The past couple of days I’ve had some interesting conversations with new Quincy Raceways track manager Ken Dobson, who I think most realize by now is not afraid to take a chance. Or shake things up, if you will.
One of the aspects of track operations he is studying is the existing points system(s) — UMP for late models and modifieds, IMCA for stock cars, sport mods and sport compacts.
Here’s a brief outline of what is being considered, followed by some general thoughts from Dobson. What you need to remember while reading is Dobson wants your input, fans and drivers alike, in an effort to offer the best-possible product on Sunday nights.
Among the possibilities:
1. A “Chase” format similar to but still different from NASCAR.
2. Some sort of separate but equal designation for “regular season” and “postseason” championships. (The “postseason” could be one or a series of races.)
Dobson emphasized nothing is even close to being decided, and there’s the possibility nothing actually will change. His principal interest is what the fans and drivers would most like to see.
“As a promoter, we of course want the points battles to last as deep into the season as possible,” Dobson said. “The purists have a valid point that a race in April should count as much as a race in September, and I don’t like anything artificial and concocted.”
Both are good points, and so is another of Dobson’s concerning some sort of “postseason.” That would help keep the interest alive in a class that might be a runaway by midseason.
“Tri-City did a Chase format last year and it seemed to work well for them, but I don’t really know the answer,” Dobson said. “About 10 minutes ago I was watching a college basketball game and remembered that each conference has a regular season champion, but still has a tournament champion. Some seasons it’s the same team, some seasons it isn’t.
“I wonder how a ‘points champion’ and ‘track champion’ might work, where the points champion was your traditional season-long champion, but the ‘track champion’ won your season-ending Chase format?”
Dobson said he would like to hear some debate among the fans and drivers about what they’d like to see.
“I’m not saying we are changing anything, but if there’s some good ideas out there that would help add drama and fan interest at the end of the season, I’d like to hear it,” Dobson said.
As far as the different sanctioning bodies, Dobson said, “With IMCA, we have to award points according to their formula in those classes. With the UMP classes we can pretty well do whatever we want.”
So there you are, dirt-track fans. You have the opportunity to be part of what could be a major decision in track history.
Who will we hear from first? (You can also vote in the poll at the right, which if not up at the time you are reading this it will be shortly.)