By Clint Knight
It’s only week number two in Ohio, and both fans and teams alike had to make a choice this weekend about which track to attend. Weather forced Attica Raceway Park to push their date to Saturday – on top of a previously scheduled FAST and BOSS event at Waynesfield Raceway Park. I found myself checking Twitter all evening Friday and all morning Saturday to find out who would be going where. I was concerned that both events may only field 12 to 14 410 Sprints. There was no doubt that the BOSS Non Wing would have a strong showing at Waynesfield, and the 305’s would show up at Attica – but how do the 410’s split? Yesterday, it was 30 at Waynesfield, and 26 at Attica. It is interesting to note that there were Indiana drivers at both.
I’ve heard a lot of conversations among fans over the last 5 years about how and why promoters schedule the way that they do. Believe me – many of these promoters talk to each other more than you might think. They do work together on schedules – but there are only so many weekends in the summer.
I especially heard the scheduling chatter when Mansfield was thrown back into the mix. Clearly, Cody never had intentions of Mansfield being a weekly show – but the weather never gave us enough time to find out. So, why didn’t someone come along and scoop up the facility to keep in going? There were major investments out there – and it could’ve kept going? For that question – I don’t have an answer. But something I’ve thought about recently is: Is there even really room for another track?
If we’re talking about this past weekend – geographically, Attica and Waynesfield are nearly 1.5 hours apart. That makes a relatively easy decision for the casual fan, on a day when the weather is beautiful – whichever is closest. But what about the teams? Typically – they’re going to be the ones making the biggest investment and thus the biggest decision?
Do they track Twitter like I do and see who their competition is going to be?
Do they look at the purse and decide based on how much money is up for grabs?
I’d guess it’s a combination of both.
Right now – Ohio is a race fan’s market, for sure. There are lots of options for late model fans, 305 and 410 sprint fans, front wheel drive or stock car fans, non wing, midgets, legends….you name it – we’ve got it.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be adding in Wayne County, Atomic, Limaland, and Fremont into the mix. We’ll see the All Stars pass through, OVSCA, FAST, AFCS, and track points kicking off. I’ll be tracking and talking to drivers to ask why and how they make these decisions – decisions that seem to be unique to Ohio. Other than California – I don’t believe there is another state with this many tracks running 410 sprint cars – in the same type of geographical area.
Currently, there are nearly 20 dirt tracks operating in the state of Ohio. To be fair – those tracks are running a variety of different styles of racing, but that’s a dirt track in 20% of the state’s 88 counties.
What I want to know is: as a fan, why do you go where you go? Leave me a comment below and let me know.