Ok, how about this...

What does our sport need the most? New fans and new racers. Here is an idea to introduce race-oriented people, mostly young people, to our short track life.

I-Racing is extremely realistic, wildly popular, and yet an entire world away from a night at a track. How can we get the I-Racing crowd to buy a ticket to Showtime, Volusia or any of our excellent tracks?

Lets have a tournament. Hold an I-Racing tournament at the track, or do it over several weeks and move from track to track. I have rented great big screens for parties before. They are cheap and work great, so get a giant screen, set up a place for the player/racers and let 'em go.

I-Racers have lots of competitions, but not like this. The drivers are always safe at home, but this time they get to visit a real speedway, or many speedways, and be seated next to their competitors.

What do they win? How about putting the winners in a pure stock, street stock type of car for a night?

Has anyone done anything like this? Would it work?

Not a bad idear at all, Bones.

I think Citrus could pull it off, but would the potential (or potentially lack of) ROI justify it?

[QUOTE=OldSchool+;178779]Not a bad idear at all, Bones.

I think Citrus could pull it off, but would the potential (or potentially lack of) ROI justify it?[/QUOTE]

“TRY IT! THEY’LL LIKE IT”!

It’s an excellent thought

I have long thought that racetracks should have a gameroom on the grounds.Different forms of racing including video games,an RC course and a slot track.Definitely in a tournament setting to keep them coming back once you have got them there the first time.The biggest problem I see with the I Racing deal ( or most video/computer racing) is nobody has made softwear of local tracks to my knowledge.I haven’t done the I Racing thing so I’m not sure about that statement probably somebody else on here does.When the Gentrys first took over 4-17 they had a simulator outside of the front gate.It was actually driveable as they took it out on several parade laps.After a while it disappeared.So if someone would come out with technology for at least SOME local tracks then why not?

I am thinking the original objective was to attract the “phone-ies” in with a big screen, and then convince them to stay in the real world by exposing them to the mo-betta real races.

Resulting, of course, in an increased gate and a partially saved next gen of…humans.

NSS, 5 Flags, Volusia, Lakeland (and fantasy Lakeland Dirt) Homestead and Daytona, and Sebring are your only Fla iracing tracks.

I like the entire idea.How about expanding that thought to include some pro athletes.One thing about Florida,it has no shortage of professional sports teams in football,baseball,basketball and hockey.How about a race with an I Racing champ (who has never actually driven a race car)and some pro athletes in the same boat? Throw in local djs,newscaster types and such.It’s worth a shot.

You could actually have simulators next to each other connected to other simulators at other tracks, at the same time, or from around the world for that matter and every major nascar top 3 divisions driver has iracing, every single one already, most at their homes. Yeah they could connect from their home to you at the track.
They have dwarf cars, street stocks, limited lates, pro late, super late, all the way up.

You need a fast interwebs connection

Great idea.

2 issues I see…

  • Need fast internet as Lurkin mentioned
  • Computers needed to run iRacing these days are very expensive

Great Idea, but not completely feasible in my eyes.

Now, something you COULD do, is host online tournaments where drivers still raced from their home… But maybe the top winner could get to drive 20 laps in a Rusty Wallace car at NSS or somewhere else and the rest of the top 3 get tickets to an event. Something of that nature.

Phil (& karnac),

Rusty’s website indicates that 20 laps on a “bullring” is $449.

The generally high pit pass prices and generally low payouts indicate that either the promoters are not making very much money to begin with or that they would like to keep as much as possible for themselves.

We will assume they are (gasp, shudder) capitalists.

Given that the virtual racers are home anyway (some never leave, apparently…), how does giving one of them a ride in a Rustymobile help/make money for a short track promoter or outside sponsor?

[QUOTE=OldSchool+;178801]Phil (& karnac),

Rusty’s website indicates that 20 laps on a “bullring” is $449.

The generally high pit pass prices and generally low payouts indicate that either the promoters are not making very much money to begin with or that they would like to keep as much as possible for themselves.

We will assume they are (gasp, shudder) capitalists.

Given that the virtual racers are home anyway (some never leave, apparently…), how does giving one of them a ride in a Rustymobile help/make money for a short track promoter or outside sponsor?[/QUOTE]

If you give anyone a taste of what it’s like to drive a real car, chances are they will want more.

I hate to say UP HERE, but UP HERE we have a program at Stafford Motor Speedway. It’s called Rent a Racecar. They have sponsored and helped me personally for years. The first car I ever drove was one of theirs. Cost me $500 to get in and run 2 practices a heat race and a feature event. I started 26th and finished 12th. Never drove anything prior except go karts and a couple track days with my street car. I was HOOKED.

If we can get more youth into cars, and get them to experience the sights, smells and sensations, we can probably get more new cars. Start out with Bombers. I was up at NSS a couple Wednesday’s ago for a private session with Brad May, Patrick Thomas and another gentlemen who had just purchased a Bomber/Enduro type car for about 4k. That’s the perfect starting point. Affordable and fun little 4cyl cars. Watching this guy make his first laps, the grin on his face was priceless. THAT’S WHAT WE NEED MORE OF!

There are plenty of kids out there hopping up their street cars to do whatever with. They have more than 4k into those cars. Let’s get them into a competitive situation and let them feel what that is like. I promise at least a few, will then build a car. That’s exactly what I did and what happened to me.

iRacing is not ever going to make someone want to race a real car. To many kids, it’s no different than xBox. They will never know what they are missing, until they actually experience it.

You gotta spend money to make money, right? The track paying for 1 or 2 kids a year to experience this, and then tell all their friends is either gonna put asses in a car, or asses in the stands. Either way, it’s a win.

You and Boneman and others have big hearts and I commend you for that.

But what about all of the existing and paying young fans that would like to drive?

Hell, what about the old boys that have been faithfully paying and attending all of these years?

Is it fair that an iracer leapfrogs all of the above? Is it even…logical?

Any potential sponsor–a track, a business, or etc.–wants to know “what’s in it for me?”.

The exception are the few relatively well off car owners who need a hobby and/or a tax write off.

And those guys tend to put experienced drivers in their cars. Guys that can generally maintain the ride as well.

Like, um, you.

Remember the goal: new fans and new racers. This is an ambitious effort to attract new blood to our sport; in this case, fans who have familiarity and interest in racing, but no actual exposure to our local tracks. Lets get them out from behind the computer screen, and into the stands at a short track.

Maybe the chance to get the ride of a lifetime will generate some interest among the iRace crowd.

Again, the goal is noble and I support it.

Now, all we need is a sponsor…

Since the jumping off point is around $400

Why couldn’t a race track raffle off the opportunity to race an entry level division (house) car for about $20-25 a pop? They raffle off other things why not an experience instead of an item? Robert Yoho held raffles about this time last year to win a custom motorcycle or new Dodge Challenger.As I stated on this board at that time I thought that was great but the biggest problem I saw was he was raffling off something that would carry someone AWAY from the track but not necessarily bring them back.Wouldn’t a non street legal ride tend to keep them where you actually WANT them?

Now that is not a bad idea either, 04.

To expand upon the idea, they could have an optional “Chance to Race” ticket available at the ticket booth–the place where folks already have their wallet out.

Say, $10 extra. A total of 50 would be sold, keeping the chances of winning reasonable–and note that the track makes $100 for their efforts, assuming a $400 rental to be paid. Your number of $20-25 is equally good with similar math. General interest generated may also help in the “promotion” department and get more folks into the track, period-- “free” to the track.

Probably you could try the same deal, maybe simultaneously, at the back gate.

BUT, although possibly workable, it does not support the “how do we get the gamers to the track?” objective.

old school

As I said before I believe it would be beneficial to the tracks to have an on-site game room.One preferably roomy enough that could include an RC course and slot car track also.But even if not couldn’t you at least have a PlayStation linked to two or three screens like a video game arcade has?It may not exactly be I Racing and a little more (pardon the pun) old school,and do it in a tournament style setting.A practice night at the oval would be great so they can see,hear,smell and touch what it is they are competing for.Give em a nice trophy to win and let social media do the rest.

Gettin’ closer.

The Iracers could pay extra at the gate to self fund the deal in “X” number of weeks. That does involve actually getting to the track with money in hand–maybe easy, maybe hard, I dunno.

Alternately, as has been mentioned, the “prize” could be sponsored. But that “go find that money, per se” part has always been challenging.

In the scenario I’m describing

There would be NO cash prize.A nice looking trophy (possibly a modest gift card to a local restaurant or Wal-Mart/Target) and a night racing in an entry level (4 cylinder)division.Yoho has house cars for the fast divisions and the Gentrys had a house car for the V8 bomber division at 4-17 last year.The expense would be the Video system and the house car.A modest gift card and a trophy wouldn’t be a huge expense.I would imagine well under $500.If you give it exposure on social media you could probably scratch up the sponsorship of the trophy and gift card.The main expense would be the house car and audio/video components.