• Aug 5, 2009
As the only American automaker not recently put through a government-sponsored bankruptcy, it comes as little surprise that Ford has taken over the spot long held by General Motors as the Official Sponsor of the NHRA. The first sign of dissension in the ranks came earlier this year as GM's bankruptcy filing ended the contracts the automaker had previously forged with Cagnazzi Racing, KB Racing LLC, Kurt Racing and Pedregon Racing to provide cash, parts and support vehicles.

This new multiyear agreement between Ford and the NHRA means that for the foreseeable future, all official vehicles used by the racing organization will now carry the Blue Oval badge, including trackside safety vehicles. For its part, Ford seems pleased with its newly prominent role within the drag racing community. Brian Wolfe, Ford's North America Director of Motorsports, said in a statement:
We're very excited to be partnering with NHRA on this program. We see this as a very good business proposition in terms of being able to actively reach out at-track and online to the NHRA fan base in ways that we haven't been able to do in recent years. We'll be able to allow that fan base to see and experience some of our great new products at-track while also partnering with the successful Motorcraft and Quick Lane program to give fans a look at the total Ford ownership experience.
[Source: NHRA]


PRESS RELEASE:

Ford Motor Company named official car and truck of NHRA


The phrase "Drive One" resonates much louder today in the corporate offices of NHRA as it was announced that the world's largest motorsports sanctioning body has signed a multiyear agreement with Ford Motor Company, designating the legendary automaker as the official car and truck of NHRA.

NHRA will be transitioning all official vehicles to the renowned blue oval. As official car and truck of NHRA, Ford will provide support vehicles for NHRA trackside, including the NHRA Safety Safari presented by Automobile Club of Southern California, to allow them to perform their important trackside duties.

"We welcome Ford Motor Company into NHRA's family of official partners," said Gary Darcy, NHRA senior vice president-sales & marketing. "We are extremely excited to not only have such a strong brand as our official car and truck, but more importantly provide our fans with an opportunity to not only experience what Ford has to offer but ultimately drive one."

This partnership by no means represents Ford Motor Company's first foray into NHRA and NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing. The Ford Motor Company has a long and storied history with drag racing at the Sportsman and Professional levels. Ford Motor Company is a longtime partner with John Force Racing, and most recently, Ford's Motorcraft and Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center brands partnered with Bob Tasca Racing on the NHRA circuit as well. In all, Ford Motor Company has won 24 world championships in NHRA Drag Racing at the Professional level and countless more in the Sportsman ranks. Ford also is a three-time winner of the prestigious NHRA Manufacturers Cup.

But Ford's involvement in NHRA goes beyond race-team sponsors and winning championships. In 2008, Ford and NHRA teamed up on safety, mandating the Ford Blue Box crash sensors on all Funny Car and Top Fuel race cars. In addition, Ford has played an instrumental role with John Force Racing on the development of a new Funny Car chassis and other safety initiatives in the sport.

"We're very excited to be partnering with NHRA on this program," said Brian Wolfe, director, Ford North America Motorsports. "We see this as a very good business proposition in terms of being able to actively reach out at-track and online to the NHRA fan base in ways that we haven't been able to do in recent years.

"We'll be able to allow that fan base to see and experience some of our great new products at-track while also partnering with the successful Motorcraft and Quick Lane program to give fans a look at the total Ford ownership experience."

In the coming months, Ford and NHRA hope to announce extensive activation programs to drive business both at Ford dealerships and to NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events.

"NHRA provides a unique platform for companies, like Ford, to reach out in a very personal way to our very loyal fan base," Darcy said. "The initial plans we have discussed with the brand will provide a great opportunity for Ford to expose their products to our fans while at the same time get the NHRA brand out to general consumers through Ford's extensive dealer network."




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  • 21 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Obviously, skablaw and Sanders haven't actually tried drag racing. They might be surprised if they did, it's really fun, and there's more to it than meets the eye. I'm a drag & road race enthusiast, and both forms of motorsport have their merits and strategies for winning.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ford's also getting a Pro-Stock car put together for next year, correct? I wonder how much support they'll be able to give and if it will level out the playing field in that class?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm sure this will help push sales of the Cobra Jet.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I was being flippant, I know, and I'm not suggesting that I could drive one of these things. Quite the contrary, I am absolutely positive that I would kill myself. But, what I don't understand is how this has anything to do with "driving." I mean the Apollo 13 astronauts had to keep a high powered vehicle pointed in a straight line, but that didn't have even a tangential relationship to driving. I guess in my mind this is about as far away as you can possibly get from the origins of motorsport, and I find it very alienating. Great for you if this gets your blood pumping. I'm just saying I don't get it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ John

        Pick my class? OK. How about H-Production? If the prospect of fielding a full on road racing car is too much to stomach, how about DSP for a little autocross action?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ John

        'Hopefully maturity will bring me to the same attitude'?

        LOL. I going to venture that I'm considerably older that you. I've had my AARP card longer than I would care to remember. My thoughts on drag racing stand.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sanders:

        Have you ever BEEN to a drag race with fuel cars? The fact that you talk and think the way you do tells me you have not. The earth shaking, the smell of nitro, the flames from the Zoomies at dusk and night... theres nothing like it. Absolutely nothing like it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Interesting discussion. I'm a dedicated road racer as well. I've been to an officially sanctioned drag race event and to be honest, I came away with the same thoughts as I would after seeing an airshow. Nice demo, same old, same old. Life is too short to take an automotive tangent. Find an area of interest you like, something you excel at, and go with it. Give me a good track, let me turn right and left. Let me explore my car's gearing. Let me explore my car's handling characteristics, and I'm a happy man.

        On a funny note, I like to taunt my brother, a drag racing enthusiast, on this topic. I once showed him an article from a car magazine (don't remember which) were the writer's thoughts on road racers and drag racers went like this (I'm paraphrasing): '...to a road racer, a drag racer is something that fell out of a tree and started to walk around dragging it knuckles...'
        • 5 Years Ago
        I wasn't referring to age. I was referring to maturity.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @skablaw

        Origins of motorsport. That's your argument? I'm pretty sure the first drag race happened as soon as the second car rolled off the assembly line...

        Origins of motorsport... Do you realize how much of a douche bag you appear to be?

        Anybody that gets paid money to step behind/in front/on top of a motor and compete has to have skill, I don't care what the classification is.
      • 5 Years Ago
      No surprise here. GM really needs to worry about reorganizing the company more than sponsoring sports. This is just more positive news from Ford. I'm just ready for Ford to overtake GM (and eventually Toyota) in sales. It is one of those things you just see is coming within the next few years. Just like how Toyota sneaked up on the "BIG 3" and is now number one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A much deserved recognition by NHRA for Ford's achievements. Way to go Ford.

      Let's hope that when the pendulum swings in it's next new direction, organizations won't be so quick to make GM and Chev their default answer for everything. Right now the pendulum is swinging towards Ford's favor. Maybe next time it will be more balanced.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't get it, and I'm not trying to be mean or cynical. What exactly is the point of this sport? I get NASCAR. You can quite easily drive like crap in an oval and lose time lap after lap so there is plenty of skill required behind the wheel, and from what I hear, wrestling with "The Car of Tomorrow" for a couple of hours is a physical marathon as well. But this? Couldn't you just tie off the wheel and put a brick on the throttle? I mean this is about as relevant to real-world driving dynamics as painting the mustang grille on a pair of F-18s and "racing" them to 40,000ft and back. I hope this circus at least sells some Castrol.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thats the whole point of it....why does everything have to have a technical point to being a sport..Whats the point of baseball hitting balls? whats the point of bouncing a basket ball into a basket? whats the point of hockey? football?

        Thats the whole point, that there is no point to it....It's fun to watch, its a required skill to obtain, let a lone the engineering factor of building a motor that can obtain such speeds, the fun factor..cheery on top is it's a way to obtain bragging rights...
        • 5 Years Ago
        YOU are stupid.
        • 5 Years Ago
        realize we (and the OP) are talking about the *sport* of drag racing.

        And in the sport, we are talking about cars way over the 1000*RW*HP mark. And you think an Indy car making 675HP or F1 car at 900HP (not RW) is harder to control? And try controlling a car going in a straight line full tilt pulling more G's than on the Space Shuttle at launch...

        That's why it's a sport.

        And without it, you would have the cylinder head tech that every other autosport uses. Power tech mainly comes from NHRA, where as reliability, performance, and everything else comes from the other motorsports...
        • 5 Years Ago
        There is only one thing for you to do skablaw...Try it!

        Right there there is a plus for this sport. Anyone can try it.

        Buy, build, borrow, or steal a car that can accelerate faster in a quarter mile than is legal to drive on the highway. Line up side by side with someone in a similarly powered car that looks much faster than you, and let the adrenalin flow. Try to have a better reflex than him/her off the line and use your best skill and courage to get to the finish line first. Try it over and over until you win a race and get your best time.

        Return here and report on whether or not you still don't get it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ever tried to drive a high powered car, even if its 'just' a straight line? Remember that british reporter woman that tried to drive a Viper and couldn't get it to go straight since every time she hammered down, it went sideways? Thats with 500hp. Imagine it with 10x that power. These cars are NOT easy to drive. I've driven alcohol funny cars, and ran a 'mere' 5.90... What do you do if the tires begin to shake slightly? Do you know? Let us know the next time you can even PHYSICALLY deal with the g-forces involved in going 0-310mph in 4 seconds.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sorry guys, I'm with skablaw. I never got the point of the driving in a straight line when cars are capable of turning right and left, including tackling other diverse driving features like chicanes, esses and concentration-grabbing decreasing radius turns--hey, just like real, everyday life. Sorry, but I'm a road racer. That's where my competition background sits.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Then you should have no problem quickly becoming the champion of this motorsport. Let us know...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, nobody much cares about acceleration when talking about cars. It's not like when some new fancy-ass supercar comes out anyone cares about 0-60 times, quarter-mile, or any of that silliness. That is what cars are all about.
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