Earlier this week, we detailed the debate of the two divisions with a look at the health of each division, as well as moving forward in a way that make sense budgeting wise.
If you missed part one, you can read that by clicking here.
As we move forward to part two, we focus on the new equipment vs old equipment, and continuing to build the talent pool.
While the debate continues on which division to go with, there’s also the other layer in whether you need the new car or not to be successful. Looking through the Sunset Speedway Limited Late Model field for example there are brand new cars mixed in with cars that are three years old, and some even five or more years old.
Jordan Latimer is one of the youngsters that entered the division last year and is driving a car that has a couple more years under it than his competitors. He says in a perfect world, he’d want to have a new car if the money was there. Though in the situation he is in, he has no issue in running a car that is older than others. He stated that he somewhat prefers it as when he does run well and post top-fives it shows the talent that he has behind the wheel of the car.
“I don’t think not necessarily you need the newest stuff all the time,” he commented. “You can still go out there with stuff like a five-year car and still win races, and do the same thing as everyone else, but they have the best of the best and you have a little bit lower. You can still go out there with something like Holdaway had a brand new car and Scott was in the car he ran a couple years back. They still ran the same speeds all season. It doesn’t mean that you have to have the best of the best equipment.”
Thayne Hallyburton mentioned the biggest thing is making sure you keep your equipment updated as “if you have a good bullet and are updating it every year, you can keep on top of it”. Wylie is one of the drivers that ran one of the older cars last year, and managed to score some solid top-five finishes along the way.
“We still ran well and had things in the right spot, but it does make it tough,” he admitted. “You can get so far and be so fast, and then hit the wall. You have to keep things updated. It’s a tough progression in this sport.”
The other factor in why the debate seems to pop up time and time again is finding the proper way to promote to drivers in the lower-tier divisions, like Super Stocks and Mini Stocks, to further extend the talent pool.
“We grew up in this stuff so we’ll find a way to do it and we have connections, but there’s people that don’t have connections,” Scott Wylie stated. “Look at where Thayne started. But there’s guys in mini stocks that haven’t driven anything and don’t know anybody, and we have to find a way to get them up there.”
The topic comes up at the right time when hearing the future plans that Tom Walters has in store beyond this year. He is set to run his final season of competition this year, and will retire at season’s end from driving. He stated that for 2017, he is looking to start up a program of this kind in working with drivers to help them in their development up the racing ladder.
“I don’t see anybody promoting this, trying to get the younger Mini Stocks involved and letting them know the concept – how much it will cost and the time frame is,” he stated. “This is my new adventure; this is a plug for myself. I want to try and help the mini stocks, street stocks, whatever – try and move up to the next stage of their racing career. Managing them and lead them in the right direction.”
He went on to add that he has seen examples of drivers going in the wrong direction, stating someone bought a racecar for big dollars not knowing much. The result is once they have someone look over and find things that are wrong, they become discouraged with their decision.
“You need people that can go out there with them when they’re purchasing it,” Walters continued. “Go with them and say, ‘Okay, this is what it’s worth and this is what it is will cost’. There’s nobody out there in that type of a market to help people like that and this is my new adventure starting in 2017.”
With both pieces complete based on the comments at the show, it may seem that one side of the argument seems stronger. But let’s face it – there are always reasons to make the other side stronger. What do you think of the discussion? Be sure to comment either via facebook, twitter or the website with your thoughts.