Street Outlaws vs. NHRA
Hi. Just have to ask what the heck were you thinking when you put out that edict from on high that any NHRA licensed driver that participated in the Discovery Channel's "Street Outlaws" show would loose their license. We all know that getting the racing off the streets and into a controlled environment was the whole reason Mr. Parks created all y'all but let's slow down, pump the brakes, and really look at what's going on here.
"Street Outlaws" is just a TV show made to look like reality. Yah, these are real street racers, with real side by side, heads up racing on a real, 2 lane deserted road, but these guys are not stupid. It's not hard to miss the fire suits, the five point harnesses, the helmets, the full on roll cages. They obviously have the blessing of the local Po-Po who block off the same "conveniently well lighted” road every time and first responders are on site, though kept way in the background. It would be impossible for Discovery to risk the potential liability of orchestrating and airing this show without taking these precautions. And why do you think every show begins with the infamous Big Chief disclaimer of "Just because we're dumbasses ......don't mean you can be too. So don't do any of this ****we do at home".
You might want to consider that Street Outlaws has garnered an immense and rabid following among the exact people you want sitting in some of your increasingly empty grandstand seats. They have one of the highest rated motorsports TV shows on the air while your ratings are in free fall. By banning NHRA licensed drivers from participating in the Street Outlaws show, you're coming off like sour grapes, dare I say sore losers. You need to fire your PR advisers because you now look like stodgy, politically correct, farty old establishment "fuddie duddies"! These guys are not trying to compete with you, they're just your outlaw cousin, tearing up a different kind of track.
I think Big Chief said it best himself, "The NRHA doesn't want guys like us to have any say in the drag racing community because we're morons. If it has to do with drag racing in this country, the NHRA needs to control the drag racing majority ..... the more power we attain, the harder we are to control. Everyone is starting to realize that it isn't easy to contain. It's just getting crazier and there's not a lot that they can do about it anymore. "
If you, the NHRA, get what you want, Big Chief and his outlaw crew are going to "start supporting the smaller outlaw, badass little eighth mile tracks." And when they do, the fans are going to follow them.
No way you say. Well just check out what happened to attendance in Salina, Kansas last summer at the KKOA's “Run What Ya Brung” Drags when Farm Truck and AZN decided to go fishing down Salina way. Can you say off the hook.
Besides all the original members of the NHRA were just like these guys - street racers. You think John Force, Big Daddy, the Snake, and all the other NHRA Hall of Fame old timers didn't street race? Come on. The Street Outlaws show has done more to create a renewed interest in drag racing in the short period it's aired than all of NHRA's promotional efforts over the last several years. The numbers don't lie.
You catch more flies (read attendance/fans/viewers) with honey than vinegar (nasty edicts/threats). And besides .... everyone loves an Outlaw.
I'm just sayin'.