To judge the inaugural season so far of the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) from a strictly monetary perspective, then yes, it’s probably been a financial loss. But factor in racer goodwill, on-track performance, overall customer satisfaction and positive reviews from competitors and fans alike, then without question; it’s been a resounding success.
Of course, goodwill and positive reviews won’t pay the bills, but there have been enough fans in the stands and race cars parked in the pits to prove the PDRA at least has a viable product. It remains to be seen, however, if it’s sustainable. That will require eventually turning a profit, or at minimum, breaking even.
For those late to the game, the all-eighth-mile PDRA essentially is the replacement for a faltering ADRL, which ran into trouble due to financially overextending itself late last year and rendered it unable to assemble a schedule for 2014. Hastily put together early this year by a quintet of prominent ADRL veteran competitors—Tommy Franklin, Gene Hector, Roger Henson and Mitchell and Jason Scruggs—the PDRA, shepherded by race director Bob Harris, stepped in to ensure the nation’s top outlaw doorslammer racers would still have a place to race this season.
For now, the ownership group insists it’s aware a profit is unlikely this year and its members are individually prepared. It’s hoped, though, that getting through this inaugural, eight-race schedule will prove the PDRA is worthy of attracting a major series sponsor to help defray the costs in seasons to come.
That’s admittedly a tall order, but I was encouraged to hear Franklin say they would not be relying solely on personal connections within the racing and performance industry to fill the void. He said serious consideration is being given to hiring a professional PR and advertising firm to aid in the sponsor search, much like John Force has done to bolster his racing empire upon the impending loss of two major backers.
I applaud that effort and if it works for Force and/or the PDRA, I expect we’ll see a lot more teams and organizations following suit in the future.
- Graham Rahal has become a familiar visitor to NHRA national events this year as he hangs out with girlfriend Courtney Force, but Indianapolis Star writer Curt Cavin was the first to report the second-generation IndyCar driver may take some Funny Car driving lessons from the master himself–John Force.
- The NHRA is set to begin using the largest mobile LED screen trailer in North America for live video and replays at its national events.
- DragRacingOnline.com contributor Tom McCarthy explores what it takes to run in the fives on a nitro-burning motorcycle. Let’s just say it takes big ones!
- Check out a little quarter-mile UK Pro Mod action from earlier this year at England’s Santa Pod Dragway. Watch for comments from U.S.-based tuners Shane Tecklenburg at 2:30 and Brad Personett at 11:45 of the recording. Some neat stuff here!
- Ever wondered what a shot of nitrous looks like inside the engine? Well, wonder no more.