Old 07-01-2007, 11:48 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: 360 Speedway
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Let me apologize right now if this gets a little long-winded, and also let me apologize if this idea has been kicked around already...

I raced primarily at South Shore in Coram, NY. Over the years, I've noticed a trend happening there (I don't get around to a whole lot of tracks, so this situation might be unique here...

Years ago, you raced at the track, you bought stuff at the track on race day if you didn't have it with you, or you bought stuff at your local shop if you lived near one. THe last couple of years, it seems that many of the shops in the area surrounding South Shore Raceway (NYC Hobbies Ridgewood, Brooklyn Hobbies in Brooklyn, Fordham Hobbies in the Bronx, and a few others started sponsoring big teams of racers. I'm all fine with manufacturers sponsoring racers, but the stores sponsoring racers seemed to be taking a big bite out of sales at the track... how many people are going to buy at retail or near retail pricing at the track when they can get everything at cost or less from their sponsoring local shop? Ninety-nine percent of these shop-sponsored racers aren't pros, they're regular guys on a budget who happen to drive real well at the local level.

How can a track/store hope to stay afloat in that sort of environment? Then it occurred to me (while watching an old Honeymooners rerun, the one where Ralph says to Ed "you don't have enough money to get a new TV, and I don't have enough money to get a new TV, but if we put our money together we can get a GREAT TV") that none of these shops that are sponsoring racers are trying to support a track... and maybe none of them could on their own, given the current climate... but suppose a track opened without a store attached, which would be supported by ALL of the local stores working together? Every store that was part of the deal would be able to set up and do retail business at the track on race days, and any shortfalls that race fees and food concession stuff, etc. couldn't cover for the track would be assessed equally to all the shops participating...

It seems like it would be in these shops best interest to all pitch in on something along these lines, and while I won't be so naive as to say everyone will just get along wonderfully, I'd think that there'd be enough benefit to all to set fair priciing guidelines and some sort of way could be found for everyone to benefit.

Maybe I'm a little punchy given the late hour along with the prospect of no carpet racing this winter, but does anyone else think something like this could actually work? I really don't see how any one business can be profitable as a track/hobby shop in this area, but cooperatively, it just might be possible for ALL the shops to get together, overcome their competitive differences and make somoething like this work... or like I said, maybe I'm just talking crazy here... that old Honeymooners episode didn't work out very well for Ralph and Ed and their new TV after all...

I'm currently guessing I'll be making the 1.5 hour drive to Speedzone in Connecticut on Sundays this carpet season, but I'd very much prefer a track right here in the NYC area...

Feel free to discuss or bash away...

David F.
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