San Diego Tribune Article- Hard times for Motorsports


Pistol Pete's Personal Pot Stirrer
Surprised nobody posted this yet- The following article was in the San Diego Union-Tribune on May 28th-

Hard times evident across the board for racing
By Bill Center, Union-Tribune Staff Writer

2:00 a.m. May 28, 2009

In case you hadn't noticed – and how could you not? – these are not good times for motorsports.

Yes, those were empty seats you saw Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and television ratings for the Indy 500 reached record lows.

Plus, it also rained on NASCAR's day, figuratively and literally. And who knows where all the problems in the auto industry will leave NASCAR at the end of this season.

But off-road racing has been hit particularly hard in recent years, staggered by the 1-2 combination of the economy (particularly in the construction industry, which is the backbone of most off-road teams) and violence in Mexico.

With its 41st Baja 500 less than two weeks away (June 6 with start-finish in Ensenada), SCORE is denying rumors that it might move the Baja 500 and Baja 1000 out of Baja California due to the violence issue.

And seven-time national Supercross/motocross champion Rick Johnson is bringing his infant The Off-Road Championship Series to Perris Auto Speedway tomorrow and Saturday night, hoping to relaunch closed-course off-road racing in the wake of the economy-driven collapse of the Chula Vista-based CORR Series.

First, let's address the SCORE rumors.

“The only thing that would keep SCORE from racing in Baja California is that if there was no racing in Baja California,” said veteran SCORE spokesman Dominic Clark, who admitted SCORE President Sal Fish has been approached about staging a race in Sonora in mainland Mexico.

SCORE is having problems. The entry list for the Baja 500 stands at 275 combined for motorcycles and four-wheel vehicles, which is about the average for the history of the race but substantially below recent numbers.

Fifty of those entries represent Mexican teams with participation from United States teams being down. And because of the economy, the course is the same as 2008 in hopes that cash-strapped teams wouldn't need to spend as much time and money pre-running.

But the biggest problem facing the Baja races is the violence south of the border, which has reduced the number of drivers and spectators.

“The Mexican government recognizes the importance of our races to the economy of Baja California and has been doing everything it can,” said Clark. “Security last year was the strongest I've ever seen.”

As for CORR, the series founded by developer Jim Baldwin and anchored by two annual races at The Quarry in east Chula Vista, is shut down, although Baldwin is trying to reorganize.

Johnson, with the backing of abandoned CORR drivers and off-road industry sponsors, put together the first TORC series on Jan. 6 and stages his second race of the season (eight two-day meets are planned) at the PAS.

Although attempts to use The Quarry failed, Johnson is hoping to stage a September race at Pala Raceway between Escondido and Temecula. Johnson expects 35 to 40 trucks in the Pro-4, Pro-2 and Pro-Lite classes to be at Perris Friday and Saturday nights at 6 p.m.


we don't like the reprints of newsclippings, we only like to make up stuff and spread rumors about offroad issues ... anyone can cut an article out of a paper ... rdc-guy :eek: :rolleyes: :cool:


we don't like the reprints of newsclippings, we only like to make up stuff and spread rumors about offroad issues ... anyone can cut an article out of a paper ... rdc-guy :eek: :rolleyes: :cool:

Look at the article. You are talking about making rumors up based on rumors.


Well-Known Member
I have been a longtime San Diego resident, since 1989 and can honestly say that our Motorsports Columnist leaves a lot to be desired for. When he does write about off-road, he NEVER has ALL of the facts and more often than not tilts the articles to those of his "favorite" liking. The section is usually more of a puff piece, a collection of quotes and statements from press releases than true decent journalism.

I laughed when I read this yesterday as the author's vast motorsports knowledge (smell the sarcasm) must have precluded him from writing about the now 4 round successful short course series caled LOORS. He also failed to write about other short course venues that are bringing success like Glen Helen and M4SX but hey, who wants to get caught up in all of those details.

OK, now off of my soap box and back into the sand box!



Mini Metal MOD
I agree with Mike, Bill Center has been out of touch with off-road racing since the early 90's. I quit reading his articles a long time ago. This article reads like he got most of his info from MO.....