Someone had to say it, so I guess I will go ahead and say it. It's time that the decision makers actually leave a successful class alone. Watch it grow instead of messing with it every other race.
To say that the pro mod pits in NHRA has been tense and tumultuous this entire season would be an understatement. From the beginning of the season, it has been bordering on the brink of chaos. Blower domination, nitrous falling behind the eight ball, and turbos going 259 mph. A rookie taking the #1 spot in qualifying at his first race, and a veteran running away with the points early on. Yet, we have been provided the best damn racing and excitement in years. So let's mess with it some more.
They are rumblings around the pro mod world that they will be getting a fourth qualifier on Saturday's, they will do eliminations on Sunday's and maybe even add 2 more races. This is on top on the weight break that will be added to certain cars too. So a class that spends like the Pro Stocks, goes through parts like nitro, yet win's like sportsman.
Where do I even start with the have and have-not argument on this. Apparently there are some that are making decisions that have their best interest in mind and not the class as a whole. Those that think adding this, that, and the other are completely fine, without figuring out where the money to do so is going to come from. I mean, let's be honest here, you have the ones that don't care about the cost because they are going to be there no matter what, and you have those that will have to sit a round out just to save on parts.
We see this already happening in the Nitro arena, where there are single car teams, not as well funded that have to sit rounds out just to save money and parts. Why is it that decision makers are constantly making decisions that are going to cost everyone more money? Are we going to see the payout get closer to the payout that Pro Stock is getting or are we just going to keep paying these men and women just enough to cover the cost of competing at the race?
Now there are some that will completely disagree with me, and I would expect them too. Whether it's drivers, media, or fans, that's fine. My issue lies in the fact that it seems like we want to make the product better, but at what cost? We have full fields every race. Cream of the crop competitors. Why do we need to mess with something that's working? There is rivalry, there is drama, there is side by side racing, what else do you want?
You know what makes the J&A Service Pro Mod Series special? It's special because we don't see them at every race. The anticipation of seeing them at an event is heightened because they aren't out there every week. Too much of a good thing, is not always a good thing. The idea of adding another two races might just be another "what were they thinking" move. Where are you going to put two more pro mod races? Are you going to add Joliet? Are you going to make them go out west during the summer? Going to try and make the nitrous cars run on the mountain? How well you think that'll work for most people?
NHRA Pro Mod is the best of the best, there is no question about that, but what happens when you lose fans because you have pushed the smaller teams out? Look at what it has done to NASCAR. Look at what it has done to the current NHRA Pro Classes. The blow back is something that most don't actually look at. All they see is more of a chance to race. So now, when it's 95 degrees out with a track temp of 135, you will see a lot of teams skip Friday midday session because they know they will have an evening session on both Friday and Saturday.
The most exciting round in all of drag racing right now for 12 weekends a year is Q3 of Pro Mod in NHRA. So many times we see bump in and bumped out during that last session. Getting bumped out by .001 and having to go home. That is what makes the product the absolute best of the best in drag racing. So here's a thought, unless the payouts are going to increase, along with the television and media exposure, there is no good business reason to change anything. Do I want to see more Pro Mod racing? Absolutely! Do I think 14 races or 4 qualifiers will kill the class? Absolutely not! Though I do think that it will water down the class.
So if you are asking what I think the answer is, it's pretty simple, there isn't even a question to ask. There is nothing wrong with the way it is right now. Unless Pro Mod is going to be added to the big show on Fox and FS1 and marketed the way that Nitro is, there is no reason to mess with what is already working. Don't become NHRA's little pet just because they are now realizing how important Pro Mod is to the show!
Where we go from here is still up in the air. Either way, Pro Mod will survive and most likely thrive. I might be 100% wrong about added qualifiers and races being an issue. Only time will tell. I hope for the sake of the class that time shows I am wrong.