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.
Follow me @JerryBonkowski