MOORESVILLE, NC :: I’m guilty of it. You’re guilty of it. We’ve all done it at some time or another. We look at the state of our local short tracks or regional touring series and talk about everything that’s wrong, everything that needs changed, and how things could be so much better “if only.”

A short track announcer friend of mine in Texas, an ordained minister for that matter, made a good point on Facebook the other day. He asked everyone around his region to quit focusing on the negatives of local dirt track racing and to focus on the positive things that are going right and try to work from that direction. He makes a good point. Who wants to be around a sport or an activity when everyone involved with it complains about it near-constantly? I don’t want to, and I’m sure you don’t either.

If all you heard from your neighbors was how badly “Joe’s Diner” was, would you want to eat there? Probably not. When you see bad reviews about a movie you aren’t dead-set on seeing, will you go watch it? I’d be surprised if you did. If someone tells you how horrible Person A is and how you shouldn’t ever talk to or associate with them, are you very likely to do so? I doubt it. If you hear someone talk about how their weekly visit to the local racing facility went, and all they do is complain, are you likely to go to that track? Even the most diehard of racers or fans, if they’re honest, will say “probably not.” Why should a prospective fan or casual fan say “yes” if you won’t?

See a pattern?

Everyone always wants to blame the promoter, but the most effective form of advertising in any field of business is word of mouth. Whether it’s positive or negative advertising, it works. Refer to the aforementioned examples. Does the promoter have a big effect on the success of a racetrack? Absolutely. But much like a pastor leading the congregation of a church, if the members of the church are low-down, no-good, evildoers during the other 6 days of the week, there’s a good chance very few new people will attend that church – regardless of how great the pastor is. The members will begin to die off until there’s nothing left.

Sound familiar? If not, have you looked at your local short track recently? Last I checked, our ranks are getting not only smaller, but also older. You don’t see the 20-somethings coming out en masse like they did years ago. For that matter, you don’t see many new 50-somethings coming out en masse like their colleagues do.

There’s a reason the “big tracks” and the “big series” worry about fan experience and fan interaction. They’ve discovered this truth. If fans have a good time, regardless of how boring the race was, they’ll tell friends who eventually will want to come join them. If it’s the other way around, um, yeah, probably not. We all hate it when NASCAR or IndyCar or some sanctioning body disciplines their drivers for speaking negatively about the product, but there’s a method to their madness. Make sense now?

We can apply that same “big league” mentality to our local short tracks and regional touring series. Take a walk with me. Let’s explore some of what’s RIGHT about short track racing. These are things to build upon when telling our friends and colleagues about the thing we love to do every weekend. So if you need help being positive, here are eight things to get you started. There are plenty more, but these should get your engine running.

In the second part of this series, we’ll explore some of what’s RIGHT about short track racing and build upon that when telling our friends and colleagues about the thing we love to do every weekend.

The goal of this article is to do one thing. Instead of others asking, “if it’s like that, I wonder why they go every weekend?,” make them ask “if it’s like that, I wonder why we aren’t going every weekend?”

Click here to read part two

The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not represent the opinion of as a whole.