Great Opportunity for Entry Level Racing!
The National Drag Boat Association (Division 4 which is St. Louis Drag Boat Association - http://www.sldba.org) held their winter meeting over the weekend and I was able to propose some ideas to kick start the River Racer class - which is their dial-in entry level class. Currently, any boat that runs 12.00-16.99 seconds can run in this class.
I just heard back today from the President of the association and have some great news that hopefully will give people the incentive to come out and drag race.
1. Entry fee for the River Racer class only will be reduced from $175 for the weekend down to $100 (other classes are staying the same). 1st place pays $500 plus possible contingency prizes so that's a decent payout. 2nd place pays $200 or so.
2. They are going to include slower boats - perhaps down to 19.99 seconds. So virtually any decent running runabout, jet boat, bass boat - or even Personal Watercraft - can enter. How it works is the slower boat gets a head start and theoretically both boats will hit the finish line at the same time - just like bracket racing at the car drag strip.
3. With the Quarter Mile Marketing announcement stating they're putting $1000 into every race, $800 of that $1000 is going into the second chance class. So if you lose in the first round, you can enter the second chance class and run off for a decent purse. It'll probably be split 70/30 or something like that with 70% going to first and 30% going to second place.
4. They are committed to getting 4 rounds of qualifying in every race. So, with that, you will have the opportunity to run a MINIMUM of 6 passes every weekend (4 qualifying and 2 on Sunday if you enter the second chance class). That's a lot of passes. If you win on Sunday, you may make as many as 9 or 10 passes...or more if there's a lot of boats.
5. They're going to continue the 1/2 price entry fee for first time racers as well. So a new River Racer boat can go racing for a total of $100 at their first race ($50 for the half price entry fee and $50 for the one time club membership fee). That makes racing fairly reasonable for those who don't have a full time race boat.
6. The membership fee will be $100 for the year at any time for first time members. They will not charge the $25 late fee if you join after 3/31. That late fee is only going to be charged to current members who RENEW after 3/31. If you've never been an NDBA Div. 4 member and you show up to a race in June and join for the year, you shouldn't have to pay a late fee and you no longer will.
If you've ever been on the fence and wanted to try racing, here's a great opportunity. No matter how fast your boat is, if you want to race it, you can race it - as is. Run what you brung. In between racing, you can watch 180 MPH ProMods and some killer fast outboards run too. It's a nice leisurely way to race as well.
If you have any questions, please post here or contact me, Rick Conklin, or Ray Neudecker - we're all here on the board.
On to the next project....