DRAG RACING LOSES DOMESTIC NITRO SOURCE
DOW – ANGUS CEASING NITRO PRODUCTION NOTHING NEW TO THE NHRA
The NHRA has known since the beginning of the year that the Dow Chemical Brand has been looking to change its status within the nitro community. Back in January, the company indicated that it was ceasing international distribution of their product. Yesterday they took it one step further.
Dow Chemical made their announcement yesterday leaving the racing community with only two sources of the fuel and both are produced in China. Only one, Wego (distributed by VP Racing Fuels), is approved for use in the NHRA. The other Chinese source, ProNitro, is not on that approved list.
Multiple sources have indicated the decision to go to the “approved” list of nitro sources was to protect the domestic source provided by Dow’s Angus brand. This “approved” list was only created when team owner Don Schumacher procured a second Chinese source of nitromethane. To this date, his ProNitro brand has never been approved in NHRA competition.
With that uncertainty looming on the horizon, Torco Race Fuels CEO and President Evan Knoll began taking steps as early as last January to create a refinery that would service the sport’s need for a domestic source.
Dow’s press release cited safety as their reasoning for ceasing production for racing purposes. They will continue to manufacture the product for the hobby industry as well as for medical and agricultural purposes.
The battle over nitromethane and pricing began in January of 2004 when Sunoco was forced out of the nitro distribution business. The price then jumped from $650 to upwards of $900. It was expected to increase another $500 before the season’s end. The NHRA later capped the price in the $800 range.