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  • tombergie01

Drivers Need a Seat at Rules Table

Facebook was busy this week in regional racing; the talk was about spec shocks and the Wissota Street Stock class. Many drivers have voiced their opposition to adding spec shocks in posts. I'll let you read more about that on Facebook.

As far as the graphic goes above don't read into it, I just needed a rulebook cover online.

Look, I am not a rules person or a tech person. I know very little about those aspects. Through my friendship with Bob Sagen I learned a few basics last spring but it’s way over my head. Nor do I want to turn this into a specific rules blog, I will let others fight those battles that have more knowledge and a vested stake in the deal. Like owning a car, for example.

I’ll take a different angle here — that is the influence of some engine builders, chassis builders, tire companies and shock companies on sanctioning bodies. Doesn’t matter if you are IMCA, Wissota, NASCAR, UMP or USRA, those groups have a seat at the table. And sometimes — not all the time - they have a seat at the table when it comes to influencing rules. Sometimes it’s the biggest seat. And sometimes, the money helps get them the biggest seat.

Those sanctioning bodies get a nice chunk of money from those businesses, and when it comes to rules, it’s no secret the rules can skewer their way. You could say that with engines for Wissota, Crate Engines for IMCA (which is privately owned, I should add), tires for USRA, shocks for any series, etc.

Here’s who needs a big seat at the rules table: the budget weekly racer/car owner. Not the ones with the deepest pocketbooks, but the ones who have a budget and often, that dictates if they race week to week. The drivers who have money, or are funded by someone with big money, don’t care how much they spend on what. The budget racers certainly do.

Track promoters can have a seat at the table, too. I’m not sure how much influence they should or do have, but they need to be there, too. Because they have a vested stake — if cars don’t come to their track because of rules, they lose out.

Every sanctioning body has flaws and positives. I don’t care which one you race for. Every sanctioning body has political BS. I really don

Costs are the hottest topic in racing right now. People want costs down. Racing is becoming less affordable. Changes need to be made for the sport to survive and thrive.

Let the budget weekly drivers have a voice in helping solve that.

Rainouts Can Be Costly

I was bummed the rain hit Norman County Raceway on Thursday. I was on the fence about going in the morning but decided by noon I was ready to go watch the NLRA Late Models. Unfortunately rain earlier in the week and today ruined that plan.

There are a couple of reasons why rainouts are costly, some more than others. In the case of Norman County Raceway, the NLRA Late Model show was poised to be one of their bigger events of the year — should have been a full crowd, good field of lates. With sponsorships added, it could have been a good financial night for the track.

Not to mention, money is spent earlier in the week on radio, print and sometimes TV advertising. You don’t get that money back. The same scenarios would hold true for for Sheyenne Speedway in Lisbon, by the way. Sunday’s NLRA show is arguably the track’s biggest race of the year.

I speak from some experience on weather cancellations.

My parents ran the Fiesta City Speedway in Montevideo from 1992-94. The track is on the flatter side and is built in a slough with some gumbo in it. So naturally rain messed with everything. The track was underwater, particularly in turns one and two, quite a bit. A lot of water was pumped off of those turns.

We three boys helped, I usually was a gopher in the pits — they didn’t trust me with anything important. First year, in 1992, a tornado hit our hometown 15 minutes south and the weather was hit and miss. Second year, weather was still hit and miss again. The third year, my dad felt like the 1/2-mile track was too long, so he decided to shorten it to a 4/10-mile. The idea was good but the weather was not, and the season was delayed. After that we’d had enough of the promoting game.

We had weeks when rainouts would hit on Friday afternoon. Advertising money, and in those days program printing costs, were lost money in those cases.

Rainouts are costly.

Elko Speedway Adding Wissota Midwest Mods

Elko Speedway, located just south of the Twin Cities off of I-35, announced today it is adding Wissota Midwest Modifieds to its weekly program for 2020.

This is significant in the fact that Elko is an asphalt track, which by my count, is the only track of that kind running a weekly Wissota class.

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