I was just talking with a couple friends of mine at the races a couple of weeks ago and couldn't help notice that I was hearing them complaining about our local track and it's operator and couldn't help notice that I had heard the same complaining 25yrs ago by different racers at the that time and hearing everyone complaining about their own tracks all over... First let me tell you if your not helping than your part of the problem, second, we all know that the promoter or track operator has to turn a profit because if he doesn't than what is his motivation for listening to all the *****ing and complaining. Don't get me wrong some promoters can and are real Arses to do business with, but remember one thing, what have you done lately to help? Jok Nicholson has a great article in Drag Racing Online just about the same problem. Get involve with other racers and form a group that can help the proper promotion of your local races, help newbies about racing without taken them out the same race, encourage them to race in the street for trophy to help them move up to next step. Pick up a broom and help the clean out crew during the next oildown instead of *****ing and moaning about how slow it takes the track to finish the clean up. How about making sure your car hooks in sand instead of relying on having a race track feeling like a mouse glue trap, learn to tune your car for questionable track condition. All I'm saying is get involve because you never know when you might lose it. I look forward to your discussions. CR
#1 issue: 0 fans.
I think you have a good point. I don't think drag racing will ever really go away, but it has died a lot. Hard to get fans in the stands when gate fees are high, hell even my local track is only 10$ adults 12- under free. And there stands aren't ever really PACKED, except on jet car nights. I'd love to see more people get into it, there's just a lot more people would rather do on Saturday nights. It's becoming a thing your born into in my opinion haha. But as far as the *****ing and moaning. I know some nights the track won't be worth a damn, but when you have a 7.90 car on an 1/8th mile track, brand new slicks and 8.5lbs and still spin, that gets frustrating. Some nights are good, some nights are bad. Our track manager just doesn't want to spend the extra money on the sticky. Even though the same owner, owns Bowling Green (Dallas) and it's always an awesome track. Different strokes for different folks I guess. Money changes the way people run things for sure though.
A large group of racers here at my local track did just that. Got together and formed an informal association that pitches in at the track.
We did some fundraising to redo the burnout boxes, repave return road and we do the track prep. We *****ed about traction for years, the answer was "do it ourselves!!!!!"
We get $5.00 per car thru the gate to cover the supplies we use. A few racers including me will be at the track 7:30ish Sat & Sun morning to get the prep done for the raceday. Really liking being on the road these days since I can relax in the morning.
Though the track I was at last weekend is a volunteer run deal short on morning help so I was at it again.
AS an aside as to how ignorant some racers can be. Rumour is the track prep we do at my track is specifically aimed at the big tire cars most of the prep crew runs. I just wish we were that good at it.
That is some hard dirty work. The racers should appreciate it. If you get that traction glue in your eyes...it can blind you.
Please have your buddies where eye protection anytime they are around the transferring of the adhesive or the spraying of it.
I am going to try to get an "8-car invitational" set up with our Friday night test and tune drivers and have a little elimination race. The thought is to get 8 regular racers, assign one racer to each Friday night test and tune guy and if he wants to ask questions..he will have a mentor there to help.
Things like consistent burnout, staging carefully, reading time slips and seeing where the variances are at, finish line margins. All the stuff that technically make bracket racing what it is; a sport you can be competitive at, enjoy and do it with an inexpensive or an expensive race car, your choice.
Hoping this will create some interest and get them and their friends to try a Saturday or Sunday real race.
Probably going to be hard to get some young guys to listen to a 61 year old racer but maybe I can find "young helpers".... Won't work if we don;t try.
Great original post. Nothing is new with the complaining, as you can't please everyone all the time. And some folks you can never please.
We hashed over this topic, and expecially lack of fans in this section a few months ago. I'm afraid that is simply the nature of bracket racing. It isn't all that exciting to watch. Top sportsman and top dragster really pushed the envelope, but how many times is even somebody who is interested in cars going to come watch even that? Everybody lives busy lives now, and spending every weekend at the track spectating isn't in anyone's plan.
"In God we trust. All others bring data."
You know, a long, long time ago, the entire concept of drag racing was threatened when some of the younger guys were bringing cars to the track with OHV engines. OMG. There was a large and strong group of racers that believed anything but flatheads was heiresy, and knew that drag racing as they knew it was dying. Hell, you can still find a few "flatheads forever" clubs around the country. Oh, and back then, if you could not play with the big dogs, you may as well not even show up.
But, drag racing did survive, and blossomed, only in a different way.
It seems now that things are changing again. Maybe the rice burners and the people that drive them will take drag racing in a different direction than we would choose, but then again, all us old dinosaurs are dying off, or retiring from the game, and the new blood seems to prefer the sport compact cars and grudge racing. There will continue to be events that are more to our liking, (they still have events for the old gassers, modifieds, in-line sixes and flatheads). But if drag racing needs to change to survive, so be it.
I know I will be around for a few more years, God willing, but the time is coming when I will no longer be able to do this.
Although in a few years, whether or not drag racing survives, will have little affect on my life, I certainly would like to see it survive, if only to keep those punk ass rice burners off the street.
ROMENY would be a good start....
Who is ROMENY?
4 MO years of BAMA. We will reap what we have sown.
If it matters to you, my real name is Mike Van Winkle!!
Why not just ban track glue all together ?
After the first few dozen cars smack the wall, people will come out in droves to see the show .. it's just there wont be any cars left for them to see .. well maybe a slow a z z station waggon here and there ...
Whos yur Daddy .. !
|DRR / Crew|
Check out the DRR Home Page and the article on Crossroads Dragway in Indiana. They have a great Jr program at that track and it looks like it is carrying over into the big car classes. 3 out of 4 winners look to be under 25 or so.
Just like baseball, you get back what you put into the farm system.
One of the big reasons that the sport is slowly dying is the cost for younger people. Back in the day a college degree was not required to get a good job so now kids graduate college and them or the parents are stacked with 100,000 in college debt to be paid off. The last thing they are looking at is let me go build a $25,000 racecar....lol.
A lot of the younger kids you see out there racing came up through the Junior Dragster Rank and sold their Juniors for Big Boy Cars or their Dad was getting older and decided to give their kid a shot at driving the car. I was given that chance from my father but, was also told I needed to learn the ins & outs of the racecar before I ever took it down the track and if something broke guess who's pocket it came out of.
I run Super Gas now with our car and to be honest with everyone I don't see S/G being around more then 15-20 years due to the fact that a lot of the older patriarchs of the class are retiring or unfortunately passed away and there is not much "New Blood" coming into the class to take their place. I can maybe count 10-15 guys that are under 35 that run S/G in D-1, most everyone has bought a dragster or just can't pay for racing anymore.
Just my .02 cents
Some great posts here. Good points Rob and Dragnet, and DRR points out that the future of our sport depends on bringing in new blood to replace those who are leaving for whatever reason. Racers leave for legitimate reasons: Growing old, dying, moving on to something else in life, tightening the belt. We just need to have racers coming in to take their place.
The jr dragsters, while still expensive, are a great way for kids and parents to get involved, and are a great stepping stone.
One thing I have not seen much of is the ricers graduating into bracket racing. I have never seen any in no box ever, and even in street they are uncommon. Yet they will show up at the test and tunes and the midnight mayhem events. If we can bridge the gap, we end up losing good potential long term racers.
None of these things will bring in a lot of racers now. But they can keep us from shrinking at least.
"In God we trust. All others bring data."
Something that just popped into my little mind while reading your post.
Do you think that part of the problem is how many of these young people were raised to take part in activities where there is no winner, no loser, and they don't even keep score.
Bracket racing, I think, defers from T-N-T and "grudge" racing because most bracket programs do keep score, and there are losers and winners at each race, and for the season.
Just a thought
Well, maybe. But even when they get to 5th grade sports they really do keep score. I'm counting the days. LOL. In little league, we kept score in the stands with the other parents. Nothing real competitive, but we could figure out where we were at. Got the parents a little more into the game anyhow.
The trophy class should at least be attractive to them. I can see being intimidated getting into a bracket race that costs you $50 and you could go out in the first round. Dad and I raced together for years mostly in trophy and test and tune. When I started getting into the more competitive classes, Dad sort of got out of it. He is so competitive that none of us were having fun. LOL. "You do know only one of us in this entire class gets to be the winner each day right?" He didn't care. We worked hard and spent money and did all the right things, so we should be winning a lot. Bracket racing doesn't always treat you like that.
At some point in drag racing, most of us go from being simply participants and become competitors. It ruins the sport for some, and enhances it for others.
"In God we trust. All others bring data."
In theory you are correct. The problem with getting involved is you become the person that people complain to. I know this from personal experience. I first joined a racer rep group then they talked into taking a part time job in tech. For me it took all of the fun out of racing.
This year I have taken a completely different tact. I just rent a pit spot for the few hours that I’m at the track and enjoy myself. I try to avoid anybody complaining because it is contagious. So far this year it has been the most fun I have ever had at the track. Plus I really enjoy driving my Tube Carz Dragster. Thanks Charlie.
Great thread here,
I was talking on another racing forum not long ago about this same subject, I ask some folks why fan particapation was so far gone? In a way I think it's because racing lost some of it's character,back in the day(And I'm Only 37 years old) But, Back in the day racing had real rivalries that were promoted through Radio shows and added spunk to the whole sport, The thing is....Listeners would come watch because they wanted to see King Kong Vs Godzilla or The Snake Vs The Mongoose and the radio shows would even mention the little guys..When everthing went corprate and racers stopped naming cars and started plastering sponsors names on I think it simply lost fan appeal, and it sorta drizzled down to the little guy. spectators used to come to weekly events to see local rivalries also,but tracks also seem to have grown away from what made drag racing so popular in the first place...it's sort of a mix between racers and promoters why drag racing is losing some of it's edge...Pro-stock isn't pro-stock anymore Half the time you don't know what kind of car is on the starting line, funny cars look like space ships, I enjoyed watching the ADRL super car shootout the new Copo Chevy,The boss ford and Mopar drag pak, Now thats more Pro-stock then anything..Bring back the Character Drag racing once possessed and you'll see more than a share of new people getting into the sport,I bracket race a dragster, and I know theres no fun in watching it go down the track..I also have a 10" tire mustang I just built for some of these Index races (Not Rod Classes) but No-E type index races & I can say that I see more spectators at those events than I do for a regular bracket race. JMO
Oh c'mon Skip, quit your *****in
The main problem is us the racers. We dont help the new blood like we were helped. We turn our noses up to the ricer crowd because thier different. Turn back the hands of time and I guarantee you that you were probably looked at the same way. Maybe the difference is just the cars. If we were all out there bracket racing civics and supras would things be different? Just sayin.....
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