Because they can! Maybe to keep the outlaw cars out who knows. This is being ran during the week of the Fall Nationals I just don't see any problem.
That is the appearance of it.
I question why would they go to 1/8th mile with it being the week of the nationals. I guess they don't want to give any non-NHRA supporters an opportunity. I was considering the tow to race and see a lot of friends, but I don't run anything NHRA.