:::::: Editorials ::::::

UP FRONT (COMMENTARY): A RUDDERLESS SHIP

 

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NHRA president Tom Compton hasn’t been seen in public since the week following the Gatornationals. In the midst of all the speculation, which had been taking place largely in the background, another web site posted an article claiming to be an accurate depiction of what’s been going on. I won’t comment on the veracity of that article because I don’t honestly know what’s true and what’s mere speculation. But I do know this. The National Hot Rod Association’s mishandling of this situation is more than astonishing. It’s one more egregious example of their arrogance (“Only we know what’s best for drag racing.”) as well as their total lack of understanding of how things work in the modern corporate and media worlds.

If Mr. Compton is suffering from a debilitating illness, if a family member is dealing with a major crisis, or even if, as has been claimed by some who swear they know the truth, that he’s dealing with problems that can only be solved through extended care in a specialized facility, NHRA needs to publicly say so, in detail.

 

 

MICHAEL KNIGHT - RACERS RESPECT RACERS ... PERIOD

MICHAEL KNIGHT - A NEW SHERIFF IN TV TOWN

SUSAN WADE - TV SHOW FLAP OFFERS CHANCE TO MAKE NEEDED CHANGES

 

 

susan_01.jpgIn the name of entertainment, the cable-TV show "Street Outlaws" on the Discovery Channel has done no better than the local TV news stations that report reckless illegal street racing accidents as "drag racing" crashes.

Both have misrepresented the legitimate sport, the news babblers out of ignorance and the Discovery Channel manipulators out of ego, greed, and storytelling license.

However, the National Hot Rod Association also has missed a golden opportunity. Perhaps NHRA officials have missed it for the same reason "Street Outlaws" producers and participating NHRA member racers have ignited the controversy: the NHRA has been a poor judge of how to attract a crowd and a TV audience.

BOBBY BENNETT: THE TITANIC DIDN'T ADJUST AND SEE WHAT HAPPENED ...

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Will the NHRA avoid the icebergs which threaten to sink the ship?

The Titanic was a grand ship, built to the nines and more than ready to conquer the rough waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Even Captain John Edward Smith was alleged to have proclaimed, "Even God himself couldn't sink the Titanic."

While history confirms the Titanic ignored at least 30 warnings as it steamed from Ireland en route to the United States, one must wonder if NHRA executives will do the same.

 

 

MICHAEL KNIGHT: NHRA'S TOP TEN BUSINESS STORIES FOR 2014

 

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As only the incomparable Chairman of the Board, Mr. Frank Sinatra, could have sung:

Here’s to the winners -- lift up the glasses.


Here's to the glory still to be.


Here's to the battle, whatever it's for,


To ask the best of ourselves, then give much more.



Here's to the heroes -- those who move mountains.
Here's to the miracles they make us see.


Here's to all brothers -- here's to all people


Here's to the winners all of us can be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MICHAEL KNIGHT: DRAG RACING'S TELEVISION RATINGS UP, FIRST TIME IN FOUR YEARS

 

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Good -- and very important -- news for NHRA, its teams and (especially) corporate sponsors:

For the first time in four years, the TV audience for the Mello Yello series on ESPN and ESPN2 increased in 2014.

According to data furnished to ESPN by Nielsen Media, the average household rating for final eliminations of the 24 national events was 0.4, up 33 percent from the 0.3 in 2013. Viewership increased almost nine percent, to an average of 569,000, vs. 524,000 the previous season. That’s the highest total-viewer average since 2011’s 591,000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUSAN WADE: PACIFIC RACEWAYS – AND MAYBE ITS HISTORY – ON AUCTION BLOCK

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Jason Fiorito, president of Pacific Raceways, has come up with a master plan to develop his family's 320-acre multiuse property southeast of Seattle into an "automotive and design technology campus" with global reach.

It’s his one idea that has gained traction after several scrapped projects since he took over management of the facility from Jim Rockstad in January 2002. It’s a clever, relevant, and even economically and environmentally beneficial proposal, with its mission to bring together high-tech and automotive companies for advancements in the renewable-energy-vehicle industry and other “green” initiatives.

But it casts uncertainty on the future of National Hot Rod Association drag racing in the Pacific Northwest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOBBY BENNETT: THE RACE WHERE NOBODY WILL WIN

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There were no winners on Sunday in Concord, period.

The NHRA fans lost. Racers lost. The NHRA lost, and zMax Dragway lost.

Even the solution to rectify a doomed race day was a losing proposition for all parties involved. zMax Dragway did come back to provide the displaced race fans with a 100-percent replacement policy on their Sunday tickets.

 

 

MICHAEL KNIGHT: ANYONE UP FOR A DRAG RACING DOUBLE-HEADER?

 

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Let’s play two.

Make that, let’s RACE two.

The NHRA Mello Yello series needs a boost. Something different and exciting that will get people talking. A change that might inject a dose of much-needed interest and enthusiasm into the media and public-at-large.

Honestly, can anyone disagree with that?

Bruton Smith brought us four-wide. Now let’s look to other sports for ideas that have proven successful. And then work to adapt them to fit drag racing’s special needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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