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USRA Nats need a change ASAP


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#51 Phil Hackett

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 10:33 AM

You sure would hate the full glue days of the '70s when you glued everywhere. LOL.

 
... don't forget roostertails as a result...
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#52 MSwiss

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 11:19 AM

Ya know... I consider Sonic Products to be a fairly "involved" manufacturer in this industry and I just discovered the Nats are happening NOW... Uhm... Is it my job to seek out when major races are being held? No race donation request. No real publicity. No online excitement.
 
And, PLEEEEEEAAAAAASEE, don't tell me about Facebook, OK? There's plenty of outlets for info.

  
IMO, there are too many outlets. Way too many. Not only has quite a bit of wing talk switched over from OWH to Facebook, it's spread out over too many different pages. Raceway pages, personal pages, org pages.

As I mentioned earlier, how did wing racing manage to get the word out before the 'net?

At the races.

Just about every region had a series, and was racing at least monthly.
 

I remember a Keystone State USRA race, where I came out of the bathroom (down the hall... LOL) and when I came back to the room where the track was, there was a "fog" of petroleum products hanging over the entire room. And I was wondering why my glasses would get coated while standing at the driver's panel!  That's a big part of why I switched to racing HO cars.


As involved as I was in wing racing, I must have bad eyes.

I never recall seeing the haze of glue that guys talk about pretty regularly. LOL.
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#53 Arne Saknussem

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 11:38 AM

I never recall seeing the haze of glue that guys talk about pretty regularly. Lol

 

I didn't notice it either until I was crouched marshalling in the deadman (back in 1984) and looked up briefly toward the front window of the raceway. I was shocked to note that my glasses were covered with glue spots and every car that whipped 'round the donut was throwing up a roostertail of glue.

 

But it was the skin rash I get from glue that really annoyed me.


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#54 Arne Saknussem

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 11:46 AM

wiley-cartoon-neanderthal-extinction-10-


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#55 B.C.

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 12:01 PM

More glue!
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#56 John Streisguth

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 12:09 PM

I never recall seeing the haze of glue that guys talk about pretty regularly. LOL.

 
Probably depends a lot on the ventilation in the raceway. Must have been lovely trying to service an HVAC where a lot of wing car racing took place.  :shok: 

Although the glue residue probably captured any pollen in the air, so it may have been better for allergy sufferers LOL.


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#57 jimht

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 12:12 PM

Glue is inherently unfair... fixing the track so your car works better usually screws up someone else's game plan.
The end result has been something that only appeals to a small group that likes the whole idea of a sticky mess just to go fast.
 
The real decline in participation occurred with the realization that the application of the right amount of glue on a track with the proper car allowed unbelievable speeds with no driving skills being necessary... just the ability to kind of keep track of where the car is and the money necessary to maintain the speed between heats.
 
The Bugatti Veyron is a great comparison, equipment-wise, but even there the drivers don't expect the freeway builders to upgrade the roads to Bugatti specs.


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#58 Cheater

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 12:20 PM

Retro is not cheap; a car can cost $200 easy.


Not sure what your point is here, Nick.

You can't even build an open motor for $200.
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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#59 Uncle Fred

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 12:21 PM

Many classes have gone to a spray glue format and have been successful in spite of or because of. Glue leads to hot motors and excess crashing due to popping on restarts.


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#60 Cheater

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 12:22 PM

G7 is still full glue as far as I know. Am I wrong?

Probably depends a lot on the ventilation in the raceway. Must have been lovely trying to service an HVAC where a lot of wing car racing took place.


Then the next Div 1 Nats at Frank Sarkela's place ought to be interesting, as the facilty doesn't have air conditioning to the best of my knowledge.

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Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#61 MSwiss

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 12:25 PM

I asked Tracy to post this here, after he posted it on Facebook.
It's worth a look at the absolute sh*tstorm at Facebook. Here's a LINK.


My assertion that Facebook isn't very good as a substitute for blog sites like this and OWH for posting slot car results, and having (long) discussions, has been confirmed yet again.

I was just texting with a local wing racer, who has rabidly following this USRA discussion on Facebook, and he TOTALLY missed probably the most important piece of information in Tracy's thread.

IMO, without a quote function, like available here, too many subthreads develop in the main thread, and it's hard to spot everything.

I'm obviously a Slotblog cheerleader, but a fact is a fact.
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#62 Cheater

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 12:32 PM

Totally agree. The way replies to individual posts are hidden behind a "view more replies" click makes it almost impossible to fully follow the flow of the discussion.

Then there's the issues of persistence and of returning to the thread a week or two down the road.

My view is that attraction of Facebook is solely connected to how easy it is to post there from a smartphone.

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Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#63 Half Fast

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 12:36 PM

Many classes have gone to a spray glue format and have been successful in spite of or because of. Glue leads to hot motors and excess crashing due to popping on restarts.

 
Also full glue class races take a long time to run as the racers keep asking for the cars to be pulled back at each stoppage since they can't start in glue.
 
Cheers,

Bill Botjer

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#64 John Streisguth

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 04:02 PM

Totally agree. The way replies to individual posts are hidden behind a "view more replies" click makes it almost impossible to fully follow the flow of the discussion.

Then there's the issues of persistence and of returning to the thread a week or two down the road.

My view is that attraction of Facebook is solely connected to how easy it is to post there from a smartphone.

 

I have an older iPhone, and I can't access the sub-replies (for lack of a better term...). So until I get to computer, I don't know half of the conversation.


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#65 Noose

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 04:13 PM

You aren't missing anything.
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#66 Cheater

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 04:22 PM

Just my wicked repartee... LOL...

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Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#67 Mike Patterson

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 10:05 PM

As involved as I was in wing racing, I must have bad eyes.

I never recall seeing the haze of glue that guys talk about pretty regularly. LOL.


Sorry I'm late chiming in on this, but I remember the "glue haze" very well. That, and copious amounts of cigarette smoke, made "a day at the races" a major PITA for anyone who wore glasses. I finally resorted to lighter fluid to keep mine clean.

Ah, the good ol' days. :D

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#68 tonyp

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 05:34 AM

I used to work Sundays at Nutley Raceway and the day after the big races I had to clean the glue off the showcases and the front windows.


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#69 Phil Hackett

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 10:17 AM

Glue was fine at the time. I'd like to think we could evolve and do better and get rid of it entirely.

 

However, the inertia of the past keeps the big ball rolling in whatever direction it's headed. When it hits a wall, the direction will be changed.


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#70 Arne Saknussem

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 11:28 AM

Facebook users

alex-gregory-i-had-my-own-blog-for-a-whi


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#71 Jaz

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 11:48 AM

It is apparent that the current USRA wing racers have hit the mother of all glue bogs.


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#72 Paul Kovich

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 11:54 AM

All slot car racing is on a downward spiral, unfortunately for wings its descent is being accelerated by a completely dysfunctional organization. The structure, bylaws, and regulations ensure that dysfunction. They also ensure that no meaningful change can ever be implemented. A new organization is needed and the current Nats experience is certainly proof enough.


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#73 Noose

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 12:01 PM

All slotcar racing is on a downward spiral,

 

I disagree with this because in our area R etro racing has grown significantly. We are seeing new, young racers as well as those from the scale and wing side of racing. We get 25-30 plus per class at each race. Raceways make money. Racers have fun. The competition is awesome.

 

Cannot comment on the rest of your statement as I am not involved.


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#74 Paul Kovich

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 12:25 PM

Sorry, Noose, but the demographics are against you, but I agree that Retro will probably be the last man standing at least as far as commercial tracks are concerned. But even tether car racing has survived in some form, so slots may not disappear altogether.

 

But we can agree to disagree on that; my real point was in relation to wings.



#75 Cheater

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 12:58 PM

Paul,
 
Glad to see you posting here in this thread. You're one of the few wing racers who seemingly doesn't have blinders on.
 
Unfortunately, I agree with you that even with all the positives that Retro has generated, it won't be able by itself to sustain the commercial raceway industry, such as it is. The state of wing car racing is the very least of its problems.
 
Funny that you would reference tether car racing. As best I can tell, there are exactly three permanent tether car tracks in all of the US. Oddly enough, one is located in Anderson, IN.
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Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#76 Half Fast

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 01:34 PM

The demographic problem extends well beyond slots. It extends to all "hands on" hobbies; model railroading and airplanes, ham radio and the like. All of these hobbies are populated by grey hairs. The current generation seem only interested in "virtual" pursuits, such as computer games. I am not sure what can be done to change this.

 

As to slot cars, I  think it will ultimately migrate to a club based model, such as that found in Europe.

 

Cheers


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#77 John Streisguth

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 01:57 PM

One big difference between slot cars and, for example, model railroading, is the "competition".  Not everyone is into that.  It would be interesting to see how something like a detailed, more true-to-life layout with cars that run at realistic speed would compare for popularity versus the current commercial tracks.  It might be more interesting for the "casual" participant.  And a lot closer to what slot cars were like in the very early 60's.


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#78 Half Fast

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 02:01 PM

John-

 

I would suggest the lack of competition would make things worse.

 

Even the virtual gamers are in completion with each other, or the computer.

 

Cheers


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#79 Uncle Fred

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 02:53 PM

I agree with Bill, the competition element is big in the popularity of the hobby.  The Europeans have some amazingly realistic tracks and cars but I'm certain they still compete.


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#80 John Streisguth

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 04:03 PM

And typically they run cars that are highly realistic and...slower....


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#81 tonyp

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 04:25 PM

And have lots of people doing it.

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#82 Uncle Fred

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 04:49 PM

Yes, they are very into cars and racing and have more time to pursue hobbies. 


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#83 B.C.

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 04:51 PM

Nice to see Joel Montague at the track for geezer racing.
 
Way cool to see a Camen chassis win Geezer 27L.
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#84 Jaz

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 05:40 PM

27L.....wasn't that supposed to be a class for those wanting to race 27's without the big budgets/factory support??  Seems like half the field are pro's.  just sayin'


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#85 Half Fast

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 07:49 PM

New USRA Nats Record! :

 

Am 27 race not run! Apparently for lack of entrants :shok:

 

Darn I should brought down my 25 year old 27 stuff and picked up a plaque. :)

 

Cheers

 

PS: 7 guys in 27 pro


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#86 jimht

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 08:02 PM

Less than Group 7 classes that were developed by Raceways for local racing have been adopted and abused by the USRA forever, making them almost unusable at the local level.

 

If there is such a thing as a professional factory sponsored slot car racer, he certainly hasn't spent his time racing at his local raceway as a "Pro" in the local classes, so why do we pretend to provide a place for such "Pros" to compete in the lesser Wing classes at the Nats? We do need to allow Pros (or those that think they're Pros) to compete at the National level but not in any class but only in Group 7 as Pro, Semi-Pro or Amateur.

 

All less than Gp7 classes should be A,B,C main format...if a racer wants to compete in the lower speed classes, fine, but there's no need to create artificial distinctions based on supposed abilities or equipment advantage. The classes are restricted equipment already; the A,B,C system will sort out who's the best at assembling the restricted parts and driving them. 


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#87 gmpower

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 08:55 PM

I'm just curious how many guys posting on this topic have raced a G12 or 27L the more popular classes in the past one to two years. I race everything from Retro to ISRA to wings. Have a program for all of it but just asking about the wing racing.

Yes, I think the USRA needs a change but not sure how less classes? No separating am/pro? Not sure what the answer is!!!

Greg
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#88 Cheater

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 10:09 PM

Without some sort of consensus, sort sort of agreement on what the goal(s) of the USRA are to be, it's likely no meaningful change will ever occur. And it is painfully obvious that there is essentially zero consensus regarding the direction the USRA should take.
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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#89 Arne Saknussem

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 06:11 PM

And it is painfully obvious that there is essentially zero consensus regarding the direction the USRA should take.

 

"Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."


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#90 Mike Walpole

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 07:56 AM

IMHO, the problem with this Nats was not the track or the classes, it was the people who stayed home and boycotted.

Good news is everything from 27L on down is spray glue and spec tires are the norm for 12s, 15s and Am C12. Not sure about 27L as I went home before the vote.

The good news with spec tires that have to be purchased at the raceway is the potential for increased sales during the Nats, so there are tracks that have not considered hosting the Nats may change their minds now.

C12 is my favorite class. It costs less than G12 to put a national program together and the cars handle great. Probably the best of all wing cars. I'm surprised more people don't race it.

Lastly, the demographics for slot racing in general are bad. For the most part, we are an old generation reliving our childhood.
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#91 B.C.

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 08:10 AM

Have seen now at least twice that there was a boycott what was/is the issue(s) that racers felt they needed to stay away?
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#92 Samiam

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 08:45 AM

Leadership or the lack there of.


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#93 B.C.

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 09:58 AM

if there is no leadership or the perceived lack thereof, how is boycotting going to benefit the situation? Wouldn't attending the USRA meeting and voicing concerns, whatever they were, (as was expressed earlier in this thread) made more sense? To me this action only made an already bad situation way worse by attracting attention, little or none of it positive. Maybe it will help.

I do think the idea that Jim H. had of making the "Nats" Group 7 only has a lot of merit to it. Or perhaps the classes that are full glue only. And certainly two or day days would appear to be enough time.
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#94 Cheater

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 10:45 AM

... what was/is the issue(s) that racers felt they needed to stay away?


A fairly late date change for the Nats for no clearly stated reason was one issue that seriously roiled the waters, but based on what I've heard over a number of months, there were numerous other issues that potential racers were concerned or unhappy about. I won't try to list anything more.

My feeling is that many stayed away because they felt it would not be possible to create significant change in the USRA's direction under the current structure and leadership. As has mentioned by many, the annual cycle of proposals and approvals has been shown over many years to work poorly or not at all.

Based on statements made to me, paid membership in the USRA has almost certainly seen a significant drop and that should be a major concern, and is perhaps even more troubling than what is possibly the lowest attended Nats race in the organization's long history.
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#95 Phil Hackett

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 12:20 PM

This is kind of off-topic but still relevent to the thread:

 

Are there any sort of race reports on this Nats? I only want to see the lap charts. I don't need a running narrative. I can't seem to find them here. Haven't tried OWH... and who knows where on Facebook where it might be?

 

Oh... why I'm not there?

 

1) I didn't even know the dates until they had started the Nats program. There was no place to find them *EASILY*. 

 

2) I no longer pull triggers (at the driver's panel): I'm too slow for today's cars. I was too slow in 1993...

 

3) My business isn't relevent to the USRA any longer. I have surrogate outlets now.

 

4) The USRA, years ago, voted to reject all manufacturers' influence.


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#96 Samiam

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 12:31 PM

Paul K has been covering it on OWH.


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#97 JerseyJohn

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 01:04 PM

I know nothing about USRA or Wing cars therefore my only comment is to say I hope it can be fixed. I hate to see groups wither away.

 

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#98 MSwiss

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 01:04 PM

I haven't followed the USRA situation quite close enough to comment, but I just did spot only 9 Pros for today. I thought 17 last year was an old time low.

 

I'm a bit perplexed. With so little racers, you don't need a lot of equipment.

 

I think I spotted guys like Lee Roberts in the pics. He came in second between Chicky and myself at the '96 Nats.

 

I'm surprised he didn't grab somebody's OMO or Semi-Pro car and jump in.


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#99 B.C.

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 02:48 PM

Nine – how sad is that – but given the last 10 days, shouldn't be surprised.
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#100 Uncle Fred

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 09:28 AM

Yes, very sad turn-out. Nobody from Brazil or Europe...


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