Patience will be key with late models

November 27, 2010 19 Comments

It’s no secret Sunday evening’s meeting of late model drivers and owners will be one of the most important in track history, but don’t look for any earth-shattering news to come from it that night or even in the next few days.

Management wants to hear what the drivers and owners think about affiliations, specifically IMCA and UMP. A decision will likely be made sometime between the end of the meeting and before the Jan. 22 track banquet.

The decision that will be made will ultimately be decided as much by what other tracks decide to do as what is voiced by drivers and owners Sunday night. The ultimate decision of whether to remain IMCA or switch to UMP will be what management feels is the best overall position for the long-range future of the track.

Things like the 8000 rpm chip and size of tires aside, here are some of the key elements that will help dictate that ultimate decision:

— Lee County Speedway, an IMCA track, looks to be cuting back to two or three late model shows next season. The late models are an expensive class because of the purses that must be paid. Attendance was down in 2010 at Lee County, and coupled with a higher-than-average number of rainouts (and lost gate receipts) some tough decisions have to be made.

— West Burlington, an IMCA track, is planning on running the same scaled-back number of late model nights as 2009. There have been all sorts of wild rumors about West Burlington dropping its IMCA affiliation, but none are true, at last at this point in time.

— Shepp’s Speedway, a UMP track its first two years of existence,  near Alexander, Ill., is contemplating a number of things. Switching from Sunday to Saturday nights, switching to UMP crates and/or not running UMP late models every week are some of the possibilities being kicked around. Shepp’s also suffered attendance problems. 

So what would be best for Quincy (and its drivers)? There is no clear-cut answer at this point. Management wants to hear what track drivers have to say and will factor that in with what unfolds at some of the other tracks in the region, which have to finalize their own lineups and affiliations in the next few weeks.

If you’re a Quincy late model fan, you’re going to have to be patient. We’ll have an answer soon whether Bullring late models will be IMCA or UMP in 2011, but don’t expect that answer Sunday night.

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  1. jw says:

    Probably the cheapest way is to stay with IMCA. however if burlington would drop the lm’s , and with 2 or 3 races at lee co. this makes an expensive 1 night a week car. the burlington,and lee co. promoters need to be at the sunday meeting, too. the next cheapest way would be the ulma rules, some input from them would be beneficial. the ump crate motor would be the next in line, so their presence would also be interesting. shepp’s is a sunday track also at present, if they go to sat. night what cars would make the pull crate or open? I don’t believe the open lm’s will make it here as the majority of the regulars are looking at major expenses, and there are only 3 or 4 cars within 80 miles, not to mention the payout needed to draw cars from 100 miles or more. this is the rock and a hard spot i mentioned a couple weeks ago. i wish i had an answer instead of all these questions. if i had a ton of money i would answer them all, real fast. the answer is in the last sentence!

  2. nitetrain says:

    Stevie,do you have a copy of the four wide Derry lap that used to be on the billboard it shows when turn 3&4 was wide and even top and bottom

  3. seighinger says:


    Nope, I don’t. Sorry.

  4. flyby says:

    I’m having a hard time figuring out how Lee Countys attendance was down in 2010? They had a huge crowd at all the late models races that I went to in 2010 and they had a great crowd at all the other races also. Much better than in 2009. So I’m not sure what it’s down from. I heard a interview a while back it was with one of the owners of 34. She said 34 will remain IMCA and they won’t change it. When the track was purchased from Johnny Johnson, one of his request was to stick with IMCA. The owner said she will stick with that and if the track sells, they will have to keep it IMCA. I haven’t heard anything about what’s going on with Late Models at Donnellson but I’d bet 1,000 dollars they have more than 3 Late Model races. They had a 200+ more people when the Late Models raced. And 20+ late models. I don’t see why they would change anything from last year.

  5. seighinger says:


    That’s why i said all the rumors about West Burlington were — at least at this time — unfounded.

    But if I were you I would put that $1,000 back in your wallet when it comes to Donnellson. I also hope that doesn’t pan out, but right now that appers to be the plan.

  6. You Heard says:

    Flyby, you really need to improve those math skills, may I suggest a remedial course? 200 extra people times $9 ticket = $1800 more at the gate, hum, how does that work when you have a $5000 purse for the LM class. I know for a fact that Lee County did not see enough of an increase in attendance on the LM nights to cover the costs, they lost money on each and every one of those race nights.

  7. boom says:

    go to lcs website under news the november news letter says 2 late model races for 2011

  8. Danny Rosencrans says:

    Donnellson newsletter, posted on the website, says 2 late model shows in 2011. with one tentatively a Summer Series show.

  9. flyby says:

    If Donnellson has more than 3 late model races (They will)……you have to shave your head and paint a #18 (Kyle Busch) on it.

  10. mad mable says:

    flyby do the math. 200 extra fans at 10.00 per=2000.00 + 20 late model 4 people in pits per car at
    25.00 per person pit fee=2000.00 so 2000.00 and 2000.00=4000.00 revenue. purse cost 5595.00 for a 20 car race. way i figure lee county don’t come out. are these figures right or wrong.

  11. mad mable says:

    attendance wise the whole racing scene has gone to hell. the job market is pretty bad the country over which could have an effect on attendence . it maybe that the promoters aren’t doing a bad job . nascar completely lost touch with its true fan base. they tried to cater to the johnnie come lately fans who were just out for a party and a fad not really a race fan . this could have a spill over effect on our local race tracks. it may be that we have seen the best of race attendance. the promoters may have to make due with the attendance that they have for a while. i couldn’t get into qrs pay out for the late models, but lee countys is 5595.00. qrs pay out for a 20 car modified field is 4565.00. i can’t get into qrs pay out for the stock cars. the hobby stock pay out for 20 cars is 1480.00. the pay out for the wildthings for a 15 car field 625.00. i realize that there usually isn’t a 20 car field in any class except the mods. it appears that the promoters need to spend a goodly amount of time on making the fans happy. maybe another cause of poor attendance this past year was the rain. boy i hope thats the reason. i’m a true race fan for over 50 yrs.

  12. just a fan says:

    Who pays the purses? LM can’t go away they’re the best, just look at all that motor. QR has had them ever since I’ve been old enough to remeber so surley there is a way to keep them. Can’t car owners just say it’s my body and I have a right to say no. 🙁

  13. mad mable says:

    jaf you the fan pays the purses. thats why the fans must be catered to. nothing else but fan support will save this sport.

  14. terryhouston says:

    I raced donnelson for one season and your fan base dosnt travel with the racers or the majority dont.I guess my point is if we get cars from other tracks dont expect the spectators to follow. the pormoters need to come up with some ways to create car count ,from with in the immediate area.the wildthing should help this if they stick with it.I dont understand why there hasnt been a v6 class introduced.I watched some low budget v6 cars in wisconsin on asphalt it was better than the four cylinders,racing and car count. the cars are normally bigger and wider making for better racing

  15. flyby says:

    Do I really have to walk you people through this?

    Ok kids you do the math and see if the amount of cars x money will = the purse in any class. It probably wont.

    Did you forget that those 200 people eat food and some of them drink beer also? Did you forget that race tracks have sponsors? 200 people was actually

    Donnellson has been getting a better fan base every year for the last 6-7 years. I remember 6 years ago when the car count was bad and there weren’t hardly any people in the stands. The Late Model drive for 5 was a great thing but Donnellson obviously lost the sponsorship from the people who backed that up. Unfortunately I think Lee County Speedway will see a major decrease in fan attendance in 2011. 2010 was probably the peak of Lee County Speedway. It was the most exciting year they have had even with the rain outs.

    Quote from “You Heard” ” Flyby, you really need to improve those math skills, may I suggest a remedial course? 200 extra people times $9 ticket = $1800 more at the gate, hum, how does that work when you have a $5000 purse for the LM class. I know for a fact that Lee County did not see enough of an increase in attendance on the LM nights to cover the costs, they lost money on each and every one of those race nights.”

    Yeah obviously you haven’t been to many races. Plus, Donnellson cost 10 dollars when the late models race. That’s an extra 2 dollars per person if you didn’t know.

    Some times I wonder.

  16. flyby says:

    When I said 200 people that was an estimate. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was 300-400 people who showed up just for the Late Models. Including the extra people in the pits. Which is 20 dollars a person.

  17. flyby says:

    Richard Reality and Auction and a few other sponsors paid almost the whole late model purse in 2010. The drivers, crews, and fans came to the late model races in big numbers. But in 2011 Richard Reality doesn’t want to sponsor again. Of course the promoters of Lee County can’t handle that big of a purse. They can’t take that big of a risk. So they have to let it go. Saying that the fan count wasn’t big enough to support it was an easy way out or “excuse” if you will.

  18. nitetrain says:

    How many friends would come if they had a bring a friend for free or car load night ?Plus they all drink and eat .And if you have a smoth running entertaining show,and it doesn’t cost 40 bucks (just a off the wall number)to eat,they mite come back and turn into crazy loylal fans.

  19. nitetrain says:

    The punch card sounds like a good replacement for season pass,you get a number of punches ,you can use them for yourself or burn em all in one night if want to bring all your friends and have a party.

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