How do we improve participation?

Discussion in 'The Comp Buzz' started by Backyard Bandit, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    45
    couple of observations

    Few thoughts on this:

    This is a legitimate question for some of the Comp 'Vets' on here. How much more expensive is it to be competitive in Comp in the last 5-10 years than it was in days gone by? I'm looking solely at the cost of running the car. Take increased travel/fuel expenses out of the equation. Just looking at the car/racing expense.

    After thinking on this for a few days, could it be that the 'average' comp run these days is much closer to permanent CIC hit than it used to be? With the average being closer to the Permanent mark, more Monday hits, more money devoted to more hp, other innovations.

    Would a shift in indexes to move the average away from the permanent CIC mark help?

    As far as getting the little guy to the track, it would appear to me that with the low car counts we have seen the past few years, it would be easier than ever for a little guy to show up to a race, qualify and have a shot at a round or two with all the red lights these days.

    The economy is obviously a huge factor, but TD and TS have also really cut into the potential Comp Racer pool. Before those classes really got popular in NHRA, and you could even trace it to their rise in IHRA, a good chunk of those racers might have raced Comp.

    More purse ain't gonna happen any time soon.

    Bonus funds, whether funded by sponsors or extra money from racers, side pots, etc., are a big help, but the focus needs to be on making comp healthy enough to survive without these.

    I have floated an idea around for a while to really restructure the sportsman ranks. I don't know if this could really apply to Comp, but it might. Basically it would phase out the .90 indexes and create dial in classes from Top Dragster/Top Sportsman, down to slower dial ins, maxing around 11.00. Stock and SS would still run the same. Comp could as well.

    The goal of this would be to create continuity of classes and dials from the local level to the national level, and try to create a national and divisional points system that had some local races as well. Sportsman racing really needs a big bump from the grass roots local level.

    I don't know how Comp would do at a local level. If we can't get cars to a divisional, what makes you think there would be enough show up to a local race? I know that's a legit question. If there were some local races, even if they wasn't part of the divisional/national points structure, maybe some more racers that have the 'want-to' to play this game called Comp, but maybe not the time or funds to chase it much outside their local area, would get involved. Maybe it's the guy who just has a Super Pro Dragster that decides he wants to lighten his car up, put some go fast parts on his car and see how fast he can make it. When there was a Modified in IHRA, the thought crossed my mind a few times.

    I think there are more than a few bracket racers out there who would enjoy going back to the day of trying to make your car faster. Somehow bridging the gap to getting them into the realm of Comp is the trick.
     
  2. Jeremy Tanksley

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    484
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exactly. People should listen to the Old Dude. They should've listened to Shane Heckel years ago as well. Comp would likely not suck quite so bad now. LEAVE COMP ALONE!!! Better yet, do make changes, but only those that fix current issues and please the racers you already have, such as increasing payout, taming runaway classes, or improving event scheduling. You know what you need to do, so do it. A pro tree, pro ladder, spec dragster, resurecting the local scene, super stock walkover classes, or new handout classes for modern engines, does not do this. Perhaps start a thread that's focused on CREATING more payout, and then another for taming runaway classes.
     
    #82 Jeremy Tanksley, Oct 21, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  3. Arnie

    Arnie New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Messages:
    763
    Likes Received:
    0
    WELL spoken.............................
     
  4. Arnie

    Arnie New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Messages:
    763
    Likes Received:
    0
    there was a time when we could brake even as for travel etc....not when big companies are going broke.. and can't pay the contingency and that's mostly gone also
     
    #84 Arnie, Oct 21, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  5. rognelson777

    rognelson777 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    18

    Been a great discussion so far. I have asked some questions on here that were not answered and also put some crazy ideas out there. So I will ask you 2 questions


    How do we tame runaway indexes?

    When did / was the current CIC system put into Effect and why? I think originally if you went more than .500 under you took a permanent hit.
     
  6. Jeremy Tanksley

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    484
    Likes Received:
    0
    Collectively, to tame or prevent runaway classes, you take what's obvious to you, make sense of it, and adjust accordingly. For example, if you see a pro mod running 5.80's, and see that he/she could venture into Comp and be allowed to run larger turbo sizes, not have a boost limit, and weigh less in many cases, then it's obvious of how fast the combo can run.

    A turbo size limit on AA/AT and BB/AT would be a start.

    The index system was put in effect to slow down cars that are too fast. Only issue is that AA/AT and BB/AT for instance will take decades to slow down. These combos laugh at the current index system. Don't change the system, change the class.

    Hopefully this fully answered your questions.
     
    #86 Jeremy Tanksley, Oct 21, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  7. rognelson777

    rognelson777 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    18
    I like it, with one exception, average the 5 quickest runs all time and make the average of these runs the updated index after each event. With the modern technology available today(internet/smartphones) it would be easy to track.

    NHRA would only have to regulate the index at mineshaft events.
     
  8. Greg Schenck

    Greg Schenck Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    83
    Nobody would set a record and only 40 under cars would show up at mineshaft races.
     
  9. rognelson777

    rognelson777 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    18

    If you really look into the the stats from eliminations, most red lights are by racers who cannot run .60 under or have taken Temporary CIC.

    And if you look around, there are many Top Sportsman / Top Dragster Racers who have just as much money tied up in their operation as a Comp Racer, so we need to ask, why do they not want to run comp.

    I can think of of a couple of division 1 racers that come to mind who could race comp. 1 has a brand new S/W dragster with a Sonny Leonard 1000 cubic inch motor (yes that is right, full billet engine) that runs top dragster, what do you think that motor cost? Could he afford to race comp, i am sure.

    How about all of the super stock hemi guys in division 1 , with what they spend on motors, why do they not run comp, I guess we should ask them.
     
  10. Charlie Yannetti

    Charlie Yannetti Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    79
    OK.. let's take that dragster combo with 1000 cubic inches.. in A/DA, it would have to weigh 3400 lbs.. probably at least 1400 lbs more that it has to weigh in TD.. and he can't have his NOS or dial in board hanging off the back of the car.. he might run 6.80's if he is lucky, like -.20 to -.30 under at best.. not to mention the thoughts of passing tech for Comp.. and then no delay boxes..

    Why would he run Comp, when he can run every Divisional without hassle, and now, some Nationals..

    Although the TS and TD guys are now spending as much, if not more in some cases, then some Comp teams, it would cost them much more to convert to a competitive Comp class in most cases.. the closest would be some of the TS guys coming into A/AA.. but again, no NOS or delay boxes..

    Take another look at Spec Dragster.. and then maybe even Spec Altered, or Spec Super Mod.. in today's economy, bringing new people into Comp is a money thing.. how much can they afford..
     
  11. Rick Troutner

    Rick Troutner Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    0
    I passed on comp for a few reasons. Travel expenses. Time off is not a concern for me but the track we run, Denver has an 8 race series of one day T/D and T/S events plus the Division race. I can't get my driver or a crew to take time off work now days to just travel around and spend 3 days racing plus travel time, when 1 or 2 days will work. Qualifying money used to pay the fuel bills and buy a hamburger in the old days. We also raced to the stripe. Isn't that part of the point? A 45 under car could win a race with a good driver, a 55 under car was Bad Ass! I think the answers are in the past.
     
  12. Jamie Dymond

    Jamie Dymond New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    But for what was spent on that 1000" monster, one could probably build a 500" piece for A/DA and be competitive....


    The idea on the surface sounds great for people like us, an affordable way to race comp. But the problem is the big money is still going to come in and make it so we can't compete. Even if the engines are sealed, people will then spend crazy money on "unobtainium" crazy lightened parts for the trans, rear, etc and beat the budget guys. The same thing happened at the circle track near me, they have "crate engine" sportsman class. Well, the big money came in and guys were buying 5 crate engines every year, running them on the dyno, keeping the best ones and selling the rest. Makes it hard for the little guy to compete with his wore out crate from two years ago.

    Of course there's always the problem of teching anything that's spec, as the sealant and special bolts for the engine can be purchased online.....
     
  13. randy wilson

    randy wilson Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    5
    comp

    Let's address a couple of issues. Number one, I see comp does not want a spec anything in their unlimited deal. I see their point. Number two. An affordable spec eliminator would be a great class to start, to get people involved in no break-out racing. Number three. It would not get out of hand, unless it was allowed to get out of hand. The head company could have the final say on the head, and believe me, they are hard to fool. Number four, comp guys will probably not even want in. Number five, limit ALL econo mod to a conventional, clutch assisted 5 speed, (on board camera keeps that little deal legit) one single disc clutch no smaller then 10.5 inch, pressure plate the same. Limit tire to 13 in. no computer in any class. Cast intake, no outer mods, no external pump, no vac pump, no billet oil pump,no belt drive, limit cams to .700 lift. 6.20 gear, no wheelie wheels, spec fuel, say, C-12. Same for econo gas, but allow hilborn injection, and or two fours. Econo altered, and econo funny car, same, but only a stock case powerglide, with no converter smaller then 10 in. No two piece convertor. Econo Hot Rod, more chassis mods, same as econo mod. The reason being, local tracks might be able to attract people to the local tracks with this affordable class type racing. I'd volunteer to be a tech in my area. But guys, regardless, we have to do SOMETHING to bring racing back to drag racing.
     
  14. randy wilson

    randy wilson Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    5
    comp

    Also, there would be no sealed engine, just the rules truly enforced. I hate sealed engine classes. Lets face it, the BEST shortblock in the world would cost $15,000. The BEST. The heads, I know, angle milled, titanium valves, great springs, with combustion chamber polished, $2,900. I know, I did a set. Intake, what, $1,000. Carb, what, $1,500. Oil pan and pump,$1,000. Cam, $600, lifters, the best, $1,800. That's roughly $22,000 for the best allowed. Far cry from $68,000. And I ran the exact same numbers when I switched the heads and intake over to a stock block, .030 over as I did with the trickest block, MGP Rods, trick rings, custom cam, the whole ball of wax. It ain't that hard. That short block, I had used stock chevy forging, 2.80 stroke, $700 Groden rods, Used Bill Miller .043 pistons, and a cam I had laying around. I had less then $4,000 in the short block.
     
  15. randy wilson

    randy wilson Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    5
    comp

    One more thing before I shut up. A stock case powerglide, with all the bells, and whistles is what, $3,000? And I've had the light weight trick of the week, including, titanium yokes, front, and back, titanium lug nuts, studs, and ring gear bolts, lightened ring gear by innovators west, rifle drilled, and lightened G-Force, and we all know how light they are, rifle drilled super lite Mark Williams, , and a carbon fiber drive shaft, and I picked up nothing! Zero, nada, ziltch. Now the powerglide is a different story.
     
  16. robert1555

    robert1555 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    13
    Well I'm going to chime in here. I'm an old fart who has been trying to race Modified Production and Comp since 1971. We all know the number one reason there are not many participants is the cost to build, race and maintain these cars. Bad economy or good. You have to want to do it. A lot of these posts are centered around the racer. A few have mentioned spectators. Spectators are people who are interested in what is happening on the track. All of you have looked up in the stands during qualifying and eliminations. There is nobody there. Especially at the Division events. To me that says nobody is interested in what you're doing. If you contacted a company, say a company who sold suntan lotion (hell everybody uses suntan lotion) and took him to a race to show him how Comp would help him sell suntan lotion, what would his reaction be? Why would he spend any money what so ever on Comp? There is nobody in the stands. There's nobody to sell his product to. To me, we and when I say we I mean Comp racers are going to have to increase the interest in Comp to spectators first and then participants. NHRA is not going to increase payouts when they themselves don't see any body in the stands and not many cars in the pits. Not going to happen. And I understand why. If we can put spectators in the stands, sponsors will notice it, NHRA will notice it. The mention of a Comp racers association was made. Maybe with some of that money we buy our own radio spots for a race and talk up Comp like Bob Fry used to. We've got to spark the interest of younger people. We've got to showcase Comp at car shows, high school auto shops, trade schools, even engineering conferences. We all know what goes into a Comp effort but nobody else does and they won't if we don't make an effort to showcase it as the best class in drag racing. We're going to have to do it. NHRA isn't going to. The sponsors aren't going to. Let's face it guys, drag racing is not the most popular thing for a young person to do. Too may ipods, ipads, iphones, xbox's, ps4's, mp3's... We are going to have show off Comp if we want anything other than support ourself racing. Hope this wasn't too long. I could go on and on. I have loved drag racing all my life. I've worked two jobs at a time to try and do it and I'll keep trying to put something on the track as long as I can do it. I'm willing to participate in any further discussions or meetings. If anyone wants to contact me directly please do.

    Robert Edgar
    4164 E/AA
    robert1555@hotmail.com
    830.637.9334
     
  17. robert1555

    robert1555 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    13
    I have read and re-read all these posts and there really are some good ideas. Comp needs to be left alone based on what makes it unique but employ some new ideas to make it:
    1.) Easier to understand for the drag racing fan
    2.) Some classes more affordable to attract more interest for guys who want to run a handicap no breakout class
    3.) As fair a playing field as possible to keep the existing racers happy and show potential participants that a continuous effort is being made to keep it fair.

    We should form 3 groups, or committees:
    1.) Ideas to make it better for the existing racers that might help attract new participants to the class.
    2.) Ideas to make the class more affordable that might attract new participants to the class.
    3.) Ideas to increase the interest in the class that might help attract more spectators which will increase interest from potential sponsors.
    These committees should be made up of:
    1.) Current racers
    2.) Past racers
    3.) Racers from other categories
    4.) Die hard drag racing spectators

    If a Comp racers association is formed a clear explanation of what Comp is and how it works should be established. Right now if you asked 10 Comp racers you would get 10 different answers. It should be clear enough to explain to drag race fan and they understand it. If we can't do that then how do we expect to grab the interest of new racers or spectators. If it is so complicated that we can't clearly explain it that should tell us we need to simplify it.

    Just a couple more points for food for thought:
    1.) What about double eliminations? Losers go to a loser bracket. This will give the cars that are not as competitive a chance to race with other cars that have lost and are not as competitive. You say that will take too much time. Then that takes me to the next point.
    2.) No burnouts past the starting line. Burnout stage and go with the next pair starting burnouts on the last green. This alone may get Comp back in at all the Nationals.
    3.) Local tracks to put on a Comp show with payout being based on attendance. If we attract more spectators we get a percentage of that gate.
    4.) Older steel bodied rear wheel drive car classes that they can build in their backyard. Younger guys on a limited budget would love to build an older stock bodied car if they knew the playing field was level.
    5.) Do you guys remember when you picked up a copy of Hot Rod or Car Craft and got to see the cars of the guys kicking but in Modified Eliminator? They would show little things that made their car unique and showcased their innovation. How about approaching these magazines about doing articles on Comp cars. Get the interest of young guys.
    6.) Get back to basics. The committees to review the history of where we started, what changed and why and get back to basics if that's where it leads us.

    Robert Edgar
    4164 E/AA
     
  18. Rob Harrison

    Rob Harrison Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    34
    That's some cool thoughts on what to do about keeping Comp in the racing system . I don't know why this came to me from reading your summation , but it yelled out to me , Bob Frey is semi-retired now , would he consider this " How to save Comp " project….his input would be invaluable , his suggestions would be listened to and " Comp's spokesperson " would be respected for the benefit of all concerned…….so how about it , Bob , anything you suggest would be welcomed with open arms…..
     
  19. Charlie Yannetti

    Charlie Yannetti Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    79
    You are right, Jamie.. I assumed that Roger was refering to someone who has already spent a bunch of money on that 1000 cubic inch piece and might be wondering about putting it in Comp.. they could always start over and build a 500 cubic inch motor, but they have already spent a lot of money building the 1000 cubic inch motor.. so my point was, why would this guy run Comp, and slow his combination down horribly to fit in, when he can just run it in the class that he built it for and just change his dial-in..

    Robert has some good ideas.. and I do take my car to charitable car shows and make every attempt to promote drag racing, and even invite people to come to upcoming NHRA events, and come to my pit for food and refreshment.. UNFORTUNATELY, the costs for a family of four to get to the event, and then the cost to get in the gate, has made this an embarassing situation at times.. some people don't have two to three hundred dollars laying around that they are willing to spend for a day with NHRA.. they can go to the beach and do more for half the money.. at least this is the message I get.. and they don't want to come to Divisional Events because the guys from TV aren't there.. and now, some of the Divisionals don't even have Alcohol, so you can't offer that as a fan draaw either..

    NHRA has to become more fan friendly also... we all know that it is the costs that are hurting the sport..

    And Rob's idea is also excellent.. if Bob Frey would make himself available as a spokesperson, GREAT, but he would probably be just as valuable as a consultant.. he knows the flow..
     
    #99 Charlie Yannetti, Oct 27, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  20. randy wilson

    randy wilson Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    5
    comp

    One thing I know for sure. If NHRA, and IHRA don't get people interested on the LOCAL level, comp will be the least of their worries. Nothing against bracket facing, but it totally ruined spectator interest. If NASCAR had to dial in their fastest round, and not exceed it, it would be in the same boat. At least their base, (local roundy rounders) get to race to the stripe. I went one weekend, and there were at least 2,000 people watching 350 HP engines run in a 2 barrel class. Need anyone say more? I went 2 weeks ago to Eddyville, and there wasn't a dozen fans in the stands, and they had 2 top fuel altereds there for a draw. No one knows it even exists anymore. But talking to people, leading people, who have no idea what people truly loved about a true American sport, gets depressing. Some people are just too damn stupid to know they are just too damn stupid. Sorry, that's how I feel.
     

Share This Page