As if the folks at Traxxas, maker of the world’s leading high performance radio-controlled cars, hadn’t already made a big enough splash in the drag racing world with their backing of Funny Car driver Courtney Force in her rookie bid in 2012, they took their involvement another step further on Tuesday by announcing an agreement designating Traxxas as the Official Radio-Controlled Performance Products of the NHRA.
However, unlike other Official (insert term here) of the NHRA announcements that have no real benefit to the racer or the fan, this one does.
In addition to all of the typical things that go along with the designation as an official sponsor, including brand integration, multimedia rights, broadcast features, interactive site displays and the like, the sponsorship agreement with Traxxas brings back the lucrative Top Fuel and Funny Car shootout bonus programs that were an annual part of the series schedule for so many years. Both of the specialty race-within-a-race programs will be sponsored by Traxxas, which will provide $260,000 to fun the two programs that will award a shiny $100,000 bill to the race winners.
Without proper funding in place, both of the NHRA’s specialty races that were such a part of the annual U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis and the World Finals at Pomona and later the second Las Vegas event were discontinued. The U.S. Smokeless Funny Car Showdown at Indy was last contested in 2008, while the Technicoat Top Fuel Shootout was last held in 2007 in Vegas. the specifics of these programs, including the location of each race, will be announced at a later date.