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Elon Werner of Drag Race Bracket Bonanza Opens Up on Implications of PlayNHRA Sports Betting Program

In a recent episode of The Wes Buck Show, Elon Werner, co-founder of DragRaceBracketBonanza, joined co-hosts Wes Buck, Mike Carpenter, and JT Hudson to discuss the newly announced PlayNHRA sports betting program. Werner shared his insights on how this initiative could reshape the landscape of drag racing.

“Drag racing has always been about the thrill of the race, and introducing sports gambling could amplify that excitement,” Werner stated. He emphasized that the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) is taking careful steps to integrate sports betting into the sport responsibly. “We’re working to ensure that gambling in drag racing is conducted in a fair and regulated manner.”

Werner highlighted the potential of sports gambling to draw new fans to drag racing. “If people can legally wager on drag racing, it will bring in a lot of casual viewers who might not be die-hard fans,” he explained. He believes that the ability to bet on races will make watching them more engaging, similar to how fantasy sports have increased fan involvement in traditional sports.

A significant part of the discussion centered around maintaining the integrity of the sport. Werner stressed the importance of clear regulations to prevent any unfair advantages. “We need to ensure that everyone, from drivers to media personnel, understands the rules and adheres to them,” he said. The NHRA has set up stringent guidelines to manage who can participate in betting and how information is handled.

Werner sees sports gambling as a way to deepen fan investment in drag racing. “When fans have something at stake, they’re more likely to follow the sport closely and get invested in the drivers,” he noted. The possibility of winning prizes through betting could also attract more viewers. “Imagine someone winning a substantial prize because they picked the right driver – it creates buzz and draws attention.”

Looking forward, Werner is optimistic about the future of drag racing with the PlayNHRA program. “This is a great step for the NHRA and the sport as a whole,” he said. He believes that starting with a solid foundation is crucial and that the NHRA’s efforts to regulate and promote gambling are paving the way for future success. “You have to start somewhere, and the NHRA is well-positioned to capitalize on this opportunity.”

Lastly, Werner communicated that Drag Racing Bracket Bonanza will continue to operate in the fantasy space.

“Drag Race Bracket Bonanza is a passion project of mine I want to keep it in its lane,” stated Werner. “I have to keep telling myself you’re not even a year into Drag Race Bracket Bonanza yet I don’t even know what it is, but some tent poles for me are I want to keep it free. I want to keep it so kids can play, so crew guys can play Drag Race Bracket Bonanza without stepping on the NHRA rules because our game doesn’t affect the outcome of the event, and there’s no money changing hands.”

This story was originally published on May 23, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.