All American Fuel Dragsters Association To Vote On Boycott Of Hot Rod Reunion

All American Fuel Dragsters Association To Vote On Boycott Of Hot Rod Reunion

(Photos by Darr Hawthorne) • With a record number of Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragsters slated to appear at NHRA’s Holley Hot Rod Reunion in Bowling Green, KY, the Assoc. will vote this week on a possible boycott of the June NHRA Heritage Series event.

Surprisingly, the conflict and proposed boycott isn’t over the usual grievance: a lack of purse money — it’s about NHRA’s inability to accept a windfall of outside sponsorship toward an enhanced purse and a bigger field.“It breaks my heart that it has come to this with NHRA,” Bob McLennan, President of AAFD, said. “We have offered to double the Top Fuel Dragsters for this race, and NHRA wants no part of it. We have asked for a 16-car ladder versus the current 8-car ladder. We’ve even brought in a private sponsor to offset their costs, but NHRA has drawn a line in the sand, and they will not change the event structure to allow for more money and more cars.”


All American Fuel Dragsters’ impetus to double the number of nitro-dragsters is based on Nostalgia Top Fuel’s growth as a class as well as a lack of participation from the AA/Funny Cars at Bowling Green. Each year a race fan could count the Funny Car entries on one hand — and whose further participation is in doubt because recent Holley Hot Rod Reunion drew as few as three nitro Funny Car teams.

“To offset any of NHRA’s costs, (Midwestern Top Fuel racer) Jimi Young brought in Custom Floaters for an additional five figures in purse money,” McLennan explained. “This event benefits the NHRA Museum — it’s their largest fundraiser of the year. It’s just mind-boggling that NHRA will not support our effort to put on a better show and help finance their Museum.”


Still, this is a hard pill for McLennan, whose father, Jim McLennan, was inducted into the NHRA Hall of Fame in 1991, the second class of inductees. “With our family’s history with NHRA, you’d think they would know we are trying to benefit the Museum’s bottom line and make this a huge success,” McLennan said. “We want this to be a win-win.” said McLennan, he is still open to making things work, but with teams voting imminent and the sentiment of the Top Fuel racers almost unanimous in their viewpoint, the possibility of even an 8-car Top Fuel Eliminator for the Holley Hot Rod Reunion in Bowling Green doesn’t look promising.

  • Share This
  • Pinterest
  • 0

17 thoughts on “All American Fuel Dragsters Association To Vote On Boycott Of Hot Rod Reunion

  1. Jeff

    So let me get this straight, tracks are closing at a record rate and AAFD wants to bring MORE cars to a race for the fans. Purse money will be brought in with the extra cars, fans, and sponsors. Sounds like a win win. More cars, more money, and more fans.

    The time is coming when the big three that are left in NHRA fuel category are going to go away/ retire/ die….. Then what kind of show are they gonna have? Wake up and get off of your high horse NHRA, you havn’t been about the fans in a loooooonnnnngggg time.

  2. KCR

    As drag racing fans go. Those of us that are. Have known for quite some time. NHRA is its own worse enemy. They seem to listen only to the corporate parts of sponsors. They don’t seem to take what the fans want into consideration at all. If the dumb asses in NHRA would listen to what fans would like. The money would flow in. Sponsors pay the teams. If fans don’t pay to come to see the races then NHRA won’t have any money. Sounds to me. Someone with a big ego has too much of “I’m the boss”. I’ve been to the Hot Rod Reunion in BowlingGreen many times. The top fuel cars are always a huge hit with the fans. This is a shame.

    1. mack

      I agree. Im undecided whether to go to the HRRU or WWTR for the MWPM event- this is making it easy for me

  3. Darris Hardwidge

    The NHRA does nothing but make bad moves. This and the fact that the very popular Pro Mod is a secondary field, and four wide racing sucks. It appears that the NHRA is more concerned with saving money than making money.

  4. DJ

    Take a look at the NHRA’s coverage of any Heritage Series event on the official NHRA website…..if you can find it…. It is obvious that NHRA does not care all that much. Maybe time for the series to go independent? Back to the GoodGuys?

    NHRA – No Hot Rods Allowed.

    1. Mr Sunshine

      the year of the first HRR in Bowling Green there were 7 or 8 pages of coverage in National Ragster, now it is barely 3

  5. Phil Leonard

    For years I have attended the Famoso HHR (and March Meet). I absolutely enjoy them. I’ve never had the privilege of being in KY, but I’m sure the rodders in that region of our great land enjoy themselves as much. So here’s a humble plea from an aging car guy: please work it out folks, the racing atmosphere is tenuous enough as is. Mucho Gracias

  6. Truckin' Ted

    Hubris will eventually bring down the NHRA. A company that continues to make one bad decision after another cannot survive.

    When that day comes, it will be a very happy day.

  7. Just Gary

    What’s the NHRA’s side of the story?
    Not even a “NHRA had no comment” ??

    I’m not defending NHRA at all; I am questioning the author’s objectivity when only one side is offered.

  8. Bill Sampson

    I have watched NHRA downgrade for the last 20 years. This does not surprise me. Whoever is managing the helm needs to be replaced.

  9. Ted

    Any of us that have been drag racing for any length of time all seem to agree that the NHRA is on a serious decline. This story makes zero sense as the rail guys are bringing funds, new sponsor and nothing but goodwill and they get less than zero interest from NHRA?

    Pro side of the NHRA has to me been seriously lacklustre since the 4 wide/ridiculous flopper bodies/death of Pro Stock, the cheesy corporate side of sponsorship that prevails now, and even the sportsman side has suffered to where it’s mostly guys with seriously deep pockets who make the staging lanes now. Bracket racing shouldn’t consume a month’s wages for a day’s racing.

    The little guy side of racing is dead, and NHRA seems to be following NASCAR into a show few enjoy, most can’t afford, and less go to watch.

    That saddens me as a 60 year old gearhead.

  10. Barry Pippin

    I was at Bowling Green this year , we had two TFD and six AA/FC . NHRA don’t care about there fans or the races , very sad what they are doing to all of us.

  11. Frank Hutto

    So maybe it is time for a funny car chaos type group for top fuel guys?
    I dont have a car but I have a bad ass 1/8 mile track in Illinois for a traing grounds or home track!

Comments are closed.