For those of you who have read the article about the state of dirt Late Model racing in eastern Wisconsin in the August issue of Full Throttle, here is my opinion on what I feel should be done.
I agree with the drivers who stated track promoters, drivers and possibly even some business people should meet and discuss the Late Model situation in eastern Wisconsin. Whether anything constructive would come from these meetings is debatable but I feel it is better to discuss the issue rather than just sit back and hope things get better or stay status quo.
I personally would like to see more northeast and southeast dirt Late Model drivers given more opportunities to race against each other. It doesn’t have to be racing weekly at a track that doesn’t currently race Late Models on a weekly basis. Rather, I would like to see a series, similar to the COMO Modified Series which takes place in western Wisconsin. According to its website (www.comomodseries.com), the total purse for the series is $54,000. That is in addition to the purse for each individual race in the series.
Obviously for this to work there needs to be a set of rules that all drivers can live with to make all cars competitive. That is the first hurdle to overcome. The easiest thing to do would be to incorporate a rules package similar to WDLMA, which is the rules package that allows Late Models of different sanctions to compete against each other. Most drivers say this rules package works well for smaller dirt tracks. Most had concerns about how to equalize the cars on the bigger half-mile tracks, like Shawano Speedway. Some southeast Late Model drivers even expressed a willingness to come to Shawano Speedway to do some sort of “test session.”
I personally would like to see a “test session” done at Shawano Speedway. It would have to be on a Saturday night when Sheboygan County Fair Park in Plymouth is not racing because I believe tracks need to work together more and you don’t want to take cars away from Plymouth on one of their racing nights.
This “test session” could take place during a regular night of racing at Shawano Speedway. The Speedway could run all its weekly divisions and then have the extra Late Model races. Rules would have to be agreed upon ahead of time, and then the southeast Late Model drivers could race against any of the Shawano Speedway regular WISSOTA or FASTRAK Late Model drivers who chose to participate in the extra racing. The purpose would be to see how equal the different sanctioned Late Models are. From there, rules can be adjusted to make the cars more equal.
Now getting back to the idea of a dirt Late Model series that would encompass all of eastern Wisconsin. This could be done one of two ways. If you could get the eastern Wisconsin tracks that have dirt Late Models as part of their weekly program to work together, the points accumulated at these tracks could be part of the series points for the point fund, as well as the points accumulated at “special” races at tracks that don’t have Late Models on a weekly basis. There are plenty of tracks in eastern Wisconsin where these races could be held.
Or, the point fund points could be accumulated at just a select number of races at a select number of tracks.
The goal would be to get Late Model drivers from northeast and southeast Wisconsin to travel to race against each other at a variety of tracks. This in turn would give dirt Late Model fans in eastern Wisconsin the opportunity to see drivers they don’t normally see race, as well as Late Model racing at a variety of tracks.
Also, with the addition of a point fund, and more races at area track, hopefully more drivers would decide to jump up to the Late Model division. This would hopefully increase Late Model car counts.
I’ll be the first to admit that to get the above started and successful will be very difficult. The area dirt track promoters would have to work together. The drivers would have to be willing to compromise on a rules package all drivers can be happy with. Sponsorship would be needed to make a point fund series work. And for all of these things to happen, an individual would have to be willing to take on this endeavor and pull everything together.
Is there an individual out there willing to organize something like this? Are there companies out there willing to sponsor something like this? Those are the million dollar questions, but if the discussion can be started, maybe it will gain momentum and something can be done to make dirt Late Model racing better in eastern Wisconsin.
If you have any ideas on how to make dirt Late Model racing better, feel free to share them.