I have been a friend of our three local track "owners" for more than 50 years. I say "owners" but in reality they are General Partners in the Drag Strip which is located on the Barona Indian Reservation. The money and equipment they invested in the facility can never be removed should they abandon/leave the business, the Tribe acquires everything, including the toilet paper. I couldn't begin to count or add up the amount of time, money and hard work they put into this place, it would be a staggering number. Frankly I don't know anyone as hard working and dedicated as these guys. I equate their commitment to an old saying about breakfast: The chicken was committed when she supplied the eggs but the pig was totally committed when he supplied the ham. Not calling them pigs but they are totally committed, these guys are "living the dream" which at times can look more like a nightmare when all the bills come due.
Recently they began holding Friday night "Street Racers" events. That began slowly but quickly produced huge car (and oddly), spectator counts they pack the place. Here is the single money maker event and it benefits the community by getting these folks off the street and into a safe race facility.
Their private "Test and Tune" sessions/ track rentals are limited to between 15 and 18 cars @ $100 per car, that barely covers the cost of swinging the gates open when you add the Insurance.
I GET what John is saying, now add in California State mandated Covid protocols and it's enough to make a grown man yell "Uncle". NO sane person would subject him/her self to this abuse unless he/she was crazy..... or totally dedicated. Our Track Owners are totally dedicated.
If you love this Sport and want to see it survive you (1) really need to help the Owners in any way you can, or (2) watch it die just like the many closed facilities around the Country. There is no free ride and no (3).
Whether you go to your local track to race, to test or to spectate it doesn't matter. Just keep going and supporting your local track and also try and bring a friend who has never gone before!!
Your track may be the next one to close
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Even better yet, lay down a trail of destruction that's second to none, before they do close it down.
Good thing the dorks in the tower at Bradenton I raced with at Sunshine, aren't gonna have 45 minutes to change the decision on this, eh?
Ripper Nova kicked their chit in, bad. 700%.
That was a good blog John. I have a few points of discussion although it will be from a Divisional racers standpoint. I will post again in the morning.
Regan Wilson Super Street 469C
This has become a hot topic among my drag racing friends around these parts..if you actually want to test and tune your car it is impossible at our "test n tunes"...why?...because they get over 300 cars mostly of which are street...they tear up the tack and we are lucky if we get two passes in...I went to a Funday Sunday 2 weeks ago to test my car...450 cars showed up and it was a ****show...
Some of the tracks hold slick and radial only test n tunes for 50 bucks and that is our only choice other than a private track rental which costs between 200 and 350 bucks...my local track will not do a slick and radial deal...why should they, really?...
Starting the year of covid, I started seeing $50 test and tune sessions. Some of these are particularly poor for testing. The track isn't prepped like it is for race day. So that data isn't the same. And, the lanes are completely mixed and first come first served. All well and good, but with the number of cars there are....if you take 30 minutes to make changes, fuel the car and get it back up there, you are faced with the same wait that the street cars that hot lap it face. I have had test and tune nights where it wasn't possible for me to get more than two hits. Not ideal.
Foxtrot Juliet Bravo
I do agree with the track rental. We have done it in the past and I will be doing this year also. Park your rig in the staging lanes and enjoy. We normally get a few racers together and split the cost. I always ask that the track have a safety crew on hand. Once we called the local FD and agreed to buy them lunch and gave them a free show if they came to the track for the day. Remember to tip the track workers. Yes it can be expensive. Well north of $1k per 8 hour day.
Test and tune keep the gates open at many tracks in my area. To the point that some only run bracket races occasionally, but hold test and tune every week and year round. However, the bracket racers just don't seem to get it. I have heard more than one bracket racer state that the track owner/operators ought to be using some of the profits on test and tune nights to subsidize low/no profit bracket races. Seriously. They seem to consider track owner/operators as "greedy" when they keep their profit making activities going and ditch their profit killers. All I can say is thank you to those local track owner/operators that still even have regularly scheduled bracket races. Take care. Tom Worthington
If it seems that bracket racing has gotten too expensive for you, maybe you are just doing it wrong.
Spot-on bit John!
Mike Laws Performance
The Friday Night Street Racers that come to Barona are for the most part not interested in "Formal bracket" racing, all they want to do is to make runs with their licensed street cars. The gate fee is $30 for 6 hours of simply racing friends, no purse just "chest beating" and bragging rights. Spectators only pay $10 for an entertaining 6 hour evening of Drag Racing. In order to add a purse the track would have to charge the Racers a second fee, the initial $30 would not cover the added expense of a purse. That fee would be anywhere from $10 to whatever. This group would not be interested in the least in a fee increase, $30 is their absolute cap.
It works just fine, the car count increases every Friday night and the Spectator count increases every Friday night. The formula or whatever you want to call it works, all that can happen is to change the process and lose the interest. They aren't going to fix what isn't broken. The money the track makes (race cars only) is fed back into the General fund that keeps the gates open for everyones benefit. The "Friday night Street Racers" event and the two annual "Antique Drags" are the two most profitable events held at Barona. Track rental fees, (15 car maximum) barley covers the expense of opening the gates once you add in the crew, electrical and Insurance expense.
One last thing to mention about Barona and this is important. The Tribal Partners (and their Partnership is mandatory) collect the spectator money, ALL 100% OF IT, not the track General Partnership. The income from the car entries goes to the General Partner Track Operation fund. Everyone makes out, the racers, the spectators, the General Partners and the Tribe.
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I remember 40+ years ago the owner of Capitol in MD (gone now) told me bracket racing and bracket racers were a waste of time as they made all their money on Friday night test&tune. And, didn’t have to put up with the whining bracket racers.
It comes down to testing a track rental is the only way. I can usually get ten licks down the track if I work my a$$ off. Test and Tune Day 2 licks.
I get that track owners are fighting an uphill battle when it comes to operating costs. I don't want to do anything to add to the track owners problems. I'm thankful the place is there in the first place.
On the other hand Mr. Track Owner at least utilize some semblance of organization. How often do we start on time? Why should we hurry to the lanes only to sit an hour before the track goes hot? Why does each racer not get a copy of track rules when they pay? Since when is the entry fee the only tech inspection?
Easily distracted by bright shiny objects.
Wife says I'm a new adventure every day.
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For Christ's sake, grow up and get over it!
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The way test-n-tune is run around here.I agree you are better off renting a track if you can.He11 I would learn more from testing on street in front of my house.
Between ac condensate, oil and dirt from street junk tracion is not there for a moped. The you have to follow some sstreet driven pos mustand with his ac on and running about 5 mph down return and too stupid to know that the race car behind you is not designed to be driven 50 miles in 90* heat and the guy inside in 5 layer first suit is about ready to bullet in you and chunk remains into the ditch and park your mustang on top of hole.
Then you have small tire night that has t-n-t for race cars. But be prepared for every pair up to take 15 minutes to run after they pick up every piece of lint on the track all the way to finish line.
If you can get by with cpl hundred per team to rent track, its money well spent .
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