Is now the time for the Grassroots Bracket Series?

f you have not heard about the Grassroots Bracket Series I am here to provide some information on a new racing series that I feel will be seen in all parts of the country in 2012. Here is how it came about, what is happening now, and what the plans are for the Grassroots Bracket Series in the future.

How it got started:

Scotty Richardson wanted to start a race series that the local bracket racers would be drawn to. Scotty is probably the best or one of the best bracket racers in history. He also has World Championships in several categories of sportsman racing and his list of wins at Big Bucks races wouldn’t fit on this page. He has also seen the shrinking car counts at the “Big Bucks” races and how the local racers choose not to participate in those high entry fee, top-heavy payout events.

He wanted to get racers and tracks together to produce a Series of events with low entry fees, guaranteed payouts and take the financial pressure off going to a big race. He worked with a couple tracks in 2009 and the races showed there was solid interest in the “low entry fee” approach.

In February 2010 I met with Scotty at a race in Immokalee, Florida, and we started having some conversations about how we could take the “Grassroots Bracket Series” to a national level. A couple weeks later at the NHRA Gatornationals we came up with an initial plan to start contacting tracks and see if they would be interested in our idea. We also got started on a website where racers who supported this idea could register, free of charge, and the website would be kept up to date with developments about the Grassroots Bracket Series.

What is happening now:

Scotty and I have formed a joint venture that involves the Grassroots Bracket Series and the Scotty Richardson Drag Racing School. Together these two organizations help each other with marketing ideas and work with tracks that want to host his school and become involved in the Grassroots Bracket Series.

Today the future for the Grassroots Bracket Series looks fantastic. We have three regional championship events scheduled and a couple “Wild Card” races set up. Over 35 tracks have joined our Grassroots Bracket Series and many more would have but we simply ran out of time to reach all of them before their race season started.

Our goals are simple and involve the racers and track owners working together to grow the sport so it can return to a more affordable form of fun and excitement on the local level. The expenses involved with meeting the typical NHRA and IHRA safety rules are costly enough for a local racer. Add in annual membership fees, competition numbers, competition licenses and other fee-based expenses and drag racing under the NHRA/IHRA banner is like paying the IRS. You either pay what they ask or suffer the consequences of not being able to race in their ET Finals, track points, etc.

The Grassroots Bracket Series cannot get rid of the NHRA/IHRA safety rules and all the SFI-based fees, but we can help by offering the little guy a regional race with much lower entry fees, guaranteed payouts, and no competition number fees, memberships, or track owner registration fees. This is how it should have been done years ago, but like everything else, the ET Finals and regional races became all about the money. That is probably why so many tracks have contacted us about our grassroots approach.