Times are changing in racing and will and should include touring series. For years they have had the run of the facilities (racetracks) and the promoters. Contracts are written in which the promoter/racetrack must guarantee to pay a sanction fee, must pay tow money, must pay the purse, possibly may be responsible for advertising, and for promoting the event. That is why some racing series are no longer racing in the Kansas City area. Promoting in racing is a risky business, how much risk is a racetrack/promoter willing to take?
Touring Series have for the most part written contracts which protect them from any of the risk. They do not normally guarantee any amount of racecars showing. Tracks prepare for these special events and purchase extra food for a larger crowd, the touring series takes no responsibility if the event is cancelled. Same thing may also apply to tracks adding additional temporary seating and/or port-a- potties. Most of these contracts are so heavily written in favor of the touring series more and more tracks are starting to say no thank you.
Not all contracts are written in this way, sometimes the touring series comes in takes the front and back gates and the promoter/racetrack gets to keep the concessions. Again there is usually not any guarantee of car count. When a contract like this occurs the track is still stuck with the electric bill, the concession help bill, the track preparation bill, the trash removal bill, possibly the insurance bill, possibly the advertising bill, and possibly the ambulance bill. We need to remember racetracks are in the business to make money.
Touring series in the future are going to need to take on more of the responsibility of sharing costs with the tracks. A standard contract needs to be written from a racetrack promoter’s point of view. Touring series are going to have to take on more responsibility, schedule make up dates, pay for track help when sharing ticket sales, guarantee a car count, be responsible for extra food, and become more of a partner to the tracks.
What happens if this does not occur, well touring series may go away. We have seen that in the past anyone remember the WDRL? Tracks do have options, they have their weekly racers. Weekly racers formerly had their special night where a class may time trial instead of run heat races and run longer racers. Longer races could include required pit stops to add fuel at the half way point. Does anyone remember the Pepsi 50 or the World 400? Just because we are on dirt promotion and racing are still the same. Promoters can utilize the local racers and create what we had in the past and in the course of recreating that interest have more leverage with touring series.
Some in racing have observed the touring series contracts becoming one sided and therefore have created their own series to grow. Some series are leasing the track and taking on the responsibility of cost. Some series are working with tracks to ensure everyone makes money and shares in the cost. When you see a racing series no longer competing at tracks they formerly competed it might be time the series look at their contract.