How do we improve participation?

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

  1. Jeremy Tanksley

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    What about considering a category split? A new Comp spinoff category on the national/regional level. Call it something like "Top Eliminator." It could be all of the power adder cars of Comp, plus a draw from T/D and T/S by adding lots of blown and nitrous dragster and doorcar classes. How easy would a 16 car field be acquired?

    Then, for Comp, reinstate the old rulebook, except without blown or turbo classes, with the addition of nostalgia dragster. Merge as many classes as possible. When's the last time you saw a heads up run in Comp? Realistically, it doesn't happen very often, which cannot be good for the class.

    By splitting the category, there would likely be less whining. The cars would all develop at a comparable rate. Run the two categories back to back on the run order. Most likely wouldn't spread the race schedule to any great extent.

    Lastly, if it didn't work out in the end, what's the worst thing that could happen, remerge the two categories again?
     
  2. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna Administrator

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    spec

    If you are going to introduce a spec class, it should be something that will get a younger 'enthusiast' interested. A spec SBC class may be awesome to some, but to the younger crowd, it's as ancient as a spec flathead class would be.

    Tuning them up with their laptop is what they are into. So EFI, data loggers, etc., all need to be part of this.

    I'm still not sure a spec class is a fix, but if it is, it needs to have some modern options.

    There's what 108 flavors of comp available....I don't know that it's a flavor problem, it's having the money to buy a flavor. Anyone that has any delusions that a spec class is going to be far and away cheaper than a conventional class, I think is a bit of wishful thinking. I'll give it a chance to be somewhat cheaper, but Flying J doesn't care whether you are AA/AT, or B/Spec Dragster.

    Also, think about this - if spec classes were popular enough to save Comp, how long before those indexes get beat up enough for the 'new' blood to say my index isn't competitive....

    I don't think it's the flavors of Comp. Comp used to be one of the few heads up, go fast classes. As mentioned earlier, TD/TS is now a choice for someone who has the money. There's a lot of ten-five, street car and pro mod stuff out there people can run more on a regional basis and its heads up type stuff. So there's more choices and the economy is diminishing the pool of available racers to choose a flavor.

    As far as spectators go, if the Eagles showed up to your local dive bar unannounced, and the bar owner didn't bother to put the word out, chances are they would have a small crowd. The bar owner figures the Eagles have enough roadies, band members, staff, wives and family with them to sell more beer than he would on an average night, so why bother risking advertising, or putting forth the effort.

    The bigger problem on the spectator front is that divisional/regional events are for the most part back gate events that are not tailored to draw a crowd. Let's face it the standard format divisional event sucks for a spectator. It's way too slow paced, and it's been a 'race,' with no entertainment mindset for so long, it's too slow paced for the average, non die hard spectator that has come to expect some faster paced entertainment for his dollar.

    I have tried and tried on here and to get NHRA to drop the .50 "Under" format. Just change all the damn indexes to where when you run under the index, it's a .50 under run. It gets a hell of a lot easier to explain. Next thing would be to display how far under said index on the scoreboard. I have followed Comp almost my whole life, and sitting in the stands watching Comp this weekend in Vegas, it was tough for me to keep up with, and I follow the class. I mean it's a damn exercise in mental math to watch a qualifying session and figure out whether or not the run you just saw was worth a shit or not. The class doesn't have that 'scoreboard' pop to it. I mean when I saw two cars that had a 7.29 index running a 8.33, ok, so a 6.79 is 50, and a 7.8....shit, they took off. Throw a bit of a Vegas left over in there, and you don't have a chance! At least if the scoreboard had the over/under on it, you can tell what happened a bit better.
     
    #102 Will Hanna, Oct 28, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  3. randy wilson

    randy wilson Member

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    comp

    It really doesn't matter what we discuss, scheme, dream, or talk about. Spec head, older cars will never be a part of comp. NEVER! It was, and is just a hope that they would implement something like that at local tracks to bring interest back, and a possible car count up eventually. You're wrong about the younger generation possibly competing in newer cars with EFI. No one cares. No one cares about the older carburetor cars either, but there are more no ones who care about the older stuff, than the newer stuff. What would it hurt to have an actual ECONO eliminator featuring 4 to 5 classes with 4 to 5 different weights, and chassis rules? Comp is comp. I agree. Leave it alone, and let it live or die by it's own merits. I hope it lives, but we HAVE to get people interested at the local level. WHY, pray tell, has it ballooned in sprints if it's such a bad idea?
     
  4. Injected65

    Injected65 New Member

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    The NMRA is having great success with their "Coyote Stock" class. The class is based off of a sealed crate "Coyote" engine (ie the new 5.0L engine in the Mustangs). Buy a $7000 crate engine with control pack, put it into whatever Ford body you want and come race. They are bring in lots of new and old racers. Realistically the same could be done with an LS crate engine or maybe even a Hemi. Out of the box, sealed crate engines. Specific part numbered crate engines with known power that you can apply a particular hp/ci factor to so they can all run in the same class. It would bring in the younger crowd as well as bring back a little of the Chevy vs Ford vs Mopar aspect.

    This is another issue from the fan perspective. IMO its hard enough for the casual fan to figure out simple bracket racing. By the time they have to start processing indexes their attention spans have maxed out and they go to the concession stands.


    Chris Rose
     
  5. randy wilson

    randy wilson Member

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    comp

    Regardless what, if anything they decide to do, unless we get the local Billie Bob interested, it will never take off. You have to have a loyal base before you get any following. In the late 70's, guys followed their local heroes all the way to Indy. Now, they don't even understand what the hell we even do. Also, people were lined up shoulder, to shoulder for no break-out racing. I've seen with my own eyes, a 64 car field in Top Street, and a 64 car field in Super Stock at Eddyville Iowa in 70's, and 86 non qualifiers. I was one of those, and still loved it. We have lost our way, and I doubt anything will bring it back.
     
  6. Russ Kelly

    Russ Kelly New Member

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    What most people don't realize is the main reason most t/d t/s racers don't want to race comp is because it is too much work. My health has kept me off the race track the last couple of years---have a new car/new motor--somewhat ready race car---I have approached a number of t/d racers with offer of "go race this car". Every one of them has said the same thing---"comp is too much work". The guy with the 1000 cu in motor takes the short cut to performance(work)---buy lots of cubic inches. Comp is what it is---a very difficult yet personally rewarding class. I have never raced for the money, however when qualifying money existed we got $1600 to qualify---didn't buy motors, but paid a lot of travel expense. There is no easy solution---however the idea of helping ourselves has the most merit. When I do consulting for bar owners who complain about business I tell them all the same thing---get off the barstool and do something.
     
  7. Jeremy Tanksley

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    Exactly.

    Back years ago I explained to a guy running Top Sportsman how he could do nothing to his car except put "A/PM" on the window, and he'd be a hitter in Comp. He understood all too well that I was right, but did that change his mind? No. Shoe polish was on his windows and it was there to stay. People are intimidated by Comp. There is a fear of not looking good. People don't want to get stroked on the big end. Comp isn't for everyone.
     
  8. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna Administrator

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    car counts

    I don't have any actual data in front of me, but I'm sure the drop in car count/participation over the past few years is probably pretty close to the same rate of other sportsman classes.
     
  9. rognelson777

    rognelson777 Active Member

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    except Top dragster / Top Sportsman, Stayed the same or gone up since 2008
     
  10. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna Administrator

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    Td ts

    I don't think it became a uniform NHRA class until 2007, 2008.

    I think if you look at car counts from 2008-2009 to present you will see some decline.
     
  11. Charlie Yannetti

    Charlie Yannetti Well-Known Member

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    In some cases there has been a decline in car count in TD and TS because of classes going out of control.. just take a look at where the bump spots were when the classes showed up, as compared to now.. if I don't have a TD capable of 6.50's, I might not get in the show these days.. and TS is close behind..

    Eventually we might see those fields deminishing more because of the spending for performance mentality, making guys go back to the Super classes that they came from.. but at least they have some place to go..
     
  12. Rick Troutner

    Rick Troutner Member

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    Change T/D to 5.50 and the field is back. Legal TAD with an auto says that is possible.
     
  13. JEFF GILLETTE

    JEFF GILLETTE Member

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    sign of the times ?

    A sign of the times in Las Vegas ?

    63 T/S cars

    71 T/D

    20 comp cars
     
  14. Charlie Yannetti

    Charlie Yannetti Well-Known Member

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    I thought that TD and TS had a 32 car qualified field.. I see it's ALL RUN out there..
     
  15. Rob Harrison

    Rob Harrison Well-Known Member

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    What do you think , Jeff , you were a very successful Comp racer and you now run T/S , " the switch is on or Comp will always be Comp ? ".......until there is no one racing it ?
     
  16. Backyard Bandit

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    Okay, let's get serious and work on some of the ideas that came out. I would like to see bonus points for qualifying. I also think we need to find ways to increase sponsor support. Div. 3 has a great program going and maybe we can work to copy that into other divs.
     
  17. Charlie Yannetti

    Charlie Yannetti Well-Known Member

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    It is a good idea, Bob.. would sponsorship be done Division by Division, or would it be better to have something set up like Pro Mod did for National Events??.. D1 had a proto-type going a few years back.. you might want to talk to DE3 or Frank Aragona about it.. I think that if money is increased, participation just might increase also, but I really don't think it's "ALL" about the purses, or the points..
     
  18. rognelson777

    rognelson777 Active Member

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    The more that I think about this, I now keep coming back to that 1st, the Index system has to be reworked. The main reason is Index is effected by 2 things.

    Weather, Many cars in Comp can run .60 under in good weather, but not in bad weather. So index gets hurt in early season and late season because that is usually the best weather. Indexes should not be set this way.

    CIC. Being a newbie to following all the details of strategy in comp, it is the only category in NHRA racing that has a Index system that effects eliminations. After being involved for a couple of years, I Now have realized that strategy is more important that running your car as fast as possible. And you should not have to use strategy in the first couple of rounds, so you are clean in the later rounds.

    So come up with a system that does away with CIC and sets the index based on performance. (do I have the answer, NO but with the modern technology we should be able to create a formula that uses the HP correction factor from weather station calculations to set the index after each event) Do not change index during event. I am pretty sure we can have someone work on a formula for this, Maybe Patrick Hale.

    Comp is supposed to be the only "ALL OUT" out sportsman category left in NHRA.
     
  19. Charlie Yannetti

    Charlie Yannetti Well-Known Member

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    SOOOOO, you're going to ask NHRA to adjust the index for each class, for every event, based on weather??.. I guess being new, you haven't realized that some of us have been fighting against adjusted indexes at altitude adjusted tracks for almost ever.. and a lot of index hits occur because of that adjustment.. to me, sliding scale indexes just won't fix anything..

    We have the mineshaft rule that was a very good idea to save some classes, but if guys are playing the ladder game in qualifying, the rule sometimes doesn't go into effect when it should..

    And if we take a step back in time and make the index hits take effect during qualifying, like the old days, guys will be sandbagging even more.. how about looking at the average of all the index hits, and raise the CIC and Permanent hits by that much.. EXAMPLE: -.55 for CIC and -.65 for PERMANENT.. just might help with the ALL OUT aspect of the class, but it would be up to the individual team as to how they want to use their power.. but there would be more room to play.. just click it at 1000ft, and rock their world in eliminations..

    The problem with this thought is that there a bunch of -.45 to -.50 players sitting out because they will not go throught the expense to run Comp, only to go out in the 1st rnd every time they show up.. AND, they might not have the money to change what they have.. and every year they sit, their stuff gets older and their index gets lower.. I know of 3 or 4 D1 guys that are in this boat.. do you think they're coming back??.. THAT'S A BIG PROBLEM!!
     
  20. SmileyRacing

    SmileyRacing Active Member

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    What everyone needs to realize and some people do is: When an index gets hit it hurts at most ten people. Most of the time just two or three. But in turn it helps the other two hundred or so people running comp in the other classes. Lets just say that Don Thomas C/ED can go 65 under. And I can only go 45 under. If they raise the permanent spot for index hits to 65 under I will never catch Don Thomas. So we need indexes to get hit to level the playing field. Bottom line: it sucks when your index gets hit. But if you run someone and they hit their index you feel like a hero. Then they won't beat you so bad next time. Man up work on your shit and take it to the track.
    Clark SMiley
     

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