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Topic: Belleville Midget Nationals - Is it all over? Email this topic to a friend | Subscribe to this TopicReport this Topic to Moderator
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peoria jet
August 06, 2012 at 10:24:04 AM
Joined: 04/25/2012
Posts: 22
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Reflecting on the 35th running of the Belleville Midget Nationals. Only 14 cars were in the Saturday night pits for $12,000 to win. Such a sad thing to see for what was once a very prestigious and great racing event. The question now becomes, is it all over?




kmart
MyWebsite
August 06, 2012 at 10:34:03 AM
Joined: 08/23/2007
Posts: 542
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Reply to:
Posted By: peoria jet on August 06 2012 at 10:24:04 AM

Reflecting on the 35th running of the Belleville Midget Nationals. Only 14 cars were in the Saturday night pits for $12,000 to win. Such a sad thing to see for what was once a very prestigious and great racing event. The question now becomes, is it all over?



How the hell do you get over 200 cars at the Chili bowl and 14 cars at a race that pays over $80,000. Im with you---Im afraid. POWRi is the only answer I see and I dont think they want much to do with it..



JonR
August 06, 2012 at 11:30:33 AM
Joined: 05/28/2008
Posts: 616
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Reply to:
Posted By: peoria jet on August 06 2012 at 10:24:04 AM

Reflecting on the 35th running of the Belleville Midget Nationals. Only 14 cars were in the Saturday night pits for $12,000 to win. Such a sad thing to see for what was once a very prestigious and great racing event. The question now becomes, is it all over?



No, I dont think it is over. Too much history and too much tradition. The 14 cars that they had were all top notch. However, they need to make changes to keep it going.

I do think that this is the last year that they will try it without a USACor POWRi sanction. Preferrably they could get both on board.

Other things that they may need to consider: Moving it back one week to get away from the 360 nationals, and changing the purse structure to put more money back in the field.

 



Ca Sprintcar fan
August 06, 2012 at 11:42:11 AM
Joined: 01/29/2012
Posts: 905
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It was the biggest midget race of the year 20 years ago, but since the the Chilli bowl caught on, Belleville is just another midget race. It's sad to see.


Northern California Sprintcars

laudarevsonhunt
August 06, 2012 at 12:05:29 PM
Joined: 12/02/2004
Posts: 990
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How was the crowd?

How much of the 80k do they pay out to 14 cars?



Andrew S Quinn
August 06, 2012 at 01:03:31 PM
Joined: 11/18/2006
Posts: 869
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This message was edited on August 06, 2012 at 01:16:17 PM by Andrew S Quinn

How would a POWRi sanction help??? Their niche is on the smaller tracks around Illinois etc.

This yr their midget money week had at the most I think it was 26 cars. And 2 of those tracks were smaller tracks like their niche market area tracks.


The size of the track doesnt help matters out any. Its a big horsepower track. The Hut Hundred has lots of history and tradition,but its not run at the Terre Haute Action Track anymore where most of that races history was made at. The last time it was run at THAT (from memory) they only got 22 cars,nowhere near the traditional 33 cars for the race. Not its held down Highway 42 a couple hrs at 1/4 mile Haubstadt ,where this year they had 39 cars for the 33 spots.



revjimk
August 06, 2012 at 01:54:42 PM
Joined: 09/14/2010
Posts: 3294
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Wow. I was thinking of going, but considering the extra 300 miles backtracking on my East Coast-Knoxville-Colorado drive, glad I skipped it. Kyle Larson being at 360s in Knoxville decided it for me, tho he didn't do much...



Bet n Housen
MyWebsite
August 06, 2012 at 02:36:55 PM
Joined: 03/24/2011
Posts: 471
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The problem is one thats growing and will probably envelop sprint car racing eventually. Every track wants a big summer event or a big weekly special and too many places have jumped on the "they are in the area" lets give them another race to run.This has made it difficult to keep on top of the engines ,the cars,parts,and etc. just more and more expense for the owners and a good many of these owners drivers and crews have only so much expendable time to devote to racing,they have to work somewhere to support their families. As far as Belleville it needs a set stand alone date.It usually falls around this time of year to grab a few of the westies being in the Knoxville area,and it needs a bigger promotion nationally,like the Chili Bowl,there are fans who only go to one or two races a year,one being the Chili and the other Knoxville. I personally have been overwhelmed by the amount of "big" races this year. It seems thats all these guys do anymore is drive and keep the fuel tanks on the rigs filled and thats not cheap.

bbqking
August 06, 2012 at 02:37:07 PM
Joined: 04/24/2010
Posts: 129
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Sad to see, but not surprising. Other than the Chili Bowl, midget racing is slowly dying. The Hut 100 and Turkey Night are shells of what they used to be. The closing of Ascot was pretty much the death of midgets on the west coast,Manzy going didn't help either. Angell Park is hanging by a thread in midwest. POWRI and ARDC seem to be doing well, but that is about it. Usac hasn't done midget racing as a whole any favors either. The Chili Bowl is an anomaly for a lot of reasons, other than that, I don't have a lot of hope for midget racing.

Overthehell
August 06, 2012 at 02:41:47 PM
Joined: 07/31/2012
Posts: 8
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Reply to:
Posted By: revjimk on August 06 2012 at 01:54:42 PM

Wow. I was thinking of going, but considering the extra 300 miles backtracking on my East Coast-Knoxville-Colorado drive, glad I skipped it. Kyle Larson being at 360s in Knoxville decided it for me, tho he didn't do much...



The local 305's put on a good show and had more cars around 20? but it also was a horsepower race. I also will head to kville next year and skip the Bellmill nats.



dberk4
August 06, 2012 at 03:07:15 PM
Joined: 10/26/2011
Posts: 61
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It's sad to see what's happening with midget racing . Here on the east coast we have ARDC with car counts as low as 14 to a high of 35 . And most shows I would have to say 18-20 is the norm . You can't put on a good show at tracks like Williams grove with only 20 cars just my opinion as I love midgets . I think with ARDC its the smaller motors they run as compaired to the USAC cars . So there motors are only good with ARDC . And from what I understand they used to be able to buy some of the motors from the USAC guys . but not now . And then you have NEMA that are a pavement only club and I think the only winged midget club and there car counts are not that good some shows with 14-20 cars . It was so great to see 35 midgets at Grandview this year when they ran with the USAC sprints . Is it the cost of midget racing or what or is the 305 sprints hurting them ?



bbqking
August 06, 2012 at 03:40:15 PM
Joined: 04/24/2010
Posts: 129
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Posted By: dberk4 on August 06 2012 at 03:07:15 PM

It's sad to see what's happening with midget racing . Here on the east coast we have ARDC with car counts as low as 14 to a high of 35 . And most shows I would have to say 18-20 is the norm . You can't put on a good show at tracks like Williams grove with only 20 cars just my opinion as I love midgets . I think with ARDC its the smaller motors they run as compaired to the USAC cars . So there motors are only good with ARDC . And from what I understand they used to be able to buy some of the motors from the USAC guys . but not now . And then you have NEMA that are a pavement only club and I think the only winged midget club and there car counts are not that good some shows with 14-20 cars . It was so great to see 35 midgets at Grandview this year when they ran with the USAC sprints . Is it the cost of midget racing or what or is the 305 sprints hurting them ?



I think it is mostly a cost issue. Here in Wisconsin, there are no 305's, and midgets are dying. Badger,BCRA,RMMRA,and others all seem to be dying a slow death. Maybe some guys are racing 305's or 360's, I can't speak to every market.Unfortunately, what I always liked about midgets, the engine diversity, seems most likely to kill it off.

rogerb7
August 06, 2012 at 03:51:55 PM
Joined: 07/27/2009
Posts: 4
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Like an old friend dying. Been going since 1979. Great little town, fantastic people. Wicked fast circular high-banked half mile of sticky yellow clay. Polar opposite of Chili Bowl. High and fast. Wisconsin gang pulled out a few years ago, as local WI promoters started paying double points. I heard this year USAC not only overbooked them on same nights, but also paid double points. Such a cool place with so much history. Dave Argabright wrote a real nice piece several years ago. I remember when the Speed Channel gang was in town years ago to film, they were blown away. Ask Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, JJ Yeley, Kasey Kahne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Kyle Larson, Jason Lefler what it did for their careers. If you can master Belleville, you control your own destiny.



darnall
August 06, 2012 at 04:09:25 PM
Joined: 09/02/2009
Posts: 454
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The biggest thing hurting Belleville, and most other midget racing, is that you have a handfull of guys with a 40 thousand dollar motor in the car and many more in the trailer or shop....they can afford to twist them up to 11,000RPM and do an $8,000 rebuild on em every 5-8 nights. they can also afford to go for a hole that may close up because there are plenty more cars in the shop/trailer. The majority of midget owners have one decent motor and MAYBE a not so decent spare, one decent car and MAYBE a old chassis for a spare....they can't afford to run a motor as hard as you have to on the big tracks so they have no chance of winning or running top 5. They can't destroy a car and still race the rest of the year....There is way too big a gap in the "Haves" and the "Have Nots" in midget racing...the gap is manageable for the little guys on the small tracks PowrI runs on...it's manageable in the Tulsa Expo Center...but ridiculous to try on the big tracks. Add the fact that all the big teams and most of the small teams enter or rent out all their spare cars for Tulsa and you can see why 14 show up at Belleville and 240 come to Tulsa. USAC sprints and the 360 nationals also took away a few potential entries from Belleville (Larson, Abreu, Darland, Hines, etc) but even without those races on the same weekend you still would have had less than 25 cars at Belleville. The insane cost of diesel fuel and new tires for every session of track time are as bad for midgets as for sprintcars but engines are the biggest cancer in midget racing by far.
Loose is when you hit the wall with the rear of the
car, tight is when you hit the wall with the front of
the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and
torque is how far you move the wall.

dberk4
August 06, 2012 at 06:54:08 PM
Joined: 10/26/2011
Posts: 61
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I was talking to some of the USAC guys at Grandview and that's what I was being told about the cost of the midget motors . Some of them are spending $40,000 on motors for the midgets . That's just crazy and it will kill the midgets . you can get a 410 sprint motor for that and made a heck of alot more money . Me and my family have been around the midgets since I was a kid ( my grandfather Ray Jackson was killed in a midget in 1947 in Paterson NJ racing with ARDC ) and my stepfather and brother ran with ARDC I'm 54 now and i don't like what i'm seeing . The midget clubs need to get this under control or we all will be saying remember the midgets .



Rogue-9
August 06, 2012 at 07:46:03 PM
Joined: 02/11/2007
Posts: 1163
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A lot of the midgets at the chili bowl wouldn't be legal at belleville or any series sanctioned race. Maybe, if they want to be unsanctioned they should open the rules up, no weight rule, no engine limits... like the chili bowl.



Swindell 4 Life
August 06, 2012 at 07:54:04 PM
Joined: 08/03/2011
Posts: 7
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Reply to:
Posted By: JonR on August 06 2012 at 11:30:33 AM

No, I dont think it is over. Too much history and too much tradition. The 14 cars that they had were all top notch. However, they need to make changes to keep it going.

I do think that this is the last year that they will try it without a USACor POWRi sanction. Preferrably they could get both on board.

Other things that they may need to consider: Moving it back one week to get away from the 360 nationals, and changing the purse structure to put more money back in the field.

 



I would not say that the 14 cars there were the best of the best. Clauson, Thomas, Stanbrough, Darland, Jones, Stockton, Hines and Ballou were all absent and putting on a great show at Eagle. Oh yeah and the other big name was racing Knoxville, Larson!!



dirtface
August 06, 2012 at 08:59:50 PM
Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts: 1680
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Other than the chili bowl I think the last real large midget car count I've seen in the west was at perris when the USAC nationals were in town for the ovals against the USAC/ CRA . They had a double show and most of the big names were racing both cars was a great night . Then they were all in town for turkey night. Few years back not exact on the year. I miss them good times.
We need more sprint car racing at our home track.

bbqking
August 06, 2012 at 10:27:30 PM
Joined: 04/24/2010
Posts: 129
Reply
This message was edited on August 06, 2012 at 10:29:00 PM by bbqking
Reply to:
Posted By: dberk4 on August 06 2012 at 06:54:08 PM

I was talking to some of the USAC guys at Grandview and that's what I was being told about the cost of the midget motors . Some of them are spending $40,000 on motors for the midgets . That's just crazy and it will kill the midgets . you can get a 410 sprint motor for that and made a heck of alot more money . Me and my family have been around the midgets since I was a kid ( my grandfather Ray Jackson was killed in a midget in 1947 in Paterson NJ racing with ARDC ) and my stepfather and brother ran with ARDC I'm 54 now and i don't like what i'm seeing . The midget clubs need to get this under control or we all will be saying remember the midgets .



Not just the cost of the motors. When a new "trick" motor comes out, the rest are all but obsolete. I remember Stan Fox bringing the Kompa VW 99 to Sun Prarie. I think it was 1979. He won 15 or 16 features, overnight every Sesco and ChevyII was worthless. Fast forward. Eventually the Fontana Arias and the Cosworth's obsoleted the VW's. Then came the Pink Fords, Stantons and Toyota's. Kind of a rough sketch, but you get my drift. Makes me cringe to think, midgets need a spec motor to survive. In my 40 yrs of fandom, no class other than maybe asphalt supers have had more innovation. Asphalt supers seem to be a dying breed also.

Thunderbug
August 07, 2012 at 06:50:53 AM
Joined: 12/05/2004
Posts: 266
Reply

Back in "the day" it was said that the timing of the Belleville Nationals was contingent on the fair date and that was established by when the carnival was scheduled to come.If that was true, then forces beyond a group of race car owners were the deciding factor and that was determined by the economics controlling that situation.

My husband as a small boy visited Belleville when the watering system was a series of connecting pipe surrounding that high bank and the water trickled down over it's huge circumference.(I may have stated this incorrectly but you get the idea).The point being.....many things have changed since those days.

I believe that many of the competetors built and worked on their racecars in their BACKYARD ! He loved the different innovations and designs that those early days produced but once the Kurtis Kraft appeared that became a thing of the past.So here we are. Hanging on to the past and losing our grip !

We consider ourselves fans of auto racing and that evolves daily.If there were no more midgets or sprint cars we would attend the version that attracted the most talent.In my husband's career it was the kind of cars that raced locally and the timing was such that he and his competitors were there for the FIRST KNOXVILLE NATIONALS and they sure weren't sprint cars,baby.They were those odd looking SUPER MODIFIEDS ! So,as you can see, it too has gone through it's own changes,

Time changes everything and all we can hope for is enough time to get to enjoy it all.

END OF SERMON.

Bud's Bride aka Keet Hunnicutt





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