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  #11  
Old 11-19-2010, 02:49 PM
Sidney
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Originally Posted by kbsmith1 View Post
I don't get the problem that SCCA is trying to solve with the change.

It's not as if most of the classes at the Runoffs are oversubscribed.
Until that happens, it seems counterproductive to try to make it harder
to enter the Runoffs.

I think it would make sense to to accept every single entry
from any driver that had completed a minimum number of national races.
And then once the field was "full" by some measure, to use any runoffs
qualifying rules to bump people out of the field in favor more qualified
entrants. Given that very few fields would still ever be full, anyone
with minimum numbers of races could enter if they wanted to.

This seems to maximize paying entrants while also ensuring that quality
is as high as reasonably possible.

I think the idea of placing the first qual grid based on super-sweep points
then rewards (a little) the people with lots of entries/finishes/points.
Also, it's worth pointing out that tow fund bucks are also based
on points within division, another incentive to do well in division.
Kevin,

Great idea...and better than what NASA does. (score points from 5 events and be the first to register. Once the field is full, they close registration for that group.) From a business perspective why not try to get 60 cars for each run group. Road America can easily handle that many cars. If you get 75 entries then cull the slow/lower points drivers out like Kevin's suggesting.

It's not like it's the last race of the year at Homestead and you're letting a bunch of Winston West drivers in because they had enough points! It's a hobby and any SCCA driver with a legal car ought to be able to enter.

Sidney
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  #12  
Old 11-19-2010, 07:13 PM
t4wallace t4wallace is offline
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Looking @ participation right now, what would the incentive be to run more than the minimum # of nationals during the season then? We have traditionally qualified in 4 races (after the CenDiv region split). Even if you said a field of 40 was the bogey #, you could still get in w/ min. participation for AS, & in-season participation is one thing I'm sure SCCA is trying to improve to boost the health of the regions.

For additional incentive, maybe you protect the Super Sweep people by saying you can't be in the top 5 at the Runoffs qualifying if you're not top 20 in Super Sweep points (or something like that since I didn't look @ any data) so a "sandbagger" has to pass at least 4 cars and Andy to win...

Who knew Sidney would think NASA does it better. Just kidding Sidney.
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  #13  
Old 11-19-2010, 07:49 PM
kbsmith1 kbsmith1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t4wallace View Post
Looking @ participation right now, what would the incentive be to run more than the minimum # of nationals during the season then? We have traditionally qualified in 4 races (after the CenDiv region split). Even if you said a field of 40 was the bogey #, you could still get in w/ min. participation for AS, & in-season participation is one thing I'm sure SCCA is trying to improve to boost the health of the regions.

For additional incentive, maybe you protect the Super Sweep people by saying you can't be in the top 5 at the Runoffs qualifying if you're not top 20 in Super Sweep points (or something like that since I didn't look @ any data) so a "sandbagger" has to pass at least 4 cars and Andy to win...

Who knew Sidney would think NASA does it better. Just kidding Sidney.
The first bit of your post implies there is no point in running national races
unless you are going the the runoffs. But I run races for the fun of it. And
I might still choose to run more races to get tow money or better qualifying.
I really don't believe that SCCA can save divisions in any way by attempting
to force racers to race more in order to qualify for the runoffs. I think all
that does is force racers to flip off the SCCA for being so damn arrogant and
run with a different series entirely.

I'd be OK with your second part of restricting top qualifiers to to higher scoring people. Make it ten and there is starting to be a big incentive if
you really are going for a championship. But that will really hurt if trying
for national championship in regions with poor turnout in your class.

Lastly, I think Sidney was saying that the method I proposed
would be better that what NASA currently used. I am not sure whether
that has any implications regarding NASA vs current SCCA national
championship rules.
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2010, 11:38 AM
t4wallace t4wallace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsmith1 View Post
The first bit of your post implies there is no point in running national races unless you are going the the runoffs. But I run races for the fun of it. And I might still choose to run more races to get tow money or better qualifying. I really don't believe that SCCA can save divisions in any way by attempting to force racers to race more in order to qualify for the runoffs. I think all that does is force racers to flip off the SCCA for being so damn arrogant and run with a different series entirely.
We run AS and GT1, so there is no reason to run regionally for us (other than race with people we know/help that race regionally only/affordable track time). ITS would be a different answer, and there is some awesome IT racing around the country. So my perspective was qualifying for the runoffs in AS. And maybe I'm being myopic, but outside of wanting to race at a regional the only additional incentive to running a national (offered by SCCA) is if your trying to make the runoffs, yes? That's all I meant and not meant to slight. SCCA regions could all use more in-season participation, and the adjusted qualification guidelines could get that to happen. My concern to setting the field at X (anything bigger than 40 for AS) is an actual in decrease overall participation during the year. Again, only from an AS perspective.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsmith1 View Post
I'd be OK with your second part of restricting top qualifiers to to higher scoring people. Make it ten and there is starting to be a big incentive if you really are going for a championship. But that will really hurt if trying for national championship in regions with poor turnout in your class.
Winning the races you run would cure that -- if the runoffs is the goal. Bill Shep might have an opinion since he has qualified out west with small fields. I was thinking of how/would there be an interest to protect the upper Super Sweepers since smaller participation divisions could potentially require less effort to qualify for the runoffs.
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2010, 02:01 PM
Danny"TheKid"Richardson Danny"TheKid"Richardson is offline
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BEGIN RANT

Ok im gonna chime in here. I could be very wrong and i havent read every word of every post so far but it seems like the goal of all this stuff is to ensure that the truly best drivers in the nation are the ones coming to the runoffs. So the idea to fix this is by giving the top qualifier spots to those who have competed the most?

Time to be inwardly focused here haha

So because im broke as hell and barely afford doing the 4 races and runoffs (im sure there are plenty in the same boat if not worse) then when i show up and *theoretically* run faster then the entire field i should start mid pack because i didnt compete enough? GREAT PLAN In fact, why dont we just skip the middle part and give trophies to the highest bidders.

Moral of this post. If we want to get the ball rolling for the SCCA again, we need to look at making the runoffs and national racing more accessible to the less funded groups. If you have 10 top caliper drivers in a field of schmucks, guess hows gonna win? O YEA THE FAST GUYS. It all comes back to one problem, and the SCCA has yet to figure it out, money. We have declining membership and finances.

So what is truly changing? No offense, but the SCCA is getting older. Look at the number of younger guys showing up to the runoffs. If they aren't sponsored out the ass or getting help from someone, they aint there. I look at the regional races at Summit Point. The most competitive racing i have seen in the entire SCCA is the MARRS Regional Championship with Spec Miata. Why is this? Because in a field of 40 cars, there are like 20 kids between the ages of 16-30. Mixed between renting cars and showing up with their tent and toolbox in the trunk of the racecar, they are there having fun.

If we want the SCCA to flourish and expand and get TRULY the most talent at the runoffs, we need to get those broke weekend warriors the ability to get there.

PS This is a major problem with American Sedan too. The expense of running in the class is starting to get to the point where you can spend half of a fraction of the money and getter better racing in another class.

END RANT
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  #16  
Old 11-20-2010, 06:43 PM
CharlieR CharlieR is offline
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Unfortunately racing has been, is, and always will be an expensive hobby. If you want to enjoy the unparalleled joy of racing a fast V-8 powered racecar (and I know Danny does ), there is a price to be paid in both time and treasure. Many of the rule changes in AS over the last 15 years have actually decreased the cost of racing. For example, you have no idea how envious I am of the current steel crank rule when I consider how many expensive motors exploded due to crappy cast cranks in the early-to-mid 1990s. And... having personally experienced the thrill of breaking an axle and losing a wheel in turn one at Watkins Glen, the rule allowing beefier rear ends was very welcome.

Regional racing, especially like the MARRS series at Summit Point, is successful because it is designed specifically for less expensive racecars and racers that have little or no travel budget... and it works!! I would guess the reason that many on this forum stick with racing in AS instead of racing a much cheaper Spec Miata is that there is almost nothing that compares with racing with V8 torque and controlling a 150+ mph drift in a high-speed sweeper.

I was a crew member for an entrant at the 1967 Daytona runoffs (then called the ARRC), and I was a corner worker/flagger for the 1969 Daytona runoffs. Guess what? There were very few drivers there under 30 years old then either. Quality of the drivers? Well... Formula B was won by Skip Barber. Quality of the cars? AS was all Trans-Am quality Camaros and Mustangs, B Sedan was ruled by aluminum-bodied Alfa Romeo GTA sedans, etc. I built my first racecar in 1971 with a loan from my credit union for furniture that I never bought.

SCCA appears to be trying to deal with declining numbers of entrants at National races. I would guess that is part of the reason why the Washington DC region made no great effort to put on a National race in 2010 at Summit Point.

I have no idea what the solution is. Except in isolated cases (e.g. Group 44), sponsorship in SCCA national racing is very hard to obtain due to lack of publicity. Going where the sponsorship dollars are (e.g. SCCA Pro World Challenge races) takes a financial and time commitment beyond imagination.

AS racing and the SCCA Runoffs will survive... the real question is how to build the fields with reliable cars and interested drivers. One of the most impressive things about this AS class is the quality of the participants and the unmatched camaraderie amongst the competitors. That will grow the class faster than anything, except maybe a rapidly rebounding economy.

Good luck to you all... Have a great 2011 season! WHOOMAH!!

- Charlie "The Dad" Richardson
Driver by choice, spectator by fate.
Resident AS Old Fart
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  #17  
Old 11-20-2010, 08:51 PM
Danny"TheKid"Richardson Danny"TheKid"Richardson is offline
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I guess the whole point of my selfish post was to make sure that while focusing on the increase of national participation and what not, we dont hurt the drivers that are barely able to participate.
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  #18  
Old 11-20-2010, 08:54 PM
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jkopp jkopp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny"TheKid"Richardson View Post
I guess the whole point of my selfish post was to make sure that while focusing on the increase of national participation and what not, we dont hurt the drivers that are barely able to participate.
I'm with you kiddo, I'm with you.
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  #19  
Old 11-20-2010, 08:59 PM
Mark Allen Mark Allen is offline
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Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but didn't the rule change this year that required 4 starts and 4 finishes vs the previous rule of 4 starts and 3 finishes force more participation already? Someone who runs good and at the front but has one mechanical issue that takes them out had to go run a 5th weekend even if they were solid on points.

Mark
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  #20  
Old 11-20-2010, 10:07 PM
PamRichardson PamRichardson is offline
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I think, if I remember correctly, the change from 4 starts/3 finishes to 4/4 also included the removal of acquiring any national points, or, finishing in the top 10. But, I can agree, because it happened to us, that we had to add a 5th weekend in 2010 when the alt/battery died on the grid at NJMP with 1 minute to go for the race.

I can agree also with a lot that Charlie has said that reliability improvements have made the class less costly from one point of view, and especially from removing concerns while driving if something will or won't break on the next corner.

But, our new engine package hit in the middle of the worst recession in "X" years, unfortunate but not planned timing. Engines and their refreshes now cost more than they did back in the cast crank days. Is it more up front but less because less motors blow? Who knows. And, especially in 2010, we have had more issues with reman stuff and non-US parts, and so on. We've been working to clear that stuff out so that we can continue to grow our reliable parts list. I'm personally looking for the year when we have all the reliable parts and nothing breaks. I'll be sure to post here when that happens.

But, back to the new qual rules for the Runoffs. The original plan that the BOD put out was a lot more convoluted than the final one the we have. The final was a compromise from original and 2010 qual rules. I'm not totally happy with it either, as I firmly believe that the SCCA goal should be to get as many people to the Runoffs as possible. It is their premiere event and will get the most notice. It's better to have a field of 30 cars with the best 5 in the country in a race, rather than the best 5 in the race, of 5 cars. The 25 tend to make the best 5 look even better than best.

I hope that in 2011 we will see more participation at the Runoffs than we saw in 2010. As for the Summit Point National, or the lack thereof in 2010, there was a lot of what people call in Washington DC "politics" going on that prevented that race. The details of the politics, like sausage, is something one doesn't want to witness. What I will say positively, however, is there will be a National at Summit in 2011.

See you at the track,

Pam "the Mom" Richardson
Driver, Crew Chief, Chief Engineer, Steward, and Retired! (Good think I am, so I have time for all those other things!)
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