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Purse payout for T-STARS Racing at HMP

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8 hours ago, arob said:

There must be a cheaper way to go like going to a harder tire or no slicks other that Pro-Mods.

I would love to see it, but there's no way that would happen. The superstocks, trucks, and outlaw-limited-super-restricted-open-sport-early-late-stocks run slicks out east. People have too much time and money invested in tuning their cars around the slicks to revert. 

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I've never raced on a circle track before, and decided to try out the EcoStocks this year.  I've been road course racing for the last 10 years.  I've never been paid a single dollar for a win, place, or show, let alone getting my entry fee back, which can be several hundred for a sprint race weekend to $1650 for a 14-hour endurance race on the Daytona road course.  So I was pleased as punch to get $100 for taking 3rd place at the last race.

I've got to say, though, the biggest difference I see between what I've been doing the last 10 years and the circle track is the animosity towards the track/promoters/officials, both at the track and on the web.  Nick and others have been preaching it for years, but the racers seem to be their own worst enemy.  If we want to have a place to race, we all have to realize that it's a partnership between the track, the promoter, and the racers.  

And yes, I only race Ecostock.  You probably spend more on tires than I spent on my car.  Well, so did I. :)  It's just that my tires will last a little longer...

Edited by TBone

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I think someone has mentioned this before as well, but the racers often price themselves out of their own class too. Let's take a look at your Pure Stock class for example. Originally intended to be an economical (as much as possible), so called entry class. Most tracks had no problems getting 15, 20 or 30 cars weekly. First they wanted race tires, racing suspension, now special built chassis and voila you are now Factory Stock which is basically a Street Stock with older bodies. Long gone are the days of getting a front runner for $5000 or less. Some chassis or rollers are that price just to start, another 5-10 grand on a competitive motor, $1000 or so on suspension setup and oh yeah, 500-1000 on tires and wheels so your entry level, economical class now requires a roughly $20-25000 investment to race for $200-300 per night. Yes they do get big shows, at least on the dirt side and it is still a pretty large class but they've basically evolved into a Street Stock type class, Streets basically became Late Models, and Late Models are just too much of an investment when you're not sure if you'll have a place to run it unless you cross state lines then it's risk vs reward. Travel to Mobile for example, have a bad wreck so your top dollar car is toast and you have to spend another 500-1000 just to get home. Not many will take that chance, therefore, class won't grow. Run local, eventhough the track tries, gives a good purse and 6-8 show up. Sucks for the ones that do and they try to grow it but the business side doesn't make sense for the promoter to invest in a class that doesn't grow. Eco stocks are now the economical route, those guys seem to go out, have a good time, make a relatively low investment and bring 10, 15, 20 cars, yet some will start with we need to change, this, this, and this, and your $3000 car turns into a $5-8000 car, or a "Pro Sedan" type car. I'll tell you this too, the last asphalt race I went to, the Ecos stole the show. Why? They were the only ones that could race, use 2-3 grooves, pass, change positions, etc. Even when one car took out another, everyone got out smiling talking about how fun that race was. All of the other classes were dive to the bottom, slam on the brakes. Only way to pass was bump and run or hope the car in front of you screwed up. 

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10 hours ago, TBone said:

I've never raced on a circle track before, and decided to try out the EcoStocks this year.  I've been road course racing for the last 10 years.  I've never been paid a single dollar for a win, place, or show, let alone getting my entry fee back, which can be several hundred for a sprint race weekend to $1650 for a 14-hour endurance race on the Daytona road course.  So I was pleased as punch to get $100 for taking 3rd place at the last race.

Granted I have never raced a road course, but this is the difference I see in the two. I gather that most road courses are basically racer-funded at the amateur level. If you want to have a track day or race, the money comes from the racers. Using Harris Hill, MSR, and Hallett as examples, they do not have grandstand seating, where circle tracks usually have quite large grandstands. Basically, the road race is for the driver, while the circle track is for the driver AND the fan. There is some admission and concession income there that is not generated by the road course. Regardless as to whether that's profit, it's at least cash-flow.

That being said, I'm definitely not complaining about these payouts. My class races for $75/car. Just pointing out what I see.

Edited by TexasAggie13

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36 minutes ago, TexasAggie13 said:

Granted I have never raced a road course, but this is the difference I see in the two. I gather that most road courses are basically racer-funded at the amateur level. If you want to have a track day or race, the money comes from the racers. Using Harris Hill, MSR, and Hallett as examples, they do not have grandstand seating, where circle tracks usually have quite large grandstands. Basically, the road race is for the driver, while the circle track is for the driver AND the fan. There is some admission and concession income there that is not generated by the road course. Regardless as to whether that's profit, it's at least cash-flow.

 

You're exactly right. It's completely racer funded. Admission is generally free for the friends and family that come out to watch. Actual spectators are few and far between. For good reason. Amateur road course racing isn't very exciting to watch unless you are a real passionate fan of the sport.

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FWIW from a fan, promoters need to know how to promote.  I believe with the size of Houston and the ease of access to HMP, the stands should be full.  There are tons of free avenues of publicity.  Some require some legwork and shaking hands instead of sending emails and facebooking.  Tracks should arrange/coordinate with drivers for car shows before events early in the season.  I know it is difficult to coordinate once the season is going but many drivers have backup cars that can be used for shows.  For showing cars, give away some pit passes. Kids are key, if you can get the kids, the parents will come.  

Second, today's society is about minimal time dedication, short attention spans.  SAS, longhorn and others existed with around 4 classes.  If people want to race, set the classes, ENFORCE the rules and they will come.  Yes, it sucks for some who's class might be eliminated.  However, the current fan is there to watch one or two classes, not 10 classes with 6 cars each.  If you have 12-15 cars, you have good racing and you should run heat races.  They are quick and they are exciting.  FINISH THE SHOW BY 1030PM!!!!   Again, it is not like it used to be, folks aren't going to stay to watch a race that doesn't start until midnight!  If you want to make an impression, make sure they see the race!  

A question for everyone, is two races a month enough?  Are there enough cars to support a weekly series?  Tire rules and other specialty rules are tough to enforce but do they work?  Would there be more racers if there were more races?  Would it be easier to find sponsorship if there were more races for both the drivers and the track?

Opinions?

 

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well weather has hurt sts .but they are running darn near every weekend ...three to four weeks out of the month,,

Edited by HiTech

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The dirt tracks are doing ok around here, think this post is trying to expand asphalt racing and with just one in the state, it should be sustainable. Houston area probably just has too many entertainment options, even Battleground, which I loved everytime I went, struggled and now sits closed. As much as we all love SAS, they had to close. CTS had good car counts, a smooth running show, decent crowd attendance and that track is completely gone. I feel for promoters that try asphalt. I've seen HMP and CCS put up big money races with little support. Put a big money race on dirt and cars seem to show up in droves. A lot of times it's for the top tier classes but I know some of the tracks in Northeast Texas/Louisiana border have a $10000 Factory Stock race with no problem with car count. I've heard several local ads for STS and now TRP has a marketing partner through radio. Are those guys doing anything different? I don't know. Stevie runs a business away from STS but STS is still doing ok from the outside. Is he getting rich off STS? I highly doubt it. Ray has a business other than I37 but they get good car counts and fan support, he always interacts with drivers and fans. Kenny has TRP going in the right direction. So why is asphalt struggling so much? I don't know if it's bad promotion, poor driver support, poor geographic support, or what it is. HMP is a great facility, you can race there. Is it dirt is just better racing to watch? Has the negative perception of NASCAR influenced asphalt racing on a local scale except for the historical tracks? As far as the drivers complaining more on asphalt, I don't buy that because I know of one track that I won't name that gets complaints every weekend and it is a dirt track, yet they plug on and still get cars. I don't have the answer and if I did, I would proudly share it. Grew up with asphalt racing, fell in love with the dirt once we started losing support for our local track, despite the promoters' best intentions. 

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