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Racing on an oval NASCAR-type track

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Racing on an oval NASCAR-type track

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Old 02-13-18, 12:12 PM
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Radish_legs
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Racing on an oval NASCAR-type track

Say that you had such a track as a venue. Would racing on it crit-style be interesting? Something you would like to do?

What are your creative ideas of how to draw the most racers to such a venue? One-lap TT? Drag races? Fixie race? USAC crit races?

What about out-of-the box ideas, like a relay race of some kind? Any ideas?
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Old 02-13-18, 12:22 PM
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aren't nascar tracks like 1-2 miles? would be a boring crit course. I'd like it, but it would just come down to strength in TT or a huge unsafe sprint.
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Old 02-13-18, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
Say that you had such a track as a venue. Would racing on it crit-style be interesting? Something you would like to do?

What are your creative ideas of how to draw the most racers to such a venue? One-lap TT? Drag races? Fixie race? USAC crit races?

What about out-of-the box ideas, like a relay race of some kind? Any ideas?
Our wed night crit series is on a banked race track about 1/3 of a mile long, maybe. We come off the track into pit lanes and then back on, so there is a chicane and two 180s to make it interesting. Sometimes we alternate and just do a loop, and that's both super hard to get a move going and way more boring because it's so much easier for the field to stay together.

It's really successful and will often have field sizes bigger than some of the weekend races. We do 12 races over four months.
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Old 02-13-18, 12:31 PM
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1.5 miles in the case of the track I am referring to. Seems to me to be a lot safer than the average course because of how huge the track is. You could go 30 bikes wide (maybe that's an exaggeration).

Our local Tues night crit is a road, but pretty much oval shaped. Some love it, some hate it. Because of the lack of "technical turns" and also the exposure to wind. This race course is 1 mile long. "Just favors power."
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Old 02-13-18, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Our wed night crit series is on a banked race track about 1/3 of a mile long, maybe. We come off the track into pit lanes and then back on, so there is a chicane and two 180s to make it interesting. Sometimes we alternate and just do a loop, and that's both super hard to get a move going and way more boring because it's so much easier for the field to stay together.

It's really successful and will often have field sizes bigger than some of the weekend races. We do 12 races over four months.
The Driveway series in Austin is very successful. It's on a race track. But it's not a banked oval.
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Old 02-13-18, 01:27 PM
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I raced on one near Bakersfield a few years back, but we went through the center to mix it up. It just feels like a long straightaway the whole time and there's not much movement.

If I had one at my disposal I may opt to use the parking lot instead, or use the center area.
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Old 02-13-18, 01:39 PM
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About 45min drive from me......
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...+speedway+crit

I've not tried it yet. I've yet to understand how people can wreck on a freaking Nascar oval. It's essentially an endless straight road with a little slant. No hay bales, no curbs, no roundabouts, no tight curves.

I think before trying one I'll be buying a cheap used alloy bike and tossing the training wheels on. Cheap as in as cheap a bike with 11spd as possible.
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Old 02-13-18, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
1.5 miles in the case of the track I am referring to. Seems to me to be a lot safer than the average course because of how huge the track is. You could go 30 bikes wide (maybe that's an exaggeration).

Our local Tues night crit is a road, but pretty much oval shaped. Some love it, some hate it. Because of the lack of "technical turns" and also the exposure to wind. This race course is 1 mile long. "Just favors power."
Issue with the safer courses is that it bunches up and gets a bit chaotic and therefore dangerous. When it's strung out single file things tend to be a lot safer.

If I was holding a race on such a course I'd try to utilize parking areas, "road course" stuff (a lot of ovals have a road course in the infield), etc, to make it a narrower, more twisty course.

There was one race I did (Tarrytown NY) where there was a one line descent, meaning there was only one line available for the descent. You had to hug the left curb on this steep descent on the back stretch, wait until your bike landed from the level sewer grate (which was like a jump ramp on the steep downhill), then hit the brakes 100%, let go, dive to the right, and you'd barely clear the curb at the exit of the turn. Everyone was a bit wary going into the race but once things got going it was pretty obvious that tactically that part of the course was static, meaning there was no way anyone could move up, no way you could go two wide in the turn (couldn't even pull up next to the rider in front of you because it'd take sooo much power to accelerate on the short steep descent). Ended up being really safe.

Another one (Norwich CT) was a course where there was a long sweeping off camber downhill curve where we hit probably 45-48 mph at the bottom. Aluminum lamp pole on the outside of the turn - I was literally expecting "BONGGGGG" noises during the race as racers nailed the pole. No such thing happened. It was a one line descent, so fast you couldn't pass, so everyone waited for the uphill and false flat to make their moves. I think literally no one crashed that day.

The problem with a course where you can go 30 wide is that at some point you'll be 10 or 15 wide, someone in the middle will overlap wheels and fall over, and you have a massive crash for no good reason.
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Old 02-13-18, 06:14 PM
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Not a NASCAR track, but an oval race track.

Maumee Valley Wheelmen - Toledo Speedway

We use this venue once a year for our club omnium championship. We usually have a crit, a win and out, a lose and out, and a one lap TT. ~.5 mile long, banked curves..fun to race on.
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Old 02-13-18, 10:15 PM
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Raced on a number of racetracks. They can be fun, but in a different way. Not once have I called what I did on a race track a crit even if the course is short. More like a circuit race.
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Old 02-13-18, 10:22 PM
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What do you guys think of this crit course?
https://www.strava.com/segments/977401
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Old 02-14-18, 12:05 AM
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Doesn't look too bad; I'll take anything that's a closed course where you can have a weekly event!
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Old 02-14-18, 07:37 AM
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To answer the question.......which I didn't in my first post.........I'd use the track to do time trials.

That's what they do at the track in Charlotte NC. Individual and team time trials.

I feel TT is something if you advertise to roadies AND to triathlon folks you could get a good turnout. There's not enough of it.
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Old 02-14-18, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
To answer the question.......which I didn't in my first post.........I'd use the track to do time trials.

That's what they do at the track in Charlotte NC. Individual and team time trials.

I feel TT is something if you advertise to roadies AND to triathlon folks you could get a good turnout. There's not enough of it.
Hmm....right now tentative plans for 1.5 mile TT. Individual. But I suppose most would like a longer course than that.
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Old 02-14-18, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
Hmm....right now tentative plans for 1.5 mile TT. Individual. But I suppose most would like a longer course than that.
Yeah I don't think you're going to get hardly anyone out for a 1.5 mile TT. It's to short a time to justify any sort of drive. My guess is it's got to be at least a 20 min+ effort to get people excited.

Is there any infield you can use at all to get some tighter turns in to make it a viable crit course?

I can say from experience that just going around a track in a circle for a crit is fun once in a while, but not for a regular series. I also live in Nashville, and in addition to the weekly races at the track in the spring and fall a local bike club has a "track night" where they utilize the circle and you get various speeds of pace lines going in the multiple lanes so it's a good workout. They also partner with the visually disabled on tandems and take them around since it's much safer being on a closed course.
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Old 02-14-18, 02:07 PM
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Milwaukee Mile is a fun venue (and boy do the grandstands look empty when they are empty), but it has a short infield road course that helps make things interesting. It's set to be a Wednesday night training series this spring and summer. I like racing there, it's 3/4 of the oval with a 4-5 easy turn infield tossed in. If I can make it there on a Wednesday night (it's two hours away) this summer I will. Interestingly enough, the Wisconsin Cycling Association daily race sked includes fixed gear racing at the end of the day (for crits) this year. Here's a then-team video from a few years ago at MKE Mile
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Old 02-14-18, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
Say that you had such a track as a venue. Would racing on it crit-style be interesting? Something you would like to do?

What are your creative ideas of how to draw the most racers to such a venue? One-lap TT? Drag races? Fixie race? USAC crit races?

What about out-of-the box ideas, like a relay race of some kind? Any ideas?
One of the best races of the year in St. Louis is the Gateway Motorsports Park Criterium. Great venue, good pavement, emphasizes the ability to work the wind and the other riders over technical skills, and the wide course makes it easier to move around in a big field.

https://bigshark.com/articles/2018-t...018-pg1311.htm




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Old 02-14-18, 08:39 PM
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Racing in MI has utilized two road courses for many many years, Waterford Hills & Grattan. Both great places to race. I think an oval would get pretty dull unless you used the pits or infield somehow.
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Old 02-14-18, 09:59 PM
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on our oval type crit course, a breakaway almost always wins the A and B races. Wind is the biggest factor. Wave after wave of attacks and team tactics.
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Old 02-15-18, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
Hmm....right now tentative plans for 1.5 mile TT. Individual. But I suppose most would like a longer course than that.
Why limited to one lap? Out of curiosity.

The Charlotte one is 7 laps to get to a 10mi TT. A pretty standard distance/time in the TT world.

If they did a 25mi, I'd try it also. But I bet the time window they have on the track is already stretched getting all the Merck and categories out there and back.

I'm going to have to get over looking like a goofball and train using the TT helmet. I just don't like the cover over ears on an open road.
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Old 02-15-18, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
Racing in MI has utilized two road courses for many many years, Waterford Hills & Grattan. Both great places to race. I think an oval would get pretty dull unless you used the pits or infield somehow.
They opened a new race track north of Ann Arbor (can't remember where..but not too far away) that was used for a new race last year. I think they plan on holding more races there this year if they can get approved again.

Never raced Grattan, but Waterford Hills is a lot of fun
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Old 02-15-18, 07:59 PM
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Like Rubik, we have a regular series on a short oval track - like .4 mile. It's fun. Laps are about a min. It's a good place for people to get introduced to racing. If you fall off, you can just sit up, recover, and jump back around. Also, from a promoter perspective, it's cheap, because there are no cops or city permits. Just track rental.

There is a TT series at the larger, NASCAR track near by. I'd hate to do a crit on it. It would be like a 10-min. lap.

We once looked at putting on a race at VIR, but it was going to cost at least $6k to rent the track, and even then, we would only get the small, inner loop while super loud cars would be on the larger, outer loop.
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Old 02-17-18, 12:54 AM
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I did a couple crits on a quarter mile track. No real banking. We were lined out 2X (at best) near the inside, so the minimal banking wasn't a player. Turns came so fast you could never grab a drink, but it was a short race so we just dealt with the dehydration. Because of the lined-out nature of the pack, clear sight lines, and lack of any tight turns, breakaways didn't go off and it was quickly obvious that it was going to be a sprint finish. I think I spent the last 20 laps moving up incrementally until I was second wheel, then prayed the guy in front of me didn't blow before the finish. I watched a couple trains come around the outside in the last laps, only to fade. I took the inside for the win out of the last turn.

Satisfying? Not really. It was more like a disorganized team time trial with no technical aspects- more of a pure horsepower race. The "straightaways" were too short to get past a rider or two. I generally prefer crit courses that reward horsepower AND handling skills.

Safe? Yeah, there really wasn't anything on the course that would induce wrecks, although if a front guy went down, everyone would have gone down. I was a little concerned about tire debris initially, but on this track I can't recall that being an issue. I don't think anyone had any flats.
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Old 02-17-18, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Alaska Mike View Post
I generally prefer crit courses that reward horsepower AND handling skills.

.
Completely agree. A crit needs corners. There needs to be some technical aspect to it.
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Old 02-17-18, 07:24 AM
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We clean the track of tire debris before the races. There's usually quite a bit of it.

Even with the clear sight lines and no real corners, we often see breaks get away. It helps to have a large team for it.

But yes, they are not technical. Still, I find them fun. One person commented to me once that he loved doing those races because he could actually hang.
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