Traditionally, short track racing fans flock to their local bullrings on Friday or Saturday nights to see their favorite racers in action. However, there is a growing movement for more mid-week short track races, giving fans an opportunity to check out races during the workweek.
While the practice is more common in dirt racing, there are a select few marquee midweek races such as the Money in the Bank 150 at Berlin Raceway (MI), the Slinger Nationals at Slinger Speedway (WI) and the Redbud 400 at Anderson Speedway (IN).
Several asphalt drivers have weighed in over the past weeks on Speed51’s “The Morning Bullring,” a weekly short track racing talk show, on whether or not they’d like to see more mid-week features.
Brian Campbell has competed in several mid-week shows this season, including a win in the Money in the Bank 150. Campbell likes having mid-week races occasionally for marquee events, but wouldn’t want a steady diet of weeknight shows.
“Special shows, yeah,” said Campbell. “It would be okay. It brings everybody together that doesn’t get a chance to race around the country. They can’t just dial up 20 mid-week shows because people do work and have jobs outside of racing.
“People have families, especially people coming to watch the shows, too. Special shows, though, sure, it’s fun. It allows more drivers to attend that normally wouldn’t make it to a track.”
Brian Campbell grew up around racing, the son of Michigan racing legend Fred Campbell. While he noted mid-week shows were more common during his father’s era, the economics of racing have changed significantly in that time.
“It’s awful tough to make a living doing that,” said Campbell. “Those guys made a living racing. Dick Trickle, Butch Miller, Bob Senneker, they could travel all over the country with their car. They’d have an open trailer with a milk truck hauling it around or whatever. They could take their car, not the same tires, change gear, maybe change one spring, and go to the racetrack. And they could go all over Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan to do this. And they’d get a lot of money to do it.
“Now, it’s the flip side of that. It costs so much money to do this just to go to a weekly show, and you’re racing for not a lot of money. I don’t know the answer to how you flip that back, but it’s different now.”
Josh Brock has also been in a couple of marquee mid-week races this season. He likes being able to compete in high-paying midweek events, but would not want to see them become part of a touring series’ points-paying schedule.
“I don’t think they need to be in the point racing,” said Brock. “I think like big special events, yes. We do have a family construction business, so we do have to work, I understand the hard part of being gone. But if it’s a big-money, non-points race, I think that’s great. You know us, If there’s a race, we’re going to try to be a part of it.
“I’m still a fan of two-day Friday-Saturday shows,” added Brock. “That’s just what I personally like. I think some big shows during the week would be good, especially if we get some Speed51 coverage or television coverage.”
Stephen Nasse’s trip to the Slinger Nationals was his first-ever mid-week race. He acknowledged it was a fun change of pace.
“I’m used to going to work during the week, not being able to get out to the race track,” said Nasse. “It’s always cool to be able to change up your schedule a little bit.”
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo