What's new

4-Wide opinions...

Chili

Nitro Member
#41
I’ve went to every Vegas national event since they began in 2000. Even though they went 4 wide I was still going to give it a try. On TV or all access it isn’t that entertaining. The cameras have a hard time picking up everything that happens in 4 seconds so I went with an open mind. To me the racing itself being 4 wide isn’t that exciting. The biggest issue for us is our seats are in section 1A which is on the starting line. On the starting line you can not see much of the Christmas tree at all. On a normal race you can quickly glance at the scoreboard to see if a car went red if you can’t see it on the tree. In the four wide format the win lights don’t automatically appear if one or even two cars go red. So as the cars go down track we had no idea that Line, TJ JR. or Butner went red.

I will try it again next year. I think it would be much better if they made one of the pro qualifying sessions at night. Seeing four nitro cars at night with flames would add to the visual excitement.

It was good to see a strong crowd for the first time in years for the April race. If nothing else looks good to potential sponsors.
 

mick

Nitro Member
#42
Joe P., thanks for that post. really enjoyed reading and all really good points. i guess someone has to promote, and someone has to race, and hardly if ever are
they the same entity. i agree. passion to race. passion to spectate. seemed to be a lot more of both a few decades ago. yes, drag racing was 4-wide many years ago.
was it a hit? if it was, wouldn't have the sport morphed that way? or at least caught on where nhra would have adopted a 4-wide race many years ago?
the late 80's, 90's, and early 2000's packed the stands for 2 wide with old points and sundays that wouldn't end till 6-7pm. still chasing records to 1320'.
no internet. no cell phones. what a great period.....friend was in vegas last week at event. he's not back yet. will hear his reactions. he is in 60's.
 

Bob

Nitro Member
#43
I will try it again next year. I think it would be much better if they made one of the pro qualifying sessions at night. Seeing four nitro cars at night with flames would add to the visual excitement.
I can understand that, but I don't think most folks take into account the amount of time involved for those who are working the races. When racing starts at 8:00 a.m., many of those folks are at the track, working at 7:00 a.m. or earlier...same thing for a lot of Sportsman class racers. A scheduled 12-hour work shift is already long enough. Bandimere still has night qualifying, but they don't start racing until 10:00 or 11:00 in the morning.
 

Con

Nitro Member
#44
Whether the person is a hard core fan who might complain about the 4 wide, long time between rounds or a new fan coming because it is 4 wide.

They both pay for the seat and if all the seats are filled then it is a good race.

Look at monster trucks. At one time they actually raced. One car against another.
On tv all they show is single cars doing jumps/stunts. But the stadiums seem to have full crowds. Hard core fans or first timer they are paying for those seats.
 
#45
I completely understand that the long time hard core fan doesn't necessarily embrace four wide racing. But remember, it's not new. Anybody here remember when they ran four wide at the 1964 March Meet? Did you swear off the sport then?
How many of you have been to the Spring Vegas race the last few years?
What did you think of the crowds?
How many know that dropping it all together was being discussed as a real possibility? Would that have been better?
How many of you (if you were in Bruton's shoes) would have ponied up MILLIONS of dollars to save the race?
How many new fans came to see the spectacle?
What did you think of the crowds?
How many might now be new fans and watch on TV and come back to another race even if it's two wide?
I don't know that answer to that question, but I am a businessman, and I do know that if you can't get someone to look at your product, then you will never sell it to them. And if it takes four wide to get new eyeballs then why not do it?

Consider:
A new fan comes out just to see the spectacle, now he has met J.R. Todd, got an autograph and is a fan.
Maybe he's from a military family, met Fast Jack, bought a challenge coin and is now a fan.
Maybe he or she met Courtney, Leah, Erica or Brittney and now is a fan.
Maybe he has a Camaro, watched Justin Lamb win Stock in a car that's "Just Like Mine" and now is a fan.
If you were there: Have you ever seen a bigger track walk? Holy Crap! How many of those are now fans?

How many went back to work Monday and told their coworkers "I got to walk on the track with some of the drivers and it was FREE!"


NHRA knows that there are MANY first time fans at a four wide so they make the schedule with a big gap between 1st and 2nd round. Let them go to the pits, wander around, see all there is to do, hopefully get hooked even more. Is that bad? Hard cores scream about the long delay between rounds. And that's some of the same people that complain when a two wide day runs smoothly and there's no time the visit the pits. Sound familiar?

Here's the bottom line. We could have lost the race completely, we now have two four wide events. If you really believe that one less event would be better then please tell me why. With more than one line.

As always, this is just my opinion. I am NOT speaking for NHRA, LVMS or anyone else.
Alan
I totally agree. And I am a long, very long time fan. 4 wide twice a year is just fine. Thank you Mr. Smith. I'll be there next year.
 
#46
I realize it's not a full time 4 -way track so the wall is needed for when it is normally 2 lane operations. I do wonder though what it would look like without, what ends up being, that middle wall. Side camera shots would be better, it would look like one big race and not 2 races that happen to be going on next to each other. It still won't help the wide shots as it is just to much space to cover with any detail. Of course safety concerns need to be considered as well but just something I've wondered
PJ, no way can you remove the "center" wall. Without it you open the door to 3 & 4 car pile ups, and no one wants to take that chance.
 
#47
im fine with 4wide as a way to bring in new fans. we always need new fans to keep our sport healthy and thriving. i would like to experience it in person someday and im sure it is an awesome spectacle. and i purposely use the word spectacle for the following reason. lately crashes and explosions have been the way our sport has been marketed in the broadcast of races. the human element has taken a back seat to the spectacle of car bodies flying through the air and fire raging. obviously the powers that be have made a conscious decision to appeal to the new fans through shock and awe. all fine. but that is not what our sport is about to hardcore fans. our drivers, crew chiefs, crews, and owners are the real story. along with the technology of going faster. we have a wonderful and unique sport here. and a great history of men and women who had the need for speed and the burning desire to win. that is the real story. and while we all understand the need to attract new fans, i hope we will not turn into monster truck racing or ice hockey in the process.
 

none

Nitro Member
#48
More is not always better. When you talk about fans, are they fans of the spectacle or fans of the sport? Is their heart pounding because two cars are lined up and they know what is at stake and who goes on and who goes home or is their heart pounding because there is now 4 cars lined up and maybe two will blow up and create this crazy scene like is advertised on TV all the time to draw me in? A couple examples: Ice hockey has the potential to be THE greatest sport. It has it all. Speed, excitement, contact sport. But they let the players fist fight like thugs. I will not pay $100. for a ticket to watch that. If I want to see a fight I go to the fights. Look at boxing. There were the Sugar Ray Lenard's of the sport that were technically marvelous. But that is not entertaining enough. We need more. Let's put two men (and now women) in a cage and MMA is born. Wrestling. Gone from the Olympics?? But WWF was huge? Look, we humans have addictive personalities and the marketeers play into this by giving us more and then we want it, need it, expect it.

There are already too many national events and why should the same venue have two events the same year? Vegas is a wonderful facility. I have been there and raced there several times. The stands looked full on TV which is great but I lost interest in trying to watch the actual races on TV. Complete overload. Sometimes when there is too much of one thing it starts to dilute the very item you are trying to promote. A piece of chocolate cake is great.....an entire chocolate cake in front of you is too much. That is why I think there should be less events.

In the mid 1970's THE drag racing rag was Super Stock and Drag Illustrated. One issue had an interview with Shirley Muldowney. She was ranting about the cost of racing and how it was just insane to her that these guys were racing when NHRA was paying so little. She quoted Frank Bradley who said that, hypothetically, if Wally came down from the air conditioned tower during a race, went up to the guys and said "I didn't take in enough money here and it looks like I am not going to be able to pay you. What do you want to do?" Bradley said the general response would be "Get out of my way, I want the left lane!!" This was passion for the sport, as misguided as Shirley may have thought it was. I miss that passion, that fire to race. And the "fans" at the time had the same passion for the sport.

That is my response Alan.....in more than one sentence. PS, you do a great job announcing!

Joe,
To me it doesn’t matter if they came for the spectacle or for the sport. They came out. As I have said time and again on WFO Radio, if you have never been to an event to see it live, or if it’s been years since you did. Come out once and give us a chance. If you decided after watching it live that it’s not for you, then at least you have given us a fair shake. It’s not going to be for everyone, there’s a reason they make 128 different colors of crayons, different people like different things.

If you don’t care for the 4 wide, that’s fine but why would someone tell everyone who will listen that it sucks? If I don’t like a TV show, I simply don’t watch it. I don’t feel the need to tell everyone else that they are supposed to hate it just because I do.
And any sport like ours that relies on fans needs to cultivate new ones. Older fans will not be around forever for a variety of reasons, so new ones are crucial to the long term survival of the sport. The spring Vegas race has long under achieved from a crowd standpoint and Bruton decided to make a substantial investment to bring out more fans. Will it work long term? Time will tell, but this year was a tremendous success. How many will come back? I don’t know, but I know some of them will. How many will think like you that 4 wide is overload, so let's go check out the 2 wide event either here in the fall or at another track that might be close to where they live? I bet some will. How many might have never given us a chance before? I don’t know that number either, but I know that the place was packed like I have never seen before at the spring.

You think that there are too many national events. What do you base that on? And what would you cut? Sponsors like to have their billboards on display, not hidden in a trailer parked inside where they can’t be seen. I also believe that there is plenty of passion in the sport. Connie Kalitta, Jim Head, Tanner Gray and Steve Torrance come to mind as people who don’t have to do this, but do it because they love it, and want VERY much to win.


For fan passion, the Rodeo comes to Tucson once a year and is a big deal in my hometown. It's part of a circuit where the competitors chase points as part of the (I think) PRCA tour. I don't follow them on tour, I don't know who the champions are or who won the last event. But when it's in my town I buy a ticket and go to see the show. Are you saying that they don't want me because I'm not a hard core passionate fan? I think they're very happy to sell me a seat, just as we are very happy to have fans once or twice a year when our show comes to their town.

Thanks for the kind words about my work. I’m just trying to have a little fun and make a living.

Alan
 

Con

Nitro Member
#49
Similar to Alan's comment.

The National Western Stock Show is held in Denver in January. It is a stock show and rodeo. Attracts tens of thousands of people every year. One of the largest stock shows/rodeos it starts the season.

More casual fans than cowboys/cowgirls.
Same thing in the summer for the Cheyenne Frontier Days. Advertising includes things like bull riding (are people cheering for the cowboy or the bull at the PBR nights).

At the drags we walk the pits to see the cars and crews. At the stock show we walk the barns to see the cows, horses, pigs, sheep, chickens etc.

But it brings in a lot of paying spectators.
 
#50
Joe,
To me it doesn’t matter if they came for the spectacle or for the sport. They came out. As I have said time and again on WFO Radio, if you have never been to an event to see it live, or if it’s been years since you did. Come out once and give us a chance.

Alan
It had been a few years between going to Maple Grove races when I returned, ready to experience nitro again. I went to my spot at the timing boards, with camera in hand....but this time instead of my monster zoom lens 35 mm Nikon N4004 it was a new small digital and set on video. I didn't need no steenking ear protection...after all, I was used to Fuelers. First pair of the day up at the tree....

My first video shows the camera flying through the air as they passed the finish line....
I didn't ever remember them being that loud and violent!

So, if it's been a while, go see them live
 

Muddy

Nitro Member
#51
Joe,
.

If you don’t care for the 4 wide, that’s fine but why would someone tell everyone who will listen that it sucks? If I don’t like a TV show, I simply don’t watch it. I don’t feel the need to tell everyone else that they are supposed to hate it just because I do.
.

Alan
Alan, while I agree with quite a bit of your comment I can't agree with this sentence, after all the title of this thread is 4-wide opinions.
 

none

Nitro Member
#52
Alan, while I agree with quite a bit of your comment I can't agree with this sentence, after all the title of this thread is 4-wide opinions.
John,
You are correct, I should have worded that better. The point I was attempting to make is this. If you don't like it, that's fine. But don't tell everyone else that they should hate it too. People that do like it should be entitled to their opinion as well.


I'm not telling anyone that they have to love it, so I don't want anyone telling me that I should hate it.

Alan
 
#53
I have been thru Bruton's changes before...the progressive banking at Bristol Motor Speedway. The TV people touted it, Darrell Waltrip went as far to say that if you didn't like the new configuration you were not a "real" fan of racing. What ever, but as a long time season ticket holder I knew what I liked to watch and I don't spend money on Bristol tickets anymore. I am sure the shortening of the race was the goal, less rubbing gives you less cautions. The crowds are sparse now after the casual fans that didn't care to sit thru the original 4 to 5 hour race have moved on to some other spectacle. Tickets are easy to get now.

Watching 4-wide on TV is not the same experience as 2-wide, the picture has to be zoomed out so far to cover the 4 lanes, it seems to me. I can't guess who won a close race, which was part of my fun, even though I am wrong a lot.

I will have to try it in person. I'm sure it will be an awesome assault on the senses, I have a feeling I will prefer 2-wide, but as it stands now there is still some of that available.

Shortening the day is not what I am interested in. I go to a couple races a year, attend all the pro sessions and want to experience as much as I can. A 45 minute pro session isn't going to cut it.

But that's me and I have been told I'm not a "real" fan of racing anyway.

I know it probably is a long day for the track personnel and I do appreciate what they do. I tell them personally when I get the chance.

At least NHRA can go back to the original format if they decide to.

If the seats stay full that's great.
 

fatcat

Nitro Member
#54
Do not, or have not ever liked 4 wide, BUT, the abbreviated 1 hr qualifying shows on FS1, are able to show all 3 pro classes, which I do like. So I guess I find myself genuflecting at the altar of Bruton's " Screw you , I know what's best for you" power, he isn't getting a virgin.
 

Chili

Nitro Member
#59
I was looking forward to 4 wide jets in Las Vegas. It would have happened except they have a hill with gravel behind lanes 3 and 4.
 

Top