I think it is time we all give some thought to this deal. What good is a $10,000 to win race if 80 cars show up, the promoter loses $3000 and never has the event again? As a racer I want to go to big money races like they used to have. An entry of about $100 to race for $5,000 to win, $2000 r/u and about $50 round money starting with second round winners. A Consolation Race would offer first and second round racers another chance to do some racing and win some money and add some profits for the promoter.
I think these events will bring back the local racers. I would really prefer seeing a payout that would be spread out more even. An example is $2000 to win, $1000 r/u, $750 semis, $500 quarters and $50 per round won. It adds up to about the same money but more racers get some of the purse.
The recent cancellation of several B&M Racer Series events in the upper Midwest are proof that big money races need to be reorganized. Even local $2000 to win races struggle to succeed around here. The local tracks here have had to up the entry and raise buy-back costs to protect themselves against losing money. I really think lowering the entry fee and eliminating buy-backs would solve the problem.
A lot of you readers know me and know how I ran the track I used to own, Cedar Falls Raceway. We ran it fair and tried every possible way to get more cars to show up for big money races. I am not too proud to say that I think I was chasing my own tail. The solution was in front of me but I kept overlooking it. We had over 100 cars enter several of our $1000 to win events (which had no buy-backs by the way) several years ago. As I searched for more entries I raised the prize money and added buy-backs and double entry and such. From that point on the number of entries just kept getting smaller. Has this happened at your local track too? I think the local track owners need to look back in time a few years to what was working in the era "before buy-backs." Just look at the dwindling number of entries and the cure might just be to "close the buy-back window."
Here is a deal that really makes me mad…
As an ex-track owner I guarantee you the track owners must purchase enough liability and excess medical coverage for the event at least twenty-four hours before the event starts. As close as I could tell by calling the insurance companies, the average "package" for a National Event with five million dollars in spectator liability coverage costs about $6000 for the entire event. This insurance "package" includes excess medical coverage of about $250,000 for participants. Since NHRA (and IHRA) already require you to be a member to race at their National Events, you have about $250,000 in additional catastrophic excess medical coverage.
What this means is if you have medical insurance now the NHRA and IHRA package will start paying when your own insurance runs out or maybe does not cover a certain expense. It is a tremendous package and a good deal for any racer who is injured.
My question is: Why are racers paying NHRA (IHRA does NOT add this surcharge by the way) this ridiculous Insurance Surcharge? Maybe the racers who can afford to attend these four and five-day "marathons of patience" don't care. I just get tired of watching the sportsman racers get ripped off by the sanctioning body from the Left Coast.
As my editor would say:
Just wondering..Why is it that NHRA might have 125 entries in each sportsman category that generates about $24,000 in entry fees for each category but only pays about $2000 to win?
Just wondering….I hear a lot of whining about this but never see any action. Have you guys thought about supporting the SRA (Sportsman Racing Association) and put some "teeth" into your complaints. I think NHRA would miss the $100,000 in entry fee revenue, don't you!
If this "Insurance Surcharge" is really a fee to help tracks make some safety improvements or just plain make NHRA some additional profits, I would hope someday NHRA will be honest enough to tell the racers that. I don't think any racer has a problem with a track or sanctioning body making profits, but why not be honest about it? ( Ed. Note: Several calls to NHRA to ask about where the money goes were unreturned. We still await an answer.)
Well, that is it from me this month. We just got Project 4-Link on the track last weekend so be sure to check out my latest article in this issue of DRO. Of course I had my "embarrassing moment" but you'll have to read the newest Project 4-Link article to see what it was.
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