you think Summit will pour money into IHRA’s duplication of NHRA’s bracket and index programs.)

Two days ago I made some rather outlandish statements in the post above. I left plenty of room for people to po-po my statements and … there isn’t even enough interest in IHRA on a quality drag racing forum to get one response. Heck, most of the people that are on this forum didn't even waste their time to read it.

There isn’t any interest in anything IHRA anymore. How screwed up is that? People have been predicting IHRA’s demise since IHRA’s first year of existence and, I don’t see them saving it as a true promotional sanctioning body this time.

I witnessed the first AHRA collapse after Jim Tice died and while AHRA going away wasn’t good for drag racing at the time, IHRA’s final demise may not affect drag racing nearly as much. There are so many quality groups like the NMCA, NMRA, the Duck’s races, the PDRA plus Drag Illustrated jumping into drag racing promotion along with many other strong regional groups, it’s now obvious that IHRA won’t even be missed.

Unfortunately, IHRA’s final demise will probably be blamed on Mike Dunn. But it’s Chris Lensinski who was last in charge of the IHRA and missed the opportunity to successfully promote an alternative to NHRA's big show.

Remember IHRA had 100+ sanctioned tracks and a 40 year history that, while needing skilled promotional leadership, had potential to still be a valuable asset to drag racing. They may still be the sanction of a bunch of tracks, but I bet it's only because it's a cheap/easy deal compared to NHRA sanction. I wonder how long "the cheap/easy deal" will be of much value to those track owners?
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a21stud only refers to the more common 21 stud flathead motors early drag racers coveted before the Chy. Hemi and sbc came along.
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  #3  
Old 03-28-2018
Yvonne* Yvonne* is offline
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There's no point in building a race car that wouldn't fit in other organizations. What's happened in the last decade is, as you posted, there are several good orgs that offer great racing, payouts and solid programs currently having success and good followings. Nobody is going to build a car that they can't take to more than one series now because the biggest danger, as IHRA is proving, is if that org folds then you're sitting on a race car you can't use as you originally intended. As we've seen a bit with MM Pro Stock class already and I would even wager, the NHRA PS class too. (Although they could go to Comp or T/S... many don't want to because they only want to race the class they built the car for apparently.)

The current owner group of IHRA is in full on slash mode. As far as I can tell, they have invested almost zero into a future plan. There have no growth plan, no fan plan, no professional class plan either. Until there is some inkling in those directions, I wouldn't hold out much hope at this point. And yes, it is sad.
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Old 04-02-2018
HEMI_guy HEMI_guy is offline
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Gotta say though, a class like a21 proposed woudbe real interesting! How long before they'd be in the 4's?
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  #5  
Old 04-02-2018
rognelson77 rognelson77 is offline
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As outsiders, that do not know all the costs with running a professional program , IE Insurance for Nitro cars, Advertising costs and the like, it is hard to realistically say IHRA is not making smart business decisions.

Should they have tried to keep the Pro show they had a few years ago, although I see all of the current promod associations and series really affecting IHRA running a series on promod.

For example, within 4 hour drive time from my home in Phila pa area, I can almost drive to a promod event every weekend from Mid april to early october,

Cecil county running 6 promod races, Northeast outlaw promods, running 8 races this year, Maryland internatational running at least 3 promod races,
Virginia International running nhra and 2 PDRA events.
Not to say the shows Atco and maple grove will be putting on additionally.

And you have PDRA ADRL and ducks races as well as NMCA having some promod races.

The only way to really know what is best would be to see how much income the last year IHRA had their pro series which did have promods.

Just my 2 cents
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  #6  
Old 04-02-2018
HEMI_guy HEMI_guy is offline
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They'd "just" have to offer something the others can't or don't.
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  #7  
Old 04-03-2018
Yvonne* Yvonne* is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HEMI_guy View Post
They'd "just" have to offer something the others can't or don't.
This is code for money $$$$. LOL Its takes money to be "different" and even then there is no promise you'll talk racers into it OR if you can bring the fans for it.
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  #8  
Old 04-03-2018
a21stud a21stud is offline
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Pro Mod started with only one place to race, IHRA. All the RVW cars weren't exactly legal anywhere but the Duck races and there are now lots of them. The X275 and Ultra Street cars don't fit NHRA, IHRA or NMCA/NMRA heads up classes either but there sure are a lot of guys building/racing heads up with them.

My suggestion was to use the Pro Mod power train with traction control in a new chassis or even a 125" funnycar chassis with bodies that either have to be easily recognizable or very aerodynamic but obviously not NHRA funny car or T/F looking. IHRA would need to decide what they believe would be the most "paying crowd" pleasing that enough Pro Mod guys would want to race. Fairly Stock looking or radical new aerodynamic looking.

My suggestion was definitely not to just have another Pro Mod race with IHRA sanction. That would be just as suicidal as IHRA moving the World Series of Drag Racing to Memphis.
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a21stud only refers to the more common 21 stud flathead motors early drag racers coveted before the Chy. Hemi and sbc came along.

Last edited by a21stud; 04-04-2018 at 02:05 PM.
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