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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    regionals

    This sounds like a done deal.Calling you division director might help but I doubt it will help. Caling the directors that head the alcohol committee might help or may not. I believe Jay hullinger heads that one. It seem that it has been decided that it will be all laid out before the finals. See ya later Mike
     
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  2. JustinatAce

    JustinatAce Member

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    I think everyone is overthinking this.. Yes, I think this is essentially absorbing not just the divisions that struggle with car counts, but the races that struggle with car counts..

    Let's talk East of the Mississippi... If Division 2 is a culprit with tracks that don't want Alcohol.. Then you absorb those races for Alcohol.. You had 6 races in D1, 6 Races in D3, there's 12... Maybe 2 or 3 tracks in D2 that want us... There's 14-15.. Schedule the D1 and D3 races so they don't happen on the same weekend and there's your Alcohol schedule, everyone could still race in their similar areas with the exception of true D2 cars.

    West of the Mississippi.. here's where it gets a little more difficult because geographically there are a lot more miles and if you keep it at 15 races, you've got 4 divisions to accomodate. I think you'd have to go 16.. Division 4 has no shortage of TAD's, but TAFC's and tracks that want us are a different story.. So, you pick 4 from each division's region.. That way everyone is in the same boat.. If you want to chase points, you have to travel out of your division's area.. which is usually the case anyway.. Hell, the D6 TAFC guys went to Oklahoma and Georgia for God's sake!! :) As typically the case now though, Division 5 and Divison 4 intermingle often, especially at Noble, Topeka and the more centrally located races.. and some of the 6 and 7 do the same at points meets. North and south is usually easier to handle than East or West when you're west of the Mississippi. So in reality, what has really changed other than the competition for points structure? It could really get interesting towards the end of the season because you may want to go to a new track you've never raced to go block or run for extra points!!

    The big question, especially for the guys in the middle of the country, is would you be able to race in "Out of Region" races for points?
     
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  3. TAD529

    TAD529 Member

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    Regionals

    For the smaller teams like myself to have just 2 regions for a 8 car field is not worth attending. Each of the 2 regions have at least 8 to 10 top cars or more, so for us who don't have the big bucks or run in the 30's to attend is a waste of time and money. It's too much travel depending on where you live for a DNQ because of a 8 car field. I'll stay home and play here. So much for the LITTLE GUY. Good Luck
     
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    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  4. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    tracks and car counts

    I think a lot of you are missing the real driving factor here. They can call this a move to try to increase car counts but the real motivation behind this is a lot of tracks are losing money on their divisionals and see the alcohol cars as a detriment to them making money. I think enough of them have gotten together and said they either will have a divisional with no alcohol cars or not have a divisional at all.

    Be thankful NHRA is going to bat for us and trying to keep us in divisional events.

    Also, from what I hear, the guys in D3 and D1 are not going to get that bad of a draw. It's the guys in the south and south east that will more than likely get the raw end of the stick.

    Shifting the national points structure may help offset the 'strength' factor of the field. If you got the budget to chase 12-15 races with a 7/10 and 3/5 structure, and if the region championship is the best 5 of 8 or 5 of 7 deal, a few cars may chase both and run 17-19 races, but the majority of the guys who will chase national top 10 points will probably only go to 3-5 divisionals if they are going to chase the 7 nationals.

    The status quo was simply unsustainable. The alcohol cars are certainly not the root of the problem, but we are the easiest expense to cut for most tracks, especially when they do not try to generate much at the front gate. D2 and some D4 events have such low car counts for alcohol cars, I'd be real nervous to try to promote an alky show in those markets myself.

    What we need to do as racers is support the tracks that support us. That's how we are going to turn this deal around and have a chance at getting some more events added to the schedule at some point.

    We need to find some tracks that are willing to have some alcohol-only events that will count as divisionals for points. This may add a few events. Especially if they had the choice of one alcohol class as a Saturday night show. That would make us price competitive with most Pro Mod local circuits. For instance Maple Grove has their normal Divisional in May and adds an August TAFC show, while Noble Oklahoma might add a dragster show in June since the dragster car count is pretty decent in that part of the country.

    If our classes will ever be front gate draws again, we have to get back to events structured to be entertainment shows, not a race. Who wants to go watch a divisional in Columbus in the middle of the day in the middle of July? Move that same show to a night race, now you have a fighting chance. Not to mention most of the current divisionals, the show moves pretty slow.

    Until they finalize a list it's all just speculation.

    If you stop and look around at other heads up classes, we really don't have it too bad. Pro Mod's long term future isn't as solid as ours. We don't rely on series sponsorship or a wealthy backer. Our purses aren't close to costs, but what heads up class does? We also have a very respectable points fund at both the national and divisional level. I suspect the regional purse will be nice for the two regions. Could it be better? Absolutely. We should always try to improve it. These are tough times.
     
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  5. Dan Lucas

    Dan Lucas New Member

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    Regional races

    Will,
    I think you are "right on" with the cause of the change...It started with the tracks, their lack of interest in advertising and promoting an event..look at the successful events where tracks throughout the country who are willing to take the advertising "at risk". But, what is ..."is"...it ain't gonna change. The southeast and the Midwest (excluding Div.3) will have the most difficult time with the travel cost I think. This will bring up another problem, getting new teams from these areas to come into the program. Hopefully there will be a few tracks within reasonable travel distances and we can survive. Dan
     
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  6. Blown Chances

    Blown Chances New Member

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    16 car fields!

    2 Day event.

    2 qualifiers Friday noon and 4:00 PM

    E1: (32 cars) Friday 8:00 PM

    Saturday E2: (16 cars) 4:00 PM E3: (8 cars) 7:00 PM E4: (4 cars) 10:00 PM

    Free entry: Car driver +4 crew

    First Round loser doesn't pay anything, but at least the fields aren't too exclusive to keep the "new blood" coming into the class. Also, the points for a "Regional" isn't any different than for a national (both 4 round races). Night time eliminations to be a "promotable" show.

    My personal input...

    Flash
     
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  7. clint thompson

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    when is the final? you only got down to four cars.
     
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  8. Blown Chances

    Blown Chances New Member

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    2 dragsters
    2 funny cars
    4 total. Sorry
     
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  9. Cap Racing

    Cap Racing New Member

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    I understand both sides of this argument. I can remember when they took the pro classes TF FC and Pro Stock out of NHRA divisionals for the same reason: money. And was it a good move? Well when that happened there was a shift from the independent guys having a place to run a fuel car in their own backyard to having to travel to national events. And the result was the regional fuel teams dropped like flies nearly overnight while the already touring national hitters like Pruhomme and others marched on. The good news was that the pro classes survived but on a NASCAR like circuit. Then you could run a fuel car on a 500,000 sponsorship and those guys did fine....for a while until it got to expensive for even popular names like John Collins, Dale Pulde and Rolland Leong to attract a sponsor willing to spend 1 million plus.

    I give credit to NHRA for addressing the elephant in the room. However, what happens to these divisional events without top alcohol cars? They loose any prestige they had left and division races become lame to the spectators and guys in other classes are racing in front of zero spectators at events without alcohol cars. Who wants to sponsor a deal like that? At that point why even run divisionals unless you're content with divisionals being like SCCA sports car club racing where an event is limited to just the racers only?

    What has been lost over the years is the creativity to make these NHRA divisional events a spectacle that will attract a big enough paying crowd. You and I know watching an A/fuel or any kind of a blown car is spectacular but why isn't the word getting out to draw new people in?

    I say bring back the jets, the wheelstanders and add a budget Pro Comp class to supplement the declining Top Alcohol cars. Then at races where you have short fields there will still be some blown cars to keep the action going.

    Kudos to NHRA for addressing the problem and wanting to keep the class going BUT they better have a plan B for those events that lose the alcohol cars because it's going to be a BIGGER ghost town than it already is at NHRA divisional events.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  10. rognelson777

    rognelson777 New Member

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    simple, keep all the same except the following. if not 8 cars to run 1st round, no points and payout is adjusted accordingly. How many national hitters travel so they can be in soft fields and get the most points possible. If you want full payout, must be full field.
     
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  11. Ro Yale

    Ro Yale Member

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    I thought it was the economy causing the low turn outs. Anybody happen to notice the entries in Bakersfield last weekend. 16 car fields with 33 entries and several past alcohol drivers. I ain't judgin', I'm just sayin'.
     
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  12. The Zone

    The Zone Member

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    From someone in the nether region of a division travel is certainly a huge cost. Having tracks that want Alky cars is also a huge deal.

    Since they are a feature class at the divisionals it pisses me off that some divisions charge the TA classes to race. But those tracks that do likely are ones that really don't want them anyway.

    I think it should be a three region system.

    the question is should div 1,2 and 3 be one region, 4 and 5 is a not brainer I think and then 6 and 7 are the third.

    or should 1 and 2 be a region, then 3,4,and 5 be one, then 6 and 7 be the final one.


    SInce I am from the far North West (and canada yet) I don't really the geographic logistics for the two east coast regions, if they decide on three.

    Whatever they decide 10, 10 and 10 seems pretty good. If only two regions then I guess 15 and 15. But man the travel is extensive.
    On a purely selfish aspect. Division 6 has only one national event but four very good tracks that host these cars. Two of the non national event tracks up here, Mission and Woodburn love the Top Alky cars and both have pretty good crowds for their races. (Spokane is decent for fans as well). I would hope that they would both get those classes. Division 7 has 6 nationals but only four with TA. I don't know if Phoenix wants them or Sonoma for that matter.

    Based on 39 races right now and a payout of 16k for each division (i think that is right)
    112k divided by three regions = 37, 333 So say 40k per division

    1 12,000
    2 8,000
    3 6,000
    4 4,000
    5 3,000
    6 2,500
    7 2,000
    9 1,500
    10 1,000 total 40,000 (then the national champ should see 50,000, r/u 20,000, 3rd 15,000 4th 10,000 and fifth place 5,000 total 100,000

    To win a regional race minimum 4,000, r/u 2,000, semi 1,500 each and first round 1,000 each (500 each for dnq) total purse is 17k x 2 TAFC and TAD class.

    Don't charge for entry, but at least 2-4 teams have be available for displays leading up to event for promotion at local malls etc. Auto store etc. Push for local media to be a part of the event. Give the tracks incentive to want to be a part of the regions hosting the TA classes.


    Yes there are increases to the purses and a few tracks will grumble, but the tracks that wants the deal will look at the potential and say yes.

    Especially the good tracks that don't have nationals. The good tracks that do have nationals (Like Norwalk and Englishtown can help with promotion ideas for other tracks).

    Just a few ideas I think it can work but I would like to see three regions


    Dean
     
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  13. Dave Germain

    Dave Germain New Member

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    Dean

    I like Dean's idea. Sounds like a well thought out plan. One point that I would like to make is that the tracks that don't seem to welcome the TA classes are the same one's who don't look for sponsors for their events and are satisfied with the back gate profits. Why bother with the tracks who are only running half-assed programs anyway? Tracks like Mission and Woodburn who market their divsion events get great crowds and I would rather run there anyway. Racing at the Seattle division event is like racing in Death Valley. There isn't anybody in the stands. I bet the neighbors don't even know there is a race that weekend. Dave Germain
     
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  14. ITS IN MY BLOOD

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    Seattle has a track,...????

    lol..........:p
     
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  15. Will Hanna

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

    Dean,

    Good points. I would prefer to see a 3 region deal myself. Maybe enough tracks will get on board when push comes to shove to swing that.

    If the number of total races is 30, for the most part, you will have the same racers go to certain events whether it's 3 regions or 2. That's going to be a 'paradigm' shift we have to keep in our heads. It's not like the current deal where the top racers will be at every race in their division.

    Unfortunately the reality is that some teams just can't travel. Either they can't afford it or don't have the time.

    There is absolutely no chance we will see increased payouts at the event level in the forseeable future. We should be thankful if the year end purse total amount stays the same and doesn't get cut. We're getting our events cut because tracks are struggling then we want to ask for more money? Do we deserve more? In some cases, yes. But the bottom line is the track's bottom line.

    As I've said before the only shot in hell we have of ever getting a pay raise is to FIX the system and start having events that draw crowds. Supply and Demand. Increase demand and our price level can go up.

    To answer Ro's point about the CHRR in Bakersfield having a big car count, there is still a handful of events you can race a Nostalgia car at, and Bakersfield is the Indy of Nostalgia racing. Last year CHRR had 37 Nostalgia Nitro FC's, this year 33. Think you have to travel a bunch with your alcohol car. Depending on what part of the country you live in, you may have more match races somewhat local, but to chase a points series, you will log some miles.

    I guess we all have to sit back and wait to see what they are going to finalize. Trying to guess what tracks will have us back and how many races we'll have to run, etc., is a waste of time. I tried to figure it out and gave up. I just hope answers come sooner than later.
     
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  16. jeffj

    jeffj Member

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    For goodness sake! Car counts are low because the budget folks cannot afford to race or to race more. Making the "division" larger will reduce the number of cars due to increased travel and away from work costs. Enveloping more cars in the "division" competing for an 8 car qualified field will REDUCE interest for the budget teams and further reduce the car counts at any particular event.
    It is wonderful that NHRA met with some great racers to discuss the future, but, with all respect to that meeting and it's attendees, it might just be more to the point to meet with the alcohol racers that attend 3 or 4 races in their own geographic area and find out what it would take to get them to more races next year.
    The well funded folks are really not at issue here; they travel and race a lot already and might be willing to pay entry fees and race for no payout. What would that actually be? Ten cars in each class in the country? So 4 or 5 cars in each region? Lets cut to the chase and book in a match race for no payout.....good luck; that is not racing.
    At $8000 per class payout for a divisional show it is only $210 per pass for 8 cars doing 3 qualifying runs and the elimination rounds (8000/38=210). Perhaps 1/10 the cost of running that pass. Nobody can book these cars for anything like that money.
    As an overall comment, the tracks that are doing their job appreciate the alcohol show and the tracks that do not have not been doing their job. Generally it is often the case that these are also the substandard tracks as well. Consider that when looking at events with low car counts.
    In my experience when an event welcomes you there, has a good facility and makes an effort with track prep it is well attended because the racers go there to RACE.
    Just my opinion.
    Jeff Johnsen
     
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  17. Will Hanna

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

    I talked with NHRA again today, and they are still working hard to have any changes that will be made finalized and announced by Pomona.

    If they drop the events that have short fields year in and year out, it shouldn't have a drastic effect on the event's that are left. While it's anyone's guess how the rest of this will shake out, I'm sure Division 2 will be a significant part of the cuts. Mark Billington lives in Texas now, Melinda Green-King lives in Virginia and Mickey Ferro lives in Connecticut. So now D3 and D1 have two more cars. TAD has a few more cars, but it's not like you have 20 cars that will be rolled into the remaining events. If D3 were to drop Columbus and D1 Cecil County, are there that many cars that attend those events specifically?

    There might be a few more cars at each event. I don't see every race that had 8 cars this year go to 16 overnight.

    How they chop the points up is going to be as big as where we race. If they keep it 5 of 8 and 5 of 8 like it is now, you will probably have the national champion that is also one of the region champs. If they change it to 7 of 10 nationals and 3 of 5 divisionals, you have a better chance of some chasing the national points, in turn there is a better chance of a national champion that is different from the regional champs.
     
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  18. Jagger

    Jagger Member

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    I am so tired of hearing how we need to be "thankful" for the NHRA not cutting us "anymore" then we are already being cut. SO we are thankful they are at least using lube? I think not.....

    And all the complaints of D2 events..... Car counts sucked? Yes, yes they did.... But so didn't the none exsistant pay out.... $300 to qualify? Are you seriouse? Makes no financial sence for ANYONE to come out and play for $300. The Divisions that are being succesful is less in part due to the region they are in, but becouse the tracks see the potential of their races and spend time and money in ideas to bring the fans, rather then that same time being used to come up with moans and groans for why it doens't work.... You reap what you sow......

    Do you really think the fans in the southeast are less excited and passionate about Drag racing then the folks on the west coast or north east? There were 10,000 fans at the Pinks all out event at Zmax two years ago..... But everywhere you looked for months before the show you saw promoting on the highway bill boards, local news, local magazines etc......

    The full 8 car field deal will work at the Regional level becouse there are just enough teams out there that dont mind spending a million dollars traveling from BFE to a race. There were other great ideas out there circulating with Division reps but it seems they were shot down...... Good luck to everyone in 2012.....
     
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  19. Cap Racing

    Cap Racing New Member

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    With NHRA owning the Columbus track, do you really think they will drop that race after dropping the national event there? I'm sure they will get a regional.

    Also a friend of mine was saying that the Regionals will replace the divisionals so the divisional system is going away completely. I guess that makes sense as they can replace the old divisionals with national opens. After all a national open is nothing more than a divisional without top alcohol.
     
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  20. Will Hanna

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

    The divisional system is not going away. The regional deal is going to consolidate alcohol cars into 2 or 3 divisions or 'regions'.

    The latest I hear is there is a push for 3 regions instead of 2.
     
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