This is "The Racing Notebook" column that appears in Sunday’s edition of The Herald-Whig:
Some suggestions The Racing Notebook thinks would make Quincy Raceways even better:
• How about two divisions of modified and late model racing, an idea this space has broached before.
In the case of the modifieds, this would not be a return to “A” and “B” classes, simply half — or some predetermined number — of the cars would compete in a “Modified II” division. This would be for newcomers to the class and for those outside the top 15 (or whatever number is selected) in points from the previous season.
It would serve as a class to fine-tune skills and improve, leaving the “Modified I” division for the Michael Longs, Tony Dunkers and Robbie Reeds of the world. Granted, there could be problems classifying some drivers, such as those who come here as travelers, or with prodigies like Steven DeLonjay. But I think those would be minor irritants to circumvent.
Ideally, wouldn’t it make more sense for drivers who have trouble competing against the upper echelon of talent to learn and develop in a class of their own? They could compete, actually win a race now and then and not disrupt the flow of the more established drivers.
A similar class with late models would have been ideal a few years ago when an influx of young drivers was thrown to the wolves, rather than learning, competing and enjoying a victory now and then against one another.
And remember, a “Modified II” or “Late Model II” class would not be determined by age alone, but also experience and ability.
• Any driver in any class winning three straight features would have a bounty placed on him or her, an amount that would rise each week as he or she added to the streak in question.
• Time trials for late models and modifieds to determine nightly starting positions in heat races, and awarding a $100 bonus for top weekly speeds. Time trials would start sharply at 6 p.m., and any driver not in the pits and registered at that time would be ineligible for time trials AND a preferred feature starting position out of a heat race.
• Using the trophy dash to determine the top six starting spots for the features — in all classes. That would quickly eliminate some of the drivers passing on taking part in the dashes.
• More points given for heat-race performances, which are roughly half the length of most features, yet award only a fraction of the points. More and more tracks seem to be employing this measure.
• A race of champions on the final night of the season, replacing the trophy dash(es) that evening. All feature winners would be eligible for a special dash for the cash, similar to NASCAR’s Bud Shootout.
• Start a Quincy Raceways Hall of Fame, inducting one past driver and/or one supporter of racing each season, ideally on either opening night, the July 4 weekend special race or Labor Day weekend. An informal voting for who should be the first inductee in such a hall was held earlier this year on this blog site and it was one of the most popular subjects of the year.