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General Manager's Perspective

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April 11, 2006




A letter from Rick Day, General Manager and Race Director at San Antonio Speedway


Hello to all!


You might remember some of the Promoter’s Perspective letters that were written some time ago by Terry Dickerson, President and CEO of USRA Track Management Group. In the spirit of those previous letters, I’d like to address several of the hot topics that have been floating around the racing community during the past few weeks.


First and foremost, I consider each and every one of you a customer in the sports entertainment business – whether you’re driver, fan, crew member, team owner, staff member, official or sponsor. I feel it’s my job to make sure that our racing fans get the best value for their entertainment dollar and that our drivers and teams are appreciated for presenting great shows for the fans.


We’ve made several facility improvements at San Antonio Speedway during the past few months, such as replacing most of the grandstand lumber for seating and kickboards, painting the grandstands and restrooms and improving the lighting on the back straightaway. We also did some major work in the concession stand to meet fire and safety codes. We’d like to do more improvements at SAS, but we’re somewhat restricted since we don’t own the speedway property. We do have the property leased until 2011, and we have every intention of making San Antonio Speedway a well-known and popular racing venue in San Antonio. I see lots of potential with the speedway, and I’m planning to do everything I can to make a positive impact on the racing community.


As you may already know, I joined the San Antonio Speedway management team at the beginning of the year. Rules were released shortly afterwards, and I’ve heard a lot of frustration about the changes that were made. Terry will be the first to tell you that he knows a lot about bulldozers, motor graders and cranes, but he quickly admits that he’s not an expert when it comes to racing engines, suspensions, etc. Terry plans to focus his efforts on his equipment business, and he’s asked me to take the lead in interpreting, modifying and enforcing the rules for both SAS and USRA.


Low car counts in USRA and at San Antonio Speedway have been a big concern for all of us. My racing background has taken me to tracks all over the country, and this problem is not unique to South Texas. I’ve seen promoters cut purses when car counts were low, and the decreased payouts seemed to make the problem worse. Terry has always paid the announced purses, and we don’t intend to make any purse cuts during the upcoming season. We want to continue doing all we can to attract more drivers to SAS and USRA.


Several of our drivers have parked their race cars because they are unhappy with the rule changes that were made for the 2006 season. Some of you have also expressed your dissatisfaction with

USRA and SAS on website forums. Although we understand that drivers and fans may feel the need to vent your concerns in public, I’m asking you to talk with me personally about your feelings, questions and ideas. It’s much better when both parties involved can understand and discuss the situation and/or concerns. In case you don’t already have my cell number, it’s 210-827-4524. I’ll continue to try to answer and return all of my calls.


By now, most of you have probably seen the changes we’ve just made in the tire rules and the “all involved” rules for both SAS and USRA. I hope most of you will view these changes in a positive way. I know some of you will still be unhappy about purchasing your tires from a specific dealer, but it’s a common practice in the racing industry to designate a dealer to handle the tire needs for a track or series. I know Oval Components works hard to meet your tire needs, and we feel it’s our best option to continue using them as our tire supplier.


Another issue that has been brought to my attention is the lack of thorough technical inspections by the USRA/SAS officials. Believe me, we’ve been trying hard to resolve the technical issue by talking with several potential tech officials. So far, we’ve been unsuccessful in filling the tech positions, so please let me know if you or someone else can help in this area. I realize the pay isn’t that great, but it’s a gap that needs to be filled soon to ensure that our drivers can compete equally and fairly with each other.


Some of you have also expressed concerns on Texas Speed Zone about the April Fool’s incident that occurred at San Antonio Speedway during the ASA race on April 1. Although I do know that our announcer (Milton) had hoped to do something fun and entertaining for the fans, I don’t think any of us had anticipated the response from one of the fans concerning her husband’s kidney surgery. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to locate the woman who was involved in the skit. If anyone knows her or if she will come forward, Terry will gladly donate $500 towards the expenses for the surgery.


Otherwise, we were all very pleased with the outcome of the ASA race weekend. It’s our goal to keep up the positive momentum and continue to recruit new fans. We’re currently working on a plan to involve the Boy Scouts, schools and other similar groups. In addition, we’re looking for a full-time marketing person to help with our promotional efforts, and we also need someone to get our trucks ready for the Driving Experience School. So far, the fans and media have responded well to the Driving Experience, and it’s important that we move forward to make the experience available to the public soon. Please let me know if you know someone who is interested in any of our available positions.


In summary, it will take all of us working together to succeed in the world of motorsports. Again, I value your input, and I prefer one-on-one contact, either by phone or in person. In that way, hopefully we can better understand each other’s point of view.


I know that Terry and all of the USRA/SAS staff members are fully committed to making stock car racing the best it can be – and I hope we can count on your support.


See you at the races,


Rick Day

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BIG step in the right direction. Hope it turns around. Probably will if Terry focuses on his equipment deal and lets you run the track. That is Terry's bread and butter and this is yours. It is good to see the series and track management are listening to concerns of the racers. Those promoters perspectives were good last year but I believe there was a "ghostwriter" with the initials B.C. who wrote them. Good job though and good luck. Debbie and Rick can make progress. All they needed were the reigns.

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