RaceChaser Editorial: The Fan Experience, B Mod Remarks, A Wish List
I haven’t written a lot of editorials this year but I want to clean the desk so to speak. So here are some thoughts.
I wrote a Facebook post on how long racing programs seem to be running the past few years – it’s a problem that I worry will drive away fans – but I also want to talk about the overall fan experience at the track. Keep in mind this blog is written from a fan’s perspective, one who’s been a fan for four decades.
A lot goes into this besides just how a show is run. It’s how fans are treated, from the ticket line to the concession/beer lines. Are they welcomed? Are they told thank you for supporting the track? Plus are the concessions affordable, and are there good options?
Then there are things like track prep – is the track a dust bowl where you can’t see a thing or as rough as a plowed field?
There are other things too – is the announcer accurate with names and hometowns and engaging with fans? Are there unnecessary delays? Is the show itself run efficiently?
I appreciate other little things – are the stands clean? Restrooms clean? Is parking manageable?
All of these things matter to me as a fan. Some of those things are just pure good customer service. A few take some more time and effort. But I think they would help in the effort to keep fans coming back weekly.
B Mod Remarks
I’ve talked to a few B mod drivers in recent years who’ve decided to switch classes. Some, they want to simply move up to the mods or late models. A few others, however, have told me, one of the reasons for the move is they are tired of wrecking equipment.
There is a lot of inexperience in the B mod class – many people just hop into those cars with no racing experience at all – but there’s also drivers like Reise Stenberg, Matt Schow, Lance Schill, Travis Saurer, Brock Gronwold, Ron Saurer, Scott Jacobson, Rich Pavlicek, Shawn Olson, Nate Reinke, Zach Reinke, Lucas Rodin, etc. who’ve been around a while and who’ve had success. The problem is when the inexperienced drivers drive over their head. Frankly, there is some who have too much their equipment for their ability and experience level. And there are some, even some veterans, who don’t drive clean. At all. Then we see demo derbies and destroyed equipment.
Some nights the B mods driver fans and promoters crazy but sometimes they have awfully good racing, too.
A 4-Cylinder Drop
The Mini Stock/Hornet/Short Tracker numbers this year are down at every track locally. I won’t count Viking Speedway since they were added midseason last year, but for a good paying special they attracted 16 cars, which isn’t bad but not an overwhelming amount either.
I think part of it is that a few newer drivers at some tracks are hopping into INEX Legends, and frankly for some I think it’s a money issue just to keep cars on the track. Things go in cycles, and chances are in a year or two the numbers in that class will bounce back.
Several Brainerd-area drivers have ventured over this way in the IMCA Hobby Stocks this year, and they’ve run well. Tim Otterness won features at Red River Valley Speedway and Norman County Raceway last week, while Scott Herron won at Buffalo River Speedway on Sunday. It’s not a short trip from Brainerd – about 150 miles one way – but they seem to have added some good depth to the local hobby stock fields.
Sheyenne Late Model Grade: Incomplete
Because of all of the rainouts early, I don’t think there’s a way to give a fair assessment of how the late models fit at Sheyenne Speedway. My thought is give them another year when you can get more shows in to see what the numbers are. The NLRA shows will draw at least 20 cars there so that’s not an issue.
Can we see an IMCA vs. Wissota mod special somewhere (with some rule allowances)? Same with B mods?
Anyone else excited for the John Seitz Memorial at River Cities Speedway? It’s a fun weekend.
I’d like to see Wissota dd a Stock Car class.
I’d like to see Wissota start a Hall of Fame.
I’d like to see the USMTS come up this way again for a show in 2023.