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A CRY FOR HELP (RC tracks Closing)

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A CRY FOR HELP (RC tracks Closing)

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Old 01-21-2019, 02:53 PM
  #31  
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Another thing I do not understand is why there is seldom any spectator seating for local races. Offering family, friends and droppers-by a place to sit and observe a race seems beneficial, yeah, vital to growing the hobby and sustaining a track.

Back '04 or so, cannot remember for sure, but I was racing 1/8th nitro and one of the tracks was located at a BMX track in Pearland, Texas, just south of Houston metro. There were two banks of spectator seating and they were always occupied. Why not charge $1 or $2 per head for adults to watch? Other motorsports venues charge for spectators, why not RC? Even at $1 or $2, its a great entertainment value. And, it goes to help support the track.

Oh, and this track also had REAL restroom facilities and THE BEST race hamburgers I've ever eaten. Again, goes to providing a service to not only those racing, but to spectators as well.

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Old 01-21-2019, 04:26 PM
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Here is my perspective as a racer looking to get started again. I raced 25 years ago and for the last 2 years have been looking to start racing again. Within 30 minutes of my house there are 3 dirt oval tracks, 2 off road tracks, and 1 on road track. Those numbers more than double if I travel 1.5 hours. I am blessed to be surrounded by so many tracks.


The main problem I ran into, and what has kept me away for the last few years, is not being able to find information on classes or rules at these tracks. Most of these tracks have facebook pages but no links to rules. I literally spent hours trying to find this information and don't have all of it yet. I went to several races hoping to find information but everyone was busy and I didn't feel like bothering them to get what I needed. My suggestion would be for the tracks to simply post what racing options are available. Just like a shop promotes what it sales, the tracks could easily do the same thing. Give potential racers the classes, rules, and maybe a quick list showing some examples. For example for XXX class you will find: ABC or XYZ buggies with JKL or SDF tires, etc. Like Brewkett stated above, this could keep someone from buying a Traxxas and taking it to the track only to find out they wasted money.


This is not going to fix the problems listed above, but for me it was a barrier that kept me away, that could easily and cheaply be corrected. I'm sure there are others besides me who turned away for the same reason. Bottom line, we have to market this. Putting a sign up by the road is not going to do it. We need to put it in front of people, show them what it is and how to get started. Show them what is involved. Give them enough information so they can decide if it is something they truly want to do.


For the record I am now setup to start racing VTA and Mudboss this spring.
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:35 PM
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It's funny. From the number of "looking to get (re) started" posts on here you'd think RC tracks were the next investment opportunity waiting to explode...

But yeah, it can't be easy for track owners.
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:42 PM
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The model set forth in southern California with a shop that supports 6 different manufacturers, has a 200x100 road course, and a 300x150 dirt course is impossible to follow across the country. Racing needs to change some so that it can make it's way into the suburbs of America year round and not be something you have to drive 45 minutes to the middle of no where so the track can afford land for a once a week race. I think it would be cool if roar limited track size for all sanctioned electric events for a while.
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:08 PM
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I see the biggest issue.. is the seasonal racing...

outdoor dirt mostly summer.
indoor is mostly winter..

unless a hobby store can have several tracks.. so racing can be all 12 months....

years ago... I took small business school..
and made a business model for motorcycle repair ( summer ) and snowmobile repair for ( winter. )
and small water craft ( jet ski ) to fill in the gaps..

I could not find a building or town to allow it..
I had the money and backing for 16 months without a profit...
Yes, I worked for years at a dealership as a mechanic... wanted to make my own way.

my opinion.

Initiative Hobbies.. the 1990's Akron Ohio
started as a flat carpet oval..
converted to high banked carpet oval.. and 1/12 on-road using the infield..
later also added an INDOOR dirt track... then added a wall to keep the dirt OFF the carpet half..
and they still could not make it.. closed late 90's.
and they only had 2 employees... and was using an OLD bowling alley building... so it had the room.
plus they had a Hobby store there also....

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Old 01-21-2019, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
The model set forth in southern California with a shop that supports 6 different manufacturers, has a 200x100 road course, and a 300x150 dirt course is impossible to follow across the country. Racing needs to change some so that it can make it's way into the suburbs of America year round and not be something you have to drive 45 minutes to the middle of no where so the track can afford land for a once a week race. I think it would be cool if roar limited track size for all sanctioned electric events for a while.
Just imagine the cost of a 300x150ft warehouse close to the Los Angeles area. (If you can even find one) 1/2 would be for the track and other 1/2 for pits/hobby shop. Just the rent would be close to $30000-40000 per month. Add the cost of employees and tax...
Got bless everyone at OCRC and every other track in SoCal. We really are blessed to have such a nice facility close by. I pray you make good profits to support your family and become the richest people in America. Keep the doors open for the new generations to enjoy the hobby.

check out their IG.

oc_rcraceway

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Old 01-21-2019, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by RCSteveH View Post


Just imagine the cost of a 300x150ft warehouse close to the Los Angeles area. (If you can even find one) 1/2 would be for the track and other 1/2 for pits/hobby shop. Just the rent would be close to $30000-40000 per month. Add the cost of employees and tax...
Got bless everyone at OCRC and every other track in SoCal. We really are blessed to have such a nice facility close by. I pray you make good profits to support your family and become the richest people in America. Keep the doors open for the new generations to enjoy the hobby.

check out their IG.

oc_rcraceway
That adds a bit of perspective for sure. I keep doing the mental math on my track and it looks tough to me. I'm just thankful they keep opening the doors each day. Great group there. Like a gym where people come and go, I think a membership to practice/be a club member would be a good idea. That would give a biz at least a little fixed $$. Offer some deals on membership right around Christmas as people get there that new Slash. Then sell the same person a Tekno in January followed by upgrade parts in February. Then charge a bit more to race. It's like a drug...people will pay for it. Especially if it's the only show in town or one of few.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by RazorRC View Post
I'll be honest, it's a personal pet peeve of mine when people complain about something. Whether this is at work, at home, wherever, I can't stand it when people tell me what's wrong.

I don't want to hear what's wrong, everyone in the world can list 100 things that's wrong about the world. Do you want to hear me tell you what's wrong? No. What I want to hear is what are you going to do about it? What is the solution? What can YOU do to make it better?

So rather than complain about things, I'm going to list what I'm doing to make sure my local track is as successful as possible. That helps me, that helps you, that helps everyone who loves RC.

1. I buy lots of stuff at my local track. It's 4 figures a year, not 3 figures, and I can't afford 5 figures. This also means I need to make sure I do well at my day job to make sure I have enough extra discretionary income to spend on RC.

2. I have a YouTube channel about RC. This helps promote the hobby, I do reviews, I try to recognize good companies and good products so that people are able to get more out of their RC dollar (see item 1.), which drives down the overall cost.

3. I try and always help new faces I see at the track. Whether it's help them fix their cars, or explain how the track works, or just be someone they can talk to and not feel like the place is anti-social, I try and have a positive demeanor and make sure they think the track is a cool place and somewhere they want to come back.

4. I help my local track with online advertising. I'm not sponsored by the track, but I am always thinking about how to market to new people in the area and get them to walk in the door. I'm not in sales or marketing, but it seems obvious to me that that is the most important aspect financially -- you need a constant influx of people/dollars/customers. Having a good product is great, but it doesn't help a whole lot if people aren't finding out about it.

What are you doing? Less bitching, more fixing. Hopefully you guys have more ideas that we can share that you're doing and we can all start doing more of these things.
Heck yes. Less bitching, more doing. I like racing, so I find a way. The only thing holding me back is myself.

I go out of my way to be extra nice when I am at the track so that others will want to be there next time.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:05 PM
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Do the math folks. If you're not putting in your share of the operating costs of what it takes to keep a track open, don't be surprised when it closes.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by brewkett View Post
Another thing I always had problems with is the cost of racing. When a potential new comer enters a local hobby shop, they are hit with Traxxas vehicles. Nothing wrong with Traxxas, until you show up at a track to race. Look at how much a new person spends on buying everything needed to play with RC, and then show up at the track to play and find out you need a 1K$ of new equipment to race. Everyone else on the track will blow the Traxxas off the track either by overpowering or loss of traction due to stock kit tires. I like the idea of spec Traxxas slash racing but its hard to keep the regulars from cheating in the spec class and driving the new people away.....but you need more than 4 or 5 people to make a class race fun and its hard to fill a class with 1 or 2 people.
We have a spec Slash class at my indoor carpet track and we have 3 to 4 heats every week for it. I think a true STOCK class is needed, not a stock class that the fastest guys at the track run and spend a grand on a "stock" buggy. You get new comers thinking okay stock is where I should be only to get smoked and never come back.
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:20 AM
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I think a true STOCK class is needed]
Every track I have bewen at does have a stock class. What needs to happen is the track owner or someone delegated to force people that dominate the stock class to move up to a expert stock class. If your running the same lap times as people in expert stock its time to move up! People stay in these classes because they win constantly and this discourages new people to stay in the hobby.

Our local track offers a rookie class, stock class, and expert stock. There re people who drive nothing but rookie. Thats just wrong. You win like 3 rookie races and you should be forced to stock class. There are people that go to large off road races and sit in the rookie classes. Once you enter a large race as a rookie you in my opinion are no longer a rookie.
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Bassbuster View Post
Every track I have bewen at does have a stock class. What needs to happen is the track owner or someone delegated to force people that dominate the stock class to move up to a expert stock class. If your running the same lap times as people in expert stock its time to move up! People stay in these classes because they win constantly and this discourages new people to stay in the hobby.

Our local track offers a rookie class, stock class, and expert stock. There re people who drive nothing but rookie. Thats just wrong. You win like 3 rookie races and you should be forced to stock class. There are people that go to large off road races and sit in the rookie classes. Once you enter a large race as a rookie you in my opinion are no longer a rookie.

Fine in principle, but now you're running another class, which makes the day longer without added track time for most people, & spreads the number of racers thinner across more classes.

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Old 01-22-2019, 07:38 AM
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The club in my area used to have the stock class split up between "Sportsman" and "Expert", what happened was that we had 3-4 heats of Sportsman and would have a hard time filling a single heat of Expert. They would eventually combine both classes and do traditional bump ups.

I personally do not like the bump up structure... I feel awards should be given to each group based on qualifying position with no bumps...
A Main = Pro
B Main = Expert
C Main = Sportsman
D Main and lower, no awards *** Maybe allow bumps up to C Main but no higher than that to prevent sandbagging

If only enough entries to fill 2 heats then top level is called Expert, if enough to fill just 1 heat, then just class name with no skill designation for the award which is typically a podium pic for regular club racing.

This expands the award opportunity, and depending on turnout/qualifying will determine who wins which can fluctuate each week.... I feel bad for many C main drivers who are very good but never stand a chance at getting a podium pic due to the talent in our area.

In contrast, the track in my area just started a "Consistently Consistent Series" where points are earned based on driver consistency, best 5 of 7 mains, doesn't matter if you're in the A or D main, every driver has a chance to win based on consistency, not finish position. This makes things very interesting because it promotes cleaner racing and gives slower drivers a fighting chance for an award

Another thing the club started doing is podium pics for top 3 with only 1 heat, but top 5 with at least 2 or more heats... this helps some but doesn't really give any sportsman level drivers a chance at getting podium pics.
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Last edited by billdelong; 01-22-2019 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by RazorRC View Post
I'll be honest, it's a personal pet peeve of mine when people complain about something. Whether this is at work, at home, wherever, I can't stand it when people tell me what's wrong.

I don't want to hear what's wrong, everyone in the world can list 100 things that's wrong about the world. Do you want to hear me tell you what's wrong? No. What I want to hear is what are you going to do about it? What is the solution? What can YOU do to make it better?

So rather than complain about things, I'm going to list what I'm doing to make sure my local track is as successful as possible. That helps me, that helps you, that helps everyone who loves RC.

1. I buy lots of stuff at my local track. It's 4 figures a year, not 3 figures, and I can't afford 5 figures. This also means I need to make sure I do well at my day job to make sure I have enough extra discretionary income to spend on RC.

2. I have a YouTube channel about RC. This helps promote the hobby, I do reviews, I try to recognize good companies and good products so that people are able to get more out of their RC dollar (see item 1.), which drives down the overall cost.

3. I try and always help new faces I see at the track. Whether it's help them fix their cars, or explain how the track works, or just be someone they can talk to and not feel like the place is anti-social, I try and have a positive demeanor and make sure they think the track is a cool place and somewhere they want to come back.

4. I help my local track with online advertising. I'm not sponsored by the track, but I am always thinking about how to market to new people in the area and get them to walk in the door. I'm not in sales or marketing, but it seems obvious to me that that is the most important aspect financially -- you need a constant influx of people/dollars/customers. Having a good product is great, but it doesn't help a whole lot if people aren't finding out about it.

What are you doing? Less bitching, more fixing. Hopefully you guys have more ideas that we can share that you're doing and we can all start doing more of these things.
great post. I agree i always hear about whats wrong but come track work day where is every one peoole always want a great place to race but are not willing to put in the efort to help promote the track ,suport the track... i race for fun ... not competitive.....
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:08 AM
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The simple question is if you had a 35x50 foot area for a track and your family depended on that track for income how would you set it up and what would you use it for?
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