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Can dying classes be revived?

ACME

Well-Known Member
Dan: Record and Code races are fun and vary in distance from GP to P2P. One of the best IMHO is Ensenada to San Felipe. Snore has 2 big draw races (BAP/RATR) and a loyal following of racers that race for a championship and a good majority have never raced anything beyond SNORE/MORE. Also car counts and familiarity also seem to spur loyalty. Similar to how most of the 1450 teams never raced anything beyond MDR back in the day. Would they go? SCORE and BITD would have to make the push and post Sal SCORE seems to have taken a certain direction, BITD depends on the class. When Bantilian, then Bolles, then Taranto put together the Big 9 Shootouts (just like Pro 16 races but for swinger) the only associations that supported the events were SNORE & MORE. When Taranto hit up Record and put together the same deal with a big purse, the 9 guys didn't want to race in Baja as it hurt their points chase and honestly most were scared of the unknown. So the old saying: "Build it and they will come" is not necessarily true

Bro: Not only do "Entry Level" racers race in the limited classes but also die hard people who maybe don't want to, or cannot afford to make the jump in classes race them. Think about how long names like: Boyer, Zeigler, Poole, Savedra, Iribe, Dunne, Jones, Freeman, Rodriquez, Inch, Geer, Clements, Slitton and a ton more have been racing in certain limited classes by choice and over multiple generations. How many Checkers never raced anything beyond the limited classes their whole career? As the next generation matures, a lot have been involved only to move on to other interests as it's not what it was back in the La Rana, HDRA, Fud etc... days. It's a lot of work, money and time and there are a lot more options as evidenced by the fact that participation in all forms of racing, youth sports and outdoor recreation or activities have been declining. It's a different world and now a lot more emphasis is put on online or virtual experiences as opposed to collecting scars... Remember back when: We had to drive to get fast food. Jaws & Star Wars were in the theaters for like 7 years. We had a choice of 10 stores we could shop at (and had to drive to them) and we did so based on which one we liked, not who was left. We didn't have that digital leash in our hands 24/7 and skateparks, BMX tracks were coast to coast and fishing or looking through a telescope were common activities. And the biggest... You had to meet people and a potential mates face to face, talk and interact without the use of electronics...

Social Media and "Baja" play as the key marketing components in this sport-hobby and they create the fashion for the new era "off road culturist". It's funny but people think the MINT is a big deal, when in reality it is really just SNORE's original remodel of the Buffalo Bills 500 with Social Media after it had been dead and forgotten for years.

When Social Media makes the limited classes an option, then you may see a revival but when all the focus is on trucks and UTV's...

PS A good example of how SM, marketing and a lack of history for anything but the most current SM fashion being pimped has influenced the sport: A few good friends are fairly big in the UTV game and had Larry Roeseler driving their UTV and putting a whooping on the field at the Mint. Ironically, a lot of unknowing newbies in the class had never heard of him, but sensed the buzz before the race with his name on the car, entry list and tech etc... The question constantly asked by the BITD only, newbie race-interwebs expert crowd (that I believe can do Play by play for all the BJ Baldwin/Kardashian videos) was: "Who's this Roeseler guy and has he ever won the Mint 400?"

I guess that's bigger than his 13 Baja 1000 wins...
 

offroadracer516

Well-Known Member
Again this class is alive and well in places they are actually appreciated. With things like BONUS MONEY and CHEAP entry fee's. You don't get ether racing BITD or SCORE. Hence no 1600's. Bring on RAGE with that killer bonus and 50+cars
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J Prich

Well-Known Member
Dan: Record and Code races are fun and vary in distance from GP to P2P. One of the best IMHO is Ensenada to San Felipe. Snore has 2 big draw races (BAP/RATR) and a loyal following of racers that race for a championship and a good majority have never raced anything beyond SNORE/MORE. Also car counts and familiarity also seem to spur loyalty. Similar to how most of the 1450 teams never raced anything beyond MDR back in the day. Would they go? SCORE and BITD would have to make the push and post Sal SCORE seems to have taken a certain direction, BITD depends on the class. When Bantilian, then Bolles, then Taranto put together the Big 9 Shootouts (just like Pro 16 races but for swinger) the only associations that supported the events were SNORE & MORE. When Taranto hit up Record and put together the same deal with a big purse, the 9 guys didn't want to race in Baja as it hurt their points chase and honestly most were scared of the unknown. So the old saying: "Build it and they will come" is not necessarily true

Bro: Not only do "Entry Level" racers race in the limited classes but also die hard people who maybe don't want to, or cannot afford to make the jump in classes race them. Think about how long names like: Boyer, Zeigler, Poole, Savedra, Iribe, Dunne, Jones, Freeman, Rodriquez, Inch, Geer, Clements, Slitton and a ton more have been racing in certain limited classes by choice and over multiple generations. How many Checkers never raced anything beyond the limited classes their whole career? As the next generation matures, a lot have been involved only to move on to other interests as it's not what it was back in the La Rana, HDRA, Fud etc... days. It's a lot of work, money and time and there are a lot more options as evidenced by the fact that participation in all forms of racing, youth sports and outdoor recreation or activities have been declining. It's a different world and now a lot more emphasis is put on online or virtual experiences as opposed to collecting scars... Remember back when: We had to drive to get fast food. Jaws & Star Wars were in the theaters for like 7 years. We had a choice of 10 stores we could shop at (and had to drive to them) and we did so based on which one we liked, not who was left. We didn't have that digital leash in our hands 24/7 and skateparks, BMX tracks were coast to coast and fishing or looking through a telescope were common activities. And the biggest... You had to meet people and a potential mates face to face, talk and interact without the use of electronics...

Social Media and "Baja" play as the key marketing components in this sport-hobby and they create the fashion for the new era "off road culturist". It's funny but people think the MINT is a big deal, when in reality it is really just SNORE's original remodel of the Buffalo Bills 500 with Social Media after it had been dead and forgotten for years.

When Social Media makes the limited classes an option, then you may see a revival but when all the focus is on trucks and UTV's...

PS A good example of how SM, marketing and a lack of history for anything but the most current SM fashion being pimped has influenced the sport: A few good friends are fairly big in the UTV game and had Larry Roeseler driving their UTV and putting a whooping on the field at the Mint. Ironically, a lot of unknowing newbies in the class had never heard of him, but sensed the buzz before the race with his name on the car, entry list and tech etc... The question constantly asked by the BITD only, newbie race-interwebs expert crowd (that I believe can do Play by play for all the BJ Baldwin/Kardashian videos) was: "Who's this Roeseler guy and has he ever won the Mint 400?"

I guess that's bigger than his 13 Baja 1000 wins...
I understand the points you're making here but frankly some of it sounds like a bit of "Hey kids, get off my lawn". I'm not sure I agree with your assessment of the Mint. You know what made the original Mint what it became? Marketing. Just like now. What makes it a big deal is the hype, visibility, and level of involvement. This is true of ANYTHING that's a big deal. Its a pretty glass half empty view in my opinion to suggest that something like the Mint...which generates the most visibility by far of any desert race in the US and frankly probably gets more visibility than the 1000 at this point, is attracting not only the top racers but some of the largest fields in many classes, and draws the largest spectator crowds of any desert race in the US...is a bad deal for the sport. Marketing and visibility is part of the game. If it didn't have value, do you think so many industry partners would show up? Do you think so many racers would show up? I get that it's not for everyone and there are plenty of people who view it as a repackaged Primm/Jean race. But whether a single individual personally likes it or not is irrelevant. The marketing and reach is a big part of what makes it popular.

Regarding social media, I'm not sure I fully agree with this either. Social Media isn't discriminating. It's a tool, just like any other. There are a handful of 1450 guys who've done a masterful job of elevating their race programs based on their social media marketing alone. The power of social media as a marketing tool is available to everyone and while a slick video of a 1600 or a 1450 running a whoop section may not generate as many views as a TT, it's still a viable resource that folks can use to elevate their own programs.

Finally, back to the Mint example, I'd argue that they've done a pretty good job of paying deference to a LOT of history. They have consistently reached out to legendary racers of the past to participate and support their events (Pretty sure Larry was the "Grand Marshall" in 2015). They've made a concerted effort to bring back as many elements of the "old" Mints as they reasonably can, and if you ever speak to anyone involved, it doesn't take long to see that they routinely actively seek out input from a wide variety of sources including the limited guys and legendary racers.

I'm not trying to discredit what you are saying, it's mostly just opinion and perspective anyway. I'm just suggesting that I personally see some of this a bit differently, rightly or wrongly.
 

ACME

Well-Known Member
Prich I get where you are coming from but I think and believe the history is lost and that has changed the sport. I'm also simply stating my thoughts on if/how/can/why classes can be revived or not and I believe SM, good or bad: Is a tipping point for the sport. No worries about my lawn, I gave up years ago...

The Mint seems a focus with your comments but that was not the point I was trying to get across. Regardless: Here's a few facts: SNORE brought the long dead Mint back as a replacement for another Primm race they had run. Other than the hype around the donkey show that's affiliated with it (mostly due to SM which was my point), It's just another Primm race and there have been plenty over the years. Again, it just shows how fashion and SM drive the market as, there is nothing special about the race itself as it's just like the BB400, Primm 300 and a number of others that have been run in that area. But tie in how the media has pimped and promoted it and it has become an event. Logistically towing in/out and all the other stuff is the primary and the race itself is secondary but it plays well in media. If you compare Parker to the Mint: Other than the show, Parker is a way better course and event imo, but the media has promoted one over the other as the end all event and thus my SM comments.

My other point was that SM has driven newer people to classes that have a higher SM profile. Not necessarily to the sport in general; but to certain classes. Trucks and UTV's have advertisers and garner the most media attention because of that. Thus that is what is promoted and in turn is what people relate to. If other classes were presented at an equal (or any) level to the outside world, that might possibly influence people to consider those classes. It's a play on the old saying: "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday" but in this case it's: "Press on SM, buy on payments and race cause you can because that's how it works on the internet, then sell and move on in 6 mos when you realize it's not that easy...".

It's not only the internet, TV and virtually every other marketing effort related to the sport are focused the same way. They show Trucks: Leader trucks, back marker trucks, etc... and UTV's, Turbo, N/A Polaris. Can Am. So a guy goes to a race (or just decides to race and has not idea) and he has two obvious choices he understands. Back in the old days when they showed more classes and people understood a broad spectrum existed, and there was more participation across more classes. But then the special interests started splintering the classes to meet their wants which then diluted it all but that's a different topic... Bottom line is people used to do research and then made a decision. Now they go online, watch a video, only see TT or UTV on mainstream media or SM and a UTV is easier and you can finance it. Not to get purple: But at the same time it's also interesting to see the rise in violent crimes and in ratio to 1st person shooter content available. It just seems that the line between virtual and reality is very blurred nowadays and is mostly based on you AM or media presence which IMO can be a reason why these classes are not as viable as they once were.

20 years ago when you said you "Raced Desert or Baja", people would then ask "Like those buggy's or bikes?" 10 years ago "Truck or Buggy". Now if you ask a newer spectator or even a racer in UTV or a newer deep pockets truck guy that just found the sport, what's a 1/2 1600 or class 12? They'd have no idea, but they know all those trucks are Trophy Trucks or all UTV's are Turbo RZR's or that new Can Am. When in reality a pure race UTV has about as much in common with one off the showroom floor, as a new Raptor and a 6100 or TT.

Don't believe me take a look at the new SF Race works Can Am debuting at the Mint. WOW!

It wasn't all that long ago when all UTV's were all called Rhino's and marketing and SM changed that. It's a sign of the times but IMO it's also part of the sports issues and why only a few classes are really growing and the false economy of desert racing...
 

vegasloki

Well-Known Member
Other than the hype around the donkey show that's affiliated with it (mostly due to SM which was my point), It's just another Primm race and there have been plenty over the years. Again, it just shows how fashion and SM drive the market as, there is nothing special about the race itself as it's just like the BB400, Primm 300 and a number of others that have been run in that area.
The people that are targeted by the marketing aren't the racers. Except for those that sell race specific products the racers are not a big enough market for mainstream companies. BFG, General Tire, Ford, GM, Can Am, Polaris, Monster, etc do this because they are marketing to race fans. Social media isn't causing the event. The event is because people work hard to promote it and use it as a sponsor vehicle. And it's got good TV. The race has a storied past that's also being leveraged to promote the event to those that aren't racing. The people watching the event don't really care that it's basically the same track as those casino races in the way that they don't care that the F1 race in Austin is on the same track that SCCA club races use. The layout and pedigree of the track is secondary to the names and personalities involved. This is about selling tires, energy drink and vehicles, among other things. The actual race, while important, is yet a part of a larger event as a whole.
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
Marketing isn't what made the original Mint THE stateside event to attend, it was the PURSE. Say it with me- The PURSE. It was the people who came trying get some of that PURSE that made it the overall EVENT it became. $100,000 dollars in the 1970s was nothing to scoff at in any way, shape or form. That $100,000 dollars in 1975 would be about $475,000 inflation dollars today. Anyone know of ANY off road race that even offers half that amount in purse for desert racing now? If there was a race with $500,000 to paid out, there would be plenty of racers there. That was the point of the pay out back then, they paid DEEP. In some classes, folks who finished in 10th or 11th place got money. These days, everyone lost their $h!t when Dave offered up $100,000 for a Trophy Truck race and it still didn't get the pre-advertised numbers everyone wished for. And it was still seen as the greatest promotional event of the past 20 years. Sometimes it's hard to face reality. Racing costs money, but in the last 20 years, the returns from payback, sponsors, contingency, etc... have dies just as much or more than the dying classes we are talking about. UTV is helping that a bit, but again, is a $40-50k race car really entry level in a hobby sport?
 

Zac Reish

Well-Known Member
Another VW engine class not talked about is class 12. This class started as a place for the original class 10 VW / Beam cars to go, when class 10 became all about a-arms & water pumpers. Then class 12 became so popular, that new purpose built class 12 cars were being built by top builders.

It’s the vw engine

So where did class 12 go? Is it the beam or VW engines? Was it the progression of the 12 guys moving up, and the lack of limited 1600, 5/16 and newbies not moving up to class 12?

Where did class 12 go?
 

Zac Reish

Well-Known Member
Marketing isn't what made the original Mint THE stateside event to attend, it was the PURSE. Say it with me- The PURSE. It was the people who came trying get some of that PURSE that made it the overall EVENT it became. $100,000 dollars in the 1970s was nothing to scoff at in any way, shape or form. That $100,000 dollars in 1975 would be
about $475,000 inflation dollars today.
Anyone know of ANY off road race that even offers half that amount in purse for desert racing now? If there was a race with $500,000 to paid out, there would be plenty of racers there. That was the point of the pay out back then, they paid DEEP. In some classes, folks who finished in 10th or 11th place got money. These days, everyone lost their $h!t when Dave offered up $100,000 for a Trophy Truck race and it still didn't get the pre-advertised numbers everyone wished for. And it was still seen as the greatest promotional event of the past 20 years. Sometimes it's hard to face reality. Racing costs money, but in the last 20 years, the returns from payback, sponsors, contingency, etc... have dies just as much or more than the dying classes we are talking about. UTV is helping that a bit, but again, is a $40-50k race car really entry level in a hobby sport?
Great post. Yes 40-50k is entry level. It’s a crap load of money but still entry level.
 

Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
The mint and dare I say it the Nissan 400 used to be the mil. Here in the u.s. maybe even parker. It wasn't about the purse. But who could get through it. That is gone. The idea that only the the strong survive has been lost to cubic dollars. That is where the heart of baja racing gets lost. When you have a time limit that only a t.t. or class 1 car car achieve but the 11 car has no chance of getting close to the half way point. The point of this is gone. Score is chasing off the families and teams that just want a chance.
I would consider myself lucky to run a twenty year old course in a forty year old car on some one else's buck. I don't even think I could rent a burnt up 11 car and be able to think about affording to run 10 miles of any score race.
 

Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
This website is trash. I'm not even allowed to say have sex with score on this website. It says that I failed high school. You all can eat my genetailia.
 

yamaducci

Well-Known Member
Well I officially bought my Class 12 today and dropped it off to prep. I did the math and couldn't build an equivalent UTV for less than the 12. Come on Back to Class 12!
 

J Prich

Well-Known Member
Marketing isn't what made the original Mint THE stateside event to attend, it was the PURSE. Say it with me- The PURSE. It was the people who came trying get some of that PURSE that made it the overall EVENT it became. $100,000 dollars in the 1970s was nothing to scoff at in any way, shape or form. That $100,000 dollars in 1975 would be about $475,000 inflation dollars today. Anyone know of ANY off road race that even offers half that amount in purse for desert racing now? If there was a race with $500,000 to paid out, there would be plenty of racers there. That was the point of the pay out back then, they paid DEEP. In some classes, folks who finished in 10th or 11th place got money. These days, everyone lost their $h!t when Dave offered up $100,000 for a Trophy Truck race and it still didn't get the pre-advertised numbers everyone wished for. And it was still seen as the greatest promotional event of the past 20 years. Sometimes it's hard to face reality. Racing costs money, but in the last 20 years, the returns from payback, sponsors, contingency, etc... have dies just as much or more than the dying classes we are talking about. UTV is helping that a bit, but again, is a $40-50k race car really entry level in a hobby sport?
But where did that purse come from...
 

Josh 8

Well-Known Member
Bert must drink a lot.
 
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