Well folks it has happened again. Another drag strip has closed it's doors. That's right, Roxboro Motorsports Park in North Carolina has closed its doors.
This brings up an interesting topic that a lot of people discuss and that's street racing. Not only street racing, but the continued closure of drag strips around the country. We all know that California has been hit hard with the closure of tracks, but so have many other places around the country. Why does this keep happening though?
There are a few reasons for this. First off is politics, yes politics. It is glaringly obvious that when someone want to get elected they seek the input of the people from the area. We what get complained about the most. It's usually that track over there that makes noise, smells, etc. What those people fail to realize if that by complaining, they are complaining about the amount of money the track brings into the community on race day.
Another issue is the track owners and their complete failure to maintain a safe environment for spectators and racers. We all know that this is not a cheap sport, but this also is not the 60's anymore and the fact is that guardrails have no place in drag racing. If you look at and talk to the amount of racers and media for that matter that flat out refuse to go to a guardrail track, that should tell you something.
Quality of the product that you are putting on. Do you really think that you can operate a business by halfassing it and hoping people will show up? In today's age of instant technological gratification, we as drag racers, drag racing fans, and drag racing media have to make a much better effort at promoting our sport. We have the best sport in the world right in front of us and yet we fail to make an effort to make people realize it. Holding events where you over charge fans, have crappy concessions, and have extremely long clean up time is no longer acceptable. People want to be entertained and want to be informed. This even goes for successful events held around the country.
Drag strip ownership is a business. The objective of owning a business is to make money and continue to stay in business. Chances are you either work at a job or you own a business. If you own a business you understand that you have to spend money on that business sometimes, even if you don't want to. As an employee of a business, it is your job to help make the business profitable. Without these two things, a business will fail.
Technology is here to stay, and this means stepping it up at the drag strip so that people have a reason to come and get the sweet smell of race fuel and burnouts. When a race track closes it falls on all of us to be better at promoting the sport and getting the word out. Let's find solutions to this problem. There are always going to be the politics involved, but the other things we can work around.
So for all the fans, families, racers, crew, media, track owners, promoters, staff, etc I call on all of us to do a better job at making people want to come to the races. I ask that we all make an effort. Racers have to show up, fans have to show up, Media has to cover it. We are all playing a part in this!