There’s a lot of activity right now in various forms of racing and sanctioning organizations that are focused on ‘fun and affordability’ in racing, and offer a way for a regular working guy to go racing.
In discussion on this subject in oval track racing, the POWRi Racing organization comes up in the conversation pretty fast, with its POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series. If you want to look for growth in the racing industry, this is a good place to start.
We spoke with POWRi’ Ken Brown last week, and he shared the “key ingredients” in his successful formula.
First, the tracks are dirt tracks, and they are no longer than 3/8ths of a mile. This format is easier on equipment, allowing budget racers to stretch their budgets and keep racing all year long. More importantly, this format helps level the playing field so talented racers on a budget can compete, run up front and win.
The races are scheduled within close proximity for Friday and Saturday nights. “Drive once, race twice,” explained Brown.
Midget car counts are in the 40s and 50s. The Micro Sprints average between 40 to 65. Over 40 races are already scheduled this year. A POWRi West Series has been initiated.
“It’s mainly grassroots racing,” said Brown, with a sense of modesty. However, we at PRI believe that “grassroots racing” is huge in all of its variations and formats, and the chief way that racing business across the country earn a living.
POWRi is racing designed for guys who work five days a week, many of whom are raising families. Again, at PRI, we would repeat: this market is huge.
Many of the racers start in Micro Sprints, then move up to the Midgets. A few go the other way each year, downsizing from Midgets to Micro Sprint to keep racing, but on an easier budget. In either case, as Brown says, “We don’t lose them.”
“Lucas Oil has stepped up to the plat to help us with our points fund,” said Brown. Lucas Oil also is delivering TV production and air dates to select POWRi events, creating a national audience for the growing series.
It all seems to have happened pretty fast. The POWRi formula works. The season opener was in Texas, a bit of a distance from POWRi’s midwest roots, but one more sign of growth. “I never thought we would have done it,” said Brown.
Congratulations to Brown and his POWRi team for growing this segment of the sport of racing.