Opinion: It’s Time to Consider Time Limits for Short Track Races

Discussion in 'Short Track Racing' started by SpeedPagan, Jan 15, 2020 at 10:25 PM.

  1. SpeedPagan

    SpeedPagan The iRacing Guru


    How big of a problem is this in the short track scene? I can really only recall one race at Carolina Speedway and one race at the Charlotte Dirt Track where they had a class that was just one caution after another. Other than those two classes at two different races, the races I've seen on dirt and asphalt short tracks have been pretty good at starting and finishing in a timely manner.

    Of course if this does become the norm, I would add a caveat that when the time limit is up, to keep the race from ending under yellow, they should have at least one or two G-W-C attempts
  2. AndyMarquisLive

    AndyMarquisLive Short Track Fanatic


    Not uncommon for races to get out of control and run an hour or more. People are also so afraid of losing cars that action is rarely taken to get it under control, until it's so out of control that you have to call a G-W-C.

    I like what Dominion Raceway does. They don't count the first three cautions, then after that, caution laps count. That's the most fair procedure IMO.

    Time limits can be tricky because a big crash that takes a while to cleanup either still puts you off schedule or just takes an entire race away from the drivers.

    But something needs to be done. Often times, when one class gets out of control and races for over an hour, it's the fans and the other classes who get punished. Fans leave without seeing what they paid to see, other classes get laps cut to make curfew.
    SpeedPagan likes this.
  3. gnomesayin

    gnomesayin Team Owner

    I really only go to dirt tracks, but I've been to ones that utilize time limits, especially in lower classes. This was true 25 years ago and more recently. It might be 20 laps or 20 minutes, at which point it becomes a GWC. It makes sense when there is a wreckfest or a curfew. For weekly shows, I'm a fan of short tracks that run an orderly 2.5 - 3.5 hour program. I'm less impressed by tracks that always think more is better and meander into early morning hours every week.
    SpeedPagan likes this.
  4. toledo47

    toledo47 Team Owner

    Huge problem. Especially with dirt racing. I’ll often go see a big WoO or Lucas Oil late model show and a local stock car or UMP modified class will take forever to even get a single lap in. Gets really ridiculous sometimes.
    Have been to a few tracks in North and South Dakota that had a good system that I have not seen elsewhere. When someone spun out by themselves, they automatically knew to just pull it into the pits. They were done for that race.
    So often you see someone do a little spin and just sit there and wait for the caution to come out so they can get caught up with the field.
    Doesn’t happen at those tracks out in the Dakotas...
    Have seen it plenty with pavement stuff as well. Usually when I go to pavement races there isn’t more than 1 support race, so is not a big deal.
    I remember a really bad one, April 2018 Whelen Modified Tour Race at Stafford. The show was already rain delayed by quite a bit of time. They had 3 local classes before the tour race... every race was crazy long... ridiculous. And they wouldn’t cut any laps or move anything to after the tour race(which is what everyone who was freezing in the stands came for)...
    It’s not fun, seeing a bunch of wrecky classes scheduled for the same night as a big touring class makes me less likely to go the that event.
    gnomesayin and SpeedPagan like this.
  5. MRM

    MRM Team Owner

    We only have dirt tracks in my area. Two of them run under a curfew. Both do a good job of getting their programs in under the curfew. One area track doesn't have a curfew, but gets their program in on a timely manner. The others are hit and miss.

    What I have found funny is a track that operates under a curfew, that has a day race, will have the most dragged out program when it's a day race. I have seen a couple of others like this too. Instead of a 4 hour program, they run a program at least 8 hours for a day show. Very aggravating.
    gnomesayin likes this.
  6. SpeedPagan

    SpeedPagan The iRacing Guru

    I think the worst dragged out race I've seen was when I went to Carolina Speedway with a friend. It was a street stock class (dunno which flavor of street stock) and they were on lap 7 for the longest time. Like, they would go to green, and then someone would wreck before the leaders could make it back to the line, so that whole thing would repeat itself. I think lap 7 lasted for like 30 minutes.
  7. toledo47

    toledo47 Team Owner

    Yeah, thats really not rare at all. I go to 30-50 races each year all over the country, including a lot of dirt races... it happens far too much...
    SpeedPagan likes this.
  8. SpeedPagan

    SpeedPagan The iRacing Guru

    Yea, this was at a dirt track, it was towards the beginning of the night.
  9. JerryF

    JerryF Car Chief

    A couple other things contribute to long shows. Many tracks have long intermissions so they can sell lot's of concessions. Then the seemingly endless yellow flag laps when trying to position the restart lineup.
  10. Nitro Dude

    Nitro Dude Hauler Driver and Cylinder Head Maintenance

    Monster Supercross is run on a clock and then when the time runs out they race 1 or 2 more laps I can't remember which.
  11. JerryF

    JerryF Car Chief

    It all seems backwards to me. Curfews are needed so many tracks can stay open. But cutting the race short comes out of the fans pocket and is especially aggravating when there's long delays that don't seem necessary. Aggravated fans reduce attendance.
    One of the local tracks I used to attend, would run long intermissions and then run the top divisions feature last. A wreck that involved a lot of cleanup would sometime result in the feature race being cut from 40 to 30, and sometimes 20 laps. Happened too many times -- drivers got their purse money -- track got their ticket and concession money, and the fans didn't see the full race.
  12. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    If these smaller tracks had decent management, wrecks and getting them lined up shouldn't be a problem. All ya got to do is watch the Chili Bowl crews that Emmet Hahn has put together. Hahn has the same efficiency at his track in Sapulpa. They are so good they are part of the entertainment and not part of the problem. It's like a Nascar pit stop.
    Greg likes this.

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