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Author Topic: Thoughts on this issue????  (Read 5670 times)
odogracing
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« on: May 18, 2010, 09:08:06 PM »

What are your thoughts on the growth of our sport?  I personally have some concerns that more folks are moving on then entering the sport?  I beleieve there are alot of contributing factors to this.  I think O'Bama is trying to enforce gun control and band Quarter Midget racing!  No, not really.  But it does appear families are not joining at the same rate as those moving on.  How is your area?  Just food for though?  I may be way off base?
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clouse55
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 10:38:10 PM »

I dont think your way off base at all. There are quite a few things that are causing this (at least around here)

Economy  Here in the midwest so much is automotive based, and we all know how that is, just ask anyone from around the Kokomo IN area

Competition from other sports  It used to be basketball started in Oct. over in Feb. or Mar. now if you want to play your conditioning, practicing, playing all year long. Also with some of the school financials its went to a pay to play deal which can make families choose where to spend money

Competition from other forms of racing  Its endless what else is out there and all want a piece of the youth motorsports market.

I dont want to turn this thread political but since you mentioned the "O" word. We all need to keep are eyes open and be aware of stupid writing in bills that have been passed and are being wrote that will have a larger impact on quarter midget racing than anything else.       
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CrewChief6
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2010, 08:10:26 AM »

Bottom line is the economy. The unemployment rate is at the highest level it has been in decades. Many people are out of work, are struggling, or are afraid of losing their jobs.

This sport takes a large initial investment: At least a couple of thousand to get into a car, and thousands more if you want to be competitive. And that's not counting investments on a trailer, transportation, traveling. Then the annual costs of keeping a team going. Tires suck up a lot of the budget. And if your family is not already into motorsports, it's a huge commitment, both financially as well as psychologically.

Many folks up north are lucky. You have several tracks within a relatively short distance of each other. Some of us, like here in Florida, have to drive hundreds of miles to get to quarter midget tracks. (Currently we have two in the state: Tampa and New Smyrna).

It's sad we're hemorrhaging QM teams, but until the economy improves, it probably won't get any better. The best we can do right now is to hype up the sport, get the word out and encourage more kids to join us. Bring your friends. Contact the local media outlets. Go on Facebook.

I think USAC is doing a lot to promote our .25 racing. Webcasts are great. Now can we just get ESPN2 to televise the Disney race instead of them showing the most boring ATV ice racing or curling? After watching several different types of motorsports, I think quarter midget racing is one of the most exciting. Come on SpeedTV!?!

And maybe having the karting movie that comes out this weekend might help hype motorsports in general. Looks like a good film: racingdreamsfilm.com

My two cents.

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Lyra Solochek
isaaksolochekracing.com
Sponsors: DWT, LAT Racing Oil, AMSOIL, ZeroNine, racinggraphics.com, Family Eyecare of Westchase, Circle of Life Animal Hospital
ezoner
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2010, 08:39:49 AM »

You are all correct -- economy, economy, economy.  I think government regulation, capntrade, etc... are potential concerns and threats. 

The real question is what can local orgs and USAC do to help.  I like the idea of Novice cars being offered.  The drivers just show up and race.  That is one idea.  The family could purchase the car after graduation. 

Another idea would be that all cars are owned by the lochal tracks and you pay a membership fee that covers the maintenance etc.. of the car.  There are challenges and issues with that as well. 

What I am driving at is cost reduction to increase the pool of possible members given the current economic conditions.  These are just ideas and I am certain there are many more out there.
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clouse55
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2010, 09:08:03 AM »

Something on this mornings news that could have a large impact for some. The Obama administration wants to take away our "charitable donation" deduction on our federal income tax. Where this hurts is the clubs that might be recieving ground or facilities "rent free" and the donator deducts value on his or her taxes.
 
This could add greatly to the financial burden of the clubs.

   
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odogracing
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2010, 10:54:37 AM »

Speed TV.  That's a great idea.  I know the Host of Truck U pretty well.  Hmmm???
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two_tenths_off
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2010, 01:54:17 PM »

I agree the economy is likely partially to blame.

We physically grew out of the Quarter Midget and have had a really complete package ideal for a Novice just languish on the market since November.

We are now racing a Bandolero just to get acquainted to a 1/3 mile track. They get just under 20 of these out (ages 8-15).

The cost of the QM in Sr. Honda was quite low compared to a Bando which still makes QM's the affordable choice for youth racing. The ongoing costs of our QM racing was really only about $300 or so per race for primarily right side tires, gas, oil.

I was wondering if interest is down since the car has not been snapped up yet. Also of interest, fortunately we never witnessed a racing injury yet my son had two Soccer teammates with fractures last year (wrists).

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wesracing
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2010, 03:00:47 PM »

Not to go against what has been said here but Kokomo actually has a pretty good rookie count, 5 senior rookies and 12 junior rookies. I feel this is a great addition to our club and did not at all expect this kind of rookie class this year. Our car count at Kokomo is about the same as last year though because we had several kids move on to jr. sprints and 600's. We are getting close to 50 cars at our club races.
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ezoner
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2010, 04:35:58 PM »

Two Tenths -- I look at QM racing as the starting point.  So I would expect the barriers to entry to be low.  Meaning -- if I need to buy a car, a trailer, a racing suit, a helmet, etc.... I lay out between $3k-$7k to do nothing but let my kid try the sport.  If they don't like it, I need to try to recover as much as possible.

If a track were to set up the rookies.  Make the barrier to entry low, train the handlers (not all are in racing today) you expand the pool of potential members.  As they learn (driver and handler) they can now plan for the cost (and the investment of time) and will be ready in time to move up.  I feel that retentions would be better, there would be more families trying the sport out, and memberships would increase.

The problem is existing members would need to be dedicated to supporting this, because thats where the support would come from to prepare the cars for each race.
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two_tenths_off
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2010, 05:17:34 PM »

This is an interesting topic - providing cars for the Novices....

I certainly found ownership usefull in enforcing the "don't break your stuff" concept.

I think it had some impact on my son to see the repurcussions of breaking the car. He had
to look at it in the garage, listen to me moan about writing checks and then hope that I could get it all back together before the next race and get it right!

He rarely bent anything.


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CrewChief6
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2010, 05:47:55 PM »

ezoner,

I agree: if the entry barrier is low, yes, it will be more enticing for families.
And I definitely second the part about training the handlers. That was the most frustrating part for us, having zero background in racing.

Some clubs offer a rental program, which I think is great. But I think teams can do that on an individual basis too, especially if you have cars you haven't been able to sell, like in my case.

I'm actually going to rent out one of our extra cars to a family who wants to get started. That team will pay a monthly fee plus take care of parts replacements. If they want to keep the car, whatever they pay goes toward the car. It might be risky, but I'd rather see the car on the track than in the garage collecting dust.
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Lyra Solochek
isaaksolochekracing.com
Sponsors: DWT, LAT Racing Oil, AMSOIL, ZeroNine, racinggraphics.com, Family Eyecare of Westchase, Circle of Life Animal Hospital
two_tenths_off
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2010, 06:30:56 PM »

What are the Liability issues involved in renting the car out?
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CrewChief6
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2010, 06:34:51 PM »

I guess I'll find out!

Biggest liability, I would imagine, is that you might not see your car again. But you can get a contract written up with the details (deposit, monthly costs, rent-to-own details, parts replacement) and that should be binding.

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Lyra Solochek
isaaksolochekracing.com
Sponsors: DWT, LAT Racing Oil, AMSOIL, ZeroNine, racinggraphics.com, Family Eyecare of Westchase, Circle of Life Animal Hospital
two_tenths_off
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2010, 06:47:37 PM »

What I was concerned about was eliminating their ability to seek damages if something went wrong.  *You* reducing *Your* liability for allowing them to participate in a dangerous activity in *Your* car when there are factor you can and cannot control.
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CrewChief6
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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2010, 06:49:27 PM »

Aha. Good point. I guess I'll have to write that up in the contract. Thanks!
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Lyra Solochek
isaaksolochekracing.com
Sponsors: DWT, LAT Racing Oil, AMSOIL, ZeroNine, racinggraphics.com, Family Eyecare of Westchase, Circle of Life Animal Hospital
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