A good way to close a racetrack

If anyone felt disappointed about going to Desoto tonight to see the Butch Lindley 118,you needn’t be.After making the long drive up from the Fort Myers area we were greeted with a sign on the ticket window that admission was $10 tonight due to no late models.I asked the gal at the window and she said four superlates showed up and then two left so they scratched them from the card.I’m not happy.This place won’t last long this way.

We had just arrived when the guy parked next to us told us the news… we said “screw this”.
On our way to East Bay raceway now.

I got there about ten til seven.I considered trying to make it to showtime but as late as it was getting I didn’t feel like paying somewhere else to see a half a race program.So I just completed the long ride home out a half tank of gas and seething.It’s funny they’ve figured out how to post results on here but that little detail tonight was beyond their capabilities. Bye Denny you just lost my business for good and judging by the parking lot most of Southwest Florida’s too.

So, what happened?

They ran Superlates at New Smyrna (congratulations to David Rogers on his win), but there certainly was not an overabundance of cars there.

Sprints at Citrus, Mods at Showtime, and Cornhole Line Dancing (which I am really hoping are two events…) at Auburndale.

Could it be that the risk/investment to reward ratio has finally caught up with that class…?

[QUOTE=OldSchool+;174275]So, what happened?

They ran Superlates at New Smyrna (congratulations to David Rogers on his win), but there certainly were not an overabundance of cars there.

Sprints at Citrus, Mods at Showtime, and Cornhole Line Dancing (which I am really hoping are two events…) at Auburndale.

Could it be that the risk/investment to reward ratio has finally caught up with that class…?[/QUOTE]

No oldschool, Next week is punta gorda for the supers and alot of drivers do not want to tear their cars up. also alot of teams do not want to race every weekend, either time or money runs short. This is NOT nascar where we race every weekend.

Ever since desoto left the series they have tried to do their own thing, buy mid season they leave the series, change tires again and then want cars to support them?

It does not look like racers are worried about the rick/investment instead the racers are tired of the BS and made their voices known tonight!

I couldn’t tell you what happened anywhere

Except for maybe I-75.I don’t even know what happened in the xfinity race today( I guess at least I have that to watch)Hopefully everybody else got to take in a race program somewhere tonight. I just watched cars race up and down the interstate tonight.But hey the pits looked full at the dragstrip when I wasted my time pulling in Desoto.

Low Car Count

I wonder if the race at Bristol may play into it, expensive to go there saving money for that race.
Tires not, Showtime, Inverness, NSS and now Desoto on Hoosiers. That only leaves 417 and Auburndale on American Racer.
Car counts is down in the last 3 races, you might be correct TOO many races

Car Count

Just checked

NSS 9 Cars
North South Shootout 2 Cars from Florida
Desoto 4 Cars

A total of 15 Cars if you count the North South Cars

Question to many races or ?

It’s NOT too many races so nix that thought.It’s too little payout for the races being run.PERIOD. Go to the Lucas Oil Late model Series schedule and see what first place share is in their events this season. It makes what gets paid on blacktop look like what it is.Chickenfeed!! If guys can field a support division car every week and the same could be done with ANY division as long as the reward is adequate. Back in 1972 Ed Howe was making a weekly trek from his home in Beaverton Michigan to my old home track,Columbus Motor Speedway in Ohio.For three straight weeks the locals got their tails handed to them by Howe.His winners share? Between 1500 and 2000.For a weekly 35 lap feature.Not an invitational or series race of some kind.Just an ordinary run of the mill weekly race program.Do the math.Translate that to today’s dollars.It was well worth the trip for Mr.Howe or he wouldn’t have been there in the first place.The whole point being costs and expenses have skyrocketed since 1972.The one thing that hasn’t is the payout.There are promoter work shops held in the winter months up north to try to give tools and paths to follow to help keep their racetracks viable.Is there one track owner in this state who has ever been to one? There are people on this board ( myself included) who have made jokes about Bronson and commented on how that’s a waste of a facility. Well don’t blink twice because from what I have seen from Desoto this year is starting to be a mirror image.

Well, I was looking at three options… Citrus (Sprints), Desoto (LM’s) or East Bay (LM - 50 lap Memorial)

Citrus - about 1 hr ea/way
Desoto - about 1 hr. ea/way
East Bay - about 12 minutes each way

What’s was a guy to do… well, other than missing a great Sprint (20 cars) I took a chance and went with EB - 21 LM’s/50 laps…
Guess after hearing Desoto had 4 LM’s (2 left) 2 remained, the LM race was cancelled at the window (hey Jerry, enjoy the ride down for nothing ?) I made a decent call… close to home… saw a great race… no disappointments in this house.

Bottom line…gotta look at what’s happening and where… do some serious thinking and see where you’re gonna get the best bang for your dollars… AND then hope for the best…
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it… OSF

“[The reason the late model car count is low because of] too little payout for the races being run.PERIOD.”–04

So, if the pay grade is the same to drive the dump truck or set steel beams 30 floors up, I am wheeling the truck.

Or, in this case, building a Sportsman.

Am concerned for the modifieds also…

You should be O.S. And I wouldn’t exclude the Sportsman from that equation either. It has become a very expensive hobby.The last modified show I was at was Punta Gorda.They had ten mods.The same night Desoto had them also.All four of them.That’s barely over a dozen between two tracks.The mods ran at 4-17 this past Saturday. I wasted my time driving to Bradenton and the Gentry’s choose not to post their results ANYWHERE so I have no idea how many turned out for the non series race.The Sportsman events I have seen so far this season drew less than fifteen cars.Too little money too big an investment. Plain and simple.If that isn’t the cause then answer this question. Why do most tracks V8 bomber and mini stock classes consistently draw less than sixteen cars.These are supposed to be entry level relatively low investment type divisions.Could it be because a two or three hundred dollar average winners share barely keeps up with the cost of fuel and pit passes?


i run a sportsman and one of the problems i think with the car counts are tires. if u want to compete for the win u better be buying new tires except at citrus. i think they need a harder compound tire that lasts longer and maybe a tire purchase limit each race and put it more in the hands of the driver and not the wallet. i’ve ran lots of races with out buying tires because i couldn’t afford them and came out with some top fives but u sure won’t be competing for the win with out buying them.

“Could [low car count across classes] be because [the purse] barely keeps up with the cost of fuel and pit passes?”--04

Forgive me if the stuff in the brackets [] gets away from your point. It was intended to state your point.

That said, I would suggest that it is what it is.

Seems like that there are only two reasons for a promoter to pay what he pays: 1) He wants to keep more of his gate–which is his prerogative, or 2) He is struggling, and that is all he feels he can afford to pay.

Either way, there is no way to influence the promoter to pay more.

And either way, the trick is for each racer to figure out how to race and what is the most cost effective regarding which class and which venue is “best”.

Remember, there are SCCA types that build their cars, load them in a trailer, and pay to race. When I take my 60s muscle car to the Turkey Rod Run I pay to bring their show.

TZ–Not too long back there was an effort to change to the current grooved hoosiers, and although they are pricey and definitely are faster when they are new, they are significantly better than the last-gen tires.

Further, I believe the late model tires are even more pricey regarding wear and cost.

So I hear you, but am not sure there is a solution.

As I recollect, new tires at Citrus are in fact a help, but if you can run used ones at Citrus & be competitive that is a good thing indeed.

low car count-dirty tracks

Hate to keep beating a dead horse. Drivers and car owners can not afford double file restarts, this is not Nascar. Most teams have to race a lot less, because they are using all of there money and time to fix there cars because of wrecks, cause by double file re-starts.

Now we have tracks that wont even clean the track? Saw 2 drivers report they had flats at a track in Florida, because it so much trash on it? Would like to hear some feedback on that, if anyone has some?

Florida racing needs help!

Vince P.

I doubt that only 4 cars showing up had very much to do with racers saving their cars for Punta Gorda. Prize money may have had a lot to do with it, but no one who actually knows has posted in this thread. It’s a shame the race didn’t happen because it honors a very good driver.
Exnyer, possibly Denny pulled out of the series because he didn’t feel the series was doing him enough good. But Desoto can draw cars and fans with or without a series. Look at the crowds and car count that Jimmy Cope and Don Cretty pulled in when they were in charge. And the current staff at Desoto can do the same thing if they are willing to really promote the track and the races in clever and meaningful ways.
Denny is probably tired of spending lots of time and money on things that don’t bring fans to the track. But i’ve been going to Desoto since opening night, and i’m really hoping the place stays open for another 30 plus years.

I have been there since opening day too, and have worked there for 35 years! I have worked under every prompoter! If anyone can turn that track around its Burt Thomas who took over as race director this past week and Garry Montegue who took the flag stand. Both are long time veterans of Desoto! Let me share what was posted on their face book page! Its is a run in the right direction!Desoto Speedway Page Liked ? Yesterday ? Edited ? Desoto would like to thank the drivers and fans that come out and support us. we are trying to listen and turn some things around. No entry fees for 50 or less laps, no tire or fuel requirements. no more slab fees, some discounted front gate nights coming. new tech John White, Julie Bartam for the great pictures and we welcome aboard Gary the new flagman and Burt as race director. adding some bigger races for the back bone classes. thank you to those that continue to support us.

Sounds like Denny is trying hard to fix things. That’s great. Good luck to Denny, Burt, John, Gary, and the entire crew at Desoto. Look at what Citrus was, and what it is today. Proof that big turnarounds can happen!
Watched Gary race his Pontiac for years, i’m glad to hear he’s part of things there.

Best of luck to Desoto.

I agree, it does sound like a “run in the right direction”.