The indudstry’s top sanctioning body addresses the EV trend to contemplate an electric future for drag racing.
Electric powered vehicles are on everyone’s mind right now, including, it turns out, the National Hot Rod Association, a group that’s built entirely around the power of the internal combustion engine. And while this isn’t the first time the sanctioning body has looked to the future (see the swap from carb to EFI that still has drivers and teams reeling), this represents a very big (potential) leap for the group and it’s audience.
As mentioned in a March 01, 2021 article by the NHRA, drag racing and this level of racing in particular, has intensive ties to the automotive OEMs, and all of them are vocally and vigorously pivoting their technology to the EV field. If the NHRA wants to retain those ties, it MUST follow suit while still addressing the needs of its fanbase.
EV-powered race vehicles aren’t new to the NHRA, either. There are guidelines and standards in the rule book, and EVs like the electric Copo Camaro and Cobra Jet Mustang have sped down the strip. But there’s a big difference between the occasional EV showing, as demo or competitor, and a full on embrace of the technology. The organization was founded to celebrate all things fast, and to open up drag racing to a broad audience of competitors and spectators. The NHRA wants to stay ahead of that curve by making sure that the EV has a place in its ranks.
To do that, it is hosting a series of open discussions at upcoming races and events to gather together “…OEM auto manufacturers, aftermarket parts suppliers, racecar builders, and companies that specialize in safety and fire suppression” and others who can talk about how to move forward with EV racing in a safe and productive manner, addressing the differences in the technologies and what that could mean for all involved.
The first meetings are scheduled to take place during the upcoming Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, March 12-14. Interested parties who would like to participate in an upcoming discussion regarding EV technology as it relates to NHRA racing should contact Ned Walliser at [email protected].