- Tuesday 15 January, 2013
I don’t really know where to start. This is one of the toughest things I have ever had to do. I guess the best thing to do is just get it out of the way. The 2013 AHDRA Championship Points Series is cancelled. I am sorry for holding everyone up, but there was potential to work this out and I wanted to give it the best shot. Unfortunately, it did not materialize. With our declining sponsorship support, most likely driven by our declining racer and spectator attendance, most likely driven by our crappy economy, we are unable to plan a budget that has a positive bottom line. This would be the 5th year of negative cash flow for AHDRA and she just can’t stand it financially. Although they were committed to remaining as a presenting AHDRA sponsor for 2013, Harley-Davidson is moving most of its sponsorship spending to the NHRA’s Sportsman series. Last week’s news from the folks at Rush Racing Products, that they would not be continuing their sponsorship at AHDRA, was the final blow. These were our two largest sponsors and contributed the lion’s share of sponsor revenue for AHDRA. I want to thank Hawaya Racing, Vreeland’s H-D, Irene Fish, Frank Capone, RC Components, Gainesville H-D and all the others that have committed their support for 2013. However, without the level of support from Harley-Davidson and Rush, we can’t make the numbers work. I also want to thank Harley-Davidson and Rush Racing Products for their many years of support. Business is business and though I wish it were different, they made their decisions based on what’s best for their future. I have enjoyed working with Kris Schoonover at H-D and Terry Daniel and Lou Pringle at Rush. These were hard decisions for them to make, and I respect their need to make them. I also want to thank all of the AHDRA members and competitors. You are one great group of people. I have lived and breathed Harley Drag Racing for the past 14 years, and have met some of the finest people I have ever known. You inspired me and kept me going through the good times and the rough times. Please know that more than anything; you are what I will miss. On the bright side, there’s a bunch of places to race this year. AMRA looks like they have a good schedule. And with the Manufacturer’s Cup Series and NHRA offering several new venues, there should be ample opportunities to race. Maybe there’s even an enterprising entrepreneur out there that would like to take up the reins of AHDRA and run with it! I am open to any and all possibilities……
Sincerely, Craig Tharpe
AHDRA memberships that were mailed in will be returned and if you signed up online with a credit card your card has not been charged. An official press release with more particulars will be published next week.