I have an idea! Tell me what you think.

Discussion in '1965 - 1973 Classic Mustangs -General/Talk-' started by 68stang351, Feb 8, 2004.


  1. 68stang351

    68stang351 Founding Member

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    A dragstrip!. OK, here's some background about my area and why I think a strip would succeed in this area.

    Two towns right next to each other, one with about 35k people, the other with about 27k. Not mention about 8 smaller towns within about 20-25 miles of those two towns, and another town with about 20-30k people in it being about 20 miles away.

    If these people go want to take it to a track, the closest two tracks are about an hour to an hour and a half away, in opposite directions. These two towns are teeming with fast Mustangs, Camaros, Chevelles, you name it, and even a ton of imports that would more than likely go to a track if there was one closer. The reason I believe there would be enough participants lies within me paying attention to how good the Performance Shop/dyno facility is doing that has been opened here. It's the only one, and has been open since August. They already have a PRO 5.0 driver working there, with the owner being a crew member. They have bought Dallas Mustang's green car, and their daughter should be running it in FFW events (Renegade I think).

    So I think there would be demand for a track with all the people around here that are buying from the performance shop. That, plus the fact that everyone I talk to that's into cars says they would love a track around here.

    Well, about 7 or 8 miles outside of each town, (inbetween each town and to the west, like a triangle if you know what I mean) there is an old air force base. It's close enough, but also not close to many houses to disturb. The runways would be perfect. You already have the pavement for the strip itself, and enough pavement for parking and a return road and everything, that it would save you money from having to construct that. All you would need to build is fences, bleachers, concession stand, timing booth, and buy the timing equipment, and build the walls of the strip. I was thinking of just an 1/8 mile, as that's what the other tracks an hour away are, and that's what everyone here talks about. Oh, and people street race here ALL THE TIME!! People are constantly getting put in jail for racing.

    I know that if one was built, me and almost everyone I know would be there every weekend.

    The only thing I'm worried about is how to finance it, and what about insurance?

    What do you guys think of my idea? In my mind, I'm pretty sure it would succeed.
  2. NorCal66

    NorCal66 New Member

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    Sounds like a good idea, but the two things I see causing problems are insurance and the fact the location is an old military base. These are all assumptions, but I'd definately figure that insurance on something like a dragstrip would be pretty damn high with all the things that could go wrong. The base is still government property too no?
  3. 68stang351

    68stang351 Founding Member

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    I don't think it's still government owned, but I could be wrong, I'm not sure.
    The insurance thing is the biggest problem I see.
  4. gp001

    gp001 Founding Member

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    I N S U R A N C E ! ! !

    It would take a hefty amount of dough and a good legal team to cover all liabilities
  5. rbohm

    rbohm Founding Member

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    the very first step i would take would be to contact the DOD and see if they still own the land, and if they have any plans for it. if the answers come back in your favor(1:yes, 2:no), then see what it would take for them to either lease or sell the land you need to you. as far as financing it, the goverment can help there also through the small business administration by getting you loans, and perhaps you can find grant money as well. after that check with venture capital companies. as for insurance, check with your insurance agent and have him put you incontact with someone who writes policies for race tracks. you might even contact the NHRA, SCCA, or other sanctioning bodies and see who they have their insurance through. it may cos toyu less than you think, though you will likely have to put in some safety improvements. since the runway is likely quite wide, consider getting a couple of race sanctioning bodies, like the ones previously named, to schedual a race date or two, they will likely be regional events unless you get real lucky. as for paying for this, the gate will help with this, as will local and regional event sponsorship. get the business's in the area to help in this endevor by showing them that people respond to motorsport advertising. get one or two of the larger companies to be an event sponser by creating a trophy with their name on it to give to the winner of each event, etc. if oyu run this like a business, and pay attention to detail, you can make this thing work.
  6. NoKitten

    NoKitten New Member

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    ^ what he said.

    ~meow
  7. Stang_1973

    Stang_1973 Founding Member

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    Sounds like a great idea. I often thought of the same thing, but here in San Antonio it would be tough to compete with the titans of San Antonio Raceway and Alamo Dragway.

    Sounds to me like you are in a good location. As robhm said, try contacting other strips and see where they get there insurance from.
  8. gp001

    gp001 Founding Member

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    Not trying to burst your bubble but I have watched 4 attempts to build local grass roots tracks here in So. Cal. with poor results.
    1. Brotherhood Raceway - Idea was to take unused paved space in Terminal Island (an area where many of the petroleum companies have plants. Was a temporary track for a while, but after incidents on the track and in pits/stands was closed. They did get OK to reopen from LA city council but couldn't provide the dough for liability insurance and security.
    2. Drag City - Started out as a track for the "little" guy, then became track for "IHRA", then became track for "NHRA" events. Track has been in the build since 1998, still not done.
    3. Attempt to have a temporary strip at the closed down Marine Corp Air Station El Toro. Couldn't get past city/county.
    4. Attempt to build a track at closed down Marine Corp Air Station Tustin. Environmental cleanup, repaving of race area (run ways deemed unsafe for racing, even though they held 2 Chrysler Festival of Speeds there) killed it.

    Without a BIG dollar invester and someone with clout you most likely will never get the go ahead. Environmental Impacts, economical impacts, emergency services impacts, etc. will all have to be addressed. Remeber, unless you BUY the land outright whoever you lease it from will have their buts on the line. EVEN if you were able to secure the insane amount of liability insurance and legal fees the landowner would most likely opt not to take the chance. All it takes is 1 person to crash and kill another and the millions in legal fees will start to mount. To give you an example, a friend of mine started a detailing business. The landowner required a minimum of $1 million in liability. For a 1 man, 1500 sq ft detailing shop. My wife owns a few pet grooming/supply shops. We have to have 2-5 million in liability for each. I've owned enough businesses and been involved in enough startups to know what will kill it before you get out of the blocks.

    Most likely you would never get a loan or grant to start up this type of business due to its liabillity risks.
  9. geegee

    geegee Founding Member

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    The local strip here (Thunder Valley Raceway) requires all entrants to sign a release from liability before entering. In this way, they minimize their insurance costs. Certificate signed states, "Thunder Valley Raceway is a high hazard area owing to car racing activity at this location, etc., etc.

    Everyone signs and takes their chances...
  10. gp001

    gp001 Founding Member

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    Ah yes, but how many iron clad contracts, pre-nups, etc. have been fought over in court. Even though your point of contention may be "They singned a waiver" it may take hundreds of thousands of dollars to get there, and you still may loose. Most waivers are for minor stuff (fender benders, broken parts, etc.) but 1 death and it's out the window. Al they have to argue is that they had no idea that level of risk existed. The examples that were given by lawyers at one of the meetings for a proposed track was:

    A driver returning from a run is heading from the return road into pit area. He sees some people and decides to show off my blipping the throttle. At that moment the linkage breaks and the throttle sticks full open. He is unable to shut it down and stop the vehicle before it kills someone innocently standing in the pit area.

    Some guys are tuning their car in the pits. They have a problem and it catches fire. The fire quickly spreads to the next pit stall where a person is killed.

    This is how lawyers think, and most landowners, cities, counties, etc. have these types of lawyers. It is not about the probable it's about the possible.
  11. 68stang351

    68stang351 Founding Member

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    I know. It's just an idea. I was never intending to actually try to go through with this, it was just an idea. Something to dream about.

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