Re: [TrackChasers] Re: Why do dirt tracks have more cars than asphalt tracks?
- Greetings from your breadman,
Just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents worth. Or is that $2 worth in
these inflated times. One of my favorite ideas from years gone by was the
big race co-sanctioned by ASA, Allpro and ACT. For a few years they managed
to come up with a rules compromise that allowed cars from all 3 groups to be
competitive together. None of those groups exist as they were then, with
Allpro being totally gone. ACT has cut way back on their traveling and
races. ASA has been in a state of flux trying to find the right combination to
keep itself afloat. There was a time pavement racing was more technologically
advanced while being more expensive to go fast. That's no longer true as
dirt racers are at least equal in that way. I believe the endless practice
pavement racers seem to need just adds to their expense way beyond what they
gain in return. They can no longer afford to search for that elusive tenth
of a second. You'd think the tire bills alone would drum some sense in
their heads. All those extra laps just wear cars and components out. You get
far fewer races between motor rebuilds just because of all those wasted laps
As for the mods, Keith Knack started the IMCA deal with his
controversial engine claim rule to keep costs down. I still think a claim is more
efficient in keeping cost down than crate motors are. Too many racers are
already cheating on the crate deal. It's what racers do. They best automotive
minds in the world, i.e. racers, can work their way around any rule. With a
claim you spend whatever you want knowing you could lose all your work and
ingenuity for $500. The problem is racers just don't want to be told how to
do anything. There's no reason Memmer couldn't have gone the same route.
Trouble is, had he not given in to the racers wishes not to have a claim,
UMP probably never would've taken hold. I have no hope the current regime
will add anything positive to the sanction. There never should have been a UMP
or WISSOTA, as the IMCA rules were the right ones. Even IMCA has slipped
since Knack passed away. Both WISSOTA and IMCA now have B-mods that are what
the A-mods used to be. Had the sanctions not given in to the racers
demands to spend more money than necessary they never would have evolved into a
class that's no longer as affordable as it was. I remember talking to Knack
during that first winter in Florida when the class debuted on dirt and
pavement tracks. The initial rules were so good the cars were equally good on
both surfaces. Even the tires were the same. Now you need different cars for
each surface to be competitive.
As for why there are more dirt tracks, I believe the chance for
multiple grooves is always greater on dirt, hence, there is often better racing.
While ill prepared dirt tracks do often lead to single groove racing, too
many paved tracks have that built into them. There are exceptions.
Irwindale, Slinger, Kalamazoo and Thunder Road come to mind. Most paved tracks
require a truly superior car to pass, and superior cars are expensive. Our own
Brian Hickey does engine work for local New England teams and our former
moderator, Andy Ritter, and his dad both race on dirt and dislike the crate
idea. Hopefully, both of them will way in. Anyone else?
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That was great explanation of the pavement late model situation. I'll add one more.
Asphalt late models went downhill when ASA listened to the automotive companies, who were willing to sponsor the series, but wanted the cars to look more like production autos.
A new car had to be developed, but when it did, it essentially eliminated the local drivers from participation. Before when ASA came into a track the locals would run with them, and sometimes were very competitive.
Dirt track racing was smart enough to allow the cars to remain somewhat the same as weekly tracks. A local can still run with the USMTS, or in areas where they have 410 Sprints, they can run with the WoO or All Stars.
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- --- You wrote:
Before when ASA came into a track the locals would run with them, and sometimes were very competitive.
--- end of quote ---
Same around here as most tracks follow the ACT late model rules. When ACT runs at White Mt., the track considers it their late model feature event with a fair part of the field made up of Saturday night regulars.
- Here's another thought - money and tires.
The typical asphalt series around the south will have a practice Friday night, practice Sat. morning, and more practice Sat. afternoon - and then a 100 lap show Sat. night.
And often the racers are wanting more practice.
If you want to be a leader, you've got to have some new tires for practice and start the race on new tires. Practice is running up the tire bill for asphalt race teams.
On the other hand, the traveling dirt series arrives Sat. afternoon, gets three hot laps, two qualifying laps, and a 30 or 50 lap feature (and maybe a heat race or consi if you're not a top 15 qualifier.
There's no practice, and you can be competitive on used tires.
It's a deadly combo: big asphalt tire bills, and small purses. Minimal dirt tire bills, and bigger purses.