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Citrus County Speedway

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 Columns & Editorials

June 10, 2002

Hold Down The Costs And Protect The Future

Larry MacMillan, in his midweek report from Citrus County Speedway, revisits a common problem that stock car racing divisions face.

Larry says "The Thunder Stocks seem to be creating their own problems by making modifications to what was intended to be a beginner, inexpensive class. The only way that can continue is to keep it strictly stock so when they are found to be running something other than stock parts they will be declared illegal. That has happened to at least a half dozen cars in the division and is causing a need for a big attitude adjustment within the division."

In the mid-nineties DeSoto Speedway wisely started a division for new racers. The first mistake was naming it the novice division, but the class could have survived that. What it couldn't survive was the upward spiral of mechanical inflation.

It started as a class you get into for less than $2000. Get a car you could buy out of a junkyard or buy on the street for a few hundred dollars, go to Fred's Garage for safety outfitting and when you were done you had a race car, ready to roll.

Within three and a half years some of the cars had 6-8 thousand dollars wrapped up in them, with $3,000 motors becoming common. Post race tech inspections and upsets following them also became common.

By the track not enforcing and keeping the division for the purpose it was designed for, which was to make it easy to get more folks interested spending Saturday night getting greasy, and paying at the back gate, they lost this valuable resource.

Mr. MacMillan goes on to say in his article "Over the forty five years I have been involved with racing promotions I have seen ten different divisions price themselves right out of the racing program just to become more competitive. If you want to get really competitive and make modifications to your race car than get into another division that allows for this. The dissension within the division is going to lead to its demise and it is a shame to see what is happening to what used to be a fun group to race with and for the spectators to watch."

Another example of this is the Charlotte County Road Warriors. What a hoot this class is. A pack of wild cars, beat up, banged up, crunched fenders and all going three wide on street tires adding new dents every lap. And you know what? The fans love it.

When the line isn't held on tech and drivers are not forced to move up instead of moving their cars up in price, the fans lose that brand of excitement, the drivers lose because eventually they run of money or their wives threaten to send them back to Arkansas, and eventually the track loses money without cheap 'feeder' divisions.

Hopefully the promoters and owners around the state will heed Larry MacMillan's word of wisdom.

After all isn't it called "Stock Car" Racing?

-Jack Smith

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