It's impossible to find a major flaw with the NHRA pro tour's visit to Las Vegas Motor Speedway last weekend, but one area could be improved: making the event more affordable for families.
But first off, the racing on Sunday was the best I've seen at any dragstrip. Ever. Several side-by-side matchups in Top Fuel and Funny Car were won by a few feet or less. That's impressive when cars are going faster than 300 mph.
Seven races in pro categories were won on hole shots, when a quicker reaction at the start allowed a slower car to advance. Four of those hole-shot victories were in the first round of Pro Stock.
That's drag racing.
I can count on two hands how many times over the weekend that fuel cars lost traction and went up in smoke, and I don't need even five digits to count how many engine failures Sunday led to time-sapping oil downs and ensuing track cleanups.
Credit the NHRA for clamping down on blown engines by increasing penalties this year for such episodes. The organization also added a second track-cleaning tractor, and both machines have a new apparatus with reverse-spinning drag slicks to provide ideal racing surfaces.
At last year's fall event at LVMS, the two premier pro classes deposited so much oil from blown motors that it seemed like a land version of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
The teams on Sunday faced added pressure because the championship round of Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock were scheduled for a live ESPN2 telecast. It was a tight schedule that went like clockwork.
The only disappointment on the last day of the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals was the perception on TV coverage that the crowd was paltry. It wasn't.
The speedway and NHRA will not reveal attendance figures, but sources assure me the crowd was about 18,000 on both Saturday and Sunday. That is comparable to past April races, which aren't as big as when the Full Throttle Series returns for the second-to-last stop of the season in October.
Perception of those watching TV was not reality. There were clearly a couple of thousand seats empty at the far end of the reserved main grandstand on the left side of the track. But at least 2,000 race fans were seated or standing on the other side, which is where general admission seating is located and not shown on TV. Had the track stuffed those folks into the main grandstand, it would have been near capacity.
One issue that the NHRA and tracks must consider is being more price-friendly to families, as the speedway did in March when it instituted a "youth initiative" program for its NASCAR Weekend. Those age 15 and younger attending with a paying adult were given a seat -- all of which were reserved -- at half price. Each youngster also received a free $99 pass into the Neon Garage infield area.
Comparable perks would be too steep for a drag race that does not draw 140,000 like the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at LVMS. The NHRA and its tracks could return to their policies of the 1980s and earlier, when kids 12 and younger were admitted free to general admission areas.
Last weekend, those 12 and younger were charged $11 and kids 6 and under were admitted free, but a reserved seat upgrade cost each $10.
The limited number of GA seats for the drag races makes the reserved upgrade a necessity. That prices too many out of the game.
The increased number of youngsters in attendance during NASCAR Weekend was evident, contrasting the apparent lack of that age group in the NHRA pits last weekend.
The NHRA is doing a fine job with its 60th anniversary by honoring the generation that catapulted drag racing into the mainstream. But it must begin looking more to the future.
Making it easier for families to attend will pay off in the long run, even if it costs the NHRA and tracks a little bit now.
Jeff Wolf's motor sports column is published Friday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com or 702-383-0247. Visit lvrj.com/motorsports for more news and commentary. Follow Wolf on Twitter: @lvrjwolf.