THE TBAX TOUR
by Ted Baxter
From time to time, I have put down in writing what I would do for the
modifieds to make them a more enduring and exciting division. Well, with Mr
Jaworecki’s question on the message board, and the current state of anger on
the purses for the WMT, I guess its time for the updated TBAX Tour.
My Tour would be a 2 level. There would be 2 type of races that
would contribute to a season long champion. I see the modifieds as not only
good in Long Distance, Pit Stop Strategy races, but also in shorter distance
sprints like we used to have at short tracks in the 80s with tracks like
Riverhead, Islip, Spencer, Shangri-La, Riverside Park, Stafford, Wall, New
Egypt. Weekly 30 to 50 lappers were 95 percent of the races back then. The
big 150-300 laps races were run maybe 5-10 times a year as special events.
Somehow the tour turned into all big races, sort of like a mini Sprint Cup
Series, forgetting what was the backbone of modified racing.
In doing this, I have to start out by saying I don’t think the
purses are going to go up, especially in this economy. Its been YEARS, maybe
DECADES since car owners made money on modified racing. So how can we make
the amount of money spent come closer to the amount won in purse money.
Right now, our biggest purses are at NHMS, but weekend at NHMS also
mean a lot of expense, with 2 or 3 night hotel bills (on Cup weekends $$$$),
food, and just about every other living expense known to man for that 2 to 3
day weekend. I can’t really change too much about these races as it’s the
best racing we have, and also the best exposure. Don’t think for a second
that Bruton Smith scheduling a Tour Race at Bristol, and an ASA Modified
event at Lowes had nothing to do with the outstanding racing(exposure) he
saw at NHMS by the Modifieds. As long as we’re on the Cup Race Weekends at
NHMS, there isn’t much we can do. I would love to see a stand alone modified
race at the track, and who knows, maybe Mr Smith will accommodate that
Other events at Martinsville, and now Bristol are also great for
exposure, however, they also come with the hefty price tag of fuel, and
multiple days living expenses. Are the teams better off giving up some races
down south to save some cash, only the people paying the bills can decide
that. So, I would put up to vote to the car owners whether or not we would
run these tracks.
Now, onto what we can control. The TBAX Tour again, as I said
earlier would be broken down into 2 smaller Tours, which would each have a
champion, and all races combined would create an overall champion. The
Sprint tour would be one day weekend preferred events. The laps would be
between 60-100 laps depending on the size of the racetrack. Only green flag
laps would count. This would create for feature races with that are around
20 minutes of green flag racing. This would do 2 things. It would create no
need for changing tires and cut down on the expenses. It would also make for
more on an all out Sprint to the checkered flag without any of the riding
around and waiting for the time to go, thus making it more exciting to the
front gate paying fan. Qualifying method would depend on the purse the track
operator wanted to pay. Most weekends would feature 2 races in the same
region (preferably about 60 miles apart to capitalize on 2 sets of local
fans, or possibly at the same track, ala the World of Outlaws. What this
means is yes, there would still be for hotel expenses, but with 2 or 3
purses to draw from on a given weekend, this would hopefully at least
justify the expense.
Track size chart for laps.
.25 mile 100 laps
.33 mile 75 laps
.5 mile or bigger 60 laps
We’ve lost so many tracks that can not afford to take chance on a
WMT event that this would hopefully bring them back into the fold. A $35,000
minimum purse would be used for the Sprint Races. More money would need to
be added if the track owner wants to run heat races instead of time trials,
but the heat race laps count against the feature laps. Meaning, if you have
a ¼ mile track which would be a 100 lap event, that 25 lap heat races would
shorten it to a 75 lap feature. 24 cars will start the feature, and there is
no such thing as a provisional. Points will be paid for every car in
attendance, so if you don’t qualify for a race, too bad, try again next
Track owner add on options.
Heat races $5000 added to the purse.
Sunday thru Thursday Night shows. $5000 added to the purse. (no
additional charge for Sunday afternoon shows scheduled to be completed by
Friday night shows are no additional charge if it’s the tracks
regular night of operation, otherwise $5000 added to purse.
2 Day Show at one track Minimum total purses $90000. The format for
a 2 day show is as follows. 1st day all cars race based on time trails with
½ cars in race 1, ½ the cars in Race 2 similar to the Gatorade Duels at
Daytona. Each of these races would have a purse of $20,000 for a day one
total of $40000. The remaining $50000 purse would be up for grabs on Day 2.
Day 2 starting lineup would be determined by finish of day 1’s mini
3 Day show would be a Minimum $150000 purse. With $40000 twin
features on day 1 and 2, and $70,000 up for grabs on day 3. Day 3 starting
lineup based on points scored from day 1 and day 2.
Purse for One day $35000 event.
19th-24th $600 Total 30400.
Balance paid out to non qualified drivers at maximum of $300 entry.
If monies are not given out, undistributed funds will be added to the point
Any additional Heat Race Money add on ($5000) will be paid out by
adding $500 to the top 3 in each heat race with the balance added to the
finishing position. What this means is with 3 heat races, $1500 will be paid
out to the top 3 of each race($250, 150, 100) and $3500 will be paid out
evenly between all teams entered. 4 heat races would mean $3000 distribution
to all drivers, etc.
The hope of this type of race and purse is that we keep the tour as
a viable option for tracks like Riverhead and Wall, Chemung and Spencer for
years to come, and entice tracks like Lee, Star, Seekonk, Holland,
Adirondack, Oswego, Waterford, Twin State, Monadnock, Beech Ridge to rejoin
the stable of Tour Tracks.
The Longer “Endurance” Series would consist of the Current type of
150-300 lap races that currently make up the Tour. Minimum purse would be
$100000 for a Friday Night, Saturday day or night, or Sunday afternoon. All
practice, Qualifying and feature would need to be run on the same day. If
the track wants qualifying on one day and features the next, the add on is
$10,000 to the purse. Any weekend that has an Endurance race would be a
stand alone weekend, meaning no other “Sprint” events would run that
weekend. The exception being if the track running the Endurance race, wanted
to run a 2 day “Sprint race” the 2 days before, making is a $190,000 3 day
Obviously I have not really allotted for a Points payout here.
Money will have to be shifted or sponsors gained in order to make a decent
payout. But you would have 2 totally unique tours. If
car owner A doesn’t want to take his car out for less than a $100,000 purse,
he could run the probable 7 or 8 races on the “Endurance Tour” and run for a
championship. If car owner B has a smaller team and not a lot of members on
his team, he could run the “Sprint Tour” where all pit stops under caution
are where the laps don’t count, and tires cant be change unless they are
flat, and still run for a championship. If car owner C has the team and
resources, he can run for all 3 championships.
Below is a preview of what my 2009 Schedule might have looked
April 5th. Thompson Ice Breaker 150 Laps Endurance
April 11-12 Off weekend
April 18-19 Off weekend.
April 26th Stafford Spring Sizzler 200 laps Endurance
May 2nd Jennerstown Speedway 60 laps Sprint
May 3rd Lake Erie Speedway 75 laps Sprint
May 9+10 off weekend
May 16th Lee USA 75 laps Sprint
May 17th Beech Ridge Speedway 75 laps Sprint
Memorial Day Weekend
May 22nd Stafford 60 lapper Sprint
May 23rd Waterford Speedbowl 75 Laps Sprint
May 24th Thompson 60 Laps Sprint (Afternoon to avoid conflict with The Lowes
May 30-31st off weekend
June 5th Oxford Speedway 75 laps Sprint
June 6th All Star Speedway 100 laps Sprint
June 13th Wall 75 laps Sprint
June 20th-21st off weekend
June 27th NHMS 100 Laps Endurance
July 4th Weekend
July 3rd Stafford 60 Laps Sprint
July 4th Seekonk 75 laps Sprint
July 5th Thompson 60 Laps Sprint
July 11-12 Off weekend
July 18th Twin State Speedway 75 laps Sprint
July 19th Monadnock 100 laps Sprint
July 24th and 25th off weekend
August 1st Riverhead Raceway 100 laps Sprint
Aug 8th. Holland 75 laps Sprint
August 9th Adirondack 60 laps Sprint
August 15th-16 off weekend
August 19th Bristol 150 laps Endurance
August 22nd Stafford 60 laps Sprint
August 23rd Seekonk 75 laps Sprint
Labor day Weekend
August 29th Chemung 75 laps Sprint
August 30th Oswego 60 Laps Sprint
August 31st Spencer 60 laps Sprint
Sept 11th Thompson 300 Endurance
Sept 18th NHMS 100 laps Endurance
Sept 27th Martinsville 200 laps Endurance
October 4th Stafford Fall Final Endurance
October 11th Waterford Speedbowl 75 Sprint
October 18th Thompson World Series 60 laps Sprint
This type of schedule I believe is a very good one, especially in
this economy. It has 33 races at 22 different speedways 8 Endurance Events
and 25 Sprint Events. There are even 8 weekends off during the season. Total
purses would be around $1,675,000.
OK, I just spent 2 hours answering Jaws’ Question with the way I
think it could work, and the rest of you will spend 30 seconds telling me
why it won’t work, but i welcome your response. Yes I know the Sprint Tour
is very similar to the ROC/TVMRS tours, but the purse is much better and
that, combined with the Modified Tour Championship up for grabs at these
races, it should draw a good field of cars, which should make it worth the
tracks while to promote one. At $35,000 the events should be at least
tempting to the track that can’t afford a $70,000 event. Yes, I know the
$35,000 Sprint Purse isn’t what the car Owners say they need to run, but
with the cost savings of shorter events, it should be mean less expense. And
without a tour are we going to have any modified races left? Maybe we can be
a true tour again. Lets talk it up and see what we can do. We’ve got enough
people that truly care about the Modifieds here to start an Army. Surely we
can come up with a way to make it all work out. What do you think?
Source: Ted Baxter