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Date Posted: Tuesday, July 08, 05:21:27pm|
I have read all of the comments about The Grudge Inc World Grudge Nationals, both good and bad. This was the second World Grudge Nationals event, and of course, the first time for it to be held in Texas. Yes, there were some mistakes made, but if you are human, that is to be expected. If you know anything about Grudge Racing, you know that no one can make a grudge racer race. You also know that not every racer who says, even promises they will come to an event shows up. Countless hours were put in to matching up and getting races locked in, but it comes down to the racers actually lining up beside each other.
We worked to make this an event that Texas has never seen, by adding things to give the spectators something to see when there was a lag in racing. But things happen and don’t always go as planned. We had the racing scheduled to start later in the day on Friday, because of the heat. Mother nature had other plans,and down came the rain. When the rain finally stopped, a very diligent effort was made by the track personnel to dry and prep the track, but there were issues and the safety of the drivers come first, so the decision was made to call the event.
The fireworks show was scheduled for Friday night at 10:30, which was after the rain came. We made the decision, even though it may not have been the right one, to reschedule the fireworks show until Saturday, rather than having a show for empty stands. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the local fire marshal would not grant the permit to shoot the fireworks on Saturday. I personally worked with the pyro-technician for almost 2 hours to try to find a work around, but it was just not going to happen without subjecting her to fines.
Since it rained on Friday, the decision was made to allow the people who had purchased one day tickets on Friday, free admission on Saturday, and those who had purchased 2 day passes on Friday, to refund their $20 on Saturday. Anyone who came through the gate with Friday wristband was allowed to “pass through”. If you came to the gate with a 2 day wristband still on your arm, we gave you $20 cash back, no questions asked.
For those that feel the event was just a way for promoters to put money in their pockets, remember this event had 25 promoters from all over the country. That means anything that was made was split 25 ways. Do the math. Don’t forget that some drug a race car over 1,000 miles to the event.
I agree that the starting line was an issue. The crowd at the starting line is not a problem unique to this event. We attempted to remedy that problem ahead of time by limiting the wristbands allowed beyond the staging lane to only those that were for racers and their crew, which was to be enforced by the security personnel. That seemed to be a no win situation, and the security seemed ill equipped to handle a grudge crowd without taking it to the extreme.
I also agree that some of the language on the mic was totally uncalled for. I was very busy throughout the event both days, and didn't hear it, but I have talked to enough people that did, and I sincerely apologize for that, and being a female, I definitely would have addressed it on the spot if I had heard it.
As for the parking, according to owner, the $100 RV parking is standard at San Antonio Raceway. That was not set by this event. However, that fee was for spectator’s parking their RV’s on the pit side, not for racers whose RV was their tow vehicle. Yes, spectator vehicles were charged “VIP” parking on the pit side. They had the option to park on the spectator side for free. With the car count that we expected, we really wanted to limit the spectator cars in the pits. Some spectators don’t understand the fact that just because a spot is empty doesn’t mean you can park there. I personally have been to events when a racer has left to race or test and came back and found a spectator parked where his car was, and then have to either waste time trying to locate the owner of the car to get it moved, or get into an argument with the car owner because they wouldn't move.
This event was a collective effort of 25 teams, some of them racers, some promoters, and some both. As a member of one of the promoting teams, no one was more disappointed with certain things than myself. Even though Tracy and I haven’t been promoting as long as some of the other Texas promoters, and even though we can’t always do everything that the racers and fans want, we both work very hard to try and put on the best events possible. We always look at the things that work as well as those things that don’t. Neither he nor I get upset at the valid constructive criticism, it just means we have to work harder, not only with Atomic Dog Drag Racing events, but with any event that we are involved with…and we will.
On a lighter note, I want to thank everyone at the track who wished me a happy birthday, and the Texas 10 for my birthday cupcakes. I love you guys to death! It made spending my birthday at the track worthwhile because I got to spend it with my family…my grudge racing family!
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