No one seems to like change. But without change you can’t continue to move forward. The NSCRA recently changed their entire set of racing classes and it as definitely a shock to everyone. With only 2 weeks before the final event of the 2011 racing season the NSCRA shook up their entire show. Everyone has to be able to agree that a change did need to occur with the way the racing classes were setup. Although the turnout was okay this year it wasn’t a sustainable system to grow into the future. The much broader class system is a sure way to get full classes but not the way to really grow the series as a set of destination events into the future. By destination events I mean ones where people travel in from all over the country to compete. Since there is very limited alignment with any existing set of classes that the Sport Compact community is used to running. In the history of Sport Compact Drag Racing there have basically been 2 constant groups of race cars that will consistently show up and will consistently have new cars being built to compete and that is the ¾ Chassis / Modified / Back-half cars and the FWD Honda Streets Cars (both Turbo and All Motor). Yes, there is a solid mixture of other makes, models and classed cars out there but if you look at the core group of race cars at the Sport Compact Events that is what you will see. What confuses me about the new class system that NSCRA introduced is that although they did give the Modified Type cars a place to race heads up they alienated one of the most important demographics of race cars in Sport Compact Drag Racing. With such a huge array of possible racing combinations for race cars it is impossible to make everyone happy but anyone that has built an 8-9-10 second race car wants to race heads up and that goes for the FWD Honda Racers as well. That is what they have been used to for 14+ years of Sport Compact Drag Racing and now that demographic will be pushed into a Quick 32 Bracket Class. Will that class do well at this upcoming NSCRA event in December? Yes, it will do great, but the issue isn’t the immediate turnout for the classes it is the longevity of the classes and by eliminating a place for the tried and true 67mm-72mm Turbo cars to race heads up will ultimately be the demise of the Southeast United States sport compact drag racers. I propose keeping with the idea of the Quick 32 Class, that will work just fine for the NSCRA but please add back in a True Street Type Class for heads up drag racing that can be a catch all for 67-72mm FWD Honda’s, Supra Street Cars, Evo’s, Porsche’s, GTR’s, etc, etc. Target it to be a 9 second range class, heads up racing and that is all that would probably need to be done for now. Yes, the rules package will be hard to make everyone happy, but it isn’t about making everyone happy right now, it is about getting a class and series setup that will be able to run 10+ years into the future.
Keys to Success:
- Change needed to occur - Extreme Modified Quick 16 and 10.5 Outlaw will be very exciting to watch if a full field can be had.
- Quick 32 Bracket is not a bad idea; it will surely be a full class.
- Don’t alienate one of the most important groups of Sport Compact Drag Racers (FWD Honda Street Cars)
- Make the hard rule decisions now and try to be firm with them, real racers will adjust to compete
- Tech, Tech, Tech – you have to be legal to race – No Excuses
- Prep, Prep, Prep – Give us a track to race on -- Bad Track = No Desire to travel in to compete – give us a track capable of breaking records on and you will see record attendance once the word of mouth spreads.
I could go on for days with opinions as to how all of this stuff could be run but sitting a keyboard and making statements is the easy part. Hands on execution is the hard part and that is what the staff at the NSCRA is trying to do. The change made is a step to help the series thrive, just needs a bit of tinkering and should be in pretty good shape.