NHRA wants to give fans ‘Baptism by Nitro’ in 2015


There’s nothing like playing to your strengths, and for the NHRA, nitromethane-burning Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars are unquestionably the kings of the sport.

With both styles of car putting out up to 10,000 horsepower apiece and able to sail down 1,000-foot dragstrips at speeds approaching 330 mph and oftentimes in under four seconds, the so-called dragsters and floppers are what keep bringing fans back race after race, year after year.

But at some point, older fans have to beget newer fans. And with many of the more recent stars of the sport having retired – like Kenny Bernstein, Don Prudhomme, Joe Amato and others – NHRA like any other motorsport series has to find ways to attract new, and especially younger, fans.

NHRA should attract quite a few new fans once they see its new promotional video, “Baptism by Nitro,” a takeoff on the more familiar phrase, “Baptism by Fire.”

The NHRA has released that video on YouTube and it’s quickly gaining viewer traction.

The video tries to put into words and action the sensory overload brought about by a Top Fuel dragster or Funny Car, the sheer brute force they possess, the incredible launch and G-forces they sustain, and more.

“’Baptism by Nitro’ is NHRA’s call to encourage long-time fans to bring a family member or friend that hasn’t experienced the heart-pounding atmosphere of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series,” is how NHRA explains it.

It also says, “A fan’s first nitro experience is unforgettable. The rumble of 10,000 horsepower side-by-side action and the smell of the nitro-burning cars launching down the dragstrip at more than 300 mph are sensations that can only be experienced at an NHRA national event.”

To maximize the impact and lure of “Baptism by Nitro,” NHRA is also putting together a full-blown social media outreach, engaging fans about the sport, encouraging first-timers to attend a race (don’t forget the earplugs!) and share their experience on social media.

NHRA will give away prizes throughout the upcoming 2015 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season for the best “nitro rookie reactions captured in the pits or in the grandstands and posted to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. All posts should include the hashtag #BaptismbyNitro and tag @NHRA.”

The promotion has already kicked off with a chance for Southern California race fans to get a VIP Experience at next week’s season-opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.

Click here for more info.




Follow me @JerryBonkowski

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Leave a comment

There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.


Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.



IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold


—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold


—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold