Dead On – Cruisin’ into the New Year — are you ready?

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My last column stirred it up pretty good. If you have not read that “Dead-On” column, I hope you will.

We received a ton of emails about the article and I know it hit home with a lot of guys that feel there might be cheating going on and others who are convinced there is cheating going on. There are also the guys who say it won’t matter, you still have to beat the guys that always have and probably always will be the big winners.

I think they are all correct. It’s just bracket racing, but if there is something tracks and other racers can do to prevent cheating, it will only make our sport better.

It has happened in almost every form of auto racing under the moon: ignition rules, tire rules, all sorts of rules to keep the costs from getting out of control and primarily the rules are about growing their sport and improving the entertainment factor.

Do we even have “entertainment” at a bracket race? Could we have a good spectator sport with some tighter rules and different procedures? I think so. Will it change the way we run a Saturday night or Sunday afternoon race? Absolutely it will. Will there still be regular bracket races? Yes, there has to be.

I think if we made a couple different brackets, designed around attracting spectators, it would help our sport tremendously. It comes down to only a few things:

  1. It has to be fun and exciting to watch.
  2. The event has to be easy to understand. Not like what we are doing now with .001 lights and .001 over the dial runs, double break-outs, etc. There is a place for that, but not at a race for local tracks who need people to pay bills.
  3. The “show” has to be two hours long at the most. Sure, the other bracket races might not be over but the “show” will be.
  4. The “show” has to be very affordable for the spectators, especially at first, so they will want to come back, watch their favorite drivers, and feel like they were entertained.

Can it be done? It is the never-ending, never-solved question for one form of motorsports that has some of the wildest cars, muscle cars, fastest cars to run at any local track. Some stock car tracks have cars that barely reach 100 mph and at the local 1/8th mile drag strip you can see cars go 150 mph in just 4 seconds.

Our racing deserves spectators, but we need to be flexible in what that will take. Are you ready? Are the track promoters ready? Time will tell. The brave ones will have outstanding programs and the others will be begging for more buybacks and more double entries, and always raising the pit pass and entry fee costs.

Be safe over the next few months. Get those cars ready to go to the track and keep reading and