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rebelracewriter

.....and we lose another one......1-2 for April....not a good sign for

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Red River Speedway

Dear Red River Speedway (RRS) Fans, Racers and Workers:

We are going to take a break from the dirt track racing activities at RRS until further notice.

We will let you all know if we decide to host a special event at some point in the future, but for now we have no dirt track events scheduled.

Note that our dragstrip, Wichita Raceway Park is not affected by this announcement.

The owner of this complex has a very very full schedule with his primary business, and doesn't have the ability to 'clone' himself to do both at once - which is what a facility this size requires - especially since the other business is in Ft. Worth.

If you by chance are an individual that has the means and the amount of time required to purchase this facility, that is an option we might consider too. Serious inquiries - only - can be directed to us via private Facebook message on this page.

Thanks for your past support, and we will let you know if and when we decide to host another dirt track event at RRS.

Sincerely,

Craig and Teresa Martin, RRS and WRP owners.

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Loosing tracks is not a good thing as most will not recover. In south Texas the loss of Rio Grande Speedway in 2013 is still being felt.

 

It would be interesting if you would post sometime what Texas tracks are doing well, the classes they host, the success of each class and location./ Believe it or not many racers are not aware of other places. Its true communication is our greatest hurdle.

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I know Cotton Bowl in Paige usually has 100+ cars a week and Kennedale had just under 200 April 2. Heart of Texas usually has close to 100 a week. I miss RGS , that was a neat place. Last time I was by there they had a carnival on the site.BTW , I saw a Austin Carter was 3rd at KSP, any relation Mr. Thumper?

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No, my brother Austin was one of the best drivers in anything he drove including the alcohol burning 406 modifieds of the past but he has health problems that ended his racing. Man he was fun to watch, an old school Kyle Bush.

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yep gb I agree he use to work you over in that yota .I sorta made a mistake in giving him some spring ideas when he first started racing cc ..sorry he has some health issues hope he heals .tell

him mikie said hello ..actually gb the only time you ever gave me a truthful complement was when I was out in front of you in that mustang trying to figure out the handling problem for the owner and showed you the headlights going into turn three and four and never really got off the throttle much and saved it and kept right going .. saying you thought Austin was driving that car in a sort of way was a big complement I have never forgotten ..I wished I had not got out of driving back then Austin and I would have had some interesting races ..and I am sure he would of taken me to school..

Edited by HiTech

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I agree cody . red river was having a tough time getting the fans out to the track way back in 08 when we raced there three times and it wasn't for lack of cars or advertisement I don't know the reasons now ..sad deal ...a lot of track promoters are scratching their heads trying to find a way to make fans happy and keep them coming and that makes it even harder on them when you have umpteen drivers not happy and cars not showing up .its not like the old days when there wasn't much to do other than .go to the races or the movie shows ..a track who can figure how to get more fan involvement somehow will have better luck ..you see tracks with tons of car counts and some really great racing and still cant fill the stands ..we talk about the cost of race cars now .and the purses are not that great to even offset the cost .hell we use to get more or the same in purse money in same classes 20 years ago . big car counts don't always draw the fans in .what is the answer . your guess is as good as any so far no one has had the right combo yet . I would like to know which track in texas makes a profit ..

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I am increasingly aware that one of the factors that comes into play when the decision is made to close a track is simply the attacks they experience on social media. I personally know promoters who have thrown in the towel citing the negativism on social media as one of the reasons why they threw in the towel.

 

In two of those cases I am familiar with, the promoter/owner was well-heeled enough to carry on financially if he wanted to, but in both cases the relentless personal attacks on Facebook and under-moderated racing forums wore them out. Their thinking went something like this:

 

'I have invested a lot of money into this deal and I knew ahead of time that it would be years, if ever, before I'd see a return on my investment. But I was willing to do so because I love the sport and wanted to make a positive difference. My intentions were good. But in addition to the financial losses I was taking, it was increasingly obvious that my efforts were not appreciated. In fact, the vast majority of feedback I received was either negative or consisted of anonymous personal attacks on me, my track and/or my staff. Many saw social media as their chance to force me into making decisions or making rules that gave them an advantage over the rest. They would get their buddies to gang up on me and to folks reading that stuff it seemed like I was an idiot who was dishonest, played favorites or worse."

 

You may think that attacking a track is the way to get them to change things "for the better," but in the end those attacks will backfire. You may feel like King Kong getting on Facebook and blasting away, but it's up to the rest of us to tell you to sit down and shut up.

 

I've been doing the "sit down and shut up" thing for 15 years here on Lone Star Speedzone and I'm not about to stop.

 

Nick

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I would like to comment on a couple of things respectfully.

First, the more cars in the pits, the more people will be in the stands and pits. Every car has a fan base even if its only one person like my team. I do have friends that attend when Im racing that don't when Im not and I know sever others the same.. That being said lets see how Ken does with his idea of investing in the affordable entries (pure stocks) to see how large this series can become. Already some top drivers are looking at this venue. At RGS the local chapter of Gypsy Motorcycle Club became heavily involved with the Thunder car series. What came with them was new teams in every division along with various sponsorship opportunities for the track. A similar thing happened at Riverside Speedway as the Navel Air Base fellows also got heavily involved with the outlaw ministocks which led to many moving to other classes as well. This is the same for all divisions, remembering the tremendous success the modifieds enjoyed also at RGS which packed the stands. So more cars means more ticket sales but its up to the owner to decide how and what to sell them for profit. Im glad STS has figured out the same old way that has not worked might not be the best avenue.

 

On the Facebook deal. Only an uneducated person will take anything on Facebook serious. Yes you can get your feelings hurt but the tough guys don't give a flip about what somebody is crying about. Instead this could be a valuable tool because it offers a door to passion which is what fuels any sport. When somebody is bitching, others what to know why.Its better than being ignored. Kudos to Nick for this website that specializes in facts and educated opinions but lets face it, people have to vent somewhere. Facebook is like a comic book, not Wikipedia

 

Now every failed track has one common denomater . I have only seen the Texas side of things but I notice is how the operations money is commonly used. Use 90% of your resources on your store (track) use 5% of your operating money on your employees and the last 5% of your budget on the the actual product your selling. Not many other types of businesses can operate this way. I noticed in Missouri they would cut a track out of a cornfield, sit on boxes and hillsides and pay start money equal sometimes to feature payouts here in some classes. And I saw huge car counts and spectator counts at several tracks I visited. Its nobodys fault, its just our tracks have a rent that's too dam high. I believe that's where some of the problems lie. It leads to the product being sold (racers) having to actually pay to be on the shelf. How to fix this? I believe we just saw a beginning.

 

I do promise one thing. If you cant get your product (racers) happy to be on the shelf, the shelf will be sparse. Nobody shops at a sparse shelf store. Promoters HAVE to stop trying to lay the blame of failure on the product and look at the store manager. Nick, respectfully, every promoter needs to love if not like every person that comes down the driveway no matter the politics.

 

To recap, get huge car counts. In todays economy that means having an affordable product. Pay that product enough to profit and it will grow. Invest in the "product" that has the best return, not the most vane. Growth is contagious. I will always remember what a successful promoter once told me when I was bitchen about rules...."Racing is expensive and Im not going to let you spend one penny you don't have to!" His philosophy worked.

 

Nobody can argue some of the most exciting racing ever was at CC Speedway when Mr Yocum introduced a new type of bomber, the metric bomber. Huge success because he ignored all those who said it will never work. I believe that was the basis of todays pure stocks. New ideas do work.

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They had a lot of cars at big open wheel show in March. Was a well run show. Nice facility but crowd wasn't big. Next couple of shows appeared the same from video clips

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On the Facebook deal. Only an uneducated person will take anything on Facebook serious. Yes you can get your feelings hurt but the tough guys don't give a flip about what somebody is crying about.

 

Well, I have to disagree with you on this one, GB. Many educated folks take a whole lot of what's on Facebook very seriously - some to the point of committing suicide over the abuse they are subjected to on FB. And talking to promoters/owners and track officials from all over, I know that many of them are deeply hurt by some of the stuff that transpires on social media.

 

Perhaps you are among those who can blow off constant criticism and, if so, that's great. Many folks - educated or not - take personal attacks personally.

 

Nick

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Quote from Nick: I am increasingly aware that one of the factors that comes into play when the decision is made to close a track is simply the attacks they experience on social media. I personally know promoters who have thrown in the towel citing the negativism on social media as one of the reasons why they threw in the towel.

 

I have a subscription to Circle Track Magazine and the latest issue has an article on social media and its effect on racing. One of the items that caught my eye was the sponsors who will not commit or stay with someone (a racer or a race team) who does not dress or act appropriately. While this is a good part of the equation, its not the sole reason but its a good chunk of it.

 

Consider this: What if there was no social media and no way to "punk the promoters" or "ambush your competitors" on almost a minute by minute basis? What if you just worked on your car, minded your own business and showed up totally focused to have fun and race on Friday or Saturday night without any bias or pre-judgements? Snicker if you wish and everyone say "boring" at the same time but the tracks that are now closed might still be open this weekend. This is the way it was "pre-internet" folks and I can't remember a track closing then.

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Some, not all, but some tracks still operate like they did 20-30 years ago with dilapidated seating, bathrooms, sound systems, etc... The point being, things change and some places haven't kept up, or even attempted, with the times. Not saying that that hole in the wall track can't be racy with outstanding fans/drivers, just saying that they haven't kept with the times. I'm not going to even touch the payout side of that.

 

If you think social media is doing more harm than good but you still love the sport, then you need to reevaluate how you use social media. Ransomville Speedway, most notably, this off season came out with a strict social media policy. While some saw it as anti free speech, I saw it as protecting their investment. Maybe more tracks, which some have, need to implement similar policies. Maybe some tracks need to hire dedicated social media/media directors to help deflect some of the negativity when it is thrown their way that way they can focus on running the track.

 

http://www.ransomvillespeedway.com/media.htm

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Social Media and racing has its good sides and it bad sides.

 

The good sides are that racers and fans can be constantly updated as to what is going on with the track especially when weather is in question. Also keeps racers, friends and families updated with the races if you have someone like Reb there doing his reports. I cant make all the races at Little River or San Antonio but I know whats going on just by looking at their facebook pages.

 

The bad sides are basically what everyone has mentioned above. Most promoters and race directors tell you during a drivers meeting if you have a problem bring it to an official and lets talk it out. Most racers will do that but you have your keyboard heroes of crew members, family members, and fans who will take to facebook and tear offiicals, drivers, and tracks down.

 

I think the deal that might of hurt Red River is racing on Sunday's. I personally don't like to race on Sunday because I want to use that day to prepare for the week. It did look like they were getting a big contention of Sprint Cars on Sundays because it looked like a lot of my friends from Dallas were going and running there but if your not getting people into the stands the back gate cant support you forever.

 

One last thing that I notice is when it does come to the Social Media blasting of race tracks it usually comes from the circle track side and people complaining about rules. I see a lot a drag strips on my pages and all I ever see on there is racers saying how good the racing was congratulating the winners and thanking the track owner for giving them a place to race. Yes there is your occasional gripe at the drag strip page but it usually is from street racer who doesn't fully understand what their doing anyway.

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For what its worth. We can all say and give our pointers on what to do and what not to do. But a lot of owners get into the business with good intentions only to realize that its a little harder than anyone had ever told them. Our sport is evolving and as with any business model the business side needs to evolve. A single business owner and supporting family used to be able to manage a race track in the past. That for the most part is not feasible in today's market place. Tracks needs to balance their revenue streams and not just rely on the weekend races to support their facility. Its impossible now days to be successful in a business venture by just being good at a lot of things. Today's word you have to be great at a lot of different areas or someone else will take your revenue. I just hope my two cents might benefit someone.

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kgould, you are exactly right. Because rent is too dang high todays tracks need to evolve into an outdoor sports arena hosting multiple events, not just a race. It works for indoor arenas and will help pay the bills. So what every track could benefit from is a dedicated outdoor sports arena promoter.

 

Remember stock car racing began in many cases from a fairground being a part of the show. I believe a person who sells events for a living could put together many events that can draw crowds on multiple days. You have the seating, parking, facilities and concessions to handle crowds but too much time is spent vacant not generating income. Ideas will save racing, not bitching about everything by everybody. Forget the blame game, start thinking. Sounds like a good thread to start.

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While there are many good points being made, it still is a fact that bashing the local tracks, local track owners/promoters, fellow short track racers and track officials is not good for local short track racing. Period.

 

I am offering (and have offered in the past) the Lone Star Speedzone forums to become the official social media outlet for any/all local Texas Stock Car Racing ovals - be they dirt or asphalt.

 

By that I mean:

 

1) The track announces on their web page, their FB page and at drivers' meetings that LSSZ will be the only place they will discuss track operations, rules, etc., and that they will no longer respond to complaints, issues or bashes on any other social media platform.

2) The track places some sort of meaningful sanction on folks who use social media (FB, Twitter, etc) to bash, complain, raise hell, etc, against the track

3) The track has someone in authority log onto LSSZ every day (more often if possible) to address issues, concerns, raised in their track's LSSZ section.

 

Pretty simple.

 

While I can't be on here 24-7, there is a core group who are on here quite a bit and who notify me when they see something a bit over the lines they know I have established. This level of moderation gives the track freedom to go about their business without having to spend too much of their time and energy dealing with the social media BS.

 

Yes, there will be some who will get on social media platforms and bash anyway, but if the track does not respond and basically ignores the FB trash, sooner or later the bashers will get tired of talking to themselves while the rest of us carry on without them to promote stock car racing in Texas in a positive manner.

 

TRACK OWNERS/PROMOTERS: Please contact me if this sounds like something you'd like to do. 210-415-1251 or nick.lssz@gmail.com

 

Nick

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Good points made here. Nick you are very correct that our biggest supporters are sometimes our biggest detractors. Pretty tough time in fact every chance you have been on any radio show I am part of Professor I ask you that very question " what is the state of short track racing in Texas" and we seem to always hit that point.

Really don't like to see any track stop operating and wish I had the magic pill but we just keep keeping on and hopefully we save what we have.

Edited by RodneyRodriguez

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While there are many good points being made, it still is a fact that bashing the local tracks, local track owners/promoters, fellow short track racers and track officials is not good for local short track racing. Period.

 

I am offering (and have offered in the past) the Lone Star Speedzone forums to become the official social media outlet for any/all local Texas Stock Car Racing ovals - be they dirt or asphalt.

 

By that I mean:

 

1) The track announces on their web page, their FB page and at drivers' meetings that LSSZ will be the only place they will discuss track operations, rules, etc., and that they will no longer respond to complaints, issues or bashes on any other social media platform.

2) The track places some sort of meaningful sanction on folks who use social media (FB, Twitter, etc) to bash, complain, raise hell, etc, against the track

3) The track has someone in authority log onto LSSZ every day (more often if possible) to address issues, concerns, raised in their track's LSSZ section.

 

Pretty simple.

 

While I can't be on here 24-7, there is a core group who are on here quite a bit and who notify me when they see something a bit over the lines they know I have established. This level of moderation gives the track freedom to go about their business without having to spend too much of their time and energy dealing with the social media BS.

 

Yes, there will be some who will get on social media platforms and bash anyway, but if the track does not respond and basically ignores the FB trash, sooner or later the bashers will get tired of talking to themselves while the rest of us carry on without them to promote stock car racing in Texas in a positive manner.

 

TRACK OWNERS/PROMOTERS: Please contact me if this sounds like something you'd like to do. 210-415-1251 or nick.lssz@gmail.com

 

Nick

I love LSSZ and everything it does but the reach is far less than what FB, Twitter or IG will be; not to mention the lack of push notifications directly to everyone's phones.

 

There is a forum board up here that uses an app that links directly to their forum, is there a possibility of that?

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I guess I'll throw my $.02 in; I'm only 30 now but years ago when I started on this forum I would butt-heads with those in-charged pretty often as I didn't see the point of not allowing everyone to say what they wanted. I was and still am opinionated but having now owned my business for nearly a decade I can tell you that the negativity (especially when it is unearned) really will get to you. I still voice my opinion, as someone that has done what I could to sponsor cars and help keep them on the track I occasionally disagree with a promoter or tech-inspector but at the end of the day I respect what they provide for us. I have a 10 month old son that likely will grow up without what I had, a local track that we could go to every weekend in the summer.

 

If CTS where to close the last regularly scheduled asphalt track in Texas would be gone; if CBS where to close there wouldn't be a dirt-track within reasonable driving distance of San Antonio. THAT should keep us awake at night.

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Jamie, the reach of LSSZ is probably greater than you might expect. And our visitors are not just folks from Central/South Texas.

 

Keep in mind that the folks on a particular FB page or following that track on Twitter are already fans of that page, so you're pretty much "preaching to the choir" when you post on FB or Twitter, while LSSZ has folks from all over.

 

Last time I checked, LSSZ generates between 10,000 and 15,000 UNIQUE Visitors a month and climbing in spite of Facebook and Twitter. Granted, before the days of FB and Twitter we generated about 18,000 to 25,000 unique visitors a month, but we never went below 10K and our numbers are steadily climbing each month as folks get frustrated with FB and Twitter...

 

Nick

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Well let me say THANK YOU and GOD BLESS all the people who take on the challenge of owning/operating a race track , and dirt tracks in particular. Of all the tracks I've visited over the years ,from a fan in the stands point of view, I can say all of them do a good job for the fans.In 50+ years I can't remember an incident with track management or their employees. When you are dealing with so many people and personalities there are going to be things that"happen".I found the ones who get on the issue quick and not let it fester runs a "happier" operation.Owen was good at this. I applaud Ken Hobbs for his "State of the Track" posts. It at least shows he is aware of issues. Again Thank you to all track operators and their crews.

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Jamie, the reach of LSSZ is probably greater than you might expect. And our visitors are not just folks from Central/South Texas.

 

Keep in mind that the folks on a particular FB page or following that track on Twitter are already fans of that page, so you're pretty much "preaching to the choir" when you post on FB or Twitter, while LSSZ has folks from all over.

 

Last time I checked, LSSZ generates between 10,000 and 15,000 UNIQUE Visitors a month and climbing in spite of Facebook and Twitter. Granted, before the days of FB and Twitter we generated about 18,000 to 25,000 unique visitors a month, but we never went below 10K and our numbers are steadily climbing each month as folks get frustrated with FB and Twitter...

 

Nick

I'm not saying the reach isn't there, I'm just saying that the push notification abilities of other social media outlets is a great equalizer.

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In my opinion anyone who believe that negative attacks on social media don't hurt a business(whether it a race track or otherwise) have never owned a business.

 

In the case of Red River it was fan count and trying to support the series/purses they were paying and the promoter, who has his own racing endevors, not having the time to spend at the track.....The track owners are also running a drag strip, which is their main focus.

In the case of Bronco I saw where were it was more attributed to family issues, which were NOT aired in public......Novel idea!

Edited by rebelracewriter

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