NHRA Looks at the Future of Electric Drag Racing

eCOPO Camaro Takes on Pomona

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].

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About Andreanna Ditton 183 Articles
Andreanna Ditton is the Content Manager for MotorHead Media and the Editor-in-Chief for RacingJunk.com/news. She's been working in the automotive publishing industry since 2007 focusing on racing and performance for motorcycles and cars.

17 Comments on NHRA Looks at the Future of Electric Drag Racing

  1. Too me, drag racing is the sight, sound, smell, and thunder in your chest. I really have no interest in electric racing. Speed isn’t the only factor for me.

  2. That something our generations grew up on, we have a tendency to not let go what we know, I carbed a ls swap, get lots garbage about it, then I collect at the line. I with ya. But soon several generations will only know about electric racing. It’s all about education and we are loosing.

  3. It’s the end of drag racing and auto racing in general. Going to be like demolition man, boring. We thought racing was expensive, definitely going to be out of reach. But, I’m sure another sanctioning body will come out of this. Bye NHRA, NASCAR, and others.

  4. I sent the following email to NHRA on 3/2/21: Permitting electric cars in competition is fine as long as you run them in their own classes. That way the fans can go to the concession stands while they run. I for one don’t want to see oversized slot cars. Without the noise of fossil fueled engines drag racing will be like watching a race on tv with the sound muted. If the sport goes electric my family won’t be attending events. You’ll loose your fan base and you fat cats in corporate will have to find real jobs. Maybe you can get a job selling solar panels.

  5. I’m hoping that “electric racing” is short-lived! I’ll watch my Aurora AFX slot cars go ’round a plastic racetrack instead. Let NASCAR pursue this bad idea of running electric cars, they’re already on a downhill slide. It’s a bad precedent that GM and other car companies are going electric. The future for motor sport enthusiasts looks bleak!

  6. The only positive side that I can see is that as the world becomes more and more overpopulated, houses can be built closer to drags strips without the residents bitching about the noise.
    Then maybe more strips can remain open.

  7. NHRA, Like NASCAR, has lost favor with their real true race fans and is grabbing at straws to survive. They sold out to big corporate $$$ and now they’re reaping what they have sown. The grass roots race scene is where it’s at now. The Doorslammers series in drag racing, and dirt short track for the circle guys. If you want to race EV’s, get a slot car!

  8. EV drag racing has had its own circuit for at least a decade, probably longer. Why no historical reference here? NHRA’s attention is too little, too late — as usual.

  9. Electric cars r are for commuting to work,no one wants to go to a silent!!! drag race.I want to feel the horsepower inn my chest

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