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I have this gut feeling that has been growing for a couple years. I think we are about to see a growth spurt in local bracket and sportsman racing again. The Stock/Super Stock guys are tired of the travel and poor payouts for the entry fees they pay, and the Super class racers just want to race more. Being at a race for three days and getting three time shots and having to possibly run one round Saturday afternoon... not popular. Just ask them.
As for bracket racers, I think we will see more and more guys staying at their local tracks and running for points and the local purse. The big money races are declining in attendance and tracks are countering that with letting racers enter their car two or three times to keep the events from going broke. Sure, some events are strong and that's great; those promoters are offering more than just a payout. In certain ways I feel the big-money bracket races have actually hurt the sport to some degree. Before you panic, hear me out.
Most racers dream of getting a big-money win and possibly a $5,000 or larger check. Reality is, after you get to a big-money final round you have usually spilt the money up and that $5,000 win is now maybe $3,000 or less if you started cutting it up in the semis.
Problem 1: With the fact that racers want to win a big-money race, keep in mind a lot of racers have increased their spending on their cars to make them faster, more consistent and more durable. A lot of racers have too much money in their car/engine and don't want to race it every week because it won't be "fresh" for the big-money race they want to go to.
Problem 2: If they are racing less to save parts, their skills diminish and the chance of a big-money win eludes them. Then the decision has to be made to either race more and incur the expenses to maintain the better equipment or simply race less and find other things to do on weekends. It is not a "blame game" to criticize someone for spending a lot of money with dreams of a big win, but the reality is that if a lot of racers do this then a lot of local tracks have fewer racers showing up.
Problem 3: Will the racer who felt he would be more competitive if he spent a ton of money on a new four-link dragster and a professionally built engine be so disappointed and financially strapped he just leaves the car in the trailer unless he has a shot at a $5,000 to win race? Will he decide to race it every week? Will he just lose interest and sell the car to recoup some of the money he spent? We are not debating whether this racer made the "smart decision," it is just an example of what I have seen happen a lot in the last few years.