Guest Column: Short Track Racing – A Vision Of Our Sport’s Future Part 5

The following is a guest column from local racer Sean Foster, who also operates the website Short Track Racer with Max Collins 


Divisions and New Racer Captivation

Sean Foster

Too many divisions, too many touring series appearances, and lack of an entry level divisions seem to be common problems at many race tracks.

Longtime racing enthusiasts seem to show great satisfaction in “The good old days” because of full car fields, overflowing grandstands, and traveling racers. Let’s refer to the 1960s-70s era: At this time there were crowded fields of cars and, for the most part, we had less than three divisions racing at each track. Sportsman, Modified, and Jalopy were common names at many facilities and it’s also noteworthy that many of the cars in this era could be raced on asphalt or dirt tracks. Increasing track options, not vehicle options, would greatly improve short track racing.

Many tracks must work towards eliminating traveling series from their schedule, while not the freedom to travel. Touring series are supposed to be like the traveling circus, they’re to promote when the “big dogs” come to town. They’re for premiere racing series that have a fan following. Lower tier divisions aren’t meant to be a traveling circus because fans who attend a local track every week aren’t going to show excitement for a tour that shows up once, twice, or three times per year. There’s not enough of a chance for a fan to make a connection or grow a liking to any particular racer. Many track operators seek back gate income, however, if there is no connection to the fan base then there is no product.

We don’t want to take away racers’ freedom and opportunity to travel, chase points, and/or collect money therefore a new system could be put into place:

The scenario would include having tracks collaborating with a common rulebook. Many folks would say it will never happen because tracks don’t want to work together and would rather lock their racers in at their own facility. Well… it HAS to happen in order for the sport to thrive. Hopefully our current/next generation of race track operators can see this as a sensible strategy to work towards.

With common rulebooks and scheduling agreements within regions of the country, tracks can hold special events for local divisions that include extra money and extra laps. Native racers will be able to clash with the visiting racers; or “outlaws” allowing fans to cheer on their locals and create a rivalry with the visitors. Ever hear of the Pennsylvania Posse vs. World of Outlaws rivalry? There is excitement and energy created at PA speedways when the Outlaw teams come to town and compete with the weekly regulars.

Everybody wins with this system. Fans now have a connection and a rivalry has been made. Racers are still able to travel while having spotlight events and competing for extra money. The track isn’t adding an extra division that nobody cares to see so the fans are showing up to witness a better show without pricing inflation.

In order to achieve this, track operators must observe the surrounding speedways in the region and build open lines of communication. Decide what it will take to collaborate and have aligned rules for some divisions. Create a 5, 8, or 10 year plan to make the rules closely associated.

Visit Short Track Racer to read the remainder of the column

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the RaceDayCT staff.

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Comments

  1. darealgoodfella says:

    Excellent points. Perhaps the best of this series so far.

  2. I may put a couple dollars into this..i got like 80000 I gotta use b4 tax season.im loaded with cash

  3. Joe Lajoie says:

    Look no further than the Tri-Track Series used in 1987 & 88. Common rules for Stafford, Thompson and Waterford, car counts of 35+ for both SK’s and Late Models at all 3 tracks. The SK point fund was 75K with 11K going to the winner, and the Late Model point fund was 25K with 3700 going to the winner. The only rule to be eligible for the Tri-Track point fund was you had to run a minimum of 5 races at all 3 tracks.
    And on top of that, with minimal changes you could run that late model at Riverside and Monadnock also with minimal changes.

  4. Agree with Sean the tracks MUST get back to common rules for example the Stafford late model. This is a car that you can only race at Stafford. Back in the 80’s and 90’s if you had a late model you could at least race Stafford and Thompson with no changes I like the metric platform cars especially now that you can buy tube clips for them also like the motor they use they have gotten the cost down the reliability is there and multiple engine builders build them. Also like the ACT option but these cars are more expensive and with limited engine builders and chassis shops make this a less viable option don’t know what the difference is between a Sunoco modified and an SK but I’m sure they could make it work. Everybody talks about making racing affordable they put rule in place for this reason but the top teams just spend more money to get around the rules. The best way to make racing affordable is to have a car that you can race at more than one track and if the tracks go in this direction they might even see car counts go up

  5. Well done Sean. The tracks need to allow one or two tours and that’s it. We don’t want to pay extra to see a parade of 10 to 12 cars called a tour. I enjoyed your racing videos as well. They were funny and yet showed what really goes into getting the cars ready out side of the track.

  6. Like the idea, back in the late 60 and 70es every track had its own Saturday nite show. I forget how many short tracks we had in ct…. But couple that with NY and Mass we had hundreds of race cars that wanted to compete against each other. That’s why the Sunday shows at Thomson drew so many cars. All the top drivers from all over, would race against each other…Sunday’s were open race days for many car owners and drivers.I remember the ( big E ) in Mass used to draw over one hundred cars on that Sunday afternoon….Remember Langhorn,Trenton and pocono, It’s a lot different now, but we have to turn this around somehow….Half the tracks are gone’ it’s a shame; what can we do?…………….

  7. Yes the tri track series was affordable back then due to the low cost of racing. Now with every rule change in the sk division it cost 3-4K extra never mind the weekly expense

  8. That common rules deals is all very nice for northern New England, Pa or Indiana maybe but unless someone has a time machine it ain’t happening here. The Ct tracks each have a different business models and an abundance of hard heads. Otherwise here are some interesting tidbits.
    -Think a budget priced show doesn’t exist in Ct. Thompon, Sunday May 20 and Sunday Sept 9. $12 G/A for four divisions.
    -Late Models at Thompson get terrific car counts using ACT rules. Like 18 to 26 cars. Stafford with their own rules and hard heads like 16. What’s up with that?
    -Limited Sportsman at Thompson with 4 barrels and mid 4 rear gears get 19 to 26 cars. Staffords Streets with two barrels and mid 3 rear gears get 18 usually with at least two Rent a Race Cars. What’s up with that?
    -Can’t have mini’s on a big track. Thompson does. And they get 14 to 22 cars. Stafford with thriving SK and SK Light division seems happy with three other divisions that have low car counts and fill time until the program comes around to the modifieds.
    -Sunoco Modifieds and SK’s are close enough and teams routinely crossover at Stafford and Thompson.
    -Thompson doesn’t care about SK Lights and Stafford already has 30 plus cars signed up and is looking to have another banner year in Lights highlighted by Duneavy’s Modifiedz Night.

    As a Stafford fan I thought they held all the cards. I think I was wrong. Seems like they could attract a bunch of lower division cars from Thompson and since Thompson is part time with little reverse risk. What’s up with that?

  9. While I have zero interest in mini stock tours, pro stock tours and street stock tours,this is very much a one sided argument. It doesn’t cover the tracks perspective of what is successful and what isn’t. Why do the tracks need to change if they are making money as is? Making money is the goal for them. Making the racers happy may not be

    It wasn’t all that long ago Thompson would get 35 plus cars in every division on a Thursday night. Times have certainly changed. I’ll say this too. Seekonk is more primed than Stafford to see a boon in car counts should a certain CT track close shop.

  10. OK, part 5. It’s all done. And should live for quite a few years to refer back to, get ideas from and survive as the only comprehensive outline for the improvement of short track programs as they exist now.
    Moving on. Through and accident of birth Foster is in the unique position of infiltrating the millennial generation and may be able to offer a few insights of their role in racings future. Specifically what do they want from racing and how will it affect novice up participation? Affordable is one thing but do they even care?
    This geezers perception from reading Racer Kid, following the stories on young up and coming drivers is they view their primary role as drivers. They frequently come with a basket of money, pay the experts like Rocco, Fluckiger, Owen, Fuller and more to put the package together and start them off right. Others like Narducci, Christopher and the Fearns have family resources and vast libraries of knowledge to tap. Is there a grass roots movement at the entry level positions that cares about building cars any more on a widespread basis. Are there any millenials in significant numbers to build the cars that start at the bottom and move through the ranks or is that mostly gone? Is the future of of Rent a Race Car business models? Pay the money, have the experience and move on.
    This series has been great. And adding some people that hopefully will last longer then Penny’s Two Cents that know modifieds is fine. But Foster is a local guy and knows everything and everybody locally. it sure would be nice to see a regular column on what ever he thinks is important right here on racedayct.

  11. A lot of folks agree with the idea of more universal rules. I would like to take credit but this is one of the most common visions & complaints of the pits nationwide. Speedways within each region have to come together for this to become reality.
    Let’s take the most common asphalt/dirt vehicle type: Street Stock (I believe this is most common). Imagine for example if Northeast speedways came together and after 8 years each track conformed their Street Stocks to match (or close enough to where weight penalties are the only debate from one track to another). At the same time Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West speedways also created an 8 year plan to closely conform to a nationwide rules package. Wouldn’t that be cool? And wouldn’t short track fans throughout the country be able to relate to these cars more easily?
    Instead of: Hey what division is this? Oh well these are our Llimited Super Street Stock Sportsman Late Model Outlaw Strickly cars.
    To answer Bob’s question, “What can we do?” I haven’t figured out that answer yet. If I was a track owner/promoter I’d start communicating with tracks in my region. But as a local racer internet guy I’m just trying to raise some awareness with these blog-statements.

  12. darealgoodfella says:

    Let’s say the rules for a few regional tracks are the same. Take CT with three tracks. All rules for a couple classes are the same. All three tracks will run weekly schedules. What tracks will the racers run? Will/can they run all three tracks every week? Doubt it. The racers will run the track(s) that pay. The runt track will be neglected by the top teams.

    I’d rather haul a little further to a track that pays.

  13. What about multi-class races, similar to road races, on ovals?

    I’m talking about similar cars on the the same time, but only racing against those in the same class. Crown a winner in each class, and an overall winner. For example, various versions of late models, maybe with weight adjustments or tire changes to bring them closer. To a limited extent, Legends already do this on ovals. Even LLM’s and trucks, or various versions of street stocks could run together.

    All you’d need is some highly visible vinyl markers, or possibly colored LED’s for each class, and a timing and scoring system than can handle it, as some already can.

    I know putting Street Stocks out there with SK’s, or other widely varying cars and driver skill levels, is stupid and dangerous, that’s not what I’m proposing.

  14. You want to talk about unifying rules and their affect on car counts? Look no further than central PA sprint car racing. There are about 10 tracks that ANY car can run on ANY given night, and they use the same rule package that exists in other parts of the country. Midgets, same thing. That’s how you can get 275 cars to a SINGLE RACE in a SINGLE CLASS for things like the Chili Bowl and Knoxville Nationals. Look at IMCA mods and the Late Models. 50+ cars at many late model shows with cars crossing tours to compete. IMCA Nationals in Boone, IA drawing over 900 cars to a single race event in 2016. There’s your evidence, and Sean, you are right on the money. Give racers the chance to compete at multiple venues with the same equipment on multiple nights, and it becomes more attractive to folks that like to do it. Not cheaper, but more bang for the buck.

    As a racer, if it costs me $50K to field a car for 1 night, and $100K to field for 2 nights because I need 2 different cars, the cost per night of fun is DOUBLE what it costs if I can do it with just one car. Cost / Benefit equation. More cars, more competition. More competition, more enjoyment for the fans. More enjoyment, more returning fans and word of mouth to attract new fans. Seems pretty damn simple to me. Don’t understand why our local tracks can’t figure this out. Choose 3 / 4 divisions between all the choices, run them at all 3 tracks, watch the car counts go up and the attendance go up with it.

  15. NH Mark – Fair enough, you have a point. Part of my outlook on what the future could be for short track racing involves making racers, fans, and everybody who makes up the fabric of a race track more delighted to be at the race track. My view on what makes a track successful doesn’t mean 1/2 capacity crowd and 20 cars per division. I’ll die happy if one day race tracks throughout the country are once again overflowing with fans and competitors. Maybe even tracks start being built again… some will say I’m dreaming unrealistically but I suppose I like to think big on this subject. Overall, I would prefer to see race track owners making tons of money, reinvesting in their facilities, building the sport, and for racers to be satisfied and supportive of their home track.

    Doug- I believe you are speaking about todays youths and society… like the decline of motivation and interest for things automotive/mechanical (correct me if I’m wrong). I know many people blame the decline of short track racing on this theory. I can’t even argue that, society has been changing. However I feel strongly that short track racing can overcome that impediment.

    It all starts with building the the appeal and overall popularity of the sport… making it the cool thing to do as a group with friends and/or family… making it easy and affordable to get into. Education is a key factor here to help newcomers get involved and help transition them to the next division level.

    Educating newcomers is tough when you have to explain the difference between our absurd amount of competing divisions.

    Captivating newcomers is tough when a beginner division vehicle costs over $5,000.

    I like your term grassroots movement. In many cases the grassroots movement is absent and I feel has to be implemented.

    In my opinion tracks should have 3 weekly divisions (4 tops) and should be as universally conforming as possible. What makes most sense in my head is:
    Beginner division: 4 cylinder, front wheel drive, all stock components. To “hook” racers by getting them out there and going around in circles.
    Intermediate division: Street Stocks. Built and crate motor option. For racers who want to move up from beginner ranks to drive a real, purpose built race car.
    Premiere/Expert division: Per region, case by case.
    Certain regions of the country have their niches for divisions so certain exceptions just make sense. Example: Midwest has IMCA/B-Mods, here in New England we have a mix of Late Model and Modified popularity, etc.

  16. Regional and national Street Stock rules. I’m for it. I’m also for world peace and mutual respect across all nations and cultures.
    Safe bet in racing media to stick to big general themes, sugar coated press releases and avoid controversy. The racing community is small and like an extended dysfunctional family. It’s like telling uncle Jim he drinks too much at Thanksgiving. He’ll never forget it and you’ll never be able to get away from him. Say anything unfavorable about a facility, driver, team or official. They’ll never forget and you never will be able to get away from it. Go Pats!

    Express strong opinions about a team, facility,

  17. Ooh, ooh. I think I have the answer Barry.
    In the Street Stocks whether I started on the pole and got run over by 12 cars or started scratch and passed 12 cars I usually ended up 13th. Passing is way more fun. No one wants to pay tens of thousands of dollars to race and get consistently run over by cars they have no chance in beating even if they can beat everyone in their class.

  18. Barry – Not a bad idea. Might create confusion which would be a negative… but might create an element of craziness which could be a positive. Would likely take a lot of developing/refining but the idea is there!

    darealgoodfella- I’ve always been a believer that there are local racers and traveling racers. The local racers typically stick with the track closest to their home. They might ditch their home track (usually for personal reasons) but it usually seems temporary and they end up back at their home track. But I like the idea of traveling racers being able to chase money while local racers stay dedicated to their home track.

    Now, you ask… would racers run all 3 local tracks? With the current position the sport is in, I think it would be rare. However, my vision is for this to become a common sight. Building the appeal & popularity of the sport means more sponsors for race teams… more sponsors for race teams means they will have the finances to race multiple times per week. Common rules are a big step towards making it affordable and sensible to compete multiple times per week.

  19. “No one wants to pay tens of thousands of dollars to race and get consistently run over by cars they have no chance in beating even if they can beat everyone in their class.”

    Doug… GT3 cars worth hundreds of thousands get killed by GT1’s in ISMA and TA2’s and 3’s get killed all the time in Trans Am, none of them quit because of it. Even $1M Pratt and Miller GT1 Corvettes get run over by even more expensive prototypes and there’s no crying noted at the track.

  20. Sean – A huge improvement to in-person fans in road racing was the advent of position lights, followed by number boards, then free smartphone access to live timing and scoring or a decent scoreboard visible to the fans. I know the first two are far out of reach for a typical short track, but there’s enough simple technology out there now via Race Monitor, or even sharing finishes via Twitter, Periscope or even a blast text message.

    Simple battery powered LED marker lamps, think $20 bicycle tail lights… at the top of the right front and left rear window could easily designate class. Aussie touring cars use something similar during multi-driver pro-am races to indicate if the pro or am is aboard. Short tracks have a major advantage for less fan multi-class confusion due to the entire track being visible and the races being a lot shorter. I’m thinking of this for heats and weekly features, not so much tour length events.

  21. Sure we’re all familiar with the road courses and mixed classes starting with our own Lime Rock Park. But in all the circle tracks in all the States in all the regions please let me know where they’re doing it and how successful it is. Do we even know if a place like Stafford considered it, studied it and rejected it. Why isn’t it main stream now cause I gotta tell you I’m on board. Maybe it would be novel at first but since circle tracks are short and only turn left maybe over the course of the season it would get tedious seeing the lesser class get passed all night. Road courses do it for obvious reasons like the races are long the tracks are long and configurations with hills and L&R turns are complex with many passing windows. Short tracks are simpler, can specialize divisions that has always been considered a good thing but now you suggest mixing divisions to mask an underlying problem of car counts. I’m just being devils advocate here cause I think it would be interesting
    Now what is doable maybe is mixing full bodied trucks with the streets. Streets now are using decades old chassis in some cases whereas junk trucks are plentiful and cheap right up to 2005. Build a prototype, test it, equalize it with weight and sheebang. Maybe a larger car count, vehicles everyone can relate to even the younglings and a diverse exciting new division that doesn’t displace existing cars.

  22. Dial it back Sean on the millennials. I’m a fan of them as a generation after seeing what mine has produced. My only question was do they have an interest in building circle track cars to race even if the cost and conditions are right. Have they moved on to other things like drifting or engines swaps and drags in Honda’s and Toyota’s driving and tuning with computer laptops as they go. In other words i have no idea what they are interested in. And if they are not interested for the most part how can racing change to accommodate their priorities or can it even change. Do guys and gals want to go from packaged cars like Legends to having someone build them a packaged SK Light while Street Stocks wither on the vine? In the Stafford team listings there are maybe 3 fella’s I’d say aren’t exactly spring chickens and a couple to three that have raced in the division for years out of 15 listed so far.SK Lights, thirty plus so far. Does that tell me anything about the demographics and future of the Street and ability to attract new blood? Has the Street Stocks traditional roll in local racing already changed and we haven’t even realized it yet?

  23. Barry your idea is pretty off the beaten path and crazy. My honest initial thought was “yeah whatever dude, back to reality..” But if I was a race track operator/promoter then every idea would be put up for discussion within the track team. The idea is crazy… that’s a positive. It means there might be something there. Instead of shutting down your idea, maybe it can be tweaked. Let’s say I operate Tittyland Speedway that includes weekly racing of street stocks, late models, and modifieds. Once per year you could hold an endurance race with all three divisions on the track at once. Just like you said… using colored LED markers and race monitor. Call it the 4 Hours of Tittyland. Crazy? Absolutely. Would it draw a crowd? Not sure… but I know It would make short track racing headlines nationwide and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Maybe it’s too out of touch or bad timing but the idea deserves to at least be put in a safe and brought up in the future (By the way this type of thinking is from a book called Marketing Outrageously by Jon Spoelstra.. it’s a must read for current or aspiring promoters).

  24. Doug- I think I worded poorly but I’ll dial it down slightly LOL. I def feel the tech/mechanical loving people are still out there. They’re scattered.. drifting, mud trucks, street racing are very strong areas of the automotive-hobby industry. My opinion, and nothing against drifting/muddling/etc… those are super lame compared to short track racing LOL and I want to lure those people to our sport. I think this generation would show interest, but everybody just needs a slight push which includes education and appeal.
    Your thoughts on street stock type vs packaged type deals.. worth discussing and a trend to continue watching closely. I don’t really have an opinion on that.

  25. All good points in the column and comments,But I think we fans have a responsibility in bringing the next generation along.My son and I bring two of the grandkids along to Riverhead for tour races and couple of regular shows.They are to young to make the trip to Stafford but they are looking forward to it in the near future.Will it make lifelong fans of them?That remains to be seen.But I think most of todays under 10 year olds seem to get pretty juiced at the sights and sounds of short track racing.

  26. “Maybe it would be novel at first but since circle tracks are short and only turn left maybe over the course of the season it would get tedious seeing the lesser class get passed all night.”

    I’d group cars by average lap times. Using Stafford as an example, the SMS Street Stock (Dare) with similar cars (or trucks) from other tracks that run lap times within 2 seconds, fielding no more than three, preferably only two distinct classes at a time. Each class meets their own rule book, possibly with a weight, aero, or tire width tweak to close the gap. Group the start by class, with each class only racing against themselves, with the quicker class up front but handicapped as is done now.

    Restarts would happen by overall running order with everyone mixed together.

    Remember, I’m talking 8 lap heats and 20-30 lap features, not 80-200 lap tour events.

    If one of the classes running mixed events happened to catch wind and grow, break it back out into a single class on the track.

  27. Another idea is to try an “Open Show” approach to other classes besides modifieds and create a simple and cheap way for all of the similar cars from several tracks to run as one event. There’s got to be ways to widen the rule book to allow more cars from other tracks and inexpensively narrow gaps with weight, tires, maybe even rev limiter chips.

    BTW… Sean and Shawn, I really love this series of articles. The more constructive criticism that can get out there, the more likely our favorite sport can continue for a long time.

  28. My view, one of the best threads for a while.
    My favorite, my idea of full size trucks that is unanimously shared by no one. Message received.
    My second favorite is Barry’s multi division race. And especially since it’s fairly easy to try just once to see how it goes and fan reaction. Highly promoted, special non points, volunteers only and as high a pay out as financially possible. I’d pay more to see it at least once.
    My third favorite thing is anything Sean suggests and the discussion it encourages. Except for Tittyland. A reference to not only a fictitious race track but a series of shall we say artistic videos targeted to male audiences with an appreciation of the female form. That women reading this may not appreciate. And that women reading this may confuse Sean with one of us geezers that don’t know any better or conclude he’s been hanging around with us a bit too much.
    And my forth favorite thing is the mockery that may ensure from the first three.
    Go Pats!

  29. Another thing for Stafford…

    With the troubles at Waterford, I know some have switched to running Legends on the Thompson road course. I liked the Legends, but the Mini-mile wasn’t very exciting with them. Legends run lots of lefty-righty in various areas of the US and overseas.

    Has Stafford ever tried Legends on a mini-road course? Start – mini turn 1 – pit out – backstretch infield sweeper – pit in – mini turn 4 – finish?

    It seems like it would be fun, and placing and removing a few sets of cones wouldn’t take very long between oval races. With the high level NASCAR divisions adding roval races and fans seeming to like the road races, having a mini-road race where the stands can see the entire track might work out on weekly non-tour nights.

  30. Barry – Love this idea !!! I think that it would add a level of excitement to a division which, as you accurately point out, is rather boring on the mini mile.

    Doug – Don’t mistake a lack of comments as a dismissal of your idea. I think it has some merit, myself. I completely agree with Sean that we need to “spice things up” to get a better fan foundation for the tracks.

  31. Fast Eddie says:

    The full sized truck racing @ Seekonk is usually good racing.
    Pro4 Modifieds have been running two classes (regular and light) together for a while now. When it was first started, it was pretty good racing. Unfortunately the races I’ve seen recently the fields have been small even with both classes together. It’s fairly easy to tell the difference on track; the Lights have an “L” next to their car#.
    In multi-class races, I wouldn’t think the slower guys getting passed would be demoralizing to them, as they’re running for “first in class” and overall position. And the faster folks now have the added challenge of passing the slower class cars. Kinda like on a long green Modified run, when leaders are trying to pass lapped cars that are also battling for position.

  32. darealgoodfella says:

    What art said.

    When most of us were younger, the roads were full of Chevelles, Mustangs, ‘cudas, Chargers, Camaros, Cougars, Novas, Fairlanes, Challengers, Satellites, 442s, Skylarks, ‘vettes, Super Bees, Road Runners, GTOs, etc. We were constantly exposed to the car-centric mindset. There is nothing like that today to get the youth interested in motorsports.

    One of the Goodales recently visited an elementary school and that is what is needed to expose this sport to the youth. Hopefully those kids remind their parents to take them to the track in season.

  33. darealgoodfella says:

    art, there were many gatherings, such as the Burger King on Hempstead Turnpike, just west of Rte 135. It was great gathering of all sorts of cars. That where I was imprinted with the car bug. This happened at many other places like that. It just isn’t happening like that anymore. Heck, I used to go to the famous Connecting Highway.

    Short tracks can be good, clean fun. We have to do a better job at promoting it.

  34. dareal,I remember getting a u turn ticket trying to get in to that Burger King.We were all into cars back then, but I was imprinted with the stock car bug at Freeport and Islip.I also saw Joey Chitwood at Freeport but that was a Chitty show not a titty show.

  35. The Seekonk full side trucks are Enduro’s although they get around the track pretty well as far as I could see on youtube. I’m not talking about enduro’s. Lowered, lightened and leaded up full size trucks competing with Street Stocks. Replacement of rear leaf springs is easy. Certainly easier then nursing some old decades old chassis you have to clip up all the time. Fords with king pins would be out but Chevy’s and GMC’s there are plenty of. Ram’s I don’t know if they use ball joints. Thinking of the old 116 inch inch wheel base Monte’s that were easier to set up then the 112 inch Chevelle’s may provide more stability in the corners. And the chassis. Plenty of nice, current chassis that are easy to work on.

  36. RichC – Thank you for the insight. Its nice to hear these theories in effect and being successful. Especially in a short track hotbed like PA/OH. I don’t really know how we got to this idea that 18 cars is considered a “full field”. It’s almost like many operators with 18 cars kick their feet up and say “yup we’re doing fine”. It just doesn’t match what our thought process should be in this sport… short track racing is better than that.
    Barry – I’m picking up what youre putting down. I sort of went on a tangent off your idea but I guess thats what these threads are for haha. These convos are excellent, discussions on improving the sport are necessary at this point in time. Your thoughts are legitimate and your reference to GT racing puts it all together for me.
    Doug – Yea I dont know.. Tittyland was just the first fictitious name I could think of. Well I think it was the second one, but the first was far too inappropriate haha. You’re points about tedious over time and masking underlying problems I hear you on. Even your full size truck thought may be valid… I mean lets be honest, our modern day vehicles are built like such garbage that they barely last 15 years anyway haha.

  37. Part of the talk has been about getting teenagers involved as fans; has anyone at Stafford or Thompson opening a school league, say a mini stock or Limited Sportsman and get some of the are schools and their students involved. Could build school support and community support towards racing. This doesn’t have to be limited to the Voc schools. Just a thought

  38. A cheap and easy way to feed newbie curiosity might be a section on a track’s website and in the weekly printed program describing each type of car. For example, a photo of a good looking example car (maybe use last year’s champ?) with some details of spec features of class (crate motor, gears…) weight, HP, tires size, a competitive lap time and what might differ from identically looking cars in other classes. What adjustments are available on that type of car to suit the driver?

    For example how, is an SK different from an SK Light or tour car? Besides the rear spoiler, how is an LLM and LM different or the same? Stat and tech minded people, especially kids, eat that stuff up.

  39. Sorry, on a roll this morning… ;^)

    Another thing new fans might find interesting is handicapping.

    How is the line up determined? How come that driver won his heat but is starting the feature mid-pack? How come the car that came in last in the heat is starting on the pole? Winners of multiple features have to add weight? What’s up with that?

    Other stuff that makes short pit reports in TV broadcasts would make great weekly program articles or even touchable midway demos between heats and features. A bit of info about an interesting part that’s not on a street car, like a fuel cell, brake bias knob, racing slicks and wheels, or panhard bar. Nothing long, one detail at a time. Even flag stand signals…

  40. Fast Eddie says:

    Doug, you may be looking at the wrong trucks. I’ve seen some of the Seekonk trucks at other tracks running in outlaw street stock races. They might appear to be enduro machines, as sometimes the races get a little rough at Seekonk, but I think they’re much more like a street stock or a LLM than an enduro vehicle. They’re definitely a long way from stock “off the street & out of the junkyard” trucks.

  41. Barry – I like it all. To continue thoughts on the handicapping system.. We racing people are strange characters. Always feeling like we’re being victimized, it’s quite comical sometimes. But race teams are always complaining about their handicap starting spots. So… Why not make it public? Every week post the handicap system online or posted on a bulletin board at the speedway. One less thing for us weirdo racers to complain about haha

  42. darealgoodfella says:

    An interesting research experiment would be to offer free tickets to high schools, elementary schools, vocational schools, to the local tracks and see what interest they get. Offer say 20 free tickets to be raffled at each school surrounding the tracks in a 30 mile radius.

  43. I’m not saying your wrong Eddie so much as trying to find what you say is out there. I see the Sport Trucks that are part of the weekly Saturday show at Seekonk and they’re compact trucks like we see everywhere. These are the enduro full sized trucks I mentioned.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnw1tC4Te2U
    Take a look. They seem to get around the track pretty well even a the stock height.
    All I’m trying to do is find a full size truck division somewhere to get a gander at their rules.

  44. Don’t be apologizing Barry. What you’re doing is presenting a bunch of low cost, no cost things that a track could try anytime with virtually no downside. Heads up Stafford.

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