Drag Illustrated Issue 169, June/July 2021 - Page 85

AFTER WINNING HIS FIRST PDRA EXTREME PRO STOCK RACE IN MAY , JUSTIN KIRK IS CHASING
MORE SUCCESS AS A THIRD-
GENERATION DRIVER . HE ’ S USING HIS EXPERIENCE AND A LOT OF HARD WORK BY THE BUCK-KIRK
RACING TEAM TO GO UP AGAINST BIGGER , WELL-FUNDED TEAMS . nomics or some want to run quarter , some want to run eighth , I don ’ t know . But right now , with three different series , we have every option you can think of . So what ’ s it going to take to get some of the ones that are sitting back out again ? Maybe the three series is too complicated for us . Maybe that ’ s a problem . I don ’ t know . Maybe if there was one series that had the benefits of all three , maybe that would get them to come out .
Other than that , I ’ ve called , I ’ ve begged . I ’ m very passionate about MMPS and I ’ ve done everything I can to try to get cars back out again . It gets to the point where I ’ m batting my head against the wall . I don ’ t know what it ’ s going to take . I really don ’ t have an answer for that . All I can say is we have to just keep doing the best job we can for MMPS . I think there ’ s going to be a lot of new players coming out .
Powers : Just from the four years that I ’ ve been racing over here , I think the payout is just not there . The thing I notice with a lot of guys is they don ’ t seem to care what the big number is , which is kind of what we look at racing for , but they want a lot of money for showing up . They want the free entry , they want the $ 2,000-4,000 to qualify and things like that . I think that ’ s the wrong way for the class to go , but that seems to be what a majority of the smaller teams want . They don ’ t think they can compete , so they want that .
But I think the bigger number would draw in more guys . If you start advertising $ 20,000 to win with eight or 10 grand to runner-up , I think it would draw some guys from Pro Mod to come back and participate . I think some of that is those teams don ’ t want to work . It takes a guy to call the shots with a clutch car , and I think that ’ s why some of the teams haven ’ t come back , guys that maybe thought about it .
The allure of racing at NHRA national events has drawn people to race various different NHRA classes . MMPS has had that opportunity a handful of times over the last few years . Do you think doing more of that kind of stuff would help bring more people to the class , or is it just kind of a unique opportunity to do once in a while ?
Pluchino : It ’ s a nice opportunity to have . I enjoyed grabbing my first NHRA Wally , even though it was mini . But you can ’ t sell out just to be able to do it . You have to know your worth . If the right opportunity presents itself , we have to stick together as a class . If guys want to run NHRA so bad , they should put a little motor in their car and go run it . We need to stick together as a class first and foremost . There are times when going to an NHRA race is a good option for us . But at the end of the day , we have to have the marketing partners and the situation for it to make sense for us to go to those races and show our class .
Carr : Absolutely it will . There ’ s more exposure , some TV time , bigger crowds . Part of that is because NHRA targets the big geographic areas where you can get more fans . It definitely gained a lot of exposure for our class when we first went over there . Our momentum was great , then it was almost like putting the brakes on wide open . We had to take a break because of COVID . Unfortunately , it really took the wind out of our sails after the first four races we did . I can ’ t even say we ’ re back to where we started , but we ’ re close , and NHRA is doing what they can to help us . It is a great stage to be on , and it is quarter mile , so they already have something different to offer compared to what PDRA and ADRL are doing . That makes it different right up front .
Kirk : It could go both ways . If the NHRA would promote it on the TV like they said they would , it would get more people interested . It ’ s the only class left that a true gearhead would understand – takes two feet to drive , two hands to drive , and sometimes that ’ s not even enough . It would help if the NHRA would do their part to help push it . Show it on TV , explain the class like they do with the nitro classes . But it would help if we could get the push from the TV side of things . I think that would definitely help attract people . Attract racers ? I don ’ t know .
Montecalvo : I think running NHRA definitely gives us more visibility . The response that we ’ ve gotten from the fans is phenomenal – it was actually over the top . When we first went to that
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