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Keep the show moving quickly
In Jok Nicholson's 'Dead On' column of 11/8/16, Promoters Need To ‘Follow Up’, he mentions various problems with big-money bracket races. He mentioned excessive down time as one of them. I would like to raise another issue: the extreme length of eliminations. This was apparent at the recent World Series of Bracket Racing at Darlington. There were close to 500 entries in the first round. Racing would drag on for 16 hours until early morning without completion and then have to conclude the next day.
I'd like to propose an alternative:
1. No double entries and no multiple entries in a single bracket. Only if door cars and dragsters are separated can you enter 1 of each, under the same provisions. Buybacks are replaced by an automatic second elimination round.
2. Run a round of eliminations. All cars return for round two win or lose.
3. Run a second round of eliminations. Drivers must face a different opponent than they did in Round One to reduce the chance of collusion. Now it’s time to do some math (if the timing system doesn't have the function built in), because you then borrow a concept from golf; The Cut.
4. Take all drivers that won twice and rank them by the best package of their two wins. Advance the top 24 (12 each if the car types are split). Take the remaining 2-win drivers and now combine them with all the 1-win drivers. Rank these drivers by their best winning package. Advance an additional eight (four each if split).
5. If there are no major delays it will be the early evening and you now have a very manageable 32-car field which can be combined with a Pro or Exhibition event to bring in spectators.
6. Based on track configuration, pit traffic and other show races, enforce a strict time limit for racer turnaround. Example: 20 minutes after the last car(s) in a round leaves the track surface, the next round begins. If a racer is absent when the lanes clear they receive an automatic loss.
This should save time, lessen wear and tear on cars and drivers, finish racing at a decent hour, still pay a large purse and allows time to fit in a spectator attracting show without boring them to death. I'd really like to see someone try this method see if it works.
The following are some proofs of concept.
No more than 7 runs needed to crown a winner: TT, R1, R2, 32, 16, 8, 4, 2
Payout example w/250 cars: Driver track fee $20x250=$5000 clear profit + Racer-paid purse ($250x250=$62500) some of which will also be retained by track)
-Two losses: nothing