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Midget Racing Dying


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56 replies to this topic

#16
jakdad

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QUOTE (Torsionarm @ Oct 19 2005, 09:37 PM)
Taking midgets away from some of the bigger tracks takes away from the history of midget racing.

How bout next we tell F1 to quit running Monaco, or Nascar to forget about Daytona......that isn't a solution its another problem.

NASCAR is not a good comparison. They are filling the stands at every track, no shortage of cars and television money to boot. The midgets need TV money and yes, a reduction in the cost of putting one of these cars on the track. The smaller tracks would favor them, both paved and dirt. Look at the IRL, fewer and fewer cars every year. This year the starting grid averaged about 20 cars. They too should go to smaller tracks and leave Indy as the only big track they race on. When you put 20 IRL cars on a 1.5 mile track and they get strung out, it's not much of a show. I fear the midgets will continue to dwindle unless the high dollar parts are outlawed. Motors, wheels, rear axles, whatever. Someone somewhere please do somthing before we lose these great little cars.
JIM

#17
UtahFocus5

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Good point Redbone. Midget owners in all classes need to get control of how technology and exotic materials and alloys integrate into the series. But we have to leave some room for creativity and ionnovation in the mix, otherwise we have a open wheel IROC series. I hate to use NASCAR as a comparison because then we are discussing apples and oranges, but I found it interesting when the shock thing happened a few weeks ago with the Hendrick cars. For once they got it right. They pretty much said "you are withing the letter of the rules but not the spirit of the rule, get rid of these type of shocks and do it now".

If the $900 panhard mentioned earlier exists, this would be a great example. Mike Devin should just step up and say "I've made the decision that this is bad for the general membership and competition and we're not going to allow it. Rollie agrees with me and that's the final decision". Of course we'd then have a half dozen people online screaming about how USAC stifled innovation.....

I don't have the best answer about tires and tire wear. Torsionarm is right about the top teams will always have new rubber when given that opportunity. Maybe the run all night on one set of right side tires is a good start?
Bob Brewer
bob.brewer@fordfocusmidgets.com
www.fordfocusmidgets.com

#18
bcraref

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As a former Midget official, I feel the need to add my $.02.
No Titanium ANYTHING!
Magnetos only.
12 to 1 compression max.
One Chassis for the entire year? You'll get the car owners that just want to run pavement with their wide bodies, and the average guys won't want to/be able to compete with them, so let's mandate a width rule. No frames more than X inches wide.
Rick, the EX ref

#19
JustWatching

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I sure hope midget racing isn't even close to dying! I have taken people to their first race and they come away in awe. They say it is thrilling and exciting to watch and become fans.

#20
dwcremax

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Midget racing has been in this position before. In the late sixties and early seventies the cry was exactly the same - too expensive! Cut costs! If midget racing ever dies (and I don't think for one minute that it will) it will not be because of costs. It will be due to the never ending splintering of groups because someone's ego was jolted. There are plenty of midgets around. What is needed is to find a way to get the folks that own them to perform as a cohesive unit.
Dwight Clock

#21
JustWatching

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I agree. If everyone remembers why there are rules, to ensure safety and fairness to all involved. I know that things happen that upset people but if everyone keeps a level head and remembers to stick to the facts and not let their emotions cloud their judgement and decisions, maybe there wouldn't be so many disagreements on alot of the issues.

#22
rcderek9

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[B]ahhhh.. the "how to "fix" midget racing talk.
First of all for 90% of midget drivers and owners this is not a money making profession. I don't know about everybody else but I know that even if you win a race ussually you only make enough to break even once you have figured in pit passes, travel, Tires, fuel, food and lodging. So yes I totally agree with all of the posts that recommend changes that would cut the cost of midget racing. The bottom line though is this.

TRACKS ARE PAYING US TO MAKE THEM MONEY, SO IF THEY DON'T PROFIT FROM US THEY WILL MAKE MONEY THROUGH THE BACK GATE, OR WITH ANOTHER SERIES....

Most track owners look at things in a business perspective. for example why would a track promoter pay say $8,000 for a midget show that is going to fill half of the stands when they can pay $1,000 for a school bus figure 8 and fill the stands. Short tracks are struggling more than we are right now. As owners and drivers, who want to see midget racing thrive its time for us to start helping these tracks make money by running our series. I have a hard enough time getting friends to come watch me race, so I can imagine that somebody who has never heard of midget racing is not going to come to a track and spend $15 a ticket to watch us. Whenever I want to see a midget race I ussually go to the series website or ask somebody that is involved when it is, it's not thrown in my face like the next Nascar race. So as drivers, owners, and series directors we are NOT doing enough to promote midget racing WE need to "throw" midget racing in the face of the public. We are all in this together so if we want to see midget racing go we ALL need to take our part in promoting. The days of showing up to the track, racing, and leaving are over. Anyway thats that.


On a different note. I think USAC is taking steps into the right direction. The focus series being one of them. Even though the focus cars are already getting out of hand with the amount of $$ that people are spending on them. Even with the change of the silver crown cars, as ugly as they may be I think they are headed in the right direction making safety a big concern. Now here are some idea's to help cut costs for a series, and it wouldn't take much to change most of these rules.

1) spec engine such as a short track esslinger, built only buy esslinger with a sealed block. Like focus but only 1 builder and around 330 hp as opposed to the focus 180 HP. The power has been the biggest thing keeping me from focus racing.

2) NO TITANIUM OR CARBON FIBER. Its rediculous how much that stuff costs and there is no need for it maybe make minimum weight higher.

3) NASCAR is known by thier drivers and teams more than anythings, so maybe we should promote individual teams more than we do. like the old days of hometown heroes.

4 ) Tire rules - haha i could write a paragraph about that.

5) run more special shows. Co-sanction. I run with WOWMS so for example WOWMS and UMARA could run a double points race which would double the car count. Also run twin 25's or 50 lap shows.

6) run combo cars rather than specialty dirt and pavement.

7) mandate more safety. Hans or hutchens. Containment seats. That is part of the reason more people race stock cars. Because they are safer. Also when drivers get hurt or killed track promoters get nervous about running midgets on thier tracks.

Anyway those are just some of my ideas. But the bottom line is that is up to all of us to change midget racing. It will not change itself.

#23
vinny350

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A lot of you may remember the birth of the Volkswagon midgets in the early 70's, and the car counts going up soon after. Red Caruthers could afford to have put any engine in his cars that he wanted to, but in the spirit of racing he was trying to come up with a powerplant that was affordable and competitive which he obviously did. Claiming engines was a consideration that never happend, and unfortunately the original intent was lost in rule changes made mostly by U.S.A.C., and the average car owner was again getting whipped by someone elses check book. There will always be cheaters that get empty victories that mean nothing, but when the rule book stacks the deck against the majority of owners, the hard work that turns into fair competition and fun, becomes monotonous drudgery. I was on the the U.S.A.C. midget competition committee in 1977 and saw it happen.

#24
Bill Harper

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rcderek9 is right. Lookat the following points from your own perspective and from local, regional, and national points of view. Racing is an entertainment business. Fans pay the bills. Bring them in and payout increases with reasonable racers/track owners/promoters sharing the increased gate. Larger crowds justify improved sponsorship support both for racers and tracks due to increased exposure. This requires a clear understanding and communication of goals between all involved. Excessive egos or greed will kill the whole deal. To expect any change or improvement there must be a recognized person or group designated to be responsible, working within reasonable timelines. Additionally there needs to be a consensus among racers that the costs are too high (may not be true at all levels). Rules to address cost issues can succeed but they have to fit each organization/level's situation. They must be well thought out and take into consideration other related rules and goals. For example a spec tire rule might minimize horsepower advantage and reduce engine cost but unless the number of tires allowed for an event is limited, an owner with deep pockets will have fresh rubber each time his car hits the track ($$). This may be ok. All effects have to be considered (safety, cost, enforcement, inconvenience to competitors, more). Would limiting tires per event create safety issues? My point is this: Leadership is needed at each level to take responsibility and action to ensure cooperation between racers, promoters, and organizations to meet clear goals that will generate profitability and growth for midget racing. And, just as rcderek9 stated, everyone involved has to accept responsibility for educating potential fans. If we want to race midgets in the future "the days of showing up to the track, racing, and leaving are over". The best way to ensure that "things" won't change is to keep doing the same things. Yacking on a chat page is fine, what actions are you taking?

#25
Midget#9

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QUOTE
Now here are some idea's to help cut costs for a series, and it wouldn't take much to change most of these rules.


1) spec engine such as a short track esslinger, built only buy esslinger with a sealed block. Like focus but only 1 builder and around 330 hp as opposed to the focus 180 HP. The power has been the biggest thing keeping me from focus racing.



There is no way a spec Esslinger will save any money. A sealed motor? No way. Everytime something minor loosens or a valve spring breaks for examples you now have to pull a motor and ship it ($) to Esslinger($$$) to have them repair it to ship it ($) back to you. Now with transit time, receiving time, inspection time and repair time do you think it would be back in the car for the next weekend? Dont think so. So now what do you have to do? Have a spare motor($$$). There is no way that would save anyone any money.
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#26
Torsionarm

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I think maybe a Spec head would work. Brodix makes spec heads for 360 sprint competition. Includes Chevy, Ford and Mopar. Along with a tire rule.

Problem is getting someone to make spec heads for midgets.

Plus using a spec head ould still allow anyone to build the motors, and service them.

#27
buck2

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I agree that a spec motor has no place in national midget racing. One spec motor series is enough, and I don't think it is healthy in spite of the hype.

Carbon fiber and ti parts don't hurt anything. ###### few midgets are down to minimum weight anyway. The most prestigous events this year have been won by ordinary (read that affordable) cars. They may have had some trick components aboard but that wasn't the reason they won the race. Raising the minimum weight by 25 lbs would be a better fix than outlawing specific items.

More rules are not going to make the sport better or more affordable. I do like everyone running the same RR tire all night as is done with some sanctioning bodies. At least that is some cost control.

Some of the promoters need to actually "promote" instead of having a race and hoping some fans will show up. I recently attended the DuQoin indoor events and stayed in Benton, IL (pop 8k) which is 15 miles away and on the freeway. I had occasion to visit two different car parts stores and several restaurants and NOBODY I spoke with knew the midgets were running at the State Fair! One of the parts counter guys was a local dirt track stock car kid who was enthused to hear that midgets were racing in the area. I would think that any automotive business in the area would be a good place to hang up a poster and that would just be the beginning.

Certainly midget racing has its share of issues...I don't call them problems. I think the success of Gateway in the midwest is an indicator that the sport is healthy. If those guys are smart they can build on that success. One of the best things that could happen to midwest midget racing would be to attract a series sponsor...not to dump oodles of money into a point fund...but to advertise and promote what has to be some of the most exciting short track racing to be found anywhere.



#28
rocketman94

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The idea behind harder tires is that the cars wont be as 'hooked-up'! This puts the emphasis on the drivers ability to keep from breaking the tires loose. torsionarm made the commit that harder tires didnt work on a 360 sprint. We are talking about midgets with smaller tires. 1 tire per night is a good idea.
I still believe that the clubs ie: Gateway,Badger,Mara need to work together. Look at the race this year at Macon speedway. Although the track conditions werent the greatest it was still a good show with a good car count. The same weekend Gateway had a 2 day show at Duqion. I wasnt there but most everybody that went said it was also a good show with good car counts.
My point is if the 2 clubs worked together, both shows would have more cars and they could both be 2 of the best midget shows in the midwest.

#29
madmike12c

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I just read a post on usacfans.com that the speedrome will not be a go for 06'. Will everyone in indiana have to shell out 50k for a midget to run in usac, this is pretty sad. I wish more people could get together and get some fans and a good series wherever, anderson, speedrome. Indiana has great sprint car fields but, no midgets.

#30
Baue

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I stand by my origional post that the Speedrome will run in '06. If I am wrong then my source was wrong, but he lost money on it because he has already spent money with track management on getting a series together next year.

Until I see an official release otherwise, then I believe my source. As would everyone here as everyone knows who they are.




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