One of the biggest misconceptions in the sport of auto racing is “Look at all the money Joe Blow is raking in this week! Joe Blow is the owner of the Speedway that you attend weekly and you see all the racecars in the pits and all the fans in the stands. Immediately you think the owner is getting rich off from you, right?
Wrong! Even the biggest tracks around struggle to make ends meet, especially asphalt tracks right now. Every now and then a track owner hits a homerun with an event but those days are few and far between. So many owners and promoters are struggling to keep their doors open, and are getting very frustrated with the sport and closing the doors on their venue. Why just last week I received four different e-mails offering me the opportunity to purchase a race track. Two tracks were down South, and two tracks in the Midwest. Three tracks were dirt and one was asphalt. They were practically giving them away and they were pretty much all race ready as the asking price included different vehicles, concessions and lots of other items you need to make the facility run. I had to delete those e-mails before I thought of doing something crazy!
I have leased, operated and promoted race tracks for the last forty years. I have done every job except working in Tech. Let me tell you it is a thankless job. Long hours, short pay, and all out hard work! How many nasty phone calls do I get a week? Every decision I/We make is questioned and of course everybody knows how to run a race track better than the way it’s being done now on Face book and the Internets various chat rooms.
It is no easy job promoting a track. You have to build schedules, rules, hire employees, write press releases and put out fires from the day the season ends until the following season starts. In Speedway 51’s case, Track owner Joey Laquerre continues to dish out the funds all winter long with very little income in the mailbox to offset what’s going out.
We always love constructive criticism, so call me, and let’s chat. Quit hiding behind a computer screen and let’s see what you have for ideas. No idea is stupid, they just may need a little fine tuning, and NO, money is not the answer. We have tried that route. We are looking at every angle to turn Speedway 51 back into one of the top tracks in the Northeast and we’d love to hear your ideas.
What have we done? We have put together a fair and affordable way to combine the Street Stocks and the Cyclones. Nobody likes change and we know that, but, for the best interest in racing, we have to do it. These rules are not just thrown together, they are designed to improve the car counts and racing. The changes are very minimal for both classes and now are quite affordable. We have added the Bone Stockers class to our lineup which is a class for beginners only. There seems to be a lot of interest building for this class, especially in the Track’s geographical area. The Daredevils will also be using the new Street Stock rulebook, and it appears that people are liking it as the phone is lighting up with questions about the division. Our Sportsman Tigers have a great tire rule for 2019, one that they chose, and they are looking at a giant point fund again in 2019. We are still trying to put together a five race Late Model Series.
I hope this helps shed some light on things and finishing up I will tell you where those mountains of money go to each and every week from the owner’s checkbook!
The $$$ piles go to:
EMPLOYEE PAYROLL – OVER 40 PEOPLE ARE EMPLOYED AT TRACK WEEKLY
ADVERTISING – ALL MONEY LOST WHEN IT RAINS
FOOD FOR CONCESSIONS
BEER FOR BEER GARDEN
FUEL FOR EQUIPMENT & CONCESSIONS
WRECKERS / TOWING
The list goes on and on and on, as these are just some of the ways we spend our money each week. We hope you now have a little better understanding of what the money goes for, and if we put actual dollar figures to the list, it would shock you to see how much money it takes to run a race track!
HOW CAN YOU HELP??
Call me with constructive criticism. If you have a question, contact me instead causing a rift on the internet. If I don’t have an answer to your question, I will get it and contact you back as soon as possible. Encourage other racers to become part of the Speedway 51 family. When you go to the races invite your friends and family members to come with you, and help us build new race fans. Please use our sponsors. Buy products from them and tell them you saw their business advertising at the race track.
We have put together what we feel as a solid schedule and programs of racing for 2019. Please help us get the message out there!
Looking forward to a great 2019 at Speedway 51,
Promoter & Marketing Manager