One nitro-class driver shared Saturday that the NHRA might release a statement early this coming week, possibly Monday, that the Aug. 28-30 Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway is back off the revised schedule.
No NHRA spokesman has confirmed or denied the rumor.
And Kyle Wurtzel, who failed to qualify in the Top Fuel class Saturday along with debuting former drag boat racer Kim Davidson, said he doubts the NHRA will move ahead with the Atlanta event.
“No, I do not see the Atlanta race happening. I mean, I’m not buying plane tickets, let’s put it that way,” he said, giving NHRA officials the benefit of any doubt.
“The restrictions and rules that NHRA has got to follow from state to state, county to county, has to be the biggest headache in the world to try to figure out and navigate,” Wurtzel said. “At any moment in time, all that can change. So I can’t imagine trying to run an organization or an event that requires spectators to work. It’s got to be a nightmare.”
Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Jerry Savoie, the 2016 champion, said, “I don’t think they’re [NHRA] going to make the season. I think they’re going to quit. It’s not a smart business decision to go forward when you can’t make money. So, you know from the outside looking in as a racer, do I want to race? Absolutely, I would like to race every weekend. But money-wise, they can’t afford to be traveling across the country like this with no fans at these races, or very few.”
Ryan Oehler, winner of the Pro Stock Motorcycle final at the first Indianapolis race in July, looked at the feasibility of fans being willing or able to abide by the NHRA’s public-health restrictions and requirements at the dragstrip. He said, “Here’s the tough thing: You’re trying to be politically correct. We’re all trying to appease NHRA. You’re not going to come out to one of these outdoor venue of things and wear a mask all day long.”