Drag Race Attendence - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-06-2017, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Drag Race Attendence

Just curious where a rural track might be most likely to draw a crowd from. This isn't my track, I'm just trying to help someone out who is having a hard time drawing a crowd.

My opinion is he tries to cater to local influence. He had an arm drop race street car race but only a few cars showed up. They try to keep the race local or to favor locals. Then he had a 4.70 and 6.50 index with a 28/29 race and had a terrible car count.

Something is wrong with the formula because the track is pretty good, but it can't keep on like this.

My opinion is the arm drop no prep is small change. Even if bigger money were offered it would likely draw limited cars. If a fast car shows up the locals whine and complain. It's like a buddy's race between local buddies.

The 28/29 is mid 4 second car for the fastest. Anyone on 28's in a door slammer has to race a big inch 29 tire full chassis car with huge power. The same one or two cars will always win.

The mix of a 28/29 open class and a 4.70/6.50 index was terrible. As was last week's arm drop race.

So where would most of the crowds pull from to help the track out??? Your thoughts??



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post #2 of 17 Old 03-06-2017, 09:56 AM
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if the track prep is on point and i mean rip you shoes apart if you stand flat footed for more than 10 seconds type on on point. and you put up around 5K to win you get the word out early in the season and a weekend where there ISNT another big race. do an X275 race. to get the big hitters to show up and run it takes cash. guys arent going to travel more than a coupe hours for a 1000 to win race


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post #3 of 17 Old 03-06-2017, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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if the track prep is on point and i mean rip you shoes apart if you stand flat footed for more than 10 seconds type on on point. and you put up around 5K to win you get the word out early in the season and a weekend where there ISNT another big race. do an X275 race. to get the big hitters to show up and run it takes cash. guys arent going to travel more than a coupe hours for a 1000 to win race
This is a small but pretty nice track a few hours south of me. There are no illusions of drawing in a distant crowd.

I'm hoping others join in this about what they like or don't like, or with some ideas how to get the most cars for the least money.

I know what puts me off. I think they make some bad choices catering to locals. They have arm drop races for "street cars". That's probably five or ten local area cars at most. The have index races like 4.70 and 6.50, but that's just really a bracket race. There aren't that many 4.70 cars and bracket races are common anyway.

I would think if the 28 class was broken out as one group without the 29 chassis cars and a fast street legal class that is really a car for the street it might have a bigger pool. I really don't intend to race unless I take my street car into a 28 tire class.

They have to get a biweekly or at least monthly good draw going somehow. Not just a few big races. Maybe that is impossible? I just don't know what to do because I don't know the car pools, but I would think 28 and 275 for one class and something really streetish for the other.


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post #4 of 17 Old 03-06-2017, 10:58 PM
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The whole sport is on a downturn. For a ton of reasons. The hot stuff right now is the no prep races, the so-called "street cars" (and there ain't nothing street about them other than maybe license plates) putting down 2000+ hp.

Owner needs to market the track and the events. Advertise-for a length of time. Get the word out. Get some of the big boys in there. Yesterday out here a couple of the street outlaw guys were supposed to run a special program at Newport which I believe rained out; but I am told there was a good turnout anyway just to meet the guys, in the rain-even though they didn't race. So maybe that's what's needed. More TV exposure for the sport, get a few more guys involved in the TV stuff and maybe the exposure will help pull in the crowds.

One of the 3 local tracks here will put out facebook advertisements, and the local racers will share it. I usually see the ads about 25 times a few weeks prior to a bigger event. Usually there'll also be some flyers around town and I generally try to pick a few up to post at work. Advertising is NOT cheap but if the racers will do their part to get the word out, it sure helps!

Whit Bazemore did a good editorial a while back and it is spot on. Read here:

WHIT BAZEMORE: LET'S FIX IT NOW! | Competition Plus
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-07-2017, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by toddturbo View Post
The whole sport is on a downturn. For a ton of reasons. The hot stuff right now is the no prep races, the so-called "street cars" (and there ain't nothing street about them other than maybe license plates) putting down 2000+ hp.

Owner needs to market the track and the events. Advertise-for a length of time. Get the word out. Get some of the big boys in there. Yesterday out here a couple of the street outlaw guys were supposed to run a special program at Newport which I believe rained out; but I am told there was a good turnout anyway just to meet the guys, in the rain-even though they didn't race. So maybe that's what's needed. More TV exposure for the sport, get a few more guys involved in the TV stuff and maybe the exposure will help pull in the crowds.

One of the 3 local tracks here will put out facebook advertisements, and the local racers will share it. I usually see the ads about 25 times a few weeks prior to a bigger event. Usually there'll also be some flyers around town and I generally try to pick a few up to post at work. Advertising is NOT cheap but if the racers will do their part to get the word out, it sure helps!

Whit Bazemore did a good editorial a while back and it is spot on. Read here:

WHIT BAZEMORE: LET'S FIX IT NOW! | Competition Plus
Crossthread did that the 2nd year for the battle of the states. a ton of the street outlaw guys were there and the stands were PACKED! hell it was SNOWING at one point and the people were still there!
the biggest thing to keep tracks open is getting ass's in the seats. we were talking to Jason miller about the Friday night races at MIR he use to run and he said his goal was ass's in the stands. he would rather have the fans show up to watch than have the racers show up. because the fans are what brings the money.
but what comes first??? the fans or the racers???
the street outlaw guys do pack the stands thats for damn sure!
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-07-2017, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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One race isn't going to do anything long term. One race a month might.


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post #7 of 17 Old 03-08-2017, 08:15 AM
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gotta start with 1 race to get the fans out to the track...
but also look at world cup that they do at MIR in November. that race profits over a million in that weekend alone. but thats at a track that can handle an event that size
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-16-2017, 06:49 PM
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Our local podunk track packs the stands every thurs test n tune. Ive raced all over the states and have never seen anything like it anywhere else. I mean both sides of the track, stands full and standing room down the rest of the track. Guys tailgating, people all over the place. Plus 100 racers or more some nights. Got to get the word out. Let people see how much fun it is.

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post #9 of 17 Old 03-16-2017, 07:03 PM
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That Podunk track has some of the best ET's and racers in Div. 3 if we are talking Kil-Kare. Don't underestimate yourself.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-17-2017, 10:27 PM
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Unless more of the locals intend of taking up the sport of drag racing, catering to them alone is a losing proposition. the owner of the track needs to find what would draw racers from 2+ hours away. The local racers biggest draw is..... That it's local. I hate to say it but he should forget about the local guys for a bit, they'll probably show up regardless.

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post #11 of 17 Old 03-17-2017, 11:57 PM
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There's quite a few different sites posting the same question. How to get more folks to attend. And if there's 10 sites with 10 major contributors to each of the same post, there's 11 opinions on each.

Ask ourselves. Why do the street outlaws pack the stands? DRAMA? TV cameras?

Quite a number of you guys don't know this (but you're fixin' to)....I had my hand in an old TV reality show (which was a flop), filmed at a drag strip. Nobody showed up for the filming or any of the drama. The film crews and the participants (racers) and that was IT. The 2 racers, one was a younger kid full of spunk, and the other guy was a little older but he was quieter, so to speak. IMO there wasn't enough trash talking, not enough bickering, maybe not enough fighting. The quieter boy, he is a true racer and not a movie star at ALL, just like myself. There was plenty of drama, but the entire show was rigged from the get-go because the promoter was a local business; they started the whole deal to promote their own business. The first filming there were a few hundred folks hanging around. Soon as they got wind of what was going on, they chose not to come back and I don't blame them! Typical of the media....all of it, IMO. Could have had all the fights and arguments in the world on that deal but it didn't matter because the cameras were almost always on the one guy and his import; while the other had American iron (although it wasn't really a "cool" car) and got VERY little exposure. He, too was involved in a local business but it is an old timey mom-and-pop parts store, where people still to this day go to do their bench racing. Reminds me, I need to head over there and do some myself.

Bracket racing. You don't see fans showing up to watch bracket races. A few but not many. Locally, maybe 50 and they usually either know or work with the racers. The saturday night stuff, yes, you'll see a good number of fans. Unless it's the middle of July or August where it's 100 degrees at 10:00 PM and humidity so thick that you can't see the finish line. I'd just as soon go to a dirt track in conditions like that. At least there's usually a breeze with the roundy-round sprints running. BUT, as mentioned, what comes first, the chicken or the egg? If it weren't for the racers, there would be no fans. If it weren't for the fans, there wouldn't be any racers. They depend on one another. I personally don't do much with the heads-up style racing, but I have run a good bit of doorslammer index races, which is always fun-but it's more or less just a bracket race with a pro tree and both cars having the same dial-in. The fans pack the starting line during index races; especially the footbrake index races which is all I do anyway since I have no electronics. Driving the car to the burnout box can be challenging there's so many people. The stands are generally packed as well. Maybe we're onto something here? On that same token, many bracket racers will show up for test and tune on saturday nights, and some even stay for index classes. Then there's a good number of heads up racers who decide that their stuff can't compete with whatever class maybe due to budget constraints. It's up to everyone to try to prevent THOSE folks from selling out and giving up. Maybe invite them to run a bracket race the next day? I'd personally like to see more bracket racers. But it's not a sport for everyone....it's quite a mental game, but it's also very good for the brain as far as exercising it. I personally think that the announcers at some tracks can do a better job in making a venue more attractive. I've been to tracks where the announcer was the clear eyes guy. It was depressing!

The saturday night heads up stuff is where the money is. Most times, the track pays a $2.00 trophy to the winners, where the Sunday bracket racers get a couple $$$ to run. Yet another reason to maybe get some of the heads-up racers to show up on Sunday. That ain't always the case but it's worth mentioning, IMO. But on Saturdays, they're not paying much out, but charging $10/head to get in. On Sundays, $30 each to race, $10 to watch, and they have to pay back some of it, so they don't make as much at the end of the day after the bills are paid.

Concessions. One track I have been to has a decent concession stand, but they don't charge enough. Burger is $1.50. Hot dog $1.00. They ain't making any money to speak of, at least I can't see how. I thought it shoulda been double-at least. People are gonna buy food and drinks, mark that stuff up a little and it'll help the track's bottom line, but not so overpriced that everyone brings their own stuff. I know of one place that a 12oz can of beer was $16. No thanks. Another track was $9 and they sold out often.

Drag racing in general isn't all that exciting to watch for most Americans. Thus begs the question, how to we fix that? 4 lanes? That's just hard to follow, IMO; at least it is to me. How do we make it more exciting, such that would put more butts in the stands?
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-18-2017, 11:21 AM
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The only time I go to the strip is to race/test/tune my own car. The only racing I watch on TV is the fuel cars, TF and F/C. I record the whole event and fast forward through everything else. Although a new series came out called Grudge Race. I have watched the first 9 episodes, somewhat entertaining, dont know if it will last. Do not watch Street Outlaws, to contrived, to scripted. Dubbing in tire squeal is stupid.

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post #13 of 17 Old 03-18-2017, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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A friend and I are putting on a street race there to see how it goes. We put up the prize money of $1500, it is a gift.


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post #14 of 17 Old 03-19-2017, 01:25 AM
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TV is dying too. I've spent the last 25+ years working in the field. New media, however, is huge. Facebook live stream a grudge race - you'll get major viewership with minimal effort. Cash isn't as big a draw as fame; even internet fame.

Also, while people still race cars, racing has gotten more and more expensive - remember when you could buy a stripper mustang with roll-up windows even in the '90's? Price yourself a base GT now. Notice that most racers are older than they used to be. And modifying cars today in a meaningful way is also harder and more expensive - cars are closer to maxxed out from the factory. Heck, my near-base model Grand Cherokee has an NA v6 that makes 300 hp on 87 octane and an 8 speed trans. Not that long ago, it took more displacement, two more cylinders and premium fuel to make the same power.

You can always hold an armdrop race that starts with a wet t shirt contest. The winner of the wet t shirt contest does the arm dropping. Though back in the day, Rich and Brian did quite well and drew large crowds just traveling from track to track holding non-televised arm drop races.

It's the proverbial damned if you do scenario - all the remaining tracks in my area are absolutely mobbed whenever they're open - I'd kill for a 100 car field on any fair weather day. We get hundreds showing up, even for just test and tune. To get under 100 cars, typically it's got to be in the 30's and 40's out. Then, of course, you can't hook worth a damn.

I don't really know what my point is, this is more just a loose collection of related thoughts that hopefully help in some way.
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-19-2017, 11:41 AM
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Also, while people still race cars, racing has gotten more and more expensive - remember when you could buy a stripper mustang with roll-up windows even in the '90's? Price yourself a base GT now. Notice that most racers are older than they used to be. And modifying cars today in a meaningful way is also harder and more expensive - cars are closer to maxxed out from the factory. Heck, my near-base model Grand Cherokee has an NA v6 that makes 300 hp on 87 octane and an 8 speed trans. Not that long ago, it took more displacement, two more cylinders and premium fuel to make the same power.
.
This, I believe is a lot of the problem. I remember the stripped down, no option 5.0 Mustang T-5 that could be had for $13k. Now, to find a new V8 Mustang for under $30k is an effort. I realize that todays cars are more refined and by law have to have more safety items, TPMS, ABS, airbags ect, plus ever tightening emissions regs, and that drives the cost up and up. Add to that the cost to modify this newer technology and it puts a damper on the "average joe" taking the DD down to the drags. In a short 25 years the cost of a V8 stang has almost trippled, in fact a loaded Mustang can get into the $45k range...then look at the added cost for a Shelby or Roush or other tuner car and now $70+k is the norm. Yes it is a lot of car that can totally humiliate that 1992 5.0 that was only $13k in every catagory, but still. I miss the "good old days" dispite living and enjoying the new "good old days". I mean, really, a factory 700 plus hp street car? With a warranty? Who would of thought this was possible 25 years ago. Enjoy it while you can.
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post #16 of 17 Old 03-22-2017, 02:25 PM
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A friend and I have put together and promoted a pretty fun race for over 10 years now. It was originally a street racing event but has turned to a track event. We have grown over the years but have an outlaw class, small tire, powderpuff - womens, and 3 true street classes. the true street classes have a solid car count - over 30 cars per class. the others are about 10-16 cars. See if you could start a true street series. we do a 50 mile cruise, come back and make two qualifying passes, once they are done the classes are split into 3 as evenly split as possible. it works out great and the racing is fun and close. all heads up and lots of races decided within hundreths or better at the stripe. we do put a breakout on the class so that someone doesnt sandbag their way in.

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post #17 of 17 Old 03-22-2017, 09:06 PM
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You can always hold an armdrop race that starts with a wet t shirt contest. The winner of the wet t shirt contest does the arm dropping. Though back in the day, Rich and Brian did quite well and drew large crowds just traveling from track to track holding non-televised arm drop races.

.

A track-or former track-close to where I now live did the armdrop deal. It was a flop. The whole deal was boring, other than the drunkards acting like retards.
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