Saturday, November 13, 2010

WISSOTA Expo, A Racer's Mall

By Dean Reller

(ST. CLOUD, MN)  Billed as "The last chance to get together before the snow flies," it was a steady falling snow that met everyone as they came to the annual WISSOTA Expo.  The event featured all the components of what it takes to build a race car all rolled into one shopping experience.  The Expo is just part of the WISSOTA Promoter's Association Annual Meetings and National Awards Ceremony at the St Cloud River's Edge Convention center which is undergoing an expansion that forced visitors to navigate a labyrinth filled with twists and turns just to enter the building.  Once inside, it was a smorgasbord of vendors ranging from tires, shocks, brakes and graphic companies just to name a few.  As racers shopped for new parts and pieces to get ready for the 2011 season, they were also able to visit with industry experts and improve their knowledge, which hopefully will improve their on track performance.  A few instructional seminars were held to further explain some of the tricks of the trade.

The overall buzz of the Expo was several new rule changes announced for the Midwest Modifieds and the WISSOTA Modifieds.  A major rule change will force a large majority of the Midwest Modifieds to change their cars to run a 3 link rear suspension which somberly affected the tone of the normally upbeat gathering.  The WISSOTA Modifieds will now be allowed to run quick change rear ends, which created a somewhat lesser reaction.

New at the Expo this year, was the display of the Championship winning cars in each of the WISSOTA divisions.  All in all, it was a good chance to catch up with racers and talk about what will be happening when the snow melts in 2011.

*Pictured above is the WISSOTA Late Model National Champion car driven by Ricky Weiss from Headingley Manitoba Canada and WISSOTA Mod-4 Champion car driven by Rob VanMil from Moorhead MN.

1 comment:

  1. Requiring the Midwest Modified Division to revert to a 3 link suspension (in my view) is a very poor move by WISSOTA. Did the Rule Makers look at the financial impact it will have on current MWM car owners to change existing suspension systems to the antiquated 3 link? Most Midwest Mods are former A mods with suspensions and bracketry built into the chassis. Now, it will require extensive retrofit of not only the suspension but the chassis. Racing in any division is expensive and this rule change just increased the fee.

    A more effective procedure would have to been to announce this change for the 2012 season allowing teams to plan, prepare and execute changes during this season in preparation for 2012. Sanctioning Auto Racing Organizations can be a lot like Political Party's passing legislation without realizing the detrimental unintended consequences brought on by their well intentioned actions.

    Will this rule change by WISSOTA force tracks to drop the division for lack of participation? Will it force tracks to leave WISSOTA to keep up car counts? How about the fan base? Will a new organization step up for these modifieds?

    In my four decades of racing involvement, this was a BAD idea.

    Jeff Hartman
    White Pine, Michigan