IDRHOF 2014 - Banquet Photo
"Big Daddy's" T-shirts on stage!
Check out this historic coverage (HRD Nov-2012, page 69) showing a couple of "Big Daddy's" cool accomplishments!
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Is the Drag Racing Community Ready for an Unconventional Approach to Funding?
Race teams, tracks, and others in the drag racing community rely on sponsors or advertisers to provide funding for their operations; however, in this economy, many struggle to gain necessary support through official sponsorships. Some search for the ‘big deal’ to get funded for the entire race season by sending proposals to potential sponsors. While others create websites for the sole purpose of seeking sponsorship hoping interested businesses will find them. Unfortunately, those without sponsors have to spend a significant amount of their limited budget on expenses not directly related to their racing operation (i.e. travel). Race tracks also have difficulty obtaining the necessary funds for upgrades such as equipment, bleachers, etc. due to the lack of businesses paying to advertise at their facility.
Crowdfunding is a perfect alternative for the drag racing community to offset expenses. Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the internet. Crowdfunding campaigns raised $2.7 Billion through a variety of projects last year and projected to be $5.1 Billion this year. Many successful campaigns were initially turned down by investors, but able to secure funding later because the campaigns demonstrated high interest through the number of contributors.
The Drag Racing Crowd hopes to bring awareness to drag racing through a funding effort that has quickly become a popular means to finance projects. The Drag Racing Crowd is a collective cooperation of people (fans, racers, and businesses) raising money through a network that supports the drag racing community. The intent is to help anyone in the drag racing community with a compelling story and legitimate need to raise funds. Whether they need a little extra money for travel to the next race, have a bad luck situation they are trying to overcome, building a new track, reopening an old one, making a drag racing movie, writing a book, or raising money for a cause, they can reach out through the Drag Racing Crowd. The ultimate goal is to utilize successful campaigns to illustrate the power of the “crowd” to potential sponsors/advertisers as another means to show businesses the impact racers have on the drag racing community and how their support can translate to revenue for their company.
The Drag Racing Crowd is out to prove the drag racing community can take an unconventional approach to fund their hobby by incorporating practices currently being used successfully in other business ventures. It provides a single crowdfunding platform for anyone in the drag racing community to tell their story through words, pictures, and videos. When they have a need to raise funds, they simply submit a proposal, launch a campaign, receive funds, and distribute perks/rewards. Crowdfunding projects are successful because they offer incentives for people to contribute. The type of perk/reward is based on the amount of the contribution.
The Drag Racing Crowd also plans to sell apparel, promotional items, and novelties, as well as purchase advertising to further promote this unique approach of assisting others. Profits will support an aggressive marketing strategy because the more successful this project is, the more money campaigns will be able to raise.
You can visit www.dragracingcrowd.com for additional information, ‘like’ their Facebook page and ‘follow’ them on Twitter. If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback, please email Drag Racing Crowd at email@example.com .
From: Don Garlits Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011
Subject: NHRA NEWS: NHRA ANNOUNCES PLANS TO IMPROVE THE FAN EXPERIENCE AT 2011 NHRA FULL THROTTLE DRAG RACING SERIES EVENTS
A very good start, but not near strong enough! Why should any oil down run count at all?
If you just touch the barrier line, why not just a fine and some points
removed, not disqualified! Don Garlits
NHRA Media Center Online: http://media.nhra.com
NHRA ANNOUNCES PLANS TO IMPROVE THE FAN EXPERIENCE AT 2011 NHRA FULL THROTTLE DRAG RACING SERIES EVENTS GLENDORA, Calif. (Jan. 19, 2011)
Furthering the ongoing initiative to improve the racing experience for fans at NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events, NHRA has announced a two-pronged approach to minimize excessive down time as a result of oildowns and track preparation. NHRA has invested in additional trackside clean-up equipment and implemented strict oildown penalties, which will inclu de monetary fines and championship point deductions for violations. “We recognize that oildowns are part of racing,” said Graham Light, senior vice president of racing operations, NHRA. “But we polled our fans and they indicated that, though a part of racing, excessive down time on the track has a negative impact on their experience. We believe the added equipment, coupled with across-the-board oildown penalties, will lead to less oildowns by all competitors, shorter down time on the track and a better experience for our racers and fans at NHRA national events.” NHRA has increased its track preparation and oildown clean-up capabilities by adding additional equipment to the NHRA Safety Safari presented by AAA, including an additional drag tractor and more jet dryers available for each Full Throttle Series event. With the additional equipment, NHRA can significantly decrease track preparation time by utilizing both tractors simultaneously. Also, with the added equipment and use of more jets, NHRA will be able to minimize clean-up time following oildowns. In addition, following a string of lengthy oildowns during qualifying and eliminations in the latter part of 2010, NHRA has decided to reinstate and enforce strict oildown penalties for all classes competing at NHRA National Events. In 2011, the first violation for competitors in each of the four NHRA Full Throttle Series categories will result in a $1,000 fine. If the violation occurs during qualifying, it will result in a loss of five points and the loss of elapsed time and speed for the run. Times will be voided for qualifying position, qualifying performance points, session run order and national records. During eliminations, a violation results in a $1,000 fine plus a loss of 10 points and the loss of elapsed time and speed for the run. If the oil violation occurs on a winning run, the driver will advance, but will lose lane choice and run order selection for the next round, and the performance will not be eligible for national record consideration. Second violations at the same event will result in a $2,000 fine plus a loss of 10 points in qualifying and 20 points in eliminations. Competitors in Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car and Pro Mod will be assessed a $500 fine and five points for a violation during qualifying, and 10 points for violations during eliminations. The same rules regarding voided times, position, run order and nati onal records apply to these categories. A second violation at the same event will result in a $1,000 fine and loss of 10 points during qualifying and 20 points during eliminations. Finally, competitors in the remaining categories in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series competing at national events will receive a fine of $250, plus loss of five points for qualifying violations and 10 points for eliminations violations. A second violation at the same event for these classes will result in a $500 fine and loss of 10 points in qualifying and 20 points in elimination. “Our hope and desire is to neither collect fines nor levy any penalties on the racing community,” Light said. “We hope that by announcing these penalties, the teams will work more diligently at oil containment.” More than two oildowns at an event by a single team will result in an NHRA review of teams’ season performance and further action may be taken as determined by NHRA. Penalties will be in effect for all 2011 events including the Countdown to the Championship events. All teams will receive one oildown credit at the start of the 2011 NHRA national event season however no further credits will be awarded during the season. The 2011 NHRA Oildown Policy is available online at http://www.nhra.com/competition/oildown.aspx.
"Big Daddy" Don Garlits' thoughts on "Fixing the NHRA"
The man voted as the greatest drag racer in the National Hot Rod Association’s
first 50 years has plenty of ideas on how to fix the sport he dominated for nearly
four decades. At 77, ‘Big Daddy’ Don Garlits still spends most of his days tinkering
with race cars and antiques in his garage outside the Drag Racing Hall of Fame in Ocala, Fla. If given the opportunity, he’s more than ready to tinker with the NHRA’s current rules. The NHRA, he says, is in trouble, and he’s right. Quality entries are down, attendance is down at tracks, and there isn’t a whole lot of money being made. Garlits blames the rising expenses, which have priced many teams and drivers out of the sport.
“A lot of us got into drag racing because it was affordable,” he said Wednesday. “Now you have teams that have a $3 million or $5 million budget, where they can just outspend everyone else. They’re the teams that are holding change up. We could easily make the tires smaller and lower the wing and run a lot slower, but they don’t want any part of that.”
Garlits’ biggest problem is that the races themselves have gotten too short. Races were shortened for safety concerns last year from a quarter-mile to 1,000 feet. That shortened the races from about five seconds — still too fast by Garlits’ account — to about 3.5 seconds. The races are too short; three-and-a-half seconds is just not long enough to keep the fans interested,” he said. “Then you have the cars blow engines every race, and then you have to wait another 10 minutes between races to get the oil cleaned up. It’s a bad show.”
Garlits’ ideas are simple and harsh. Make the rear wing smaller and lower it to take away downforce. Have Goodyear build smaller racing tires to take away grip. Disqualify any team that blows an engine and drops oil on the track. The engines right now, if they’d cut them back to about 1,000 or 1,500 horsepower, they would run forever,” he said. “And the problem about slowing the cars down would be solved. It would also bridge the gap between the haves and the have-nots. The competition would be a lot closer, and that’s what’s going to bring the fans back.”