Regional races coming?

Discussion in 'System One Pit Buzz' started by kosky racing, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. kosky racing

    kosky racing Comp Eliminator

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    I have just heard this is the new format for 2012. There was a committee that decided that we will only have "regional" races in 2012 for the Alcohol classes. No divisionals. This was not discussed or decided by the your divisional advisory council. This meeting was invitation only, and held without my knowing it was taking place. I am the Div. 1 advisory rep. and no one asked for my imput. I am curious as to who made up this committee. How many racers were involved, or was this all NHRA's decision?
    Mike Kosky, Division 1 Alcohol advisory committee
     
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  2. KEITH CLARK

    KEITH CLARK Member

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    Nhra

    You should know by now that NHRA does not give a rats ass about tafc or tad
     
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  3. Pat McGill

    Pat McGill Member

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    Will has been warning (informing) us this was coming for two years now. Do you have any details?
     
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  4. larrymiersch

    larrymiersch Authorized Merchant

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    meeting

    Yes, there was a meeting. Yes, the regional series/schedule was discussed. Many racers (both TAD and TAFC) were there. Since Chris Demke is on this board maybe he can add Jerry Madern's insight.
    -L
     
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  5. duane shields

    duane shields New Member

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    Glendora Meeting

    Yes there was a meeting held in Glendora CA a few weeks ago to discuss the future of the top alcohol classes and ways to ensure that our class survives. Since it was in Glendora, they had teams that were in the area that would provide guidance attend the meeting. i wont go into all the details here but the goal was to give feedback on a proposal to help fix a problem in our class and to try and make it better.

    The people in attendance at the meeting were ( I hope I dont forget anyone) Jay Payne, Norm Grimes, Jerry Darien, Bob Devore, Steve Gasparrelli, Rick Jackson, John Lombardo, Jerry Maddern, Jim Rizzoli, and myself. From NHRA, Graham Light, Josh Petersen, Mike Rice, Eric Lotz and Mr. Gray from tech. Don't ask me how or why certain people were invited because I don't know.

    They wanted to start the meeting by letting us know they have NO intention of getting rid of the alcohol classes. There is a problem with declining car counts at races and track operators can't promote the class and afford the payouts if the cars don't show up. The money side doesn't work for anyone.

    I'm not going to hit all the details, but If you want to call any person that was in attendance I'm sure they will tell you more details. Because it was a feedback meeting and things are not finalized I hate to post all things, but they did solicit our feedback and I hope that our input will help make the new program better for the ALL the Alcohol racers.

    We know what we have is BROKEN!!! The idea being discussed is to go from 7 divisions to 2 regions and 1 National program (Remember this is for the alcohol classes only) . Instead of the over 35 different division events across 7 groups we would have 2 regions with approximately 13 or 14 races in each. We would run at tracks that are SAFE, and that WANT to have us. They would have 8 car fields at these races and pay the 9th and 10th alternates a nominal amount. Instead of 7 division champions and pay to the top three, they would have 2 and pay the top 10 in each region. The goal is to have consistent payouts in both regions and to work on ways to reduce our expenses. This might be through free entries, 2 day events, higher payouts and requiring less than the 5 out 8 points for divisions. The National side will stay the same with the recommendation of maybe changing the number of counted races on national events being higher and maybe switching some events to get better attendance. We also need to reduce the overlap between Nationals and the other program.

    This was a four hour meeting and they did ask us to give ideas. Ask those that went and they will tell you more, BUT remember they wanted input and we don't know what the FINAL outcome will be. So everything here that I said could be totally different when they announce the changes.

    Our recommendation was for all the changes to be announced by Pomona. So within the next 3 weeks something should be out there. Please don't shoot the messengers. I think that we needed something done different. Will it be perfect for all, NO. Will it make us all happy, NO. But hopefully it will be better than what we have now.

    Duane Shields
     
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    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  6. dwwhite

    dwwhite Member

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    Nhra

    That say's it all. No.hot.rods.allowed.
     
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  7. Dave Germain

    Dave Germain New Member

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    Alcohol Reps.

    I am glad to see that the NHRA invited alcohol racers to the meeting for some input. On the other hand why not invite the elected reps too? I am not one of the reps but it seems like a courtesy would have been to invite them. Apparently the elected reps don't really count for anything in the opinion of the NHRA so they just ignored them? Once again so much for the word "Association" in the title. Dave Germain
     
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  8. Bob Perkins

    Bob Perkins New Member

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    Thanks

    Thank you mike and duane for the heads up.

    BOB
     
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  9. Barry Ferriolo

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    i guess that if you're from the east or don't have a fat wallet, that your opinion doesn't count
     
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  10. 310TAD

    310TAD Top Alcohol

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    More to come!

    After spending the last 2 hours on the phone with Jay Hullinger (SRAC Chairman) I feel alittle better about this meeting and thought line.
    I like others was suprised to hear of the meeting yesterday, when the phone began wringing off the hook. I am the D-3 SRAC TA/D representative and have been disappointed in how and how much the committee has been used. Jay said Graham Light's meeting was only meant to be a starting point for ideas and feedback on the regional concept, and that the next steps would include the committee having a chance to include the meat of the racers. The racers who attended were geographically close and economically able to attend. Comments included that Graham and company realize that they did not represent all geographical or economical models for the Top Alcohol teams.
    As for Jay's take on the concept and the notes he was forwarded (he was not in the room);
    -currently there are 39 divisionals that contest the alcohol classes and this would hopefully turn into around 30 regionals events (divisionals that want the alcohol cars and have a safe facility for them). Not a huge reduction. You could attend most of the same events, as long as they are viable.
    -National events would go mostly unchanged but hopefully might increase by a few events.
    -The regional points championships would probably stay a best 5 out of first 8 deal
    -The National points Championships would most likely increase in race numbers to something in the area of best 7 out of 10 Nationals and best 3 out of 5 regionals.
    -Lucas Oil Products is aware of some change proposed and will have to approve (of course).
    -Instead of 7 divisions paying top 3 cars at end of season (total of 21), the 2 Regions would pay top 10 cars (total 20).
    -Entry costs and Gold, Silver, Bronze Card system are on the table and they our aware (now if not before) of the racers concern here
    -while they obviously didn't like my 4 region concept, ther's still a slight possibility if changing to a 3 region system.

    I think we all realize that this has not been a great year for attendance in the alky classes (as well as most classes, which are others concern) and that something had to change to keep the classes from further decline. I doubt the end result will please everybody, but if we all keep an open mind and share our thoughts in a nice way, maybe we can help ourselves and our fellow racers here. NHRA is wanting to finalize this by Pomona, so this is going to happen quickly. Jay mentioned that there has been varying discussions on doing something like this for close to 10 years, so they already have some things decided, I sure.
    He promised me that they would be in contact, and that the SRAC would get to be somewhat involved, even if it's late in the game. Contact your rep (after you've settled down alittle) and have a short discussion on this. Please remember that some of us have alot of people to have that talk with and still keep our jobs and families happy.

    May God be with us all,
    Marty Thacker
    D-3 SRAC TA/D Rep.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  11. Mark Billington

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    Appreciate the insight guys and the Duane and Marty's level head as this gets worked through. I'm sure we'll go through some pains as we adapt but it will be better in the end.
     
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  12. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Member

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    I think that in the end, its the end of Alky. If the changes in Duane's post are put in place, you will have cars from 3 or 4 divisions competing for an 8 car field. The cars that are now in the top 10 National points, plus the 2 or 3 top cars from each division should fill the 8 car field. Sooner or later, the DNQs will stop travelling the longer distances to these regionals. Then you will have only 10 or 12 cars show up. Probably good for the tracks that want the alky cars, but bad for the cars that don't have a place to race.

    What about new blood in the sport? Will anyone want to come out with a new car knowing the chances of making an 8 car field are not very good?

    I understand many tracks can't afford the payout for the alcohol classes. But I don't believe the argument that its only because of low car counts. (look at Epping, Norwalk, Lebanon Valley in the not too distant past, Richmond when they had a huge promotion, etc) Meanwhile some tracks get a good entry, and still have no spectators in the stands.

    To quote the Clinton campaign "It's the economy, stupid". Racers have less money to spend, so there are fewer cars. Spectators have less money to spend, so there are fewer spectators.

    I don't know how to solve the problem, but I for one don't like what I have seen.

    Tom Jones
     
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  13. ITS IN MY BLOOD

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    As only a crew member I have to say and give a little input.
    What ever the HRA intends to decide, I can only hope that what they intend is discussed with all of the division reps before hand, so the Division reps may discuss the proposal or intentions of the HRA with all of the alcohol funny car and dragster drivers from within their perspective divisions. This will allow the reps to return to HRA with a feedback as a whole group and not just one, two, or three guys who think its in the best interest for all,..This needs to be accomplished and decided by those who will be directly effected. You guys have to band together as a whole and stand up for your paid yearly dues tgo an association that makes up their own decisions based on their own needs, Not Yours...!!!!!!!!!

    Another issue,..All the supporting tracks need to be under the same entry fee accomodations torwards the Alcohol cars that retain a Gold, Silver, or Bronze card.
    Why should you have to pay one track $380.00 FOR entry fee`s for yourself and crew, when you just ran two previous weekends at another divisional race without having to pay entry due to your Gold,silver, or bronze card status,..It is things like this that baffle me, maybe there is an explanation maybe there is not, but if you have one of these cards you shouldnt have to pay one track when your entry fee is waived at another for holding the card/s.
    Its kinda like why and how is it that during crucial last round of qaulifying at a division 4 track,>> the alky dragsters make their runs and they then run a comp car in your lane right in front of you getting your last chance in your funny car,..??? That shit would never happen on the west coast. If the car missed his class run time, or even if the timming malfunctioned, You dont run another class car in the middle of the session of the 3rd quickest class in the whole NHRA...WTF..???
    Rules are rules,..procedures are procedures,.and safety is the most important and there was a definate lack of safety at Nobel on the top end,.even with a 20 yr Vet being down there, there is no room in the turnout and also its a one lane road, but hey you just keep on sending them in like you want the race over..who will get hurt next..?? No thank You..!!! Run the cars right or get someone out there that can and will.

    Sorry for the derail on the last bit.

    Vic Miller
     
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  14. Sam Jenkins

    Sam Jenkins Member

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    Tafc

    69 cars competed in TAFC divisionals in 2011 and 33 ran five races or more. You do the math.
     
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  15. Dan Lucas

    Dan Lucas New Member

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    Regional Races coming ?

    Hey guys,
    We knew something had to change..it's been coming for several years....Let's hope that the decisions they (NHRA) make we can survive with them. I would hope they would consider Marty's three region approach. However,seems like the first thing that NHRA needs to do is to get all tracks involved and see who wants us at their parties and who doesn't. Then that should set the parameters, then the number of regions would evolve. Next would be to dig into the various details....numbers of cars per proposed regions, points...etc. We need to hang in there..pay attention..let our reps and division directors know our feelings....depend on guys like Jay and Marty,who seem to be able to get NHRA attention. I know they will look at the situation and consider all the racers ..... something has to be done.. and done fairly ....Dan
     
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  16. JustinatAce

    JustinatAce Member

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    I'm just a lowly crew guy and tuner 10 weekends a year or so, but I also have a vested interest in these classes continuing. And while I was scared as hell of change in November of 2008, this doesn't frighten me. Just like the economy has done to racing in general, those who really want to and can afford to keep racing, eating and their homes will continue to do so.

    As for new blood, why does anyone without a million dollar a year crew chief even bother running Top Fuel or Fuel FC? Why does someone who can only run 30 under even bother running Comp? Why do cars that have barely run in the 5's in TAFC come to a National? All of us addicts are out there week in and week out because of the challenge of figuring things out, the challenge of trying to squeeze every last ten thousandth of a second out of your parts, breaking personal bests and catching the guys who are faster than you to get that win. It's also about the time spent with friends, family and your racing family.

    I don't see this as doom and gloom, it would be a change.. The only way the class dies is if we let it, and the current model certainly isn't helping.. And it could be worse.. It could just turn into a National Event class...
     
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  17. Nancy Matter

    Nancy Matter Member

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    Very well written
     
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  18. bryanbrown

    bryanbrown Member

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    I'm glad there's concern about this at nhra and that they're willing to try and do something to help. The question that needs to be asked and answered though is

    "What is the long term goal for these classes"

    1) Nationals only
    2) Regional/National

    I think most would say #2 needs to be the goal, but if you take the National points down to just 3 out of 5 regional races, then people won't go to as many regional races, which gets us right back here next year (low car counts), and the next step would be dropping the Regionals.

    I'm all for cutting races, but I would suggest leaving the # of points earning races the same (5) and make the max number unlimited.

    As of right now, in 2011: (these #'s will go up in the next couple weeks)

    7 dragsters and 9 funny cars have maxed either their nationals or divisionals (or both). If a guy wants to run 15 races to get his best 5, I say let him

    21 dragsters and 17 funny cars have run 6 or more divisionals...that's 38 dragster and 31 f/c regional event entries that wouldn't happen if 5 was the max.

    There also needs to be a standard entry fee, payout, and schedule(as much as possible) at all the regional races. Personally, I would like to see Fri/Sat races since that allows a rain day and/or more travel time since some races will now be farther away for most people
     
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  19. Chuck Anderika

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    Regionals as i see them

    The people who participate are being punished for the people who don’t. Lets look at the east side of the country, no one at the meeting lived on this side of the country. Div 1 and 3 have no problem with car counts in alcohol. Because there are few cars based and running in some divisions (2&4)you will want to take races away from divisions which have great participation (div 1 and 3) and put some of them in those divisions as a way to up car counts and call it regionals. It will not work. Most of the cars in these divisions will not travel to regionals that are not in their original areas. They could have in the past and most never did. The majority of racers are not running for a championship and will elect to not run these races. If they have 8 9 or 10 divisionls in div 1 would attend them all but at $ 4.00 a gallon I have no intension of running Regionals in Georgia, Fla Texas Or Indiana and I will bet that except for 1 or 2 cars all the other competitors in my divisional will tell you the same thing. Going to regionals will mean LESS races where the racers are and fewer participants overall. The next move will be to eliminate the class entirely due to lack of participation at regionals. If you doubt what I’m saying look at what happened when NHRA cut alcohol at select national events. Most racers did not travel farther to attend the same number of national events but rather just ran less races.
    I’m asking the racers who have participated in 5 6 or 7 divisionals the last few years to give your input here and not let this idea be pushed through by those who show up twice a year and want to change the program and will still only show up twice a year.
    A better idea is to let the divisions that cannot support the alcohol classes to just elect to not run them. Don’t punish the racers and divisions that have supported alcohol racing to placate those who haven’t.
     
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  20. crewman

    crewman Member

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    It feels like to a point we are tring to fix the 2 or 3 divisions that are struggling with car counts and I feel like in return, we will damage the others doing a 2 region system. A major part of the problem in my opinion is the economy, and having teams have to travel further will not help. How many cars do tracks want at divisionals? Top 8 qualify and here in D1 you only have 2 qualifiers to get it right and get in the show. For the most part we had about 10 cars in TAFC and 10 in TAD I believe for our divisional races. Seems like a fair number. Going to a regional with 18 cars for 8 spots would suck In my opinion. I understand the best 8 win but to travel 4 plus hours to get 2 shots and beat 17 or so cars my discourage a lot of guys. I do not have any great idea to get numbers up, but here in D1 I feel like its not as huge of an issue. Maybe condense the struggling ones into the others? Meaning the divisions with low alky counts simply do not run alcohol?

    John Pomponio Jr.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011

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