NC track closes, cites abuse from racers

Spotter22

Team Owner
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Messages
9,031
Points
883
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.



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.
Ron over at Dillon puts up with that shat all the time and Ron is one of the best track owners in the region. He's old school and goes by the book, just like Charley Powell did at Summerville and Florence which btw Steve is doing a great job over there now. I hate to see the track owners decided to close instead of getting rid of the riff raff
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,719
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
Ron over at Dillon puts up with that shat all the time and Ron is one of the best track owners in the region. He's old school and goes by the book, just like Charley Powell did at Summerville and Florence which btw Steve is doing a great job over there now. I hate to see the track owners decided to close instead of getting rid of the riff raff

Ron is one of the nicest guys in short track racing. He will do anything for anyone, within reason of course. Went there a few weeks ago for the Charles Hutto Memorial race, always love going to Dillon. It's laid back, relaxing, and a ton of fun. Steve does a great job at Florence too.

Our region, the eastern Carolinas, has a unique issue now in that drivers are expecting to get rich racing because of these enormous purses Carteret's promising each week, which is what they feel they have to do to get cars to come from 2-3 hours away. I've had drivers tell me they won't race anywhere now unless the races pay $500-to-start and the track gives them free tires. We're not talking about Late Models either.

When it's no longer about the passion, when it's no longer a "hobby" that's fun but a "hustle" you expect to get rich doing, that's when the game changes.
 

gone

Team Owner
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
673
Points
253
I live in the general area of this track, and I have attended it (grandstands) many times over the years. I even tried to race there... I say "tried" because we found out first hand how "Friendship" didn't really mean that it was a friendly place to race at as much as it was a place where you had to be part of "the friendship" if you wanted to be treated fairly. BUT that was under past managements - I did not go to Friendship Speedway this year so I don't know anything about its current management except what I've read (and I take all that with a grain of salt). I really don't intend to add more bashing to the pile, but I'm not going to pretend that any one side is squeaky clean.


I do believe what the management posted, based upon my experiences at several tracks in the area. Over decades of racing at or attending as a fan several tracks in several different regions of the country, I have seen all of their complaints everywhere I've gone. But I've also been baffled about how abrasive and abusive fans and racers and promoters are around here. Seems like a stupid game of egos and one-ups-men-ship without a care about how they're all hurting themselves. Congratulations you geniuses - yet another track closes and we have fewer places to race. And people don't see the big picture worsening: probably race teams will fold because they can't afford to tow farther to another track, or can't afford to change their equipment because of different rules at other tracks, or they lose sponsorship because they are no longer racing in the sponsor's market (or sponsors see this stuff going on and decide that they don't want to risk bad exposure).

It amazes me how some people feel that not only can they get away with slandering and damaging and accosting and stealing from a business or its employees, but they actually believe that they have the right to do it! Amazes me even more that other people tolerate them doing it! Folks, you and I are part of society together whether you like it or not. If you idly stand by while aware of problems like these, you implicitly encourage those few problem people to continue and escalate their behavior. At the very least, when you see crap posted on social media you could take a little trouble to find out the true story, then post what you find and bash any unreasonable posters back. LOL, since you can do it fairly anonymously you don’t need much courage – worst that can happen is a mean response war or getting tossed from the site (which yes I have experienced more than once).
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,719
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
I live in the general area of this track, and I have attended it (grandstands) many times over the years. I even tried to race there... I say "tried" because we found out first hand how "Friendship" didn't really mean that it was a friendly place to race at as much as it was a place where you had to be part of "the friendship" if you wanted to be treated fairly. BUT that was under past managements - I did not go to Friendship Speedway this year so I don't know anything about its current management except what I've read (and I take all that with a grain of salt). I really don't intend to add more bashing to the pile, but I'm not going to pretend that any one side is squeaky clean.


I do believe what the management posted, based upon my experiences at several tracks in the area. Over decades of racing at or attending as a fan several tracks in several different regions of the country, I have seen all of their complaints everywhere I've gone. But I've also been baffled about how abrasive and abusive fans and racers and promoters are around here. Seems like a stupid game of egos and one-ups-men-ship without a care about how they're all hurting themselves. Congratulations you geniuses - yet another track closes and we have fewer places to race. And people don't see the big picture worsening: probably race teams will fold because they can't afford to tow farther to another track, or can't afford to change their equipment because of different rules at other tracks, or they lose sponsorship because they are no longer racing in the sponsor's market (or sponsors see this stuff going on and decide that they don't want to risk bad exposure).

It amazes me how some people feel that not only can they get away with slandering and damaging and accosting and stealing from a business or its employees, but they actually believe that they have the right to do it! Amazes me even more that other people tolerate them doing it! Folks, you and I are part of society together whether you like it or not. If you idly stand by while aware of problems like these, you implicitly encourage those few problem people to continue and escalate their behavior. At the very least, when you see crap posted on social media you could take a little trouble to find out the true story, then post what you find and bash any unreasonable posters back. LOL, since you can do it fairly anonymously you don’t need much courage – worst that can happen is a mean response war or getting tossed from the site (which yes I have experienced more than once).

I was working for another track in 2017, doing their PR and social media, and the biggest issue I had was that most of the drivers wouldn't promote their upcoming races or anything. Their social media posts were limited to how much they loved Donald Trump or talking about the race after the fact, usually trashmouthing the track in the process. I tried and tried, most of the drivers said it was our job to get fans to the track (so we could up their purses) but they didn't want features written about them for the newspaper, and most didn't want to participate community-oriented events we put on, or anything like that.

The same drivers constantly complained about a girl who raced there who had tons of sponsorship and said she only got sponsors because she was hot. I was like, "And she talks about her racing, talks about where she's racing, wants media attention, wants people in the grandstands cheering for her."

My PR strategy has always been to push the drivers, to make your local racers the stars, to get people talking about them, and get the community out to support them. I don't give a **** if they're in a Bomber or a Late Model or a ****** Bandolero. The racers are the show, and you've got to market that. Hard to do if you don't know who's coming to race.

One week, Hailie Deegan came and raced with us, but we couldn't promote it because her marketing team didn't want anyone to know she was coming. Like, what's the point of having someone like her come to the track if you can't promote it?
 

gone

Team Owner
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
673
Points
253
I was working for another track in 2017, doing their PR and social media, and the biggest issue I had was that most of the drivers wouldn't promote their upcoming races or anything. Their social media posts were limited to how much they loved Donald Trump or talking about the race after the fact, usually trashmouthing the track in the process. I tried and tried, most of the drivers said it was our job to get fans to the track (so we could up their purses) but they didn't want features written about them for the newspaper, and most didn't want to participate community-oriented events we put on, or anything like that.

The same drivers constantly complained about a girl who raced there who had tons of sponsorship and said she only got sponsors because she was hot. I was like, "And she talks about her racing, talks about where she's racing, wants media attention, wants people in the grandstands cheering for her."

My PR strategy has always been to push the drivers, to make your local racers the stars, to get people talking about them, and get the community out to support them. I don't give a **** if they're in a Bomber or a Late Model or a ****** Bandolero. The racers are the show, and you've got to market that. Hard to do if you don't know who's coming to race.

One week, Hailie Deegan came and raced with us, but we couldn't promote it because her marketing team didn't want anyone to know she was coming. Like, what's the point of having someone like her come to the track if you can't promote it?
Yeah, another thing that baffles me is how some people want others to put in a lot of effort for them but don't want to return the favor. I’ve run up against this in charitable organizations and commercial businesses too. When they get jealous because somebody else earned something by making an effort when they wouldn’t, I just write them off as lost causes that get what they deserve (or not).



Some years ago I tried to help a local late model team get some sponsorship but they thwarted my efforts. I wasn’t working for that team – we used to pit near them (we raced in a different class) but got to know them… of course they often complained about not enough sponsorship. Through business contacts, I met a local company CEO who was looking to sponsor some kind of local sports program. That CEO indicated that he would consider a Late Model team, so I contacted the car’s owner and driver to arrange a meeting. On the agreed time and date I brought the CEO to their shop and was greeted by locked doors! Sponsorship was “so important” to this team that they blew us off – they gave me the feeble excuse “I forgot”. Now I just laugh when they cry about sponsorship.



Anymore, when somebody complains to me about something the first thing I ask is what have they done about it so far? If their answer does not involve reasonable efforts of their own then I just wish them luck and move on. I’ve found that people who want things to change without effort on their own parts are too frustrating to try to help.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,719
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
Yeah, another thing that baffles me is how some people want others to put in a lot of effort for them but don't want to return the favor. I’ve run up against this in charitable organizations and commercial businesses too. When they get jealous because somebody else earned something by making an effort when they wouldn’t, I just write them off as lost causes that get what they deserve (or not).



Some years ago I tried to help a local late model team get some sponsorship but they thwarted my efforts. I wasn’t working for that team – we used to pit near them (we raced in a different class) but got to know them… of course they often complained about not enough sponsorship. Through business contacts, I met a local company CEO who was looking to sponsor some kind of local sports program. That CEO indicated that he would consider a Late Model team, so I contacted the car’s owner and driver to arrange a meeting. On the agreed time and date I brought the CEO to their shop and was greeted by locked doors! Sponsorship was “so important” to this team that they blew us off – they gave me the feeble excuse “I forgot”. Now I just laugh when they cry about sponsorship.



Anymore, when somebody complains to me about something the first thing I ask is what have they done about it so far? If their answer does not involve reasonable efforts of their own then I just wish them luck and move on. I’ve found that people who want things to change without effort on their own parts are too frustrating to try to help.

One driver I was working with, I lined up an interview with CBS News for them. Not the local CBS station, CBS News. They were already doing a segment about diversity in racing and they were doing something on a couple people there, and I used a lot of connections to get in direct touch with this Emmy Award-winning journalist working on the segment to get my driver interviewed and possibly featured on the segment. Said driver blew the interview opportunity off.

I was so ****** pissed off. That still makes me mad to this day. 😡😡😡🤬🤬🤬
 

Spotter22

Team Owner
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Messages
9,031
Points
883
Ron is one of the nicest guys in short track racing. He will do anything for anyone, within reason of course. Went there a few weeks ago for the Charles Hutto Memorial race, always love going to Dillon. It's laid back, relaxing, and a ton of fun. Steve does a great job at Florence too.

Our region, the eastern Carolinas, has a unique issue now in that drivers are expecting to get rich racing because of these enormous purses Carteret's promising each week, which is what they feel they have to do to get cars to come from 2-3 hours away. I've had drivers tell me they won't race anywhere now unless the races pay $500-to-start and the track gives them free tires. We're not talking about Late Models either.

When it's no longer about the passion, when it's no longer a "hobby" that's fun but a "hustle" you expect to get rich doing, that's when the game changes.
I just cant even fathom racing for the money in Late Models. You ARE NOT gonna make any money if you have a car thats capable of winning and who the hell is giving away free tires? Thats the tracks cash cow.
 

Spotter22

Team Owner
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Messages
9,031
Points
883
I was working for another track in 2017, doing their PR and social media, and the biggest issue I had was that most of the drivers wouldn't promote their upcoming races or anything. Their social media posts were limited to how much they loved Donald Trump or talking about the race after the fact, usually trashmouthing the track in the process. I tried and tried, most of the drivers said it was our job to get fans to the track (so we could up their purses) but they didn't want features written about them for the newspaper, and most didn't want to participate community-oriented events we put on, or anything like that.

The same drivers constantly complained about a girl who raced there who had tons of sponsorship and said she only got sponsors because she was hot. I was like, "And she talks about her racing, talks about where she's racing, wants media attention, wants people in the grandstands cheering for her."

My PR strategy has always been to push the drivers, to make your local racers the stars, to get people talking about them, and get the community out to support them. I don't give a **** if they're in a Bomber or a Late Model or a ****** Bandolero. The racers are the show, and you've got to market that. Hard to do if you don't know who's coming to race.

One week, Hailie Deegan came and raced with us, but we couldn't promote it because her marketing team didn't want anyone to know she was coming. Like, what's the point of having someone like her come to the track if you can't promote it?
Thats one hell of a marketing team right there. Jesus
 

Spotter22

Team Owner
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Messages
9,031
Points
883
I was working for another track in 2017, doing their PR and social media, and the biggest issue I had was that most of the drivers wouldn't promote their upcoming races or anything. Their social media posts were limited to how much they loved Donald Trump or talking about the race after the fact, usually trashmouthing the track in the process. I tried and tried, most of the drivers said it was our job to get fans to the track (so we could up their purses) but they didn't want features written about them for the newspaper, and most didn't want to participate community-oriented events we put on, or anything like that.

The same drivers constantly complained about a girl who raced there who had tons of sponsorship and said she only got sponsors because she was hot. I was like, "And she talks about her racing, talks about where she's racing, wants media attention, wants people in the grandstands cheering for her."

My PR strategy has always been to push the drivers, to make your local racers the stars, to get people talking about them, and get the community out to support them. I don't give a **** if they're in a Bomber or a Late Model or a ****** Bandolero. The racers are the show, and you've got to market that. Hard to do if you don't know who's coming to race.

One week, Hailie Deegan came and raced with us, but we couldn't promote it because her marketing team didn't want anyone to know she was coming. Like, what's the point of having someone like her come to the track if you can't promote it?
Charlie Powell would go to all of the shopping malls in the area and work a deal for drivers to display the cars in the mall he would also have them displayed at Auto Dealers among many other events in town and the Teams were excited and Proud to do it. He didnt win NASCAR National Promoter of the year in 96 for nothing. Humpy Wheeler called him one of the best in the business. We are missing that kind of stuff today
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,719
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
Charlie Powell would go to all of the shopping malls in the area and work a deal for drivers to display the cars in the mall he would also have them displayed at Auto Dealers among many other events in town and the Teams were excited and Proud to do it. He didnt win NASCAR National Promoter of the year in 96 for nothing. Humpy Wheeler called him one of the best in the business. We are missing that kind of stuff today

First job I had in racing was working for Royce Miller at Maryland International Raceway. First thing he told me was that the hardest part of the job was trying to please the racers and put on a show for the fans. He elaborated by saying that racers don't want to put on a show, and what makes the fans happy pisses the racers off. Whereas the fans want to see a show, but the show they want drives racers away.

I honestly think, with as many tracks as we have in this region, track managers are so consumed with all the drama in the pits and trying to please the racers that they don't have time to think about the show. I've heard it at some point from every promoter/manager I've worked for, when the show is an hour behind schedule or something, "I don't give a **** about the fans."

Now, they don't really mean that, but it's how frustrated they are in the minute trying to keep the racers happy and stuff.

One night, Langley Speedway asked drivers what the track could do to put on a better show for the fans. The drivers almost unanimously said, "Have us qualify to kick off the feature racing program." They explained that the fans want to see them go out, one at a time, and qualify.

Um, no they don't.

If it's 8pm, you've just finished drying the track after a thunderstorm, and the fans are in the stands, what do you do? The fans came to see a race. They just paid $15 a head to see the race. But all your drivers just demanded that you give them their second practice and qualifying, which takes about an hour to 90 minutes to complete, or they'll load up and leave.

In the Carolinas, the tracks will give it to them. I've been to many races, at many different tracks, where the feature race started 2-3 hours behind schedule so the drivers could get their practice and qualifying in. Pisses me off every time too.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,719
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
I just cant even fathom racing for the money in Late Models. You ARE NOT gonna make any money if you have a car thats capable of winning and who the hell is giving away free tires? Thats the tracks cash cow.

Honestly, the Late Models give us less drama than anyone when it comes to purses and costs and all that.

One track owner told me one night that the Chargers demanded $2,000-to-win, $500-to-start and free tires because that's what another track was doing and said to him, "we'll only race over there from now on." He told the drivers to enjoy making the three hour drive each week and said, "I won't put you on the schedule anymore."
 

MRM

Team Owner
Joined
Jun 14, 2002
Messages
5,031
Points
793
Location
Powell, TN
One week, Hailie Deegan came and raced with us, but we couldn't promote it because her marketing team didn't want anyone to know she was coming. Like, what's the point of having someone like her come to the track if you can't promote it?
It's usually they just want to show up and be one of the other racers. I ran into that last year when Kyle Larson showed up at one of our tracks unannounced. The track owner was ticked because he could have sold a few hundred more tickets. I know these drivers just want to have fun without being badgered all night. But their presence, especially someone like Larson, would bring in so many more fans and really help out that promoter.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,719
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
Why are asphalt racers so obsessed with practice, dirt you get 3 hot laps.

Dirt racers are starting to become the same. I've heard of a few dirt tracks that do 10-minute rounds of practice instead of hot laps and replaced heat races with single-car qualifying because the drivers demanded it. I've seen several hardcore dirt fans complain about tracks not doing heat races anymore.

I've complained about the practice culture for a long, long, long time. Part of the problem though is that, for several years, practice was easy money. Drivers would come test during the week and they'd pay $200 to rent the track, buy 2-3 sets of tires, 20 gallons of fuel, and so on. One time, a driver who now races in the Camping World Truck Series paid us $750 to rent the track on a Thursday night.

The problem is, now that money isn't there. Drivers aren't practicing as much because they can't get tires, tracks can't sell practice tires because they can't get the tires. And after a generation of cultivating the practice culture, they didn't work as hard to get fans in the front gates because they didn't need that money.

Now they do need the fans to come in, and it's hard to change the mindset of the racers when they're used to many track owners simply not caring whether fans came or not.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,719
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
It's usually they just want to show up and be one of the other racers. I ran into that last year when Kyle Larson showed up at one of our tracks unannounced. The track owner was ticked because he could have sold a few hundred more tickets. I know these drivers just want to have fun without being badgered all night. But their presence, especially someone like Larson, would bring in so many more fans and really help out that promoter.

It's a shame, really.

Reminds me of a story I heard on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio one time. Pocono set up this autograph session before the race and all the drivers were going to go. Then, at the last minute, every single driver except A.J. Allmendinger backed out because of "last minute sponsorship commitments." Anyway, several fans had called into Dave Moody's show and said they were now an A.J. Allmendinger fan because he was THE ONLY DRIVER who showed up to the fan appreciation event.

If Kyle Larson and his buddies want to race one night and not have to worry about fans, they should just privately rent a track for an evening and race and not advertise it or anything. They have more than enough money to do that, and it puts money in the promoter's pocket. Instead, they're taking money out by not letting tracks promote that they're coming.
 

gone

Team Owner
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
673
Points
253
About the effect that racers can have by supporting their track(s) outside of race night: A few years back, a guy built a small dirt track in Ararat VA. Not sure if he had any race track promoting experience, but he was struggling to bring in enough cars and fans to pay the bills. A couple of his 4-cylinder drivers (which was the second lowest class on the schedule) offered to help drum up visibility. They showed their cars at local shopping malls and talked up the track on social media. It worked - crowds and car counts went up... several fans said they didn't even know the track existed until those racers caught their eye...

But those racers couldn't afford to keep spending so much time and effort promoting the track, and racers in the other classes weren't participating. The track owner said he appreciated what they had done, but would not help them help him. So those racers quit doing the extra work, and the crowds and car counts dwindled. That track has been unstable it's whole life, and I think it has been closed for several years now.
 

Spotter22

Team Owner
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Messages
9,031
Points
883
Honestly, the Late Models give us less drama than anyone when it comes to purses and costs and all that.

One track owner told me one night that the Chargers demanded $2,000-to-win, $500-to-start and free tires because that's what another track was doing and said to him, "we'll only race over there from now on." He told the drivers to enjoy making the three hour drive each week and said, "I won't put you on the schedule anymore."
He might "give" them the tires but I bet they arent stickers and he hid that cost somewhere. Scuffs are a dime a dozen, they buy them off the Cars Tour or have a deal with other tracks to clear them off the property. $500 to start is insane, thats usually first place money for a Charger race. Does he put a limit on the number of entries? This guy must have money to burn.
 

gone

Team Owner
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
673
Points
253
About attracting and keeping enough staff to operate a track: from my limited experience actually working at a track there sure is a lot of unpaid or poorly paid labor required, while many racers and spectators don't realize or appreciate that, so it doesn't surprise me if turnover is high. Like any other business, if staff morale and turnover is bad then its going to hurt the shows and the track's reputation.

Odd though that the same owners and promoters who have staffing problems cannot consider that the common denominator is often themselves. Yeah I know it's not always the owner's or promoter's faults, but they have the most to gain or lose so I'd expect them to do more than complain that "you can't get good help anymore"... And they shouldn't offer or promise things they can't or won't deliver.

I remember one dirt track that I'd been attending, that announced several times during the race night that they were looking for track prep helpers. But they didn't tell us how or who to respond to. After the races I asked around and finally got the name of the track prep guy, but was told that he'd left before intermission - and they wouldn't give me a phone number for him. Said maybe if I showed up when he was prepping I could help... when I asked "when was that?" all I got was "maybe Tuesday or Wednesday night". I had to drive the better part of an hour each way to get to this track, and they couldn't do better than some maybes? If that's how they treated me as somebody offering help (as they'd asked) then probably they were discouraging everybody else too... no surprise that they had staffing problems.
 

AndyMarquisLive

I love short track racing with all my heart
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
75,719
Points
1,033
Location
A short track somewhere
He might "give" them the tires but I bet they arent stickers and he hid that cost somewhere. Scuffs are a dime a dozen, they buy them off the Cars Tour or have a deal with other tracks to clear them off the property. $500 to start is insane, thats usually first place money for a Charger race. Does he put a limit on the number of entries? This guy must have money to burn.

Tracks around us were doing minimum car counts for purses but they’ve stopped because we pay our advertised purse no matter what.

IMO minimum car count rules keep drivers away. All a driver can do is show up and encourage others to.

I don’t believe for a second ANYONE is paying $500 to start Chargers. I know Carteret County paid $2,000 to win and free scuffs ONCE but I don’t think it was $500 to start.

IMO some of the racers are just trying to get tracks to dramatically increase purses and one track took the bait.

Tracks just need to tune out the guys who are in it for the money and do their thing. Because those guys who push you to raise your purses are gonna be the ones who come to your track, complain all weekend, and find a reason to bash you on social media.
 

aunty dive

Team Owner
Contributor
Joined
Mar 17, 2014
Messages
31,320
Points
883
I go to 3 tracks. Western Speedway in Victoria, BC and Skagit and Evergreen across the border.

None of this nonsense occurs or would be tolerated at any of them.
 

Spotter22

Team Owner
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Messages
9,031
Points
883
I go to 3 tracks. Western Speedway in Victoria, BC and Skagit and Evergreen across the border.

None of this nonsense occurs or would be tolerated at any of them.
I've been to every track in North and South Carolina, its not tolerated here either and I havent seen anything like the type of shenanigans that are going on at Friendship Speedway. I have seen the whining on facebook about fairness but I think thats Nationwide
 
Top Bottom