SPRINT CAR PROMOTERS DISCUSS FUTURE OF SPRINT CAR RACING Daytona Beach, FL, February 11, 1997 - The promoters of many of the nation's sprint car race tracks met today in a ...
SPRINT CAR PROMOTERS DISCUSS FUTURE OF SPRINT CAR RACING Daytona Beach, FL, February 11, 1997 - The promoters of many of the nation's sprint car race tracks met today in a break-out session of the annual RPM Promoters Workshops to discuss the future of sprint car racing over the next five years. Chaired by Larry Kemp of Iowa, the panel on the dais consisted of Steve Rubin of South Dakota, C.Ray Hall of Kansas, Ralph Capitani of Iowa, and Robert Lawton of Iowa. Despite the midwestern flavor of the panel the topics that came up were clearly national issues that currently need to be addressed. Robert Lawton pointed out that his number one concern was the ever increasing cost of fielding a top ranked sprint car team. He indicated that some touring shows are already reaching the point where promoters are unwilling to risk their fan bases by making a ticket price commensurate with the purse demands of the series. Ralph Capitani felt that, while his track has no problems with 410 cubic inch sprinters, he sees other regions where the 410's are dying out over the cost issue. He said a method is needed to control costs and the sanctioning bodies are apparently silent on the matter. C.Ray Hall and Steve Rubin agreed that regulation is needed but the issue is who will start the reform and who will enforce it. Said Rubin, "Uniformity in class eludes us faster than we can control it." Capitani announced informally that the thinking of his fair board is the imposition of a weight rule at Knoxville in the near future principally to control costs. "I want a check system that my tech people can enforce because I can't police a rule that outlaws the use of titanium," said Capitani. Bob Schippers of Ohio and Peter Dodd of Australia sought leadership from the panel to create a standardized set of rules to stabilize the sport of sprint car racing in the future. Rubin responded that ASCS and IMCA already have an excellent set of rules for 360's and the ASCS spec head has done a excellent job of extending motor life.
Capitani said he foresees that 360's will be the leader class of the future at the local track level and the 410's will become the province of the touring pro's. He also felt that a developmental class of sprints might appear with a claiming rule so that new drivers could grow with their talent and not their owners pocketbooks. Rubin made a strong pitch for specification tire rules as a cost controlling element. He said that a racer can run a season on two new right rears and THAT is clearly controlling cost to the racer and an overall benefit to the class. Rubin's pitch was echoed by Robert Lawton.
Knoxville's Capitani expressed clear disillusionment with the proliferation of major touring club races at tracks clearly within his market area. He lamented the growth of live television races and the total lack of promoter input into the scheduling of those TV shows. Capitani said that while Knoxville has made a lot of money with sanctioned races, every year they make a little less. He strongly indicated that Knoxville will return to its former status as independent and unsanctioned because being sanctioned is becoming of decreasing value to them. by Len in Indy
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