dustydarkwater Posted April 8, 2013 Share Posted April 8, 2013 I was cleaning the other day and came across an old copy of "Speedway Illustrated" from July 2000. Putting this in perspective, Dale Earnhardt was still alive and on the cover. What piqued my curiosity was the article concerning 21 predictions for the future of short track racing. I've gone through the article and pulled out some of the more interesting quotes. "Are you providing entertainment? On a Saturday night, how can you expect a family to come with two or three kids and sit on a bleacher that ain't got a back, and there's dust in the air, and the lighting is bad and the food is outrageously priced or not very good and you've got nothing but cars running bumper to bumper with no passing, no excitement." Charles Powell Summerville (SC) Florence (SC) Speedways. "There's no future for (short track racing). Nothing. It's a dead duck." Paul Kuhl Flemington (NJ) Speedway. "Our strategy is to really attach ourselves to the NASCAR brand name. To not do that would be analougous to buying a McDonald's franchise and tearing down the Golden Arches. And one of our missions is to get the Sunday-afternoon couch-potato NASCAR fan up out of the Barcalounger and onto our boards. Because if (racing) seems thrilling when you watch it on TV, it's gonna roll uour sockds down and back up again when you get out to my joint." Terry Eames Waterford (CT) Speedbowl "If you have an older, all-male crowd, you're in trouble. You need to find youth. And the way you do that is to make sure that the women come to your race track. Mom determins everything. If you can get mom to the races and she likes it, she will detemine where the kids go and spend their entertainment dollars. And at Louisville, I've seen a lot of those kids end up driving race cars. Our late model class has a lot of young men - 18, 19, 20 years old. If you make your venue affordable and you make it interesting for the kids, that's your future." Andy Vertrees Louisville (KY) Motor Speedway "I think the tours are an endangered species. ...so expensive the competitors couldn't afford them, the fans couldn't afford them....you have to (approach) it like they did in the 60's and 70's. when it was just for fun." Tom Curley Thunder Road, Airborne, Plattsburgh, ACT "My favorite word when it comes to rules is no. Every division starts out as an easy to do, low buck division, then slowly grows into something that continues to become lighter and faster- for better racing, supposedly. But at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway, I'm not going to make that circle. I'm just gonna stay right here and say no." Chuck Deery Lacrosse Speedway, Wisconsin. "...more and more promoters are...realizing that we're really not in competition with each other. Now when each of us has a big show, we can get the cars." Tommy Simons Abilene (TX) Speedway "...here in California the future holds more challenges for us when facing certain environmental issues, such as contamination of soil. We have to be ever vigilant to make sure we operate in accordance with EPA standards." Rick Farren Watsonville (CA) Speedway "Everybody knows that this (boom) economy is not going to last forever-maybe another five years. But (short tracks) survive because we have the most economical form of entertainment in the world. If a recession does hit and people can't afford to drive hundreds of miles to those big shows anymore, they'll still be able to go to their local short track." Bob Lawton Boone, Marshalltown, I-35 Speedways "You will not survive at a race track without having one class that's fast...but you do not need two. The other classes should be fill-ins, so when you bring out the late models, the people should be squirming in their seats, ready to see speed. The other classes should have a lot of banging, crashing, bumping and grinding. Your neighbor or your son or your grandmother should be able to race in any of those lower class cars." Bob Schippers Lakeville (OH) Speedway "We're headed for an era when we're not going to have a street car that we can convert. There will be some place in the entry level for small cars, but I think for (full) race cars you'll soon be looking at all-fabricated cars. Spec-type cars. Becasue a lot of guys don't want to build cars anymore. theyu'd rather work and extra day and buy something, and unfortunately, we lose a little of the old-fashioned ingenuity that way." Larry Kemp Benton County Speedway, Vinton IA "...short track racing will always be around. There's too many people who like to run a cruiser car or a bomber or a super stock- pull a car out of the weeds out back and go racing. And as long as there are people like that around, there will always be people willing to give 'em a place to race." Mike Mathis Rocky Mountain National Speedway. Denver CO And finally Stew Reamer's thoughts on race tracks. "Surface: Two choices, dirt or paved...Asphalt recipes are down to a science now, and pretty foolproof. Dirt is always an unknown-needs curing, regular replenishment, and endless hours of grooming with expensive equipment. But if you're in dirt country, you learn to live with it." "Size: We were always surprised at how many of those who sought our advice had already decided to build a half mile...we discouraged the idea...(due to) higher costs for land, construction and maintenance. The shorter tracks were less expensive and had one big advantage that few builders had thought about: The racing acgtion was concentrated in a smaller area- in other words, easier to watch and more entertaining." "Banking: ...fast racing is not important - close racing is. ...with few exceptions, super-fast, high-banked short tracks (especially half miles) are car killers that burn out andc bust up local racers at a rate few tracks can survive." "Track Shape: If you wanted to build a really fast track, what would you have? Steep banking, and a shape that was mostly turns with very short straightaways. Drivers could run wide open all the way around- but fields would quickly string out into single file, and no one could pass because everyone would be running as fast as the car would go. You can design the right short track shape in five minutes. Take a quarter and scribe a circle on a sheet of paper. Then move the quarter to the right three eighths of an inch and scribe another circle. Now connect the circles with a line at their top and bottom and you have a pretty good design for a short track." Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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