Adios Bombers, it’s time for a name change.
Long-live low dollar and fun racing! Every track needs an entry level class; something affordable and simple where new racers can try out our sport, and where hobbyists can run year after year without running short of cash and sitting out. The fans like it too; full contact racing can be lots of fun.
But since racetracks have to be run like a business, and must keep their marketing current, there are a few good reasons to drop the antiquated name “bomber” and use instead something that younger fans can latch onto, and that better describes the racecars too.
Is it just me, or does the word “bomber” evoke memories of World War II? When I think bomber, I see a propellor driven plane flown by cigar smoking, leather jacket wearing pilots who just got back from mission over the south pacific or Germany. Tough people in glorious days, but it was almost 80 years ago.
“Bomber” racecars were synonymous with junk for generations. Something that was hauled out of a field, hammered back into shape and sent out to race against other junkers. Sorry, but that era has passed racing by.
The fact is all the big, hulking V8 cars have all been pulled out of the fields, and nothing in recent production has replaced them. An exception is the Ford Crown Vics, which are already a successful class on their own. Four and Six cylinder, front wheel drive, fuel injected, computer controlled cars from our country and around the world are the best options now for entry level racing, so we have to embrace them, and more accurately describe them. They are much more advanced than generations of previous junkers, and are capable of higher RPMs for much longer. Don’t forget that drags and road racing are PACKED with this type of car.
Now imagine some Karen driving along in her minivan: she hears a radio ad from the local track for their upcoming “Bomber 50”. Karen knows nothing about racing, and will imagine 50 jihadists storming the speedway to attack her and her kids. No ticket sales from that ad; “Bomber” has to go.
“Sport Compacts” is a name used across the south for production based, 4 cylinders racecars. They have a huge fan following, lots of participation, and many series that tour the region and race for enormous payouts. The tracks can advertise a visiting event for these cars, and make a pitch that sounds professional, instead of confusing (or worse, boring) fans with a name from another era. The cars are still entry level, inexpensive and high contact, but most of them make an effort to present a better appearance than the traditional, spray paint and sledgehammer approach to bodywork.
Don’t like Sport Compacts? “Tunerz” is also in use. Old timers may not recognize that name, but all of the next generations of fans will. Or make up something new, just realize that “Rice Burners” will probably get the track picketed by protesters.
Please don’t suggest “mini stock”. Racecars are supposed to be modified, and not be stock, in my opinion. Even that name has been around for 50 years. Seriously, our local track runs Bomber A and Bomber B classes: one is for 4 cylinders and the other for 8, but I still don’t remember which one is which!
Remember, I love the class and hope the tracks and racers have a great 2022. Race on, y’all.