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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    2,041

    Default Wow! Did you see this........

    This announcement is to inform everyone that all remaining 2022 races at Friendship Motor Speedway have been cancelled. We are not going to blame tire shortages or the economy because we have consistently had some of the best car counts of anywhere in the Southeast. The honest reason is that we are not willing to put up with the disrespect and verbal abuse that some of the drivers, crew members and fans are directing to the track staff and owners.
    When we purchased Friendship last year, we had high expectations for ourselves to not only clean up the facility, but also the reputation of the track. We wanted to provide a top-notch venue that drivers, fans, and the community could be proud of. After working all winter long, we were slapped in the face with all the negativity as soon as the 2022 schedule was released. From that we moved to a group encouraging people to boycott the track. As the season has gone on, we have dreaded race Saturdays. After this past weekend we decided we really donít have to unlock a gate for the track staff and ourselves to be cussed at, spit on, threatened, and disrespected. We are done, but here are some points you might want to consider when you race or attend events at other tracks.
    - When a track worker, track owner, or law enforcement asks you to move away from a certain area, it is for your own, the racersí, and the trackís protection. Besides the fact that we donít want to see anyone hurt, we donít want our insurance premiums to increase since we paid nearly $20,000 for insurance this past year. If a trackís insurance premiums go up, that cost is going to be passed along in higher admission prices or reduced purse. If you canít follow a request by an official to move, itís simple, stay at home. NEVER tell someone that asked you to stop sitting on pit wall during hot laps that you donít have to because they are JUST a track worker. Weíve never been to a racetrack that could open without those ďJust a track workersĒ. If youíve been to one that can operate without workers, please tell us which one it was. The official who asked the person to move was one of the track owners who, although he was furious, was glad that none of the track staff had to be disrespected and hear that comment personally directed at them.
    - Track owners and promoters canít predict the weather any better than you can. They are looking at the same forecast on their phones as you are. Whether you are a fan or racer and you donít want to risk your time or money on a possible rainout, itís simple, just stay at home. For an open practice, if you canít risk $100 if it starts raining an hour in to practice, why do you expect the track owner to risk a couple of thousand dollars for track prep and worker pay?
    - If you donít want to stop at a pit gate, sign in correctly, purchase arm bands for everyone in your group, or monitor your children in the pits, itís simple, just stay at home. The Sunday morning pictures on Facebook show who is buying armbands and who isnít, not just at our track but other tracks also.
    - For the fans, if you canít afford the admission price or donít want to wear the armband on your wrist, itís simple, just stay at home. Itís been unbelievable the abuse directed at track staff for asking someone to take the armband out of their pocket and put it on their arm for a few hours. In the long run, that little scrap of paper on your wrist keeps admission prices down because itís easier to spot all the cheaters. Also, the staff at the ticket gate knows your 15-year-old really isnít 11, or that 2019 county fair ticket isnít a rain check armband. It just isnít worth the time or energy to call you out. Tracks will just start locking the gates instead of putting up with this.
    - If you donít like the event running order, where you are directed to park your tow vehicles and trailers in the pits, or the division rules, itís simple, just stay at home. There must be a division that goes out first every week and a division that goes out last every week. The biggest whiners might find their division in that same order again next week.
    - As a racer if you donít want to complete paperwork that the IRS and the track require, itís simple, just stay at home. In 7 races, our track paid out $225,320 to the drivers. If a track owner has to show this amount as a profit instead of the expense it actually is why would they stay in business. This past Saturday, several drivers chose to verbally abuse our employees during payout. These drivers had been informed for several weeks to complete the W-9 form. We had announced on Facebook and posted signs at the pit gate booth that no payout money would be given that night without a valid W-9 on file. Out of 126 entries, we had 15 drivers (mostly from one division) who still had not completed the form at payout time and several were extremely disrespectful. By the time all was said and done, there were 4 drivers ($550 total) that did not complete the form. We have no control over those who choose to believe the people spreading the rumors that the track was trying to cheat the racers out of their money. We think our past actions and higher than normal payouts speak for itself.
    - If you think the concession food is too high at a racetrack, itís simple, stay at home. Maybe the food is a bit higher because a track has money invested in costly equipment that only gets used a few times a month or they had to throw out food because of a rain out. It also could be higher because they spend over 14 hours picking up trash from a race night despite the 73 trash cans that have been set out before each event. A racetrack isnít making money off all your McDonaldís trash or the 32 Busch Light empties you left stacked in the grandstands, but those things sure cost the track in labor and dumpster fees.
    - If you canít use a restroom without trying to tear something up, itís simple, stay at home. We didnít paint bathrooms 3 times before the county health inspector came just so you would have fresh spots to kick the walls with your dirty feet. The toilet paper we put in the restrooms wasnít put there for you to throw whole rolls in the toilet to clog it up.
    - Remember every negative you say about a track just makes it more difficult for the track and the racers to get sponsors. Why would a business want to give money for their name on your car when all they see on Facebook is you complaining about the track or the other drivers? Itís simple, they wonít.
    - Maybe our expectations were too high. If the fans and drivers were expecting to see a track director roll around in the mud for a couple hundred dollars or some Facebook likes, you were at the wrong place. As we do in our other businesses, we tried to act professionally and wanted everyone who came through a gate at Friendship Motor Speedway to go home feeling proud of the facility and their opportunity to enjoy a good race, whether from the stands or the driverís seat. We anticipated providing a track where our local drivers could showcase their talent and would bring regional recognition to them and ultimately higher payouts.
    - We want to thank the drivers and fans who supported us and didnít think it was such a burden to follow the simple rules and procedures required to make an event run smoothly. It breaks our hearts to know that our decision will mean some of the drivers who have always been a pleasure to work with might not have an opportunity to race in the future. We give our track staff the biggest thanks for helping us accomplish what we did in just a few months' time and showing the dirt racing world what Friendship Motor Speedway could have been. We are sorry for all the disrespect shown to you these past weeks and that will unfortunately be directed at some of you after this announcement. A huge thanks goes to Jason Walls for always trying to be a buffer from the constant complaints and working so hard to give racers opportunities to gain experience at different tracks.
    - Friendship will still be available on a limited schedule for private test sessions. We are exploring options for uses of the facility in the future. We hope everyone remembers that as owners of a private property in the United States, we have the freedom to choose what we want to do with our facility, just as each of you do with your property.
    - In closing, we would like every person who attends or participates in any race event in the future to ask themselves this question as they travel home from the track. Did my actions tonight make it easier or harder for the racetrack owners and staff to want to come back next Saturday night? Because it really is that simple!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pittsburgh PA
    Posts
    8,168

    Default

    Itís not the first time a track closed because of thin skin and it certainly wonít be the last.
    Follow me on Twitter: @JoshBayko

    Guerrilla Racing Junkies!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    On the road
    Posts
    15,960

    Default

    Sad to see thatÖÖ.Iíve always enjoyed going to races there. That backstretch view parked on the hill is one of the best views in dirt racing for a fan.

    Sorry some of their racers and fans are diks like that up thereÖÖmust be something in the water up that way.
    Where is the move over flag when you need it?????

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Posts
    5,253

    Default

    Sometimes itís not worth it. It seems like every week a few people screw up bathroom or a fence or things around the track. Workers have to fix this stuff every darn week. Respect the tracks everyone.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2013
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    On the road
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    Josh sounds more like foreskin rather than thin skin that made that decision happenÖ.sux.

    Really cool place in a cool part of the Carolinaís.
    Where is the move over flag when you need it?????

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Pennsboro, WV
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    2,343

    Default

    Bayko nailed it. If you're in business, you're going to get criticized. Doesn't matter what it is, it happens. There will always be stupid people out there, you just have to be able to ignore it.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2013
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    Getting Criticized is one thing, and I totally agree with you all on that. If youíre in business itís going to happen.

    Getting spit on , cussed at and stolen from because people wonít wear the armbands so they can pass them around to the people that havenít paidÖÖ.nope, not even once is that acceptable.

    Surprised nobody has gone to jail or worse.
    Where is the move over flag when you need it?????

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    241

    Default

    I find these threads useful. Some comments earn an immediate block. There's always a few people on any forum you are kinda on the fence about their attitude. Then they make it clear. HE GONE!

    <not directed at you, Barbecue)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    @ the track
    Posts
    11,479

    Default

    Spot on BBQ.
    What a shame. What a MESS. What's up with people? As far as racers and crew members that were mentioned, when they have nowhere to race, they can only blame themselves. It's a shame cuz it's probably a few ruining it for everybody.
    8/13/16

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Pennsboro, WV
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    2,343

    Default

    BBQ, I'm not condoning stealing or spitting on someone. That is unacceptable. But the truth of the matter is, most people are ignorant. Every track is dealing with a variety of issues.
    Last edited by Pennsboro32; 08-17-2022 at 02:18 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    241

    Default

    Saying "well tracks should know its going to happen and just accept it" is part of the problem. People show NO respect to a place they enjoy coming to and they show NO respect to the people who put on the show. Most people don't criticize tracks..they run the promoters, the workers, and anyone else involved into the ground with insults, cursing, violence, sometimes even death threats. They destroy property, steal property or trespass, they leave their trash everywhere. Business owners aren't robots..they are humans, too and sometimes you get tired of the crap you put up with.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    509

    Default

    I donít live anywhere near this place, and I donít know the owners, but I get their point. We had a group try and resurrect a closed track here and they went into hock to do it. All they got was BS on social mediaÖ.do thisÖdo that..All kinds of people wanted to tell them how to do it and. Ot one showed up to helpÖ.they just complained. NFW in this day and age would I stick my neck out to run a racetrack. The public just isnít worth it. Sad, but itís true. Nobody running a dirt racetrack is getting rich. Theyíre doing it because they enjoy it. Or did.

  13. #13
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    Jan 2020
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    Pennsboro, WV
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paradox28 View Post
    Saying "well tracks should know its going to happen and just accept it" is part of the problem. People show NO respect to a place they enjoy coming to and they show NO respect to the people who put on the show. Most people don't criticize tracks..they run the promoters, the workers, and anyone else involved into the ground with insults, cursing, violence, sometimes even death threats. They destroy property, steal property or trespass, they leave their trash everywhere. Business owners aren't robots..they are humans, too and sometimes you get tired of the crap you put up with.
    How exactly do you plan on fixing people being stupid? They're going to do it no matter what, they did it 30 years ago, I remember going to the races at 5 years old and drivers were fighting, one had a crowbar ready to beat the snot out of the other. One fan kicked another fan off the bleachers for stealing his seats. Tumbled down the bleachers and he went out on a stretcher. I've seen the local track owners getting cussed out at the end of the night for putting someone's son on the tail for jumping the start. Promotors/owners have been dealing with this stuff forever. You just didn't see it because social media wasn't available back then. Nothing has changed, it didn't just now become a problem is my point.
    Last edited by Pennsboro32; 08-17-2022 at 02:53 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Paducah, KY
    Posts
    689

    Default

    Totally unacceptable. Hate that this has happened. Nobody deserves that type of treatment. Iím critical of my home track only because I want it to get better. But I would never spit on or cuss an owner out for any reason.
    Darrell Goode

    [url]wwww.facebook.com/goodeguitarlessons

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    581

    Default

    I wish everyone could be involved in race promoting at some point, would completely change most for the better. I can tell you that after running a kart track for a few years I make sure and treat facilities and promotors just that much better (and learn how to bring issues forward in a constructive way). Hate this for our area, and quite honestly this is a huge surprise.

  16. #16
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    Jun 2013
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    241

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pennsboro32 View Post
    How exactly do you plan on fixing people being stupid? They're going to do it no matter what, they did it 30 years ago, I remember going to the races at 5 years old and drivers were fighting, one had a crowbar ready to beat the snot out of the other. One fan kicked another fan off the bleachers for stealing his seats. Tumbled down the bleachers and he went out on a stretcher. Promotors/owners have been dealing with this stuff forever. You just didn't see it because social media wasn't available back then. Nothing has changed, it didn't just now become a problem is my point.
    You just said what turned it into a huge problem...the power of social media. You fix stupid by other non-stupid people not standing by and letting little Billy destroy stuff at the race track. People who have issues with something that happened at the track can meet a promoter face to face or call them personally. Instead..what happens? They run to facebook or twitter or wherever and tell a completely one-sided story and start a battle that a track usually never wins.

  17. #17
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    Jan 2020
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    Pennsboro, WV
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paradox28 View Post
    You just said what turned it into a huge problem...the power of social media. You fix stupid by other non-stupid people not standing by and letting little Billy destroy stuff at the race track. People who have issues with something that happened at the track can meet a promoter face to face or call them personally. Instead..what happens? They run to facebook or twitter or wherever and tell a completely one-sided story and start a battle that a track usually never wins.
    Good luck monitoring what everyone says on social media.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    7,107

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    I live 40 mins from this track and 311. With 311 shut down I chose to go to friendship on special occasions when they are running supers on a touring series. While I condone everything that was posted in first message and had nothing nor did I know this was going on I am sorry for all that has happened. Being a fan going to watch the shows there it has been a joke compared to other tracks. I was at the last Carolina clash show and was so disappointed that I left early and I have a lot of patience. I told myself I would never return and I don't like being like that cuz I like to support local tracks. May b 311 can make something happen but I have my doubts.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    @ the track
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    11,479

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    If I promoted or ran a track, their would be no social media page. Track website only. Facebook/Twitter, there's yer problem.
    8/13/16

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    595

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paradox28 View Post
    You just said what turned it into a huge problem...the power of social media. You fix stupid by other non-stupid people not standing by and letting little Billy destroy stuff at the race track. People who have issues with something that happened at the track can meet a promoter face to face or call them personally. Instead..what happens? They run to facebook or twitter or wherever and tell a completely one-sided story and start a battle that a track usually never wins.
    Agreed Paradox. Social Media has exponentially increased this issue. I believe the peeps that run Pike County Speedway in MS are getting out after this season for the exact same issues. Lot of people think they have the answers and have no issues letting everyone know that online.

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