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realize that question can encompass a lot of things, as well it should. I will limit my thoughts on that subject to just drag racing in general and bracket racing in particular.
When you think about returning to the “grassroots of racing” do you think of the “good old days” when anyone on a given day could walk away with a victory or do you think about how much cheaper it was to race back then than it is now? Don’t worry, I realize nobody held a gun to our heads and made us buy the expensive engines and components, it just seemed like you should take the best gun you could to the gunfight, right? Well, I think it has escalated to a point that participation has fallen off and even the interest in bracket racing has faded because of expenses.
A lot of those expenses are related to the racecar but the tow rigs and trailers have also escalated in cost and entry fees are starting to get out of control. When an entry fee to a race is two or three paychecks for most guys, that race will either fail or survive off the same 150 guys who travel the country looking for those races. [Note: I have to give a tip of the hat to the son of a racer I bought my first “real race engine” from, Johnny Labbous, Sr. His son, Johnny Labbous, Jr. has pulled off a “hat trick” that probably won’t be matched again for years. He pocketed $52,500 at the K&N Spring Fling bracket race, grabbed $10,000 a few weeks before at the Tenn-Tuck race and if I read it correctly he just pocketed $10,000 more last weekend in Montgomery, AL, at the Super 7 race. Just about $75,000 in a little over a month!!! OK, so this editorial may not actually apply to Labbous, Jr!]
If you don’t know the name Scotty Richardson, you are reading the wrong editorial column and you have never followed Sportsman and bracket racing in the USA. He has come up with what might be the best plan I have seen to get bracket racers excited again, The Grassroots Bracket Series. He wants to bring in not only the guys who are out there every week racing locally but also the guys who parked their cars a few years ago because they just didn’t want to run against the faster bracket cars that were starting to cost $50,000 or more to build. Another factor was the onset of electronics that did about everything from ET control to making racers more consistent at the tree. Don’t get me wrong, I have been a supporter of a Delay Box class and No Delay Box class since delay boxes first came out.