To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the demise of NHRA’s Pro Stock class have been greatly exaggerated.
In fact, the sanctioning body plans to make several changes to improve technology, increase fan interest and to draw more involvement from major auto manufacturers.
According to the NHRA, changes will be made in installments.
The first three changes will be effective for this weekend’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals race at Sonoma, Calif.:
* NHRA will require all Pro Stock cars to back into their pit stalls and leave engines uncovered so fans can more readily see what’s under the hood.
* Crew members will no longer be allowed to stand behind cars to hold them in place as they begin burnouts near the start-finish line.
* NHRA will require Pro Stock cars carry windshield shades that identify the manufacturer their car emulates. For example, if a driver pilots a Ford, then the car will carry a windshield shade that says “Ford.”
Other changes will be implemented at the start of the 2016 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, including:
* All Pro Stock cars will be equipped with electronically-controlled throttle body fuel injection systems.
* NHRA-controlled 10,500 rev limiters will be mandated along with the fuel injection systems.
* In perhaps one of the most significant and readily identifiable changes, Pro Stock cars will remove all hood scoops and also shorten the length of rear wheelie bars, or as the NHRA put it in a media release, “increasing the unpredictability of the class through more ‘wheels up’ launches from the starting line.”
“Pro Stock racing has a tremendous history with NHRA and proves each weekend by the close side-by-side finishes that it is one of the most competitive forms of racing in all of motorsports,” NHRA president Peter Clifford said. “Through these changes we hope to provide a platform so the Pro Stock class can evolve from a technological standpoint, yet reconnect with its roots by generating more interest and appeal among spectators.”