NORWALK, Ohio -- As IHRA continues its role as the premiere sanctioning body for door-slammer racing, the sanctioning body is putting to rest the rumors surrounding having full 16-car qualified fields in Pro Stock and Pro Modified at every 2009 IHRA Nitro Jam event. "We took a big step by offering our Pro Stock and Pro Modified teams free car and driver entries as well as three free crew entries, but somehow there has been some mystery surrounding 8 car fields and that is not what we are doing in 2009," IHRA vice president of racing operations Skooter Peaco said. "We received such positive response to our complimentary car and driver program. If we were to cut the Pro Stock and Pro Mod fields it would have been a step backwards."
"We heard the rumors about us cutting the fields, but that was something that was thrown out several months back in a national track operator meeting as a way of making sense out of event budgets," Peaco continued. "Everyone involved understands this is a financial situation. After covering millions of dollars of sponsorship monies due our racers that never materialized, we have had to rework our national event models to make sure that no matter what happens, everyone will be paid. Our Pro Stock and Pro Mod classes are the quickest and fastest in drag racing.we want to build these programs, not cut them."
In 2009 both the Pro Stock and Pro Modified fields will have identical payouts. The event champion will earn $9,000, plus contingency. The runner-up will take home $4,000, plus contingency. Semifinalists will earn $2,000, quarterfinalists $1,500 and first round losers $1,000.
"Based on the 2008 purses there is not a huge difference when you factor in the free entries and crew," Peaco said. "These are challenging economic times and we're doing everything we can to help our racers while, at the same time, ensuring a top-notch show for our ticket-buying public.
IHRA officials remain hard at work to put more funding in place for the 2009 Nitro Jam season.
"We have some #1 qualifier sponsors in place and are working with quite a few other companies and manufacturers to build on this thing," Peaco said. "We're still seeking class sponsors for Pro Stock and Pro Modified, but I think this announcement will help put the format rumors to rest."
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