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how can we make it better?

bubnel

Well-Known Member
i thought i did this one b4 but it did not go through but here it is again. i know we all like to complain about what is wrong with off road racing from the sanctioning bodies to the tv coverage. now i think it is time we do something constructive. we got a group of 500 people here, we should be able to have some sort of positive influence on the sport. i would like to hear your ideas on what we can do to make it better? maybee we can make some suggestions to shoemaker or find a way to have it done better. you tell me what would you like to see happen?
 

Jimmy8

Well-Known Member
Right now I am reading a book on NASCAR. Its called The Wildest Ride, and it goes from the very begining and takes you through present day NASCAR. When stock car racing first started in the 1940's there were over 10 different sanctioning bodies in the south eastern US alone. Sound familiar? We have over 10 off road sanctioning bodies in the south western US alone. It also went on to say that they also got no media coverage because their were so many organizations that they did not know who to cover, and when they did cover someone, the others got pissed off. Sounds a lot like present day off road doesnt it. It wasnt until one organization was deemed the major one, that all of the coverage came, and that people were able to identify with it. Look at the height of off road. It was when there were only two major organizations (SCORE and HDRA), and then they combined forming one major series. I wont leave out SNORE, becuase they have always been here and always will in my opinion. This is what needs to happen now. 1 or 2 big organizations. A lot of the people, meaning promoters are getting involved to make a buck and not for the growth of the sport. This is what is killing it. All these organizations are spreading the entries out over 10 organizations instead of 2 or 3. Off road could see 400 entry races again if there were only a few organizations instead of 10. Right now, if you wanted to, and had the resources, you could race an off road event every weekend of the year just about, and that is not how it should be. It wont be until things get changed and 2 or 3 organizations are left that this sport will grow to see MINT 400 numbers again. That book just reminded me of how off road is now, and how it could be. I dont care if you like NASCAR or not, but you have to respect what it is, and where it came from. Regardless or not if you like it, we need to take a hint and from them, and maybe we will see our sport grow like that one has.
 

scott

Well-Known Member
Its simple, EXPOSURE equals sponsors and factory teams, and thus you get into the mainstream of America.... like NASCAR, CART, IRL, or NHRA.......
 

Jimmy8

Well-Known Member
read the rob maccachren interview at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.off-road.com/fordracing>www.off-road.com/fordracing</A>. He hits the nail right on the head about exposure. The winner of the borg warner cup gets 100000 dollars prize money. The main reason is that CORR is televised on ESPN. He said that the only way the desert is going to get that exposure is the promoters need to get their act together, and that is what I have said all along. Check out the interview.
 

BIG_FAT_LOSER

Well-Known Member
Take a look at A.M.A motorcycle racing. One Nationwide sactioning body, with the country divided into districts. There are over 50+ districts with each district broken down into off road, motocross, enduro amd trials. Members do not even have to compete to be members. The A.M.A also serves as a big represenative in land issues as well. Then the A.M.A pro series. The coverage and sponsorship is enourmous. I think this kind of sactioning idea can be applied to off road car and truck racing.

<font color=red>PAT KAPKO</font color=red>
 

Dillon

Well-Known Member
Since I'm a young 'un, and don't have a clue, what were some reasons why we went from a couple organizations to about 10-15 organizations? People not getting along?, or maybe they thought that more specialized racing would actually help promote (nice theory) or what? I'm just curious, how hard would it be to get some of these organizations together (merge or just co-sanctioned events maybe?)?

Just look at So-Cal, there are kids EVERYWHERE running around with trucks who think it is cool to have a "prerunner" because some other kid does, just think what you could tap into? How about some short 30 second commercials on MTV late night and just build up from there, there is no marketing at all, pass out fliers at malls or whatever, just push it harder. I just am getting into it and I'm so stoked on it, I've met the nicest down to earth helpful people and its fun. I talked to my sister about this (who is still in high school) and she wants me to run up fliers about upcoming events, races, etc. and get them posted around school. You get all these kids out to races, companies will follow, since the teenage population is what makes alot of people alot of money and thats what it all boils down to (sucks, but true).

I also think more shows or meetings where people can show off their trucks would be cool, Inland Prerunners is awesome at this, problem is, it is Riverside, some people will be like "WTF, drive an hour/two hours to look at some trucks?!?!?!" Again, organization helps, but it isn't there.

Okay, my dribbling 2 cents...
 

BIG_FAT_LOSER

Well-Known Member
Inland Prerunners tries to get people out to the dez (for other than races) but few ever show..........scared to get their "pre-runner" trucks dirty?

<font color=red>PAT KAPKO</font color=red>
 

rdc

- users no longer part of the rdc family -
Hey John....... I won't get into this one until you give me a green flag! LOL


<font color=red>Rally Expert<font color=red>
 

WFODAN

Well-Known Member
Are fewer promoters really the answer ?? I don't think so . Would a 400 car race get any more TV coverage than a 100 car race ?? Once again I don't think so . I think the problem is just what it has always been . Desert racing is not very easy to cover for TV . It's not like short course racing where you have four or five cameras out on the track and get all the action . Short course also has alot less cars on the track at one time to film . I'm not down on desert racing , I love it or else I wouldn't do it myself . It's just that everyone keeps saying " less promoters , less promoters " . People , we aren't that dumb !! If we wanted to all race for one promoter , than we would . I believe people race where they can afford , and be competitive . Each promoter offers something different . Different classes , different entry fees , and most important , different races . Without the different promoters , I don't think the sport would grow , I think it would shrink . I would say the vast majority of desert racers race because the love of the sport . Winning is a bonus when it happens . If you made everyone race a specific series , what do you think would really happen ?? I believe it would become like every other monopoly we've seen in this world . The entry fees would go through the roof ( because the promoter is the only game in town ) and Big Money would rule . Where does that leave the guy who races in a series that more suites him and his car ( limited budget ) ?? I'll tell you where . At home in his garage . Once again the numbers just shrank . Numbers aren't always the answer to the problem . What would happen if you were to try and put even 100 cars on the field at any Nascar race ?? Would it make it an even better show for TV ?? No , I don't think so . It would be too much to watch , the camera would still focus 90% of the time on the top ten cars . The rear cars would just fade away at a faster rate than they already do with less than half that number on the track now .
I don't know the answer to our dilema , how to sell desert racing to TV . I just don't believe that fewer promoters is anything close to the answer . Sorry for such a long post , but I'm just trying to let you see the other side of what fewer promoters would bring . I commend everyone who races . No matter where and when . If you're racing than you're already a winner .


Dan Vance
 

martininsocal

Well-Known Member
dan is right in some respects. when they tried to do tv in the score/hdra series, it was cost prohibitive, there was very little action caught on film. the many different classes confused the watchers, and folks not from the southwest and northwest had a hard time finding a link with driving in the desert. for 75% of the national market, you don't even have a hook in their mouth to begin with. that equals a hard sell for national television commercial sales where the big money is. helicopters, 10-15 camera set-ups, the crews to man them, the hotels, feeding, it all ended up as a money loser in the end. the closest we came was mteg and the stadium series. he sold 'a chunk of baja' to people around the country and convinced them that it was 110% action all the time. it worked in about 60% of the market. it still never went over in the northeast and he had dates cancelled in boston, etc...it is hard to relate to desert on the eastern seaboard.
with the proper regional marketing, local television could happen and make the sport biggerin the southwest, but you will never make it a national market. shortcourse has a better chance at national marketing, but that is now a specialized sport in motorsports and could almost be considered a different niche. rallycross and shortcourse aren't that far apart and scca and the local regions/chapters are looking at making rallycrosses more available to the general public to drum up interest.
why doesn't fox sports west or blueflame look at this market? for the most part, the core buying audience is the same target group. mountain dew, taco bell, and corona all have a large buyin in the market. why doesn't it work? because for the most part, there is no quality to the program. too many sanctioning bodies with different rules(or lack of) cause nightmares. too many promoters trying to fluff their feathers at the expese of the racer are a nightmare. too many races throughout the years are a nightmare as the water down competition, make entry numbers slim, and create nightmares. not what regional marketing wants to dump moey into. protruck, etc...have the right idea, but it will take years and lots of money to get to a regional marketing status before they see the fruits of their efforts.
besides that, without consolidation in our efforts, without action, you won't even be able to race fromt barstow to vegas, vegas to reno, or stoddard to johnson valleys if the greens get their way. the public likes tijuana to la paz(yeah, yeah) or vegas to reno. they can find them on a map and see how far it is. how about the outlet center drive to slash x? ain't gonna sell to some snowed in guy in maine.

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

Dillon

Well-Known Member
Who says we need to market towards other parts of the country? How many people live in Cali/Nevada/Utah/Arizona/Oregon/and even Colorado? Look at tractor pulls in the east, we in the west have almost ZERO interest in tractor pulls, yet the sport is flourishing. Or logging competitions? WTF? That makes ESPN on a regular basis! There is no organization or cooperation between the organizations. I think single class races every once in awhile would help a little, the 1600 race is projecting at least 30 cars, while that same class has only 17 cars for Primm. Or an MDR/BITD cooperation race would help. I don't know, just more to support each other.

It comes down to "where do we get the money?" again. So where do we get it? Again, a central organization like AMA would help tremendously. Say we get companies to add $5 or whatever to every product they sell, use that exclusively towards getting off road racing more exposure becasue that is the only means of an off road race product company's survival, is getting more racers and more people involoved. That means profits, which everybody likes. But like Dan said, what about a monopoly? Jack up entries, hoarde money, whatever. Sure it can happen, but so far I've met a heck of alot of honest people (generally).

Has anybody toyed with the idea of something along the lines of the AMA? They have almost 300,000 members. They have an AMA lobbyist department to fight off bad laws and get motorcycle friendly good ones on the books. Their racing division represents every type of motorcycle racing there is, something in the neighborhood of 70-80 events a year (at least). They have a national magazine that is published regularly and on schedule (cough*DirtPilot*cough). They give special discounts for everything; insurance, hotels, roadside assistance to name a few. They even have a hall of fame! What about an offroad vehicle association?, bring all the organizations under one association (keep all the promoters seperate still, or not, whatever, wouldn't matter). Let anybody join, you don't have to race, just be somewaht interested in the sport. I think initially you would get a large chunk of people who would join if someone of the stature of Sal or Ivan or whoever would endorse the idea.

The drawback is maybe a monopoly would arrise like Dan said, but I sorta doubt it, becasue everybody joined for the benefit of the sport and if a person is capable of arrising to the top and abusing the power, I think that person would be checked alot earlier as a money-hungry person that doesn't need to be in the ranks, whatever, I'm babbling now, but you get the idea.

Anyways, thats my thoughts of the subject, what options are there to help? It seems that the sport has already tried the national thing and the conclusion it seems is that it is not possible, but holy hell, logging competition on ESPN!?
 

BIG_FAT_LOSER

Well-Known Member
AMEN. You said it better than I could have. Why not join the A.M.A anyway? I am proud to have earned life member status. Have been a member for over 20 years.

<font color=red>PAT KAPKO</font color=red>
 

Klaus

Administrator
Maybe there is nothing wrong with the sport...and everyone is just dialed into x-games/mtv/bluetorch/instant coverage.

During the last MDR nightrace I looked up the sky and saw falling stars..(something I don't see that much from home) coming down every 30 seconds...it was a nice sight. Then I just talked to Eric Record (go-desert.com). He is on his way back from the CORR race this week. 50.000 people going to a shortcourse race that is 2 hours away from the next airport in a small town populated by 6.000 people.

Well that is short course racing not desert stuff. Baja1000 in the mid west ?

How would I describe desert racing ? A couple of wealthy and not so wealthy people racing their vehicles in the deserts for 200 miles. TV-Coverage ? To please the sponsors ? Me as a spectator I get a kick out of it no matter what and the less TV we have the less river/Glamis crowd we will have.

I did 2 Glamis Trips during one 7 day period and it is sooooo different from what I experienced during the desert races that I went to. Its a tense vibe. People are NOT as helpful and friendly to each other then you might be used to during a desert race. I am actually afraid that they close Glamis down and all those folks show up at our desert races. The Rangers and BLM would have to recruit more staff to deal with it.

The subject of this treat is: "how can we make it better ?"
To answer that question we need to ask yourself: " what is wrong with it ?" and " what are we trying to accomplish ?"

Is it the TV coverage that you dislike ? That can be changed.

Is it the promoters / sanctioning bodies ? That will take a new 'Mickey Thompson', "Sal fish", "summit", "Jesus" to take the lead and initiative to step forward. Someone to take risks. Someone not afraid to look like a jackass if it fails. A big voice. Budget.

Is it yourself being unhappy ? Go to a race and watch it up close. Listen to Ashley/Smith's sound echo through some valley before you actually see it. Feel the ground shake when Lonny Hembold land on the ground 10 feet in front of you. Feel the goose bumps on your arms when Troy Herbst pitches it sideways over some road crossing. Or Just plain out seeing Ivan drive by at any speed.
In case you are in a employer to employee relationship start turning you vacation request in now so you make it to the Baja 1000 or whatever venue you like. Cause no mater what we will use. 3-d cameras, vibrating chairs...nothing like seeing it in person and actually doing it is out of my comprehensions.

the end.
 

scott

Well-Known Member
I go to see the races reguardless of T.V. coverage or not. It doesn't matter to me. But if you want desert racing to get as big or just as big as Nascar or any other form of motorsports, you have to see what happens.... and thats sponsors. Their paying the bills and enrich the promoters with a good product. Sponsors have their names on the Cars, the uniforms, all over the pit areas, in the winners circle they mention the sponsors, their drinking the products.. It goes on and on. And thats the best form of advertising, because people can relate to that.
 

BIG_FAT_LOSER

Well-Known Member
Do we REALLY want off road races to become mainstream? I kind like the secultion. The dezert on a non race weekend is beautiful. I personally would not want dezert racing to get the NASCAR type/size crouds. We are a small tight knit freindly group of people. A freind of mine who happens to be a person of color attended his first off road race (MDR Calif 200) and happened to get a flat on his way out. He was amazed at the ammount of people that stopped to ask if he needed help. Do no think this would have happened leaving a NASCAR event. Cannot pin down what kind of improvements need to be made if any. I do know we need to get more involved in the land issue aspect of the sport. Not just as off road vehicle racers, join with outdoorsman, horseman and mountain bikers. To make our voices heard. Ckeck out the save the dezert section. Pardon my babble.

<font color=red>PAT KAPKO</font color=red>
 

Jimmy8

Well-Known Member
I dont think that mainstream is a bad thing. It brings in more people, which means more cars and better competition. It also brings in Television which brings in sponsors. Sponsors are crucial to the sport. Not everyone who drives a protruck, class 8, class 1 or TT have an unlimited budget. Any class for that matter. Trust me, we dont. Thats why it took my dad 2 years and the sale of his old 8 truck to complete his new one. Thats why my Trophy Truck's target date is 2003 or 2004. sponsors are crucial for us to continue racing. If it wasnt for the sponsors we have, we wouldnt be racing. I dont know how many proposals I have sent out in the past year. heck, 3 new ones go out in the morning. I know its just as hard for us to get the 8 truck going as it is for some guys to get their class 9 going. This is why the 8 truck has only raced 4 times in the last 4 years, and I have been racing the pre runner this year, not to mention why my TT is going to take 2 1/2 years to finish. Sponsors and the growth of the sport are crucial for us to keep racing. Mainstream or not, I would love to see it get huge again. I mean, who doesnt want to see themselves on ESPN. I know I do. Just keep in mind, not everyone's name is Herbst and have 150,000 dollars to spend on a transfer case. Although I am not saying I wouldnt if I had that money, because I probably would as well. And to answer about NASCAR not being a tight nitched bunch of guys. Off of the track they are best friends, drink beers together after the races and and go out deer hunting together in the off season. They are a really tight group of people, media just doesnt want people to know that, because making people think the racers hate each other adds to the storyline and the drama. I mean look at how the racers came together after #3 died. All of them took it hard, and they banded together to get through it. Just as off road racers help each other out.
 

WFODAN

Well-Known Member
I'm really not too concerned if desert racing ever gets back on ESPN or not . I race because I love it . Not to be on ESPN . If it takes you three years to complete your trophy truck , I think that is great . When it's finally done and you're racing it , if you're lucky enough to get a win with it , the satisfaction will be ten times as much than if the truck was basically just handed to you . Every dime that has gone into my truck has come from my own pocket . When I break it , I fix and pay for it . That is also part of the sport .
Let's imagine just for a second here .......... Everyone wants desert racing on TV right ?? How do you fit 15 classes of racing into let's say a two hour show ?? Even just on a highlight show , the not so popular classes would get skipped over . That's not fair is it ?? No ! If anyone can figure out how to fix that problem , you might have a good start at figuring out how to get it back on TV . Otherwise it's never gonna work . Out of all the people that post here or even visit the site daily , someone has to have some sort of connection to one of the channels . Start writing letters , making calls , sending Emails . Let your voice be heard . Tell them that you would like to see our sport on their channel . You need to start somewhere . What could it hurt ??


Dan Vance
 

Donahoe

Well-Known Member
Lots of good questions and comments from this thread... It seems to go back to the one question that has been posted on this site alot.... WHY DO YOU RACE?? For fun?? For the FAME? For the brass ring? Once that question is answerd then you can analize what is WRONG with off-road racing. In my opinion Nothing is wrong with the sport. We still have great places to race and just enough hipe to make me happy. What do you guys think?? Here is the thing to think about.... If off-road racing was as big as nascar do you really think guys like you would be anything??? You would be the few, the proud , the nobodies becuse you wouldnt be able to compete. Think about it.

NEVER LIFT!!!!!
 

martininsocal

Well-Known Member
for those who think this sport is fine, think again. lets leave tv out of the picture. even without tv, this sport is still in decline. less entries, more classes, and higher costs. it equals downslide, period. in the late 70's/early 80's, entries approached in excess of 400 cars. that was without tv and major sponsors. sure, there were a couple big names like coors and budweiser, but it still wasn't set up as real sponsorship, it was simply to sell beer.
those races in the midwest at CORR? guess how they started. they were considered as close to racing in baja as you could get in the midwest. the brushrun, crandon, bajabuttes in the dakotas. as a person who saw what these small groups were like, these folks rced because it was like baja, period. and their goal was to someday race at baja or the mint. from michigan, britsh colunbia, florida, these folks built baja race vehicles and ran them where they lived hoping to make the trip for a week at the mit or 2 weeks in mexico in the future. ask tsco and the wheyrichs about paisley, oregon or kamloops or weeks nevada. ask about the open pit races in florida or the way everyone got together to race on a farm in the midwest. everyone wanted to beat baja or the mint. moara, coora, oora, etc...all were little sanctioning bodies that did one thing, provide races to locals so they could prepare for their attempts at the 1000 or the mint. they didn't compete with score or kj howe, they supported them 100%. VORRA was a score sanctioned series fir that reason, they fed racers to score. that doesn't occur anymore.
the reality is offroading today costs too much for the paybacks. even the budget classes lose money. so the number of races we enter goes down. entry numbers drop, spectator numbers drop, interest drops. the sport declines. our grassroots have whithered. many racers today were the children of racers 20 yars ago. we need to replenish the grass roots to flourish in the future. sure trophy trucks are cool, but how many grassroots folks got started in trophy trucks? even our legends started out humbly, and thats why they are legends. ivan and his old 2 seat 100" chenowth buggy, roger mears in a highjumper ss, rick mears in the brand new chenowth magnum. the macmillans and the old class 9 ss.
they started as grassroots humble 'lets have some fun' in the desert folks. we need more of that to make the sport healthy.

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

rdc

- users no longer part of the rdc family -
Martian so true .back in the day at the mint you raced against the boy scouts that put a car together to race they came from every ware . Now the boy scouts are told we are the bad guys and do damage to the desert . I think there are 2 things wrong with off road racing today . We have a bad image to the average Joe because of the environmentalests . And there is to many classes For a major sponsor to work with
 
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