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NickHolt

Something to think about ... QuickTrax idea for area dirt tracks

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I'm sitting here in the VA waiting for my appointment... If you have ever been to the VA you know I'll have plenty of time to post this idea that I have been thinking about for quite some time.

 

How about an organization that coordinates the season schedules and class rules for Shady Oaks and South Texas Speedway as well as I-37 (or its replacement), Texana and Rio Grande when they come back to life. Let's name it the organization QuickTrax, or "QT" for short.

 

There would be common class rules developed for all the QT classes and a QT champion in each class. Classes could be something like the Modifieds, SportMods or Limited Mods (whatever they are called), Late Models, Limited LM and maybe a couple of stock-based fender classes. Not saying those are the classes that would be the QT classes - just throwing those out there as a possible scenario.

 

And judging from the amount of posts/controversy here on LSSZ, the stock fender classes would be the hardest to get on common rules. But once the dust settled those classes would then have the opportunity to grow in numbers without all the drama surrounding the rules differences between tracks.

 

The other part of the deal is that each of the tracks would run and enforce the QT rules for those classes all season. That should calm things down a bit.

 

So, here's how it might work:

 

1) A driver wanting to compete for the QT class championship and the QT point fund money, he/she simply declares a "home track" at some point and in order to be eligible. That driver would have to compete in at least two-thirds of the races held for their class at his/her "home track." This prevents some "outsider" from coming in and only running the QT events and taking the pot of gold back to Oklahoma or someplace. This also means that teams would have to support their "home track" all season in order to be eligible, which would be a plus for the tracks and their fans.

 

2) Each of the QT tracks would schedule a different QT night for each of the individual QT classes. On the designated QT night for that class, all the cars in that class from all the QT tracks would race at that track while the other three tracks wouldn't run them that night. That would mean that each track will have six different QT nights during their season - one QT night for each of the six QT classes.

 

3) Although any team in that class could run a QT event, they would not be eligible for QT points, QT Championship or QT pot of gold at the end of the season unless they compete in at least 2/3s of the events held at your declared home track.

 

So, at the end of the season if Driver X had competed in at least 2/3s of the races for his/her class held at a participating QT track, he/she would be eligible for the QT prize money whether he/she announced it ahead of time or not. That would allow for some flexibility by drivers who want to move around between the QT tracks for whatever reason.

 

4) QT tracks would run their QT events using their usual track procedures, purse structure and staff (flagman, scoring, corner workers, etc), but the tech for the QT class running that night would be done by QT tech officials.

 

Yes, there would be many issues and details to be worked out, but just think of the benefits:

 

1) Schedules would no longer conflict

 

2) Rules for all QT classes would be consistent for all member tracks.

 

3) Sponsors would be much more willing to come on board because they would get exposure at more than just one track.

 

4) New track owners/promoters would have a built-in set of rules and special events ready to be built into their schedule which would make acquiring that track more attractive.

 

And, yes, QT would have to work closely with local/regional series such as South Texas Street Stock Shootout, Southern Texas Late Model Series, national sanctioning bodies and any other series that may come into existence.

 

So, do you think such a plan might work?

 

Nick

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Nick,

I hate the VA. Even after my final appointment before I was discharged I was already hating the way they do business. I feel your pain! But at least you got to put your thoughts together for a good thing!!

:ph34r: Cheers, Dennis :ph34r:

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Actually, I've had more good experiences with the VA here in San Antonio than bad, but this time I had ample time to organize my thoughts, rewrite it a few times and post it with time left over to check out the classifieds!

 

I really didn't need to come up with any new thoughts about this proposal since I have been thinking about it for quite some time.

 

Nick

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I HAVE TALKED FOR YEARS ABOUT HAVING TEXAS RULES, 6 OR 8 CLASSES EACH TRACK COULD DECIDE WHICH CLASSES THEY WOULD RUN. MAYBE JUST SWITCH TO IMCA RULES, BEEN TALKING ABOUT IMCA FOR YEARS BUT NO TRACK WANTS TO MAKE TOO MANY CHANGES TO ANY CLASS. I THINK NICK NEEDS TO START THIS GOVERNING BODY AND ALSO CONVERT PAVEMENT TRACKS TO SAME RULES EXCEPT TIRES? I USED TO TO RUN CC SPEEDWAY AND STS WITH SAME CAR ONLY TIRE PRESSURE AND SWAY BAR ADJUSTMENT. JMO

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Seems like good theory, something similar to the IMCA or old Sunbelt Championship days. At least it seems like more and more tracks are attempting to work together so maybe this isn't too far off.

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I HAVE TALKED FOR YEARS ABOUT HAVING TEXAS RULES, 6 OR 8 CLASSES EACH TRACK COULD DECIDE WHICH CLASSES THEY WOULD RUN. MAYBE JUST SWITCH TO IMCA RULES, BEEN TALKING ABOUT IMCA FOR YEARS BUT NO TRACK WANTS TO MAKE TOO MANY CHANGES TO ANY CLASS. I THINK NICK NEEDS TO START THIS GOVERNING BODY AND ALSO CONVERT PAVEMENT TRACKS TO SAME RULES EXCEPT TIRES? I USED TO TO RUN CC SPEEDWAY AND STS WITH SAME CAR ONLY TIRE PRESSURE AND SWAY BAR ADJUSTMENT. JMO

other than adding weight and changing tires the 8 car has not had much of a problem jumping back and forth ..

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Actually, I've had more good experiences with the VA here in San Antonio than bad, but this time I had ample time to organize my thoughts, rewrite it a few times and post it with time left over to check out the classifieds!

 

I really didn't need to come up with any new thoughts about this proposal since I have been thinking about it for quite some time.

 

Nick

Same here in Austin at the new VA facility. I like the idea with the QT classes. Tracks working together makes it stronger for everyone..

 

..

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Great ideas. The "stock" fender classes have problem with rules everywhere, not just in Texas. When I raced in Tennessee back in the 90's, I would run headers at one track and change to manifolds for another track. Same with the tires. There was also vaccum rules at some tracks and compression rules at other tracks. If I were to race again, which can't happen because of money and health reasons, expense is what I would consider when coming up with rules. I would look at the distance between the tracks and how much time and money it would take to get to each track. In the early 2000's, I raced at Rio Grande Speedway and we all know it is way down there. I always wanted to go to Corpus and race but I never could afford it. Maybe some rules where it wouldn't cost as much to build a car to run everywhere, would allow some racers on a budget the ability to spend a little extra on gas money to get to the other places. Also, if something breaks at one track, it wouldn't take alot of money to get fixed for the next race. This is just my opinion. It will take a lot of work from racers and track owners, but it can work.

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The biggest problem with going to common rules is the amount of pure, unadulterated flack that is thrown by the naysayers at those trying to make things better for everyone. Sooner or later the tracks involved get fed up with all the boo-birds and constant bickering. I have seen tracks shuttered because of the B.S. the owner/promoter had to put up with.

 

That's one of the biggest reasons I keep this site going is to give some protection to those tracks who want a place where ideas can be discussed without all the hate and bitterness.

 

Several years ago I formed the Texas Track Owners and Promoters Association (TTOPA) for the three asphalt tracks that were running at the time -- Thunderhill Raceway (under Brian Calloway's leadership), CC Speedway (when Owen Pittman ran things down there) and San Antonio Speedway (Terry Dickerson had the track at that time). Basically the same concept as QuickTrax, only with a dumber name and designed for the asphalt tracks. Even though I gave it my best shot and a bunch of money from the grocery budget, IT FAILED miserably.

 

One of the three tracks suddenly backed out of the common rules for the Super Stocks (our 1st class to develop common rules and a three-track championship) and published their own SS rules the day before we were set to announce the TTOPA SS rules. The unspoken reason was because of all the flack that track received from their racers who would have to change this or that on their cars.

 

Common rules can be done and if done right will bring cars back out, fans back out and revenue to the track. Organizations such as QuickTrax gives sponsors a better chance for a return on their advertising $$ since their QuickTrax investment would be visible in markets wherever QT events were held.

 

It just takes someone without a particular vested interest (not a racer, for instance) and a reputation for being very firm but, hopefully, fair and who has a thick layer of alligator skin from years of abuse! LOL And it takes track managers who are willing to stay the course without giving in to the demands of folks who have to change something or other on their race car in order to run QuickTrax events.

 

Nick

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It would be a great deal if the tracks would get on board. Like SOS and STS are Doing now. They would have to find a common ground on the rules. A little change from both sides. Drivers will get over the rule changes. It would benefit all the tracks in the long run. Most of the time it's greed that kills it, afraid of losing cars to another track but if they would use common rules it would benefit them all. It would will help car count, payout and Fan support.

 

I would fully support it. With That said they also need good tech men.

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Sounds like Nick is volunteering.

Owen would be a good candidate too.

 

 

Owen would be my choice too. When he was at CC Speedway, he understood the TTOPA (QuickTrax) concept and backed it because he could see the benefits for all the tracks, not just his.

 

Nick

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RULES NEED TO BE WRITTEN AND POSTED FOR THE NEXT SEASON NOT THE UPCOMING SEASON TO GIVE PEOPLE TIME TO MAKE THE CHANGES. JMO

 

Absolutely... But first we have to actually have an organization to oversee this project!

 

And Owen would be just the right person to work with both Shady Oaks Speedway and South Texas Speedway and oversee the rebirth of I-37 Speedway and work with all the touring series too!

 

Nick

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This is the only way to not only survive but prosper. Tracks and Series changing and creating new rules and classes continually frustrate racers and creates a great deal of unneeded expense in their wake. Racers making rules would be awful. Only a handful could afford it.

 

The out of control cost of dirt late models brought forth the IMCA modified and a whole new thinking about racing due to claim rules. From this came USMTS, UMP, NCRA, WISSOTA, NASCAR, USRA and countless other modified sanctioning bodies with the same or close to the same car for a long time. This saved racers from themselves for a while but it is now tilting back to out of proportion. $50k modifieds are not rare now and this was not the intent. Technology is expensive and crippling to short track racer and track operators.

 

The Shootout series has saved Street Stocks in South Texas and is a good template for what happens when things are organized and run fairly.

 

What Nesmith has done in the SouthEast is awesome. They have great weekly purses, large car counts and good attendance. Before we hear about that is the way it is out there, talk to some folks out there about how they struggled track to track before the Nesmith series organized and offered something people wanted to be involved in.

 

Whatever happens in the South Texas racing world, there has to be orginization and buy-in from racers and tracks. There is safety in numbers. Dangerous business going on today with tracks going alone and not attracting enough racers or sponsor support. Very competitive world out there today in any business. WE have to provide a better product to survive and thrive. I love racing with large car counts, I hate it when there is more people in the pits than the stands to watch it. There has to be a Promoter and not an Operator for this to work.

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TSSA used to vote on rules about 14 months ahead of when they were in effect. The only time rules could be changed was the end of year meeting. Rules voted on in December 2014 would go into effect at the start of the race year 2016. That gave people plenty of time to switch and allowed new people to buy what they needed. They traveled all over Texas and Louisiana with an average of 30 plus cars. Greedy promoter killed the class but the group sure had a good following and organization.

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TSSA used to vote on rules about 14 months ahead of when they were in effect. The only time rules could be changed was the end of year meeting. Rules voted on in December 2014 would go into effect at the start of the race year 2016. That gave people plenty of time to switch and allowed new people to buy what they needed. They traveled all over Texas and Louisiana with an average of 30 plus cars. Greedy promoter killed the class but the group sure had a good following and organization

 

i like that rule system .14 months ahead ..unless its a big issue during a season should not be changed ...always will be miner things but most can be dealt with ..when it comes to changing big rules and alot of cars are going to be illegal on short notice .. not smart .at all ...the gain is minimal at best at a larger chance of loss ....

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the track with the most car count will always try to control there cars so they stay and play with them.little tweak here, little tweak there is all they need.jmt

 

edit or add on. the promoters need to also know that the pay hasn't really gone up in weekly racen. shoot lets say 20 years. and in some places some cases pay has gone down.

 

they need us we need them

Edited by j.j.&s.racing

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Yes, car count is critical. These days it's just as important to the survival of the track as the front gate - perhaps even more so. So allowing an outside group to have the final say over rules, etc, is very difficult.

 

But, frankly, it's the only way racing in S. Texas is going to survive.

 

Tracks are struggling in spite of the fact that the S. Texas economy is booming and booming big. Now is the time to pull together for the common good of all.

 

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

 

Nick

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All the asphalt tracks in western PA race under the same rules and most do not conflict on race dates. No rule that would cost money to change, other than a safety rule, can be changed with less than a 2 yr notice. That means that if someone comes up with some great idea in Jan 2015, it can't go into effect until Jan 2017. You'd be surprised how few rule changes there are!

Edited by hray

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