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Author Topic: "Words of Wisdom" by Joe Mayhew  (Read 2487 times)
Brian88
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« on: July 07, 2011, 02:25:02 am »

All,
 I was reading another forum and came across this post by a fellow racer. I think he hits alot of KEY POINTS and I think we ALL (including myself) can learn alot from what he said. The Bold type was copied from another board.

I am not a fan of reducing our sport to the demolition derby level of investment. I think we have enough classes where people can fit in. I saw on another board where they're trying to invent yet another Limited class. It's already apparent that we aren't attracting a huge amount of new people to the sport, so yeah let's cut 'em up into even smaller pieces. Makes no sense at all. Pretty soon we'll have 14 classes with 5 cars in each one. Oh, and no fans because no one will pay to watch that crap. I don't think dirt track racing "costs too much money". I just think we aren't attracting the money to our sport because I don't think we're putting on a good enough show to attract the general public. If you are a die hard race fan, then yeah. There's good racing here and you will put up with a fair amount of BS because you are a dirt racing fanatic. You might even love it so much that you don't see any downside. It's obvious that die hards aren't enough, though. We see that every weekend.

New participants come from fans in the stands. We HAVE to drive the front gate to make this truly successful, not just scraping by every week. We, as a community, need to be happy when these track owners MAKE MONEY. I want them to make A LOT OF MONEY. It isn't gonna happen from just the back gate, y'all. You know it and I know it.

We get people wanting to pack the stands then the money flows in to Mike's pocket. Then Mike can afford to make track improvements (bathrooms, track equip., fencing, lighting, etc) and get the purses where they need to be. When you have that excitement in the stands, more people will want to be involved in the action so you build up the classes and better sponsorship opportunities for Mike and the racers. It isn't an overnight process, but what is?

Let's take what we have and make it better. Better doesn't automatically mean "let's change the rules again", either. How about we don't mess with the rules at all. How about we make our sport more attractive to the public at large.

Let's do a better job promoting our sport. The trip I made to HMP was a huge eye opener. They had pathetic car counts and I couldn't believe how many people were in the stands. We put on a much better show than they do (am I wrong? If so, tell me why) and they have all the people. Why? There's a ton of smart people in this sport. I find it hard to believe that we can't figure it out.

What are we doing to make the fans excited once they get to the track? Are we building up the drama? Are we giving them any backstories from the pits? Do they know who's in the race? Do they know the technical jargon? Do they know about upcoming events? If they are there every week, week in and week out, sure, They might have an idea. What about new people? Y'all tell me 'cause I'm in the pits.


As competitors, let's put on a better show:

a. Instead of arguing with officials that you deserve 14th place back, just get in line and get the show on the road. You'd be surprised at how it averages out. You win some, you lose some and it comes out just about even. I really think it should be "if you stop on the track, you go to the back." It sucks if it wasn't your fault, but the show is more important. Again, it all works itself out in the long run.

b. Enough complaining about not being able to race against [whoever it is]. Work harder and stop whining. If you want something easy, go get a Playstation.

c. Enough with running people over to pass them. If you can't make a pass without destroying someone's car, either work harder on making your car work, get your a$$ to the eye doctor or grow up. All it does is eliminate yet another car that we can't afford to lose and slows the show down. $hit happens, but give a guy a lane to race in, will ya?

d. Put at least a small amount of effort into making your car look presentable. The only cars that looked like the surface of the moon that people will pay to watch are demolition derby cars. All it takes is a hammer and a 2x4 and some "give a $hit". It pisses me off to hear someone give someone else he11 about having a "fancy lookin' car". Hey, that guy with the "fancy lookin' car" isn't gonna be faster than you, but he'll sure attract more people to the stands. Doesn't have to be a 1000 dollar wrap. I remember when Stacy and I built a d**n good looking Thunderbomber with masking tape and Krylon. We just took a little time and had pride in what we were doing.

e. If you don't like the way Tech is being done, go talk to the tech man! Mike Ellender is a stand up guy and will admit he doesn't know everything under the sun. Nobody does and it would be stupid to expect it. I asked him why all he techs in Mods is weight. He said he didn't understand the way USMTS has different rules for different motor packages. I could have called him names behind his back or trashed him on the message board but instead I made him a quick reference guide so he could find the information at a glance and I printed the USMTS rulebook out in color for him so he could see the stuff USMTS highlights in red. He's got a lot of different classes to keep up with so why not help the guy instead of acting like 4th graders? If you are DQ'd, take it like a man and move forward. Fix the problem and try again. I'm sure Walling doesn't have 100 people lined up to take that thankless job and I'm sure it doesn't pay enough to retire on. They, like the track workers, do this because they love the sport. Don't ruin that by being a tw@t.

f. Be reasonable to Mike if you have a gripe. Wearing his a$$ out while he's barely squeaking out a profit is gonna do nothing more than getting him closer to saying "the he11 with this $hit" and shutting it down. As with anything, think about what approach would work the best with YOU and use that when talking to Mike. If he's wore down from fading heat all the time, I'm sure it takes the wind out of his sails. Hard to get excited about trying different things if you're gonna get roasted every time you turn around.



I'm not playing "holier than thou" either because I've been guilty of many of the things I listed above.

Stuff like this is what I see will make this sport successful. Switching to IMCA, USRA, NASCAR or whatever sanction isn't going to make any of this stuff any better. We could have a set of rules written by the Almighty himself and if we don't put on a better show, it....doesn't...make...any....difference.


I'm sure I missed some important stuff and I know I got a little wordy. Sorry about that. I just know that the key isn't changing classes or rules. We just have to work to make our Saturday night show something that people won't want to miss. That's the key and I know it's possible if enough of us believe in it.

See y'all Friday at GTRP and Saturday at BGS.

Later Joe Mayhew
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Racer_88
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 11:53:49 am »

I would only add to Mr. Mayhews comments that :

           1) Utilize the flags in the race, owners dont be scared of running off a car. clean the races up by making the racers accountable for their actions.

           2) Every race gets 3 cautions whether it is 1st lap or last lap (Cautions breed Cautions). 3 cautions the fans dont get bored this way.... (races are over at a resonable time at night)
              I know personally that most of my family and friends are done after about 10-11 pm.

I have raced in Oklahoma where the last car stopped is charged with the caution you should see how fast everyone gets their cars back in line.... couple of nights of a classes getting only about 3 laps of racing due to the caution rule and you start seeing the racers paying more attention giving a little room for racing and not causing cautions.

And the car count was high enough to have a B main just to get into the A main.

Chuck Davis
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Chuck 88 SS
HarrisRacing28
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 09:53:13 pm »

im was a interstid in readin it until i seen it was 2 many words. Smiley


Ben Harris #28H hs
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JacobH626
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2011, 02:52:23 am »

I like c where it says if you cant pass somebody without taking...just read this

c. Enough with running people over to pass them. If you can't make a pass without destroying someone's car, either work harder on making your car work, get your a$$ to the eye doctor or grow up. All it does is eliminate yet another car that we can't afford to lose and slows the show down. $hit happens, but give a guy a lane to race in, will ya?

i know theres at least one guy out there that needs to read this  Wink
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redroosterracing
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2011, 04:30:01 pm »

MANY !!!!!!!!! Jacob.   If they would read the payout, one place forward usually pays bout $10 more, unless ur up front
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The closer to the front you get, the faster the cars are....
Philthy Phil
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2011, 02:46:04 am »

Heck Yes!!! I AGREE!

In regards to the 'make your car look good like you give a darn', my friend and I painted my car with spray cans and tape, then added the

5tx decal.

http://www.rskinner.exposuremanager.com/p/7-9-10-golden_triangle_raceway_park--note__many_more_photos_will_be_uploaded_as_soon_as_i_get_time_to_edit_them/img_9948_708
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Elmo
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2011, 08:30:15 am »

I think it would be safe to say that track had an even better fan count when it was Dirt. Big H has always had fans in the stands, and on the grass, and parked on the Hill on the other side....
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Tim B
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2011, 01:34:28 am »

Just a few thought about the sport and maybe somethings that some may not want to here. Let's go back - way back - to the mid to late 70's and early 80's when the spectators were parked on the side of highway 90. The show was very simple, just two or three classes, which had plenty of cars, usually enough for a B main in every class. Heats were run and the first A main for a class was lined up by the heat results. The second A main - yes for the same class - was run but was inverted from how you finished in the first feature. That way your top drivers had to come from the back, gave everyone a little bit of a chance to do well and win some money. I'm sure some of the drivers would not like this - I know for a fact awhile (year or so) back the mod feature draw called for a total invert and one of the classes top driver had a fit and was refusing to race if they inverted. So there was no invert? Back in the day a little money was paid for the top 3 finishers in the heats and the A main money was split between the two mains and there was a consolation race which paid a little money - top 5 places - for the racers who did not make the features. Also if you limit a driver to driving in one class you would prevent the one or two who dominant the limited and modified class. Not that I have anything against these guys and they are good drivers but it gets very old as a racing fan seeing the same guys win unless they break. Normally they finish in the top two in their heat and if they don't break they finish in the top two in the feature. Good drivers (absolutely) but very boring to watch. Back in the day the drivers like Bob Lebert, Jr. Whittington, Bill Bloss, John Bankston, John Flowers, Mike Culyer, Charles Seals and many others put on a very good show every week with out all the whining and complaining. Back to the facts, spread some of the money around and maybe the classes would grow along with attendence.
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racinjason75
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2011, 03:03:58 am »

TIM B...

NOW THOSE ARE  WORDS OF WISDOM.  Grin
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aubrey cain
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2011, 12:32:30 am »

Back in 1970 there was 3 classes. A 6 cylinder class, a V-8 class and a volkswagon class. A few years later the track added a novice class. This class had to run a N after their number then later it changed to a S. The heat races were lined up by points, high point man started in the back. The heat races paid 3 places. The top 3 out of each heat ran a trophy dash. The consulation race or B main as it is called now also paid 3 places. The features lined up with low point man in the front all the way back to the high point man in the back. The feature paid 7 places. There was no guaranteed purse. The purse was 40% of the front gate. After the track changed owners they started using a 3 week point average to line up with the high point man in the back. There was also a guaranteed purse at this time too and paid back 20 places. In my opinion this is what made racing more exciting back then. And yes there was bickering about the rules and people cheating back then too!








































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Tim B
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2011, 01:31:16 am »

Your right Aubrey there will always be bickering about rules and cheating (real TECH anyone) - whats the old saying, if you ain't cheatin you ain't trying - but I don't remember the racers back then thinking that I'm too good to race from the back. I don't think that a 40% of the front gate would work now (now days they would be racing for nothing) but you could still guarantee a purse - just take the purse now and divide it up - if the premadonna drivers want to load up after the first feature then thats more money for others in the second feature. There are lots of fans that like good fast racing and that is proven when the sprint cars come but on a weekly basis the racing is, well I guess it is what it is. I lived in the area until the late 70's and my family moved away - for years I would drive over 150 miles (one way) to watch the races into the early 80's. I would still do that now if it was worth it. It does amaze me how the different tracks cater to one or two drivers and don't want to do anything to make them mad or take a chance that they might go somewhere else (hence - if we invert I'm not racing). There used to be a reason the parking lot was packed and cars were parked on the side of Highway 90 every weekend - but no one can figure out what the problem is now. Also, now days you have five or six classes - almost all the pure stocks, hobby stocks, street stocks, modified stocks and any other kind of stocks you can think of all look and almost run alike. The limiteds and the modifieds not only look alike they have several of the same drivers who are usually at the front. So tell me why would I drive 10 miles to watch the same thing every weekend over and over. Just some of my thoughts of what I used to see and what I see now.
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rogracer2
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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2011, 01:49:35 pm »

You know Aubrey and Tim, I remember similar type of racing formats at local tracks in other parts of the country back in the 1970s. I wonder why and how it changed to the format we have now? As a fan, it was always more interesting to watch the fast cars come from the back. I think that would increase fan interest if we did that again. Starting the fast cars up front is for NASCAR and you see how that is working for them. zzzz zzzz. Last weeks race at Kentucky was pretty boring.
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Racer_88
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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2011, 05:22:24 pm »

I never knew that the racers raced for a percentage of the gate...... Now this is an interesting concept. I bet that makes drivers and owners promote for spectators.......

I also agree on the race from the rear based on your point standing... If you are good enough to be the points leader that means that you have probably dominant equipment and obvious above average driving capability so starting form the back should not be a huge issue. Ooh i know that it exposes you to more possibility to wrecks but it is called racing. Now along with starting from the rear i think that the points system should be modified to some degree also and that is to award point for passing. then at the end of the year maybe have a award for the most passes over the year.... You may not be the point leader or ever win a race but you could still get some spot light
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Chuck 88 SS
rogracer2
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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2011, 06:58:14 pm »

Here's one of the current dirt tracks using similar handicapping rules mentioned by Tim & Aubrey:

http://www.accordspeedway.com/?page_id=35

From the fan perspective, makes for lots of passing, and exciting racing! It also helps the drivers that are faithful to the track but not winning week after week.
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racinjason75
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2011, 02:07:29 am »

i still laugh about the racing for money...

i raced my 2 cycle open and 2 cycle yamaha for 10 years, in 7 different states,  and only  one raced ever paid money...
that was the Tulsa Shootout... all our IKF races were for pretty little trophies...

dont think it was not costly to drive to monroe louisiana  with a $2500.oo  kart, $1200.oo  blueprinted axle clutch,  $3500.oo  open 2 stroke with 3 carbs on it...lol    and a whole truck full of tires...  lol.  for a cute lil shiney trophy... lol

surely these guys realize the lil money won on friday night,  means  nothing.   Grin
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