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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Diesel Drag racing - how come the stands are empty? and how do we fill them???

I get asked this all of the time by racers and even sponsors! The photos they see posted on social media always has the grand stands empty of people!

Unless it's the Regional Nationals with 3 second cars and rails the NHRA has the same problem. Drag racing is a participant sport plus family members. The same goes for diesel drag racing unless you have a high purse or grudge match between racers.

It's tuff to get people in the stands at our events because most want to back their trucks up to the fences on both sides, put out their lawn chairs, grills and coolers to tailgate. Their lawn chairs with a cooler right beside them with even a pop-up tent over them for shade is better than sitting in the stands.

Unless they want to be right at the starting line which many of them do, but the majority are out lined up to the fences. Plus whenever something happens with a oil-down, spill, parts, etc., the crowd quickly leaves the stands and goes back to looking at the trucks, talking to vendors or getting something to eat/drink at concessions.

That is why we are so picky at teching to make sure no one is leaking on the track or has their AC turned on their truck while waiting - it causes a slow down in entertainment for the fans if something goes wrong.

I suggested years ago that we go to 1/8 mile track in order to make the racing go quicker plus less breakage on the 4x4 trucks. People made fun of the suggestion, said they would never come if it wasn't 1/4 mile and went on and on - on the forums what a stupid idea that was to go 1/8 mile.

Now it doesn't seem too stupid does it? It's about entertainment!

Sled pulling goes 300 ft, quick, lots of action and a new truck is up every 3-5 minutes. Lots of people have been watching pulls of some kind at fairs and small town events for over 60 years. The stands fill quickly and watch for over 4 hours the trucks pull down the track.

It's tough to do that in diesel drag racing. The faster trucks are not many in number, we need 30-40 10 second trucks running 1/8 mile to make it exciting to keep people in the stands. We are just not there yet!

What we can do better is make sure the people have exciting runs to watch, which means no breakage. Run at least 4 times down the track with only 15-20 minutes between high end classes so we fill in with slower trucks. Most of the higher end trucks want 45 minutes to cool down before the next run. Hard to get people to stay in the stands for 45 minutes with not much running. Find ways to quickly cool down the trucks plus make sure they can run multiple times.

As many of you know at some of our events we run sled pulling at the same time as drag racing right next to each other so the crowd can watch both or if there is a break in the action the other is still running. This gives them something to watch without getting out of their seats.

This has been an ongoing problem for over 10 years, with no solution coming soon unless I can find more tracks willing to put pulling tracks next to the drag strips.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Let's go back to when pulling was fun . . . why not???

I have had so many diesel guys tell me the past two years I wish it would go back to where we could drive to the pull, change tires, hang weights and pull for the night - just having fun! Hang with the guys, look at trucks, win a few bucks and call it a fun night!

I asked why it cannot be that way?

I was told because the higher end trucks who they used to run with would make fun of them, call them names on the forums and tell everyone they do not know how to produce powerful diesel trucks - their reputation would be damaged!

Guys! What is this high school? If you enjoy doing what makes you happy, a more confident person would not care one little bit! Let your work show people what you are about and leave the having fun to yourself on your own time.

Bring a cooler, grill, family or friends and pull to have fun. DIESEL Motorsports has two classes to do just that - WorkStock and 2.5 class! 

I know a few top past pullers who got rid of their high-end rigs and show up in trucks now that have a different color on each fender - and they still win! Why? Because they are having fun and know how to pull! 

My personal truck is 20 years old, I have a great time messing with it! Do people make fun of it, ah yea since I help run a diesel sanctioning body! I could buy a newer truck and I have thought about it many times. A newer truck would ride better, run better and look more current, but then I would worry all the time if I have the best performance items on the truck, the newest led lights, blah, blah, blah! 

Then I think and it sounds like I would no longer have fun adding to my old truck! Who cares as long as I enjoy my older truck - I like it! 

Be you and pull to have fun! Again . . . 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Another step to making DIESEL Motorsports BIGGER & BETTER!

New DIESEL Motorsports Partnership Aids Marketing Efforts

DIESEL Motorsports, the only sanctioning body of diesel drag racing and sled pulling in the U.S., has agreed to make Performance Business Media (PBM) its official advertising agency. PBM is a full-service advertising agency specializing in motorsports.

“We are excited to begin this union and look forward to helping DIESEL Motorsports with their continuing mission of promoting diesel motorsports as a mainstream sport in the automotive community,” said Kent Bradley, president of PBM.

“DIESEL Motorsports is excited to have Performance Business Media as a partner for the future of our sport,” said Ron Knoch, president of DIESEL Motorsports. “We have known Kent Bradley for many years as a professional in our industry. His experience with manufacturers and industry leaders will expand our vision of taking DIESEL Motorsports to the next step of becoming a mainstream motor sport.”

DIESEL Motorsports, also known as the National Association of DIESEL Motorsports, is the only licensed SFI insured sanctioning body for diesel trucks, semis and auto drag racing, sled pulling, dyno competitions and show-n-shine competitions nationwide.
PBM represents automotive aftermarket business. For more information visit

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How to reach the diesel market with your product or service???

The shows and conferences I attend seems to always produce the same question from manufacturers, how do we reach the rural market or diesel truck owners?

Then they go back and ask their people what is the norm when reaching out to the diesel market?

The result is text-book marketing and advertising, let's place ads in some of the magazines and banner ads on some of the forums.

What they don't understand that the total circulation of the retail magazines for the diesel market does not total over 200,000 on a good guess! The B2B publications at least go to the diesel shops or auto stores that our diesel guys buy from throughout the year.

Most of our diesel shop guys work hard 6 days a week 10-12 hours a day trying to make a living working on diesels and what-ever-else they can get! 80% of their work is maintenance on regular street diesels and municipalities vehicles. The fill-in work is performance diesel but more important is regular truck work so our guys can use them for their work truck.

Most of the market is rural where magazine outlets are few, internet service is sketchy, tv is only a few hours in the evening and a lot are in the country which is satellite tv. What do they use for communication? Phones - A LOT! Social media is a must for reaching the rural communities along with radio! DIESEL Motorsports has over 116,000 followers on FB so we post everyday and then some!

I've been told by tracks that people follow our sites and social media for news and updates for the diesel marketplace. DIESEL Motorsports has worked very hard to reach out and help the rural diesel communities, the diesel shops and the diesel competitors.

That's what our sponsors pay us to do year after year! Reach the rural diesel lifestyle communities and communicate with the enthusiasts who make up our sport. DIESEL Motorsports goes where the diesel trucks are plentiful, the enthusiasts are friendly and the rural tracks that welcome the diesel trucks!

DIESEL Motorsports reaches the right crowd who live the lifestyle of the diesel market.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Who's making money off the sport of diesel performance?

If you say DIESEL Motorsports you would be incorrect, we give the sponsor's money back to the competitors as purses, the funds from the shows pays the overhead of business operation including over $14,000 a year for insurance. 

Hopefully the brick and motor diesel shops are making some money in order to stay in business and make a living for their families. The diesel shops are the core of keeping our sport alive and kicking since they work on the diesel trucks. More important is they buy our sponsor's products to sell to you!

Our sponsors help keep the sport alive because they do make money off of the parts and products sold to our enthusiasts. But we all know how hard it is to be a manufacturer in the United States while being bombarded by replica products from the Asian countries. The sponsors in turn give monies back to the sport in the way of marketing and advertising dollars.

Problem is if they don't sell their products then they quit supporting the sport. It's all about business so it's up to us to support those who support the sport!

So the bigger people in the industry who are doing well should be supporting our sport by not only buying our sponsors products but giving some of that back to the events or state groups.

It's all a circle of business that keeps the sport alive and increasing in popularity. Nobody begrudges anybody for making a living of providing services or products for our sport, we all have to survive and make a living.

But ask yourselves who is supporting the sport the most - or not at all???

Friday, January 8, 2016

Calling all state pulling groups . . . DIESEL Motorsports!

DIESEL Motorsports started a program about 6 years ago called our affiliate events which included many state diesel clubs and groups. We helped them with safety and class rule structure, help them obtain insurance, market their pull dates, feature them on our social media plus magazine articles and even help them obtain sponsors resulting in cash for their clubs.

Whey would we do this instead of doing it ourselves?

Because we want the sport to grow and we cannot be everywhere at once. We started out doing our own events and at one time we had over 30 events we were managing, we found it stretched us and our staff too thin and we were tired by the end of the season. DIESEL Motorsports evaluated what events we could manage into regional events and turned the rest over to state groups who could put the events on for the fairs or towns.

We thought it would also help the sport grow by helping the state groups with what we know how to do best, promote the sport!

We have helped and supported many state groups in all areas of the country. Yes, some of our budget goes out to help these groups, we do not charge them for the help - only to ask that they display our sponsors at their events along with DIESEL Motorsports.

Many of you may have attended an event where you see our banner or decals but we are not there, that is one of our affiliate groups who are doing it the right way. Keeping the sport safe and promoting the event the correct way for doing business in the industry.

Has any of the other groups or events done this for the sport? Not to our knowledge and we are not looking for recognition but we are looking for more state affiliate events who want to do it the right way.

Contact us if your group or event wants to be part of the growth of the diesel sport?

816-734-5611 or

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Staying the course . . . DIESEL Motorsports!

I am a BIG believer in letting professionals who are specialized do their work! That is why I have an accountant do our books, a CPA tax lawyer do our tax returns and I take my truck to a certified diesel mechanic when it needs work done to it.

Let people do the work they know how to do and I stick to doing what I know how to do! That is why my partner Gene, work so well together! He let's me do what I do and I rely on him to do what he knows, I'm sure many times you have caught me at events asking a question about the rules or track and I point to Gene!

People like stability, when spending monies with you and DIESEL Motorsports offers a easy organized reliable event for many sponsors and vendors. It may change a little but not much year to year. We keep the rules the same so more trucks can come every year with bigger numbers.

DIESEL Motorsports likes to keep our events family oriented so all age groups can come and enjoy the activities. Yes you can drink at our events, bring in coolers and grills - that is part of our diesel lifestyle, tailgating at the events! We just ask you act responsibly toward others and respect each other's properties.

Hire the professionals who know how to do their jobs!

We even do it at the events if the track prep needs a lot of work or I hire a professional announcer or photographer at the events. DIESEL Motorsports hires about 15-30 people for some of our larger events.

We have been doing the diesel events for about 10 years so we know what we are doing and what you can lose money on during the events. Track, equipment and personnel negotiation is ongoing for us at each location during the year. Doing one event a year is easy, trying doing 5-8 larger events per year.

We try different venues during the events if it pertains to the diesel lifestyle, like this year we will be hosting a antique tractor show during Thunder in Muncie on Saturday. It relates who comes to that event and brings in more people.

Our direction is to build the diesel marketplace by supporting the local diesel shops with a online shop locator and sponsors can ask local shops to display under their sponsorship. It takes all of us working together to make it a mainstream sport. That was our goal in the beginning was to grow it and make it mainstream in the automotive world of motor sports.

Do we make everything big and flashy so we can get noticed? Not really because it is a rural sport and we are conservative when it comes to doing business the right way with people in the industry.

We stay the course and build on a solid foundation of years of experience.