Let’s cut to the chase. Good news should not have to wait.
Things are looking good for the late model class at the Bullring. There are some major, innovative concepts in the works and I am npw extremely optimistic about 2011.
Management at the track is understandably tight-lipped — “cautious” might be a better word — until everything falls into place and has politely declined any official comment.Track officials have hinted that in a week or so the final dominoes should fall into place, but I always have a hard time waiting to open my Christmas presents.
Here’s a quick rundown of what should transpire in the coming week to 10 days, from I have gathered from in-person conversations and other sources:
— Unless there is an unexpected development, Quincy Raceways will remain an IMCA track. There was constructive — and “cordial” I am told — discussions Sunday night during the meeting at Kutter’s Bar and Grill. Drivers, owners and track officials spent considerable time and effort going over all possibilities that also included UMP and at least two separate Crate affiliations.
— Representatives from 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa, were also in attendance and had some startling news from a positive perspective — very positive. West Burlington will run a much larger late model schedule than originally anticipated, missing only two (what would be IMCA points) nights, rather than almost half of the schedule like 2010.
— The other key involvement with West Burlington is a partnership between that track and Quincy to develop stronger late model fields. A separate point fund is in the works to be distributed to the top 10 combined point totals between the two tracks. For this to work, drivers from both sites have to commit to at last 75 percent of the dates at the opposite track. I am told the 12-15 Quincy drivers in attendance Sunday endorsed the idea, so it will come down to the West Burlington drivers, who will meet next Sunday. The idea figures to be a popular one with the Iowa hotshoes, too.
The exact amount for the point fund will also be announced in the near future and it should be a healthy four-figure number. The concept is called “Q34 Bonus Bucks” and it is mentioned today on the www.34raceway.com website.
— What this should mean is an average late model count of at least 20 each week at each site, which would be spectacular. Quincy is already anticipating in the neighborhood fo 20 wild things in its new four-cylinder class. Add to that an already healthy modified series, solid hobby stock division and a stock car class that also figures to get a boost. I hope to have some great news about the stock cars in the near future, too, but that puzzle is still missing some pieces and I don’t want to report anything I don’t have total confidence in.
QUINCY TRACK WORK UPDATE
Work continues there with the distribution of the dirt on the racing surface itself, and I was told Monday the next item on the agenda — as long as the winter weather holds off — is work in the pit area, which has been a sore spot that last couple of years.
Management is making a sincere effort to turn things around. I have absolutely no stake in Quincy Raceways, other than as a Sunday night fan and what we have seen since early October has been more than simply encouraging — from the work on the facility itself to the myriad off-track situations being addressed there has been a needed breath of fresh air and optimism.
I told a friend today I am really looking forward to the Jan. 22 banquet. I feel that will be day one in a new and exciting part of the history of the Bullring. There remains a long way to go — more work will be need to be done on the racing surface (not only this fall but in the spring), and there are still issues to be finalized with the various weekly series, but think back to last season, especially the second half. There was legitimate concern about the future of “our” Bullring. For the most part, that is now in the past.
And more and more each day, I like what I see for the future.