On The Short Run: No Excuses For Series Operators Ignoring Free Marketing Opportunities

On The Short Run is an occasional feature from RaceDayCT offering a quick opinion of a recent hot topic in racing …

On Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway Ryan Preece won in the first Modified Touring Series event at the historic Long Island venue.

Though you wouldn’t know that by visiting the Modified Touring Series Facebook page.

In a world where every series operator should be focused on exposing their product any way they can to generate fan interest, no series anywhere should be missing out on the free marketing tool that today’s world of social media offers.

Wednesday night at Thompson Speedway the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was in competition. Behind that event was the high-powered marketing that comes with the NASCAR brand name. And no, it’s not easy for any lower level regional touring series to match up with the might and money that comes with that NASCAR brand name.

Nobody expects divisions like the Modified Touring Series or the Valenti Modified Racing Series or the Tri-Track Open Modified Series to be hiring big money public relations staffs to drive exposure for their divisions.

But when a series ignores the free marketing options available that offer proven exposure the operators of that series are failing the competitors that are choosing to participate with them.

At 11 p.m. Saturday night, hours after the conclusion of the Modified Touring Series event at Riverhead, a text message came across my phone that read: “Did the MTS race at Riverhead rain out? I don’t see anything about who won on their Facebook page.”

As of noon Sunday there was still no mention of a race winner or race results from Riverhead on the Modified Touring Series page on Facebook. At about 1 p.m Sunday a photograph of Preece holding a checkered flag was posted on the series Facebook page. A caption-less photo of a driver holding a checkered flag, posted about 16 hours after the conclusion of the race, is the only indication on the series Facebook page that an event actually was run to conclusion at some point between Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon.

Ultimately, everything that is done within a racing series is preparation for a race, an event, a competition that concludes with a winner. You can update your Facebook page 20 times a day, but not taking two minutes to post who actually won your event is beyond inexcusable. It doesn’t even make sense? Why post about heat races and entry lists if the actual race winner or event results don’t even rate getting mentioned? Why even have a Facebook page if what happens in your races doesn’t rate getting posted there? Racing is still about the actual races right?

For any series to be successful there has to be a balance struck between making participants happy, making track operators happy and making fans want to see your product.

The problem is if the focus of any series operator becomes too much on just making participating teams and drivers happy, you’re essentially creating a racing club and not an entertainment property.

If you’re not doing all you can do to expose and sell your product to potential fans then you’re not going to create interest. And if there’s no interest and you’re not drawing fans to the gates, track operators are going to lose interest in hosting your series.

You can give back all you want to the teams with purses and bonuses and contingencies and all the other warm fuzzy stuff that would make teams want to participate, but if you’re not putting a real focus on marketing to fans then you’re going to be left with a whole bunch of happy drivers who have no place to race.

If spreading the word of the actual results of your events isn’t part of the big picture marketing plan, someone is really missing the boat on what this is all about. In 2017 everyone has a smart phone. Everyone has the ability to update social media anywhere anytime. There’s no excuses for not doing it today.

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Comments

  1. Patrick Tetreault jr says:

    It is very obvious you have an issue with this series from day one! You are nothing more than a journalist who lets your personal beliefs effect your work If I was the MTS I would politely inform you to not report on anything to do with their series as you have nothing good to say! I would not allow you a press pass to my races as well! You seem to Bash people who are trying to do something for the fans to enjoy not sure of your agenda but it is an agenda that has bad intentions! This makes you a bad journalist and a jerk! By the way this big bad monster you call Nascar has the most boring races of all the series out there not sure what you are watching but I know what your pushing and it is bunch of garbage!

  2. Stuart Fearn says:

    that’s the old if we tell them right away they won’t come to the race mentality. So, last century thinking

  3. I’m on the fence about social media… if it wasn’t for social media posting results right away I maybe attending more races… now I just follow updated results and I’m happy. I agree that event postings should be out there but not so sure about results. Back in the day if I missed any of the weekend races I couldn’t wait till Paul Tremain put the results on the phone around midnight

  4. NH Mark says:

    Patrick, the series got 14 cars last night and your complaint is with Shawn?? The MTS is on life support buddy. Everyone knows they won’t post car counts on social media on race day because they struggle to get 20 cars. Luckily there are other sites that usually do post them. Forget about an entry list leading up to an event. Its a ham and egg series at this point. At least Riverhead fans only have to wait a week to see a real tour.

    You might want to brush up on our freedom of speech rights too.

  5. There were 14 cars at Riverhead the MTS has to take anything right now.

  6. Nobody cares about the MTS, MRS or ROC. They are all bush league Modified Series. In it for themselves. Those series are where Modified teams go to die. They are money makers for the owners of those series only. They pay nothing to the race teams and the so called point funds are a joke.
    Gumball tires vs hockey puck tires.
    14, 17 or 20 car fields. The ROC had 3 heat races with 5 Mods in them at Jennerstown Saturday night. Do you think fans want to watch this crap ? That’s why their is no press release. Their isn’t anything to report. These series are hurting Modified Racing not helping it.
    The Tri-Track Series is a good series for everybody and keep in mind a short series. That’s what makes that series good.

  7. darealgoodfella says:

    Yeah, I’m with Shawn.

    The VMRS is not much better. That website is useless. I lost interest in that series because of the poor social interaction and poor job informing the fans. How the fans are treated through the website is a reflection on the series.

    In this day and age, you had better have a strong and instantly up-to-date web presence. It is THE way to expose and promote your product. It better be good.

    Several years ago, even though the WMT had a web presence, it took days or even weeks for the race results and standings to be updated. That drove people nuts. I sent them a letter and since then the news and results are made available very quickly.

  8. My humble view is that this was a ground breaking opinion piece by arguably to single most important voice to racing in in the Northeast. I’ve long admired Shawn’s ability to walk the line between promotion of racing and some of the ridiculous efforts to hide problems that are pretty obvious to those that follow the sport and love it. It’s promotion that the sport depends on vs reality. Bottom line is you keep this up Shawn and many average Joe’s will be unhappy. But the sport and those that are responsible for the betterment of the sport may learn something and help it get stronger. We’re on the upswing, keep it going.

  9. Realist says:

    As a racer in the pits when these series show up it is a bore. IMHO they are not worth watching. Certainly not worth paying for to see as a fan. The tour is still the best teams around.

  10. – Shawn’s not wrong
    – I hate to sound ageist, and I have ZERO idea about the makeup of the people that run either the MTS or the VMRS, so I admit I’m speaking out of ignorance… but I have to wonder if the management teams of either series include folks under 40
    – The MTS did, though, have coverage on speed51.com last night
    – The MTS had a sparse field, but they had names — Preece, McKennedy, Goodale, Pitkat, Pennink, Lia, Pasteryak
    – The VMRS was practically in Canada today; they had a few more cars than the MTS, but they were lacking names; Nocella (the winner) was one of the few exceptions
    – The VMRS has same-day results on their website today
    – PASS resisted social media until about two years ago, and are now all in; PASS is even doing televised races (including the Oxford 250) this year
    – If getting race results online is keeping you from attending races, you probably need to evaluate how much of a race fan you really are today
    – If you think blacklisting members of the press or social media does ANYTHING to help a racing series, you probably fit in the same category with the people who thought boycotting Thompson was going to result in MORE oval racing (see: “troglodyte”)
    – If you’re going to complain about 20-car fields, you need to look around at the state of racing today… I go to tracks all over New England… car counts are maybe 1/2 what they were 25 years ago
    – If you combine the results, and the driver rosters, of the MTS, the VMRS and the TTMS, you’ll find 80+ modified teams… Most of them choose not to race on any given weekend

  11. wmass01013 says:

    I think the next few weeks will be very interesting, you have the MRS with the OPENING of Waterford next weekend, then MRS goes to LOUDON JULY 1 and how many people and teams will show UP AT THE big track for a non NASCAR event THEN THE SAME night MTS at Mad dog, ADD TRI TRACK at SEEKONK on June 28 and quite a busy 2 weeks

  12. It is typical that some people trash Shawn for simply reporting the news and make a suggestion that only could help the situation.I think in the case of the MTS he is whipping a dead horse.Small wonder no one was in the stands and even most of the local mods stayed away.14 cars and empty seats at a venue like Riverhead is telling.You would think that Mr.Knight would have a handle on the entry list and reach out to the track and local teams to fill the field.I have gone to tour races at Riverhead in the rain and the fans showed and spent the evening waiting to get the race in.Ditto for a regular weekly show.Management at Riverhead is the best at getting a show in before and during the raindrops.I agree that this series is definitely on life support due to the wayward nature of the promotors of the MTS.

  13. Speed51.com has trackside now for any touring series in the country. They also just started this week a live Twitter feed just for the modified. They had up to the minute coverage of the race last night.

  14. Franky,
    One, because a certain media outlet covers selected events doesn’t mean a series or track should not do their own promotion of those events. That’s kind of a ridiculous philosophy to have. Should the New England Patriots not put out press releases to media outlets because the Boston Globe covered their practice? Two, Speed51 doesn’t cover every event. They did not cover the MTS event recently at Stafford. So what then, if you’re the MTS and you don’t think you should promote events because Speed51 does it for you with Cover It Live, and then they’re not there?

  15. old observer says:

    Both MTS & MRS had very little useful info available a week before the races. I knew the Riverhead field would be lite but couldn’t find much info on the MRS race from the track or the series until just before the race. Some of us like to make the big shows but we we need info first.
    Went racing locally & enjoyed the show & saved lots of $$$.
    To get a bigger crowd, you have to make it interesting.
    Not a fan of Shawn but appreciate the info he makes available.

  16. darealgoodfella says:

    It’s safe to say that the MTS formed as an opportunity presented by the conditions with the MRS.

    Time will tell.

  17. Stafford is my track. I go there, know the teams and enjoy the competition of drivers I know something about. When the MRS or MTS roll into town all I expect is a higher ticket price and a hope that some of my favorite SK drivers will do well in the touring series feature event. As a one track guy all I have is a question. What’s with all the different modified series? Whelen is an institution with a history and I get it. The Super Modifieds are different, I get them. But the others like VMRS and MTS I don’t have any idea why they exist. You tell me. Do they each have fan bases that follow them? Do tracks want them to appear to attract the tours fans, get higher ticket prices from locals like me or a combination of both? Am I the exception and locals like these guys coming in and providing another layer of modified action. My question is where do touring fans and one track fans intersect to the benefit of both, the tracks and the teams.

  18. Like Doug above, I spend most of my circle track time at one track, and purchase a season ticket each year.

    It would make my spectator experience far better if I were able to find out more information related to each touring series as they visit my track. The free channels like Facebook and Twitter, as well as low cost options like a fully mobile friendly website, would be a great place to share updates on entry lists, qualifying orders, penalties, reason for retirement, and order of finish very soon after the event ends. More is better…

    Basic driver / team / car detail bios would be great on the mobile friendly web, too…

  19. Shawn is dead on. I think the people of Riverhead better look long and hard at their operation. 14 cars for this event. They had the Islip 300 a few weeks back with a decent pay out of $7000.00 to win and a $32,000 total purse. and only had 20 car field. I understand the difficulties of getting there, but they have to do better promotionally.

  20. Shawn, I totally agree with you. I was just pointing it out that speed51 had it. Keep up the great work Shawn. Big fan of racedayct.

  21. Bostonian says:

    I try to follow BS III online, and I can say it’s not a regional issue. The different series that he runs in the Midwest, like USAC, are a joke. This past weekend AVSS posted, were running tonight at…., then a couple hours later they post who won. No information on car counts, drivers, qualifying etc. This is from the series, and the two tracks twitter and FB pages! WTF 🙁
    I’ll give a lot of credit to Oswego Speedway. They know how to use social media to it’s fullest.

  22. Bob Npt. says:

    The June 10th MTS race at Seekonk was great. 25 good quality cars and drivers. Plenty of action throughout the pack during the race. The next day, there was not a word of it on any of the websites including this one. I got the results on race-monitor.com. Eventually the results showed up on the MTS website, but no stories on any of the sites. To answer the question about why all the independent tours, they were created for car owners and drivers who just don’t want to put up with all the NASCAR B.S. and costs. They are meant for the owners and drivers who enjoy old fashion race your way into the show type racing. Quite frankly, everyone gets much more seat and track time racing than just 2 qualifying laps and and the feature. More exciting for the fans, too. Say what you want to, but they put on some pretty exciting racing. And by the way, a lot of the WMT drivers are doing both the MTS and VMRS tours and they don’t always win either.

  23. Fast Eddie says:

    Bob Npt, check out the Seekonk website under “news”. They had an initial event summary and a second more detailed race report.

  24. Bob Npt. says:

    Thanks Eddie. I forgot to mention that the American Racer tires held up really well. The cars were just as fast at the end of the race as they were at the start. The winners last lap time was just 2 tenths slower than his lap 10 time.

  25. D. Trickle says:

    It’s pretty clear stock car racing and local racing are on the decline on all levels. Money has a big part in that.. 20 years from now I wonder if local racing will be alive.. majority of the 30-70 year olds will get older and the younger generation thinks NASCAR sucks so that doesn’t draw them into events. Promoting has to be the number 1 thing now. Or at least at the top of the food chain.

  26. Thanks Bob Npt for the insight. Tri Track,VMRS, MTS are all kind of like clubs. The teams win cause they have greater control over where and how they race. The tracks like it cause they bring in more people in the car crews at the very least and maybe fans that like to travel following the teams. The track also wins by getting to charge 71% more for a ticket in the case of Stafford. All I see is a watering down of the talent pools into little fiefdoms. Each series with a few top cars and $13.50 to watch guys I know nothing about.
    That said I support whatever works so if everyone is happy I can stay home. For me the quintessential great night is getting in the gate for under $20 and watching the guys I know in the SK’s and SK Lights wage amazing battles with full fields of 27 cars. You can’t beat that action and value.

  27. wmass01013 says:

    DOUG
    MRS formed when Claremont NH speedway dropped weekly mods by racer JACK BATEMAN as lower cost alternative to NASCAR with NASCAR FEES LICENSE AND Safety measures for car n crew making NASCAR a very expensive way to race
    TrI TRACK was Long Island Mod Manic WHO used to travel to 50-70 mod races a yr decided to fund rasie for races at Riverhead to give to drives in addition to nascar $ AND has grown to form Tri track to pay big Money for special event races.
    MTS IS Gary Night who says he was gonna bring old school back to mod racing had A BIG MONEY RACE at Monadnock last yr which was not a big draw won by Ryan Preece WHO THIS WENT TO A 10 race schedule at much lower $

  28. More punctuation and less capital letters please.

  29. One of the regional modified series has to fold. There is not enough drivers or fans to support all these regional racing series utilizing modifieds. If you look at the numbers from this past week, 14 MTS at Riverhead, 19 MRS at Speed 51, 16 ROC at Jennerstown, and 28 NWMT at Thompson on Wednesday. Not one of these tours had a full field of cars, Thompson had a 30+ car starting field. I am a fan of modifieds but there is not much value in seeing a 15 car modified race for $30 even if it is quality field.

    I gave them a try. I have been to one NWMT show at Stafford, 1 MRS show at Stafford and 2 MTS shows (Stafford and Seekonk). The only show I would say was worth the money was the seekonk show, a good field of mods for $22 on a great track. I would not go to a race when these tours are running against each other there is no way you will see a full field of cars. They are sharing the same pool of drivers and they cant be in two places at the same time.

    I agree the media silence is deafening with some of these tours. A friend and I were looking all over for results from the MRS race to see who went there. We could not find a full rundown until today, 2 days after the event. He said he may have gone to speed 51 if he had any idea of who he could expect racing there but was concerned with MRS and MTS running the same night. Until one of these tours consolidates into another or dissolves or we see a major influx of new modified drivers I am skipping most of the higher priced tour shows with one exception the tri track series. I like the payout, the fact it was created by a fan, and the open nature of the events which draw a wide range of competitors from all these tours. Plus I haven’t given them a chance yet this year.

  30. wmass01013 says:

    Did not know I was being graded by you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Speaking of media silence. Does anyone know how much to get into the bowl next weekend? It is the best kept secret in racing. I even tried ordering tickets on the website to find out the price. It can not be found anywhere as of Monday night 5 days before the show.

  32. wmass01013 says:

    well said cg !!

  33. Bill Realist says:

    Cig… why don’t you just roll up $30 or so of change. If it’s only $20 there’s a beer and hotdog left for you. $25 maybe just a hotdog.

  34. You’re not being graded wmass but I know I was disappointed in the way you wrote your entry. Seems you are by far the most knowledgeable about the big picture in modified racing and always bring a ton on good information to the table. You just did a sloppy job or wrapping this particular package of good stuff.
    On the other hand cg did an outstanding job or wrapping and the information contained when we opened his entry war equally outstanding. I can tell you a lot about the Stafford drivers but I don’t know squat about all these tour deals and have to thank you guys for helping fill in the blanks.
    Seekonk charging $22 for a MTS show when Stafford is at $30.That doesn’t make me happy.

  35. Bob Npt. says:

    Stafford had all their regular divisions. Seekonk gave their Late Models the night off.

  36. darealgoodfella says:

    Promotion is crucial.

    Every series needs to use every outlet to the max. Especially free exposure.

  37. Whoa that’s bold. Seekonk drops their top division for a special show. Is that the deal? CG was happy so I guess it works out fine. I would venture to say there is no scenario where the Stafford regulars would abide dropping the SK’s no matter who came into town. Could be wrong, don’t think so.

  38. That’s funny back in the early 80’s everybody including me said stafford is done the SK’s will never replace the full blown mods . Now people dont want to pay to see the full blown mods . Dropping the SK’s at stafford to have one of the touring series not gonna happen ever !

  39. I was a season ticket holder when they ended the modifieds and made the SK’s the top division. I get a chuckle when they say it was Jack Arute’s dream. He dreamed of having budget modifieds and not having to pay the full modified purses. As I recall it was SK’s, Pro Stocks and Street Stocks and it was a bloody disaster starting out. The stands were empty and the SK’s wrecked each other constantly. Holly molly is it different now. Only took them a few decades to figure it out.

  40. jeffrey says:

    I think that mts is great
    I heard some guy who
    Began for money dro. Them
    My truck series. MTS

    BETTER THAN DARE STOCK
    THEY GO LIKE 3IMPH
    WATETFORD IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
    THE STANDS ARE LEANING TOO
    HEY WATERFORD SHOULD BE OPEN TODAY
    JUST TALKED TO NASCAR THEY SAID CT HAS RACING AT WESTWARDS MALL

  41. darealgoodfella says:

    Media silence.

    That is the same approach Trump is taking. The last thing he wants to do is expose what his administration is doing, and not doing. So his Admin is going off the air.

    When you don’t have anything good to say, remain silent.

    And then it is the silence that is damning.

    .

  42. Seekonk always drops either pro stocks or late models when a touring series is in town.

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