Top Alcohol/Nostalgia version of ADRL

Discussion in 'System One Pit Buzz' started by Will Hanna, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    Let's ride Charlie the trolley to the land o' make believe for a minute...

    8-10 Events, similar to ADRL structure
    Midwest to western US/Canada
    4 Pro classes: TAD/TAFC/Nostalgia FC, Nostalgia TF (maybe front and rear engine?)
    Possibly big money TD/TS dial in fields
    Events in major markets for 500,000+ free ticket distribution. Quality facilities to handle large crowds.
    All classes would be 1/4 mile under current NHRA Rules.
    Mock payout for Pro classes (8 car field):
    Winner: $5,000
    R/U: $3,500
    Semi: $2,500
    Qualify: $1,500
    2 day show, 3 qualifying sessions, 3 rounds.

    I think you get the picture I'm trying to paint. Those 4 classes would put on one hell of a show. If you take the alcohol classes and run them like a pro entertainment class rather than a sportsman/bracket class like they do at divisionals, the show could be much more entertaining.

    I have to tip my hat to Kenny and the guys at ADRL. They've done a fine job of marketing door car racing and building a sanctioning body. Door cars have been big in the east/southeast for years, and that's where the bulk of their schedule is concentrated. You can just about draw a line down the middle of the country, and on the west side of that line, you have a lot more alcohol and nostalgia cars than pro mods.

    I think the basis of ADRL's format is to provide quality, exciting heads up racing for a free ticket. Many LODRS events have done ticket giveaways and done well with them, but at the end of the day, an ADRL show is more entertaining to watch because it's non-stop heads up racing. Most LODRS events are 'races' more than they are shows. There is little to no effort put into packaging them in an entertaining format for the fans (there are a few exceptions). Pro mods are entertaining and a draw, but so are the alcohol and nostalgia cars. I think ADRL's success has more to do with the formula of providing exciting, fast heads up racing more than all door cars, all the time. What the alcohol cars may lack in pomp and show to the Pro Mods, they make up for with performance. The A/F and nostalgia categories would bring the nitro. I think if you take the existing alcohol cars and put them front and center as professionals, you'll see some of that "pomp and show" return. You see some of that with what the IHRA is trying to do with the A/FD's.

    It's a diverse and quite different crowd at these ADRL events than the usual NHRA national. I think you see a lot more of the gear heads that hang out or race at the local track, but can't afford to get the family out to a national. Then you'll have the crowd that walks by and gawks at your fire bottles and tells his buddy how he just knew you were using NOS or "nitro's." You'll also have your moderate and dedicated fans there to take advantage of the free ticket. You roll those 4 professional classes out there with a side of TD/TS racing out there non stop, you can put on a hell of a show for anyone that calls themselves a drag racing fan.

    Procedurally, I don't think the 'outlaw' model would apply to the alcohol/nostalgia ranks. On the nostalgia side, it could get real expensive real quick. The outlaw model worked for ADRL because there were a large number of outlaw pro mods to build from when the ADRL started. There are no outlaw TAD's, TAFC's out there. There are a couple sets of rules out there in nostalgia land, but again, most have cars to race within rules. I think you have to keep the rules pretty close to the same, if not exactly the same so cars could cross over easily. Same holds for track distance.

    Well, here comes Charlie the trolley back from the land 'o make believe. Just like sitting and dreaming of building your dream race car, the biggest obsticle between the dream and reality is usually money. The ADRL would not be where it is without serious underwriting from Tommy Lipar and Dave Wood. To put races on of this scale cost some money. When you start digging into it, printing and distributing that many free tickets has a pretty good pricetag on it alone. Just like most businesses, they had the capital to make it through the start up losses to get it to a point it was profitable. With Shiek Khalid al Thani now holding a majority interest, they'll never want for capital.

    For those of you wondering how a race that gives away all it's tickets makes money. The track makes a killing off concessions with a big crowd. Big crowd draws vendors. If you can consistently pack the house with 20,000 to 30,000 plus on a single day, you have a product to sell event and series sponsorship. No it will never be as good as packing the house with paying tickets, but there's never going to be another NHRA to knock them off as top dawg.

    I'd like to hear from some racers/team owners, even fans on your thoughts. Is this just Will Hanna's pipedream? Or is there enough interest among teams to make this a reality?

    First step is gauging interest. Next step is finding the capital.
     
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  2. notbeenracing

    notbeenracing New Member

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    Let's go racing! As I can only be a fan, I like to see the Alcohol cars and Pro Mods and all the others you have listed. Ticket costs are a factor, I want to get more of my friends to go with me but they won't spend the big money to go to a national event, this sounds like a great way to get more people there, good luck with this, I will do my part to get more people to go spend money on the concessions. What other tracks do you think we could use in Northern Calif. besides Sacramento raceway?

    Will Hanna; Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  3. Ro Yale

    Ro Yale Member

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    Great idea!
     
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  4. nitrodude

    nitrodude Nostalgia Top Fuel

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    ???????????????

    What's wrong with the East ??????
     
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  5. GregM784

    GregM784 Member

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    Redding!
    Much more 'racer friendly' than Sac from my experience.

    There is Sears Point, Bakersfield, then North to Oregon, there are a few
     
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  6. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    few thingsIf y

    I forgot to mention it may be a free ticket, but ADRL charges anywhere from $10 to $50 to park (50 in the pits, but at some races, that's all that's left). There's a lot of revenue there.

    I don't have anything against the east, especially around the D1/D3 border, lots of cars and good tracks in that neck of the woods. I think coming up with the backing to get an 8 race series would be a good start. ADRL has kind of had their pick of the best markets in the east, I think there are some good markets in the west to be had, plus the majority of the nostalgia car count is midwest to west.

    In a perfect world, you would have a big enough deal to have an East to West deal, maybe even two divisions. Before we can start talking about that, we have to see if the racers would support something like this and if we can come up with the backing to get something like this off the ground with a 6-8 race deal.

    If you the racers will get behind me, I'll start beating the bushes for the capital.
     
    #6
  7. Will Hanna

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

    Not to mention, this is just a rough draft idea. I think the more input the better. Maybe there's more interest and backing to run it on the East coast? We need racers to sound off.
     
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  8. Blown Chances

    Blown Chances New Member

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    Im there dude

    I've got the FC at the chassis shop getting all the updates. Me and Marvin the martian will come put on a show for ya bud. We can even bring Mr. Excitement out of retirement if you want to draw a crowd.

    Flash
     
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  9. Greg Sereda

    Greg Sereda New Member

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    I would support this format if there were tracks close enough to home in the Mid -North West. Being up in Edmonton you have to travel a long ways to making events in the U.S.
    I do not think that the only way to bringing in large crowds is giving away free tickets but to have the tickets reasonable priced and with in peoples means.
    I went to the Indy race in Edmonton and had Budweiser tickets that included a Beer, burger and chips and admission costs was less than $50.00 and they were better seats than my wife $170.00 ticket.

    TAD 699
    Greg Sereda
     
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  10. Danny Miller

    Danny Miller New Member

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    In the mid-west we have the DRO series that needs a little work at certain tracks but draws well at others. It pays better than what you have listed and has only 2 qualifying passes which is better for the nitro funny car racers as the cost per run is much higher than alcohol. I know how much money an alcohol funny car costs to build and am not dising them only saying the round money needs to be higher or most of the mid-west nitro cars won't come because they can't afford to. We are mostly working class people and can only afford so much before we park or sell the toys.

    The general layout is good and needs our support. Travel issues also need to be looked at. Maybe two zones (west of the mountains and east of the mountains). The west coast has a much larger group of cars but the mid-west gets paid better to race. I know it is not about making a living but again the owners back here are cash challenged and need to cover cost of operation or most will quit.

    Just my thoughts.

    Danny
     
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  11. Will Hanna

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

    My buddy Burk has done a good job for the midwest guys.

    If there is more money there, I'd like to pay the racers even more. 4 Pro classes at the above payout is $78,000 payout. That's just a model to start initial budgeting. It's going to take a big chunk to get this off the ground. If I'm going to be involved, I'd like to see a mutually beneficial situation for all parties. Hopefully the fans, racers, investors, and tracks all walk away happy at the end of the day.

    As far as operational costs go, to run at the top of any of those classes, I don't think any of them are cheaper or more expensive. It cost quite a bit to field a competitive alcohol car.

    If this is going to turn into an us vs them deal on what class costs more, which is better, etc., it isn't going to work.

    At the end of the day if we can create a series that these 4 classes are the show in front of 20,000 single day crowds, that's really something to offer a sponsor.
     
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  12. Dave Koehler

    Dave Koehler Member

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    A/F nudge, nudge. Might be more of them available than T/F. Still noisy, still stinky!
     
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  13. jim phillips

    jim phillips ta/fc

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    ta/fc sounds pretty good will all thats missing is the money screw are roots blowers
     
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  14. JJ Kumre

    JJ Kumre Member

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    Hell Ya

    I really like the idea... As a Nostalgia series racer the biggest problem is since NHRA took it over the cost of racing go up payouts...not so much.
    I know of 1 Nostalgia T/F team that would LOVE an option and I would be several others would jump....
    How about Nostalgia A/FD, blown alky and injected front motored cars?? Run 6.30 range and it could be renamed Pro-Comp like the old days...
    I hope this gets legs...
     
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  15. TAD529

    TAD529 Member

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    Tad

    It sure would be nice to have another venue to run TAD in the midwest & west coast. I would support it.I think Will has a GOOD idea.Plus I like the trolley part HAHA
     
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  16. Will Hanna

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

    Keep the feedback rolling. Hopefully this thing snowballs...

    Dave, A/F would be included in the TAD class. A/F vs Blown just like it is. Maybe one day there would be enough cars and enough backing to split the two like ADRL does.

    I would hope to have the budget to be able to add a regional class, depending on where the dates were. Most of the nostalgia A/F guys are out west. Maybe in the midwest/southwest we could bring in the outlaw fuel altereds, Aaron Sipple is trying to get a Pro Top Outlaw dragster deal going, there's a couple of nostalgia alky circuits, etc.

    Keep in mind this would have to be at tracks that have crowd capacity of 20k+. It's just not feasible, at least not the whole package, at smaller venues.

    Email your racer friends, spread the word.
     
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  17. secondwindracing

    secondwindracing top alcohol

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    love this idea.......sound like a good thing...Dave
     
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  18. suddendebt

    suddendebt Blown Altered

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    Okay sounds great!

    what are the thoughts an all the other types of nostalgia racing?

    I.E. fuel altereds, gassers, and all the others?

    Just food for thought, there are alot of us in the midwest and west that are just in a limbo state most of the year while we wait on our match race dates to arrive.
     
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  19. ITS IN MY BLOOD

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    Will,....
    What Danny I think was trying to say is that the Nostalgia fuel cars already have a base pay that is tight to negotiate and most times is less than rewarding, and that the Top Alky alcohol cars can run for less, not saying it costless to run one but this is not a national event or divisional race and we already know that pay is in the toilets.
    The point is there are too many alky cars that are willing to run at shows for Peanuts because they are use to peanuts,..thanks NHRA,..and the majority of Nostalgia fuel cars wont run there cars that and for that meager cash,..yet there is always some guys that will run for what is offered and that in return sets the standard or pay for the rest.
    Racers all need to NOT settle for what is offered and ask for MORE,..THEY deserve it,THEY are the show. Pay them well.
    another question from your first post I have is,...If you gave away 500,000 tickets and say 200,000 of them peeps actually show up,..how will you turn them away because the Venue cannot hold more than 30,000,..so then how would there be money made if it was based on even half of the free tickets that might show up ?? or where you saying 500,000 free tickets produced and handed out threw out the 8-10 race deal ????

    I like the idea of anyone other than the nhra trying to hold races and I applaude you Will for coming out, you are for the racers and we all know that, whatever class we run in, so just remeber if your working onsomething think BIG, for the racer,.NOT the minimum.

    Just kicking this but, the $1500 to qaulify..do you have to make ALL three runs to get the qaulifying money,..??? or can one go out nail the ET on the first run and not have to make any more to get the Q cash..???


    Bic Filler
     
    #19
  20. Will Hanna

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

    Vic,

    I'd love to say I was going to put a deal together where it was $5000 just to qualify. Maybe one day it will get there. Note we are on the drawing board, not even ground floor yet. If this deal moves forward, securing the backing is going to be hard enough with the above posted purses, much less raising them significantly. If the backing shows up in the way of investors and big sponsors, then if there's room, I'd like to see more go into the purses. If it were ever to go to a 16 car deal, then the purses have to double there, so keep that in mind. The main thing this has to be structured as a business, with a business plan that can generate ROI. Not just a pie in the sky dream.

    As far as giveaways go, it's the same concept as mass mailers. I don't think if you gave out 500k you would get anywhere near 200k try to come, or even 100k. I think at several ADRL events they have had to turn people away around the 40,000+ mark. Turning people away would be a great problem to have! Yes, that was a per event figure. Keep in mind if you call ADRL and ask for a few tickets, they send you a box. Also to use that ticket, you have to fill it out with your contact info when you come through the gate.

    Like I said in the original post, there are a number of revenue streams. You have to pay to park. I think at some of the bigger races it's $20 to park in spectator parking now. I'm just going to take a stab that if you averaged spectators to cars, it would be slightly over 2 to 1. So if you have 20,000 spectators, 10,000 cars. That's 200,000 right there. Believe it or not, it seems there are some people who show up without a free ticket and have to buy one. They sell ticket upgrades to get into the Top Eliminator club seats. The track will obviously do well with concessions. As you show as an organization you can deliver 20,000+ at each venue, you have events and a series that are worth a good chunk of change for event sponsors and a series sponsor.
     
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