The No. 1 car that finished...
The No. 1 car that finished Ninth in the main event has a noticeable roll to it. This could be another SBBS setup. The track was super slick in the early afternoon, but tightened up once the sun went low in the sky. Any teams that changed their setups for these slick conditions had trouble in qualifying with a tight car.
The Power House 50 was a very good preliminary race that saw the No. 13, Paul Radavich, and the No. 28 car of Ryan Hood cross the finish line for Second only 0.02 second apart. Paul got Second and Tom Gee in the No. 36 car won. He and the No. 13 transferred to the main event.
In the main, we saw great racing all of the way through the field. The finish had the No. 00 car of Gregg Haese take the checker flag. Gregg is from Kaukauna, Wisconsin, and normally races at the Wisconsin International Raceway in the Fox River Racing Club division.
How could this plan affect the racing industry as well as your local racetrack? Admittedly, this track is run by a "club" and not a track owner. An owner has to make a profit in order to justify running the show. The land on which the racetrack lies could just as well be a farm, commercial endeavor, a housing subdivision, or condo site. The promotion of racing is nonetheless a business and has to survive, even if it is a club and we all need to understand that and see that side of it. So, how do we make racing more profitable?
In contrast to the SBBS setups...
In contrast to the SBBS setups previously mentioned, this car has a large sway bar and soft springs as evidenced by the low and level profile of the front of the car in the turns. Unfortunately, this car did not make the race.
If a track could offer a pay plan where the teams shared the available payout money more evenly, then more racers may get involved. The "club" plan is not a bad idea when you look at the possible benefits. The truth of the matter is that all racers race to compete. No one comes away with more money than they spend. So, in reality, we are all club racers.
Spreading out the pay money will only make it easier on everyone. The winners don't always win. They need guarantees, too, to enable them to justify racing in the first place. A Tenth Place finish could pay the cost of a night's racing under the PPL plan, where under present pay plans at many tracks the payout for Tenth wouldn't pay for the hot dogs and drinks, let alone the gas and tires.
Promoters take note, we have been promoting and running the shows at racetracks across America the same way for years and getting poor results in many cases. The numbers of teams who compete at most racetracks is diminishing. Anything that comes along to provide a fresh breath of air for short-track racing should be welcomed and studied. It would be easy for any track to schedule one race as a test to see if PPL racing would be beneficial to your racetrack. Afterwards, you could canvas the competitors and the fans to see if the concept has acceptance. You just might be surprised.
The No. 56 car finished Eighth,...
The No. 56 car finished Eighth, just behind Dalton Zehr from Florida, one of our past project drivers. His (No. 56) setup is more BBSS, and he had it figured out fairly well.
The club at Norway got local businesses involved to sponsor the lap bonus money. That serves to get the community involved and provides extra funds for the payout. Once these businesses are involved, you might sell advertising or race sponsorship in addition to the bonus payments. The potential benefits have no limits.
This was a bold experiment for the organizers and we need to thank Gene Coleman for his ingenuity in coming up with this idea as well as Fran, Mike, and Craig who formed the team that produced the event. I first heard about this some six months prior to the event and was immediately interested. I agreed to come up to Norway to cover the event and all of the guys there treated me very well. There were others too numerous to mention that helped out with this race, but once the ball started rolling, it took off and we may see more of these types of events in the near future.
We are just getting into this concept and promise to question the industry to get their reaction to the PPL plan. In the coming months, we will talk to track promoters, sanctioning bodies, racers, and anyone who has an opinion. We will report back our findings. This is either a winner or not. We are betting on it getting a favorable response.
Send your comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to circletrack.com and blog me with your comments. We'll be getting back to you soon.