How Not to grow the sport. February 05, 2024 05:46AM
There are 2 very different types of pulling events. The ones that start on time, have good announcing, run the vehicles in a timely manner and finish at a reasonable hour. However we need to talk about the other side of pulling. The ones that are killing the potential growth of the sport. How can we bring in new fans when the show starts late, and it takes 2 hours plus to run 8 vehicles down the track? How can we get repeat customers ( families) when the kids are bored and tired? After a family of 4 have spend $70 plus snacks and have decided to leave when only one class is finished, how do ever get them to come back? We have become way to complacent to bad shows. We keep wondering why we struggle to get new fans when in fact pulling IS the problem. Fortunately there are many well run exciting events around the country. I know that this next statement will upset some people, however I firmly believe that the fan is the most important person in the three parts of pulling. Granted without the pullers there would be nothing to watch. Without the promoter no one would produce the show and last be certainly ne least is the sponsors that help defray the expenses. However I believe it all is centered around the fan. Pullers love to hook in front of large crowds, the promoter has to sell tickets and the sponsors are there to sell their goods the the fans. The really well run events realize and attempt to give the fans good value for their hard earned money.



Dick Morgan

www.PULLOFF.com
Independent Pulling News

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 05, 2024 06:54AM
The events that charge a admission fee are entertainment,simple as that.
Those are in he entertainment business, which uses a pulling event as the "draw" to seperate spectators from dollars.
Every event that's talked about on here,is a long standing event that provides a good entertainment value.
A pulling only event will never succeed at charging admission,look at norwalk,top Notch facility,top notch equipement,and a complete flop,failure,and money looser.

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 05, 2024 07:31AM
Quote
patches
Every event that's talked about on here,is a long standing event that provides a good entertainment value.
A pulling only event will never succeed at charging admission,look at norwalk,top Notch facility,top notch equipement,and a complete flop,failure,and money looser.

I don't follow your logic. Bowling Green and Norwalk are both pulling-only events.

Norwalk had lots of hype but for whatever reason the spectators did not follow. I can address one thing people brought up that imo is more on the spectators than Norwalk. Some people complained that it was the same price to watch an evening session as it was to show up in the day. "I would've gone if I didn't have to pay for classes I couldn't watch..."

If I go to an NHRA drag race on a Friday, it's the same ticket price whether I show up at 8am to watch the sportsmen run or 6 pm to watch the pros. Norwalk simply followed that same pricing model that is used in drag racing. If I go to an Indy Car race at a road course, it's the same price whether I show up at 8am Sunday to watch the 3-4 timed support races or whether I show up at 1 pm to watch just the Indy Cars. Your price is based off the main event.

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 05, 2024 10:28AM
First thing I would do Dick is to start on time right after the natl anthem is played, send the 1st one down the track!! Not 10 min later!! And, Also, a big one with me, Is to start with best classes 1st, Mods, Minis,unlimted should always go 1st. Like you said, the kids get tired and cranky waiting for the Big Dogs. and if your show runs long, parents have to go home and they miss what they came to see in the first place 90%of the time.
Almost No one wants to watch a bunch of single charger classes go 1st.

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 05, 2024 10:33AM
I have often wondered why they run the big HP classes so late in the evening. If you watching much pulling online you will notice that when those classes finally run the stands have lost half the crowd. The philosophy that we finish with those classes actually runs against what the fans with a family should be able to see.



Dick Morgan

www.PULLOFF.com
Independent Pulling News

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 05, 2024 11:48AM
The two previous posts are 100% correct. For years as a pulling observer, I've wondered time and again why the best classes are relegated to pulling in front of a smattering of fans at the wee hours of the night. It doesn't make sense. Yet, continues to happen. News flash, the fans that stick around after three hours of pulling are the diehard drinkers and pulling fanatics. Those guys will stay and drink even if you finish up with an out of field class at midnight. The families with younger kids and casual fans-- the ONES THAT PULLING SHOULD WANT TO ATTRACT-- are long gone by then.

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 05, 2024 11:53AM
you say put top classes first then pro stock would be first everybody is different i wouldnt walk across the street to watch minis or twd and single turbo classesare just fine to me i like smoke evidently you dont. So with your statement you maybe tick off half the crowd one way or the other. But the fairs and other events want the show to last a certain amount of thime so the buy beer and food that they make money off of because they are their to make money not to just put on a show.

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 05, 2024 12:19PM
I don't believe anyone said put PS first, rather the the goal is to run some high HP classes Before the wee hours if the night.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2024 05:30AM by Dick Morgan.

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 05, 2024 12:20PM
4510, Most of you smoke guys like smoke and thats fine, I still watch your classes. Think of the people that come to the pulls anymore, mostly town and city folk and they like action. most single charger classes just put people to sleep after the first 20 of them pull. Put them at the end of the pull where they belong and you will have many more happy fans that will come back again and again. Also, most fans pay to get in and then buy concessions for the 1st hour or 2, so you do the money from them most of the time anyway.

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 05, 2024 07:45PM
plb you get tired of single tire classes i get tired of single engine mods to me there is no much difference between minis and twd they make same noise. For our fair they own the beer stand and sell beer all night long. Dick you talk about starting on time to me its just as important to keep the show moving and thats the mods problem cant start them until the sled is in place or pull them out and start on the track then of course the twd half to pull out to the 100 ft mark to back up to the sled they slow the show down to a crawl, i go to louisville every year i cant understand why they let the twd back themselves to the sled some off them come out past 150 ft mark. Having your vehicle or tractor ready to pull to the sled is just as important as start time, watch klint tucker if you want to learn how to put on a show he really keeps things moving but then again he doesnt have twd that i see evrything is lined up and he has people pulling you up in line constantly very efficient =.

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 05, 2024 02:12PM
Dick, I couldn't agree with you more on this subject. I have a 10 year old son that likes to watch the pulls with me and we like to get back home at a decent time if we are not camping at the event. Don Slama runs a heck of a show in Hillsboro and when they say the pull starts at 7:00 you better have your butt in the stands because the 1st tractor is going down the track at 7:00. He runs a well organized show and we enjoy going there. However there is another pull 40 minutes from our house that waits about 30 minutes after the advertised start time to begin the opening ceremonies, National Anthem, other songs and a prayer. Absolutely nothing wrong with the opening ceremonies but that could all be done at or before the start time. Then they decide they "need" an intermission at around 10:00 to "repack the track", ie sell more beer and hamburgers. This pull usually lasts until 11:00 or later, I've stayed as late as 1:00 am to watch the 60 - 70 hooks that are on 2 tracks! Promoters really need to push for events to start on time and strive for a hook every 4 minutes for a 1 track venue and every 3 minutes for a 2 track venue, any longer than that the audience will get bored and tend to leave early.

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 06, 2024 12:03AM
I have said for years. START ON TIME! First vehicle should be hooked and tightening the chain within a minute of advertised start time. Not 20-30 minutes later

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 06, 2024 01:31AM
I think most all of the above statements are true. Beginning on time is a HUGE factor for families! Most kids don't want to go to the pull and walk around the pits for 2 hrs or so and then sit for 5 hours and watch a slow pace pull. I am a fan of all the classes, they each have something to offer. I've been around the sport for a while, as a child watching and helping, a puller, and having children to take to the pulls and just watch or taking my tractor. Personally, I love the smoker tractors. The kids and people off the street seem to like the more "unique" classes like the mods and semi trucks (which rarely pull anymore). No one wants to go out to a tractor pull and pay the admission fees and watch a slow paced event that started late and has no great pulling action at the beginning. Then leave because the kids and wife are tired of sitting their watching the same old similar tractor go down the track every 4 or 5 mins.

I think starting with a classic heavy farm stock like a 12500 open speed limit class (which I pull), is great for the fans to see where the sport started and get the track prepped for the "big boys." Then roll into the modifieds or a smoker series and keep the show moving. Speed limit pulling is like watching paint dry and then generally spinning out at the end, not getting to see the full potential of the tractor. I had to say how I felt about speed limits and I believe most fans and even some (maybe most) pulling performance shop owners feel this way.

Having the tractors getting hooked to the sled, on deck and in-the-hole is a huge factor to move the pull along. NOT getting the sled set in position and then spraying ether by the can loads, then putting on your helmet and fire suit (lol), the crowd wants to see the pulling vehicle going down the track, not all of that. A good scrapper and roller tractor team is key to have a great track and keep the pace of the pull flowing. Tow tractors or rigs at the end of the track at the ready is important as well. If the pull is scheduled to start at 7 pm then do opening ceremonies at 6:50 pm and start the event by having the first vehicle going down the track at 7pm.

There are lots of other things you can do to interact with the crowd. Ask pulling or tractor related questions, tee shirt cannons, and talking about the sport in general and the competitors and their machines. A good or great announcer really helps the event. At the pulls around here (MD) we have both and I have heard the crowd and family members talk about how good or bad the show was because of the announcer. All of this helps with the interaction and keeping the flow of the show. Thanks Morgans for the space to chat and buy and sell.

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 06, 2024 02:25AM
Keith, Sorry, but starting with your class would be about the worst class to start with, slow and speed controlled is not a fun class to watch. best pull your class at the end after the track is either tore up or hard as a rock. IMO you gotta start with the big horse power guys.

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 06, 2024 02:45AM
plb That is why I said open speed limit, NO speed limit 12,500. Slow and speed controlled is not a fun class to watch, I agree with you if you reread my post. But hey we know that most of the big pulls don't have those classes anymore.

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 06, 2024 12:17AM
Dick You NAILED IT.. We feel the same way as you, #1 are the fan's they pay the "majority" of the bills without them there is no pull #2 for us is the sponsors but we consider them "Partners" as we are a stand alone Region 2 event and need support to be in the black each year. What most pullers forget is that it is they are the entertainment, yes they are also competing, But our track is the stage and they are on it to "entertain the fan's"

Jim Schaendorf
Dorr Summer Sizzler

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 06, 2024 06:00AM
I agree that start time is important. I also think the pullers need to be aware and ready to go. There are circumstances that cause shows to start late IE weather, I think everyone understands this and would rather start late than not at all.

I do think the show should incorporate the power classes somewhere in the middle of the event, not necessarily at the start but after a class or two. One of the issues with this is that the sled operators like to start with the lighter lower power classes then add weight to the sled as the night goes on. This has a two fold benefit, being the time it takes to add weights to the sled then remove it later if you run the lower HP classes later in the evening. Changing the sleds setup becomes a time drain if weights get changed after every class, if a light/lower HP to heavy/high HP class progression is used the sled might use the same weights and only change a gear. I know most times when they get ready to run us in the mod class it takes a lot of weights being added. If we are run in the middle of the event that weight then has to be removed...it's a bit of a tradeoff time wise vs running the premier classes earlier in the event.

S'no Farmer

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 08, 2024 11:46PM
If you’re going make families a reason for changes then clean your selves up and I don’t mean fancy toters and matching shirts, get rid of the booze and clean up the foul mouths, what goes on in the shop is one thing but there’s no reason for it in the pits or in an interview after a win
There’s some great gear head shows on YouTube that my sons have lead me too,and the first thing I notice is how they handle themselves, very clean atmosphere and with lots of fun and knowledge. I know there’ll be haters but I’m sure there’ll be plenty that will agree

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 09, 2024 12:31AM
I couldn't have said it better!

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 09, 2024 12:43AM
The sport claims to be a family sport and then you hear some idiot get one the mic and use totally inappropriate language. A good announcer knows enough to never give up control of the mic. We take the kids through the pits and they have to dodge the mountain of beer cans that are everywhere

I realize that I sound like a prude, but we can't have it both ways. Either we want to mud buggy racing or a family friendly sport.



Dick Morgan

www.PULLOFF.com
Independent Pulling News

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 11, 2024 03:03PM
Quote
Dick Morgan
The sport claims to be a family sport and then you hear some idiot get one the mic and use totally inappropriate language. A good announcer knows enough to never give up control of the mic. We take the kids through the pits and they have to dodge the mountain of beer cans that are everywhere

I realize that I sound like a prude, but we can't have it both ways. Either we want to mud buggy racing or a family friendly sport.


You don't sound like a prude but I have to ask what events and where do you take the kids through?

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 12, 2024 01:59AM
Thanks for the question. I do not want to take my son to a pull that is not family friendly. Granted he's 50 but you can never be to careful. Seriously the sport will not grow or even stay at its current level without the next generation being involved. There are to many things that are major problems for the sport, the rural community is shrinking not growing, there are to many other options for entertainment such as countless hours of motorsports available, video games, sports. Face it at the risk of sounding to negative we need to work at
keeping the sport where it is today. I know that nobody wants to hear this but the sport has been on a steady decline for 20 plus years.



Dick Morgan

www.PULLOFF.com
Independent Pulling News

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 12, 2024 12:15AM
Speaking of the family aspect....

The use of sexual double entrendes as vehicle names needs to stop. I'm not sure if this tractor is still around, but a guy ran a tractor called Slutty Allis, and there was another he ran called Sloppy Seconds. NASCAR and NHRA can (and have) prohibited certain sponsors from advertising on vehicles. On no planet should a 5 year old at a tractor pull need to ask his mom or dad "what does slutty mean?"

Pulling does not have nearly the sponsorship footprint, but the organizations could easily adopt a policy of questionable vehicle names could be disallowed.

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 12, 2024 03:43AM
How about "Cummin for Nuttin" ?

Re: How Not to grow the sport. February 12, 2024 08:00AM
I've seen some of these sexually themed pulling vehicles. All I can say is, those who name their pulling vehicles such names as mentioned above or similar, have no moral compass, and have twisted perverted minds. I agree, children should not be subject to these things at a so called " Family Event ". Grow up to those who think that their inappropriate vehicle names are funny or cool, because they are not.

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