Thank You, Race Track Owners & Promoters! | Performance Racing Industry
Thank You, Race Track Owners & Promoters!
By John Kilroy on April 21, 2016

As the new racing season comes roaring to life across the country, I find myself recalling PRI's experience with an Indiana rain cloud many years ago. It was a rain cloud that taught me a lot about the lives of race track owners and racing promoters, and how much we owe them.

It was a time when PRI was promoting exactly one race per year, eventually growing to two races per year. PRI founder Steve Lewis came up with a fun idea to promote a midget race at Indianapolis Raceway Park (now Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis) during the race weekend for the F1 series, when it had Indianapolis on its annual schedule. We would call it the Twin 25s. It would have two feature races, and the winner of the first feature would start dead last in the second feature. There would be a huge cash prize if he won both features. It worked, and the first event started with packed grandstands and a line of cars down Crawfordsville Road still entering the track.

Then, there was the race weekend of the Twin 25s where the weather was ominous and hard to predict when we arrived. On race day I awoke, and it wasn't raining. However, the weather experts were telling us rain was possible. We watched the skies for hours. We had access to weather equipment that could locate potential rain clouds. And we watched as a massive rain cloud rolled toward us. It looked like we were definite candidates for a rainout. We had been working on that one race for six months, from artwork for posters to radio advertising to souvenir merchandise to constant communication with the race teams. We watched and watched the rain cloud. Finally, at about 2 p.m., we made the call to cancel the race. Our theory was that if we could get the word out before everyone arrived at the track, we might have a better chance at getting them to the track the following night. A downpour did in fact arrive, and we were glad we cancelled the race when we did. It would have definitely been a rainout. The next night, we figured attendance was less than half of what it would have been. All the work, all the effort, all the time, all the emotions...and a rain cloud punched us as hard as a right hook to the jaw.

Wow, that was a tough moment...and we only had one race on our promotion schedule for the entire year. So, on that day, I became even more appreciative of race track owners and promoters. Every single one I've met in my 25-year career here at PRI had a love of this sport that was unsurpassed. And I experienced firsthand that particular heartache that's part of this business. But it hits race track owners and promoters the hardest. Race track owners and promoters create the events from which everything flows in this industry. PRI thanks you, because without your work, and those many stressful moments you endure, there wouldn’t be a PRI. We want to be on record in this space as saying, "Thanks!"

About the Author
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John Kilroy is the Publisher of Performance Racing Industry magazine.
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