Have you ever been to a race where it seems like the stand are pretty empty all weekend? Did you ever wonder why it's like that? Is it poor product, too expensive, bad scheduling, or something else?
Recently we have been getting an influx of flyers and schedules for the 2017 season. As most know, E3xtreme has by far and away the most extensive race calendar for racers, families, and promoters to review. As I start looking at the list of things coming in 2017, the one that sticks out is obviously ADRL coming back.
The other thing that I sit back and scratch my head about is scheduling. Now I know there is no way to appease everyone out there with a perfect schedule of events, and I also am not stupid enough to ignore the fact that sometimes this is an ego thing between promoters, but the fact is that the one that suffers from this is the drag racing fan, along with the racers of certain series.
Now let's look at exactly what I am talking about. Take March of 2017. The second full weekend of the month shows that we have at least 3 races that feature Pro Mods all within a few hours of each other. PDRA will have their season opener at SGMP, ADRL will have their season opener in Florida at a track yet to be named, and NMCA has their season opener at Bradenton, FL that weekend as well. So that means that all three, which really rely on Pro Mods will all be fighting for cars and fans as well.
Who loses in this structure? The fans are the ones that lose in this example. The fact is that you are trying to draw the same fans to three different races within hours of each other. The NMCA loses as well when talking about fans. You may ask why I say that, and the simple fact is that their product is more expensive than the other two are. The racers are the ones that lose too.
Racers rely, at least at the Pro Mod level on a certain level of exposure for their marketing partners. Facts are facts. PDRA and most likely ADRL will have much more exposure than the NMCA does. The PDRA is coming back to SGMP for the first time in a couple years. ADRL is coming back all together after a few years away. So immediately there is a draw to go to those races. That means that you as a driver want the most exposure for your marketing partners, you are choosing between PDRA and ADRL. Let's not forget that the following weekend is also the NHRA Gainesville, FL race. There are more fans not coming to your race because of the NHRA.
When you see those empty stands next year, as a spectator or as a racer, you'd better ask yourself why it is. Remember, it's the racers, family, fans, and media that help the promoter make a race. There are certain ones that will never change and think their way is the way that works. Guess what, those are the same ones that see at least half empty stands at all their races too.
I hope to see you all next season, and E3xtreme is going to do it's best to cover every race out there. Make sure no matter where you live or what you follow, to stop sitting on the couch and go support drag racing. Support NMCA, NMRA, PDRA, ADRL, NHRA, and all the amazing Radial, Outlaw, Bracket, & all other races. Remember that it's you the fan that keeps the doors open and the lights on!!