500 Fever - Reason #8

500 Fever


 (over the next four weeks leading up to the ‘500’ weekend there will be two or three ‘top ten’ reasons to be excited about this event---check back often over the next few weeks and you too will catch  the ‘500 Fever’ ----)

# 8 in the TOP 10 Reasons to be excited about the ACT International 500


The anatomy of putting together a major event promotion like the ‘ACT International 500’ on July 20-21 this summer begins with putting numbers together.

·        What is the cost to do this kind of event?

·        How much can you expect fans to pay?

·        What will be a great financial draw for race teams?

·         What kind of realistic projection can you expect for attendance on both the grandstand side and pit side?

·        What other prices are you competing with in the market for similar racing or other sporting events? 



You get the idea.  The research shows that putting on big short track events is financially pretty high risk---but the business of short track is all about risk and reward.  It is also about balancing costs and revenues for fans and competitors, hopefully with a reasonable profit at the end of the promotion.  After all, short tracks are a business, and to stay in business, I am sure you all know that businesses have to make a profit!

Most of the regular Série ACT events in Quebec this year are posting purses and prize money of over $30,000.00 per event.  They generally charge around $30 or $35 dollars for a general admission ticket.  Some of the bigger events in southern New England will pay purse and prize money in the $50k-75k range.  It is not uncommon for general admission tickets to be in the $40+ range.  Specials like the Oxford 250 have held the line of tickets for as long as I can remember ---pre-250 Saturday night specials generally run $20 or $25, and Sunday’s 250’s have cost fans an average of around $40 (combo of reserve and general admission) for about as long as I can remember….seems pretty reasonable for a promotion with Saturday/Sunday purses that close in on $140,000! (I was down South at an event during the ‘off season’ this past year and paid $40 for the Saturday show and another $50 on Sunday----Ka-ching..Ka-ching..Ka-ching!!  The place was packed both nights and had lots of cars and great racing. The purses were fair, and that promoter deserved every nickel he made. I was more than happy to pay my money and glad a promoter I have known for 20 years was heading to the bank on Monday!!)




Now let’s talk about the International 500 ticket costs.  Most tracks charge $20 for scheduled 5 or 6 hours of “open practice” sessions.  Since Saturday, July 20 of “500” weekend is going to be a point race for the Airborne Sportsman Mods, the Renegades, the Mini-Mods, and the first half of the 100 lap-- $20,000 Modified portion of the 500 weekend, along with a full day from 1 o’clock until 8 o’clock of ACT Late Model practice sessions… Saturday, pit fees for competitors will remain at regular Airborne prices of $25 with licenses and $30 without a license.

The cost for fans all day is $3.00 more than a normal race which costs $12, or in this case, $15.00 tickets for fans Saturday.  Fans will also see the first half of the Renegade twin 25-lap event, AND the first half of the Modifieds $20,000 twin 50 Monza style event.  Kids will be admitted free on Saturday.


On Sunday, July 21, for the second 50-lap feature of the Modified portion of “500” weekend, along with a Renegade second feature, a Limited Late Model Feature, and “500” heats, consolation race qualifying, the 100-lap $20,000 Reserve non-qualifying Feature race, AND three “Milk Bowl” style 100-lap ACT Late Model events for over $140,000 in purse, the ticket prices for a front gate general admission ticket is going to be $30.00!  [There still remain seats in the top 5 rows which will be reserved for Sunday only at a cost of $40.]

Sunday, pit fees for competitors will be $35 with licenses and $40 without a license, just about average for a touring event in both Quebec and the US.

We think we have ticket costs realistically affordable for all race fans and teams…at least that is the intent.



Tires and travel are the two items that are the most costly week to week that affect a touring race team.  At major short track events around the country that pay excellent purses, it is not unusual to see major short track teams have tire bills of $5,000-$8,000 per event!!!  Obviously, this has an adverse affect on the majority of independent teams and those that are not as well-funded.  When ACT was involved in the Oxford 250, we convinced the management that it was in their best interest, and certainly in the best interest of the majority of race teams, to change the old ‘buy as many as you want’ policy.  Limit the number of tires available in the race and logic will tell you there will be more competitors able to afford to attend and compete.  In my opinion, a win-win for teams and fans.


At the “500” this year, a race will that start 40 teams in the feature and pay over $120,000 in total to Late Model teams, we have informed teams that they will be restricted in their tire purchases.


·        All teams will only be allowed to initially purchase (6) six tires---that’s right six!!  That is the same as many of the regular 150-lap events currently being run on the ACT tours.

·        Four of those tires will have to be used in heat races and consolation races.

·        IF a team qualifies for the ‘500’—they will then be allowed to purchase another (4) tires for the event.

·        Those (4) tires will be allowed to ‘scuff’ in a special session prior to the start of the first 100-lap event Milk Bowl style segment race.

·        Those teams who do not qualify for the “500” will be required to ALL run the 100-lap Reserve Feature with the same four tires they attempted to qualify with. (Obviously we will have a policy for flats.)

·        Reserve teams that have not ‘scuffed’ their tires, and or have stickers may turn them in for refund at the end of the day.

·        Reserve teams and “500” teams who have tires they wish to race in the next ACT touring event or Thunder Road event may turn their tires in (used or new) and they will be delivered to them at the next event.


Teams will be able to underwrite the majority of their race tires costs with the purse money they earn, regardless of where they start or finish in the “500” or in the Reserve 100.


The hope here is to make sure that as many teams as possible can enjoy the competition of a major event, and still have enough budget to continue finishing out their weekly racing at whatever track they participate, or their touring in either ACT US or Série Quebec, or any combination where they choose to compete.



The complete schedule of the ACT International 500 can be found on the ACT website  Click on and check back frequently over the next few weeks for updates, stories and all the excitement of the inaugural ACT International 500 weekend at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY on Sat-Sun July 20-21----oh yes, you should definitely be catching “500 FEVER”---


Up Next:  # 7 - SOLVING THE MYSTERY OF THE Plus/Minus (+/-) Heat qualifying system---DON’T MISS IT!!


 (check back often over the next four weeks leading to the “500” and you will get lots more reasons to plan your JULY 20-21 summer weekend with us at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY!!)