NHRA Reducing Event Purses for Remainder of 2020?

NHRA Reducing Event Purses for Remainder of 2020?

Curious - As the major sponsor of the Pro Series, what does the Mello Yello money cover then? I always thought it was event prizemoney, championship payout and series marketing expenses. With only 5 events remaining, I think this may be the cue for low-buck teams to pack up shop and re-group for '21. There's just no real incentive to bust your balls and lose money for 5 more races. Thoughts?



  • slugbelchslugbelch Senior Member
  • slugbelchslugbelch Senior Member

    ND 1995:

  • slugbelchslugbelch Senior Member

    "Earlier it was announced that the 2020 purses would be cut from $50k to $35k, which is a 30% winner purse cut, but to now drop it another $20k is asinine, to say the least. Add these changes to the fact that so many people have been let go, and you really have to ask what kind of financial distress NHRA is really in. That will be something for you to ponder."


  • slugbelchslugbelch Senior Member
    edited September 9

    If Big Jim Dunn is still racin' after this, God bless him.

    There's two weeks to look at car counts...

  • It is not the beginning of the end, its the finals...The end started 20 years ago!

  • HEMI_guyHEMI_guy Senior Member

    So they pay 17th place purse to ALL participants equally when 16 or fewer teams show up. Now I can see why they don't seem very concerned with car counts.

  • WillyWilly Administrator

    Doug Foley sounds the alarm....


    ....now will anyone in Glendora , and with PRO, listen?

  • Tim CharletTim Charlet Senior Member
    edited September 9

    Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'm willing to bet that NHRA/Mello Yello have some sort of agreement with regards to revenue for sponsorship being related to the amount of events completed. It wouldn't shock me to learn that the money coming IN from Mello Yello is drastically reduced this year - due to the lack of completed events.

    A little transparency from NHRA and Mello Yello in this case would probably go a long way - not only with racers, but fans who speculate on the reasons.

    And with regards to Foley's comments - he isn't wrong, but it's a bit Rabble-Rousing for my taste. For the past decade, I've believed that the NHRA model for professional drag racing is broken. The organization was built to award trophies and a bit of prize money - as drag racing was more of a hobby than a profession. That all changed when Winston came on board.

    I was one of the few that had high hopes for the HD Partners acquisition of the Professional side of NHRA's - and allow the sanctioning body to focus on grassroots racing. I still believe that would be the best way forward. Professional Drag Racing needs to be structured like a business - managed like a business - and promoted like a business - just like any other major sport, to get what Foley and everyone else seems to want.

  • Tim has made some very smart comments about the PRO side of the business...On the sportsman side of the business, the payouts and the contingencies monies have gone to the negative....In the mid seventies a winner of a sportsman eliminator could make $5,000-$7500 depending on stickers on side of car..... If times had stayed with the rate of inflation, a winner should at least make $20,000, to put up with the NHRA crap, racing in the middle of the night!!

  • oddyhahnoddyhahn Senior Member

    Shut it down. It’s over johnnie

  • slugbelchslugbelch Senior Member
    edited September 10

    Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, I wonder if they should have shut it down after the Arizona Nat's, have a weird World Champ(s) like Doug Kalitta, who finally won one, but with an asterisk. Or do you keep on plowing through this and at the end, reduced payout or not, have an 11 race season, and if Doug stays the points leader as he has been since the Winternationals (Race 1), the NHRA would have the asterisk and not Doug and the others.

    Jim Brown: "When it was time to play, I was there."

  • HEMI_guyHEMI_guy Senior Member
    edited September 10

    so there should be asterisks for all the championships won with 12 or fewer events?

  • slugbelchslugbelch Senior Member
    edited September 10

    NHRA 2020 Champions* = Reduced schedule due to global pandemic.

    Doug and others 2020 Championship* = Only 2 races completed due to global pandemic.

    Of course it can be worded any way, like Glendora's letter saying "After extensive discussions between NHRA and professional teams" and Terry McMillen's recent interview where he said he contacted a bunch of professional racers and none have had any talks, lol

  • HEMI_guyHEMI_guy Senior Member

    Only 2 races?

  • oliveroliver Senior Member

    ha! yeah, that would mean all those seasons where the Finals was the only "points" race & determined the champ are *

  • oliveroliver Senior Member

    hate to say it but yeah, when Wally hired that grifter Compton to take his place is when it started

    didn't help either when the competition, IHRA & AHRA shot themselves in the foot leaving it all to Glendora

  • If the Tice family had stayed healthy and had a business progression plan, after Jim Jr...they still would be a great alternative to the circus.

  • oliveroliver Senior Member

    AHRA had great competition but it was spending money it didn't have. It was essentially dead by 78

  • They were rock solid thru 81, until Jim got sick, and Little Jim and Mrs. Tice started spending crazy...I spent a 3 day week-end with her after he passed away...You should have heard the stories!!

  • z28camaroz28camaro Senior Member

    If I was in their shoes I'd race St Louis, Dallas, and Houston if I couldn't afford to do them all. NHRA should just drop the other races to cut down travel costs.


  • I understand reduction in business revenues causes reductions in costs. What troubles me about the second reduction in purses is:

    1. The wording in the letter about extensive discussions between NHRA and pro teams and their representatives. If Terry McMillen has contacted a bunch of the teams and can't find one team that was part of the extensive discussions, I have to question the integrity of the letter.
    2. The cut represents a 70% cut in purses. I would be interested to know if the top 10 employees of NHRA have taken anything close to 70% pay cuts. While NHRA has no requirement to disclose this information, it would help a lot with transparency as many posters to these chat rooms are highly suspicious of what sacrifices the people at the top have made. The teams should not be the ones to bear all the brunt of the revenue loss.

    Thus, the issue is integrity and transparency. If the NHRA stays silent, they have no one to blame but themselves for racers and fans not trusting them.

  • mossybackmossyback Senior Member

    Any truth to the NHRA executives taking a 25% pay cut a few months ago?

  • HEMI_guyHEMI_guy Senior Member

    14 T/F and 14 F/C teams currently on the roster. None of the 3 Kalitta teams are on it.

  • kb301kb301 Senior Member

    The Kalitta team wasn't relying on purse $ to pay the bills. With Doug leading the points, you can count on them being in Gainesville.

  • a21studa21stud Senior Member

    • hotrod 
    • September 10
    • They were rock solid thru 81, until Jim got sick, and Little Jim and Mrs. Tice started spending crazy...I spent a 3 day week-end with her after he passed away...You should have heard the stories!!

    Thats my take too Hot Rod. There wasn’t anything wrong with AHRA’s cheaper ticket price 8 car Nitro Show either. Healthy races if the weather was good.

    Kept Wally on his toes and nobody “owned” the nitro show until AHRA and IHRA’s Went away.

    NHRA would have fixed their current excessive cost show if they had nitro competition.

    Too bad it hasn’t already been fixed but NHRA still can. Sure they will lose some hardcore when they change from tradition but they didn’t lose that many going 1000’ and they have to be cost effective or go bust. Great time to Finally fix it “due to China19”.

  • HEMI_guyHEMI_guy Senior Member

    Understood. But figured I should mention that when posting the current car counts to paint an accurate picture.

  • It appears that what ever the current car count is, the owners and drivers are not exactly happy with the management. Only way to get the point across, is total boycott.

  • Problem I have seen in the past is trying to get all the team owners to agree on something. It is like hearding cats. You have Connie Kallitta, Torrences and Salinas that money is no object, Schumacher that watches costs and will not race without proper sponsorship, same as Force. The McMillen, milliken, wilkerson, Cruz that want to keep cost s down and then the low buck teams just come and go. Tough to get them to agree.

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