NHRA Reaches Out To OEMs With Plans To Expand Electric Drag Racing

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Electric cars are fast. We know that, because we’re CleanTechnica readers and we’ve watched Tesla after Tesla beat up on supercar after supercar time and time again. It’s expected here, but there are a whole lot of people out there in middle America who still equate electric cars with golf carts, and it’s those people who are set to be most surprised the next time they head out to an NHRA drag racing event. That’s because the NHRA is planning to expand its electric drag racing classes, and it is reaching out to the OEMs for input on how to do that successfully.

Specially-built electric drag racing cars have been something of a trend with carmakers in the last few years. It was just last spring that Ford launched its 1400 HP all-electric Cobra Jet concept, and even that car was a bit late to the party, having been launched a full year after Chevrolet’s own 700HP eCOPO Camaro. Stripped-down, lightweight versions of the new Mustang Mach-E and a new Ford Lightning are, doubtless, on their way, along with an electric Corvette, the ultra-powerful new GMC Hummer, and more.  So, you can kind of see where the NHRA is going with all this, right?

Image courtesy of Ford

“It’s certainly no secret that electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular with consumers, and the technology associated with them continues to move forward at a rapid pace,” said Ned Walliser, NHRA vice president-competition. “At (the) NHRA, we are eager to keep pace with the latest developments in EV technology … from the vision that Wally Parks had when he founded NHRA in 1951 to our current ‘Speed for All’ campaign, NHRA has always strived [sic] to provide a welcoming environment not just for competitors from all walks of life, but also to accommodate a very wide variety of vehicles, and that includes electric cars and motorcycles.”

OMG, you guys — I forgot electric motorcycles. Them’re fast AF, too.

The NHRA is looking ahead to the next steps in the expansion of electric drag racing. And, as such, the group has extended an open invitation to interested parties and stakeholders in the sport to participate in an open dialogue on the topic during the upcoming Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, March 12th-14th. The invitation has been extended to OEMs, aftermarket companies, racecar builders, event promoters, and companies that specialize in safety and fire suppression. It’s worth noting, too, that increasing noise regulations have been threatening to close several high-profile, historic drag strips and circle tracks in recent years, as well, so a quieter class of racer that can still put on a heck of a show is almost guaranteed to be attractive to the people who own those venues.

What about you guys? Would you, dear readers, be more likely to check out an NHRA event if you knew there was a professional electric drag racing class to watch? Would you want the cars to have more in common with the road cars you could buy, like a pro stock class, or would you prefer something really wild, pushing the envelope of speed, like a funny car class?  Scroll on down to the comments section and let us know!

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