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We were all sad to hear that 281 Speedway ended it's season early. Y'all know me.. I reached out to Brother Joe Spillman to see if he would like to talk, to my luck he did. Take a listen to these candid comments about the struggles of a race track operator these days.

** Language Warning**

 

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and there you have it....another festivus miracle! Joe says it when others won't. "How to kill a track with a negative post or text 101".

Negative post get drama and attention...Positive Post get overlooked until the track closes. Then everyone can't figure it out because

"it was such a great track".....key word is WAS.

I work as a manager for a company and the employees who whine and complain about their jobs and the pay and the this and the that are

the ones who will fight the most to keep their jobs when the reaper comes around and fires them. Its the same with racers...WHY???

Discuss that please!!! Would love to hear the answers, I'll bet others would too

 

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I finally got to listen to this interview yesterday and that was a great interview.  I have been waiting for a promoter to lay it all on the line and Joe did it.  I think tracks ought to make it mandatory for their racers to listen to this interview.  I have sat in the office with a couple race promoters and race track owners when they are having to make that dreaded rainout decision.  Trust me that decision has been very difficult because its a 50/50 shot. You make the call then sun comes out and it never rains and drivers are pissed, you wait and see then it rains and drivers are pissed because they drove all that way for it to rain out and you knowing the forecast should of cancelled. 

What really got me was the part when he was talking about drivers who said well if you do this we will come and we will be there.  I totally understood Joe and Heathers thinking on this and then like usual the ones that said if you do this we will come never show up.  I've seen that happen on this website numerous numerous times.  Everyone wanted San Antonio to reopen and it did they made the rules for everyone asked, first night was a big success so hey we will do some more races next season, then what happens car counts suffer because Johnny Keyboard Racer doesn't show up like he said he would then they shut the track down and then who is the first one to bitch and moan that the track closed and wants it to reopen again ole Johnny Keyboard Racer. 

281 was great fun place to race, we ran there with our dwarf car, sprint car, and 600 we loved the track and the fans and the staff how they made you feel welcome.  We ran with the touring series and weren't regulars but whenever 281 showed up on our schedules we made sure that was one of the tracks we went to.  I added one of my favorite pictures of us running at 281. 

IMG_2460.JPG

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Sadly, the story behind Joe's decision to quit has been told over and over.  Sure, money, overhead, liabilities, etc, are part of why so many tracks are failing, but a very significant part of it is the constant negativism promoters and track staff take every single day on social media and certain websites.

It's one thing to take it to the track's management in person - most business owners successfully deal with that.  As Joe said, usually things can get worked out if concerns are brought to the management face-to-face., one-on-one.

But it's the keyboard promoters and "outraged" folks and their constant bitching on various social media platforms that make life as a promoter less and less attractive over time.  You name the issue and our fearless, often anonymous keyboard hero's will make sure the track gets a big, often undeserved, black eye over it. After a while, promoters and owners end up wondering it it's all worth while.  And, obviously, many are deciding it's not.

Lone Star Speedzone has been offering tracks and Texas-based touring series the LSSZ forums at no charge for nearly two decades, but, for whatever reason, very few have made LSSZ their official discussion forum.  I know FB is much easier to use than LSSZ, but here we don't allow bashing, cussing, organizing boycotts, launching personal attacks, etc. And most people already know it so they usually don't even bother to come here to bitch. And if they do, they end up not being able to post without a moderator approving the post first. 

Anyway, my offer to tracks and series still stands.  

And, Joe. You did your level best to do it right.  You're a racer with a true love of the sport. If you were in it just for the money, well, I wouldn't be heaping praise on you and Heather. But you did it for all the right reasons and it's sad to see 281 close.

Nick

 

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Just as aside as everyone is on here talking about how bad online stuff is, Joe said the last straw was a text message.  I still say that social media can help and hurt a track.  But for the racer that live on social media it would go a long way if tracks would open a dialogue with racers.  This way it shows that the track is willing to work with the racers.  I talk to alot of Racer and they see it this way.

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