Big Changes Coming For King Of The West
ORLANDO, Fla. — Fans of sprint-car racing in the state of California will have a lot of changes to look forward to with the newly renamed Golden State King of the West Sprint Car Series next year.
NSSN caught up with series representative George Hague during last week’s Performance Racing Industry Trade Show at the Orange County Convention Center, who shared new series owner Dan Simpson’s plans for the 410 sprint-car tour.
“We’ve upped the series point fund to a minimum of $100,000 cash and we’re at about $150,000 in contingencies now with hopes to build on that,” Hague said. “The purses have been increased from last year. That’s from the racers side of it.”
The change in purse structure is just one of many changes made to the former Golden State Challenge Sprint Car Series. Several new tracks have been added to the series schedule, including venues in Chowchilla, Calif., Fernley, Nev., and Merced, Calif.
In addition to the expanded 27-race schedule, which now runs from April to October, the series will also promote fan fests in conjunction with 15 of those events. The series will also utilize double-file restarts, something the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series adopted in 2010.
“From the promoters side of it, we think we need to partner with promoters who are putting more people in the seats. We’re going to be doing 15 what we call fan fests the day prior or the afternoon prior to a race someplace in a town, a shopping center, a park or something where we’ll bring the people. We’ll have cars there, we’ll have a band there, we’ll have our t-shirt trailer there, we’ll have vendors there, we’re going to give tickets away, we’ll give stuff away to get fans interested in coming to a race.”
The series will also be handing out a number of major prizes at the end of the 2011 season, including a race-ready 410 sprint car to one of the drivers that attends all the races. If sponsor money does arrive as officials expect, the series will provide a tow money package, something Hague noted the series has never had before.
“I think that will help boost the people changing cars over or bringing cars out that are sitting in garages,” Hague said. “We know there are a lot of cars in California sitting with 410s in them. People bring them out on a rare occasion. We need to entice them to come out more often.”
Hague also revealed that series officials are in the process of putting together what they hope will be a national cable television program.
“We will be doing 15 to 20 hours of national cable television,” Hague said. “[It will be] a reality based show around the King of the West Series. It’s going to be not as much racing, but more about the promoter, the guy who sells tickets, the guy that works the pits. We’re looking at four different cable networks, none of them racing related.”
A number of rule changes are also expected to be announced before the season opener April 9 at Antioch (Calif.) Speedway, changes that Hague hopes will make the racing more exciting for fans and drivers alike.
“There’s just a lot we’re trying to do in a short amount of time,” Hague said. “We need to get the word out there that 410 sprint-car racing is bad ass.”