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Author Topic:   Is dirt track racing dying?
Woodrow
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 2
posted May 03, 2005 09:22 PM  
Attendance is down. Car counts are down. No class is fielding anywhere near 24 cars. Some classes have as few as 4 cars. What does the future hold for dirt track racing???

CUSTOMPERFORMANCE
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1172
posted May 03, 2005 11:48 PM  
Dirt racing is not dying but the economy is not that great right now and most folks dont have extra funds to race as much as they used too and are taking some time off frrom racing or cutting back quite a bit.

M1
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 257
posted May 04, 2005 12:43 AM  
Depends on your sanctioning body.....

Here in WISSOTA land, everything is alive and well.

Our track has lower then average car counts for the area, and we run semi features in every class. Some classes have 2!

!130+ cars a night in 4 classes....

zeroracing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1875
posted May 04, 2005 01:24 PM  
here is my complaint about most tracks, the prices of cars goes up and up and purse is the same.

pforsythe
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 133
posted May 05, 2005 07:49 AM  
I think that in our area it is dying down. The faster classes more than the Bombers. I've followed this more than 40 years and have seen it happen several times.I'm not so sure that it should be called dying down, but maybe more that things run in cycles. It seems like you can start with some new drivers and things build up and the better drivers that can come up with the money and can afford good equipment begin to dominate. At some point here, fans and the other drivers get tired of seeing the same winners week after week . Fan attendence begins to fall off and the drivers that always end up following the high dollar teams get discouraged and start going fishing or something else. Some of them move back down a class where they can still have some fun and success and not have to spend so much money. At some point some new drivers or classes startup and the cycle starts over. JMO

spde
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 243
posted May 05, 2005 08:37 PM  
I think the problem is the promoter. If you were to have a track running 5 classes but only 15 cars in each class, then they sould drop a class. I mean how many different ways are there to make a pure/street/factory/sportsman or usmts/imca/b-mod or imca/outlaw late model or 305/360/410 sprint. The tracks I see doing the best run 4 classes not 5. They run an A class sprints or late model or modified. The rest of the field is fluff. one entry class / 4 cylinder or pure stock. One up sportsman. And one more filler. I think 5 classes is to long of a show and you hurt your fields. gl ltr

CCGRT9s
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 31
posted May 06, 2005 06:14 AM  
I agree about running only 4 classes instead of 5, good point. I think Dirttrack is growing, it is way more affordable to race or go watch than see some asphalt prima donnas frieght train all night.Asphalt? BORING. I even worked on a Nascar Elite Series (ALLPRO) team, $100's of thousands of dollars invested so you can go race at a track with 25 people in the stands. And these guys all think they are Dale Sr. It was a joke. You can spend $30,000 on a complete, brand new modified, and make as much winnings as these guys. They only race about 15 races, and the Championship pays no more than UMP Mod National Champ. (and that new mod cost will not buy 1 entry level Nascar engine, $45,000 +)Sorry if I'm harsh, but to see a real race, you have to go dirt. Plus, 3 out of 4 race tracks in the USA are dirt. They race every weekend, not once a year.

Blind Barney
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted May 18, 2005 06:14 PM  
Less classes per night and more racing per class, make the tow worth it by adding more laps.

Dirt racing in Alberta Canada is growing strong. Until 2003 there was only about 3 dirt tracks in the province, in 2004 a state of the art facility opened in High River 20 minutes south of Calgary ( www.rmrp.ca ) AND there is another brand new dirt track opening in Rimbey which is between Edmonton and Calgary. 2 new tracks in 2 years.

I have always said that until the cost of motors and tires are under control all of the blue collar guys will have to take a break now and then

Eljojo
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 968
posted May 22, 2005 11:18 AM  
Blame the promoters. They have to walk a fine line between profit and loss and sometimes profit is a hard thing to come by. Most of them have to feed their families on what's left from the revenues generated by the track, so they HAVE to cut expenditures which in turn creates less of an attraction for fans. However there are a few promoters who are business men that realize there are other ways to generate moneys other than the "back gate." They are sharp enough to hire a salesperson who can land division sponsors, race sponsors, pole award sponsors, etc. Then their costs of putting on the show decreases and they are able to improve their facilities and the productions they offer the public. Thus, more people want to watch and the promoter makes more money at the front gate. It's a package deal, including partnerships with local businesses, sponsors, concessions, fans, and racers and crews. The promoters that really don't need to buy their groceries and pay their mortgages are financially able to make more off a track than the guy who needs the renenue from the track. Typical catch 22.
Our guy (promoter) is a multi-millionaire who owns and operates his race track as a hobby. You would think he'd make the decision to set himself a reasonable profit percentage and put the money back into the racing! He'd have the best track prep, the best food, a teriffic pay-out, and all in all the hottest deal going. He's only problem is that he's a know it all who's driven by a lifelong committment to making money. He made his fortune by the sweat of his brow and hasn't any interest in some dumb smuck racecar driver giving him any advice. He once told me flat out that he didn't need my help running his racetrack.
So here he is 4 weeks int the season with his car counts dropping and can't understand "why." Truth is: that he doesn't pay enough to help his support classes maintain their racing. Without the support classes his cost to fund the super lates increases which forces him to lower their pay-out. With the smaller checks the the pay window, the top SLM driver go elsewhere....and take their fans with them.
Did you want a novel?

imcaracer84
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 33
posted May 23, 2005 08:58 AM  
He's not listening to your advice because twice a year at the RPM Promoter's Workshops they preach for a week at a time about how raising purse money DOES NOT attract more racers.

Robert Lawton from Boone is their flagship model. He's running right at 200 cars a night and he doesn't pay much of anything out. I saw his payout breakdown once when they were demonstrating their scoring software a couple of years ago. From memory it was something like 40-plus I-stocks and the winner got around 180 bucks. He spread out a lot of small payouts over the field, but Lawty always maintains that whatever a track promoter pays out, the racer will put at least three times as much into his car. So, he maintains that he is saving the racer money (and thus increasing car counts) by keeping the payouts low.

Say what you want about his theory, but he always is one of the most popular speakers at the promoter's conference and the promoters are much more likey to listen to him than to one of their racers whinning about wanting more money.

ARMallardSlayer
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 175
posted June 27, 2005 04:06 PM  
67 Speedway in Texarkana is seeing more cars than ever and attendance is up.....if they can just keep the track in shape!

sprt2h
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 6
posted July 03, 2005 08:16 PM  
here in southern indiana the problem is that each track has its own set of rules and is not willing to change so therefore each racer has to race only the local track.the average car count for bombers/pure stock is 20-25 at each track, and 15-20 for street stock. if the rules would be changed to incorporate all the tracks then it would be wirth while for more of the racers to travel. also the fact that after paying for entry fees gas for the car and the hauler if i win the feature without tearing anything up i can go home with $10 and thats for the pure stock class.

DangerZoneRacing
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 176
posted July 03, 2005 10:18 PM  
Ha! Try racing at a track that only gives a mug for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd and no money....and thats all 4 classes. Closes track is 2 1/2 hrs away so we have no choice but run here. But then again I was laways taught that if your in the sport of racing to make money....you need to find another sport.

frenchtech
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 6
posted July 30, 2005 02:31 PM  
Our track is located in SW kansas. In a little town called Hugoton. We are an hour away from the newly rebuilt Dodge City Raceway Park. It's a nicer facility but they screw the schedule up on a moments notice. We are starting to pull in more cars from all over. Everyone says the same comment, we like your track. 3/8 dirt med. bank. always dryslick by the end of the night with a smooth glass finish. We like to run it that way. All Driver, Not Horsepower. We are growing. Weekly reports come in of new people buying cars and taking an interest in our sport. Race not for the money but for the love. If you would like to check out the website it's a www.dirtonaraceway.homestead.com Have a good season!

chickenlittle
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 62
posted August 02, 2005 11:51 AM  
I live in the middle of nowere and have a track that is 15miles from home. We have had the most cars ever in the modifieds. The least amount in a field has been 18. They run 6 classes regularly. The mods are the biggest class. We've had a total of 49 different cars race here this year in the mods. All the other tracks within a 4 hour radius of here are dirt. Only asphalt tracks are near big cities and are over 4 hours from here. Lot's of people getting into the modifieds here. We run IMCA and it keeps the cost down. Makes it affordable. I think it's cheaper to run than the street stocks.

leapinlizard
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 402
posted August 09, 2005 01:17 PM  
In my state, of confusion, the competition for drivers/teams is high. Having to many tracks, I've got eight within 1 1/2 hour drive. Not enough people like going to the races to support the amount of tracks. Tracks open and close around here on a weekly basis.

One of the most popular and fast growing has the smallest payout there is.

 

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