A few issues for TA racers I would like to see addressed

Discussion in 'System One Pit Buzz' started by Will Hanna, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    Here are some issues I see popping up in the alky ranks.

    We are 3.5 years into the "regional" era. What I see developing is a growing gap between the regulars that have the budget to travel and the smaller regional teams that can't travel. In my opinion part of the problem is grade points and lack of a chance to make runs.

    I think the grade point system for Top Alcohol racers needs to be modified. It is very hard for a new team, especially in some parts of the country to come out and get started. If you race in a part of the country that doesn't have a bunch of regional races relatively close, it may be difficult for you to get a chance to get a grade point to get entered in to one or several of your close national events. We need new blood coming into the class and we need to make it easier for new teams to get to the track, especially their home nationals. It's not just new racers that get caught in this. Sometimes experienced racers who take a year or two off for whatever reason get caught in the same problem.

    Now that we are under the regional system, it's just harder to accumulate grade points. There are less options to race, unless you are from D3, and to a lesser extent, D1. What I am proposing is you get 1 grade point when you get your license. If you hold a license, you hold one grade point. For purposes of rewarding the racers who attend more regional events, add each race/grade point to that 1. So if you go your first race of the year, you would be a 1 now, under the new system you would be a grade 2 (1 license point + 1 event point). The pro mod grade point works similar to this. Whether you are new, took a few years off, whatever, with this system, you would always have the opportunity to enter if there is openings when the grade one entry date opens.

    Another option would be to open the number of years for the 'average' up. Right now your grade points are either the number of regionals you have attended this year or your three year average. Some sort of vetting system to reward racers who have supported the series a number of years. Maybe if they have attended "X" amount of divisional/regionals in their career, they are vetted as a Veteran and get a permanent grade 2.

    The next thing making it harder for new racers or racers that can't travel is the lack of availability to make runs. Again, if you live in a part of the country where you don't have a bunch of opportunities to race within your travel area, you fall further and further behind the cars that do travel and run more events. To further compound the problem, a number of regional events have cut back to two qualifiers instead of three.

    I will admit that I was on a conference call with Division 4 racers several years ago where one of the ideas to cut costs in wake of the new regional program was to cut back to two runs. If you are a budget racer that chases points, no doubt, you will probably support two qualifiers since it cuts down on the number of runs you have to make at an event. The problem is the new guys or the budget guys that can only attend a few races, it's hard to learn when you only have 2-3 runs in a given weekend. In some parts of the country that have full fields, it may discourage new teams from even getting into our class if they look at trying to travel to a race and you may only get two runs. Even if you have an established combination, it's hard to try anything new when you only have two shots at most of your races.

    Again it's important we get new blood in these classes. I think less chances to race coupled with less runs at the race is making it tougher for the new guy to come up, or even for the experienced guy/gal who gets a little lost on the tune up and needs to fix the problem.

    What I am proposing is all regional events go back to three shots qualifying and all non qualified cars get an opportunity to make a test run at some point on Sunday.

    Let me know your thoughts.
     
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  2. bryanbrown

    bryanbrown Member

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    Is there actually anyone who decides NOT to buy/build an alcohol car because they'll have to go to ONE regional race before they get to run a national? If that's all it takes to deter a person from committing the amount of time and money these cars require, I'm not sure they're cut out for it anyway. Same goes for someone who's been off a couple years. You have to run ONE regional race. I don't think that's too much to ask of someone who's either never been to a National or been away for several years.


    As far as the schedules, I like Fri/Sat races. I also like 3 qualifiers. 3 qualifiers Friday and then the whole race Saturday sounds perfect and you still have Sunday just in case. Everyone is showing up on Thursday no matter what. So you either sit there all day Friday just to get one run late in the day, or you could get full use of that day and have Sunday to travel or race if necessary
     
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  3. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    scheduling

    When the ONE regional race that is within your side of the country is one week before the national in your back yard, it makes it tough. That's just one example.

    Back when there were a number of divisionals to attend, it was a little easier to go find a race to get a grade point and cut your teeth.
     
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  4. Ro Yale

    Ro Yale Member

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    I like the way your thinking Will. I would have liked to make the Dallas regional but it was 1 week before Houston nats. Now there's another regional 1 week before the Dallas nats. Just makes it tough to make.
     
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  5. Darvin Martinets

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    The issue that I would like to see addressed for alcohol racers is the recertifications on everything each year. Races that only make a few races each year like I do spent a lot of money on recerts. There is some things that might need to be looked at each year, but there is a lot of things that don't. I have a hard time believing that all these recerts are needed. I think its all about money. With the age of computers and all, it would not be hard at all for NHRA to keep up with the number of runs on all this stuff. That's just my two cents worth.
     
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  6. Nancy Matter

    Nancy Matter Member

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    I agree with Bryan, Friday Saturday Races (3 qualifiers on Friday, eliminations on Saturday).
     
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