- If Formula 1 fans were to see a display of raw power from an NHRA Top Fuel or Funny Car, it would shake them to their FIA-approved flame retardant underwear.
- In the spirit of promoting motorsport, a long, smoky burnout would be enough to grab the public’s attention.
- All we ask is a few minutes next fall during F1 weekend for an NHRA-style burnout or two on the Las Vegas Strip.
After NASCAR repaved the iconic Olympic and football venue Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and turned it into a short stock car track for a hugely successful weekend earlier this year, the NHRA must take up the gauntlet.
Excuse us for dreaming for a moment about the NHRA.
Imagine Formula 1 and local authorities at next fall’s Formula 1 Night Race in the heart of Las Vegas, providing the perfect stage for drag racing to showcase its sensory overload experience.
NHRA’s Camping World Drag Racing series, at first glance, seems incongruous with the elite wine-and-brie set of open wheels. But if these F1 fans were to see a display of raw power from a Top Fuel or a Funny Car – a car that explodes from a standing start at over 330 mph in less than four seconds – it would shake them to their FIA approved flame retardant underwear.
All we’re asking for is a few moments next fall during F1 weekend for an NHRA-style burnout or two on the Las Vegas Strip.
Already an engrossing sight with its deafening cackle and roar, smoky tire smaze, sweet, sticky nitro smell and crushing launch, an NHRA Top Fuel or Funny Car could show a different kind of motorsport unfolding. in Las Vegas twice a year, sometimes four wide in 44,000 horsepower glory.
It’s a technical feat that would fascinate the best in F1.
So “And that? Fun Car Racer Alexis DeJoria says.
She said Automatic week“That would be amazing. Put a kind word for me.
Very well . . . here we are:
Stefano Domenicali, you are the Chairman and CEO of Formula 1. You like fast cars. You were born in Imola, right in the pocket of Italian motorsport passion, for God’s sake. You have worked with Ferrari and Lamborghini. You’d love these Top Fuel and Funny Car beasts. The pure power would impress you.
Also Alexis DeJoria. She is fearless. She’s been aboard the Sea Shepherd, getting first-hand insight into the choppy waters of the ocean on how to help endangered animals. Years ago, she visited North Korea on a diplomatic mission. She modeled and worked with her billionaire entrepreneur father John Paul DeJoria and was even ready for a culture shock from skateboard-centric Venice Beach, California to Austin, Texas, where she lived on a ranch. and even raised pigs and chickens and explored his faith. She often says “badass” and “I’m thrilled”, but can easily carry on intelligent conversation beyond the run and is a caring single mother to a bright young woman. She has elaborate and colorful tattoos adorning her arms, but don’t let that scare you. She’s the sweetest, happiest, most easy-going woman around — oh, until she got into a race car — an 11,000 horsepower fire-breathing beast called Funny Car. . . which, by the way, produces speeds around 100mph faster than F1’s sleek and artistic machines. In any case, she is relentless. You would like it.
But you would like what she can do in this race car. And how lucky you are to let her shine in your Formula 1 race in Las Vegas, where her family lived and where she won multiple times at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Strip, just north of town.
So how does all of this affect you? Oh, Stefano, imagine it. Alexis – and someone from the Top Fuel class (these are the long skinny cars that also launch at near 6G and launch parachutes to stop at negative 5G and can literally rip the retina out of your eyeballs) – can warm up your crowd. That would be great – talk to the mayor of Las Vegas or whoever you need permission from. Alexis and his colleague from Top Fuel could take a long, smoky burnout to the Strip. If that didn’t grab the crowd’s attention, nothing will.
You know, Stefano, when the pandemic hit and Formula 1 was in a bit of a tailspin like every other business, you wisely saw the opportunity – you called it a ‘take it or leave it opportunity’ – and you said, “You can’t leave it.” Now you have another one of those “take it or leave it” chances. It’s a chance to share the beauty of motorsport, a chance to build relationships and establish a cross-pollination network to strengthen the whole industry. Don’t leave any chances on the table. Take it.
There you go, Alexis. Maybe you’ll finally get that platform beyond a dragstrip to show why you got hooked on your sport at 16, watching those crazy dragsters in Pomona.
DeJoria said: “I had a chance to do it at the NASCAR track in Bristol, and it ended up raining at the start. They cut us, and they cut the country singer who was going to do the national anthem. So I haven’t been able to do that yet. It would be amazing. I love Vegas. It sounds amazing. That would be great.
“Perhaps the closest I think we could get is to do a burnout in a (place) closed and as safe as possible. Or maybe just getting a car over there and giving it a few throttles would be enough,” she said. “I know it would be loud and get everyone’s attention in F1, and I think it would be really great for our sport to have a crossover brand.
“Our problem,” DeJoria said, “is that we have to get people’s attention to what we’re doing. We have to give people the experience in any way, shape or form, whether it’s starting the car, giving it a good throttle, burning out – just something – to get that feeling, sound, speed, everything through getting people to come to the races. That’s what’s so important. Watching it on TV is amazing. I’m still a fan, even at the end of the day when I’m losing. But you have to go to a race to fully appreciate what it’s all about. So bringing that to F1. . . their minds are going to be blown. Everyone we’ve brought to the track from other forms of motorsport is like, ‘Oh my God, you’re crazy. This is amazing.’ It is very possible. We’ll see.”
DeJoria lives not far from COTA, the Circuit of the Americas, which hosts a Formula 1 race in October. COTA seems like an intriguing facility to add an NHRA-sanctioned dragstrip to, to say the least.
“At the time, the people running COTA met with the NHRA chiefs, Graham Light at the time, and they wanted to know what every length of every track is, from the finish line to the sand trap. “, said DeJoria. “They wanted schematics for everything, because they wanted to do that. There’s tons of land there – I mean, they’re building an amusement park there. Wouldn’t it be great to To have the two fastest motorsports in the world in one facility, F1 and Top Fuel and Nitro Funny Car? That would be amazing,” said DeJoria.
“They wanted to make sure they weren’t stepping on anyone’s toes. I think it was a bit political,” she said. “There’s already two races in Texas, so they didn’t want to compete with the other tracks and so on. They said if a track goes away, they’ll come back to it. And it would probably be a wide four.
Next weekend’s SpringNationals in Baytown, Texas will mark the end of a 34-year run for the NHRA at Houston Raceway Park, which is expected to be dedicated to the expansion of global logistics solutions company Katoen Natie. So here’s a chance for two major motorsport sanctions to pool their resources and show America what the industry has to offer.
Erica Enders, four-time NHRA Pro Stock champion, doesn’t have a race car with header flames and doesn’t make 11,000 horsepower. But the Houston native, who is the most successful racer on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Strip, supported DeJoria’s suggestion.
“I may be a little biased, but our sport is so unique,” Enders said. “It provides a great platform for kids to start and work their way through the ranks. People like me and JR Todd and Leah Pritchett and Shawn Langdon – those kids got their start in Jr. Drag Racing and worked on the programs and turned pro. It is really awesome. . . how many strong, independent, successful women are running the track. You don’t see us in bikini magazines. You see us holding the Wally (the NHRA trophy, named for the sport’s founder, Wally Parks) at the end of the track and a bottle of champagne.
“In all areas, our sport is great. Each ticket is a pass. You can come and stand in the pits and watch us work on our map, take photos, talk with the crew – and that’s not something any other motorsport offers,” said Enders. “I love our sport, and to see the stands filled this year is so cool. Gainesville was sold out. Houston is about to be sold out. The spring race in Las Vegas was packed on Sunday. So I think the trend is going in a good way, and I’m really proud to be associated with it.”
As Stefano Domenicali said, “We have to see what the other opportunities are.”
Hey, Stefano, here’s a creative and huge one for you. Here’s a chance to set aside territorial tendencies, unite as motorsport leaders and bring awareness to the excitement and variety of motor racing.
What are you saying?
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