The paper recently reported that a drag boat show "lured" 24,000 people to the race last year, and this year there are 74 boats expected to compete. This past May 4-7, a drag race in Commerce, Ga., had 80,000-plus people attend, and there were 500-plus cars in competition.
There is a major difference in these two races: The one in Commerce did not have a single word of coverage in this paper, but the boat race gets front-page coverage. They have free admission on a Friday and still get only 24,000 to attend for the weekend. If National Hot Rod Association had free admission, they would have to close the gates; there would be wall-to-wall people.
The race at Commerce has been held for more than 25 years, the track is a first-rate facility - no port-a-potties, a lot of speed and records have been set at this event. The best part is that all the top pros are there every year.
I have attended the Masters Tournament several times (when common people could get practice-round tickets), Atlanta Braves baseball games and University of Georgia football games, but drag racing has the most entertainment for the cost of a ticket of any sporting event. The spectators can get up close to the pros like John Force, Kenny Bernstein and Greg Anderson - and I mean autographs and photos with them - and because of this, the sport is growing every year.
But, just like this past year, The Augusta Chronicle has never covered a single NHRA race at Commerce. Are there spectators from the CSRA? Most definitely. NHRA races have competitors and fans from around the world.
Why isn't there any sports coverage of a sporting event of this caliber and size that is held every year in a location that is only 100 miles away?
James Lewallen, Martinez