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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Do you want to help BUILD the sport? DIESEL Motorsports . . .

I hear this a lot from people who claim to want to help the sport, but are they really? Or is it their own agenda for building the sport? You have to ask yourselves this question, I ask myself the question all of the time?

Yes, it has to make good business sense to what you are doing for the sport but the big question is - is it benefiting more then one person in the sport?

If you are on a tight budget these days, the best way to help the sport is to support your local diesel performance shop! They need the work and buy our sponsor's products! This in turn allows the sponsors to help pay us for putting on bigger events and pay the purse monies for competition.

By paying you cash purse monies the NADM Advisory Board has decided this is the best way for them to give back to the sport and in turn hopefully you will buy their products from local performance shops. That is why we ask that you put their decals on at each event in order to show support for those who are supporting you, sounds fair right?

I know budgets are tight so save and come to one of the big events that is getting media coverage so the rest of the country can see that the sport is growing. Yes, going to small local events is also good, that is why NADM supports those groups through the Affiliate programs. Supporting local county fairs and associations helps build the sport on a local level which in turn keeps the local performance shops busy.

If you are doing events stay in touch with other clubs or groups so you don't run into each other! Gene is constantly checking with local groups to make sure some of the trucks shooting for points do not have to make that decision of which group to pick over to attend. We have even moved class order during events so the locals can make it to their point pulls.

Are you helping the sport by over running the other's events and trying to convince top competitors to come to your event - I don't think so! The draw-a-line in the sand club on the forums are not really helping the sport grow, ask how that worked out in the sport compact market a few years ago? 

For the most part the diesel clubs and associations we have worked with are very affable and quite willing to work with us in order to build the sport. There are some really nice people in the sport and I have to say it's a pleasure working with them to build DIESEL Motorsports®!

This is not a cheap sport by any means so it does make a difference where you spend your dollars, buying your products at the events is helpful because it shows the sponsors and vendors who have spent monies to be there that it is worth attending the shows. NADM saw great support of purchasing products at the A&A Diesel East Coast Nationals in Pennsylvania just a couple of weeks ago!

We have seen some improvement and advancements in the sport this year and it continues to grow with some slight changes that are for the betterment of the sport. Despite tight economic times the true diesel enthusiasts are trying to support DIESEL Motorsports® in the right way!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Who is the Diesel enthusiast?

I ran our membership through a national profile database after the first year and I need to do it again because I think it has changed dramatically over the past five years!

It is definitely white, rural America but the age used to be 35-55 (over 80%)! Now the age group has changed picking up ages 20-30 (now at 50%) with more female membership than ever before plus still holding on to the older age group. This is a good thing!

Everyone knows having a younger age group to carry on the sport will continue our growth pattern well into the future. Some of the other Hot Rod markets are aging and not replacing the buyers with younger enthusiasts. Why have they not picked up the youth markets, it takes a lot of money to afford a musclecar or roadster.

To get into a performance diesel is pretty feasible for most of these young people. Take a aging diesel truck with 200-300,000 miles on it, easy buy for $5-15,000! Add another $2-5,000 for the performance additions in order to get a 500-700 horsepower diesel truck that will get 20 mpg - pretty easy to do and look cool! Can't do that with a musclecar or import, it would cost you much more to get to that level with a older Mustang or Camero or Lancer!

We are seeing more and more 1s Gen Dodges starting to become less dominant replaced by 2nd and 3rd gen Dodges which is a favorite among the younger diesel heads. Plus the Duramax is coming on strong as a tough competitor with dual turbos.

The younger market  are very independent individuals who are self sufficient plus being very hard workers while holding 1-3 jobs to get what they want for a lifestyle. Their spirit is strong and alive, I find many of them invigorating!

Why? Because they have a drive to accomplish goals that I find missing in a lot of the younger people I meet outside in the normal population. Everyone now wants something for nothing and almost expect it. Being self-employed myself for 25 years I had to be very self-sufficient with a strong drive for reaching goals, I find the same spirit in our younger diesel guys and girls!

This winter I plan to run our membership through the same census database and I will reveal my exact findings!

Yes in my opinion DIESEL Motorsports® is getting the best of the population's offspring as members to continue our sport into the future!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What is ADS in the diesel industry? I have been asked . . .

It's the "Association of Diesel Specialists" which includes the big manufacturers of OEM diesel parts such as Bosch, Stanadyne, Cummins, Garrett, BorgWarner, etc. You see many of their decals and logo on our diesel shops. They cover the maintenance part of our business, and even though they carry many of our performance parts they tend to shy away from us because of the smoke!

I know the director and have met with him here in Kansas City where they are headquartered. The efforts they put forth are much needed and they provide valuable services for their members. The Association bring many connections for those who seek parts and manufacturers for the diesel maintenance industry.

The Association and it's members have a strict policy against the black smoke performance industry, but can you blame them? They sell largely to the OEMs and dealers who have to abide by strict EPA standards which do not want to jeopardize their business with the big boys.

Totally different market than our usual guys but it's one I have encouraged many shops to consider when they slow down on the performance market - diesel maintenance for local municipalities.

It's more meat and potatoes diesel which is very interesting if you are a shop owner, it's more of a trade association instead of a show like SEMA. They hold informative seminars and the vendor room is void of trucks and displays but filled with parts and manufacturers.

Their National convention is next week in Las Vegas and runs for about 3-4 days. I encourage any diesel shop owner to attend once and see if it benefits them.

Don't let their fear of black smoke scare you I have been going for 4-5 years and they are always friendly. I see many of the diesel shops attending we do business with at our events. It's very informative and you might find a new supplier of parts while you are there.

One of these day they might accept our segment of the industry, we certainly accept the maintenance side as being important for our diesel shop owners.

Ref: ADS

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Diesels out West . . .

Next weekend we head to the wide open spaces of Wyoming to Rock Springs for a Sled Pull at the week long fair being held there. A week of rodeo, horse shows, stock shows, carnival, concerts, contests and what better way to end the week long fair than with a Sled Pull showing the diesel trucks of the West.

We started doing this show three years ago not expecting much out of this little town in the middle of Wyoming but we were wrong. This little town showed us how they take their diesel trucks seriously and we found out it's not so little after all. Rock Springs has always been a mining town and with silver at a all time high they have seen a comeback in recent years. Make no mistake though this is a western town and the people here are proud of their stock, horses and their diesel pickup trucks!

Each year more and more people bring their trucks to either compete or watch in the grand stands.

Sled Pulling just three years ago was not very popular in this part of the country but since the infusion of DIESEL Motorsports into the area the numbers have grown each year. The trucks have grown more powerful and the sport has taken off in the West. Pulling from the Salt Lake City area, Idaho Falls and Denver, Rock Springs is only 2-3 hours from each of those locations.

I already have heard of 5-6 modifieds that will be there along with quite a few 3.0/Super Street trucks from the three state area. It should be quite the show this year and weather this time of the year there is always beautiful with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop.

Two weeks later we are coming back to the Weekend on the Edge event which is held in Salt Lake City (drag racing Friday night at Rocky Mountain Raceway) and Ogden (dyno at Edge and sled pulling at Pioneer Stadium in the evening).

What's next? Farther West maybe next year as the sport continues to grow!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dog Days quickly approaching . . .

I think they are already here because of the immense heat that has hit most of the states. Makes it a little harder to go outside for your local sled pull when it barely gets under 90 degrees at night. That won't stop the small town county fair sled pulls that most of our diesel pullers rely on for purses and the opportunity to pull!

From the Missouri line all the way to the end of Pennsylvania there is a sled pull every night of the week in each state with multiple pulls many nights. It's a tradition within the farming communities that will not go away for many years to come.

That's why Diesel Motorsports® will be around for many many years, it's the rural community and their use of diesel pickups that makes up the large segment of the market.

Yes we read and talk about the big trucks, big players in the sport but it's the normal street user of diesel pickups that are buying our sponsor's products. They keep the sport going by attending the local diesel pulls, buying a few parts to make their truck better at the local pull, then a few get the bug and advance to the bigger events.

The base that all businesses need in order to continue to operate. That's why you'll find NADM trying to help the local pulls through the Affiliate Program. We realize that the smaller clubs and fairs need help in promoting the events, funding, insurance and even publicity surrounding their event. The Affiliate Programs covers the items mentioned above and then some, we provide SFI Techs, sponsor's prizes and many more benefits for the local pulls and races.

Want to hit more events, check your local fairboard or some of the state's pulling associations and clubs.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What makes a World Record in Diesel Motorsports?

This only relates to diesel drag racing since the sled pullers use points for year end records. First - running a time slip at a IHRA or NHRA track using their techs and rules is just a run for a time slip since neither sanctioning body have classes or records for diesel trucks. Same application goes for making a run at a diesel promotional event using IHRA or NHRA techs and timeslips since you are using their guidelines and techs to run.

Technically the only legal World Record is set by the only sanctioning body listed with SFI as a race sanctioning body. The affiliate SFI status only gives that promoter the right to use the sanctioning body rules as a guideline with permission. 

What does it take to become a sanctioning body for diesel motorsports? Your own rules approved by SFI and the insurance companies, ability to carry your own insurance using your SFI rules, and having licensed SFI technicians for diesel motorsport's set of rules.

Right now only NADM carries the credentials to properly make that claim and has officially set some World Records that have been set in the past and present. All times must be run during an event or teched by a NADM SFI tech for an official run using the track's timing system. Then backed within 1% of the set time using the same techs, track, and equipment. You can't run one time, come back a week later and back it up!

Here's the real problem in diesel drag racing right now, yes there are a lot of claims for World Records, but how many were made running against someone else like real drag racers in the IHRA or NHRA? Honestly, not that many or any at all, since there are not that many high end diesel dragsters or trucks available to run against each other. 

Even if you had them all in one spot and all running, how many trucks/dragsters are there 9 seconds and faster? Plus how many could make the 3-5 rounds during competition to set consistent times? The list gets so small that it would be a very short show at an event. 

Yes, DIESEL Motorsports® is still young and growing in diesel drag racing but with the downward turn in the economy there are fewer now than there was five years ago. Nothing against the owners, it takes a lot of expense to keep these things going and traveling now days. I know I have attempted to help a couple find some sponsors, it's tough out there right now.

Another thing to discuss is how many will run against each other since so many high end diesel trucks/dragsters represent manufacturers or diesel shops? I have been asked many times at each event who is coming so they would not have to run against each other, even told by some that we are not running against them!! When I asked why not they said what if I get beat, it will be all over the Internet!

Mike Woods of Nitrous Express called me before coming to the A&A East Coast Nationals and asked if there was any others to race against? I had to reply there are only two or three of your class in the country and I would guess the minute he announced he was coming they would not show up. Guess what, they didn't show up! Understand Mike Wood is a long time drag racer and wants to compete, he is from the IHRA/NHRA side who has raced many times and made a name for himself as a tough competitor. He didn't understand that attitude.

Well, I have to agree with Mike! How are we going to build this sport when the top end racers will only run by themselves? Does a baseball player make a name for himself by only hitting home runs at the Home Run Derby every year, no, he does it during weekly games with all the pressures of competition.

That's why we pass out World Records very carefully when they mean something and if they happen during competition. Doesn't mean they are all that way, but we do try and guide them in that direction. When the keyboard racers want to brag about their accomplishments, I never comment, come to the track and put your money down the old saying goes!

It's the only way the sport is going to grow, I would love to tell Mike one day that 5-6 will be racing in his class this weekend. 

Setting a record is not as easy as running it once on your local track and posting the timeslip on the Internet, real competitors come to the track and compete for the title at a sanctioned event!

*Photo courtesy of Kevin Wilson, Diesel World Magazine

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I need more cowbell! Diesel Motorsports it's a fever . . .

If some of you remember the old Saturday Night Live skit where Chris Walken kept running out during the Blue Oyster Cult skit yelling "I need more cowbell! It's a fever baby!" Many of the diesel enthusiasts get this same feeling when working on and driving their diesel trucks!

Granted the trucks are big already, lifted a little if it's a 4x4, and already sounds bad, but it all starts when someone suggests putting a simple programmer box on to get more power and better mileage. 

Then you need a little larger air intake to bring more airflow into the system. Well, then you need hotter injectors and before that a bigger fuel injection pump to fuel the hotter injectors. Then a bigger turbo which of course outputs to a larger exhaust system . . . do you hear it . . . I need more cowbell!

Once you added all of the above you definitely need stronger engine components such as studs, valves, rods, pistons and more and more, it's hotter I feel feverish!

Well then the shocks, brakes, transmission, tie rods, driveshaft,  rearend all need to be upgraded to handle the extra torque and power. 

Now that is just to get it running better - now for the cosmetics, always a big bumper for the front and rear, tubes or steps so you can get into the lifted truck, tonneau cover to hide your stuff, twin pipes out of the bed and larger wheels and tires! I NEED MORE COWBELL!

And yes, I have seen a cowbell on the hitch among other parts of the bull's anatomy!

DIESEL Motorsports® - It's a fever!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Who's going to buy your product??? DIESEL Motorsports . . .

Who do you think is going to buy your product within the diesel performance marketplace? 

Is it the high-end racer or puller with a 1200 hp or greater truck? Or is it the normal street driving diesel truck who wants to be like the high-end performance truck?

If you are into manufacturing and moving mass amounts of parts and products my guess is you are going after the second group! 

Unfortunately Diesel Motorsports is still a young age and we cannot boast of 30 or even 20 high-end diesels that are faster than the 9 second, 1/4 mile. We have a few but the sport is still growing so . . . the majority of the market is street trucks that have bolt-on performance parts or accessories.

In fact we have a lot of street trucks that are driven daily and converted to competitive vehicles during the weekends. More and more trucks are being built specifically for pulling and racing and being trailered to events but the number of street trucks out number them 10 to 1.

So if you are building and selling parts for the Diesel Motorsports enthusiasts and you want to sell more parts you market to the larger group. By taking the sport mainstream you attract more and more of the regular truck being used in the work place and get them interested in our sport. Then it's like an addiction, more power, more parts, always an upgrade and the thirst for more power continues.

It's like the old muscle car craze but in four wheel drive!

Those who market wisely will go after the volume sales, more parts sold, more money made and it is called profitable progress (business).

The higher-end Gen 1 Dodge competitor doesn't even use most of the products sold today in the market place. However, the newer generation of diesel engines are electronic and some of the younger enthusiasts are breaking new ground with what's being offered up to them by innovative diesel performance manufacturers.

Every week practically a new advancement in technology is launched by a company providing diesel performance parts or accessories.

I can tell you most of our high-end competitors use Dodge trucks with Duramax quickly coming behind them, but the fan base watching from the stands is more Ford driven trucks. Why you ask?

Ford has always produced almost twice as many diesel trucks yearly as the other two OEMs. They are lower priced and more widely used by fleets than the other two making them more available.

Are you seeing where I'm going with this? Find out what market segment your products fit and how to go after the right group before launching your product's advertising/marketing.

The sponsors NADM currently has benefits and sells more products to the diesel performance street trucks, because that is where the numbers are for the time being.

Working the Diesel Circuit . . .

I get asked all of the time by manufacturers how do I reach the diesel shops and consumers? 

It's easy really, you have to work at it by coming to the events, walking the pit areas and talking to the attendees. Sure you can advertise in the two diesel magazines, banner ads on diesel web sites, and sign up with NADM as a sponsor, that will get you exposure!

But to better understand how your product is accepted in the marketplace, you need to talk to the people using the products and tell them how your product will be a benefit to them. Most of the diesel crowd will tell you honestly what they think of your product and give you ideas on how it would work for them.

It's call research and marketing, gathering of information before reacting in the marketplace. If you think you know it all, think again, consumer behavior changes every 6 months depending on the economy and geographic location of consumers.

Yes, I tell people wanting to get into our market to come and talk firsthand to the shops and consumers at the shows, then let me know if you are still interested in DIESEL Motorsports®!

It takes more than one time to come out and talk to the diesel consumer, they want to see a company who is committed to the sport that they can rely on for customer service. Customer service and communication is a very big benefit our diesel consumers value!

The biggest complaint I get from diesel consumers about manufacturers is customer service - number one complaint! I never get a call back is what I am told, so they move on to the next company and you just lost a customer. The old saying goes it takes three times the effort to obtain a new customer than retaining an existing customer does apply with our diesel crowd.

Don't second guess your business direction in marketing and advertising from so called experts, come out to find out for yourself! 

Just how important is your business anyway?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Continued . . . the right direction!

What will make DIESEL Motorsports® grow? Getting more people with diesels to come to the events, buy more diesel performance products, keep their diesels instead of smaller vehicles, follow what is the newest technology in diesels, realize the entertainment value of a diesel show . . . the list can go on and on!

It's a circle of business that involves all parties of making DIESEL Motorsports® work. First you need the competitors who race or pull with their diesel trucks in order to provide the entertainment for the sport, then the sponsors who provide the purses/monies that the competitors want in order to compete, and then the  fans who want to feel they got their monies worth of entertainment watching a DIESEL Motorsport® show

Without one or the other the circle collapses and as a business it fails. In order for the sponsors to feel it is worth putting money out for the purses they need to see competitors and fans buying their products and services. In order for the competitor to feel like it is worth it they want to see bigger purses and fans watching them perform during the event. Fans want entertainment and value at the show, was the competition good and was there other things to look at and do at the event.

Not in a long time have I seen all three work together really well until this weekend at the A&A Diesel East Coast Nationals in Numidia, PA!

There was fast trucks in drag racing, a couple of 9s and low 10s in the Unlimited class, a couple of Top Diesel Dragsters, quite of few very high powered sled pulling trucks well over 1600 horse power and a dyno king who topped 1040rwhp and 1756rwtq as a street truck (daily driver), okay there's the competitors!

There was well over 3500 fans making this a whole family event with women and children attending with their spouses providing the crowd that the competitors and sponsors want in the circle. Plenty for them to watch including  drag racing, sled pulling, dyno, Vendor Alley and even a monster truck that gave fake washable tattoos to the kids! Bargains galore for diesel performance parts was available at the A&A Automotive Wholesale tent. Beautiful weather helps in an event such as this last weekend.

Sponsors sold diesel performance parts and accessories to both parties and reported back healthy sales  which of course means that the other two parts of the circle of business was present. A&A Automotive went to great expense to put up the tents, bring in the inventory along with the personnel to properly man the wholesale tent. They were busy for most of the day and sold lots of product to those seeking bargains for their diesel parts and truck accessories.

Close to 200 trucks competed in drag racing, sled pulling, dyno and show-n-shine for the one day event at Numidia Dragway. The most impressive statistic of the day, not one incident of mis-behavior or trouble out of either parties, that tells me we are doing it right and heading in the right direction for DIESEL Motorsports®!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Heading in the right direction - Diesel Motorsports!

I'm sure you have been in my position, you work, and work, and work, and wonder if your goals are ever going to be met? Feel like that sometimes?

After the event in Numidia PA this weekend I can tell you for Diesel Motorsports, it's starting to happen and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Huge thanks goes out to our partners in the event A&A Automotive, great group of guys who worked relentlessly to make sure a storefront was available for Vendor Alley. Thanks goes out to our staff who shows up to every event with very little pay and makes every thing work and pull together, registration, races, pulls, teching, gate, and the list goes on!

We experienced a great crowd of fans who like most, backed their trucks up to the fence and put up their pop-ups, coolers and grills to watch DIESEL drag racing and sled pulling. Kudos to the competitors who put on a great show for the fans, those diesel trucks owners in the North East know power and their diesels. We had some great diesel drag racers and pullers for the sled pulling, I noticed a huge line up at Mass Diesel's Dyno!

It was a family event with children running everywhere looking at the big trucks, no problems with the crowd, or smoking tires, or rowdy truckers! I guess I can thank the people of the North East for their actions and purchases in the Vendor Alley.

As always there was a few hiccups but that happens at events and they were handled in a professional way. It was the type of event DIESEL Motorsports can be proud of after it was over.

High end diesels like Moody's S-10 which ran a 5.40 in a 1/8th and Nitrous Express's Duramax rail made an impressive run down the track for the crowd. Sled Pulling saw some high end trucks like Cliff Carnes and Wayne Greier's over 2,000 Horsepower trucks putting a great show for the fans. The pullers in the area had some of the most powerful trucks we have seen in the past, should have a pull off between them and the Midwest trucks in the future!

Yes, it makes me feel good about the outcome of the show when we can do this in a down economy and people want to spend their hard earned dollars to see DIEESEL Motorsports!

I will be evaluating the numbers, stats, data and reporting those in the next few days!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

There's trucks in them hills!

Yes there is and in the North East part of our great country! Numidia Dragway was packed with trucks and more trucks on Saturday at the Diesel East Coast Nationals! Newbies to this event asked me before they got there, why are you having it at such a remote location? When they got there, saw the view of the mountains, the corn fields, all of the diesel trucks, all of the vendors, and all of the fans they told me, "Okay I now know why you chose this place it's beautiful and what a perfect setting for trucks!"

Over 180 trucks showed up to compete in the A&A Diesel East Coast Nationals, I haven't counted the ticket stubs yet but the park was full of people and trucks.

On top of the mountain no one seem to care or notice the convergence of trucks that invaded the mountain top and then there was the drag racing, sled pulling and dyno competition!

I'll expand more on it tomorrow but just wanted to thank all who helped, the vendors, A&A personnel, the fans, the competitors, our staff and the the local businesses who backed the event!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Target on your back!

I'm sure you have heard the saying "you must be doing it right because of the big target on your back!". Well we must be doing it right. It's quite the compliment when the people who want to be Diesel Motorsports keep copying and emulating everything we do or accomplish!

With our 5th year coming up we have brought Diesel Motorsorts to the mainstream by putting it on TV, expanding media coverage outside of the two diesel magazines, brought in non-diesel related sponsors, coined the phrase "Diesel only National Event", and defined the market for Diesel Motorsports by gathering market data for sponsors.

The mainstream diesel enthusiast are responding in a positive way, by coming to the events! When vendors setup at our events they know true diesel fans are coming through the gates - not Jr dragsters, gassers, semis or tractor enthusiasts.

They can tell by the way the fans purchase equipment for their diesel.

Yes the future for Diesel Motorsports is the mainstream enthusiast, because they show the most potential for buying products for the trucks. The older diesel segment who thought they had the market to themselves are finding out that is not the case anymore. Every time they look up a new diesel shop or racer/puller is out producing them and breaking new records!

New technology and mainstream marketing are out pacing them in Diesel Motorsport's marketplace. So I take it as a huge compliment we are being copied as we move forward and break new ground for the sport.

But watch out, you won't believe what we have planned next for Diesel Motorsports!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New World Records on the Horizon?

I am expecting great things to happen this weekend in Diesel Drag Racing! New World records will hopefully be set at the Numidia track this weekend. Now more than ever new technology has some of the best diesels coming to Numidia this weekend and most burning CLEAN diesel!

The new restructured Unlimited Class for 1/4 will see new records set in a heads up Pro Tree race. Two of the country's fastest diesels represented by Matt Handwork and Jeff Dean among others will set a respectable record most likely in the low 10s or the high 9s for a four wheel drive full size pickup.

This class was combined with last year's Pro Street which was a diesel only class that saw the numbers lessen every year. Most racers have switched to NOS or advanced programming that allows them to reach high speeds through advanced technology in DIESEL Motorsports.

Wade Moody's S-10 has already set a record for 1/8 mile in Pro Diesel so reaching the 1/4 mile record is within reach if the right conditions exist. He ran 8.04 last weekend at a IHRA event and needs to break 8.06 plus back it up within 1%! Wade's S-10 burns completely clean diesel with only a single 3 lb bottle of NOS along with #2 Diesel fuel.

Also possibly attending is the Nitrous Express Rail in the Top Diesel Class which has run in the 7s in the past. Still early in development for this diesel but it does has promise to also set a World record very soon! This rail is also a very clean burning diesel using new technology with NOS injection along with precise tuning!

A World Record is verified by a sanctioning body as a speed record. A sanctioning body carries the accreditation from SFI as a rule sanctioned body with it's own licensed techs and SFI approved insurance based on their safety equipment. NADM is the only DIESEL sanctioning body that can legally claim World Records. Setting a record run with the NHRA/IHRA using their techs and time slips is quite an accomplishment but with both not having structured classes for diesels they will not record it as World Records.

It's important to set an example for the other classes and trucks to shoot for the record times. All of the teams that I mentioned represent a professional image for diesel motorsports and conducts themselves and crew accordingly. 

It's been a lot of hard work by these racers and believe me when I say I will not go without saying the pullers have just as much to show and prove this weekend. I will discuss them in tomorrow's blog!

Greatness is only proved by what we do not what we say . . . 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Competition is GOOD, business is picking up!

Competition is always good, it makes us better at doing business everyday. I always consider it a compliment when others copy what we have modeled and setup as doing business in a professional manner. It's the same in DIESEL Motorsports as it is in your own business.

NOW is the time to take a few minutes a day to think about how to improve your business through new innovative ways that will make you a profit. As a Diesel Motorsport business we are already taking a hard look at a direction for next year in order to capitalize on what worked this year.

Lean and Mean Management was the buzz word a couple of years ago for large companies, what they didn't know, small businesses developed the concept years ago in order to survive the early 2000-2002 downturn in the economy.

Even with the bank's tight restrictions on loaning to small and large businesses we have figured out how to survive with current national cash flow. It seems that businesses have figured how to do it while our Congress still struggles to live within their budgets.

But isn't that's the way it has always been? The small business and private sector has set the stage for how business is conducted in our great nation. Take time in your day to STOP, think about what you are doing, and look at new possibilities that might be a new avenue of business that is profitable.

Buyers in DIESEL Motorsports are looking for products made in the USA, and sold to them by Americans! Call it a conservative group or buyers who are just proud of their country and the creditability behind American products.

Okay enough of my soapbox rantings and on to some good news! I have heard from the major warehouses that business is up and in a majority of areas most diesel shops are quite busy.

This reflects on what was released this last week by the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration that national gas prices have dropped approximately 46 cents since early May, currently sitting near $3.50 per gallon. Gas prices have been a largely discussed topic since February when they rose sharply, peaking at a national average of $3.97 in early May.

*Demand for vehicle leases in the mid-size truck and SUV category on has risen an average of 8.3 percent compared with June 1 levels.

“Throughout spring when gas prices rose sharply, the anticipated ascension of fuel-efficient vehicle demand came to fruition,” said Sergio Stiberman, CEO and founder of “But interest in mid-size trucks and SUVs was more prevalent than in 2008 because of a stable economy. With gas prices easing off their highs, car lease shoppers have started to inquire about truck and SUVs feeling less financial pressure at the pump.”*

New truck and SUV purchases always equates to more sales for automotive aftermarket products even in Diesel Motorsports. SEMA has done enough research to show that a new purchased vehicle gets more spent on it then used, however because of the DPF vehicles the pre-2007 trucks still remain in high demand in the diesel marketplace.

If you STOP and LOOK, there is always business just around the corner if you keep peeking around that corner!

* Source RV PRO Magazine

Monday, July 11, 2011

Diesels in the oddest locations!

Just four years ago Chance called me from Keystone Automotive/A&A Stores about a diesel event near Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. He had been to one of our PA events along with a local diesel club member and liked what he saw in diesel motorsports.  He called out of the blue and I had never met or talked to Chance before, he inquired about holding a diesel truck event near his stores at a little track in Numidia PA. 

When I flew up to meet him and his team it was a first for me visiting this part of the country. Very beautiful area with the Poconos mountains and small towns/boroughs they are called, nestled into the beautiful forests. Chance informed me he wanted to hold an event at the Numidia Dragway.

I told myself you got to be kidding me! This location has nothing our other locations have for support, no large towns nearby, no hotels, no sled pulling track, on top of a mountain (literally), farms all around it and in eastern PA. 

Chance had a vision and knew his area quite well having worked it for the A&A Stores for a few years. He saw something I did not and knew what was possible, you know the old saying "Build it and they will come!" 

Since it was an unsure thing I told Chance they would have to bear a lot of the initial start up costs, putting in a sled pull track, setting up a large tent for Vendor Alley and staffing for a lot of the event.

A&A stepped up big time and for the first time ever in the country fans got to watch diesel pickup drag racing and sled pulling at the same time competing from their same seats. The first year was a big surprise at the numbers from the NE area of the country, trucks we had never seen before and shops finally getting recognition for their work on diesels.

Yes I don't mind saying I was wrong about this event and area and Chance was right! This event has grown every year and keeps getting bigger and bigger with it's 3rd year coming up this weekend. Chance had a vision for the trucks in his area and the A&A stores . . . it's a nice area to visit in the summer because of the mountains and local attractions.

Most of all, coming to see different trucks that many of us only get to see once a year at the A&A Diesel East Coast Nationals!

. . . and don't forget your wish list A&A Store's Wholesale tent has bargains for any truck performance part or accessories at a unbelievable show price just for this day!

Diesels nestled in the mountains of upper New York and Pennsylvania and even from Long Island, this event draws them out!

See you there this Saturday.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Monday Morning Quarterbacks in Diesel Motorsports???

You bet there is . . . I'm guilty like everyone else when attending an event! If I was doing this I would have done so and so differently because . . .!

It is easy to do when on the outside looking in and not understanding what is involved on all aspects of the business. What's important to you is the top priority of the show, however to the promoter or sanctioning body they have many groups and people they must satisfy in order to keep doing what they are doing for a business.

The sponsors want a certain outcome for the events and what's in their contracts must be adhered to at the event by the promoter. Is this worth doing and spending their marketing dollars wisely? Was their decals on all of the trucks? Was their banners hung in a good position and their names announced during the event?

The insurance company demands certain check points and rules are followed or they will not cover the liability at the event in case something does happen at the event. Safety is always in the mind of the promoter and is not always a favorite to follow among our crowd of racers/pullers.

The facility wants the show to fit their demands since it is their property and the promoter must adhere to what is in their contract as far as the use of the facility. Does the facility have adequate services such as restrooms, food, parking, personnel, lighting, sound system?

The competitors expect certain fairness and competition rules are followed in order to give them a fair chance among competitors to win their class. They have spent a lot of their personal money on the truck and want to win. Is the sanctioning body sticking to their rules to keep cheaters out and making it fair? Did the rules change to favor a local group(NADM's stay the same all year)?

The fans want to see a exciting show to feel they got their monies worth. Was there enough to do and keep them entertained for the evening? Yes, they enjoy seeing carnage on the track just like NASCAR but we all cringe when something blows because we know what it costs! If it was a good night's entertainment then they will pay the entry next time and come back to a similar show.

Last, but not least is the sanctioning body or promoter! Is this worth doing at this location and did we make any money at the event. I can tell you personally, we evaluate all aspects of a location. Was the track easy to work with for the event? Was the crowd worth building on for the future? Did our sponsors sell parts or interest for their services or parts? Was it a safe location and enough competitors to put on a good show in order to draw the fan base? Did the event get local support from businesses and local diesel shops? Was there adequate services to support an event such as close hotels, gas stations, restaurants, a Walmart (lol), airport access, highway access and proper law enforcement?

As you can see there is a lot of people that want to be happy about the outcome of an event, so put yourself in these shoes to answer all of the questions above! Then please make suggestions to us a couple of days later, we are always looking for ways to improve events for all of the groups mentioned above, however remember the ultimate decision belongs to the person(s) putting up the funds for the event!

So when you ask next time how come you do not have a open class for trucks, how come you can't look the other way on safety equipment, how come the sled was set for a short track, how come we can't stand next to the barriers, how come there are not enough vendors, how come you can't allow burnouts in the parking lot, how come we can't drink and compete, and how come it costs so much?

We know the answers to all of the questions and believe me, we evaluate all of them every event!

Note: Because of attending a family funeral out of the area I will not post a new entry till Monday July 11. I will think of a very good topic while away!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Planning for an event . . .

Most people don't realize what goes into planning for a Diesel Motorsports event. I get calls all of the time with someone wanting to do an event in their area and they ask what does it take to put on an event?

To properly do one takes a lot of preparation and you never can think of all the things that need to be covered. First in planning is . . .

Contracts for the facilities, without contracts the tracks can sell to the highest bidder since they constantly look for rentals of their facilities. Make sure all of their services are outlined in the contract.

Insurance for the activities, make sure you have all of the event's activities outlined and described in the coverage, if not, and a accident happens they will not cover the event. They can deny coverage if you did not disclose all activities for proper liability coverage. If you think this is not important, think again, having a pack of attorneys coming after you and your sponsors for money is not a pleasant thought.

That's why a sanctioning body like NADM is fully backed by SFI safety rules and the proper insurance to make sure our events are properly covered for liability not only for ourselves but also our sponsors. Sponsors dislike the two "L" words - liability and lawyers! So the next time you ask can we break the rules just once or can we run a free-for-all race or pull you'll know why we answer "no"!

Equipment for track prep and for during the event has to be arranged and rented before the event. Having proper equipment is important for a quality run track or strip. Most drag strips come with the proper equipment but be prepared to pay, a oil cleanup at a strip can costs as much as $800 per oil down.

Personnel for an event is very important, NADM normally brings 18-24 people for a combined event. Yes, we pay them all for the days work, having friends help out is not a good situation to put yourself in for an event. Half way through the day you'll most likely find your volunteers in the stands or in someone's truck.

Advertising and marketing for the event is important or do you think the people will just show up for the event because you are having it. Think about it, would you open a store or a web site and not tell anyone you are open for business. Most media buys are very expensive, making sure the right buys take experience and knowing which will draw the crowds. You can waste a lot of funding quick if you are not careful.

Want to hold an event? Give me a call and I'll walk you through the steps along with costs, then good luck with mother nature is all you will need for the event.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Can I sell or make product for Diesel Motorsports?

If you have heard of Diesel Motorsports or have been to an event, then asked yourself, should we be making a product or selling to this marketplace?

I have been asked that more and more as the conventional channels for distribution for truck parts and accessories have become weak. The answer is yes if you are willing to work at it and invest the time to properly find out what will sell within the marketplace.

The diesel consumer is looking for quality parts and accessories, hopefully made in the US, and they enhance the performance or looks of their truck.

Price is always a factor but if it's made for longevity and quality, they don't mind paying for it.

I went to the MPMC council three years ago and not many manufacturers made parts/accessories for our diesel guys. I saw everyone there was to see in just about a day (meetings every 30 minutes).

Three years later the companies I talked to three years ago are now making parts for the diesel marketplace and every timeslot for three days was filled with manufacturers asking about Diesel Motorsports! Three years ago companies such as Carrillo, Mahle, and Victor Reinz was asking what our guys needed and could they help supply those much needed parts? Today they are actively selling parts within the marketplace and making headway for providing products for Diesel Motorsports.

Every year I talk to new companies wanting to gain some market into diesels, and there is still a lot of parts that are needed to meet the demand of the performance diesel truck enthusiast.

Don't forget that these vehicles in Diesel Motorsports are still TRUCKS! They still are in need of conventional accessories and parts. The used market for these trucks have shot through the roof and reman OEM parts and accessories are a big seller to our 2nd and 3rd owners of these trucks.

This has become a hobby for these guys so every owner makes his truck his own by adding steps, tonneau covers, grilles, hoods, gauges, lights, wheels, tires, etc.

One of our newcomer in diesel accessories is Covercraft for their seatsavers, our guys use these all of the time. Like we have stated in the past, our guys use their trucks for work and seatcovers are used all of the time, Covercraft found out real quick after coming to one event and talking to the enthusiasts.

What parts and accessories are left that these guys need? Email me and let's discuss it! There's a lot of areas that have not been addressed . . .

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Independence Day Holiday from Diesel Motorsports

Everyone is hopefully enjoying the holiday celebrating this great country's Independence! Spending time with families and taking time off to enjoy your favorite past time. For some that includes DIESEL Motorsports at the Preble Smokeout in Eaton OH, NADM will be there this evening providing the diesel sled pulling classes.

This is a fundraiser for the local 4-H club and NADM is happy to bring their crew there to help put on a good show so the people will spend their holiday watching some great diesel pickups sled pulling. I'm sure there is a local diesel event near you this weekend if you look to the county fairs and celebrations.

If not, enjoy the time relaxing and having fun with friends and family.

Please take time to reflect on the blessings this country provides for being free and letting us enjoy things like DIESEL Motorsports without fear of being hassled by others. Even after seeing how messed up the government and social structure the media tries to project to us daily, this is still the greatest country to live in the world! Why do so many people want into our country and so many want to attack it's principles.

Because they don't have what we do and don't forget the ones before us who fought to keep it this way. The many members of our services who not only protect our way of life but have fought internationally to keep it that way - remember them.

Because of the holiday I will not be posting till after the weekend and when everyone gets back to work next week - enjoy yourselves!

Friday, July 1, 2011

What's in the plans for 2012? DIESEL Motorsports . . .

I know it's supposed to be the end of the world and I should be buying pallets of bottled water. Instead I prefer to do something more productive and fun, like plan DIESEL Motorsports for the next season.

You can count on us being back to our established DIESEL ONLY National events that were held this last year. Some of those events are 3 years old and well established. Expansion is planned for Thunder in Muncie, Texas, Missouri and Western events.

For those of you who don't realize NADM supports many different local clubs and groups either with marketing, funds, and insurance. The affiliate events as we call them is our way of making sure DIESEL Motorsports is growing in your local community.

Our sponsors want us to expand the market in the best way we can possible, supporting local groups is the most efficient way for NADM. We can't be everywhere at once so it's better to use local groups putting on events in different parts of the country. NADM has had as many as 5 events on one weekend.

If any group has an event they can contact us for support and recognition for their event.

At the National events it will be DIESEL ONLY, which means NADM rents the facility and runs the event with our staff. What is a NATIONAL event? Where drag racing, sled pulling and dyno are the activities at the event along with a Vendor Alley. No Jr dragsters, no gassers, and no rice burners - all diesel vehicles at the track for us. Many use this term for events to make it sound bigger but it should only be used when all of the activities are available to fans and competitors.

Most diesel fans don't know what it takes to put on a one day event, DIESEL ONLY, and I don't mind sharing that with you. Depending on the size of the complex and show, the cost will run anywhere from $25,000 to $75,000 for a one day event. Of course it depends on what cash purses you pay out for the competitors. This includes renting the complex, insurance, personnel, promotion/advertising, equipment, travel, and purses.

That is why you see NADM push our sponsors so much during the event, they are helping pay for the event. Yes, you get a portion covered by the gate but until the crowds hit 10,000 paid fans it usually does not cover that much. So far I have not seen 10,000 at a DIESEL ONLY event, it's coming but is not quite there. So when we ask you to put the sponsors decals on your trucks please do so because they are the ones who are paying your purses. We do have a policy in writing that if you do not have the decals on when you win you will not get paid, however we have not had to enforce it yet.

Plus I cannot use the photo of your truck for promotions, magazine articles, etc., if you do not have our sponsors decals on your truck. So if you want your truck featured? Put those sponsor's decals on proudly so they can be seen.

We plan to expand into a couple of new areas which it depends on finding the right tracks and sponsors to support the event. If you have areas of interest please contact me to discuss.

Yes, DIESEL Motorsports is growing even in a down economy, we are just being very careful to where we go to make sure the support is in your area. Look forward to new barriers being broken this next year for speed and power for diesels. Some of the fastest and most powerful diesel trucks are running with NADM this year.