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Topic: Golden Age of WOO Email this topic to a friend | Subscribe to this TopicReport this Topic to Moderator
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The Vision
July 12, 2018 at 01:41:56 PM
Joined: 08/04/2007
Posts: 126
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To the original question of "Golden Age of WoO" - that is hard to answer in the affirmative when you are competing against the era of the Big Three and the era where events like King's Royal, Bristol & Knoxville were live on TNN.

Still, it is great to see that fan interest & regular touring Outlaws is strong especially in this time when NASCAR & IndyCar are performing to 50% full stands and sinking TV ratings.

Sure hope for the local tracks to do well, but sadly we're going to continue to lose more tracks than we open.  It's a real contradictory situation in motorsports right now.  All we can do is continue to support this sport we love and enjoy the times we had and are having at the track because if there is one thing we can count on is change.  Some of it we will like, some of it we will not.


Is this heaven?  
No, it's Iowa....Knoxville, Iowa.

StanM
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July 12, 2018 at 02:05:02 PM
Joined: 11/07/2006
Posts: 4229
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Posted By: YungWun24 on July 12 2018 at 01:28:34 PM

I have seen old pictures of these huge crowds at State Fairs, with everyone dressed up. Maybe I'm off on my thinking and we typically don't know an era or period of time until it's over but would everyone agree that the 90s, were the golden era. I'm thinking when Steve, Sammy, Mark Kinser, Blaney, Wolfgang were in their prime and car counts were high at least at the Nationals. 

The only reason I think we MIGHT be in another golden age of at least the Outlaws is the car counts and quality of drivers that are winning. David Gravel won 5 races in 2014 and finishes 10th. And the accessiblity of viewing the Woo as well plays a part, IMO. 

It's crazy to think how much the internet has changed the world. 

 

 



There is no right or wrong answer.  If the 90s were a golden era in your eyes then that's what it was.  There was some great racing in the 90s but I don't think of it as a golden era in comparison to other decades based on my own yardstick.  This is a fun subject, thanks for posting.  It's helping me get through the work day.  wink


Stan Meissner

IADIRT
July 12, 2018 at 03:40:14 PM
Joined: 04/29/2014
Posts: 539
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Reply to:
Posted By: StanM on July 12 2018 at 02:05:02 PM

There is no right or wrong answer.  If the 90s were a golden era in your eyes then that's what it was.  There was some great racing in the 90s but I don't think of it as a golden era in comparison to other decades based on my own yardstick.  This is a fun subject, thanks for posting.  It's helping me get through the work day.  wink



I think you two are both just looking at it very differently. Different perspectives which is good to have! You are talking more of local level racing from your childhood to present. I think YungWun is looking at it from a perspective of Just the WoO and his childhood to present. When YungWun and I were kids it was the 90s. Places were packed. We got to see the Kinsers, Lasoski, Swindell, and such all in their prime. Nationals well over 100 cars with ease and the WoO tour pulling full car fields where evere with many following the circuit for points. Fast forward 15 years and only 10-12 on the WoO tour some right at or maybe just under 100 car nationals. They stopped Bristol and TNN and such and things as spoke on here seems to be in a decline. Now Dirtvision seems to be doing very well and they have full car fields with closer to 20 following the WoO every where they go. Stands are packed at WoO shows. Certainly in an upswing as far as the WoO goes. Golden Age? Hard to tell. Things are trending up though on the touring circuits. 



HoldenCaulfield
July 12, 2018 at 03:56:36 PM
Joined: 03/22/2008
Posts: 1494
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I used to never miss a WOO show when they came to central PA but nowaday's I could take them or leave them. I think I've only been to 2-3 WOO shows in the past couple years. Yes they probably have a stronger roster than ever before and they still pack the house but I'm just as happy, happier in fact, at a big local or all-star show. I guess I'm kind of cynical toward the outlaws as I think they are killing local 410 racing. It sucks when you lose your best financed teams and good youg drivers to the tour. I understand why they do it and I respect that, but it still sucks. 



StanM
MyResults MyPressRelease
July 12, 2018 at 04:05:45 PM
Joined: 11/07/2006
Posts: 4229
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Posted By: IADIRT on July 12 2018 at 03:40:14 PM

I think you two are both just looking at it very differently. Different perspectives which is good to have! You are talking more of local level racing from your childhood to present. I think YungWun is looking at it from a perspective of Just the WoO and his childhood to present. When YungWun and I were kids it was the 90s. Places were packed. We got to see the Kinsers, Lasoski, Swindell, and such all in their prime. Nationals well over 100 cars with ease and the WoO tour pulling full car fields where evere with many following the circuit for points. Fast forward 15 years and only 10-12 on the WoO tour some right at or maybe just under 100 car nationals. They stopped Bristol and TNN and such and things as spoke on here seems to be in a decline. Now Dirtvision seems to be doing very well and they have full car fields with closer to 20 following the WoO every where they go. Stands are packed at WoO shows. Certainly in an upswing as far as the WoO goes. Golden Age? Hard to tell. Things are trending up though on the touring circuits. 



I know what you're saying because I attended a couple of those 100+ car Nationals but keep in mind that Sprint Car or Big Car races and dirt tracks date back to the early 1900s.  I had been going to races for 18 years and I have as pushing 30 when the first WoO race was held.  The Outlaws in my eyes don't define what Sprint Car racing is about but are simply once part of a much bigger puzzle.  Hell, when people talk.golden age to me it doesn't even involve roll cages and wings.  I picture injector stacks sticking out of the hood, a roll bar behind the drivers head and rooster tails dusting up the exhibits on machinery hill.  Someone older than me might think wire wheels and offys.  

To me the WoO has fast talented drivers and the costs are way out of control.  I used to watch Buzz Barton race as a kid and I can't even imagine one of these button down corporate looking kids like Sweet thrust back in time to the 60s and having to fight their way past guys like that to the pay window.  wink


Stan Meissner

fiXXXer
July 12, 2018 at 05:40:22 PM
Joined: 10/26/2014
Posts: 1684
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I don't know if you can call this the golden age. The era of the big 3 in their prime was special. You had 3 of the greatest of all time competing together plus a good rivalry in Kinser/Swindell. Then in the early 90's and 2000's, we had the influx of corporate sponsors and live television with 2 of the big 3 still getting it done plus Mark Kinser stepping up and at times, being flat out dominant. That said, the WoO definitely have some mojo going right now. Top to bottom, they have the most competitive field that they have maybe ever had. Every car on tour at the moment is a threat to win anywhere against anyone. There is a nice mix of veteran and young talent on the tour right no so the future looks bright. Along with the big NASCAR money, they even have a low dollar operation in Shark Racing out there making noise and that gives people who like the underdogs someone to root for. They have Johnny Gibson calling all the action and he is without a doubt, the voice of the WoO and in my opinion the best announcer in the business. They have a really cool deal with Dirtvision giving their fans the opportunity to tune in and view their races from anywhere in the world and I think it actually makes people more excited to catch them live whenever they roll into their hometown. Their was once a big argument about what effect internet broadcasts can have on fan attendance and I think the WoO have shown that it's all in all, a good thing and it gives fans the opportunity to keep up with all the action just like they get to do with their favorite baseball team. The WoO have a lot of great things going for them right now and the packed houses they race in front of every night are proof. Whether or not it's the golden age is up for debate but this is definitely a very exciting and positive era for them right now. I for one, rally enjoy their shows and I can't wait until they come back to PA again next week. Hopefully this time the weather isn't so miserable. 



StanM
MyResults MyPressRelease
July 12, 2018 at 05:55:55 PM
Joined: 11/07/2006
Posts: 4229
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Posted By: fiXXXer on July 12 2018 at 05:40:22 PM

I don't know if you can call this the golden age. The era of the big 3 in their prime was special. You had 3 of the greatest of all time competing together plus a good rivalry in Kinser/Swindell. Then in the early 90's and 2000's, we had the influx of corporate sponsors and live television with 2 of the big 3 still getting it done plus Mark Kinser stepping up and at times, being flat out dominant. That said, the WoO definitely have some mojo going right now. Top to bottom, they have the most competitive field that they have maybe ever had. Every car on tour at the moment is a threat to win anywhere against anyone. There is a nice mix of veteran and young talent on the tour right no so the future looks bright. Along with the big NASCAR money, they even have a low dollar operation in Shark Racing out there making noise and that gives people who like the underdogs someone to root for. They have Johnny Gibson calling all the action and he is without a doubt, the voice of the WoO and in my opinion the best announcer in the business. They have a really cool deal with Dirtvision giving their fans the opportunity to tune in and view their races from anywhere in the world and I think it actually makes people more excited to catch them live whenever they roll into their hometown. Their was once a big argument about what effect internet broadcasts can have on fan attendance and I think the WoO have shown that it's all in all, a good thing and it gives fans the opportunity to keep up with all the action just like they get to do with their favorite baseball team. The WoO have a lot of great things going for them right now and the packed houses they race in front of every night are proof. Whether or not it's the golden age is up for debate but this is definitely a very exciting and positive era for them right now. I for one, rally enjoy their shows and I can't wait until they come back to PA again next week. Hopefully this time the weather isn't so miserable. 



I agree that they're in a good place right now and probably more popular among a wider audience than they were during the era of the big three.  My comment about Sweet fighting his way through the legends to the pay window wasn't a knock on a very talented driver but was only meant to illustrate how much the sport has changed.

My only concern about the Outlaws is how they ramp up the costs for the local teams and the sport in general.  Nobody in southern Minnesota or Iowa can keep up with those cubic dollars and until they become a stand alone series they need the support.  By way of illustration my cousin owned cars on a welders wage with the help of local bars and businesses.  He had Jerry Richert, Scratch Daniels and Roger Rager in his car over the years in addition to his regular driver.  Those are all hall of famers and a regular working man today can barely field a 305.  Sheer speed comes with a price and that price is that only the wealthy can afford to play anymore.  Part of what attracted me to the sport was that it was small enough that I could hand around in the garage and watch them work on the car and you never knew who would drop in.  That accessibility is gone with the high prices.

Anyways, time to fire up the tv and watch night one of Eldora.  


Stan Meissner

revjimk
July 12, 2018 at 06:29:01 PM
Joined: 09/14/2010
Posts: 4326
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2 parallel discusssions here: WoO & local racing. Looks like WoO is doing well, but locals are down

I see a paralllel in drag racing. NHRA used to have so many different classes (1960s), any run whatcha brung homebuilt car could find a class to fit in, & maybe win. It started as an alternative to street racing. Participant sport. Now  NHRA has what, 3 classes? Top Fuel, Funny Car & Pro Stock, & they're all High tech, high $$$ rocket sleds. Spectator sport.... and now street racing is back & on the verge of becoming a commercial "big thing". Ever see those "street racers" on TV? NO WAY are these street drivers, all purpose built race cars

My solution? Don't have one... i miss the old dirt track jalopies, homebuilt, run whatcha brung, point leader start in the back of the pack days. But I'll continue to enjoy present day sprint car racing. I live too far from any dirt tracks to do weekend regular shows, just drive for big events, or watch PPV

But i'm an old curmudgeon anyway.... don't like cell phones or the 3 pt. shot either wink



bgtexpress
July 12, 2018 at 06:31:53 PM
Joined: 10/19/2016
Posts: 237
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Take myself for example.I have been attending dirt track races for over 35 years. I usually go to15 to 20 races a year, mostly for the 410 sprint cars, but I am also a fan of Dirt Late Models and Big Block Modifieds and see a few of thoses races each year as well. That being said, it has been at least 5 years since I attended a regular weekly show. I now tend to gravitate to the special shows (WoO, All Stars, Pa Speedweek,LOLMS, WoOLMS, etc). I find the atmosphere and excitment much more enjoyable than a weekly show. I am willing to pay the higher admission price, in some cases almost double the price, for the special show. There was a time, I would go to my local track every week......now a days, not so much.



RodinCanada
MyWebsite
July 12, 2018 at 11:52:33 PM
Joined: 07/24/2016
Posts: 395
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I dont know what % of Americans enjoy Sprint cars but i bet the number that enjoy them is just slightly smaller than the number who know what they are.

Met a girl in Idaho from Ohio and she didnt even know what i was talking about when i asked her about sprint cars. 

I dont agree that no network would want to air them. Come on I have seen dart tournaments on TV. Nothing against the skill of dart throwers but the action cant compare to sprints. My point is that if sprints could get a timeslot even if the program was tape delayed to shorten the track prep etc i truly think surfers would latch on to the channel when they realize these guys are going faster than NASCAR.

I think it would be beneficial to sprint racing to get the exposure and pull a few guys off the couch when a special event comes to their neighbourhood. Problem is who would pay the bill to promote it? If the WoO or Ascoc or Knoxville solely paid the bill for their specific event to get national attention they would be spending their money for the betterment of all. And people dont spend money for that reason today.



SprintFan16
MyWebsite
July 13, 2018 at 12:01:12 AM
Joined: 05/03/2007
Posts: 1161
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Posted By: RodinCanada on July 12 2018 at 11:52:33 PM

I dont know what % of Americans enjoy Sprint cars but i bet the number that enjoy them is just slightly smaller than the number who know what they are.

Met a girl in Idaho from Ohio and she didnt even know what i was talking about when i asked her about sprint cars. 

I dont agree that no network would want to air them. Come on I have seen dart tournaments on TV. Nothing against the skill of dart throwers but the action cant compare to sprints. My point is that if sprints could get a timeslot even if the program was tape delayed to shorten the track prep etc i truly think surfers would latch on to the channel when they realize these guys are going faster than NASCAR.

I think it would be beneficial to sprint racing to get the exposure and pull a few guys off the couch when a special event comes to their neighbourhood. Problem is who would pay the bill to promote it? If the WoO or Ascoc or Knoxville solely paid the bill for their specific event to get national attention they would be spending their money for the betterment of all. And people dont spend money for that reason today.



Darts are absolutely massive TV in Europe - bad comparison. All that's happening is BBC (the company that broadcasts it) is showing in on their US channel. Plus the costs still would be much cheaper. 

Don't get me wrong - I'm sure the WoO would welcome a live TV deal, but I don't see how they get one that they're getting money for. In reality, it's going to be the other way around and they'd have to pay for TV time.



blazer00
July 13, 2018 at 02:33:14 AM
Joined: 06/10/2015
Posts: 2370
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I remembered something I had read from a long while back regarding auto racing attendance, and sure enough I was able to find it. In 1996, the "the exciting but little known" World of Outlaws sprint car races drew a "surprising number in paid attenance". With 70 events (not races.....some events were two day and multiple day shows as we know) the WoO drew 1.5 million fans to watch these "amazingly fast sprinters"  battle it out on short tracks all around the country. Goodyear had compiled the numbers as the major sponsor, and was very pleased with the results according to the article.



SprintFan16
MyWebsite
July 13, 2018 at 09:22:49 AM
Joined: 05/03/2007
Posts: 1161
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Posted By: blazer00 on July 13 2018 at 02:33:14 AM

I remembered something I had read from a long while back regarding auto racing attendance, and sure enough I was able to find it. In 1996, the "the exciting but little known" World of Outlaws sprint car races drew a "surprising number in paid attenance". With 70 events (not races.....some events were two day and multiple day shows as we know) the WoO drew 1.5 million fans to watch these "amazingly fast sprinters"  battle it out on short tracks all around the country. Goodyear had compiled the numbers as the major sponsor, and was very pleased with the results according to the article.



Would love to see the numbers here - not refuting it, but man, 1.5 million is a huge number.

 

Even if you they had 70 two-day shows, it would still require every single night tlo average 10.7K. I have a really tough time believing that. If you're including TV, I can believe it, but the word used is "drew" not saw or watched.



StanM
MyResults MyPressRelease
July 13, 2018 at 09:51:19 AM
Joined: 11/07/2006
Posts: 4229
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Posted By: SprintFan16 on July 13 2018 at 12:01:12 AM

Darts are absolutely massive TV in Europe - bad comparison. All that's happening is BBC (the company that broadcasts it) is showing in on their US channel. Plus the costs still would be much cheaper. 

Don't get me wrong - I'm sure the WoO would welcome a live TV deal, but I don't see how they get one that they're getting money for. In reality, it's going to be the other way around and they'd have to pay for TV time.



Internet PPV is the only business model where the cost to produce doesn't exceed revenue.  If that was not the case they would be on a cable channels.  I resisted PPV for a long time because of the buffering and crashing but it has finally become a viable option.

The only way I expect to see Sprints on regular TV is if a sponsor wants to put it out there without turning a profit.  This MAVTV I hear is pretty good but the availability sucks.  I had cable, Dish and Direct but cut the cable s couple years ago and won't go back for one racing channel when there are all.these PPV options.


Stan Meissner

YungWun24
July 13, 2018 at 09:57:48 AM
Joined: 01/19/2009
Posts: 832
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Reply to:
Posted By: revjimk on July 12 2018 at 06:29:01 PM

2 parallel discusssions here: WoO & local racing. Looks like WoO is doing well, but locals are down

I see a paralllel in drag racing. NHRA used to have so many different classes (1960s), any run whatcha brung homebuilt car could find a class to fit in, & maybe win. It started as an alternative to street racing. Participant sport. Now  NHRA has what, 3 classes? Top Fuel, Funny Car & Pro Stock, & they're all High tech, high $$$ rocket sleds. Spectator sport.... and now street racing is back & on the verge of becoming a commercial "big thing". Ever see those "street racers" on TV? NO WAY are these street drivers, all purpose built race cars

My solution? Don't have one... i miss the old dirt track jalopies, homebuilt, run whatcha brung, point leader start in the back of the pack days. But I'll continue to enjoy present day sprint car racing. I live too far from any dirt tracks to do weekend regular shows, just drive for big events, or watch PPV

But i'm an old curmudgeon anyway.... don't like cell phones or the 3 pt. shot either wink



I had a good laugh at the 3pt shot comment. You'd have a cow then for a start up 3 on 3 league that has a 4 pt shot. 

 

Stan,

I understand your comments regarding guys behing able to build a car back in the day. And you would already know that with anything advances are made on the car's components, including safety, which slowly eliminates many guys who built cars out of the garage. 

Lets not forgot how popular gaming is today, and the rise of iRacing, which isn't the only online sprint car simulator. I don't think this brings in droves of new fans due to, again, costs, but I think opens up the window for people who  may of heard about sprint car racing. 

I can honestly see down the road 15, 20 years, that major tracks have to pay higher paying weekly races to pull cars in from further away. 

But not to get away from the original post, and into another cost of racing thread, with all the things going on POSITIVE with the WOO, despite what seems to be a lower car count regionally, I'm happy we have such a solid tour(s) right now. 

 


Keep It Real

blazer00
July 13, 2018 at 10:29:31 AM
Joined: 06/10/2015
Posts: 2370
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This message was edited on July 13, 2018 at 10:38:52 AM by blazer00
Reply to:
Posted By: SprintFan16 on July 13 2018 at 09:22:49 AM

Would love to see the numbers here - not refuting it, but man, 1.5 million is a huge number.

 

Even if you they had 70 two-day shows, it would still require every single night tlo average 10.7K. I have a really tough time believing that. If you're including TV, I can believe it, but the word used is "drew" not saw or watched.



I thought the same thing, but I can only go by the printed article. The article was on The Auto Channel website.

AUTO RACING ATTENDANCE FIGURES

by Larry Roberts

November 14, 1997

I'm including only the WoO portion.....NASCAR, NHRA and CART and others  were also included in the article.........

It reads:

A personal surprise came in the number of paying spectators that attended the exciting but little-known World of Outlaws sprint car races. With 70 events, the World of Outlaws held more individual races than any other sanctioning body in 1996 and brought in 1.5 million to watch these amazingly fast sprinters battle it out on short ovals all over the country.

The numbers aren't in yet for 1997, but the folks at Goodyear are busily putting them all together. And judging from the number of new corporate sponsors that are jumping on the bandwagon for the '98 season, those Goodyear numbers must be very, very impressive.

 

 I pasted that portion......So there's where I got my information. Like I said, I remembered this from years ago so I dug it back up. Are the numbers exaggerated or misleading? I can't say. But I too did the math back then and again now, and I agree it does seem high. I didn't take your post to mean that I had made this up. Just thought I'd share more info on where it came from. 



revjimk
July 13, 2018 at 10:46:06 AM
Joined: 09/14/2010
Posts: 4326
Reply
This message was edited on July 13, 2018 at 10:57:00 AM by revjimk
Reply to:
Posted By: RodinCanada on July 12 2018 at 11:52:33 PM

I dont know what % of Americans enjoy Sprint cars but i bet the number that enjoy them is just slightly smaller than the number who know what they are.

Met a girl in Idaho from Ohio and she didnt even know what i was talking about when i asked her about sprint cars. 

I dont agree that no network would want to air them. Come on I have seen dart tournaments on TV. Nothing against the skill of dart throwers but the action cant compare to sprints. My point is that if sprints could get a timeslot even if the program was tape delayed to shorten the track prep etc i truly think surfers would latch on to the channel when they realize these guys are going faster than NASCAR.

I think it would be beneficial to sprint racing to get the exposure and pull a few guys off the couch when a special event comes to their neighbourhood. Problem is who would pay the bill to promote it? If the WoO or Ascoc or Knoxville solely paid the bill for their specific event to get national attention they would be spending their money for the betterment of all. And people dont spend money for that reason today.



"Met a girl in Idaho from Ohio and she didnt even know what i was talking about when i asked her about sprint cars." ....That happens all the time in all the big sprint car states. Its a small niche sport. But occasionally, if you wear a sprint car T-shirt, you'll get the comment like the convenience store clerk in Ohio, "My boyfriend runs a Racesaver" Or I asked some Aussies about it at New Orleans Jazzfest: "Oh, we love our Speedway in Australia"

" Nothing against the skill of dart throwers but the action cant compare to sprints"... true , but wait til they merge it with Dodgeball! wink



revjimk
July 13, 2018 at 10:51:54 AM
Joined: 09/14/2010
Posts: 4326
Reply
This message was edited on July 13, 2018 at 10:55:43 AM by revjimk
Reply to:
Posted By: YungWun24 on July 13 2018 at 09:57:48 AM

I had a good laugh at the 3pt shot comment. You'd have a cow then for a start up 3 on 3 league that has a 4 pt shot. 

 

Stan,

I understand your comments regarding guys behing able to build a car back in the day. And you would already know that with anything advances are made on the car's components, including safety, which slowly eliminates many guys who built cars out of the garage. 

Lets not forgot how popular gaming is today, and the rise of iRacing, which isn't the only online sprint car simulator. I don't think this brings in droves of new fans due to, again, costs, but I think opens up the window for people who  may of heard about sprint car racing. 

I can honestly see down the road 15, 20 years, that major tracks have to pay higher paying weekly races to pull cars in from further away. 

But not to get away from the original post, and into another cost of racing thread, with all the things going on POSITIVE with the WOO, despite what seems to be a lower car count regionally, I'm happy we have such a solid tour(s) right now. 

 



"I had a good laugh at the 3pt shot comment. You'd have a cow then for a start up 3 on 3 league that has a 4 pt shot." 

I like watching guys do stuff I can't do. I've hit plenty of long jumpers (but rarely attempted from NBA 3 pt. range!) but never dunked. If a long shot is worth 3, a dunk should be worth 7! 3 pointer encourages "bad basketball". Back in the day, if you dribbled up & shot a 25 footer without passing, you'd be benched IMMEDIATELY!

&3 on 3 is the classic playground game. You can do all the basic plays, you have a picker, a cutter & a passer, & everybody gets the ball. FOUR pointer will ruin that too....



supaschatz
July 13, 2018 at 11:41:46 AM
Joined: 04/03/2005
Posts: 302
Reply

People always ask where future fans come from. The same place they came from 30 years ago. Do you see how many kids are at races? hundreds of them at Eldora last night.



ROTORGLOW
July 13, 2018 at 02:30:12 PM
Joined: 12/20/2010
Posts: 167
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Whenever you get the big three again you might start to skirt the edges of what once was.  Kinser, Swindell, Wolfgang will be a tough 3 to ever be better than.  They didnt like each other, fiercly compettive, and held a win at all cost mentality.  Schatz is only one on the tour at moment that would be anywhere close to that.  All these kids racing today want to be friends and runaround buddies and dont have the killer mentality that the past greats posessed.  Even the Stevie Smith, Mark Kinser, Dave Blaney,  Jodie Davis, Danny Lasoki and several others were better,  much better,  than whats running the WoO today.  Dont kid yourself and convince yourself that just because todays  kids are running while your watching means there world beaters, there not and once your new found hero Gravel wins 20 races a year for 10 years then brag about him as a decent driver.  Face it the drivers of the 80s and 90s were men and they were hungry, broke and competitive to the end. This new breed is pampered, corporate owned, bought and payed for,  and its seen as a hobby and just pals hanging out.  Big difference.  Golden age will not be duplicated anytime soon if ever!  Kinser, Swindell and Wolfgang is Sprint Car Racing at its true core in all aspects. It will never be again.


CAJ



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