I started this blog some 32 weeks ago; yes I counted; thinking it would just bring a weekly feel to our website and magazine. It’s really not a lot of work and is more just me spewing some of my thoughts down on paper; if that’s even what it is in today’s world.
But I think I’ve brought up some interesting tidbits of conversation, so it gives me a place to “vent.” I don’t like complaining without knowing how a certain problem can be fixed, but there are instances where maybe there is no fixing. What do they say, “You can’t fix stupid?” To a point it’s true.
In any event, week No. 33 finds not much to talk about. Last weekend was Mother’s Day and I hope all the Moms had a joyous one. As for racing, I was always told there are two days a year you don’t try to run a race, Easter and Mother’s Day. Probably should add Christmas to that list as well, but at that time of year there are few places warm enough to support an event anyway. Yet I know there are some tracks that will run a Mother’s Day race with special events for Moms only, events that are quite successful. However, the one thing I can tell you is that I’m glad I’m not a track operator. Attempting to navigate that business can be quite troubling.
In speaking with one track operator, I posed the question as to who his closest competitor in the business was. The answer was quite unsettling. Forget any close track or other activity. The one competitor he can never beat was Mother Nature. And boy is she ever beating on tracks this year. In this part of the country, we’re already ahead of last year’s rainfall amount, and last year was a very wet year.
So far what I’ve seen so far this year is Pomona (rain on Sunday), Gainesville (rain on Sunday), Spring Fling Million in Vegas (heavy winds on Tuesday), and the Spring Fling in Galot (rain on Friday and Saturday). Now as I said previously, I don’t like complaining unless I have an answer, but there is no answer as far as the weather department is concerned. So much for having a solution to the problem.
One of the bright spots last weekend was at the local track I live next to, Beaver Springs Dragway. Yeah, they lost Sunday’s Mother’s Day race to rain, but Saturday was a simple Test & Tune session which was anything but simple. They had 161 cars show up to test. Pretty impressive and maybe a sign of thinsg to come. Who knows? It is early in the year and maybe there hasn’t been a lot of guys who have had the opportunity to get out and race so maybe they’re looking to tune up for the year. Again… Who knows? But for a track operator, a Test & Tune session is all clear money. No payout. No trophies. Nothing. All clear money except for normal expenses.
In speaking with Byron Dragway’s (Illinois) Ron Leek years ago, he told me he only runs eight race weekends a year with the balance of the tim just Test & Tune. Why? Cause he knows it’s all clear money.
And with the influx of the dozens of high-dollar bracket races being run, it has put a damper on local bracket races with some tracks acknowledging dwindling fields. No I’m all for the high-dollar events, but I wonder if we have too many and are they part of the reasoning for low car counts at local races. After all, why would a guy race at a local race for $500-&1,000-whatever to win when he can save up his entry fee money, travel time, vacations, etc., and race for $10K and up?
Sorry, but I don’t have an answer for that one either. Guess I had better keep my mouth shut when it comes to complaining about something.