The Fan Base Deserves Better & Other NHRA Brainerd Reactions | The Wes Buck Show

Wes Buck and Mike Carpenter break down the poor turnout of pro-level racers at the NHRA national event in Brainerd, Minnesota, and a slew of other tidbits revolving around one of the NHRA’s Northern-most stops. #nhra #dragracing #wesbuck


Drag Illustrated’s The Wes Buck Show is home to the only truly unfiltered, conversation happening in drag racing, providing insight and opinion on the latest news and happenings from throughout the sport.


  1. It's time to take the big gumball tires off (go back to a harder 14 wide), take the big blowers off, one fuel pump, one magneto, shorten the wheelbase to 250 inches, go back to 1/4 mile.
    The little guys were the backbone in the heyday of the Top Fuel Dragster when 100 cars showed up for a 64 (!) car ladder, too expensive and too many events these days.

  2. Don't forget, the top alcohol funny car & alcohol dragster field was beyond pathetic for car count. Unfortunately NHRA is cutting their own throat.

  3. They need to do a lot more of a Top alcohol funny car and Top alcohol dragster! I don't know anyone that doesn't love those cars, a lot of people that go and see Top Fuel don't even realize what they are until they see them. We also need blown fuel bikes as well. The program as a whole seems to be improving, sounds better video clips are better things like that, but I just hope they keep improving and be able to bring in more car counts.. Camping World seems to be doing a lot of good, hopefully its a big ship small rudder, not a shipnw/ no rudder.. I know for a fact, as do you guys, they could get WAY more fuel cars, promods, fuel bikes (of both types) and the blown fuel classes..

    even w/ the pandemic, sponsorship money is there as is the ability for purse increases and broader coverage

  4. Nhra is arrogant and think they are the only game in town. Look how much they charge spectators and for what, short fields, no pro stock!!! They have to quit blaming Covid and start getting with the times. I still attend them but there are better shows, some of the small tire no preps are putting on some great shows.

  5. NHRA is dying from its own hunger strike essentially. It refuses to take in anything other than corporate sponsor dollars. I was so excited for ProMod when they opened it up but than came out with these rediculous rules and essentailly let ProLine take over the class.

  6. It's also bad at some local tracks my daughter and I went to a local race back in March the weather wasn't great but 10 spectators in the stans that is including us and about 40 cars and crew in the pits it wasn't good.

  7. I don’t know were you guys are getting your info Pro Stock is still running NHRA in 2021 Clay sucks I used to put him on the trailer every time I raced him when he was a bracket racer, the reason car count and fan count is down is Covid-19, covid is getting bad again with delta and gamma and a lot of the big drivers are older guys 60+ and they don’t wanna get covid and possibly die and not be here for a 2022 season so there not showing up atm

  8. NHRA has dug this hole for themselves. There is more to drag racing than Top Fuel. John Force and Steve Torrence are not the sum of drag racing. The other stages that you mention are what people like me want to see. Example, seeing the crews at the starting lines wearing regular t shirts like the people in the stands, clears away some of the corporate undesirably that defines unoptainability of the fans to relate. These teams have priced themselves out of grassroots racing. Look at Street Outlaws and NPK, the stands are running over. They will have to be careful not to make the same mistakes. Too much money and arrogance can ruin a once successful thing along with an unwillingness to change. That alternative racing we are enjoying currently could have been welcomed by the NHRA.

  9. They really missed Pro Stock. It has the best racing in professional drag racing. Didn't Jason Line come from this area?? Although the Extreme Pro Stocks put on a good show.

  10. The NHRA needs to reduce costs for the pro teams, I remember 15-20 years ago pro stock had 30 plus cars and the fuel classes had 20 plus legit cars not to mention IHRA had its own racers during that time also. The costs are too much especially for the current payouts and obviously certain events are just more travel friendly for where teams are located at then others.

  11. I have been going to this race since the first one. I enjoyed this year. Loved the pro mods and mm pro stock. They were a nice change from the norm. Racing was great. A bonus was if you got there on Wednesday, they ran the points meet. Only disappoitment was the 3 TA/FC cars. Personally, I wouldn't mind if they replaced them with pro mods.

  12. NHRA shot themselves in the foot. Imho NHRA should have legends like Bernstein, Prudhomme and WJ to name a few consulting or be on a committee to help the sport grow. They know what it was like back in they heydays when the sport was thriving. NHRA has lost its magic or luster. The multi-car teams definitely don’t help. Like I said, just my opinion.

  13. I went to Brainerd for YEARS. 2006 was the end for me. They jacked up prices on everything. Made the grand stands all reserved. Scew it. I don't care anymore.

  14. Hey can Mike Carpenter answer a question what year did Tommy Mauney work out of his dad's shop I had a car built the second or third car out-of Charles shop somewhere around 1989 thanks it was a topsportsman camaro.

  15. nhra has destroyed the sport by filling its pockets with big money and promoting only big buck classes that have eliminated 2/3 of the kind of people who have built this sport, like Bobby "WEST " Warren , and other grass roots racers! I have been going to drag races here in Pa. , and National Trail Raceway in Ohio, and Englishtown, NJ since before I could even legally drive. My dad would take me to York US30 to watch match races with people like Jungle Jim , Dyno Don Nicholson, Eddie Schartman, Malcolhm Durham, and many others. I could begin to see the writing on the wall when at big national events like the Springnationals when they were held at National Trail Raceway near Columbus and, other tracks, nhra wanted nothing but more and more money for themselves , more and more for themselves and less for the track owners. I know a little about what was going on at National Trail when these things began to transpire because I sat next to a guy whose personal friend was the track owner's son. He was talking to his buddies about how much nhra made on the national event race there at National Trail every year . He said that they, nhra would split the earnings with the track owners 50/50 on whatever the profits were. He went on to say that the amount total for this race was around 7 million dollars I was told by a sportsman racer who had a stock eliminator car and his engine builder who did my machine work for me on my bracket car that that is why nhra started buying their own tracks and stuffing all the money in their own pockets!! When NHRA eliminated modified production as a class of competition they destroyed 75 percent of grass root innovators and engine technology in the sport. These were extremely talented drivers and engine builders. When pro stock truck became a tremendous fan favorite in the sport , it only lasted a few short years and then with a knee jerk decision all of a sudden announced that the class was being eliminated causing many great innovators in small block engine development to just leave the sport, and these weren't people who were just a bunch of fly by night clowns! One of these men , Jim Eaton , a very wealthy man , just disappeared from the sport along with his multi million dollar influence!! The trucks had a tremendous fan base appeal because millions of drag race fans did not own an expensive style pro stock car ,but; they owned a pickup truck just like the ones in pro stock truck! Maybe this is why the nascar truck series is still so popular , because fans can relate to this class??!!! And now we come to the modern class of pro stock, the vehicles don't even resemble a production style car and If you don't have corporate backing or are a multi millionaire, who purchases or leases an engine from summit or elite , or purchases a multi million dollar engine program you can't compete, or even qualify a car at a national event. When nhra decided to go to fuel injection instead of carbs, there was a massive hit to the people who had been working hard to keep a competitive edge in the class and when they added fuel injection to the mix they just added God knows how much more added expense to their engine programs , sending many packing!! Now they can't always fill a 16 car field for race day! 1 thing is for certain , if nhra really cared about the sport and not about filling their big pockets with money , they would have invested in helping some of the struggling tracks that are just trying to keep from being overtaken by greedy land developers!!!! Nhra has created this mess and I don't think it is going to end well for anyone , especially the grass roots guy , who just wants to find a place to race his bracket car! I have been watching and participating in this sport on the lower spectrum grass roots level since I was a kid ,and the greatest innovator, engine builder and driver came to this sport as a kid working on his dad's farm tractor , and his name was Bob Glidden!!!!! Without an entry level way to start in this sport like existed in the past , you won't see any more Bob Gliddens, and I believe that will be the end of the sport of drag racing !!!!

  16. The NHRA is becoming "Sears" they think just because they are NHRA everyone will show up. Its not happening and we all know what happened to the Sears stores. Times are changing and they better change with it!

  17. The NHRA, like NASCAR, is in deep crap! For years the NHRA fought against Pro Mods. Now that they've seen that class is more popular than Pro Stocks they screwed with it to deter from its popularity. When you have 16 car fields and can't draw but 14 cars… something is seriously wrong. Pro Stocks has been dead and there's no CPR to bring em back. Mountain Motors and Pro Mods (if they'd leave em alone) can help greatly. Look at the tracks the NHRA has lost. Geez. TRUE! Cost to run fuel cars is ridiculous, but it is what it is. They cancelled Petersburg/Dinwiddie that draws 30K* and go to Charlotte that didn't look like there was 20K. That sums up how the NHRA has gone in recent yrs. Piss poor decision making my management. *Pandemic my butt! It would not have stopped the fans.

  18. I stopped watching drag racing when they stopped running 1320 feet!!! Excuse was there's not enough shutdown area, alright that's understandable. But, the track owners along with the NHRA have made an exuberant amount of money in profit, use that money to lengthen the shutdown area at these strips. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

  19. Professional sports have had their way for far too long. Whether it's NHRA, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, MLB etc.
    More people are spending their time and $$ at local sporting events.. to me personally, I believe that's a good thing.

  20. I'm in my 70's and have been a fan of NHRA drag racing since the 1960's. This season I haven't watched a single race. It's just not interesting any longer. The TV coverage sucks when compared to a few years ago. The best announcers are long gone, replaced by people who could just as well be commenting on a dog show. So many of the great drivers have retired or lost their rides. The Top Fuel winner has become predictable for the past several seasons. I fear for the future of the sport as sponsorship is hard to find and expenses soar.

  21. Without full fields for the pro classes it has the feel of an exhibition.Maybe its time to promote it that way.Qualifying used to be intense.I still love it but I don’t really care who wins .RIP Englishtown

  22. The problem with NHRA is not run by anyone who loves the sport. Brained should have a protocol cars and bikes. NhRA should be showing junior dragster on tv to promote family. Get someone who loves NHRA like I do to run it

  23. The NHRA needs to improve its top end speeds. I am bored seeing the nitro classes run 325 mph. We need many more runs over 331 mph and climbing. I wonder if 340 mph will ever be surpassed.

  24. NHRA has been trying to make drag racing "Bigger and Better" since the early 60's. Eventually you run out of "Bigger and Better". After you see a thousand 3 second Top Fuel runs, even that becomes routine and not too exciting. I think drag racing is a mature sport that has exceeded is maximum appeal. It is adjusting to a new, lower fan count. Returning to more of a participant sport rather than a spectator sport.

  25. The biggest prob NHRA has is the pathetic TV coverage they're getting from FS. The actual video quality is great but their delivery/format/and commentary SUCK. This networks obsession with furthering and/or inviting childish 'trash talking' during interviews is cheap sensationalism that is unflattering to this sport in general. Other distracting activities.. like staging battles (in an already time constrained format),.. childishly detracts from the main purpose of drag racing-seeing how fast two cars (only) can go… IMO neither of these should be encouraged or tolerated-these racers need to figure out how to stay successfully focused on their own race(s)-I did (on the staging part anyway.. and I've never been a frustrated trash talker). Figuring out what time/channel to watch the Natl events is a total joke as well. I sure miss the good old days of Mike Dunn, Steve Evans, and Bob Frey (to name just a few) who went above and beyond to keep the audience's attention focused w/o using the 'if it bleeds it leads' type of gimmicks. I do not mind 'shows'-like this one-b/c by design, it discusses problems in the sport most of us (here right now) like, participate in, and/or want to promote (new spectators to join us in).

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