Let me start off by making it clear that I’m on on-road racer. I’m not devoted strictly to on-road, but I like it just as much as off-road, and before short course came along, I probably liked on-road just ever so slightly better than dirt racing. Now that we have established that I am not anti-on-road and that I don’t have some sort of bias towards off-road, we can get to the subject at hand. Is on-road racing dead? If it is, why?
My take on the subject is that while it isn’t dead, it’s pretty close. Don’t get mad; it’s just one man’s observation. I know there are some popular and well attended on-road racing clubs out there, but overall, the scene just isn’t anywhere near as big as it once was. I’m not talking just being smaller than when touring cars ruled RC; I think the on-road racing scene is smaller than even the pre-TC craze. I think on-road racing across all segments is down–touring cars, 1/8-scale, oval, 1/12-scale, etc. And, I love oval racing. It pains me say it, but the oval ship has done sailed.
So, we could argue about how I’m wrong, but I believe it’s far more important to focus on the why. If we could all at least agree that on-road is smaller and not worry about to what degree it’s smaller, the focus can be on what’s really important–the why. I hate to over simply something, but on-road racing has suffered because it got too complicated. That’s it. What you have to go through to be competitive in any of the on-road racing segments is just far too much for the average Joe. While it’s a horrible sounding term, that means on-road racing is elitist. When something is elitist you simply can’t expect huge numbers.
Got a different option? Let’s here it.
I should also add that the best news I’ve heard in a long time was that my local off-road track is adding a carpet track. I’ve already started blowing the dust off my oval cars.