Sunday, December 02, 2012

Random Thoughts From A Weekend Without Racing

No, go ahead. YOU eat it...
Mr. Promoter, if you don’t eat your concession stand cheeseburgers, why should I? 

A good car count is good. A good fan count is better. 

Any short track race that requires three days to complete is far too important for its own good. 

“Kids Under 10 Admitted Free When Accompanied By An Adult.” 

If one driver has won more than 30% of your races this year without pulling the oil pan off his engine, your tech man is not doing his job. Weekly, random, post-race teardowns are inconvenient, unpleasant, and absolutely vital. 

Drivers want to go faster, and will spend whatever it takes to do so.  

The faster the car, the worse the race. 

When you cancel a race and it’s not raining, you insult the intelligence of every paying fan. People would rather sit in the rain than drive home in the sunshine. 
"You want me to race WHERE?"
If Tony Stewart has never raced at your track, he’s probably never been asked.
Do race tracks advertise on the radio anymore?  

I haven’t seen a real “Strictly Stock” division in years. Lots of “Lenient Stocks,” but nothing strict. 
Blaming Saturday Night Sprint Cup racing for your empty grandstands is easy, and allows you ignore the fact that you’re running a really crappy show.  

Don’t complain when your race team fails to turn a profit. My buddy likes to fish. He bought a boat, trailer, downriggers, fish finder unit and thousands of dollars’ worth of rods, reels and tackle. He hasn’t gotten a dime of it back, and never will. 

A $200,000 stacker trailer never won a race. 

An empty seat never bought a hot dog. 

Any track announcer who lays down the microphone when the yellow flag flies should be beaten about the head and shoulders. 

As more tracks rely on the back gate to pay their purse, we inch closer and closer to SCCA-style, “pay-to-play” club racing. That’s not a good thing. 

"Good news ladies, it's only 90% full!"
I’ll patronize a Port-o-Let on an 85-degree day, and ignore the lack of toilet paper. My wife won’t. Make a note of it.
If your track has more than two divisions running aftermarket bodies, your track has too many divisions. 

Chrome wheels aren’t any faster, but damn they look good! 

There are very few real promoters out there anymore. Plenty of track owners, but very few promoters. 

Tracks should offer their competitors a 200-pound weight break for running stock, steel bodies from 1975 or before. It’s called “personality.” 

With tracks relying almost exclusively on electronic scoring these days, I’m afraid we’ve seen the last of race cars with a “$,” a “?” or “No Cents” on the door.  

Do Scouts and Little Leaguers get into your track at least once a year for free? They should. Young people are the future of the sport. And the world. Hook them now, or never.
The guy who buys eight tires usually beats the guy who buys four.

I don’t recall the last time I saw a poster for a local short track stapled to a telephone pole, or in the window of a corner gas station. 

For that matter, what happened to corner gas stations? The kind with two bays, a mechanic on duty and a coupe-bodied modified out front? I can’t get anyone to check my oil anymore, but I can get a double-mocha latte, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Money and a Powerball ticket. That’s progress, I suppose. 

Yeah, but he also has a HANS Device!
If your chassis is brand new and your helmet is 12 years old, it’s time for a new set of priorities.

Anyone who flips gets a $100 bonus. Climb out and go “Gangnam Style” on the overturned remains? $200! 

If you’re a five-time champion in the low-buck division, you’ve got it figured out. Time to move up. 

Shockingly, French fries taste even better when served HOT. 

No official has ever been able to explain how teams save money by throwing away parts they already own and replacing them with new, less-expensive parts. 

Time trials suck. If you disagree, you almost certainly own a race track, rather than patronizing one. 

When attempting to determine how much someone will spend on a race car, take their total net worth and multiply by two. 

There is no excuse for not starting a race program on time. None. If you bought a ticket for the 7:30 showing at your local Movieplex, then sat waiting in the dark until 8:15, you’d never go back again.  

If you can’t build a competitive, entry level car for $1,000 or less, it’s not an “entry level” class. 

If you can’t afford nomex gloves, you can’t afford to race. 

Drivers who load up and leave without signing autographs for the fans are not doing their part to sell the sport. 

There’s just no beating a good baloney burger and onion rings. 

Bigger purses do not attract more racers. They simply convince the racers you do have to spend more money.


  1. Anonymous6:06 PM

    If your Daddy owns a Fortune 500 Company and uses it to sponsor you - it doesn't make you a "racer"

    1. Anonymous8:25 PM

      Don't cut on Paul menard

    2. Michael in SoCal10:55 AM

      But John Wes Townley is totally okay.

  2. Great thoughts. Got me thinking about the last time I saw an ad for a local short track (other than the junked out cars with race dates / times painted on the sides of them along the entrance to the track itself).

  3. Dave, I hope EVERY promoter/owner/manager out there reads and heeds this. You made many good points (as usual).

  4. Anonymous7:35 PM

    Good points, but I think it's time to go racing again.

  5. Anonymous7:36 PM

    I'm proud to say that for the most part my local short trackabides by these statements! especially when it comes to being on time. Racing starts at 7 and you are usually leaving by 11. They even have a suggestion box that actually gets used!

  6. A lot of people with no talent are race car drivers because they are PHD's... Papa Has Dough.

    1. Name one driver in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide or Truck Series who has a PhD. Hint: there are none.

    2. Anonymous10:04 AM

      john wes townley... where do I collect my prize?

    3. Anonymous10:21 AM

      Had a substitute teacher once who introduced himself to the class and listed his credentials: "I have a BS - I believe y'all know what that stands for. I have an MS - that stands for 'More of the Same'. And I have a PhD, which stands for 'Piled higher and Deeper'."

      As far as the "Papa Has Dough" thing goes, Paul Menard would be one Cup driver that holds that qualification.

    4. Paul Menard won the Brickyard 400. Can you say the same?

    5. Anonymous10:38 AM

      The point is though, Paul Menard most likely wouldn't of been in that race if it wasn't for his father. But in saying that, racing involves money and not many make it without having a lot of it. The Dillon boys have talent - yes - but would they be where they are now without RC being their grandfather? I'd say probably not. Money gets you there, talent keeps you there. It's the only sport where money can directly buy you victories, especially at the local level.

      I guess I did name someone with John Wes Townley.

    6. Money may get you a shot, but it won't keep you there for very long in the absense of talent. Paul Menard had a "down season" compared to 2011, but still finished just 24 points behind Carl Edwards, who tied for the championship a year ago.

      Trust me, I'm not arguing that John Wes Townley is a great talent. He's not. But he had only two crash-related DNFs in the Truck Series this season.

  7. Schreib8:22 PM

    Love the article, Dave! Reminds me of the old editorials in the late 80's early 90's Stock Car Racing Magazine articles by Dick Berggeren or Benny Phillips "I was thinking...". I loved reading those, and your article is great! Hey, this could be weekly topics to discuss on your show weekly throughout the off season! Stay tuned....

  8. I'll agree 100% to all of your comments, including the one you just posted to our forum, except the one about running pre-75 bodies.
    Those are classics and there just aren't enough of them left to go around. Can't be destroying them at the figure-8 or strictly races!

  9. Anonymous10:29 PM

    I agree with almost everything that you said, except the bit on time trials. As a racer I like time trials for its an oppurtunity to get into the feature race without having to unnecessarily wreck my car or have other opponents wreck there car in a heat race, especially since most fans don't even think about arriving till thirty minutes before the features begin. As a fan I love time trials for I am not sitting watching a race which in most cases is completely useless and meaningless to the outcome of the feature race, unless of course a wreck happens by which can only take out drivers from running the feature and further delay the start time to the features.

    1. My point exactly. Fans are not buying tickets to watch you "get into the feature race without having to unnecessarily wreck my car." That attitude is part of what has hurt the sport and negatively impacted fan counts.

    2. Anonymous9:10 AM

      Agree with Dave on this one. Every car should have to make the feature every week from a heat race.... and what is with the fast heat/slow heat..... stagger the cars. let the fast guys race each other in the feature.

      If your track races features only because you have a curfew, then your program is way too slow.

    3. Anonymous6:21 PM

      I think the lack of heat races has hurt newer less experienced drivers,they need to get more seat time.And many drivers need to learn a little restraint, to bring the car back in one piece so you can race again.

  10. Anonymous12:08 AM

    Nothing lights the fire of curiosity of a potential new fan more than a race car on display in a strategic, high traffic area. NOTHING!

  11. Anonymous8:20 AM

    these are pretty darn good...they should be posted on every race site on the internet

  12. Anonymous10:25 AM

    "Anyone who flips gets a $100 bonus. Climb out and go “Gangnam Style” on the overturned remains? $200! "

    Moody, you should definitely be promoting a short track somewhere!!

    1. Adam DelGrosso6:57 PM

      I would be $200 richer this year!! Here is my roll at Dunn Hill 2 Speedway this year. Car survived and won a heat race 2 days later!!

  13. Great list of thoughts, Dave.
    The truest is about the lack of promoters. There really is only a handful of promoters left in the world. If the rest would look at their show and work with the competitors to create entertainment then more people would come. They also would not need to rely on the back gate as much as there would be more people in the grandstands than in the pits (A sad and common scene around our area).
    I say to everyone send this list to your local racetrack and see if they make any changes and of course add your suggestions as well.

  14. Anonymous2:57 PM

    Great article Dave all tracks could find Good Advice in it. (Tony Stewart U havn't asked yuk yuk)
    & the stacker trailer. I Remember when Rusty's kid started in Nationwide & all he was talking about was the motor home before even qualifying fora race. Cost's have gotten WAY out of hand & will collapse the sport soon if nothing changes. (spoken as a guy who paid a scalper 140.00 for 2 tickets to PIR( (oh & thanks PIR for being sold out.... By the Scalpers))3rd trip there cost about 3500.00 won't be back) But cost's will continue to skyrocket & we all know who pays in the end (thats us) & eventually the bubble will burst. (on track product must improve) ...Congrats Brad & esp Roger (40 years of full commitment with nothing) Good thin Roger isn't dodge (quitters again) ..Best to all in the offseason Earner

  15. ...and let's not even get into the less-than-adequate safety equipment/protocol/procedures at many tracks. Minimal, at best!

  16. Anonymous8:45 AM

    Dave, I know of a race track that needs you. And Tony Stewart, too ;)

  17. Anonymous10:42 AM

    Nail>>>>>>>>>>Head. Great points for every promoter and racer to take to heart. Both have to work together or NO ONE will succeed.

  18. Matt Gain9:45 AM

    Im with you on most of these except The faster the car, the worse the race. Ive been to a lot of Super Modified races and I dont remember leaving one thinking that it was a snoozer. Same goes for midgets and sprint cars.

  19. Anonymous9:32 PM

    We need classes that can rub fenders & can still carry on, or the late models tough enough to rub & carry on. Beat the fenders & doors up!! RACE!!

  20. Anonymous9:34 AM

    I'd just like the ladies room to be permenantly attached to the ground, nothing nicer than a port o crapper with no paper and no lock on the door conviently placed right next to the tech shed....

    Look forward to seeing you at the track next season, we'll bring the radiator. :-) Happy Holidays

  21. Funny & insightful...

  22. I totally agree with the above column. Got my start in the 70s. Did some touring along the way. Top 5 favorites of the 80s +90s. Odds are if they did not change the formula, they would all be successful today.

    Speedway 95 Bangor Me.

    Low buck local racing. Your cousin Marvin was in the ditch because you put him there. Fun track!

    Thompson Speedway, Thompson Ct.

    Track has struggled in recent years. At one time Waterford, Stafford, and Riverside Park (RIP) cars would mob the place on Sundays. There are too many modified divisions and all are suffering. Put the three remaining tracks on one rulebook and everyone wins. Anyone remember the 50 car fields of street stocks going 100 laps for $1,000 to win? I miss the brats with fried onions!

    Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk Mass

    Anthony was one of the original characters. It was his way or the highway. He once tried to build a superspeedway in R.I.. The NIMBYs turned it down. Still family owned and run. Family feeling extends to the pits as well.

    Little T Speedway, Thompson Ct.

    A summer afternoon and no racing? Go watch the kids! Free admission, good cheap food, clean restrooms and you get to watch the future of our sport.

  23. I would love to see a real bone stock class. I race a fwd that has 5k in it just to be competitive. I would travel out of my way just to be part of a class strictly for fun.