Friday, June 25, 2010

New Hampshire Motor Speedway vs. Loudon, NH – Both parties are taking advantage of each other and NASCAR fans will loss in the end.

Last Friday heading into Infineon Raceway, I first wrote about Bruton Smith and New Hampshire Motor Speedway vs. the town of Loudon, NH in an article called “NASCAR: Is New Hampshire losing a Cup Date over security costs or is this just an excuse for Bruton Smith to get his Kentucky Speedway Cup date?”.

In that article I basically blasted SMI’s Bruton Smith for wanting something for nothing. Since then I received a comment from a reader “JT Stally” that said:

“This is the first I've heard of the actual threat to move a race from NHMS, although critics (especially in the south) have often questioned the Granite State hosting two races a year. I was interning with WNTK radio in New London, NH, last month when this became an issue. We were able to talk to Jerry Gappens, and it sounded like his hope was to cut back on some of the coverage on Friday and Saturday since that was no longer as popular as it once was.

I do agree that $100,000 (more than 50%) is too much to cut, but I also understand the ownership's point of view in that NHMS is the only one of seven venues where they need to pay for security. However, even as a former Fraternity Social Chair, I understood that it was the requirement of the group putting on the event to hire the security. NASCAR and/or NHMS should pay for this, as that should be part of the $80 ticket I'm planning on buying for this event! Those two parties make significantly more profit off of this race than the Town of Loudon, especially now that most people just attend Sunday's event.

I'm looking forward to this upcoming Sunday. It should be a good time. Hopefully, it won't be the last June race in the 603.”
After thinking about it and doing a little bit of research including looking back at what I’ve seen at the speedway since NHMS is my home track, I have come to the conclusion that Loudon, NH’s police Chief and the town of Loudon, NH itself is taken advantage of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, highway robbery is the term I would use. I can understand half of the bill for the police and fire coverage. However making the speedway pay for everything is wrong.

NHMS shouldn’t have to pay for:

1. NHMS shouldn’t be paying for the police chief’s $50 an hour rate. The town of Loudon, NH pays him a salary, I believe making NHMS pay for his services could be illegal.

2. The town of Loudon, NH and the city Concord need to take part of this bill away considering the economical benefits they get.

3. NHMS shouldn’t be responsible for traffic once race fans get past Route 106 and onto I-393. I see police all the way down I-393 and right onto I-93. NHMS shouldn’t have to pay for that, that’s overkill.

4. 85 police officers, really, this is overkill and do they really get $43 hour or is the town taking half of that?

However I want to see police officers on duty at NHMS when I’m attending a NASCAR race.

However NHMS must pay for:

1. NHMS should have to pay for Route 106 and the start of I-393,

2. The entire speedway including out front.

3. Overnight in the camping grounds on speedway property as well as the speedway itself – parking, track activities, grandstands, behind the grandstands and etc...

Bottom line, the town of Loudon, NH (State and city of Concord, NH could be a part of this) is taking advantage of NHMS and should cut this bill down.

On the flip side, SMI’s Bruton Smith and New Hampshire Speedway are dreaming and looking for something for nothing when it comes to a cap of $65,000 to $75,000 on police and fire coverage. NHMS is looking at a minimum of $100,000 for the 100,000 plus race fans that attend especially on Sunday.

As a result of this, I believe that Bruton Smith will use this as an excuse to move one date or both dates from NHMS to Kentucky and/or Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I also believe that New England race fans and Canadian race fans as Canada residences in the northeast who come down to NHMS are about to be screwed.

And consider this, NHMS just landed the IRL IndyCar Series, why would you land another date when you are making threats like this and put it at the end of July?

The only winner I see will be Bruton Smith, a man who has so much including 8 speedways with Cup Series dates with the All-Star race, but is never satisfied.

Now it’s NASCAR’s turn, they need to tell SMI to fix this, and that SMI can’t move either date from NHMS, otherwise they lose the dates. Then NASCAR might want to consider a Cup Series date at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. For Lime Rock, with some additions, this track would be cool for a Cup Series date and it’s not too far away from New York City, or New Hampshire.

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