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Author Topic: new animal class  (Read 4468 times)
sfreitas20
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« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2010, 09:16:00 PM »

Maybe bump the weight up 15 to 20 pounds and go to a bigger plate to bring the power up.

I am just thinking out loud to see if there is a way to tweak it, but not split the class yet until there is a little more traction with it from a car count perspective.

I would suggest retiring one of the Honda classes to help bump the Animal car counts, but the negative to that is the investment teams would need to make in a new engine platform that didn't originally plan to run Animal.  During economic times like this that would be a tough sell as well.
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Scott Freitas
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Karnes29
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« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2010, 09:59:26 PM »

Maybe heavy honda?
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Kendall42
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« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2010, 12:03:09 PM »

I am hugely in favor of a Heavy Animal class.  Austin tried WF and really did not like it at all. WF is not for everyone if they are not comfortable, we need to offer the heavy drivers an affordable alternative.  Austin weighs 140# and in the Sr. Animal car total weight is 330#.  He ran Sr. Animal in 2010, but did not stand a chance being 35# over weight with a restricted motor.  I wanted a Hvy Animal class in 2010, but the Animal format was too new.  Now we have more info and data and it would be a great added class to keep heavy drivers in the sport.  We were looking to move on after 2010 as Austin turns 16 in 2011.  But he REALLY wants to stay in QM racing one more year, we enjoy it.  But he does not want to run WF.  So we were not sure what to do.  We know we will stay in Hvy 160, although he will be a bit heavy for that next year, maybe 10-15#, but that is acceptable.  For Sr. Animal next year he would have likely been 50# heavy as I expect he will be about 340-345 in car next year.  So if he does not want to do WF, what else could we run?  Nothing...we would have to just move on out of QM racing.  The Hvy Animal gives him an option to stay in for another year.  It is good for the sport! 
I agree with the weights and age info already shown here.  And, I agree with the unrestricted, especially with what I know now after testing this weekend.  At Toledo this weekend most of your Sr. Animal front runners are running high 5.8 to low 5.9 second laps.  Austin running at 330# runs 6.05-6.15 typically.  This weekend at Toledo he was running 6.12-6.18 (cold track), that is the best we could get at that weight.  So, I pulled the plate out and tested.  He can still flat foot the car and his lap times were 5.92-5.96.  Nothing changed except taking out the plate.  So now I know that the heavy animal cars with no restrictor would be similar in speed to the Sr. Animal.  Yes, we would have to be 340# next year vs 330# now, but we have an idea what the speed will be as it relates to Sr. Animal with no plate and the added weight...the weight pretty much compensates for the loss of HP from the plate.  Also shows how much the weight does affect the speed of the car!
With the HUGE Sr. Honda class and huge Lt. 160 classes we have seen in USAC .25 this year, you know the heavy classes are going to grow in the next year or two.  Give them somewhere to go outside of Honda and WF.  The very affordable Animal classes!
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sfreitas20
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« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2010, 04:13:36 PM »

I think there is a big difference between "good for the sport" and "good for a few kids".  Splitting the current Sr Animal class out and adding a Heavy Animal in 2011 will be good for a few kids, but I don't think it will be good for the sport.  In 2010 there were only 12 Sr Animal drivers that entered the 5 required National races to be ranked and at none of the 5 Nationals that we attended did we have a B-Main for Sr Animal.  At the East Coast Challenge events there have been on average 4 Sr Animal cars.  We should look at ways to make the class more fair and balanced without splitting out another class in 2011.  I believe that would be better for the sport in the long run!
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Scott Freitas
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Kendall42
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« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2010, 05:19:04 PM »

I completely disagree with you and I will explain why.   This is NOT a “poor Johnny” situation.  Have an open mind and listen.  It is good for the sport because in the absence of a heavy class, we will just sell all the QM stuff and move him up to my Dirt Late Model.  Make sense?  Not if USAC wants to keep kids racing QM's longer and he is not ready at 15 to jump into a big car yet.   Kids grow at their own pace and some may be ready for big cars at 13 while others may not be ready till 17.  Everyone is different.  I have seen so many kids move out of QM racing at 14 and 15 due to not having a good heavy class selection to race in. 

You only had that many kids in Sr. Animal at National events for the following reasons;
1. It was the first year for the Animal classes (and they grew FAST for their first year)

2. Many heavier drivers (a couple from our club in fact) decided NOT to run Sr. Animal because their kids were too big to be competitive at 295# rule.   So in 2010 you LOST drivers who would have run Hvy Animal, but since there was not a Heavy Animal class…they did not run Animal at all!  Adding a heavy class...you will get those kids to run Heavy Animal.  You will NOT lose that many kids from Sr. Animal (and I guarantee the Sr. Animal class will be BIGGER next year) because there will be a pretty high DRIVER weight rule, like 120 or 125#.  We chose to run Sr. Animal even knowing there was NO way we could compete when we were 330#...but he was more comfortable then WF and he still got to race. 

3. Not many people in this economy have the financial ability to run many if any of the National Tour.  So that is not a relevant statement about Animals in the National Tour.  I would focus on the club and regional level car counts.

That said...you will absolutely NOT have smaller Animal classes in 2011!  Even with adding a Heavy class, you are going to have a large migration of drivers that move into all the Animal classes.  Look at those huge Sr. Honda and Lt. 160 classes…those kids are going to migrate to Sr. Animal.  It was the FIRST year for the Animal and we had pretty good fields!  In fact at Toledo this past weekend for our Spooktacular our three biggest classes were Sr. Honda, Lt. 160, and Sr Animal!  We had 8 Senior Animals at fun race!  You will not have smaller classes because as the class gains popularity. 

Lastly…why wouldn’t you have a Heavy Animal class?  In Honda you have Jr, Sr, and Hvy 120 classes.  Why wouldn’t you have a Jr, Sr, and Hvy Animal?  I believe in the long run…these classes will become your largest classes and will be very competitive classes.

Thank you for listening!
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CrewChief6
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« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2010, 05:36:09 PM »

Judging from all the Junior class drivers moving up that I know of, Senior Animal won't suffer if they add a Heavy class. Juniors on the other hand...
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Lyra Solochek
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Kendall42
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« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2010, 05:54:35 PM »

Now that I agree with.  The economy has certainly affected the ability of young families to get thier kids involved which is hurting the Jr. classes.  Just as it is hampering some of the families of older kids who already own all thier QM stuff from being able to move the kids on to big cars.  I can tell you that I have nearly $30,000 invested in a dirt LM in the shop.  That is just the car, let alone all the wheels and spares!  With maybe $12-$15K invested in THREE Quarter Midgets...it is way more affordable then the big cars and in this economy, that matters. 

The Jr. classes will come back as the economy does and as the clubs push more and do more test drives and promotion.  Need to get USAC on-board with a HEAVY promotional program soon!  Help get the word out in a way that the other organization never did. 
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CrewChief6
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« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2010, 06:18:44 PM »

"Heavy promotional program" definitely needed. Junior count is dwindling and many of us who can't move up yet have some tough decisions to make for next year. Racing just one or two other cars just isn't worth it. So let's do more exhibition races (maybe at other USAC events?) and get more folks interested. Plus promo days a couple of times a year. We need some new young drivers!   
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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
sfreitas20
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« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2010, 06:44:57 PM »

Lyra, keep in mind our track is so smart they haven't done a promo/test drive day since the one our kids did the one two and a half years ago.  Grin

I hear what you are saying Kendall, but if we are going to add a heavy animal class I would like to see another class retired.  There are already way too many classes and adding more is just adding to that.  I am currently trying to find new locations to run Quarter Midgets in Florida and that is one thing I keep hearing from the people at the tracks.  "Why do you have so many classes when most of them only have 3 cars in them?"

Get rid of another heavy class and replace it with Heavy Animal, then I would agree it makes sense.
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Scott Freitas
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Karnes29
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« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2010, 06:50:02 PM »

This is our first year of racing and have had to move up to senior honda straight out of rookie because of age,But as i look at the rookie class here at Buckeye I see maybe 5 or 6 rookies and that's with sr and jr rookies together.I talk to alot of families who say they can't afford it or i wish i could take my kid there and let him or her ride around to see if they like it.Rookies will be our next senior honda or wf or heavy animal drivers.I have raced big cars for 8 years here at columbus and put my son on the back burner until i went to a usac race here last year and watched and my boy said dad i want to race.We never read about it or saw it on tv it was just word of mouth.Sure would be nice to promote this sport a little more.I don't think alot of people on the outside know just how involved usac really is in this sport.
Steve
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RBurns17
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« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2010, 03:33:55 AM »

Now that I agree with.  The economy has certainly affected the ability of young families to get thier kids involved which is hurting the Jr. classes.  Just as it is hampering some of the families of older kids who already own all thier QM stuff from being able to move the kids on to big cars.  I can tell you that I have nearly $30,000 invested in a dirt LM in the shop.  That is just the car, let alone all the wheels and spares!  With maybe $12-$15K invested in THREE Quarter Midgets...it is way more affordable then the big cars and in this economy, that matters. 

The Jr. classes will come back as the economy does and as the clubs push more and do more test drives and promotion.  Need to get USAC on-board with a HEAVY promotional program soon!  Help get the word out in a way that the other organization never did. 

You also have the shot to run for Hundreds of thousands in purse money over the course of a season. Our location has seen it all around. Lower car counts at the big tracks and an even worse fall off at the little tracks.

I also agree with Freitas, there are just way too many classes, one more heavy class is going to dilute the counts down even further. We only saw one class consistently have B-mains all season. We had 0 Jr. Animals and two Jr hondas until the rookies were all moved up. In total we had maybe 7 Jr's on a weekly basis. With a chunk of kids moving on, these are the kids that will be seniors in the next few years and it's just not enough to support so many heavy and senior classes. I know it may not be this way at every track, but we run 0 deco or WF classes, no Jr Animals, and the car counts in everything but Sr. Honda could be improved upon. And I don't think it's anything the track is doing.

I just feel like: Jr.Rookie, Sr. Rookie, Jr Honda, Sr Honda, Heavy Honda, Lt 160, Hvy 160, Jr Animal, Sr Animal, Heavy Animal, Hvy AA, Light AA, B, Jr Stock, Mod, Light WF, and Heavy WF is just way too many classes. That's 17 classes and I might have even missed some. Just my opinion though. We don't run 8 of the classes locally and still see classes with 2-4 cars....
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dmmc
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« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2010, 08:20:03 AM »

   I believe you can judge the health of a club by the size of the younger classes like rookie and jr. honda.  When we came into this sport 5 years ago at our home club (mac-o-chee) there were virtually no novices and only 3 regular jr. honda competitors.  We lived 15 miles from the track and had very little knowledge of what went on there.  Now, even in this economy, we are getting full fields of jr. honda and 6-7 rookies on a regular basis.  Promotion promotion promotion...we have run several arrive-and-drives,  we post race results on the radio and in the newspaper after every race weekend, we have put up flyers in local business and even paid to have the village of West Liberty hang an advertising banner across main street the week of our "beauty bowl" race weekend.  We are getting the word out and people are asking questions.  We have even begun to see a few "non-family member" spectators showing up.  It is working, but it takes dedicated clubs and club members to get it done.  QMA used to refer to quartermidgets as the "best kept secret" in youth sports.  If you keep it a secret you will continue to see dwindling car counts.
   The problem at our track right now is lack of participation in the heavy classes.  Could a heavy animal class solve that at our club events?  I doubt it. We simply don't have enough drivers in that age/wt. bracket at the present time.  I think those classes will recover, but not right away.

Dave McPherson   
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Kendall42
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« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2010, 08:36:02 AM »

I pretty much agree with all of you on that except Dave on one point.  So my kid will be 340#+ in his Animal car next year and he should continue to race Sr. Animal?  I proved last weekend that by JUST pulling the plate, he gained almost 2 tenths on the track and was able to run nearly equal lap times with the Sr. Animal guys weighing 300# or less?  Proves how much that weight slows the car down.  I cannot cut weight out of my kid...so give him something he can race with a level playing field. Don't fret...the Animal classes will likely be some of the largest fields in 2011.  It is better then the Honda class, a touch slower then WF, and cost wise only slightly more then Honda.  So it just makes sense to grow the Animal format for the future. 
As for promotion...yes, that is something USAC preached in the beginning that they would do better then QMA.  Honestly...I do not think there is anymore promotion going on and it needs to happen.  At Toledo we have test drive programs every year!  We did one earlier this year and had over 50 kids come test drive at the club.  It helps!  The clubs need to do this!
As for too many classes, heck yes there are too many!  I do not want to offend those who run any classes, but the A, B, Stockers, Mods...are all classes of the "old day" before Honda's came along.  DECO and Continental was all there was.  With Honda and Animal now, some of those older classes need to fall off.  The motors are a LOT more money, they need fuel stops, and those are typically the classes with 3-5 cars tops no matter what the event.  Drop one or two of those and add an affordable Animal class so we can continue to grow that engine format. 
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dmmc
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« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2010, 12:06:59 PM »

   All of you are making good points.  Discussions like this are helpful to growing the sport.  ...Definitely too many classes.  My sons have run novice, jr. honda, sr. honda, hvy honda, lt. 160, hvy 160, sr. animal, sr. stock, b, and hvy AA.  If I had the cars set up decently, the only classes that required them to actually use the gas pedal were b and AA.  Certainly there is some expense involved with running decos, but they are not as costly as most people think.  My kids say that they enjoy running these classes more than the "momentum" classes.  Daniel (the youngest) ran an AA for the first time last weekend and I couldnt wipe the smile off his face when he came off the track.  But, I'm not sure if he would have been ready to do that had he not spent a season running b.  I'm not sure what classes we'll be running next year, but Logan (the oldest) said he has no interest in running animal again.  Were looking possibly at heavy world formula.  Where  does "heavy animal" fit into that scenario?  If heavy honda were to go away, where does an older, heavier rookie go when he graduates,.. sr animal?  I certainly don't have any answers, just a lot of questions.  What ever ends up being decided, we need to consider the "ladder" system, so that people getting into the sport have a way to gain experience as the speeds of the classes increase.

-Dave McPherson   
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Kendall42
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« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2010, 03:51:13 PM »

Dave...you are absolutely right...this sort of forum is great for advancing the sport because people get to share their views and ideas.  No idea is a bad idea...and no question is a stupid question.  I agree that the A and B classes require throttle control and that is a great thing to learn.  I agree we have too many classes and something needs to go away.  Maybe Hvy WF would be better after Sr. Animal rather then a Hvy Animal??? But there is a pretty significant power difference.  I strapped one of Rankine's WF motors in our Grizz at the end of last year and Austin tried it.  He said it was fast and cool that he had to use his right foot.  On the other hand...he said it was just crazy fast for these tiny cars.  His opinion is that if he wanted go that fast, he would prefer to move to a bigger/safer car.  Thus we chose to run Sr. Animal even though we knew going in that being 35# over weight was going to keep us from being competitive, but we had fun anyway.  There has to be a limit to how far we push these little small tube cars when it comes to speed.  They have no crush zones built into them.  My Late Model has dual triangulation build into the front bumper and is designed to absorb energy. These cars do not...so my opinion is we have to be careful.  For the safety of the kids...we need to be aware of how far we push the envelope on speed of these cars.  No crush zone and in a hard crash...the child takes the energy and that is not good.  These are kids racing for fun...keep it in check.  If you want to make it not just for fun and go super fast and endless pockets...then big cars are the way to go.  Too many people think they are building the next NASCAR superstar here instead of treating it as it should be treated, a fun family sport.
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