Unfortunately, in Kansas City area racing we have seen what happens when clowns run racetracks. Where am I going with this statement, well a pattern has been established and the next thing you know the track you called home is no longer open. We have seen some great promoters in our area, some so so promoters in our area, and then we have seen clowns.
What makes a clown, someone who knows everything about racing and cannot learn anything new, someone who thinks they are a great marketer but in reality the sponsorship dollars are drying up, someone who tries to shortcut the system, and someone who tries to micromanage the facility but does not micromanage the most important aspect, paying bills.
The first sign of a clown in the midst, the person who knows everything and is not willing to learn anything new. Hmm, we have heard this statement before, a person saying they have so many years of experience so they cannot be shown anything new. Wrong, that would mean we are still racing cars with stock suspensions which is far from the truth. Today we utilize sliders, and shock technology is way beyond what we had even 10 years ago. Everyday there is something new to learn, every time at the track there is something new to learn.
The second sign of a clown in our midst is when you notice the track has fewer and fewer sponsors. Maybe they have bill boards available. Maybe the program has fewer sponsors. Maybe the track does not have a program. Sponsors are important to track survival and race team survival. When you get a sponsor you should go out of your way to wine and dine them. Make that sponsor feel special. We have seen too many clowns who take the money and run.
Clowns who shortcut the system are easy to spot. You may ask what do I mean shortcut the system? Two tracks who have failed within the last 10 years added their own ambulance service. Using the excuse this was saving them money and they had an EMT on staff. One track that did this remains closed to this day, the other track recently reopened. As a competitor how do you feel when the clown tells you the reason they do not have an ambulance is because they have a fully staffed EMT vehicle? But pay close attention for touring series suddenly the ambulance is there on site. Are the touring series drivers worth more than the weekly racers? Or this is something else clowns do? How many racers have checked to ensure the track has insurance? Ask the question and when they tell you what company it is call the company to ensure the track has insurance, you may even ask if an ambulance is required. Clowns should not be allowed to shortcut safety, period!
Another thing clowns do is add events that do not pertain to racing. Every track I know that has added a Dr. Danger, a shimmer of glimmer, a blow up myself event to their racing program has gone out of business. These events need to be a part of some other event, Monster Trucks, crash fest, trailer races, specialty races (enduros etc.), not part of the regular racing program. Race fans go to regular racing program to watch races.
Finally, when clowns run racetracks the bills don’t get paid. How would we know this, well first the rumors start, such and so track has to pay cash for their whatever products. Yep we have all heard those statements before, but an even more reliable public place to check, the county tax rolls. See if the clowns are paying their taxes, if not, that is one of the first signs the clowns are not making it.
Hopefully, area tracks are not being run by clowns. Tracks should have clowns who are part of the entertainment, that truly is the business a race track is in, but the clowns should not take away from the number one product, racing. Clowns should be part of the entertainment at a racetrack but not part of the management of a racetrack.