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Thread: General Comments on Nats Week

  1. #1
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    General Comments on Nats Week

    Attendance was kinda low but the racing was top notch. Most importantly, the attitude of all the racers was really great. I dont think I heard a harsh word from anyone all week. There were no DQs, even with the rigorous post race tech.

    We saw some really exceptional performances by the younger racers. Local fast kid James Loconto was impressive with three wins. I hope he gets the opportunity to show his stuff outside of Portland in the future. Jimmy Ross was on the podium in every race he entered, ending up with a win, a second and a third. Thirteen year old Colin Herzig had a great week with 2 wins, three seconds and a sixth. Thomas Burnside made the main in all five races he entered, reaching the podium twice.

    The general meeting went well. Everyone got a printed ballot. It was rather long but some good things were accomplished. Results will be on the website in a few days. Chris is still divisional director and Bill Vanderziel is the new tech director. 2005 Scale Nats will be at Keystone Raceway in Hershey, PA.
    Last edited by LoudCat; 04-19-2004 at 07:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    Let's get a "Best of" list going

    Loudest wall shot: Lee Gilbert in 24 Euro.

    Longest distance launch: Don Perko in 24 Euro had this by a couple of yards.

    Most improved pro racer: Chris Radisich. He was not very good last year and really turned it around this time, racing all seven events, never worse than 7th with a second and two thirds.

    Most disappointing: Team Parma. After sweeping all the production car races for years, they only had one win this time.

    Dark Horse Win: Roy Hood in Expert GTP

    Toughest Loss : Mike Stahl in 24E. He almost did it against the guy who has owned the race for years.

  3. #3
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    Most SSSSurprised Racer

    Jonathan Forsyth after his 3.08 ssssecond qualifying run to take 5th sssseed in the A main.

    Copper
    What do I know. I'm just a snake who types with his fangs

  4. #4
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    No Publicity is bad publicity????

    After a reporter and photographer from the Oregonian newspaper spent some time doing interviews and taking pics, Saturday's Oregonian newspaper ran an article about the Nats.

    The article did not seem to have a very positive perspective, and could have been better, but it did bring in a lot of people in to spectate, rent cars, and ask questions during the weekend (especially Saturday - the balcony was packed!)

    The article appeared Sat, April 17 - titled:
    "It takes a little juice to race with these cars"

    You may have to fill in your zip code and year of birth before accessing the article...

    Oregonian Article
    Last edited by oldweirdherald; 04-20-2004 at 05:54 AM.
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    Paul Kassens
    OWH Slot Car Talk "Mom"
    The Old Weird Herald
    email: paulk@oldweirdherald.com

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  5. #5
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    Dubious Achievements...

    Most creative use of spare time: The Burnside boys - soldered a wheelie bar on a flexi car and played on the drag strip upstairs

    Most fun diversion: Monty Ohren, Paul Sterrett, James Loconto, Craig Rieland, and Old Weird Me went to Inslot Raceway, by invitation of "Bad Bob" McFarland and track owner "Captain" Kirk Smith - a local club track only a few miles from Raceway USA - and played with hard body NASCAR cars until 1:30 AM Wed night!

    Most dissapointing lack of diversion: I never made it to a nudie bar all week!

    Best eats: Old Chicago's - less then a mile down the road. Great Pizza, Pasta, & brew!

    Memorable late night feast & social: After the 1/24 Eurosport race, and tedious handcounting and totalling of the results, resulted in getting done after 3:00 AM Thursday night - about 30 of us invaded the Denny's next door for some late-night grub and a lot of fun post-race bench racing! That poor cook worked his butt off!

    Closest race: The Junior Group 10 NASCAR race was the best ever, I was told.... I finally got some sleep, and missed it - but I was told that it was the best Nats Junior race anyone could remember seeing!


    Hmmmmm.... I'll have to think of more later.....
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    Paul Kassens
    OWH Slot Car Talk "Mom"
    The Old Weird Herald
    email: paulk@oldweirdherald.com

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  6. #6
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    Originally posted by oldweirdherald
    No Publicity is bad publicity????

    After a reporter and photographer from the Oregonian newspaper spent some time doing interviews and taking pics, Saturday's Oregonian newspaper ran an article about the Nats.

    The article did not seem to have a very positive perspective, and could have been better, but it did bring in a lot of people in to spectate, rent cars, and ask questions during the weekend (especially Saturday - the balcony was packed!)

    The article appeared Sat, April 17 - titled:
    "It takes a little juice to race with these cars"
    Mr. Maves was obviously ticked off at having to cover the USRA instead of the Miss Oregon pageant.
    "**** *** *** *** ***** *** **** ** **"

  7. #7
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    what you see is what you got..

    Face it Mr. Maves just chronicled what he saw.
    Actually the article reflects fairly what any outsider sees for the first time of our "toy cars" Nats. It is an honest opinion by some one that is not familiar to the lingo of slot car racing.
    There are no harsh words said in the article. Just insight what the reporter saw and heard from the racers. Mostly he just repeated what the racers that were there told him.
    Our hobby is not a crowd sport, and when someone first watches slot cars and has to report on it, the "swarm of bees " verbiage always comes to mind. I have heard that term many times before when a "newbie" first steps into a raceway for the first time. Why should that term change?
    I think we should hire the reporter as our press agent.

    Raymond

  8. #8
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    Ray,

    Why hire him as our press agent.... when we have John Cauthen????

    I was sitting right by him while he interview Paul Gawronski. The reporter was an old fart that used to play with trains. It's really too bad that he couldn't have put a more positive slant to the article. I'm going to reright my "What the Heck Is A Slot Car?" article and turn it into part of a press kit to be used for promoting raceways and race events. We need to promote this hobby like other events are promoted.

    Hey Ray - remember the article in the Seattle Times many years ago by the female reporter at West Seattle Speedway?

    She ended the article with a quote from Sherwin Eng... she quoted him saying: "Face it - we're all just a bunch of geeks. I mean.... (looking around the room) would YOU go out with any of them???"

    Anyway.... I got this thread sidetracked...

    Hmmmmmmm... still trying to think of some "Best Of" or "Dubuious Achievements" from this year's Scale Nats.....
    Last edited by oldweirdherald; 04-20-2004 at 06:48 AM.
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    Paul Kassens
    OWH Slot Car Talk "Mom"
    The Old Weird Herald
    email: paulk@oldweirdherald.com

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  9. #9
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    I am surprised by the low turnout at the scale nats in what is probably the major "hotbed" for scale racing in the US. I race wing cars ( and not very well !) and I try to attend every wing nats I can. They are a lot of fun, kind of like a cross between Woodstock and Daytona Speedweeks. Now if you consider that there are many more scale racers then wing racers, and the "handout motor" rule in scale amateur classes make the racing very accessable, where was everybody? Two things stick out to me that are big differences between the scale nats and the wing nats. Running them at a time when young racers can attend and the split in the schedule between Amateur and Expert. I noticed in an earlier thread a scale racer questioning attendance at a nats by young racers and that it is really an adult hobby at the nats level. He obvioussly has not been to a wing nats or follows wing racing generally. Some of the fastest wing racers around are still in school and a wing nats without them would be absurd and boring. Splitting expert and amateurs I think would seriously detract from the experience. The Nats is one of the few opportunities that amateur racers get to see the best racers perform and I know I learn more from watching them race and talking to them and looking at there stuff then I would if I was just attending an amateur nats. Having the big fields and the BUZZ that goes along with a BIG race is also important to building the Nats as major event. Don't get me wrong this is NOT a wing racing is bettter then scale racing discussion, just a couple of opinions about why the Scale Nats doesn't seem to match the Wing Nats in event status. In fact it should probably dwarf the Wing Nats given it's broader appeal. Loudcat said that although the attendance was low the racing was topnotch. At the Track in 2003 the attendance was huge and the racing was phenomenal. There really is no reason why the Scale Nats shouldn"t be the same.
    Paul Kovich
    Last edited by hesketh; 04-20-2004 at 07:03 AM.
    MON THE BIFF !!!

  10. #10
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    Cool

    Paul K,

    The Scale Nats are usually large turnouts.....the two smallest Scale Nats have both taken place in the Pacific NW. The first in Boise, ID 1999 and this year in Portland.

    One problem is that there is no widespread Regional Racing in that area. Yes Seattle, WA is a "Hotbed" for Euro racing, GT-12 and a little production racing, but not may on the Seattle racers travel very far from home...only a handful. Their production rules also vary greatly from the USRA's rules, so not much cross over.

    Raceway USA was a great facility to race in, but again, no local racing program to speak of, so low entries.

    We have argued for years about the time to host the race, it seems most "Young Scale" racers and their families would rather spend their summer money on a real vacation versus going to a slot car race. When the Scale Nats started in 1996 as it's own event seperate from the Wing Car Nats, we raced 199 entries in three days and was done by 7 PM Sunday nite with only 5 classes/6 races. Not bad. Then as the popularity of the Scale Nats grew with the addition of more classes, the event had to be streched out more days. I would rather race less classes and get done quicker than make everyone be there for 9 to 11 days.

    I look forward to getting back to the East Coast for the 2005 Scale Nats at Keystone Raceway. I am sure this will prove to be one of the largest Scale nats in history.

    Ron
    Last edited by Ron Hershman; 04-20-2004 at 07:13 AM.

  11. #11
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    Ron, you are certainly right that location and a strong regional racing program are major factors in a Nats success. You can probably add to that track owner experience in promoting big races. I would bet that the Keystone Nats will be very successful on those three factors alone. I just know that if the wing nats where moved to the spring and the Amateur and Expert classes were split between when they occurred, I would be seriously disappointed. But maybe thats just me.
    Paul
    MON THE BIFF !!!

  12. #12
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    I was extremely glad that we voted to change the schedule back to having Amateur & Expert races each day. The interaction, teamwork, and mentoring is very important, and a major part of bringing up new amateurs into serious competition.

    I believe that there will be more Am & Exp pitting together, teaming up, sharing rooms, etc. so the positive aspects definately outweigh the negatives.

    I had huge plans for promotion, sponsorship, recruiting racers and drumming up attendance for this year's Scale Nats.... but the owner did not agree with many of my ideas, so I was out. I had certainly planned on being the host to the Nats, and I'd like to think that my plans would have had a positive effect on the event. Doug Bauer had given me a lot of good advice, and I planned on using it, as well as my past experience from promoting many of the past Nats and Seattle Slugfest events, and attending many Wing & Scale Nats over the past few decades. It was not to be - so we'll never know...

    I know that others worked hard to get the tracks ready and prepare for the Nats, but much of the promotional aspects of what I had originally hoped to accomplish did not come to be.

    One thing that I did hear from everyone that I talked to - was that it was a great facility - and it was ideal in many ways for a Nats. When I first saw the place - I thought it would make an excellent facility to host the Scale Nats - and from the feedback I got, others agreed. Us grownups got to play with our toy cars in the biggest sandbox ever!

    I plan to put together promotional materials to help for next year's Scale Nats - and for any other events - as this type of info is greatly needed in this hobby / sport. 44 years of constant involvement in slot car racing has got to be good for something (it sure doesn't work for impressing girls!)

    A good slot car Press Kit would be a great help to promoting any event, and it would also be good to compile a list of suggestions and advice from previous Nats hosts that would help future big race hosts for organizing, promoting, and running events like the Nats.

    Hindsight is 20-20 - and it would be nice if every year the hosts don't have to learn all of the aspects of running an event like the Nats the hard way.
    Last edited by oldweirdherald; 04-20-2004 at 08:14 AM.
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    Paul Kassens
    OWH Slot Car Talk "Mom"
    The Old Weird Herald
    email: paulk@oldweirdherald.com

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  13. #13
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    The press kit is a great idea.

    Also a plan for pre-race promotion. Good Luck!
    The older I get the faster I was.

  14. #14
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    Cool

    MOST DISSAPOINTING

    ONLY 18 entries in the Euro-24 Event. Where was all those West Coast Euro Drivers at????

    COOLEST THING IN A LONG TIME

    Seeing two girls racing Euro-Sports at the Scale Nats. Alica GIlbert and Jamy Johnson put on a good show and my hat off to their great dads who sponsor their racing efforts.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    4,597

    Well Ron

    I don't know about having two girls racing euro ,but I'll bet we have more than 18 racers

    I had a good time at raceway usa. It definatly would have been nice to see more racers,But you never know how things will go.All in all it's a very nice raceway.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] Quit cryin and act like a MAN!!!

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