March 31, 2010
Mr. Tom Compton
2035 Financial Way
Glendora, CA 91741
The PRO Board of Directors would like to applaud the efforts of Bruton Smith and his staff for consistently providing top-notch facilities for race teams, and fans alike. The tracks at Bristol, Charlotte, Las Vegas, and Sonoma are by far the very best in the country. We also acknowledge his efforts to increase awareness and visibility for our sport by holding a one-of-a-kind, 4-wide drag racing event at zMAX Dragway.
We are certainly indebted to him for all his efforts to help elevate our sport. However, we are not in agreement that a 4-wide national event is in the best interest of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
Over the course of the Charlotte race weekend, the PRO Board of Directors conducted a survey of PRO member and non-member team owners and drivers in the Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock classes. With the exception of a few race teams who do not race a full schedule, we collected responses to the question “Do you want to participate in a 4-wide national event for points again?” The results were as follows:
Although there may have been a perceived value potential of such an event, it did not turn out that way. There are several issues of concern, which are in no way a reflection of the racing facilities or Bruton Smith himself. Specifically, we are concerned about the following:
1.) Safety first - we believe that the probability of an accident is greatly increased while safety is decreased.
2.) Confusion – there was total confusion among drivers, teams and fans.
- There were numerous complaints from race teams, particularly on starting line procedures, which cost more than a few teams successful runs.
- Fans specifically commented that there was too much going on at the starting line and did not know what to watch. It was impossible to focus on the 4 cars. The biggest complaint was that races were very hard to follow as everything happened too quickly and all at once.
3.) Sponsorship identification – The wide camera angle for television coverage caused the race cars to appear so small that they resembled toy cars; and, sponsorship identification was virtually non-existent.
4.) Circus like atmosphere – We felt that the event turned into novelty like event, similar to that of the WWE, rather than a race for points towards the NHRA World Championship.
While we understand that there may be a place for 4-wide drag racing at zMAX Dragway, the overwhelming majority of our racing community feel that it is not in the best interest of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Therefore, The PRO Board of Directors would like you to know that we will not participate in a 4-wide national event involving points again. We feel doing so would be detrimental to the sport of NHRA Championship Drag Racing. The PRO board however, is not opposed to discussing the possibility of a 4-wide exhibition or all-star race in the future.
We know these are difficult times for our sport; however, we are certain you would agree that maintaining the integrity of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and its sponsors is of utmost concern. Therefore, we feel it is important that we take this stance.
Please feel free to contact our board administrator, Michelle Domagala at firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to discuss these issues with the entire board.
The PRO Board of Directors
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