Steve's comments on the points adjustment are spot on. A 558 point lead he worked hard to achieve, only to have it taken away by a "welfare" points system. I like the part where he said the other teams had the same chance to gather points and they didn't. What a messed up deal trying to be like the stock car series...…….its a crock.
How many additional ticket sales do you think the Clowndown generates during the last six races?
How many additional ticket sales does the Clowndown generate for just the World Finals alone? 10% of the audience? 20%? 0%?
Multiply your “guessed” increase in attendance times just a $60.00 ticket and that’s their gross increase over running a real and traditional straight up championship.
BUT... what about the loses in attendance from deleting the value of the summer and “smaller/less important” races? Are there any? Or is the NHRA nitro show just a show and people buy tickets before the Clowndown just to see the NHRA “fire and thunder” show?
Some of the racers just asked that a rule change to slow them down not be implemented during the Countdown
Wow! The racers want fair and equal racing to determine this YEARS World Champion.
But with the Clowndown they don’t have that now.
All very valid points. However Billy admitted they were in test mode and that bit them in Reading trying to run a different combination and going back to what they know put them both in the finals here. Why would you be in test mode and not attack mode when it comes to the countdown? It has been the rule just as long as we have had 1,000 foot nitro racing and neither are going away any time soon. The rules of the game are the same yearly, how you choose to play the game is up to you.
Secondly, if he didn't lose round 1 at Reading, Steve could have won the title under the old system in St. Louis. As it is, he would likely win it in Charlotte. So if all races pay the same points and all races have the same value... What value does Dallas, Las Vegas, and Pomona have to a Top Fuel driver when the championship is already over? Do the fans show up to see a fire and thunder show? Do they show up to see record ET and speed? Do they show up to see their favorite driver win at the event they attend? Or do they show up to count points? The answer is likely any/or all of the above depending on who you ask.
de31168 good points also.
All NHRA issues have multiple vested interest parties. Racers, fans, sponsors, track owners and... NHRA.
Regarding the racers: I think it was the 2nd year of the Countdown that Hot Rod Fuller’s team tried the special Countdown strategy of parking their spring races winning car to save it for the fall races when it counted. Didn’t work but seemed like a good idea.
Some may remember that the original change to the Countdown was announced In January and teams had no time to develop the strategies they use now.
Hot Rod, Robert Hight and Greg Anderson would have won a championship under the old system that year and it would have been Hight and Fuller’s first.
Hight won his first a short time later from the 10th spot but Hot Rod never won a NHRA World Championship. You’ve got to wonder if Hot Rod would still be racing T/F had he been that years champion.
From a track owners perspective you would think they would know that NHRA would only allow a Countdown race to be in one of their strongest markets at a track with the largest seating.
With St. Louis having sellouts the last two years, is it time for Curtis Francois to Increase the seating? St. Louis is a great market but could Gainesville handle two races a year? NHRA doesn’t share the revenue there as they own it and... it also seats more ticket buyers.
It would be interesting to know which Countdown track brings in the least profit and If NHRA has a more profitable venue elsewhere.
Its a tough spot to be in for national event track owners with races in the hot weather. They used to be able to switch to IHRA or AHRA to get their race in better weather and have a better chance of hitting a financial home run. Just the ability to do that made NHRA easier to negotiate with. Hot weather track owners also know that their summer race is little value to the top cars and their paying fans won’t be seeing the “stars” at their best. Do you think Dallas, Topeka, Denver and the Western swing plus Brainerd have the ability to negotiate for a better deal with NHRA should they develop a facility and market worthy of one?
Just the fact that Charlotte, Vegas and Pomona tracks are profitably promoting two races a year plus the fact that NHRA solely owns Gainesville should make NHRA hard to negotiate with for all the other Countdown tracks.
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