NC track closes, cites abuse from racers

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
Much of this is the damn truth though, the raw, organic, certified, purified, unfiltered truth.

Friendship Motor Speedway

2h ·

This announcement is to inform everyone that all remaining 2022 races at Friendship Motor Speedway have been cancelled. We are not going to blame tire shortages or the economy because we have consistently had some of the best car counts of anywhere in the Southeast. The honest reason is that we are not willing to put up with the disrespect and verbal abuse that some of the drivers, crew members and fans are directing to the track staff and owners.
When we purchased Friendship last year, we had high expectations for ourselves to not only clean up the facility, but also the reputation of the track. We wanted to provide a top-notch venue that drivers, fans, and the community could be proud of. After working all winter long, we were slapped in the face with all the negativity as soon as the 2022 schedule was released. From that we moved to a group encouraging people to boycott the track. As the season has gone on, we have dreaded race Saturdays. After this past weekend we decided we really don’t have to unlock a gate for the track staff and ourselves to be cussed at, spit on, threatened, and disrespected. We are done, but here are some points you might want to consider when you race or attend events at other tracks.
- When a track worker, track owner, or law enforcement asks you to move away from a certain area, it is for your own, the racers’, and the track’s protection. Besides the fact that we don’t want to see anyone hurt, we don’t want our insurance premiums to increase since we paid nearly $20,000 for insurance this past year. If a track’s insurance premiums go up, that cost is going to be passed along in higher admission prices or reduced purse. If you can’t follow a request by an official to move, it’s simple, stay at home. NEVER tell someone that asked you to stop sitting on pit wall during hot laps that you don’t have to because they are JUST a track worker. We’ve never been to a racetrack that could open without those “Just a track workers”. If you’ve been to one that can operate without workers, please tell us which one it was. The official who asked the person to move was one of the track owners who, although he was furious, was glad that none of the track staff had to be disrespected and hear that comment personally directed at them.
- Track owners and promoters can’t predict the weather any better than you can. They are looking at the same forecast on their phones as you are. Whether you are a fan or racer and you don’t want to risk your time or money on a possible rainout, it’s simple, just stay at home. For an open practice, if you can’t risk $100 if it starts raining an hour in to practice, why do you expect the track owner to risk a couple of thousand dollars for track prep and worker pay?
- If you don’t want to stop at a pit gate, sign in correctly, purchase arm bands for everyone in your group, or monitor your children in the pits, it’s simple, just stay at home. The Sunday morning pictures on Facebook show who is buying armbands and who isn’t, not just at our track but other tracks also.
- For the fans, if you can’t afford the admission price or don’t want to wear the armband on your wrist, it’s simple, just stay at home. It’s been unbelievable the abuse directed at track staff for asking someone to take the armband out of their pocket and put it on their arm for a few hours. In the long run, that little scrap of paper on your wrist keeps admission prices down because it’s easier to spot all the cheaters. Also, the staff at the ticket gate knows your 15-year-old really isn’t 11, or that 2019 county fair ticket isn’t a rain check armband. It just isn’t worth the time or energy to call you out. Tracks will just start locking the gates instead of putting up with this.
- If you don’t like the event running order, where you are directed to park your tow vehicles and trailers in the pits, or the division rules, it’s simple, just stay at home. There must be a division that goes out first every week and a division that goes out last every week. The biggest whiners might find their division in that same order again next week.
- As a racer if you don’t want to complete paperwork that the IRS and the track require, it’s simple, just stay at home. In 7 races, our track paid out $225,320 to the drivers. If a track owner has to show this amount as a profit instead of the expense it actually is why would they stay in business. This past Saturday, several drivers chose to verbally abuse our employees during payout. These drivers had been informed for several weeks to complete the W-9 form. We had announced on Facebook and posted signs at the pit gate booth that no payout money would be given that night without a valid W-9 on file. Out of 126 entries, we had 15 drivers (mostly from one division) who still had not completed the form at payout time and several were extremely disrespectful. By the time all was said and done, there were 4 drivers ($550 total) that did not complete the form. We have no control over those who choose to believe the people spreading the rumors that the track was trying to cheat the racers out of their money. We think our past actions and higher than normal payouts speak for itself.
- If you think the concession food is too high at a racetrack, it’s simple, stay at home. Maybe the food is a bit higher because a track has money invested in costly equipment that only gets used a few times a month or they had to throw out food because of a rain out. It also could be higher because they spend over 14 hours picking up trash from a race night despite the 73 trash cans that have been set out before each event. A racetrack isn’t making money off all your McDonald’s trash or the 32 Busch Light empties you left stacked in the grandstands, but those things sure cost the track in labor and dumpster fees.
- If you can’t use a restroom without trying to tear something up, it’s simple, stay at home. We didn’t paint bathrooms 3 times before the county health inspector came just so you would have fresh spots to kick the walls with your dirty feet. The toilet paper we put in the restrooms wasn’t put there for you to throw whole rolls in the toilet to clog it up.
- Remember every negative you say about a track just makes it more difficult for the track and the racers to get sponsors. Why would a business want to give money for their name on your car when all they see on Facebook is you complaining about the track or the other drivers? It’s simple, they won’t.
- Maybe our expectations were too high. If the fans and drivers were expecting to see a track director roll around in the mud for a couple hundred dollars or some Facebook likes, you were at the wrong place. As we do in our other businesses, we tried to act professionally and wanted everyone who came through a gate at Friendship Motor Speedway to go home feeling proud of the facility and their opportunity to enjoy a good race, whether from the stands or the driver’s seat. We anticipated providing a track where our local drivers could showcase their talent and would bring regional recognition to them and ultimately higher payouts.
- We want to thank the drivers and fans who supported us and didn’t think it was such a burden to follow the simple rules and procedures required to make an event run smoothly. It breaks our hearts to know that our decision will mean some of the drivers who have always been a pleasure to work with might not have an opportunity to race in the future. We give our track staff the biggest thanks for helping us accomplish what we did in just a few months' time and showing the dirt racing world what Friendship Motor Speedway could have been. We are sorry for all the disrespect shown to you these past weeks and that will unfortunately be directed at some of you after this announcement. A huge thanks goes to Jason Walls for always trying to be a buffer from the constant complaints and working so hard to give racers opportunities to gain experience at different tracks.
- Friendship will still be available on a limited schedule for private test sessions. We are exploring options for uses of the facility in the future. We hope everyone remembers that as owners of a private property in the United States, we have the freedom to choose what we want to do with our facility, just as each of you do with your property.
- In closing, we would like every person who attends or participates in any race event in the future to ask themselves this question as they travel home from the track. Did my actions tonight make it easier or harder for the racetrack owners and staff to want to come back next Saturday night? Because it really is that simple!
 

AuzGrams

Driver Wannabe
Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
6,124
Points
643
Location
The racetrack.
Guess they can go to other ones then. Interesting how the track is limiting comments.

Never talk down on your fans either. Seems rather strange to me a dirt track is doing that.
 

kkfan91

Crab Cakes and Sprint Cars....PA does 1
Joined
Jun 13, 2009
Messages
20,610
Points
1,033
Location
PA
Guess they can go to other ones then. Interesting how the track is limiting comments.

Never talk down on your fans either. Seems rather strange to me a dirt track is doing that.
The number of tracks that shoot themselves in the foot. I'm in a track chasing group on Facebook we have a running joke of the ridiculous reasons tracks cancel races.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
The number of tracks that shoot themselves in the foot. I'm in a track chasing group on Facebook we have a running joke of the ridiculous reasons tracks cancel races.

A lot of times, they're just excuses. Tracks have legitimately had to cancel races because they're short-staffed though. Tires are a convenient excuse, sometimes races are canceled because the expected car count is super-low.

What we do is, if we have low car counts, we just go ahead and race and give fans who came half-off for next week.

What people don't get about tracks and track workers, these are people giving up a day off, taking time away from family, to come to the track just to be berated most of the day. There are fewer and fewer people doing it. The older folks who love the sport will only put up with so much, they don't need to do it, and it's very hard to find young people who want to work.

There are times that you see a certain car come in and know that your night is going to be miserable, because that driver's gonna bitch about everything all night long. It's exhausting. The kids classes, the smaller the car, the bigger the bull****. They wear me out. It's the tracks' fault their son, who is the next Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon rolled into a superhuman driving god, finished in 7th.

If it was as easy to run a racetrack as everyone on the internet and racers think it is, they wouldn't be closing left and right.

Social media amplifies the problems because the person who didn't enjoy the track is going to be on there ****mouthing your business before the overwhelming majority of people who had fun.

On top of that, you have drivers who are loyal to other tracks that come to your track on a week off just to bitch about how bad your track is and how everyone needs to go to the track they race at instead. Again, we have a couple of those and when they message me saying they aren't coming, I can jump up and down in total jubilation.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
Most of the racers who come to the track are genuinely great people who just want to have fun.

But the ones who want to make a career of it, or expect to leave the track with a profit, or are just miserable, they ruin it for EVERYONE. They ruin it for the track workers, the owners, the other drivers and teams, and so on.
 

AuzGrams

Driver Wannabe
Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
6,124
Points
643
Location
The racetrack.
A lot of times, they're just excuses. Tracks have legitimately had to cancel races because they're short-staffed though. Tires are a convenient excuse, sometimes races are canceled because the expected car count is super-low.

What we do is, if we have low car counts, we just go ahead and race and give fans who came half-off for next week.

What people don't get about tracks and track workers, these are people giving up a day off, taking time away from family, to come to the track just to be berated most of the day. There are fewer and fewer people doing it. The older folks who love the sport will only put up with so much, they don't need to do it, and it's very hard to find young people who want to work.

There are times that you see a certain car come in and know that your night is going to be miserable, because that driver's gonna bitch about everything all night long. It's exhausting. The kids classes, the smaller the car, the bigger the bull****. They wear me out. It's the tracks' fault their son, who is the next Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon rolled into a superhuman driving god, finished in 7th.

If it was as easy to run a racetrack as everyone on the internet and racers think it is, they wouldn't be closing left and right.

Social media amplifies the problems because the person who didn't enjoy the track is going to be on there ****mouthing your business before the overwhelming majority of people who had fun.

On top of that, you have drivers who are loyal to other tracks that come to your track on a week off just to bitch about how bad your track is and how everyone needs to go to the track they race at instead. Again, we have a couple of those and when they message me saying they aren't coming, I can jump up and down in total jubilation.

I never had that experience at West Coast dirt tracks that are somewhat underfunded, nor did I at Knoxville or Eldora. Maybe instead of demeaning these folks that they’re supposedly calling out, they could educate and/or hire/have law enforcement.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
I never had that experience at West Coast dirt tracks that are rather underfunded, nor did I at Knoxville or Eldora. Maybe instead of demeaning these folks that they’re supposedly calling out, they could educate and/or hire law enforcement.

Here's the thing, every track promoter and even most racers in North Carolina are agreeing with what Friendship posted.

I could rant about this all night.

Weather. There's a 90% chance of rain, so the track cancels the race. Drivers get on Facebook and bitch about it, and how they could've raced. The forecast was wrong and it didn't rain, so the track owners are pieces of **** and should've known it wouldn't rain. It ends up raining exactly when the forecast said it would, drivers bitch that they should've raced anyway.

There's a 50% chance of rain, so the track decides to race. A handful of drivers will bitch about the race not being canceled and they can't make it so the fans won't come. It ends up raining during practice, and drivers bitch about not getting their full practice in. It rains during qualifying, and drivers demand that you put your show, which is already behind schedule, another hour behind schedule so they can qualify. You do right by the drivers and the fans complain, and vice versa.

No matter what decision you make when it comes to rainouts, it's the wrong one. By the way, even if it DOESN'T rain, you've lost most of your fans and 25-50% of your cars just on the threat of rain alone. So you're losing money by rolling the dice, and some ************* can't even appreciate that.

I can't speak to dirt racing, but I know almost every asphalt track loses money and most of those owners are keeping them open because they're independently wealthy or have another business or something. These dudes aren't in it for the money, they're in it because they love racing. It's just not sustainable for tracks to lose $5,000+ dollars every week AND not get an ounce of gratitude.

If someone gets disqualified, they're gonna run to Facebook and bash your track to death. That's so bad that there are a handful of tracks in North Carolina that turn a blind eye to blatant cheating because "we don't want to lose the car" and "they're gonna bash us on Facebook." What ends up happening in these cases is that most of the division disappears because they're being outrun by an illegal car.

You can have the cleanest restrooms, the nicest track, start the show on time, finish within 2.5 hours, have side-by-side racing all night, have delicious food and frosty cold beer, most everyone's had a good time, and someone will get on there and bash your track. I've seen people put tracks on full blast on Facebook because the broadcast of their race, which they got to watch on TV with their $10/month subscription, wasn't good.

Right now, and I know the track I'm at isn't alone, but most of us have to wear several different hats. The staffing shortage is something almost everyone's dealing with. The other night, I had to announce and score races at the same time, while also handling social media and assisting in other areas. Scoring is a very tedious (not hard, just tedious) job that requires undivided attention, and announcing is a very hard thing to do that also requires maximum concentration and attention to detail.

Sometimes, you get drivers or teams that yell and cuss and scream at track employees the second they walk in. Had one dude, one night, jump over the back gate and run across the track during practice, then start screaming and yelling and cussing us out and cussing the guy at the gate out about how we should've stopped practice for him and he arrived 10 minutes before practice ended so we need to extend practice for three hours, and we should all be graced by his presence.

I had a driver cuss me out for five minutes and then go on Facebook and blast the track because they wanted to practice on Easter Sunday and I was a piece of **** for going up to Maryland to see my family and tracks not being more accommodating to racers and he's the show. Finally, when I told him he could practice on Friday until 2pm. I had another driver get pissed off when I told him he had to stop practicing, at 11pm on a Wednesday, said not allowing him to continue another hour or two is why tracks are shutting down.

I've seen drivers take trash cans and litter the frontstretch with them after the race because "I should've been on the inside on that last restart." I've seen parents kick over trash cans and throw beer cans at officials because their son got penalized for jumping a restart. I've seen drivers go into tech barns and throw everything around and break tools and stuff because they got disqualified. I've seen drivers throw **** around and demand to be awarded the win because they wrecked the leader after the race was over which made them the decisive winner.

And as society gets meaner and meaner because of social media, political/social polarization, climate change (hot weather makes people more aggressive), and the general entitlement attitude most Americans seem to have nowadays, among other things, it's getting worse.

Emotions run high in racing, and racers often forget that the rest of us are people too.

Every track in Central Tennessee (I think?) banned a driver from racing there because he went after and beat up a track official. If that happened in North Carolina, I genuinely believe another track would roll out the red carpet for them. So, how do you get rid of the problems if we're not all on the same page?

Most racers are good dudes who just want to have fun, but the ones who aren't will ruin it for everybody eventually. I know quite a few people who have been in racing all their lives that have completely walked away from the sport, all within the last year, because of how toxic it can get at times.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
@AuzGrams To put it bluntly, there are some people in short track racing that shouldn't be allowed to race. Hate to say it that way, but when there's a group of racers that every track they go to ends up shutting down or scrapping their division at the end of the year, the problem isn't the track.

Some people would rather see tracks shut down to be proven right about how the track should've been run their way, and then complain when they have nowhere to race.
 

acmerocket

Team Owner
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
1,725
Points
343
i just dont understand how people act now days. i raced offroad for 40 years and have gone to 100s of tracks around the us. and never seen any of this bs thats going on now.just crazy where this is going,:idunno:
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
i just dont understand how people act now days. i raced offroad for 40 years and have gone to 100s of tracks around the us. and never seen any of this bs thats going on now.just crazy where this is going,:idunno:

It's the "I can do what I want" era.

A lot of people are gonna walk away from this sport because they can't stand many of the people in it.

One North Carolina track owner told me one time that, once he walks away because of the abuse he and his family take at the track every week, he wasn't selling it, leasing it, or anything. He said, "I'll let it sit there and rot before I let someone else buy it, a lot of these guys don't deserve to have a place to race."

These racers have no idea how stressful it is. Running a racetrack requires a ton of hard work and many sleepless nights. The payoff doesn't come in the form of money either, it comes in seeing racers happy, seeing a full field of cars, seeing grandstands packed with race fans old and new, the friendships made along the way, and seeing the memories that are made. That's the rewarding part of this.

When you have several racers that make it miserable to be at the track, there's no payoff anymore. You either just go through the motions and not give a ****, or you walk away. The owners of Friendship chose to walk away.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
Don't get me wrong from my posts, I still love the hell out of this sport. It still turns me on to see the best Late Model Stock Car drivers take the green flag at Martinsville or in the CARS Tour. It still turns me on to be in the pits taking photos and taking in the race at Wake County or Southern National, or being in the announcer's booth in Jacksonville, or in the grandstands at Hickory. I love short track racing with all my heart.

But there are a lot of people in racing that try to suck all the fun out of it. I have a name for every grey hair on my head and beard.
 

DIDIT

Old School Fan
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Messages
4,791
Points
593
Location
Port Salerno, FL
I am curious, did the new owners have dirt track or any other racing experience when they bought Friendship?
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
I am curious, did the new owners have dirt track or any other racing experience when they bought Friendship?

I had heard from several people that they were doing a really good job out there.

The owner of 311, who is a different breed as it is, posted something about selling the track and retiring too. I've seen so many track owners/promoters/managers share that post by Friendship and praise them for standing up for themselves by closing it down.
 

DIDIT

Old School Fan
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Messages
4,791
Points
593
Location
Port Salerno, FL
I had heard from several people that they were doing a really good job out there.

The owner of 311, who is a different breed as it is, posted something about selling the track and retiring too. I've seen so many track owners/promoters/managers share that post by Friendship and praise them for standing up for themselves by closing it down.
I get it. I am sure you know a lot of short track racers and fans are a gritty group, especially at dirt tracks. If the new owners expected fans and race teams to immediately start acting like SCCA, then they had unrealistic expectations. Doing a really good job, is a start. I wonder why they didn't make a similar statement before deciding to shut down?
No idea how many dirt tracks and short tracks I have been to but once a culture is built I would imagine it would be very difficult to change. Its a shame to see any track close down. Hopefully, it will be racing again sometime soon.

Probably one of the classiest short tracks I have ever been to is Thunder Road in Vermont. But that didn't just happen in months.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
I get it. I am sure you know a lot of short track racers and fans are a gritty group, especially at dirt tracks. If the new owners expected fans and race teams to immediately start acting like SCCA, then they had unrealistic expectations. Doing a really good job, is a start. I wonder why they didn't make a similar statement before deciding to shut down?
No idea how many dirt tracks and short tracks I have been to but once a culture is built I would imagine it would be very difficult to change. Its a shame to see any track close down. Hopefully, it will be racing again sometime soon.

Probably one of the classiest short tracks I have ever been to is Thunder Road in Vermont. But that didn't just happen in months.
Treating people with respect isn’t a culture change that takes time. It’s a basic instinct. Either you do or you don’t.

In my personal experiences, it’s usually the same drivers, same teams. The track, the owner, the promoter, none of its mattered, those select few never change.

There are guys that, when I see their hauler pull in, I just start cussing under my breath because I know it’s gonna be a miserable weekend.

There are times people come just to start trouble and you know it. They’re in a bitter rivalry with another driver who happens to race with you weekly, so they’ve taken their off weekend to come wreck them at yours. They’re loyal to another track so they come to yours just to tell everyone they had a miserable time and to go elsewhere. I’ve had one driver one time sit in my pits all day telling drivers to go race at another track and never come back here because our track sucks. Yet he comes back all the time and always bitches when he does.

And truthfully, post-COVID, it’s been much worse. Like, I thought these drivers would be more appreciative of what they’ve got from when they didn’t get to race for months. Instead, they’ve become more entitled. To be honest, I feared they would be when tracks opened up without fans or defied state orders.

I applaud the **** out of Friendship for not putting up with it and not bluffing.
 

AuzGrams

Driver Wannabe
Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
6,124
Points
643
Location
The racetrack.
i just dont understand how people act now days. i raced offroad for 40 years and have gone to 100s of tracks around the us. and never seen any of this bs thats going on now.just crazy where this is going,:idunno:

I don’t get it either. Im surprised Knoxville or Eldora didn’t single me out like this lol. Good thing I don’t drive race cars.
 

DIDIT

Old School Fan
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Messages
4,791
Points
593
Location
Port Salerno, FL
No matter how well intentioned, I think the new ownership had unrealistic expectations. Racing, especially short tracks has always been a hard lot. I have seen it myself since the 60s and based on stories I have heard and read I have no reason to believe it has ever been any different, especially after the war. There has always been those that make life hard for others and those who are better at dealing with the deviants.

I'll admit I don't know anything about this track and its ownership and I am not sure I have ever been to it. My opinion is just a general observation. Life has never been "easy."
 

StandOnIt

Farm Truck
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
61,119
Points
883
Location
yoooklahoma
Considering that 80% of new businesses fail in the first year welcome to the statistic...Who's next? Race track for sale gently used.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
No matter how well intentioned, I think the new ownership had unrealistic expectations. Racing, especially short tracks has always been a hard lot. I have seen it myself since the 60s and based on stories I have heard and read I have no reason to believe it has ever been any different, especially after the war. There has always been those that make life hard for others and those who are better at dealing with the deviants.

I'll admit I don't know anything about this track and its ownership and I am not sure I have ever been to it. My opinion is just a general observation. Life has never been "easy."

The thing is, it's gotten worse. I mean, we see that in society in general, people are more hostile, more aggressive. And EVERY track has a group of racers that ruin the fun for everyone. There are those guys that, when they pull in, you know it ain't gonna be Camp Happyface. When you have social media in the picture, there isn't a cooling off period either. If the problem children don't get their way, they go right to Facebook and begin with the bashing and trashmouthing.
 

StandOnIt

Farm Truck
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
61,119
Points
883
Location
yoooklahoma
The thing is, it's gotten worse. I mean, we see that in society in general, people are more hostile, more aggressive. And EVERY track has a group of racers that ruin the fun for everyone. There are those guys that, when they pull in, you know it ain't gonna be Camp Happyface. When you have social media in the picture, there isn't a cooling off period either. If the problem children don't get their way, they go right to Facebook and begin with the bashing and trashmouthing.
Waaa Waaa Waaa. It's private property. Make rules and enforce them. Get off the cross we need the wood.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
Waaa Waaa Waaa. It's private property. Make rules and enforce them. Get off the cross we need the wood.

Point blank, racers need to show some more respect and appreciate what they've got before it's gone. Tracks are closing left and right over financial issues. The last thing we need is for tracks that aren't struggling financially to say "**** it, I quit."

Friendship closing and putting this out there is a seismic shift in the industry.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
No it's a lesson on how not to run a business.

As usual, you don't know what you're talking about.

All of us in the racing business know you have to have thick skin. The pit area at any racetrack ain't for snowflakes or nuns. Some of the things I've seen recently, however, are on a whole new level. There's a reason people who have been in the sport for 5, 10, 15+ years are walking away from it. It's been something of a mass exodus actually. I can think of several people, off the top of my head, who have been in this sport their entire lives that have walked away in the past few months.

Friendship's post should serve as a warning siren to the racing community, not as a "lesson on how not to run a business."

Run the good track owners out and all you'll have are the people who are only in it for the money and don't give a **** about the racing. That won't be good for anyone.
 

MRM

Team Owner
Joined
Jun 14, 2002
Messages
5,029
Points
793
Location
Powell, TN
I think everybody, in general, needs to respect other people, the racing business included. I've been on all sides of it. I've been that crew guy that thought the track was trying to screw everybody or just certain people and I've worked at tracks where certain racers were always mad about something for no particular reason.

I've seen some posts on other message boards where a few people have said those owners need to have thicker skin. I don't who has said what in this story. Let's assume the owners are telling the truth. The drivers, teams, and fans should be thankful they have a track to go to. Is the track screwing them in some way, I don't know. Here in east Tennessee, if a track starts screwing drivers or fans, there are enough tracks close by they can go somewhere else. That keeps most of the promoters around here honest.

The bottom line is I've seen track owners that have talked very badly directly to their drivers. In most cases, it was unnecessary. I've seen car owners and drivers threaten to beat track owners over a misunderstandings that could have been worked out by calmer heads. The worst I have seen is a female promoter get dog-cussed by fans after a rain out when the track has a clear no raincheck policy. It's one thing from grown men to say this to other grown men. But it's over the line to say the kind of things they said to a woman.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
The number of tracks that shoot themselves in the foot. I'm in a track chasing group on Facebook we have a running joke of the ridiculous reasons tracks cancel races.

We just canceled over a staffing shortage so go ahead and put us on blast too, even though you don't know what you're talking about. It's hard to run a smooth show if it's chaos in the pits because everyone's doing like four different things at once.

I think everybody, in general, needs to respect other people, the racing business included. I've been on all sides of it. I've been that crew guy that thought the track was trying to screw everybody or just certain people and I've worked at tracks where certain racers were always mad about something for no particular reason.

I've seen some posts on other message boards where a few people have said those owners need to have thicker skin. I don't who has said what in this story. Let's assume the owners are telling the truth. The drivers, teams, and fans should be thankful they have a track to go to. Is the track screwing them in some way, I don't know. Here in east Tennessee, if a track starts screwing drivers or fans, there are enough tracks close by they can go somewhere else. That keeps most of the promoters around here honest.

The bottom line is I've seen track owners that have talked very badly directly to their drivers. In most cases, it was unnecessary. I've seen car owners and drivers threaten to beat track owners over a misunderstandings that could have been worked out by calmer heads. The worst I have seen is a female promoter get dog-cussed by fans after a rain out when the track has a clear no raincheck policy. It's one thing from grown men to say this to other grown men. But it's over the line to say the kind of things they said to a woman.

It's been my experience that, when a track doesn't pay its advertised purse and treats its racers like crap, drivers don't say a word about it on social media, they just don't go back. But if they get penalized at that other track, they're all the **** over Facebook about it telling other drivers to never go to this place. It's super weird, to be honest.

Also been my experience that the keyboard warriors on Facebook don't actually make any effort to talk to anyone.
 

kkfan91

Crab Cakes and Sprint Cars....PA does 1
Joined
Jun 13, 2009
Messages
20,610
Points
1,033
Location
PA
Ok one that's not the things I was talking about.

Two I'm not arguing with you.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
The worst I have seen is a female promoter get dog-cussed by fans after a rain out when the track has a clear no raincheck policy. It's one thing from grown men to say this to other grown men. But it's over the line to say the kind of things they said to a woman.
Women in this sport get zero respect.

When I was doing PR for a young lady who was racing, someone once asked me to send them pictures of her in a bikini and other “hot” pictures so they could feature her in their “hottest women in racing” article. I wish I could’ve strangled them through the damn computer screen. 😡
 

DIDIT

Old School Fan
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Messages
4,791
Points
593
Location
Port Salerno, FL
While some tracks are closing, others are opening or re-opening. I know of two tracks that were on their deathbed, but new ownership has turned them both around. Bridgeport Speedway in NJ and Hendry County Speedway in Florida are both making great strides and gaining significant respect over the past several years. It didn't just happen over night. Why would New Jersey and Florida be any different than NC?
 

Tim_Richmond_Fan

High HP, Low DF
Joined
Jul 19, 2020
Messages
500
Points
203
Location
Tri-state Indiana
And EVERY track has a group of racers that ruin the fun for everyone.

Honest question, I have seen you type this a couple times in this post, but why do owners put up with that? If they are known problems, send them on their way, especially if they make enough of a habit out of it that you notice them when they pull in.

I'm torn on this issue, truly. My dad told me when I was in about 7th or 8th grade that "I don't have to be anyone's MF'er" so I empathize with the complaints about verbal abuse from the general public and drivers. However in my mind that is easily rectified by banning those people abusing your staff. Same with the pay window, wristbands etc. You have to set the tone.

It seems from the outside looking in that this ownership group let things fester over time until they had had enough. I hate that it got to that point for them. It sounds like possibly hiring a GM or similar position to act as a buffer (bad guy) may have been a solution if the owners didn't want to step on toes.
 

StandOnIt

Farm Truck
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
61,119
Points
883
Location
yoooklahoma
While some tracks are closing, others are opening or re-opening. I know of two tracks that were on their deathbed, but new ownership has turned them both around. Bridgeport Speedway in NJ and Hendry County Speedway in Florida are both making great strides and gaining significant respect over the past several years. It didn't just happen over night. Why would New Jersey and Florida be any different than NC?
Could be the water, can't be the management lol
 

StandOnIt

Farm Truck
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
61,119
Points
883
Location
yoooklahoma
Honest question, I have seen you type this a couple times in this post, but why do owners put up with that? If they are known problems, send them on their way, especially if they make enough of a habit out of it that you notice them when they pull in.

I'm torn on this issue, truly. My dad told me when I was in about 7th or 8th grade that "I don't have to be anyone's MF'er" so I empathize with the complaints about verbal abuse from the general public and drivers. However in my mind that is easily rectified by banning those people abusing your staff. Same with the pay window, wristbands etc. You have to set the tone.

It seems from the outside looking in that this ownership group let things fester over time until they had had enough. I hate that it got to that point for them. It sounds like possibly hiring a GM or similar position to act as a buffer (bad guy) may have been a solution if the owners didn't want to step on toes.
The old tried and true works every time. You need this a lot more than we need you.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
Honest question, I have seen you type this a couple times in this post, but why do owners put up with that? If they are known problems, send them on their way, especially if they make enough of a habit out of it that you notice them when they pull in.

I'm torn on this issue, truly. My dad told me when I was in about 7th or 8th grade that "I don't have to be anyone's MF'er" so I empathize with the complaints about verbal abuse from the general public and drivers. However in my mind that is easily rectified by banning those people abusing your staff. Same with the pay window, wristbands etc. You have to set the tone.

It seems from the outside looking in that this ownership group let things fester over time until they had had enough. I hate that it got to that point for them. It sounds like possibly hiring a GM or similar position to act as a buffer (bad guy) may have been a solution if the owners didn't want to step on toes.

The problem is that, you need the cars, especially if you're in the selling tickets business. So there's a lot of BS you have to put up with. Again, you got to have very thick skin to work in this industry. One time, I asked the race director if he changed his name to Mother ****** since he answered to it so many times on race night. :XXROFL:

Like I said earlier though, it's that it's gotten much worse. The level of respect from some in racing has fallen the same way the level of respect from people in this country in general has fallen in the past few years - ESPECIALLY post-pandemic.

You also don't want to be known as the track that bans people for this and that. Realistically, EVERYONE needs to stand up to the problematic racers. There are eight other asphalt tracks within a reasonable driving distance from where the track I'm at is, and most of them won't do suspensions or bans because "we need the drivers." So, again, these guys in North Carolina know they can get away with it - if not here, then elsewhere.
 

StandOnIt

Farm Truck
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
61,119
Points
883
Location
yoooklahoma
The problem is that, you need the cars, especially if you're in the selling tickets business. So there's a lot of BS you have to put up with. Again, you got to have very thick skin to work in this industry. One time, I asked the race director if he changed his name to Mother ****** since he answered to it so many times on race night. :XXROFL:

Like I said earlier though, it's that it's gotten much worse. The level of respect from some in racing has fallen the same way the level of respect from people in this country in general has fallen in the past few years - ESPECIALLY post-pandemic.

You also don't want to be known as the track that bans people for this and that. Realistically, EVERYONE needs to stand up to the problematic racers. There are eight other asphalt tracks within a reasonable driving distance from where the track I'm at is, and most of them won't do suspensions or bans because "we need the drivers." So, again, these guys in North Carolina know they can get away with it - if not here, then elsewhere.
You don't need those cars
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,687
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
Could be the water, can't be the management lol

In many cases, it's the management.

Here's the thing though. The tracks that are poorly managed don't get called out the same way good tracks do. There are places that everyone knows sucks and racers will go there, tolerate it, and not bitch if they don't get paid or they're treated like **** from the staff. And, quite frankly, the regulars at tracks like that are the ones that go to other tracks and just cut them down all day long. On top of that, those tracks KNOW what they're doing, so they just ban people from commenting and delete comments and stuff like that.

Somehow, some of the worst track owners are the ones who stay in business forever. Some because they have no scruples and can't be shamed and just don't care. Others because they're good enough at promotion to find ways to stay around. In fact, it's very common for places like these to venture into political rants, to put "TRUMP" stuff up everywhere, to make posts trashmouthing Bubba Wallace and Democrats, and so on and so on. And there are a lot of people who eat that **** up.
 
Top Bottom