PDRA Racing rolled into the legendary Lucas Oil Raceway last weekend for their fifth stop on the 2017 tour. While there was a great turnout of competitors, it wasn't without some angst on the part of not only the PDRA staff, but the drivers, fans, and everyone else there.
Running a drag race is a coordinated effort, and marketing a drag race is such too. There seem to be a hell of a lot of armchair marketing and promoting professionals this week on social media after the PDRA race at Indy. I have read plenty about what should change, and how it should change, yet half these people never even come to a PDRA race.
For those that are wondering what is going on, I'm going to tell ya. First off PDRA staff did a great job last weekend getting this event completed. The fact is that there are some things that need to change and need to change immediately. The thing that I heard most all weekend was the following line "Just because there is a midnight curfew, doesn't mean we need to race until midnight." They are 100% correct. Wrapping up a two day race at 2 am just doesn't work for people unless it's a grudge race. I know that Bob Harris has been taking a beating over the event on social media and will be addressing some on that tonight with Lee Sebring on Live with Lee. That will be on Facebook.
The other concern with last weekend was the attendance, or there lack of in a lot of people's minds. This is an issue that drives at the heart of racing as a whole. And before you start ranting about how World Cup and Lights Out have the stands full, it's apples to brinks. Yes there was an organization years ago that put asses in the seats, and now has come back and is searching for their identity.
Putting butts in the seats, no matter the money you spend is not easy. For one, this was PDRA's first race in that market. Just because we know PDRA, doesn't mean that everyone knows PDRA. You have to give the series a chance to grow the fan base there. While it was great that they did it on an off NHRA weekend, it's also tough because the NHRA crews leave today for one of the toughest stretches all season. This means that most aren't going to the drag strip on the off weekend. Marketing and promoting is all about understanding your fan base, specifically your demographics. Would I have marketing this event differently than how PDRA did? Absolutely I would have, but my job isn't to market their product, my job is to tell you what is going on. And what is going on is that fans need to be more educated and they have to want to spend money to go to a PDRA event.
Now that I have addressed that, let's get to the actual racing part of the event. The reason that we go to the track and not sit in our mom's basement playing keyboard CEO. The on track action was absolutely amazing folks! We saw a season best number of Pro Extreme cars come out and tear up Indy while trying to knock out Midwestern local Mike Recchia. Coming into Indy, as we told you about in our race preview, Mike was only trailing Tommy D'Aprile by 3 points. With Tommy exiting early, and Mike getting the win, this should boost Mike into first place in the standings with three races left in the season.
In Pro Boost, it was another young gun that took the victory over the weekend. Ty Tutterow was able to defeat Jeremy Ray in finals. Ty was sitting at number three in the points, tied with another young gun of the class Tylor Miller. Unfortunately Tylor was not on the property over the weekend because of off track injuries he suffered. The win for Ty will make sure he stays in at least number three, if not overtake his Galot teammate John Strickland for the number two spot.
Pro Nitrous, it was the two heavyweights of the class facing off in the finals. The number one and two in the points stood toe to toe. Last years World Champion Tommy Franklin and this years number one in points Jay Cox threw it down in the finals and it was Jay that took the victory. His Buck Engines powered Camaro laid down a 3.709 to Tommy's 3.708. This is the second event in a row that the Buck power has defeated the Musi power. This points race might come down to a final round in Va. the way these two are going.
In Extreme Pro Stock, it was none other that the current points leader Cary Goforth facing off against number three in points John Monteclavo. John was in his brand new car that he debuted at this event. Something didn't go right with John's car in the finals and Cary drove to the win, further extending his points lead over John and number two in points Team Aruba's Trevor Eman.
The rest of the finals were as follows:
PXM: Travis Davis 4.029 over Chuck Wilburn 4.116
Elite TS: Dwayne Silance over Randy Perkinson
TS 32-car: Jeff Pittman over Gary Wojnowski
TD: Kathy Fisher over Matt Cooke (.003 red)
PJD: Amber Franklin 7.902 over Hailey Hawkins 7.894
TJD: Sklyer Bee over Davis
Gassers: Jr Ward winner