Another "How to Fix Racing" Thread

As has been discussed at length, there is a three way deal between a track, the car owners, and the fans. And much has been discussed about who “should” do what.

Here is my latest take:

In the last few years it seems like a new trend has been taking place. Everything looks like a light late model field.

The cars are fast. And stuck. And there are a limited number of them.

The “sideways” is gone, and the packs are gone. Not always, but more and more. Everyone is hooked to the track, and either Car “A” is slightly faster or Car “B” is. The field settles out in that order, and…around and around they go.

If two or more cars are close, around and around they go, a few feet apart.

And the car count is down. Six or eight cars wheeling around are just not going to get it, imo. For that matter, NASCAR and a field of 40 doing the same is pretty boring.

How many times have you seen a field of mods run like the Showtime Eddie Braun race of five years ago recently?

And the Street Stocks are looking more like Sportsman every day, and the Sportsman cars are looking more like late models in the style of racing they produce every day.

Do we think this is sustainable? Do we think car owners really are enjoying spending more jack all the time to follow someone else?

Folks are going to come out for that indefinitely–even are bargain gate rates?

Eventually, to throw a decent weekly show it will be tough for a track to break even. How long will that last?

So…what to do?

I do not have “the” answer. Others are owners, chassis and engine tuners, tech men, and on and on.

But some of them are fine tuning existing rules, and some are trying to beat existing rules. Who is looking at the Big Picture?

As I see it, a lot could be accomplished with a big old right front spring.

And simple rear suspension technology, perhaps mid 70’s A-body four link specs, with no tricks.

Hard tires that last a long time.

And 602 spec engine rules. Build it if you like, but it has to meet those same approximate specs.

In short, I think that full fields with side by side racing should be the end game. If the rules–whatever they are–are not producing that, somewhere things need to be re-thought.

Share your thoughts or harpoon mine, your choice.

You are bang on your points, the only problem is, it’s been a lot more than the past few years this storm has been a’ brewing… try the past 10+ years.

A few things need to happen in order for racers to fill up the pits. First and foremost the “majority” need to be able to afford it. Second (and a little less important), the racers need to feel like they are getting a good bang for the buck they are spending. We all know and accept we are not going to make money. We all know that the “majority” will not even come close to breaking even. Thus, in order to keep the show going, it needs to be affordable.

That begs the question - what it affordable? It is just statistics. I’d venture to guess that it needs to be affordable for the racer making 38k-75k a year. That is your bell curve, that is your “meat in the middle”. Yea there are guys on absolute shoe-string budgets that want to race a mid-level class (sportsman, limited late, mod), and yea there are guys that are high income earners or own large successful businesses where dropping big money is a non-issue, but that is not part of the bell curve that track owners need to be worried about.

Look what it costs to run a mod or limited late for one night. Race fuel, tires, tow money, gate money x3 people = an easy $700-$800 bucks. That’s on a good night. And this is for what? 25 minutes of total track time?

Until the consumable costs can get under control, short track owners will continue to enjoy 8 car turn outs.

Meanwhile, we’ve gone budget road racing (where fed-up circle track racers and fed-up SCCA racers seem to unite…) and get huge amounts of seat time at some of the best facilities in the country for a “reasonable” price. We just had 126 cars take the green at Daytona 2 weeks ago…

All about that value…

OS, I sent you a PM.

doubt there is a fix. An $8000 car costing $200 a week to race is now a $35-40,000 car costing $15-1800 a week to race. please don’t pick this apart with other classes etc etc. It’s just an analogy. But the heart of the beast.

While at the same time people are making less than they did 10 years ago combined with double to triple healthcare premiums, regardless of which class they are running.

All correct.

But cars can look like current Sportsman, Late Models, or Modifieds for a relatively reasonable cost.

The expense is under the hood. That can be fixed. Yeah, some would have to pony up some bucks. But replacing 15-30K engines with 3k engines would be a very temporary pain, and the relief would be ongoing.

And the ability to run side by side is at least to some extent dictated by chassis setup. Re-configuring would not drive most folks out of racing, especially if they knew they were going to go the the track and be competitive, maybe even run next to someone.

That leaves tires. And the changes listed above would reduce both the effectiveness of new tires and possibly wear.

Choosing and mandating harder tires would both improve the show and save the racers money in addition to the other changes.

Old School you know the two of us have kicked this back and forth quite a bit.So I really don’t want to go back over old ground. I will say this,changing tire makes or compounds accomplishes nothing if six months later you change it again. Engine rules mean nothing if you keep changing things or don’t have the ability to properly tech the cars.And I’m not just saying that there isn’t good tech guys in the state but one or two guys is still one or two guys.Is that enough to properly tech each car every week? You tell me since you are still in the pit area sometimes. Likewise it has been mentioned on here in the past a guy should only race what he can afford. Well then,I think track owners/promoters also need to schedule what they can afford to give a reasonable payout to.Compare it to this for instance.I would like to take a limo to dinner tonight. If I pay the rate they need and request I can reasonably expect the limo to show up and take me.If I tell them I will pay them ten bucks to take me can I reasonably expect it to show up?

Re: $10 analogy.

I would suggest you need a uber driver.

The limos are not showing up. We need fields of ubers that look like limos and are putting tire marks on each other’s doors.

Re: Tech. Tech “needs” to keep the ubers from becoming limos so they keep showing up. No way for racers to police the police, so nothing to do but have hope that parity will exist.

Nonetheless, if the starting point is .435 intake valve lift, a RF truck spring, and short 4 link control arms in the rear, that price point is where the sketchy stuff will start.

And again, I believe the folks in the stands want race cars that look and sound like race cars and have eight cylinders. And a lot of them. Sideways. I would suggest that most don’t care about the rest of the stuff (like a 14:1 motor sounds different than a 9 or 10:1 motor, or 10" vs 8" tires).

If they make a crate class, just have a crate motor at the track, any protest you just swap out motors, or even at the tracks request to swap motors. I feel that would cut down on the cheating up a crate motor.

Don’t the Chevy crate 602s cost something like 3K and the 604s 5k-6k?

Random motor tests on a dyno, seems to be keeping parity.

All great ides!!!

[SIZE=“5”]If the State had a State wide Touring Series the Local Racer that only race their Track could support the Series when the Series comes to town. Tracks need to work together for them to survive. Bring back Don 62!!! We need a 1) Super Late Models, 2)Florida Late Models (Goodyear,Limited, FAST, Pro Late Models), 3)Sportsman,4) Trucks, 5)Open Wheels, 6)Street Stocks and 7)Mod Mini’s. Then each track could have the locals, BUT each weekend there would be a State Touring Series feature at each Track. BIG car counts would develop NEW FANS, Sponsorship (for tracks and the Teams), Tracks use same supply Companies (Budweiser, Pepsi, Chaney Bros, Bubba Burgers) then the all buy at a better margins and BILL BOARDS (more PROFITS)!!! Everyone WINS!!! Think about it!!![/SIZE]

Bobby, I do not want to hurt your feelings, and I am hoping you are feeling better.

However, we disagree. IMO, your solution has lead us to where we are. Too many divisions with too few cars each, and then the tracks have to wait for their slice of the pie to roll around once a month or so.

IMO, six of the classes Bobby listed could be combined, and the racing made cheaper for five of them in the bargain. How would those fields look for big races? Would all of the tracks potentially have a strong field of them every week?

At any rate, the individual decisions are for the individual tracks to make.

Occasionally, I just try to throw something out there to be “food for thought”, as I am sure Bobby does as well.

Where are you going to get the cars to fill 7 classes? Florida’s weird obsession with stupid “touring series” is half the problem. In other parts of the country people race a track for points and if there is any kind of “series” race that usually happens during the week to be kept seperate from the track’s own point situation. Do that and get the fans in the stands to see the same cars every week and they’ll develop their favorites and their rivalries and it will give them something compelling to keep showing up for. As it is you never know who you’re going to see when you show up to a Florida track. Or you have no idea who 99% the people are anyhow, so who cares?
What started the stupid obsession with “touring series” in Florida anyhow? It’s the worst thing that has happened to racing down here.

Each track needs 4 solid classes of racers that will be there every week. i hear people say " I’m not driving 100 miles to see 6 cars" because their favorite driver is in that touring series. I am the opposite as a fan. I want my local hotshoes at my track every Saturday night. no need for tracks working together for schedules. Make them compete for the best show that gets all of the cars and people!

See where this is going? All of the cars sitting on stands will now come back as regulars to their local tracks. no one will have to drive too far.

When I raced at Jax Raceway in the early eighty’s, there were 2 classes, street stock and late model. We typically had 35 plus cars in each class, and it was a helluva show. There are too many classes now. Plus, the cost has put weekly racing out of reach for most of us. I think history has proven crate motors are not the answer. The rules need to be written to accommodate more “junkyard” engineering.


Correct, but literally, de debil is in de details.

At a local track they run big iron with fwd cars. Parity is fair, but as usual, one combo is faster and that is that, at least until the next rules change, and… repeat.

Crates are $3k±, and it is hard to rebuild any engine for that, I haven’t been able to…

Nonetheless, the goals should be cheap (like a crate) and no-one-has-or-can-buy-a-big-advantage (like a crate).

To your point, I believe it would be easy enough to create rules to crate-specs, and then a guy could build or buy, his choice.

OS, I get what you are saying. I just don’t like the idea of spec classes. I think there is a way to write simple engine rules, like stock cast iron heads, maximum valve size, single valve springs, hydraulic cam, flat top piston, wet sump, etc. that would keep cost down and allow some ingenuity. You are right that the engines are the biggest expense, but the stupid ABC body rule is what ran me out of late model. For a guy with one regular crewman, it was too much work week in and week out to try to fit the templates.

These days it is more than body.

Body, Motor, and Chassis are all on their own runaway trains, and unless you catch all of them you get the blue flag with a yellow stripe.

I have heard that it is even harder if one has an “irregular” crewman…:blink:

In the sportsman for a built motor I have herd numbers from 10000.00 to 20000.00 for a good built motor, that is absurd for that that class. Right now it seems the built is the way to go at NSS if you want to win.