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 Columns & Editorials

October 25, 2000

First Hand Experience: Cost to go racing...

Interesting story Jane. I have been involved in local Super Late Model racing for almost 2 years. It is truly amazing how costly local short track racing is and has become. My cost to race a Super Late Model heat and feature 30 lap event is $750. As you mentioned, if winning the race pays $1,000...coming in second might be a break even point. If we place 3rd or worse the team will lose money. I will also spend over $1,500 to race in a 125 lap event, like a Florida Pro or Sunbelt race. This is all taking into consideration that we have no necessary repairs to make after the race.

I believe the way to improve local short track racing lies in the hands of the race track owners and managers. A basic principle in business is..." you must spend money to make money". I have been a stock car racing fan for over 20 years and did not know that right here in Central Florida is some of the best short track racing in the country. You what to know why? Because, track owners and managers do not properly market and advertise their business. This goes back to the basic principle of "you must spend money to make money".

Here's what needs to be done.
1. Spend some money....do more advertising and marketing necessary to draw attention to the speedway.

2. Lower the cost of admissions. Make it so the common working man and woman can afford to take the family out and enjoy some good wholesome saturday night action. A family of 4 should pay no more than $ 25.00 on admissions. This way they will spend $20.00 on some food, drinks and snacks while enjoying the event.

3. Increase the purse. Without teams, cars, and drivers there will be no racing. Make it worthwhile to show up for the race. A 30 lap heat and feature Super Late Modle race should pay $1,500 to win, 2nd $1,200, 3rd $900, 4th $650, 5th $400...etc. Big 125 lap events need their purses also raised about 30%.

4. Spend some money on improving the facility....both for the race fan and teams......inside and outside the pits. The more money that is spent on improving and modernizing the facility, the more a track owner can charge for admissions.

5. Make all race teams pay by the same set of rules.

Anyway thats some of my thoughts.

My cousin races late models in New England area. He tells me....that car count for a Friday or Saturday heat and feature night is usually 30+ cars. Pay out is $ 1,500 + to win. Its standing room only for race fans. Admissions are averaging $ 10.00 18yrs and up, $5.00 12 - 17 yrs, and children under 12 are free.

Scott Williams
Scott Racing, Inc.

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