If Brett Hearn wants his “Big Show” to be a special attraction of the stock car racing season, it’s time for him to start doing some serious promoting.
“Big Show 6,” held Tuesday night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, was, quite simple, a big dud. And that was before the skies opened up while the field was running under caution after just four green-flag laps of the 100-lap feature.
Granted, the show was rushed along because anyone with a smart phone knew a huge storm was rolling in. But “Big Show” is turning into just another Super DIRTCar series race, with the same faces who usually show up for the summer’s traveling series. The only difference Tuesday night was that sponsorship money allowed Hearn to offer a top prize of $10,000, compared to the normal winner’s share of $6,000.
First of all, where were all the cars? Only 41 took time, and that number even deserves an asterisk. Jimmy Davis was racing for the first time in a month, Jessica Zemken had gotten a ride in one of CG Morey’s cars and A.J. Romano, who rarely shows up for a mid-week race, decided to give “Big Show 6” a try.
Take them out of the mix, and you’re under 40 cars. That hardly classifies as a big show.
Where were all the Orange County cars? For that matter, where were ANY Orange County cars? Orange County used to Hearn’s home track. The “Big Show” series started at Orange County before moving to Albany-Saratoga three years ago. You can’t tell me that not one driver from Orange County figured he might be capable of winning $10,000.
If Hearn wants the “Big Show” to succeed, he’s got to start calling in some favors, or get the race off the Super DIRTCar Series schedule.
It’s time to get innovative. Entice old rivals like Jimmy Horton and Billy Pauch to show up. Go to an open tire rule, home track rules (the old Bruce Richards disclaimer — if you’re legal at your home track, you’re legal here), keep cultivating sponsors to build an even bigger purse, throw in a high-paying “B” main, anything to get some drivers out of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, western New York or Canada to make the trip to Malta.
A lot of good ideas die a quick death because promoters think all they have to do is open the gates and they’ll get support. Remember “Thunder Along The Mohawk” at Fonda Speedway? The initial race was one of the biggest events ever held at the Track of Champions, but a couple of years later, it didn’t even exist.
Unless Hearn can come up with some new ideas, I doubt if area fans are going to keep spending $24 to watch a Super DIRTCar series race.
Notes from the show
The rained-out portion of “Big Show 6” has been rescheduled for Wednesday, July 30, but it still hasn’t been determined if additional races will be held along with the conclusion of the 100-lap feature. “Nothing has been finalized yet,” said Albany-Saratoga Speedway track manager Lyle DeVore Wednesday.
“Big Show 6” only had four green-flag laps before Elmo Reckner brought out the caution when he came to a stop in the fourth turn on lap five. Rain was already falling, and the field ran seven laps under caution before the lap counter was finally frozen on lap 11.
Among the drivers who didn’t qualify were Fonda Speedway promoter Matt DeLorenzo and Lebanon Vallery regular Andy Bachetti.
Bodie Bellinger turned in an impressive run in his heat, finishing third and then drawing the No. 3 starting spot for the feature. He’ll be running fourth when the race resumes.
The sportsman draw a field of 52 cars, with Joey Scarborough and Jeremy Pitts picking up the victories in the Twin 20s.
Around the tracks
Rain has really been wreaking havoc with the Super DIRTCar Series. Last Thursday, rain carried the series race at Rolling Wheels into early Friday morning, with Billy Decker taking the checkered flag at around 2 a.m.
Decker inherited the lead when Tim McCreadie had something let go in his car with 10 laps remaining. McCreadie pulled off the track, but he had been so far in front, Decker wasn’t sure he was leading the race.
“We didn’t have anything for the 4* car,” said Decker after the race. “I didn’t even know I was leading there, he just disappeared off into the sunset.”
Craig Hanson picked up $3,711 for his victory at Glens Ridge Motorsports Park last Friday. Bobby Varin had the lead on lap 29, but got low and into some water on the inside, causing him to spin. He never backed out of the throttle, but the yellow quickly came out, and Varin was put at the rear of the field.
Richard Lowrey III, 15, picked up the first win of his career in the Renegade division at Devil’s Bowl Speedway last Friday. Lowrey had missed the previous week’s action because he was attending a football camp at Boston College.