Andrew, we did what you suggest several years ago and threw big money at a few classes. We got a bump of maybe 20 entries. For every top driver/team that we attracted we heard from as many or more who said “I’m not coming because I don’t have a chance to beat those guys.” We’ve been paying $2k to win in KOS for years — sometimes more — yet the numbers aren’t there. That math doesn’t add up. There aren’t more than a handful of shifters in the Midwest … most running CES. As I noted above, the key for big teams is not the money WE are paying but the money their drivers are willing to pay to make the trip and be under their tent.
What if we did the opposite and offered NO money? I asked at the Driver’s Meeting how many would not come if there wasn’t a purse until the entries numbers recovered. No one raised their hand. Many told me the money doesn’t matter and they would drop other races before ours. Such a move would give us a $15-$20K bump. What do others think?
Lone Star does have an advantage in that it’s not in the “race season,” there are lots of local clubs/tracks in their area, and there is pent up demand from everyone in the northern two-thirds of the country who haven’t been able to race all winter. Great for them, but we can’t race in March in Illinois.
The race will always be a blast. Our volunteers have a love/hate relationship with it. Right now we are glad it’s over but can’t wait to do it again.