Problems Arise Between North East Mini Stock Tour, Street Stock Tour And NHSTRA

(Press Release From North East Mini Stock Tour) 

Our 2019 schedules will take a little longer than normal to be announced due to factors beyond the control of the NEMST and the SSSS.  I have always worked hard to be completely honest and transparent to our competitors and will not change that philosophy now.  I would like to share with all of the competitors where things stand and the reasons for that.

We had worked as far back as June to build the 2019 schedule and had confirmed four NEMST dates at Star Speedway along two NEMST and one SSSS date at Hudson Speedway.  Events were discussed and expected to be scheduled at other facilities in New Hampshire as well.  This was prior to the formation of NHSTRA.

Cooperation among tracks and tours is important for the continued success of this sport, so our tours were very open in working with NHSTRA from day one.  We shared our experiences, plans and input from our competitors freely.  We reported the results of our rules meetings with competitors to sources within the NHSTRA.  We even shared our complete 2019 NEMST rules package with the organization to be used as the basis for their own package.

Some differences in the Street Stock rules packages remained.  We created and announced our 2019 rules after using last year’s rules and making modifications based on direct input from our competitors.  We worked hard to balance out different rules packages from throughout New England and upstate New York as we had competitors from those areas compete with us in 2018.  In the end, we developed a package where NHSTRA competitors along with teams from tracks spanning from Northern Maine to Connecticut would be able to compete.  To show our support for NHSTRA, we offered to not schedule any conflicting race dates.

This was not agreeable to the NHSTRA, which took a hard line that our established tours must adopt their complete rules packages.  We were told in no uncertain terms at the PRI show in Indianapolis to either join the NHSTRA or get out of their way.  Threats were made, yet we have spent the past ten days working to salvage the situation and find a solution that would be beneficial to all of our competitors.  Unfortunately, that common ground could not be reach and the NHSTRA has informed our tours of a pact not to host any of our tour events and declare our tours as “enemies”.

We find this to be very unfortunate at a time when short track racing is already very fragile.  Over ten years ago, the NEMST was formed to fill a void in Mini Stock racing. Two years ago, the SSSS was formed after competitors approached us to host a series for Street Stocks after an existing tour closed down.  We have worked hard to be competitor friendly in everything from technical rules to race procedures to our schedules.  We exist entirely because of the racers and will not partake in back room dealing to further our own interests at the expense of some competitors.  We instead will commit to making all of our tours as inclusive as possible.

We hope that competitors will keep this in mind when making their 2019 plans as it is our position that the ownership and management of Lee USA Speedway, Monadnock Speedway, Claremont Speedway, Hudson Speedway, and Star Speedway do not have the racers in mind with their current rules.

Racing needs people working together not dictating who and what happens. Thank you to all the racers that have followed the NEMST over the last ten years and the SSSS over the past two seasons. Although this is a setback, it only motives us to work even harder in planning for a productive 2019 season where the racers WILL come first.  We will have new information available shortly.Please stay tuned to our Facebook pages for further developments.

Listen to Northeast Mini Stock Tour operator Bob Guptill go into more details about the situation involving the New Hampshire Short Track Association on the most recent edition of Unmuffled


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Comments

  1. So all the tracks in NH aligned their rules so any car could go to any track on any given night and race right? Racers in CT have been wanting that for years. Seems to me the touring people weren’t forward thinking enough to know this would impact their deal in a huge negative way. Why would these drivers need a tour if they could go to any of number of different tracks on their own schedule. It’s to the benefit of the tracks to NOT have a tour come in under these new rules. Business is business. Most of those NH tracks have new ownership or management. The business model is going to change as we are seeing. Unfortunately these mini tours may be the collateral damage. The plus is you should have more cars at your local Saturday Night track which I can only assume is the goal.

  2. Racers spend untold hours of their lives, and dollars that do not need to be spent on this hobby. Plenty of people have had it with this sport for varied reasons, a lot of them which could be corrected if the sport as a whole was in the best interest of the people calling the shots, which isn’t always the promoter. Rules changes cost teams money. It’s a tax, a new toll. In the mind of a lot of people, “it’s racing you should shut up and spend the money”. But infighting and differing rules will only increase the already heavy load on those teams still competing.

  3. Bob, all the tracks in New Hampshire now have the same rules. That’s a good thing unless you are associated with this tour and no longer have places to race. I think the big winner will be Lee because all the Saturday night guys and gals at Hudson, Star, Monadnock, Claremont can run the Fri/Sat double on any weekend they choose. Roll off the trailer and race. I’m sure the track owners here in CT will be monitoring how this works in 2019.

    Beyond that, Oswego and Star have the same 350 Super rules this season as well. I think we are seeing a shift in how short tracks operate.

  4. noMoreTours says:

    Hopefully this will kill the nemst and whatever the street stock tour is called. There is absolutely NO reason for tours to exist for mini stock and street stock divisions. Also, can we talk about how this is a press release from the nemst and is the promoter whining like a toddler. This guy has no stake in the game, he has no assets surrounding his tour, maybe some scales and a trailer? How does he not see that the New Hampshire group is going to do whatever they want, they own the tracks, they have actually put cash up for short track racing. Bye nemst

  5. JD, then why have a Mod tour (or 5 of them)? Would you be saying the same if the WMT was told to change their rules to SK-type rules or they won’t be welcome at a half dozen tracks? Some drivers ENJOY touring. It gives them the chance to run different tracks while competing for a season long reward, and that is no different if you are running a mini stock.

    It sounds like the SSSS is attempting to strongarm/destroy a well established, well run organization for their own benefit. The alliance can be a good thing, but these kinds of tactics are not. It does nothing but hurt racers. It is this kind of behavior that causes people to walk away from the sport, and there aren’t nearly as many coming in to make up the difference.

  6. what does NHSTRA stand for? I am guessing New Hampshire short track racing association/alliance. It sounds like the tours were willing to work with the New Hampshire tracks but we are only getting one side of the story, their side. It is a shame they couldn’t find some common ground and adopt the same rules. I am in favor of common rules across all tracks and series so a race car can be run at multiple venues without significant changes. I think series and tracks who differentiate there rules are doing themselves and their drivers a disservice. Hopefully, these two different racing factions can work it out. Fighting over a limited resource in this case race cars will not end well for anyone, especially the racers.

  7. Sorry, I mistyped above. I meant nhstra not ssss

  8. Pete, the tracks always do what’s in their own interest. Duh. They own the track and they decide which tours run there. Is that an issue? I mean, Mr. Wrenn is a long time racer turned owner. From what I read, all the tracks aligned together in the best interest of the racers and told the mini tours you can join us or you can find someplace else to race.

    Except for a select few of you, most people won’t care if these tours disolve. I forgot how sensitive you mini stockers are. This is nothing more than a tantrum by you folks because you didn’t get your way as mentioned above.

  9. Fast Eddie says:

    If I read this right, the issue is with street stocks, and not with the mini’s. Monadnock has been running mini stocks by NEMST rules for a couple of years, and I think Lee was doing the same.

  10. Jd, Tracks and promoters doing what’s in their best interest and not what’s in the best interest of the participants is what has been hurting the sport.

    I’m not a “mini stocker.” I’m a race fan. I’d rather see a nemst or good street stock race than a modified race any day.

  11. Tried looking at the rules for the five tracks. Very confusing as some are outdated.
    file:///C:/Users/mdb06/Downloads/street_stock_rules%20(1).pdf
    Looks like the five tracks did a lot of work unifying rules. Would be nice to see the other side give their perspective. They could probably make a good case they did a ton of work themselves to help the NH teams out.
    You can’t argue with guys that want to tour no matter how far down the racing food chain they are. Problem is you need tracks to want you and you need to play by their rules. Can’t blame the tracks with the big investments for protecting their interests.
    Stafford is so far out in left field with their own Street Stock rules compared to Thompson and Waterford all I can be is envious of what these tracks are doing. Also envious of how NH tracks actively promote more affordable divisions a job Stafford leaves to Karting.

  12. The NH tracks just announced this new aligned rules package for 2019 a few weeks ago. Its on the Star and Lee FB pages. The rules are straightforward. It was also created with the input of the racers themselves. It’s been well received from what I hear. Like I said, it’s not to the benefit of the tour folks nor was it intended too but it is for the betterment of weekly racing in NH which was the goal. I’m sorry if your favorite tour was left on the outside looking in. Life goes on though.

  13. Hillary 2020 says:

    Good for those tracks working together with their weekly series. Can we all admit that all these tours are getting ridiculous? Who wants em? Not the fans. Must be just the drivers. Well if you don’t think all these tours aren’t hurting car counts you’re blind. Where do you think these drivers would be if there wasn’t a tour for them to race with? Probably at thier local weekly track.

  14. In the 80’s the Nascar Modified tour made sense since it was ultra expensive and tracks like Stafford were phasing it out on a weekly basis. Wasn’t that pretty much it for 20 years? Then in 2004 the VMRS popped up and it was off to the races so to speak.
    Are affordable divisions touring now and taking away from weekly programs? Or are many series touring because all racing is unaffordable and weekly programs are dying? Orrrrrrrr do trucks and minis tour because they aren’t that popular and weekly shows won’t support them? Got me.
    The trend is tours, special events and opens as I see it for whatever reason. The tracks could end it at any time and stick to their own divisions……..they aren’t. They’re supporting it for the most part.
    I’d like to know what the NH tracks are doing. I know in my corner of racing 41% of Staffords schedule is special events. More like over 50% once you factor in rain outs. 4 events for VMRS and Open modifieds that in many respects are in competition with Staffords SK’s.
    Don’t know if it’s because fans demand it or it’s to make more money or both but there it is.

  15. For what it is worth here are my “two cents”. Anyone who wants to see racing around in years to come needs to appreciate the fact that these tracks are working together in an honest effort to preserve racing in the northeast. For a long period before this time it was every track for itself and more or less tracks working against one another to become “king of the hill”. While competition is good both on and off the track, collaboration and cooperation is and was needed to preserve this great sport that we all love. As an avid race fan who has been to race tracks up and down the east coast I can honestly tell you that each track has their own strengths and each track has their own flaws, and everyone is going to view every track differently.
    I have said this to numerous people when asked what my thoughts were on the new rules package that these tracks have created and my answer every time is way too abrupt. While I think the concept of the new rules package is great in the idea they’re trying to unify the divisions so that there is collaboration among all tracks I feel as though too many rules were drastically changed over a short period of time rather than easing into it. By easing into it, you’re asking teams to modify their equipment steadily this way it saves the wallet and hassle for teams. If they had eased into it and set goals for instance by 2020 we want all teams to be on this shock package or motor package than that gives teams that one year grace period to use up their stuff and when considering of buying new, say that be shocks or motor when the old expires, they will think of the goals you have set for years to come and abide by that and it will influence their purchase. Tracks have no one to blame but themselves for allowing the divisions to implode the way they have, street stocks have become a lesser version of an outlaw, roadrunners where you could run a Saab hatchback and be competitive have become a mini stock and because the grey areas were exposed in the rule book it has been tough to real the competitors back in and keep it to a level where they’re trying to meet right now. No one stuck to rules, and kept them up to date and enforced them the way they should have been enforced instead they just let the division more or less police itself in hopes that it wouldn’t become what it is today and now they’re trying to backfill the hole they have dug with dirt they have lost. Taking this out on the tour is the wrong way of approaching the issue.
    Touring is a tough issue and just like as there is to a race track, there are both pros and cons to tours being created and in welcoming a tour into a facility. With that being said there isn’t one person who should be critical of what Bob Guptill has brought to this sport. Bob is a great promoter with the extreme passion and loyalty to not only the sport in and of itself but to his competitors. What Bob has done is given drivers and teams an alternative to weekly racing. Some may agree or disagree with the philosophy behind creating a tour for a lower tier division as I personally am not overly thrilled of the idea of it, but do understand that I will not for one minute begin to criticize what the man has been able to do. The fact that all these tours are arising should be a wake up call to the tracks in the area. If you made your weekly program appealing enough, people wouldn’t have the drive demand to go tour racing. Its simple supply and demand, and Bob and other promoters of tours have recognized the demand that drivers have and given them a supply that has satisfied their needs. Not everyone wants to race weekly, and I understand that, there will always be those select competitors who will always want to race a different track and mix it up, but especially for these lower tier divisions if tracks made an honest effort in improving their program so that the demand was to race weekly at that track we wouldn’t be talking about the fact that there are too many tours.

  16. Touring mods attract fans. So do midgets and supers. And SOME late models. They make sense to bring into your track for a special show.
    Mini stocks? Streeters? Not much. Those are designed to be Saturday night specials, as well as undercards to the headliners..
    Ultimately shared-rules among tracks running your car weekly will make it easier for you to travel some, but still possible commit to one set of rules whether your tour or not. But build a mini-stock for a tour and now you almost HAVE to tour.
    The proof will be in the pudding, but I’m ready with my spoon.

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