USAC Racing Forum

General Chat => Point .25 => Topic started by: ssssmoke on July 11, 2009, 01:09:35 PM

Title: nationals
Post by: ssssmoke on July 11, 2009, 01:09:35 PM
usac put on one hell of a show, the track was great everything ran smooth, they had pro drivers such as ryan newman and levi jones. and they worked thier tails off to get track ready after the rain. but the racing procedures were absolutely horrible. way to many races ending with 3 to 5 cars. several kids walking back to the trailers in tears. some race teams receiving more than three strikes and getting several laps to work on the cars in the pits. im totally dissapointed and will not be running anymore g next races. its not worth the money we spend to not get a chance to race a complete race. and im not the only one! the bottom line is the 2 strike system is not working and it has not been working. there needs to be some qm experience to handle on track procedures and an actual race director to go to not someone to tell you he doesnt have time to talk, thats not the job of a race director. Im not writing on this forum to be negative toward usac but to be heard and keep everything usac has been working so hard on moving in the right direction. lets fix this problem.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: crew chief on July 11, 2009, 10:02:08 PM
Come on back to qma racing

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: RBurns17 on July 12, 2009, 03:01:16 AM
Haha yea, and then you can voice concerns about their procedures on their forum...errr....maybe not. USAC will take criticism from this event, sift through it weeding out those complaints that are a result of disappointing performances and change the procedures for the better. Although, the positives comments have the complaints outnumbered 100:1, so I would say that they did a heck of a job. Can't make everyone happy.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: ssssmoke on July 12, 2009, 10:44:21 AM
we will be racing qma next year. (grands so close). but i have faith usac will look into this and make all the right changes. they put on way to good of a show to let this hold them down, but they need to look into and talk to the clubs on what they can do to make it better. our club races are as good as can be. i still say good job usac.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: BQwkR on July 12, 2009, 01:32:06 PM
I wasn't there so I can't have a complaint or perhaps even an opinion. But I do have two questions; were the boys and girls safe and did they have fun? If those who participated can answer yes to those questions, it sounds like it was a big success. If my little driver ever gets a chance to run nationals and these two simple things do not occur, we're out. DE Jr. is not having fun anymore and the races he's been in lately are far from safe.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: ssssmoke on July 12, 2009, 01:52:18 PM
they were absolutely safe no question. fun? no. the show was fun meeting drivers and all and the whole indy atmosphere. my driver had one strike where we were at fault and ran over the other three times, 2 black flags, came off the track crying 2 times asking what he did wrong. thats not fun. i also seen several other drivers very heartbroken. its an easy fix and i have faith in usac to get it fixed.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: jss0707 on July 12, 2009, 11:00:48 PM
Sure - "Come on back to Q.M.A." - for all the "Judging Calls", ridiculously drawn out race days, & the counterproductive mollycoddling of our future race car drivers.  USAC's race program is not perfect (I'd challenge anyone to site one that is) but, it's sure got Q.M.A.'s program beat!

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: RBurns17 on July 13, 2009, 12:11:31 AM
It's not always fair. But no form of racing is. The problem with judgment calls is that they are exactly that, a judgment. From different areas of the track whose fault a wreck is may look totally different. That's true in all forms of racing, and in all forms of racing (aside from NASCAR) there is a two strike rule. Some days it will but you in the butt. But I prefer it to getting a strike and the person at fault going back to their spot and not being punished because maybe the race director couldn't see exactly what happened from where he was.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: BQwkR on July 13, 2009, 09:05:48 AM
Little league football is full of parents that are distraught over poor officiating of games. Especially if it was their kid that was flagged for pass interference or holding. Its manadated by rules that none of the PAID ref's have their dog in the fight. They try to be impartial but sometimes it sure doesn't appear that way. Kids cry, that's what they do; but they and the parents just keep coming back to practice on Monday. There has to be some sort of judging in .25. The patients should never be allowed to run the asslyum. Anyway; I think the tracks are too small for these race cars. Most of these kids have very little concentration and slow reaction times. They need a longer track. Thats probably why they strike out more often than crunch balls of the wall.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: goffin20 on July 13, 2009, 11:46:08 AM
"Most of these kids have very little concentration and slow reaction times. They need a longer track"

I disagree with that comment.  These kids have excellent reaction times and if they cannot concentrate they don’t need to be in a motorized vehicle.

As for a larger track, that could also be much more dangerous to the kids.  A larger track means faster speeds and the chassis could not withstand a wreck at higher speeds.  I have seen enough chassis mangled and bent on our small tracks and don’t think it would be safe on larger tracks at higher speeds.  This is the reason many don’t run the rumble series, because a wreck could easily total a car.

Rough driving and not having or giving position is the #1 cause of strikes.  When a driver doesn’t have position and stuffs it in the corner and charges another car, that could have been avoided by the driver waiting to make the pass.  When a driver bangs on the back of another car on the lineup, jumping over his bumper or tires or spins them out, that’s rough driving.  You are supposed to stay close but make NO contact with the other car.  The QM's do have brakes but they prefer to use the other cars bumper to slow down instead of their brakes.  When a car passes but then forces the outside car into the wall, that’s racing room and could be avoided by the inside car leaving room for the outside car as they should have.  The majority of strikes can be avoided, very few are just racing incidents.

Back to the kids, these kids amaze me every time they buckle into a car.  You see a 5 year old running around acting a like a 5 year old and you say there is no way that kid should be in a race car.  Then you see them buckle in and they mature 5-10 years.  There are alot of 5 year old QM racers that have better reaction times and drive better than 75% of the drivers on the public streets today.  Practice and training will improve their reaction times and they should all concentrate and pay attention when in a car on the track.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: BQwkR on July 13, 2009, 12:27:17 PM
Scott, I agree with most of what you replied. If they can't concentrate and don't have good reaction time they should be barred from racing or at least sit on the bench for a while. But then again, .25 doesn't have a bench, or is this 1,2,3 strike and you're black flagged thing supposed to suffice. To imply that a child has better reaction times than 75% adults on the road leads me to believe that there must be a lot of retirement centers in your town or your just being silly.

Your "coulds", "woulds", "shoulds" and "I thinks" don't cut it. They are opinion type words and not based in fact. If these cars are so flimsy and are not engineered to withstand another 100 feet of track, then I think our kids are not safe in any event. Scott, I've read your other opinions on this black board and most of them have been right on but I got to drop the black flag on you for this one.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: Swartz on July 13, 2009, 12:39:11 PM
BQwkr, since you wern't there, you wouldn't know that at least one kid in Hvy. WF got his car destroyed in practice and (ouch) learned the downside of wearing a crotch belt. These cars are at their limit on 1/20 mile tracks.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: RBurns17 on July 13, 2009, 12:41:44 PM
100 ft of track isn't going to do anything. It's not a matter of ability that is causing strikes. It's called patience and give and take. Something that the kids are going to learn with the system USAC uses. I'm sorry and I don't mean to offend anyone by this comment, because it's not pointed at anyone specific, but if my driver strikes out of a heat race AND a b-main, leaving him no chance at making the show. We're going to go back and evaluate what we're doing wrong because we either contributed to the situation somehow, or got hit by a one in a billion chance.

I can understand where you would be upset if the number of strikes was miscalculated. But don't bash the strike system as a whole because it works. If it didn't it wouldn't be used in almost all other forms of racing and guess what, the magic number is always 2. If you're in two cautions, you're out. The only way to make racing 100% fair is to run the entire race under yellow with no passing allowed and leave the results up to the luck of the draw.

Not to mention adding 100 ft of track is logistically crazy. How much speed do you suppose we would pick up? How would that impact the safety of the drivers? Or of the fans for that matter. At what point would we have to add catch fences? I know, judging from some of the wrecks we've had, we're not far off that anyway.  Let's not sacrifice the safety of our drivers to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: goffin20 on July 13, 2009, 12:46:50 PM
Actually, the comment about the chassis not holding up on larger tracks at higher speeds was a concern of a chassis builder.  As he stated, they were not designed for larger tracks and higher speeds, especially those with fixed hard walls.  The soft wall systems have helped alot.

In regards to the 75% comment, that was both me being sarcastic as well as truthful.  I drive everyday as many others do and I have to tell you, our kids do pay more attention and drive better than many people on the road do.  Yes, some are old, some are young, some are just not paying attention, reading, texting, talking etc and most could not react in an accident situation as well as our QM drivers do.  It would also not be fair to say I lived around retirement centers any more than it would to say I lived around a lot of colleges or high schools.  Age, race or gender has nothing to do with my comments.

As for my could’s, would’s and should’s, just watch some races and you will see exactly what I am talking about.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: Swartz on July 13, 2009, 01:41:42 PM
Scott, I have been rear ended twice this year while setting at the stop light in Hamilton at 127 and High street. Neither person was texting, talking or had anyone else in the car. Both were middle aged men, well, my age. Middle aged if you intend to live to 100 and something. Ya can't fix stupid.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: BQwkR on July 13, 2009, 02:46:58 PM
I looked at one of the recent pictures posted on USAC's web site of the Indy race just concluded.This one kid was leaning so far out the leftside of the racer--far outside the safety bars--that he look horizontal. The kid in the racer behind him looked like he was sitting upright in a safe rigid car seat. He looked in total control of his car and since he was right on the leaners bumper, just as quick.

The leaner was in a really odd position (orthopedically speaking) but he sure looked cool. I assume his handler had setup the race car based on that amount of leaning so that he could adjust the race car's distribution of  weight, its roll height, its rate roll rate, its center of gravity, its camber, its spring rates, tire pressures and temperatures were all compensated for and optimized for a sure trip to Victory Lane. The drivers safety didn't seem to be much of a concern. It seemed that boy was really focusing on the inner part of the track in front him without his being concerned what was;  happening to any other race car out of his line of sight, safely braking, holding a line or any other thing other than winning the race. Now this kids car could have been easily been chopped, spun out and flipped.

Was the kid told to drive that way? Did his track's safety officer or certified trainer sign off on this unsafe driving technique? Did he get a "strike" for unsafe driving? Yeah, maybe adding 30 feet to the straight away and 15 feet to the turns may add some different dynamics, good and bad, to the track and racer, but it might just make it safer also. Never seen a driver of a car going 65 mph. down the Santa Monica freeway lean out the window into the median to get home faster. Anybody ever tried a longer track? Where's the data?

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: Swartz on July 13, 2009, 03:59:43 PM
I think that the only data that pertains is that any accident at or in excess of 35 mph is potentialy fatal and these are kids. Aside from that, I would rather have runoff room that a wall and I have seen cars clear the fence at every track we have been to from wheel to wheel contact. We have run on larger tracks several times and it makes for some exciting 5 wide racing. Makes me grit my teeth. I take it you will be going to Indiana to run on the 1/10th mile track.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: racemom2000 on July 15, 2009, 09:02:54 PM
I think Nationals was (overall) a success. Remember that it was the 1st one for .25, so it's all a learning process. However, it would've been nice to have longer practice sessions. At two minutes a pop, our lil' guy never got up to speed during the 3 practices because there were so many cautions from other cars that ate up the time. This made it difficult for us to assess what adjustments may have been imperative for the Heat & Main. Maybe instead of 3 separate practices @ 2 minutes spread far apart, something like two separate 5 minute runs could have been more beneficial. Thoughts? ::)

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: slowpoke on July 16, 2009, 09:46:55 AM
We did not go to the nationals because of the fact that you could not camp at the track,instead you had to incur the extra expense of motel etc. I really don't understand the big deal of racing in a parking lot behind the garages  just because it is at IMS.When was the last time anyone actually went to the Indy 500 anyway.USAC is doing a great job with the .25 program but I think we could tweak a few things and make it better, and cutting the cost is the biggest one.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: grandma13 on July 16, 2009, 11:34:26 AM
Many families camped across the road from the IMS and had a ball.  No electicity but they had plenty of space and I noticed some moved back over to the IMS every day then back to the camping area.  The track itself was great a couple of problems only and that is being addressed.

Other concerns in racing proceedures are being looked into.

New system and it will take awhile to iron out all of the  proceedures.  I have been to Grands and saw problems there also.
I saw and talked to some really great people from all over.  These young people who get to race have no ideal of how fortunate they are.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: racemom2000 on July 16, 2009, 11:46:01 AM
Slowpoke, it was a bit pricey to travel to Nationals. But Nationals for .25 is much like Nationals for any other sport (you're most likely going to have to travel a ways & spend some money to participate). I can tell you that the experience meant "so much more" for our family than "racing in a parking lot behind the garages". It meant our boy had the ability to compare his racing skills with others around the country. We were also able to meet other race families, with similar interests, that we wouldn't have been able to meet otherwise (thus forming new friendships & alliances).

And, we were able to get to know our race mates from home much better - as we worked like a team to ensure each of our drivers were 1) ready to race, & 2) having a great time. We were able to save some money by networking with our racemates. For example, out of the 4 rookies from our club, we were able to pack all 4 cars into 2 trailers. And all 4 families shared tools & equipment. We also shared food/drinks with one another. To me, it was also a nice break from the norm.

By talking & working with others, I learned things in 3 days that would have taken me months to learn on my own at home. So, I would recommend Nationals to anyone & everyone who's child is serious about .25. It was an experience I wouldn't have traded for anything.

There's an RV park nearby. And anyone can put aside a few dollars each month to save for next year (if they "really" want to go).

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: gass on July 16, 2009, 01:48:29 PM
We did not go to the nationals because of the fact that you could not camp at the track,instead you had to incur the extra expense of motel etc. I really don't understand the big deal of racing in a parking lot behind the garages  just because it is at IMS.When was the last time anyone actually went to the Indy 500 anyway.USAC is doing a great job with the .25 program but I think we could tweak a few things and make it better, and cutting the cost is the biggest one.

As far as the USAC .25 Nationals go, no matter what series or where a national race is held you will have to pay to play.   

Having a race at IMS makes sense in the fact it is easy to get to and drivers that were in the area came out to watch like Little Al, Ryan Newman, Mel Kenyon, Lynn St. James etc.... IMS is one of the most prestigious tracks in the world, for my son to say he raced and won there is a big event in his life.  These kids may never race the INDY 500 but can say they raced at the track.

I met many people at this event some from California, Florida and as far as camping you could park your motorhome in the IRL lot if you chose to.   The hotel rate wasn't bad either.  We went to dinner with many families and got to bench race.

When we started racing, and I might add we have been involved in racing for over 25 years, we knew there would be costs involved like in any sport it is your choice on how involved you get and how much your willing to pay. 

I don't know why you feel the INDY 500 isn't well attended I go to the INDY 500 yearly and about 200,000 attend the race.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: sfreitas20 on July 16, 2009, 03:28:53 PM
Lets just look at the numbers:

Wikipedia shows that about 715 drivers have driven in the Indy 500.

I can't find the data online, but using the calculation from the Indycar side, you are probably talking about 150ish NASCAR drivers have driven the Brickyard.

There were a handful of F1 races at the speedway from 2000 through 2008 with about 100 or so drivers racing total during that time.

There have been a few other events held at the speedway recently like our event and some motorcycle racing.  However, it is safe to say that the total number of drivers to have raced at IMS is somewhere between 1000 and 2000.

There are 6.7 billion people on the planet right now and out of that less than 2000 have driven in competition at IMS. 

In addition: From August 19, 1909 through May 24, 2009, 244 automobile races took place at IMS, with 136 separate drivers winning.

We came from Florida and spent about $1500 on fuel, hotel and rental car to give our Rookie driver the opportunity to be one of less 2000 people out of 6.7 billion to drive at IMS in competition.

One other notable fact, 400,000 people a year attend the Indy 500.

Racing at IMS and winning at IMS in any event is a special moment that very few will ever enjoy.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: Magic Man on July 16, 2009, 03:38:54 PM
jss has my vote for best use of the word mollycoddle in 2009!

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: ssssmoke on July 16, 2009, 04:53:44 PM
history, tradition, atmosphere. no grands can compare to the nationals at ims. my kid was blown away soon as we went through the front gates.

Title: Re: nationals
Post by: gadams on July 16, 2009, 08:00:09 PM
The fun factor of the nationals out way the cost 100 to 1. We camped across the road for free minus the gas for the generator and drove the motorhome across everyday. My son was thrilled he got to race at such a special place, even if it was a parking lot behind the garages. we took the guided tour and the guides pointed out the kids, very cool, alot of the tourist had many questions about where all the kids were from and some made it a point to come watch our kids race.