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Author Topic: state of racing  (Read 658 times)
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« on: November 06, 2008, 05:00:18 PM »

as i sit here getting ready for the trip to concord, i was thinking about a conversation from the shop last night. as racing fans, we should be concerned about the future of the sport, from the bottom to the top. as car owners, they need to be scared as hell. track owners and promoters need to think about getting circus barkers and start to sell the hell out of he show a bit better.
let's start locally here in ohio:
-with the excetion of a few high dollar events, how many tracks are paying more to win a show today than they did 15 years ago? we run for the same or less money than we did.
-at least 3 tracks closed up mid season citing financial inability to meet day to day operational expenses
-car counts for what were thought to be "big" events were dismal at best.
other tracks we have lost to business or lack thereof: m40 in jackson michigan, Angola speedway  in indiana is for sale or lease, lakeland speedway in florida is already an industrial park.(or an empty lot of dirt)
on a bigger level:
 USAR Hooters Pro Cup is in danger of shuttering it's doors with Hooters pulling out sponsorship. that leaves a ton of cars out there that have no place to run, not to mention the millions and millions of dollars owners have invested in the series since it's inception. hopefully some of these teams will be able to convert and run with cra or asa (which seems to rising from the ashes to regain the lustre of it's glory years of the 80's as THE place you started a racing career)
on the biggest level:
gm has pulled most if it's support from nascar as an associate and race sponsor. you won't see gm products pacing the field next year.
there are now only 2 truck teams with gm support, khi and thorsport.
dodge is pulling most of it's support in the truck series
gm and chrylser's merger looks more likey with each passing day. from a racing standpoint, it looks like they are getting ducks in a row. kasey kahne has lost his support from mopar, and all nhra teams will no longer get support from them either. dei and ganassi are in some serious talks to join forces.
gm was turned down for an additional 20 BILLION dollar lifeline from the feds. the upper and mid level blue collar and engineering postions at both auto makers are shrinking fast. laying off and offering buyouts at breakneck paces.

and the open wheelers thought they were in trouble when they split about 10 years ago.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2008, 05:22:34 PM by super61 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2008, 06:01:09 PM »

I have been following the decline of the grass roots of racing for the last several years.  This is as bad as it has ever been.  For the first time, I legitimately fear for the future of this sport.  Entering the sport is harder than ever, as the needed sponsors do not come through on any level.

It's interesting also to see what the government does about the overall economy.  Tuesday, I heard that Congress has agreed to a lame-duck session to propose possible solutions.  No doubt a few of these involve the manufacturer and other sponsors we associate with the sport.

Buddy Wayne Barefoot, unhappy with Baby Brian's handiwork, finds his true passion.Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2008, 10:12:45 PM »

I agree with what you are saying Ken.  I'm a big fan of dirt racing and around here purses haven't really changed in since I started going.  My local Saturday night track pays 2 grand to win for the Modifieds (they are the head line division), which I'm pretty sure is the same since I started going 20 years ago.  There are some 3-4 grand to win shows, but the purses haven't kept up with the cost of racing.  The traveling series for the Mods pays 6 grand to win for a 100 lap race.  This has been the same since the mid 90's.

I'm taking a rough guess here but the cost of new Modified and an engine is well north of 50 grand.  That doesn't include tires ($150 a pop) wheels, spare parts, etc, etc, etc. 

Car counts have been flat, except for the budget sportsman class which run the Chevy crate engine.  I know the car I worked on this year isn't running next year, as its just to expensive to run for pretty much nothing. 

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