I was asked to write the opening letter for the Drag Review Magazine and could write about anything that I felt passionate about. Anyone that knows me knows I am all about the International Hot Rod Association and trying to improve the programs for our members and member tracks. The IHRA Division Directors (Josh Peake, Jon O’Neal and me), along with Skooter Peaco and Mike Baker, got together last year and tried to come up with a new program that would benefit our grassroots racers. That program is the IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular. There are several big-money events held every weekend somewhere. If you want to spend a small fortune, you can pay an expensive entry fee and run for an extreme amount of money. We wanted this new program to be different. We want to reward bracket racers with a big payday and the program to be packed with value round after round, not just for those in the finals. We have an entry fee that doesn’t force you to sell a kidney to participate and we are giving away free Sunday 5k race entry to those who pre-register (a $100 savings). The IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular is a work in progress. We have to make a series of decisions and concessions to be able to guarantee $15,000 in winner money for a $150 entry fee for pre-registered racers and pay out big round money on top of all that. The program will evolve as we get feedback from racers who participate in it this season. There is a dedicated group of people at IHRA who are committed to building a program that benefits the bracket racing community and our member tracks. We are counting on a dedicated group of bracket racers that want to race in events that provide a great overall value for all participants. Since the release of the new program, I have received a number of questions or concerns regarding the No Box / Footbrake racer. The complaint is that No Box doesn’t have its own class. We would love to be able to pay the kind of money we are paying and have separate classes for Box and No Box, but the reality is it would take more cars to pay those purses than most facilities could handle. Our race simply runs Box and No Box separately until there is only one No Box racer left. We do the same thing with Box door cars as they run separately from dragsters. The last No Box car wins $1,000 and then mixes into the main event for the shot at the $10k or $5k depending on the day. The other No Box cars earn the same $100 a round as the Box cars do. Summit Sportsman Spectacular by Frank Kohutek 4 Publications Ignite2X Managing Editor Jeff Birchfield Photography BME Photography Advertising Sales Dana Landry Art/Creative Ignite2X, Ashley Partenza TM IRG President & CEO Lou Partenza Vice President Skooter Peaco Director of New Business & Industry Relations Dana Landry Director of Public Relations Ryan Perezluha Digital Marketing & Strategy Manager Ashley Partenza Director of Creative Marketing Manfred Eissner Membership Coordinator Bobby Carville Senior Director of Competition and Racing Operations Mike Baker Divisional Directors Josh Peake, Jon O’Neal & Frank Kohutek Special Advisor For Track Development Phil Gingerich The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) is owned and operated by IRG Sports + Entertainment™, a TPG Specialty Lending company. The IHRA promotes professional and sportsman racing for drivers of all levels. The IHRA sanctions nearly 100 motorsport facilities in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Bahama’s and welcomes 80,000 racers annually to their IHRA- sanctioned facilities. The IHRA oversees multiple Sportsman racing programs including the Summit Racing Equipment SuperSeries and the Sportsman Spectacular.