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  • tombergie01

It Takes All of Us...

Filling the stands at racetracks is one of my big wishes for 2020.

One of the topics of discussion I’ve had with various individuals since starting this blog is how to get more people involved in dirt-track racing — whether it’s more people in the stands or even getting more people to climb behind the wheel.

I used to think there was a simple remedy to this — that it was on track promoters to market to a wider audience. After quite a bit of thought, my view is that the survival and thriving of racing will take all of us.

Let me explain.

This includes track owners/promoters, of course, but it also includes fans. Drivers. Sponsors. Track workers. Announcers. Bloggers. Photographers. Radio show hosts. It’s a collective effort.

The perception of racing, at least by some who don’t follow the sport, is that it is a bunch of rednecks who drink. There are a few of those of course, but there are drivers from all walks of life. Engineers. Teachers. Business owners. Mechanics. Farmers. Sales people. Students. You get the picture.

Why does it take everyone? Because there is much more competition for people’s money and attention than 25-30 years ago. And for many tracks, it’s a real battle to get butts in the seats week-to-week as a result.

Sponsors can support tracks and drivers. Drivers can put on a show on the track but also be involved in things like meet and greets and getting things like T-shirts and pictures out to the public. Radio show hosts, announcers and bloggers can often tell stories about drivers that go beyond the results.

Track workers can certainly help by helping put on a good show and being welcoming to drivers and pit crews. Having friendly concession workers and ticket takers does make a difference.

Of course, promoters/managers of tracks play an important role in marketing their tracks, and creating ways to get new fans to give racing a try and having events that are a big draw to the diehard fans. Jam the Stands nights, for example, have been popular and in some cases attract a lot of people who either rarely go to a race or haven’t been there at all. You never know if those people will like it so much they will start coming more often.

Fans can help in a big way — and that is inviting new people to the track. And explaining that racing goes beyond a bunch of rednecks drinking beer. And maybe, telling people why they are hooked on this sport and how important the hobby is in their life.

Karting is also huge to the future of racing — there are numerous drivers in the RaceChaser area who got their starts in go-karts who’ve gone on to be super stars. It remains a great avenue to get young people behind the wheel.

One thing RaceChaser blog will do this year is buy tickets to a regular racing night at each of the eight tracks to give away. I am trying to formulate a plan to give those tickets to individuals who haven’t been to a race before or haven’t been to one in years. I’m open to suggestions on how to give these away.

This blog isn’t close to perfect and I’d love to always be doing more. I hope at the least it tells some stories that go beyond the finishes on the track. I’m so thankful for the people who read this — 69,099 page views and almost 20,000 users since May 1, 2019 — and very thankful for those who have become sponsors for 2020. The goal is to promote racing.

One big wish I have this year is to see more fans at racetracks this year. To help with that it will take all of us who love our sport and want to see it grow.

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