Michigan Short Track Racing Club: Springport - Michigan Short Track Racing Club

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Springport

#1 User is offline   Kevin 05 Icon

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 11:11 AM

With the news of Jeff and Family stepping away (a sad note on its own) is there any word if anyone else is going to run the track next year?? If not where would some of the drivers run instead?? Might put bigger mod fields at ?? Berlin and Owosso would both be a haul for a weekly show.Or would they go south??
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#2 User is offline   BigEd Icon

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 02:23 PM

I can tell you that the track IS for sale, it has been for sale for many years now.

If someone does not buy it by the 2016 season, Jim will run at least one event there to keep everything grandfathered in for any future owner.

The last time we talked about it, he has no plans of running a full season there, as he did in the past.

I'm not sure if Jim will entertain any leasing type of offer or not, as he did with Jeff & Pam.
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#3 User is offline   mod911 Icon

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 09:48 AM

A four letter word will save it......dirt......affordable,fun and IMCA. Cars,crowds,excitement and line ups at the ticket window. It would be awesome dirt.......Someone buy it and I will run it.
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#4 User is offline   Kevin 05 Icon

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 11:07 AM

But Dick if someone was to buy it and turn it to dirt,,You could not go visit Mr. Flynn on Saturdays.
If you moved it to Friday you would have to compete with Hartford..And you wouldn't dare run a Sunday afternoon show..There ISN'T a dirt track in Michigan than can run an afternoon show.Unless you want to put on 970's come feature time.THe last GOOD afternoon dirt shows that were at the Ionia Fairgrounds,during the day,durings the fair years ago were won by one of the Fedewa's that actually had slick on during the feature..Or it might have been Ed Damer.
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#5 User is offline   schinde Icon

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 12:04 PM

Sad to see this track come to an end yet again. It seems cursed. I would love to promote that track, but don't have the necessary funds to do so. Have the desire, would make the time, and think I could make it as successful as Jeff and Pam did, with the right crew to help.

Would think about dirt, but would prefer to stay asphalt. Would have to run on Saturday night to avoid Kalamazoo on Friday. That track could have it's own Call of the wild, which would catch on after the first year or so of it.

Classes?

Mods would be headliners, a Class A mod one week, econo mod the next; (you all know the theory behind that concept, bring out the older chassis and underpowered rides again)

Supers or Sprinters could be bi monthly specials; (someone other than the Zoo has to keep the supers alive, and not the template supers, but the outlaw, slab sided roaring monsters of true supers with motor;

Streeters, A, B and C divisions, that has proven successful for the most part, dependent upon car count, might end up running all together with individual class winners to have a good car count on the track, nothing worse than watching five or six cars running on a 3/8 mile track, too damn boring;

Of course, Ponies, but with a twist of some sort, not to lock them into the track, but to keep the interest up on the spectator and on the competitor side. No Crystal type of twist such as running opposite direction, would want fast ponies, but, mayhaps considering allowing ponies to be more creative with their cars, creating A, B, and C divisions, and trying to get other nearby tracks to adopt the same so those cars that are build more creatively would not be locked into just Springport;

Also other interested parties, not big high dollar shows until the track is on its feet financially, but VORA, or other vintage styled class;

Find a sports car club/organization that would be interested in running on a 3/8's, similar to what Jim does at Spartan on various weekends;

Potential for asphalt flat track sidecar racing at that track also, there are some riders that engage in that type of racing as a special draw for a weekend;

Thinking about dirt would take a little more, but would open up the door to flat track motorcycle and sidecar also.

Four things that damage that facility.

1. Curfew time of 11:30. Hard to meet at times, a 12:30 curfew opens up the window of opportunity greatly.

2. Past reputation. Although Jeff and Pam did a fantastic job bringing it back, it still has an ugly history and a reputation as being "too far away from anywhere" I call BS on that, but it is a reality.

3. Fan draw. Jeff and Pam proved it can attract cars, but the fan base was still lacking. Only proving that cars will come and fans have that great experience will ever change that.

4. Cost of racing for the owner/driver. Ability to pay a decent purse for the owner/driver is a big problem. Only way at all to combat that is to either get the owner/driver to accept what can be afforded to pay out as purse, and structure the purse so that it is a decent stretch down the results as opposed to only the first three cars getting any money and the rest suffering from minimal payout. Also, obviously tires, that whole subject needs serious addressing at all tracks. Especially for supers and Class A mods. In order to attract fans, you need cars running fast around that track, I mean fast. Which might mean going back to slicks. But, slicks do not repeat and there goes the cost up. You also cannot be the odd man out when it comes to tires, many owner/drivers need to have one tire they can use at various tracks, not just one track. So, another issue to be dealt with. But, one sure way to draw fans is to have the buzz about the track being, "damn, those cars are running fast out there". We all know that is true.

I would love to be able to take that track into the future, but finding that financial backer is almost impossible.

I truly believe that Springport Motor Speedway could be the track that Russ envisioned so many years ago, and within five years, have the same good reputation as Crystal and Kalamazoo do in this state. It could attract the big name drivers that fans want to watch. It could be the night before Michigan place that a few Cup drivers might be persuaded to show up at. It could be a NASCAR sanctioned track.

I will go to my grave believing that, and wishing I had the opportunity to help bring that belief to fruition.

have a good day,

schinde
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Posted 20 November 2015 - 12:58 PM

Competition is the name of capitalism,let them compete based on car count and fan preference. Not on who else is running that night. Hartford is too far away to worry about besides some may like to have a choice. I will go to wherever I can win money and be competitive. YUP schinde, bring out those old cars and park those overpriced new ones. Let them run late models with them. 5o cars a night will cure any ills the mods have along with solving ticket sale problems for promoters. Its about 1 hour from Owosso to flint,crystal,mt pleasant,palo,spring port,spartan,I 96 and tri city so it is up for grabs where we go. The best rules enforcement would likely be my first choice not the pay....I am glad I96 dumped UMP mods,let em eat iron and park those roller motors....
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Posted 20 November 2015 - 01:00 PM

Side by side racing is the main point,not the speed they race side by side. Street stocks put on a hell of a show at 17 seconds and super follow each other at who cares what speed.....
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Posted 20 November 2015 - 01:45 PM

With Kazoo running Friday nights again, this would be a good chance for Springport to go after the Kazoo cars. Not sure what all the rules would be, but it would seem like Spartan and Kazoo cars would help fill the pits.

One of the things I noticed about Springport lately was the early cancel when it rained or looked like it might. One night I had some family in town who had been out there in the past and wanted to go. So we loaded up, drove 45 minutes on a beautiful Saturday night only to find out they canceled. Once a track as a reputation for canceling, it makes it hard to run when the weather is iffy and they don't call it like one of the races they had toward the end of the year.

As far as dirt, the only night it would work would be Friday night. To close to Butler and Oakshade to run Saturday. I lived 2 miles from there when Russ was building the track, and I tried to talk him into a dirt track. He said he was lucky to get a paved track with the neighbors, and he mentioned the EPA would be an issue also with a dirt track.
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#9 User is offline   schinde Icon

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 01:58 PM

True enough Dick on all of your points. The side by side wasn't foremost in my mind but as I think about it, you are on a better path than I with that thought. Firm believer in capitalism being the King of making things work, it does work when allowed to unfettered.

You are also very spot on when it comes to rules enforcement. That would definitely be something I would consider a most important part of successfully promoting that track. Which means having techs that know and understand fully the class they are teching, and understand every little rule in the book. One of the things that got under my skin when I did some teching was calling something out and being overruled on what I called out, allowing the rule to be skirted for a "few weeks" or so. Thinking about it, might be a hard decision at times, but undermining your techs and or not sticking to the "rules" creates chaos and leaves a bad taste in the mouths of competitors. Telling a guy that hauled to the track that you aren't going to run like that, so either fix it or load and go isn't fun, but needs to be done. The moment you let something slide, it starts a path you cannot reverse. One of the benefits is that being a "boss" for most of my career, I can say something and stick to it, rules work for employees in the same way they work for racers. Occasional teardowns at the track and disqualifications as a result of tear down or after race tech and sticking to that decision would soon establish the equity that many are looking for in this sport. NASCAR does it and has penalties, even the perennial favorite driver Dale Jr., has been bitten by the rules. Therefore, why would that not work at the local level.

Like I said in the earlier post, being able to pay a decent purse is important, and spreading that purse throughout the field is also important. Nothing dampens a racer's spirit more than finishing sixth and earning the same as the guy finishing eleventh or further back. Competitiveness will only carry a racer so far until the financial burden for this passion begins to weigh on him or her. A more spread purse may well bring the pride factor back into fighting your way through a race and finishing as high as you can, letting the money become secondary. As far as those who would say, "You wont get the good guys without paying them", well, maybe you can have just as good a show with the competent guys racing hard for pride.

Good points Dick.

have a good day,

schinde
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#10 User is offline   schinde Icon

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 02:11 PM

One other thing I would point out.

I would have no interest in Night of Destruction type racing, just does not appeal to me and it is not racing in a pure form. Yes it attracts fans to a track, but it just isn't my bag.

have a good day,

schinde
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#11 User is offline   Mopar93 Icon

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 04:57 PM

That one show that needs to be run should be Racin' & Rockin' sometime around either late June or mid-July. Matt can promote it. With the Modifieds showcased along with the ABC Series and Pony Stocks, it will draw enough people to be a profitable show.

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#12 User is offline   DRTmotorsports Icon

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 09:27 PM

View Postschinde, on 20 November 2015 - 01:04 PM, said:

1. Curfew time of 11:30. Hard to meet at times, a 12:30 curfew opens up the window of opportunity greatly.


This is the one item that really stuck out to me.

A movie averages 2 hours. Sporting events average 3 hours. Why does racing have to last 5 hours, and that is just for the casual fan? One of the things I hated most about going asphalt racing with AVSS was the time spent at the track. One track, the infield gates closed at noon for practice. That meant a 12 hour day for race teams. Most tracks averaged practice starting at 2:30 to 3:00. That is still a 9 hour day. On the dirt, 5:00. Most nights it was 7 hours or less, and that included tech inspections, and pay-off.

From a fans point of view, how many kids do you know can sit and watch something for 4 to 5 hours? Not many. Many studies have shown that the average attention span for entertainment is about 3 hours. But, that was back in 1998 when I was promoting. I bet it is even shorter now. This can not be accomplished on most nights with one safety crew, and one tow truck.

In my opinion, you provide a program that has an honest payoff, treat racers equally, and get everyone home in a timely manner, it will work. You do not need a better payoff than the track down the street. (many racers are disagreeing with me here....) It just needs to be fair for the entire field, and comparable to other tracks. With money being equal, racers will race where they are treated better. You provide a solid rule book, honest tech, consistent calls (even if they are wrong at times, as long as you are consistent), the racers will come.

From my point of view, if I am not on my way home by 11:30, it was not a good night. This last summer was a good one, as most nights I was home by 11:30. 10 hours at the track may be great for the die hard racers, but, it is not the way to try and build a fan base. We need to grow, not try to maintain our numbers.

I hope all works out for Springport. A lot of folks are quick to blame the location for the problems, but many tracks thrive away from populations. Butler is a good example in this area. Crystal is far less populated than say, Mt Pleasant, but still out draws them every week. Besides, being near larger populations has it own set of challenges. I still find it hard to believe that the few neighbors that Springport has, is more restrictive than many other tracks. Even those much closer to larger cities.

If promoting was easy, everyone would be doing it :nilly:
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#13 User is offline   champ_49 Icon

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 12:27 AM

Well I can say at one time Springport had an excellent fan base. That was back in the early 90's. So it can and was done at that track. But then things started changing at the track and the promoter would get mad at a group and then send them down the road. Many things brought the way it is now days. I think the track has lost its fan base because the classes that were sent home took there fans with them. And the way the promoter treated the racers, the fans and even his employees. Once a fan leaves they go to another track and stay with that track and also talk bad about the track that sent the class away. Try to get them back, its a job as Jeff seen. He did the best of all of them but getting that fan base back will be a major job.

I only hope we see it come back, but I truly don't see it happening without a major change!

Dave
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Posted 22 November 2015 - 04:07 PM

View Postchamp_49, on 22 November 2015 - 04:27 PM, said:

Well I can say at one time Springport had an excellent fan base. That was back in the early 90's. So it can and was done at that track. But then things started changing at the track and the promoter would get mad at a group and then send them down the road. Many things brought the way it is now days. I think the track has lost its fan base because the classes that were sent home took there fans with them. And the way the promoter treated the racers, the fans and even his employees. Once a fan leaves they go to another track and stay with that track and also talk bad about the track that sent the class away. Try to get them back, its a job as Jeff seen. He did the best of all of them but getting that fan base back will be a major job.

I only hope we see it come back, but I truly don't see it happening without a major change!

Dave
I raced there in the 90s for about 6 years and the track is a very racey track.It could be made to work but the next promotor would need a semi load of money to promote the track.consistant rules and payoffs that allow a racer to run without mortgaging the farm would be nice.I dont think location is any problem as it isnt any farther backwoods than butler. i have raced there when there were 50 people in the stands and 1000 in the stands.what i dislike of some tracks is the dont like the rules inconsistancy race somewhere else. one thing promotors do not like are racers with a opinion as the racer questions why these mistakes or rules were bent for a specific guy or reason.I am in no way saying promomoting is easy .drivers today are nearly paying their own purse.the fields are gonna get much smaller than 6 car mod features as cost is prohibitive.drivers also play a big part in cost to race as they always ask for rules changes that are costly ,ever hear of a racer or promotor who ever did anything to cut the cost of racing?how about motor rules that allowed 87 octane fuel ,tires that would be good for more than 1 race? i also realize promotors get some sort of monetary kickback on tires and question how a specific tire at one track is $88 mounted at one track and $118 at another.enough of my Dick Maurer rant LOL but i had to say something.
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#15 User is offline   GavinHunyady187 Icon

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 08:10 AM

Almost everyone has great points, sadly none of it means anything without money.

here's my $0.02

Dirt, IMCA, Saturdays, 3 divisions: IMCA, Pro stock, street stock... you'll pull cars from butler that dont want to spend UMP money, cars that dont want to go to Crystal every week, and convert some of the locals over to dirt.

Duane had a great point, I dont have time to run pavement anymore, the day is just too long. At tricity, I usually dont unload my car at the track until 7pm, and I'm usually on my way home by 11pm.

I really liked racing at springport, if I were still in the pavement game I would look for a way to race there... hell if the right deal came along I'd probably foot the tire&fuel bill to run a car there again.
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Posted 24 November 2015 - 11:57 AM

I complained long ago about the race day being so long and having to get there by 3 pm to get tuned in(for travelers) and qualify and wait around for hours and hours to get to an actual race. Now 20 years later someone is trying that,open at 5 group qualify at 6,race at seven,cause a wreck you go to the pits,period. 2 yellows and your night is over in the feature. Too bad it took so many years for a tar track to even try it. Race day is for competition,not practice or cooking out. 4 hours of hard racing and go home for the fans. But if you only have 8 mods,10 lates and 6 streets you have to spread things way out to kill time.

When Donnie is pres maybe he can fire the epa completely since they took over the country and are choking everything out and life can be less complicated and regulated. We should protest GOLF courses since they kill off large chunks of nature and use so much gas and chemicals to keep looking so nice. A grass field should be implemented and regualtion that apply to trailer trash sports can apply to fancy pants golfers.

My dirty car was ugly but got tuned in just fine and was competitive in a few nights. Cheap and fun and lots of NICE people around.. Not arrogant wanna be pricks who think their turds smell like roses......
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Posted 25 November 2015 - 07:47 AM

Anybody know the plans at Owosso for 2016?
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#18 User is offline   mod911 Icon

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Posted 25 November 2015 - 09:13 AM

Nobody in Owosso cares,they go to crystal. I see all my old Owosso fans there and Tri-City.
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Posted 25 November 2015 - 11:33 AM

View Postmod911, on 26 November 2015 - 01:13 AM, said:

Nobody in Owosso cares,they go to crystal. I see all my old Owosso fans there and Tri-City.



Well we might as well close every pavement track in the state and put dirt on them with your logic... SMH. Eventually the dirt "flower" is gonna smell just like the pavement one, $$$$$$. Believe it or not Dick, there are quite a few people who still want to race and watch pavement racing. I'm sure there are still some in Owosso, and everywhere else for that matter, that feel this way. The guy asked a question, there is no need to for your dirt vs pavement rhetoric, you do it enough on here. A broad brush is better used to paint a barn.
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Posted 25 November 2015 - 12:02 PM

I guess Owossos 2016 plans don't really matter much, since I really don't want to travel with my Mod.

Anybody need an Ellis mod, and a 48 foot enclosed gooseneck?

Maybe its time for Hot Rods and Handle bars.
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