Top Alcohol/Nostalgia version of ADRL

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

  1. ITS IN MY BLOOD

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    I dont no where you got $5,000 if you qaulify from that is quite a bit more than one could only dream about, but if HAVE TO make 3 runs in Q to collect only $1500.00 that is not very realistic, 20 yrs ago if you were a big show name you would get $5,000.00 a pass at a show, now its $10 to $12,000 to run a pass for those guys, but these are not those guys so to keep it realistic 2 Q`s for $1500.00 is duable,..no pipe dreams here there is no money to be made if your a side show, but to help offset the costs just to get there always helps. Keep a positive outlook, dont be afraid to say Yes or No. Just keep it right for the racer.


    Bic
     
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  2. rb0804

    rb0804 Member

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    I think when the IHRA became a booked show, it left a large void in the racing world that needs to be filled. I have been waiting for something else to pop up. For us guys running a BAD (or trying to), you are very limited as to where you can run. The IHRA allows injected cars, but wants nothing to do with blown cars. As for some of the smaller backwoods orginizations, as soon as you mention a screw blower, most organizations won't let you run, add a Lenco to the mix, and your definitely on the outs. I always thought the Alcohol classes should (could) have been bigger then what they are today. It almost seems as though the NHRA treats them as a joke and only worries about the Nitro cars. I would support your efforts as much as possible, but I am stuck here on the east coast. Good luck
     
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  3. hemi altered 378

    hemi altered 378 Blown Altered

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    there are alot of good running altereds that have no place to race....just a thought.
    Darren
     
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  4. Cap Racing

    Cap Racing New Member

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    I agree. We have a blown alcohol car but it's not a top alcohol car so we got stuck in top dragster. A year or two ago they changed the size of the field to 64 cars which open gates to the super comp cars. As a result many of those cars are drive to the line and drive back cars so they outlawed pickups as tow vehicles. That finally made us realize that our equipment was not conducive to the current top dragster model plus the TD class is now boring as a result of being another super comp without the choker. So we are now racing Top Eliminator West as a result. I know there are a lot of low buck blown alcohol cars in the same situation we are in and I'm willing to bet such a series you describe will bring out a lot of dragsters that are sitting looking for a place to race. I was hoping that this would be AHRA's role but I was wrong.

    Also, I'd like to add a Pro Comp class where the slower alcohol cars would have a home. This would include blown alcohol funny cars, dragsters and altereds on a pro tree, no dial in, but maybe a 6.50 max limit to keep the costs from getting out of control.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  5. troysitko

    troysitko New Member

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    A Good Show

    I've been thinking about something similar, Will, but I had thought that kind of show would bring people out to the divisionals. You came up to Canada to race at Mission Raceway Park with us and, as you saw, lots of quality cars (Shields was in the teens, Thompson and Hough running 5.60s), exciting racing, but there were about 20 people in the stands and I am pretty sure 10 of them work security for the track.

    If the Nostalgia Funny Cars and Dragsters were run along with TAD and TAFC as professional classes at these events and tickets were like $10 a day, or $25 for all three days, those stands would be packed. People would buy the beer, the french fries and the ice cream. Would a track owner rather see 20 people in the stands for $40 each ($800), or 2,500 people in the stands for $10 each ($25,000)?

    And, if the payout was $1,500 first round instead of $600, it would make the decision to go racing that much easier, therefore you'd have higher car counts. As Mr. Sereda said, living in Edmonton, it's costing us Alberta racers double our first round money just for gas to get to our closest divisional. If we could all break even by qualifying and have some cash to grab some pizza and beers Sunday night, we'd go to all of them.
     
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  6. Will Hanna

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

    There are a couple of division directors sympathetic to the cause, but there aren't enough track owners or higher ups in NHRA or Lucas that honestly care about getting a crowd to a divisional to turn the existing 30 year old structure on it's head. Ultimately this is what is GOING to lead to the alcohol classes either paying their way through entry fees at divisionals or just getting dropped altogether in the next 3-5 years. The writing is on the wall, whether or not you want to read it. I just don't see the divisional tracks that don't try to get a crowd continuing to 'trot' the alcohol cars out there at a loss. The divisional just isn't packaged as an entertainment show anymore. It's more of a bracket race than a show. The tracks stand to make more money if they don't have to pay for a headliner for their bracket race. I've talked to fans that have went to the HRP giveaway tickets for the divisional. They enjoy watching the alcohol cars, TD/TS and the faster cars, Comp, wheelstanding SS and Stockers, but the deal is just so drawn out between the entertaining classes, it's a long day to watch two Top Alcohol qualifying sessions. Sometimes they put these deals on in the heat of the day in the middle of the summer and wonder why nobody came out.

    The NHRA Nationals and ADRL Nationals have a condensed, fast paced show.

    By charging normal retail for tickets, you may create more front gate revenue, but you give up a lot in sponsorship potential. If you're talking packing Mission Raceway or any other divisional track, you're probably talking 5000. I don't think you're going to do much better in a national event track/market for paying fans. I guarantee you every version/package of entertaining cars, alcohol cars included has been used to try to bring a paying crowd, and I doubt many have brought much more than 8-10k, and that would be a really, really good day.

    There's just something about a free ticket. Case in point, at a local track I used to help, their biggest crowd was a race a bunch of car clubs put on that did a giveaway. Those people came out to watch the Hot Camaro Club of Houston run the Old Guys with Impala SS Club grudge race down the track. The winner raced one of the guys from the We think Trucks are Really Hot Rods Club. You get the picture.

    Maybe I'm wrong and the ADRL's success has everything to do with Pro Mods and nothing to do with the free ticket. As I've stated, I think the real formula is free ticket+quality entertainment. I think TAD/TAFC/NFC/NTF=quality entertainment.

    Your going to have a hard time going much past local entrepreneurs for a race with a homerun crowd being 5000. Corporate America/Canada just isn't going to bite or pay much for that. When you show you can deliver 20,000 per race per day, you have something to bend their ear a bit.

    I think the tracks will jump on board for the concessions and a peice of the parking/vendor pie.

    Thinking big picture, down the road business strategy, I think the potential is there to develop this into something that can make up for lost front gate revenues with event and series sponsorship.

    Vic, I just pulled 5k up as a bit of an exaggeration. Obviously no purses are set, or anything else at the moment. Hopefully the entire package brings enough value to the pro teams to make up for what little bit of purse money it may lack initially. Hell if we get the big crowds, they should be able to generate that few hundred bucks in T-Shirt sales.
     
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  7. troysitko

    troysitko New Member

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    Free Tickets

    I've got to agree with you, Will. A guy wants to introduce his kids to racing, but if he's got 3 or 4, he is going to be strapped to pay whatever it costs to watch a national event and buy the kids candy and t-shirts. He will spend money on t-shirts and junk food though if the tickets he's got are free and he gets a great show with a lot of diversity (such as Pro Mods, TAD, TAFC, NFC and NTF).

    To have these kind of events would be a blessing to drag racing as long as the right people were involved. And, for the racers, have some originality when it comes to any extra prize money. Sure a best appearing car or low et award are welcome, but how about things like a long distance award for the guy that drove from Texas to Canada, or an award for the guy that had the best average ET who made both or all three qualifiers? A couple hundred bucks here and there sure does help the little guy out.
     
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  8. rb0804

    rb0804 Member

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    I think that the fast paced condensed show is what the fans like. I went to the IHRA race at MIR this year and was quite surprised at the pace of the show. They ran the 'Pro cars' and the Top Dragster and Top Sportsman and that was it (jet cars at the end of course). No real bracket racing, no drawn out day. By the time you had seen everything run, they were coming back up again. The only thing that really sucked about it was the down time when someone oiled the track down. I understand that this is part of racing, but not only is this costly for the track, it often times aggravates the fans, especially if there is more then one lengthy oil down. To touch on the free ticket, I don't remember the actual number, but I remember reading that a majority of the people who attended an ADRL event had never been to a drag race before. I would think that this is due to the free ticket, and why not? It looks exciting, sounds exciting, and best of all, you don't have to pay admission to check it out.
     
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  9. jrfuel250

    jrfuel250 New Member

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    We have a N/TF and would love other places to race....It would be pretty cool to run in front of that kind of crowd. Rumor has it that the Good Guys may not be running drags at Indy and Norwalk next year.
     
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  10. BLOWN INCOME

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    Jrfuel,per all the info at maple grove this weekend that is no longer a rumor ...
    Indy race goes to go heritage series ....
    Norwalk to blue suede (be nice for a heritage series there to)...
    I think both will get a ton of 7.0 pro cars...depending on schedule conficts(other nitro n/fc races),they should get all the fuel n/fc they want....
     
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  11. BLOWN INCOME

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    To please almost everone, i feel the old pro-comp style is a place for everyones type of car (DRAGSTERS,ALTERED,F/C's)
    Roots blower style
    would bring a huge car count ....
    All should be in the mid to low 6 sec. range....ALOT OF OLD 6.20 CARS SITTING AROUND..

    Santo
     
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  12. Darren Smith

    Darren Smith New Member

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    Why Fracture the current state of Alcohol racing? Some divisions are struggling to field cars now, why thin the herd even more? Reminds me of these Dirt tracks who have 20+ cars in 3 classes, but decide to add a couple of classes. So now instead of 3 classes of 20 cars, your getting 5 classes of 8-12!
     
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  13. Cap Racing

    Cap Racing New Member

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    this year they did a big old funny car race at Atco and the tickets were 25.00 PER CAR LOAD and they still had a low turnout and the promoters lost a lot of money. But on the other hand IHRA did quite well this year so I don't know what the answer is other than the way you promote it. I promote a big out door car show thats free with a lot of drag racing talent including ed jones' fire show, a top fuel fire up etc. and it does quite well. But even so a nitro junkie said to me he 'he might stop by" So here we had a spectacular show going, the only Top Fuel dragster fire up in the state, tons of drag racing cars and this guy can't seem to find the time to go to this free show on a hot summer night in his own home town. i guess it comes down to getting peoples' lazy butts off the couch.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  14. Slayer

    Slayer Member

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    The topic was touched on earlier in this thread and it is 90% promotion, promotion and promotion. You can succeed at selling tickets to watching ice melt if you can promote and market it properly. Our local little track has a VIP night a couple of times a season that has free tickets. Those nights have the most spectators hands down. They also have a cruise night and grudge race presented by two well know locol disc jockies with free entry for all and the spectator count at 10,000 plus EVERY week that the weather is good. This cruise night saves tis track financially every week. One thing about free tickets, they will get more spectaters butts in the stands but if you want repeat spectators, you can't surprise them with a $20 to $50 (50 is unreasonable to me) parking fee. They won't come back. It should be on the ticket what the cost is. If this is going to fly you want the spectator to have a great time and not feel screwed. Just my two cents worth.
     
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  15. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    starting point

    Darren, what I'm preaching is building the show the divisionals should be doing now. I started pitching this idea to NHRA earlier this year, for NHRA to do. The economic outlook is too tough right now for tracks to keep on eating the losses the alcohol cars generate. I refuse to keep looking through rose colored glasses and think that the current state of alcohol racing at divisionals is sustainable. We can talk until we're blue in the face, and I have, about things they could do to make it work, to make it better. At the end of the day the tracks owners/managers are where the rubber meets the road on this deal. If they want a backgate event, that's what they're going to do.

    I've seen photo highlights from a lot of nostalgia races that have empty stands just like some of the divisionals.

    Some could say I'm a bit of a "Top Alcohol" purist, or maybe I'm sipping my own Kool-Aide, but my business education/background smells money on this deal. I've kept a close eye on the ADRL over the past few years. I'm very confident this deal could rival their success.
     
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  16. smblkbob

    smblkbob Member

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    Great idea, hope something can come of it. We run Top Fuel and it's been a slow season this year.

    This is just my opinion but first round loser money has to be better than $1,500 to attract the cars.
    Here's why and it directly relates to perhaps Good Guys not running certain classes in 2011.

    Good Guys pays $1,500 1st round loser in our class. Problem is, many match races pay much better than that based on a 2-3 run show.
    We had to beg off on Norwalk this year simply because we HAD to go 2 rounds to break even just on towing/motel costs.
    Simple math, use up your stuff on guaranteed money or take a chance. This is the reason many races have come up with short fields.
    People were out doing the guaranteed stuff or saving it for a show.

    Whether it's cheaper to run a Top Alky car or a nostalgia top fueler is moot as the cost to get there is the same for both.
    I'll take my chances on winning but I won't take the chance on losing money just hooking up the trailer.

    While some will argue, "well you're not a real racer", the fact is everyone is looking at the known costs if you go out first round. It can happen to anyone.

    In the East there are plenty of Nostalgia Top Fuel cars available but $2,000 1st round with 2 qualifying rounds is what it would take to get the cars. Even that is short what they would get match racing.
    My opinion is the purse for each class has to be fatter at the bottom than at the top.
    It's meaningless if the Win money is say, $5,000, if nobody shows up and the purse is cut for less than full field. Better to pay the majority of the purse to everyone and race for the win.

    My feeling is a series of sorts would have to be based on the cars that are actually running a specific geographical area. The West coast has the nostalgia A/Fuelers but very few on the east coast.
    West has lots of Jr Fuelers but not so much in the east but you get the picture.

    Bob
     
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  17. Goldy

    Goldy New Member

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    Will, Very interesting cocept, I will be watching out for the progress. I have two Nostalgia funnycars and an old AA/FD so I have a dog in this fight. I race on the East coast now. I guess that I can follow your progress on this site. Good luck Goldy
     
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  18. Will Hanna

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

    I guess the silence from any major TAD/TAFC competitors is a good sign this was one of my pipedream ideas...

    I'll put this one up on the shelf until we need it down the road....
     
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  19. john348

    john348 Top Alcohol

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    Will
    If NHRA was smart they would hire the Bater's to consult all the divisional tracks on how to promote a divisional race.
    Norwalk D3 race had to shut the gates at 5pm, over 45,000 people there for a divisional race, they is a lot of knowledge to be learned from Bill Sr and son on how to do this right..
     
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  20. DQUES

    DQUES Member

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    Now where did the Baders get the idea to give away free tickets to put asses in the stands and make the money off of concessions and merchandise . Pretty sure all they did was copy the blueprint of the ADRL and Kenny Nowling , not a bad idea at all ! . The fans will not spend their money if they are turned off by high gate prices (especially in this economy) , let them in for free and get 10-20 bucks from each of them minimum at the concession/t-shirt shack/beer stand etc.. . Plan on Saturday being the big draw and bring in some outside entertainment , it works judging by the ADRL success and the D3 event at Norwalk .
     
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