There is simply no denying at this point that electric vehicles are on every automaker’s mind. As these companies begin to embrace this once-derided technology, the industry as a whole is undergoing dramatic changes. In order to ensure that they keep up with these changes, the National Hot Rod Association has set their sights on expanding their efforts in the electric vehicle segment. That’s right folks, the flame-shooting-V8-loving NHRA is gearing up a potential EV drag racing series.
“From the vision that Wally Parks had when he founded NHRA in 1951 to our current ‘Speed for All’ campaign, NHRA has always strived 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,” said Ned Walliser, NHRA vice president-competition. “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. At NHRA, we are eager to keep pace with the latest developments in EV technology.”
It isn’t a huge surprise to learn that the NHRA wants to get in on the electric vehicle action. The association has worked closely with automakers for its entire 70 year history, which is something that won’t change as EVs become the norm. The process of designing EV racing series is slated to include several panel discussions with automakers, race teams, parts suppliers, and safety equipment companies, starting at the NHRA Gatornatioanls at Gainesville Raceway on March 12-14.
This isn’t the first time that the NHRA has tried their hand at EV drag racing. Just last year racer Steve Huff broke the 200 mph barrier at Arizona’s Tucson Dragway in his all electric dragster. Running down the strip in just 7.52 seconds at 201.07 mph, Huff bested the 189 mph trap speed record set in 2019 by none other than Top Fuel world champion “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. Furthermore, who could forget the electric COPO Camaro or Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 models that both managed to dip well under the 10-second mark?
That said, this process of injecting EVs won’t necessarily be pain free for the National Hot Rod Association. While racing has always been a great way to promote your product, the NHRA needs automakers and race teams alike to help fill the new field. There are also some safety concerns that need to be solved, specifically as it relates to EV batteries when a crash takes place. In the end however, the NHRA needs fan support for this to work. There will be something odd about watching drag races without the gasoline-powered soundtrack we’ve all come to know and love. Whether or not fans will get past that is still up in the air.