I have been looking at this thread for a while now trying to decide if I should respond. I know I am not a guy that is going to solve this. I do not have time or money. I can't even solve my motor problem that plagued me at the Tonopah 300 and at the Primm 300. But I do want to give my $.02.
I think people have stepped up and are starting the small steeps towards one sanctioning body. We are different than Nascar in many ways. It is not feasible to have separate races for separate classes so what a few people have started are groups or small organizations representing different classes (Pro Dirt, Pro 1600, Mini-Metal Bash and others). Once all the classes have a group for them the next step might be to have a board made up of one rep from each group. That board would be the organizational board that would work with the promoters thus you have an organizational sanctioning body that does not put on races but rather standardizes the rules and National points. If some one else runs a race and their car meets the rules of the promoter but not the sanctioning body and they win they still win but receive no recognition from the sanctioning body and no National points. As the sanctioning body’s exposure increases and as respect from the media, Promoters and other sanctioning body’s increases more teams will come into compliance with the sanctioning body rules.
I have seen people giving groups a hard time for forming. I say to the groups way to go just don’t start bashing other groups! I see 7s doing something in the future just because of the motor rule change. I see people saying that classes should be eliminated or combined. I disagree we need everybody and the classes let people with different financial abilities participate.
I have other ideas on how to organize races around the nation but we are not even close to that yet and when we get close there will probably be a posting on this site that I will respond to. All of this takes time and the sport is far from dead. It took me 10 years to put enough money away and to become stable in my life to build my own truck. I hope to be still racing when all of this is set but I know that if I am not my son and daughter will be.
To answer the question of why do I race off road- I everything associated with it. The weekend camping trip, the people you meet and even better the people your family meets and hangs out with talking about everything under the sun (not just the race). The racing stories and when it comes to the racing it is me and my team against the desert if I beat the desert I am a happy dude, if I beat everyone in my class I am ecstatic and if I beat anyone that started in a “faster class” in front of me that is just gravy on my taters (didn’t like icing on my cake) Just my $.02. Come check out my site at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.andrewsracing.com>www.andrewsracing.com</A>
The question here isn't "why do you race" but why do we want it bigger? I want it bigger so I can sit on my couch and video tape the program and see the what I missed at the race. I want the big TT guys to race MDR so I don't have to drive so far to see them race. What a selfish motive, huh? There are plenty of racing organizations out there, pick one and follow it, promote it, do what you can to support it. Why isnt our sport any bigger? 'cause its not! It may be hard to belive but the majority of racing fans couldn't care less about what we love, therefore it is as big as it is because of the simple rules of supply and demand. We have a very different fan base than any other racing sport I can think of; I'd bet 99% of NASCAR fans don't own a rear wheel drive car, or that most NHRA fans have never speed shifted down the quarter, but us, we all drive in the dirt and want to/are building our race cars and trucks. We are the "true" fans but there just aren't enough of us to warrant mass media coverage. I just got back from Crandon, 20,000 paying fans and not one prerunner. Our sport is changing though, the influx of new fans may start a second wave of desert racing, a new era of off roading. But it won't be changed by next weekend. Is the sport dead? no, just ask Fabtech, Camburg, King or any of the other shops doing more business now than they could've ever done 5 yers ago. Its just different now. There are plenty of people going out of their way to make new and fresh ideas into reality. I believe this board is one of them.
Well NASCAR is so big because of exposure. Anything with grandstands and close to the action, per say, will have a following. Some old guy told me with racing, the farther away from the action the less people will watch. So I guess its all about, if you love the sport or not. If you love it you'll be there reguardless of exposure.
I think the desert races that will get attention are ones like laughlin. A short course with a lot of laps, and a small stadium course with big jumps. The side by side start is awesome as well. That race has to be the biggest spectator event for a desert race in the states. I mean you will never beat the crowds of mexicans the baja races bring, but in the states that is a pretty big crowd. now if they could do some sort of live broadcast from the road crossing onto a big screen at the grandstands, that would be awesome. Not to mention they have a schedule, so people just come for the races they want. I mean Laughlin advertises that race like crazy. It is all over the phoenix radio stations, and nevada radio stations. I had people ask me at school, here in prescott arizona, if I was going to the Laughlin desert challenge, because it was such an awesome event, and come to find out they had never been to an off road race before, and that was going to be their first. They had no idea I have been to over 100. Publicity, and very spectator friendly, is why that race is awesome. I mean if I was stuck in the grandstands I would be pissed, but for someone who has never been to a race before, they think its great. Our sport is very different thats for sure. I just did a 15 minute presentation in my business class on off road racing. Here in northern arizona no one has really even heard of it. They do no what rally racing is though, because the scca holds an event here. I asked the class of 30 how many had heard of ivan stewart or the baja 1000 before and only 3 rose their hands. Ask them if they have heard of jeff Gordon or the daytona 500, and they all would have raised their hands. When I got done, I must have answered 50 questions on the sport. It was great. I showed a 5 minute video of robby g., and their mouths about dropped. They could not believe the wheelie part in the movie. I mean, there are 30 more people right now that want to watch and attend a race. Its not that people dont like our sport, its just that they have not been exposed. Its an easy catch once someone is exposed. I could go on all day, but I agree with Kreg on a lot of things, and I think everyone should appreciate what jen and greg do, because they are doing their part. I would love to see trophy truck action on espn again, but if it never does, I will still be here racing. And one last thing, all my teacher had to say was that she compared our sport to the running of the bulls, she said we were crazy.
Jimmy is right. The simi-short course is probably the way racing will go. The promoter makes his $$ from ticket sales and advertisers (plus a crowd to see banners etc.) and offers a bigger purse to the racers (is 100% payback possible?, that is what we're doing at our event), less money and headache because of fewer course workers, and the TV thing at major obsticles sounds pretty cool. And for all those that just love long races, just go out on any weekend and run any course with a couple buddys.
The closest thing we have to really compare to is motocross.
1) In the desert, same as off-road racing........ Little fan base.
2) Out Door motocross, like short course CORR ect., pretty good fan base and TV
3) Super Cross, like MTEG, huge fan base, lots of TV and "at event" spectators.
I think that spells it out pretty well how people in the US will support off road type motorsports from a spectator point of view, which we all no dictates the amount of TV thus sponsorship a sport will enjoy.
One thing seems to be left out of the equation, the people who race. A lot of racers probably don't want to run short course or semi-short course. Cars are different, spectators are different, terrain is different, etc. People that run desert races, 200 miles and up in distance, do it because it's their chosen endurance sport. You can relate this to athletes that do triathlons vs. the athletes that do sprints. You can expect some cross over, but many athletes and racers as well will choose the type of event that best suits what they like to do. It's hard to lump everyone together without running one group or another off. As long as there is freedom of choice in which type of event you can run, the racers will be the deciding factor as to which type is successful. No cars, no event. My .02.
In the U.S. professional motoX has only two classes. 125cc and 250cc. Other areas that have local racing have a plethera of classes from 80cc beginner to Open Vet, Open Senior, etc. The local events don't have much of a payout (come to think of it, neither does the National circuit!). Nascar has one class (kind of like protrucks). It goes round and round on one track and it has backing by all the major manufacturers. At any one event, there are more spectators in the stands at a Nascar race than an NFL football game. Desert racing is for the love of it and its personal satisfaction.
Right now there is a group of guys running both short course and desert offraod racing. This is the core group to start with. Give them a standard truck to work with. (Martin, it may not be perfect for short course and desert but can be close enough.) Set that series up to be national.
How many spectators at Laughlin? Does that work for a desert race? All of this is easy to work out. Look at 2 years for the start. Allow the programs to run out and start over.
Kreg, the rules in all the classes need refining and most need a total revamping. I bet there is someone out there that could put it all together. Look at the number of people thinking they can start their own series. It is guys like you that have to put in a minimal input to get a decent chassis rule. Look at the 7S problem. There are enough racrers that want change, that change could be made. The Pro Lite chassis is a pain to build around. You might as well start with a stock chassis. That class was a $15K class and is now $50K. And it has MAJOR problems.
Build so it is not dependent on the factories.
You race for the more esoteric reason of man against nature, or do you really want to beat the other person? Is there any other answers to the question?
Why is there 5-1600 AND 1/2-1600 AND 9? Why is there 5 AND Lite AND 10 AND 1 AND TT AND 7 AND PT AND 8? Why IS there 3? Why IS there Sportsman?
It takes the "big" guys to go "yea, it sounds good". Do the Herbsts, Collins, etc have any ambition to race at Crandon....New York? I am willing to bet these guys will fly into Topeka just as readily as New York, Boise, or anywhere. Collins was there for awhile...some of the people in the West will show up at anytime (in any class).
mike-as for a class that does both-protruck tries, but it is still expaensive to get into. i agree about the prolight thing.it was not the greatest design to begin with. it requires too many non=stock parts to begin with. there is no reason to have 7, 7s, 3, 3m, 3e(european) etc. why not a spec minitruck? keep it simple-every chassis is based on a ranger long bed twin i beam suspension. off the i beam jigs to manufactureres to be able to offer an i beam with identical dimensions at competitive rates. make all chassis pick up points the same, period. make all engines a maximum of 2.4 liters/4 cylinders. sure, they don't make a ton of horsepower, but they also don't wreck a ton of trannies and rear ends. 8 shocks-4 coilovers, 4 bypass. with everyone starting with the same frame, you should be able to get jigged chassis on the market for what an imca chassis cost. make the classes affodable. stock full? you seen what they are charging for a stock full truck? yeah, thats an affordable class to race!!! entry level alright! just like what you race. just think how many 1600 cars there would be across the us if there was one rule change in that class...101" wheelbase. think about that for 1 second. there would be hundreds of cars from main to baja that could race shortcourse, longcourse and desert. you may haul a car from florida once a year to run the 1000 or vegas to reno. and the car would be competitive.
to make the sport "bigger" means more racers, not neccessarily more fans, but more racers will create more fans. i like racing, just about anything. speed is all relative. even slow racing is fun as long as enough competitive cars are on the track. those that complain about 9 cars being boring to watch need to ride in one. this is not an attack on you, but some fans have taken a "size queen" mentality and only want trophy trucks. wish i could oblidge them! most racers are racing off their monthly paychecks and overtime, not trust funds and sponsor bucks. i personally think the way to go forward is to step back a bit and look at the way racing was in the late '70's early '80's. cars and trucks that raced baja and riverside...
Ok, here we go with Tims' racers organization rule book. Martin got the 7S and 1600 done in one shot. (No thanks to Kreg. Maybe you could do half as good as Martin on the premier class rules.) By the way, both classes, no Ti. Martin, 7s, any mfg. motor, right? Tim you give up your 9 and I will give up my 94 inch 1600.
Pro Truck was a dream that turned into a nightmare. Ivan came up to a couple of guys when he first had with the idea. "Yea, 30K and everyone will have the same stuff." Talk about inflation.
It doesn't have to be trick (look at a stock car). Do the same thing as Martin did for 7S for the class you want to see Baldwin, Taylor, Herbst, Collins, Herder, Probst...line up in for Laughlin or Crandon or Baja. Plus it turns into the same thing as the 7S and 1600, you can race it anywhere and if you can't travel, you don't have to. There will still be plenty racing in your own area after the show leaves town.
kreg-if i could weld half as well as you, i would have already built the first jig! as for the elite class-with some slight modifications, the protrucks would fill the bill and be the premier, fastest class of truck in the dez. even nascar realizes that you have to have some restrictions on motor size, fuel octane, suspension pieces, etc... the truggy, gordons tropht truck, etc...are way cool, but way too expensive for the market they run in. if the protruck rules were more like imca with other manufacturers able to manufacture and sell parts for the class, price would come down and competition would be better. tire wars, shock wars, seat wars, etc...iroc works because the drivers already are paid well in the series they race professionally, so they can have fun in identical cars with little pressure. to do the same thing
with the protrucks is wrong because no market competiton allows the sole proprietors to inflate prices with no market control.
mike- your 94" car would be a great acr if everyone else from east to west coast had a similiar car. infact, it is a lot like the spec car i would run. it would cost more initially to build, but upkeep and maitenance would be cheaper in the long run as compared to a west coast 9 car. people could convert 9 cars to the new specs for reasonably cheap and have a car they could race at barstow or crandon.
why not spreadthe series out a bit, run corr style races in vegas, buttonwillow, and sacramento(vorra already has a track!) and create the next step to true national series racing. desert courses in barstow, vegas, and colorado or utah and 4 short course races, all done by september so every can get ready for the 1000 in november.
Ivan has a trademark on the protruck, and he will never open it up to let others use the name and make the chassis, and run the protruck series. In my opinion he would be a damn fool if he did. Look at the recent score rule book, and they still have the rules for the baja truck class savage was trying to get started. That class would have been just like what you are talking about. It had a spec chassis you had to buy, and then there was a displacement limitation on the motor, and other than that, it was pretty open. It would have been neat to see.
Martin. you misunderstood my post. If the rule is 101 inches, I will get a new chassis. I was asking Tim to make the change too.
The Pro Truck is a non-issue. They should go away.
Where the help is needed is on the chassis specifications for a full size truck. Maybe similiar to the 7S Martin described. There has to be a way to put 20 to 24 inches of wheel travel into a truck that doesn't cost as much as a PT.
Mike Notary said: "I was asking Tim to make the change too."
I didn't read that Mike. Re-read your post and see if you can see that. However, I am ready to change. I want to go faster. But this is a personal thing. I still believe in the need for a "low cost of acquisition" class. When I sell my Nine car, it will be available for anywhere from $5000-$8000 depending on how the buyer wants it configured. $5000 to go racing; not bad.
The responses to this thread have been enlightening. At first, I found Kreg's post most disturbing. But, it was probably the one closest to reality. He's right. Who's gonna take the reigns? Meanwhile, status quo.
Tim it was right after Martins post at the top of page 6.
"Tim you give up your 9 and I will give up my 94 inch 1600." That is for Martins' 1600 rule.
Tim, another thing, you won't REALLY be going much faster. Bang for the buck, 1600 is it. It isn't quite a race car so costs can be reasonable. Yea, used 9s are 1/2 the price of a 1600 but I think durability is in the 1600, with all the parts pretty much standardiazed. Not real familiar with 9s', they have some issues don't they? I would go Lite if I was you, or are you a SNORE guy?
Tim, Kreg isn't a racer anyways is he? He builds it and crashes it mostly. He may be right but someone may be in a position to put it together. We could hand that person the total package. SUMMITT was supposed to be the answer. Look at the interest it drew. What went wrong with that? I do not think they were in touch with the racers. Seemed like a bunch of friends getting together for dinners at motel confrence rooms.
The series, 6 races in the midwest in the summer, 3 desert races in the spring, 3 desert races in the fall. Double that number of races in a few years. There is another thread where the points and organizations was laid out fairly well. Had the local thing figured out for the non-traveling people.
Ok it seem my little plan for reverse psycology has failed. I'm trying to motive some of you to actually DO SOMETHING then just sit on a message board and tell us all you BITCHES about this sport and NEVER do anything about. Mnotery... WHo are you???? Fill out your Bio so I know who i am telling off. I can pretty much garentee that I have "backed up" further then you have "driven forward" in a race car. And I think its safe to say that I do more in a week then you have EVER done for this sport....So watch who you are bagging on... I have Paid my dues and continue to everyday. I know Martin and most of the people in this Thread... Martin works for change and hits lots of meetings that you have never been to. He is a person who if properly motived would make a change. And YEAH I did Crash a truck at A Race... A Trophy Truck Race... My first Trophy Truck race as a driver... I was FRICKEN LEADING IT TOO... And I ended up Finishing 3rd in points for the year ahead of Teams that spent 10 times the money I did...With Trucks that wernt even trophy trucks... SO untill you Walked in my shoes show a little respect. Ok enough about that, you want to know what WE can do for the sport??? We need to bring a "SHOW" to the Masses... Its all about the show... Our current coverage Sucks... T.v. Package Sucks.... Spectating sucks..... Media Relations Sucks.... Here we have in front of us the Most EXTREEM motorsport in the world yet "Fishing with Hank" Gets more ESPN coverage then us. WHy is that??? Our production Value Sucks.... There is ZERO drama in the production..... That is fix numer 1.... Fix number 2... Spectators... We NEED a short Course "Style of Race... Not all of them... But some that are Spectator Frendly to get a bigger fan Base... WHere do we do this??? Well Orange County would be my choice... It seems to be the Hub where most Racers are from.... Tustin Air station.....The Pond in Anahiem in the river bed... El toro marine base....all of these would work.... Then get on the Media Band Wagon... There are alot of people out there who support off-road Racing in the media who can work on co-op sponsorship... "Malibu" Dan being one. Then Markting. We need to tell the world about our EXTREEM SPORT.... Market it like the x-games.... So Kids where do we start??? One thing at a time... lets set some goals and start picking them off... Who is up for some change??? Who wants to put in an extra 40 hours a week....????? We are ganna need about 10 people who have the time and a gung ho attitue to pull it off. well??? Anyone??? Anyone??? p.s. This conversation has gone on scince the beginning of desert racing and we are still ridding the back of the bus in motorsports. i'm not trying to be negitive just stating the FACTS. P.s.s. Its early and my spelling sucks.