Shorter schedules, length of races, saving money for races, and those debates that promotors always face. Well now, that discussion is at the forefront of the discussion line.

Spencer Lewis uploaded “Bench Racing Volume 3” featuring Dwayne Baker and Tom Walters earlier this week and already, it’s been a hit with fans. If you somehow haven’t seen it yet, hit it up at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQIIiH6e1x0.

One of the topics that Lewis, Baker and Walters discuss is the idea of a possible shorter schedule – 10 to 12 races next year. There’s also the possibility of doing longer races for the Late Models with 50 or 75 lappers instead of the usual 30 lappers, if this comes to fruition.

So should we go down that road? That’s the question that drivers, crew members and fans are asking themselves this week.

Some say they should stay with 18 races and keep the package the same. As Coltin Everingham states, “some families like going to the track together” which is true as you see it every week. With kids being free and just $16 for some live entertainment, where can you go wrong with that? That’s why the talk rose about keeping it where Sunset is racing every week, however maybe not the normal divisions. We’ll get to that later on.

David Armstrong mentioned that they should stay with the 18 race because “the race season is already short enough, plus if there is a lot of rain outs in spring; you lose a lot of nights right there.”

However, with the uprising costs to run a racing program, it is becoming too much at times for drivers in reference to cost. With that said, Brent Bentley mentioned that he’d rather see tracks do time trials with a last chance qualifier for all divisions. That way you’re not having to incur as much wear and tear. Instead of 20 laps of heat racing which can have damage, time trials only take 2 laps of racing on your equipment.

The idea was tried a couple years ago with one division time trialing one week and the other two heat racing. However, it was quickly thrown out as fans did not see the excitement in time trialing. For some fans, or the majority, time trialing is just time consuming and boring. However, while the fans may be losing what we call the “heat race product”, there’s still a product in having your feature every week and having full counts there due not having to worry about heat race wrecks.  

However, in trying to balance the amount of racing with time trials and heats, there is the possibility of doing something like OSCAAR did for the Don Biederman Memorial - time trial and then one set of heats line-up based on the time trial. That cuts down on # of heat laps, yet also gives the fans that product that they desire.

Getting back to the schedule discussion, as it is right now, drivers don’t get the chance to take a week off to the cottage or somewhere else for a change. Yeah, you can use a relief driver for two weeks but some just aren’t comfortable with that. A solution to that, as mentioned by Bentley, is “I could see maybe cutting 2 races out of the schedule for "family" time away from the track or make it so that 2 nights are considered non-points nights with the payout reflecting the revenue brought in on those 2 nights...just a thought.”

So let’s say that we do decide to go to 12 races for next season.

Kyle Sedan notes if they do it, it’s fine as long as you have rain dates in place. For example, leave the last week of each month as a “rain date” in case it happens. Sedan adds, “Right now with 18 nights, factor in two to four rain outs and were only racing 14-16 nights anyway so if we make it to 12 and make sure to get 12 full nights in than I see no problem with the idea.” That math makes sense, right? But then we also go months where mother nature likes us and doesn’t give us as many rain outs and we get our typical 14 to 16 races.  

As mentioned in the interview, shorter schedule should bring longer races. Tom Walters mentioned that 50 lap races would be perfect because that way one week you can buy four tires, but only need to buy two tires for the next night and go back and forth using that math. Though if tire prices get cut down, there’s a possibility for 75 lappers as they do at the invitationals.

For the Super Stocks, Cayden Lapcevich made the point that 50 laps would make sense for them also.

Also, another point to look at – what do fans do the other weeks that Sunset isn’t racing? Or how do you arrange this so fans get racing each week?

Jeff Thomas says it shouldn’t be a problem because “with five OSCAAR shows and potentially more and maybe a couple pro late model shows that give racers the option of showing up, the fans will have a pretty full season regardless of how many points nights there are. Plus, look at the stands at Sunday invitationals compared to Saturday night racing. I think it’s a phenomenal idea.”

Cayden Lapcevich suggested trying to bring different divisions in, say something from western Ontario or Quebec, or even stuff from the U.S. Now this suggestion could work because you have racing every weekend, and you’re continuing to feed the race fan’s desire for different types of racing to witness at the same time.

Though with that said, as Tom Ingram mentions, “Touring series are good but then you increase the costs to the track and then the owners look for ways to bring in more revenue to pay these purses thus increasing costs to the regular drivers and fans.”  So if this was an option, the cost of admission for both general side and pit gate would have to be looked at and kept in check given the type of event.

Kyle Sedan thought of bringing forth a fourth division so that way “you’re still racing every week just different division combinations depending on their off-night.” So what division do you create? Sedan suggested a completely stock V6/V8 class. Now that could be exciting for the fans. My suggestion, which we can argue whether good or bad, we could go beyond that and bring back a strickly stock mini stock division – 4 cylinder motors. Sort of bring back the four fun division so we have a true cheap spot to start off your racing career.

However, here’s the problem – you create a new division, you have drivers move to that division, therefore thinking out your current divisions. With car counts how they are, do you want to go down that road? Something to consider before you even look at this.

 

With all the discussion, here is something to consider…..I went and ahead and created what I call a mock schedule. Let’s say we’re going to go forward with this. What could the schedule look like? Here’s two versions just to see how things look.

First Version

May

Wk1

Opening Night - 1

 
 

Wk2

Regular Night - 2

 
 

Wk3

OSCAAR Super Lates and Mods

 

Wk4

Pro Challenge - Canadian Vintage Modifieds - Pro 4 Modifieds

June

Wk1

Regular Night - 3

 
 

Wk2

Regular Night - 4

 
 

Wk3

Hurricane Midgets - Legends - T.Q. Midgets

 

Wk4

Regular Night - 5

 
 

Wk5

OSCAAR Super Lates and Mods - Don Biederman Memorial

July

Wk1

Regular Night - 6

 
 

Wk2

Pro Challenge - Legends - Canadian Vintage Modifieds

 

Wk3

Regular Night - 7

 
 

Wk4

OSCAAR Super Lates and Mods

Aug

Wk1

Regular Night - 8

 
 

Wk2

ISMA Super Modifieds/Can-Am Midgets (have them run the Saturday night instead of Sunday afternoon)

 

Wk3

Regular Night - 9

 
 

Wk4

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series (dreams can be made true!)

 

Wk5

Regular Night - 10

 
 

Wk6

Pro Challenge - Hurricane Midgets - T.Q Midgets

Sept

Wk1

Regular Night - 11

 
 

Wk2

Championship Night - Race 12

 

Second Version

May

Wk1

Late Models

Supers

Mini Stocks

         
 

Wk2

Late Models

Supers

Pro Challenge

         
 

Wk3

OSCAAR Super Lates and Mods

           
 

Wk4

Late Models

T.Q Midget

Minis

           

June

Wk1

Vintage Mods

Supers

Minis

           
 

Wk2

Late Models

Supers

Legends

           
 

Wk3

Late Models

Pro 4 Mod

Minis

           
 

Wk4

Pro Challenge

Supers

Minis

           
 

Wk5

OSCAAR Super Lates and Mods - Don Biederman Memorial

     

July

Wk1

Late Models

Supers

T.Q Migets

         
 

Wk2

Late Models

Vintage Mods

Minis

           
 

Wk3

All three divisions run so we can have fan appreciation :)

     
 

Wk4

OSCAAR Super Lates and Mods

           

Aug

Wk1

Legends

Supers

Minis

           
 

Wk2

ISMA Super Modifieds/Can-Am Midgets (have them run the Saturday night instead of Sunday afternoon)

 

Wk3

Late Models

Supers

Pro Challenge

         
 

Wk4

Late Models

Pro 4 Mods

Minis

           
 

Wk5

Vintage Mods

Supers

Minis

           
 

Wk6

Late Models

Supers

Lucas Oil Sporstman Series

       

Sept

Wk1

Late Models

Pro Challenge

Minis

           
 

Wk2

Late Models

Supers

Minis

           
                     
 

NOTE: The BOLD could be changed to another division shall we have another option out there to play with

 

 

In all the discussions, I think this suggestion that was left at the end of it all by Brent Bentley could work in the best favor for us right now:

“Why don't the promoters at the track do a survey where as each ticket bought at the gate gets a survey with what the fan would like to see. Like a vote if you will. A) In order to cut costs for the competitors would you rather see less race weekend per would you the fan be ok paying a higher admission fee? I say listen to the fans...essentially it is the fans that keep the tracks operating. Now in saying that I do understand that without the competitors there is no show, but unless more BIG sponsors come forward the tracks need the fans right now more then ever.”

 

If you want to throw your feedback in to the pot or have any comments with regards to the article, make sure to either comment below, hit me up on twitter at @R_Informative or on my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ashleymccubbin.media.