I think it’s something we often think about but may or may not talk about very much. I don’t think I have to be the first person to tell everyone that attendance and participation is down in most variations of motorsports. Look at NASCAR, motorsports’ largest platform when it comes to attendance, revenue, and viewership. I’m not too sure it gets any bigger. But like other motorsports outlets, where are they headed? NASCAR is on their 11th consecutive year of attendance decline. ESPN reported a drop of 54% in revenue in the last decade among the three companies that own NASCAR facilities. I can’t imagine what must be going through the France family’s mind when they look at the reports every week. Although I cannot begin to worry about NASCAR’s problems, the true question is, where is drag racing headed? Honestly, I have to believe that if you’re reading this that has to be on your mind a little bit. Now I can’t speak for all entities of drag racing, so I won’t pretend that I can. The first thing that I can tell you is, I believe drag racing has an upper hand over many of the other motorsport avenues. Although I have seen a decline in participation at many levels, I think there are a few explanations. I’ve been around the IHRA since I was 10 years old. One of the biggest changes I’ve seen is that racers have so many more outlets in drag racing. Twenty-nine years ago, I remember there weren’t but a few to choose from. Today, there are endless amounts. I would like to think that there are just as many people if not more than there were 29 years ago racing today. Everyone is spread a good bit thinner than they used to be. Trying to decide on where you’re going to race is the hard part. Is it an IHRA event, NHRA event, local track points race, Race Promoter A, Race Promoter B, C, D...? Which leads me to my next point. Who do we support and why? I ultimately want everyone to be happy wherever they race. The only thing I would like for you to remember is the importance of supporting your local tracks and track operators that have always been there for you. They may not be paying $100k to win on Saturday, but chances are they’ll be open and happy to see you the next Saturday when you want to go racing again. IHRA member tracks are some of the best tracks out there and I hope that everyone sees the importance of supporting them however they can. Another thing we must strive to do is encourage the involvement of younger people at the track. If we don’t start replacing the gearheads of today, this is only going to get harder the further we go. We must find ways to get the younger generation to the race track. The Teen Racing Program is a wonderful way to get the younger generation interested in not only driving a race car but being at the track. I can assure you that “WE” at the IHRA strive on a daily basis to make Drag Racing the BEST in all of motorsports. Josh Peake, IHRA Division Director Publication Ignite2X Managing Editor Ryan Perezluha Photography BME Photography Advertising Sales Dana Landry Art/Creative Ignite2X, Ashley Partenza IRGSE 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 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. AT THE STARTING LINE THE FUTURE OF MOTORSPORTS