Sanctioning Body Debate and Split Wearing on Me as a Fan
We are at the time of year when race tracks start evaluating where they are at, and start making plans of what classes they want to run for 2023.
And of course, it brings up the never-ending sanctioning body debate, which I have really, really grown tired of as a fan and a blogger.
I live in Fargo and I sort of feel like I’m on the border of the IMCA/Wissota split. Of the seven tracks I cover, four are Wissota sanctioned, two are IMCA and one is mainly IMCA but does sanction a Wissota class.
I think the sanctioning split, in this area, frankly has been bad for racing for area fans. Especially in the modified class. Because aside from a few drivers, most IMCA mods don’t race Wissota events and most Wissota Mods don’t race IMCA. So we are splitting the talent in the class, which hurts weekly car counts at tracks. Red River Valley does well consistently in the modified class but frankly should in a metro area of 200,000-plus people. Buffalo River was usually around 10 IMCA mods, Norman County usually in the single digits for IMCA, and I-94 and Viking in the lower teens for Wissota for regular nights.
The car counts in the mods over the past six years indicate the split isn’t good for racing in this area. I’d love to see cars be able to run both sanctioning bodies without a lot of changes, but unfortunately that isn’t the case.
I’m not taking the side of either sanction as there are plenty of good drivers in both and plenty of things I don't like about either. Frankly, I think all sanctioning bodies have many flaws and are like political parties — they don’t want to bite the financial hand that feeds them. But I’ve written that before and I don’t want to go down that path again. I don’t care if the sanctioning is USRA (which I would love to see up here), NASCAR, UMP or whatever it may be.
On social media this seems like a never-ending debate — which sanctioning body is better, which class is better, etc. To the point where I am about done with it. I haven’t written much about the sanctioning politics because I’m tired of hearing about it. It would be nice if we could focus on the racing and not on the off-the-track politics so much.
Of course, some folks like to pull stuff out of their rear ends on social medias about what tracks should do or what they are going to do as far as classes/sanctionings in 2023. They try to make their opinion a fact without having accurate information to back it up. As a result the rumor mill churns and churns. Rumors do nothing for the growth of racing.
I’m going to be honest here as well for racing in general, not just around here: switching sanctioning bodies isn’t going to fix certain flaws a track has — you know, poor promoting, poor track prep, poor nightly operations, etc.
I’ve had this conversation with some other avid fans this week, and many feel the same way that the IMCA/Wissota split isn’t good for racing around here, and they are growing tired of it, too.
I felt like venting about this in large part because I want what’s best for racing as a fan. I want to see the best racing and best product on the track, no matter the name of the sanctioning body.
Thanks for listening.