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Hagerty Employee

NHRA launches new EV drag-racing class for 2022 | Hagerty Media

The NHRA Summit Racing Series is about to have a whole new racing class that will likely cause a lot of stir in the drag racing world, though it won't create much noise on the track. The class, set to debut for the 2022 season, will allow electric vehicles to compete against one another in the quarter-mile.
Advanced Driver

Take the sound of an engine away & I'd get as much thrill as turning on my bench grinder.
Intermediate Driver

I agree that the feeling that a top fuel dragster is reaching inside you as it roars by and just shakes your guts is impossible to match. But those rocketcars (not the jet/afterburner cars) are still pretty awsome to watch and are relatively quiet. I want to go to the drags and see it all: Top Fuel, Pro Stock, Street Stock, Electric, Jet and Rocket. There is room for them all.
Intermediate Driver

New Driver

"Speed for All" bout says it, doncha think? I'm over the noise, noise, noise... Beat this!
Intermediate Driver

Boring. Sorry but as others have mentioned part of (a BIG part) of drag racing enjoyment is the sounds and smells. If i want to 'hear' electric racing I'll turn my toaster on with two different settings, see which bagel reaches the finish line first.
Pit Crew

Love it. Why not.

Fast is fast. Let’s go fast.

When a way-oversize big block lets go on the track, it can be a little dangerous even for spectators. But that's no match for the thrill of an electrical explosion. Why, it's as if no one had ever seen one before. I get a feeling it's going to call for a whole new layout at the strip -- or maybe, like everything else now, it's just for watching on TV.
Intermediate Driver

We use to drag race scale slot car dragsters. Ran the scale quarter in about .5 seconds, the good ones even faster. Don't know what the full sized ones will do. Mixed feelings but racing is racing. Go have fun!!

I love it as long as there will always be a place for the thundering, Earth shaking traditional racers too. I don't suppose they can call it "ETop Fuel" right?
Intermediate Driver

... and I thought I was too old for this sort of thing.

Until one actually gets in and drives one of these BEASTS, they should reserve judgment.

I too enjoy Sailboat racing... the kind where Catamarans reach 65 mph in 25 mph of wind... Not that exciting to watch from ashore, but with the cameras, knowledge of the rules and technology... it can be extremely exciting.

It does require one to step up to another level though...

My REAL delight... 9 - 10 second Altereds and Gassers... giving my old eyes and mind a few more seconds to take in the action. I guess a true Luddite I am not!
Intermediate Driver

A good addition and some of the high performance electric cars sound a bit like what people imagined UFOs would sound like in the 90s!

I'm sure there will be plenty of drama to make them interesting even if they aren't as loud. Charge issues especially if they have short turnarounds. Once they get modified, similar failures will come up with axles and the like. Motor and battery failures could be quite dramatic and require some thrashing in the pits.

My biggest concern would be the battery explosion potential with large lithium ion batteries and high speed crashes. Very violent explosions and very hot fires.
Pit Crew

I'd rather watch paint dry.

What kind of demand will these put on the local electric grid? Once a summer eEvent causes a brown-out when A/C is in demand, there will be a whole new reason for locals to hate drag tracks. Unless teams bring their own 480V diesel generators to events, then there should be no issue.

Are the race tracks going to be compensated for the additional amount of electrical infrastructure needed to recharge the cars, or will some yet-to-be-identified vendor show up with a massive self-contained generator system that can supply the necessary current for a rapid recharge? Will there be danger to those pacemaker wearing spectators being in close proximity to the possible electromagnetic field? Will my cell phone be wirelessly recharged by walking by an e-racer? Is the steel plate in my head going to be attracted to one of the higher-powered cars as it zips by me as I stand by the fence? Will the Earth's magnetic poles be irreversibly altered by having this many electrical things in one place? So many questions! How about this: Pile up some dirt a hundred feet high, two (or four) lanes wide and an eighth-mile long. Pave it and presto, a gravity racetrack. No noise, no burning of hydrocarbons, no 'lectricity. As green as possible, everybody wins. And count me out if it comes to that.
Intermediate Driver

Dragsters for the sensible ears. OMG what a situation!!!!!

Is this our future ( or our childrens future)? I guess so
Is it cool? Sure, anything that fast is cool
I am interested, as I am interested in technology but liking it..nope. huge part of watching drag racing is the visceral impact of the sight , SOUND and smells!
All you can smell is burned rubber and all you can hear is wooshhhhhhhhhhhhh
I just sigh.... I am always going to be a fan of the old FX cars. And, of course pure stocks and what pro stock used to be.

Others have brought up the electric infrastructure, fire and (lack of) sound issues that struck me immediately. (Love the diesel generator idea! That way, nobody is happy! Hysterical!)

So, I’ll add this: are you allowed to do a burnout with a “green” car? Seems at odds with the whole idea.
Intermediate Driver

Watching E vs E stuff run will not be as crowd pleasing as match races between ICE stuff vs E cars.
Instant Torque of E will dominate most runs off line, ICE hp catches up on top end ( hopefully).
The article suggests Summit interested in aftermarket performance products for EV stuff, good news for E vehicle owners.

I like it, wanna C it, more of it. Love if it helped the US co.s beat the foreign jobies at this. They R ahead right now. I think we R on the autonomous (self drive). Let's go! Let's go!
More tracks, more compression plez! (as I age I need it too, can't take the fumes & noise). Hope we have some tire shreddin tho. Will hafta put up w/that, don't mind~

wow, whoopie, how exciting. I wonder if they will include recordings of real race car engines like Ford is considering in their mustang-e,

Let get some real perspective here. I have a bit on the line here as I make my living off of this so I have a lot at stake here more than just my hobby. 


#1 This is not replacing Top Fuel or Funny Car. Both will remain as long as we have teams that can afford their cost. This is a bigger concern at the moment. 


#2 Pro Stock is struggling as it is now. They are looking for a way to be more cost affective and able to field more teams. They are not even at all National Events now. 


#3 The EV classes are more targeted at the local racers. Like it or not the future models mostly will be EV models. The auto industry has finally gotten to where they show they will be able to meet the needs of range and charge times in 10-20 years in the future if not sooner. The move to EV models will help keep the price of cars down and production of them lower as ICE development will only get more and more expensive. They are not out to save trees they are out to save their own companies. 


#4 all forms of racing will begin to incorporate EV and Hybrids into their series. MFGs want it and that is what is going to be available. 


#5 the old ICE vehicles will not be forgotten. As long as there are viable numbers to race they will remain in action. 


#6 Beware that the EPA has for a while now tried to reinterpret the emission laws that forbid you from modifying them by removal of emissions items for racing even off road. If this ever gets back in grass roots racing has a tough future. Read up on the RPM act. 


#7 The E racing will have much to learn and offer as it is just starting. It will be much like the 50's and 60's where you can buy a car and go right to the track with some tuning. Performance companies are now looking to offer performance parts as they will need to survive  to. If you can't sell cams you can sell parts needed to make EV cars faster. 


#8 Even Don Garlits has a EV rail that is right at 200 MPH so far and he plans to break the record with the car in the quarter mile. Even Big Daddy see's the challenge here and feels the same competitive urge as he did back in the old Top Fuel days. 


I am not saying this is all going to be a racing utopia here. But there will be some some changes and some good and bad that go along with it. Also there will be some great opportunities to come with this too. Many of you will be able to have a daily driver that is faster than anything you ever owned or thought of owning. 


To be honest I wish nothing had to change but with the way everything  is going it will be adapt or die. Keep in mind not all the change is bad either it will just be different. 


I am keeping open minded and if we can work this out to keep enough people involved our hobby will be saved no matter what powers you. As it is there is not enough of one or the other to keep racing viable at the grass roots moving forward. 


Like the car collecting hobby we need to get the kids involved. An affordable EV may just do that. 

As they say Thunders just a Noise While Lightning does all the Work. 

Intermediate Driver

How long till the government puts a tax on fuel powered racers, and gives the money to E-racers as a subsidy. Just to be fair of course.
As far as "grass roots" racing goes, even if you trailer your E-racer to the track, you will need to recharge between rounds. Can you imagine 100 Harbor Freight generators all running at the same time.
How about a rule that E-racers cannot be recharged after the first round of racing starts. They would have to be smart about conserving battery power for the final round. Which would be about 25 seconds, at 40 MPH in total silence.
I think I would like to see that race.