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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The question of who is eligible to compete in the Sportsman Truck class comes up a number of times during the season and during the off season.

The intent of the class is to “provide a place to race for newer racers, older racers who may have lost a bit of their edge (yep it happens with time) or racers of any age that may never have managed to develop either the driving talent or equipment to be competitive in the Stock and faster classes. In short, the class exists for the sportsman racer it is named after rather than avid, more serious racers.” One additional description of a sportsman racer is probably someone who doesn’t want to chase after the latest RC technology. This intent does not automatically exclude those who may have done well in the Truck Class in the past. And we don't see the Sportsman Truck class in the BRL as a "beginner's" class. Inclusion in a traveling series pretty much moves it up a notch from a true beginner's class. While we welcome racers of any experience level into the BRL, we think true beginner's classes are best left to local tracks to define.

There are many cases where it is clear that someone isn’t a Sportsman racer. Someone who has won one or more A Mains in, say, the 17.5 or 13.5 Open Classes in the BRL or at a major event in the last few years shouldn’t be eligible for the Sportsman Truck Class. That is clear.

But there are many cases that are not so clear cut. A 17.5 Open racer who frequently makes the B Main in this very competitive class could be within a second or two of TQ and probably isn’t a Sportsman racer. In 13.5 Open, anyone willing to try could have made the A Main last season at a couple of events where we didn’t have enough cars for a full A. So simply using the criteria of who has recently made an A Main could exclude some racers who really are Sportsman racers and allow some who are not.

On the other hand, is a racer (even one who has never made an A Main in a faster class) that is willing to buy multiple motors / rotors / stators to get the best one a “sportsman” racer? How about the guy who is willing to spend $1000 on a chassis dyno to test all the motors? Is the idea of a Sportsman racer compatible with being a sponsored racer? Strictly speaking, none of these are the traits we’d expect to see in a Sportsman racer. But it’s impossible to police how serious someone might be about winning in a Sportsman class. Making the class a points class with a reward at season’s end (in the case of the BRL) or crowning a national points champion (in the case of TOUR) instantly turns the class into a competitive class where some racers get very serious.

In addition, an unexpected thing has happened in the years since the creation of the Sportsman Truck Class. At many local tracks it has become the most popular class (in some cases the only class) because many people are attracted to the simplicity of the class. Racers select the class because they find the speed and reduced technical complexity of the class attractive. Racers who’ve been idle for some years and are looking for a class to re-enter oval racing without worrying about the “technology of the week” select the class locally. Plus, as the class grows at the local level, still more racers are attracted because they want to race against the biggest number of racers. These racers who selected the Truck class locally naturally want to run the same class when they attend a BRL event.

We’ve considered the question from a number of angles and considered everything from somehow splitting the class into serious and sportsman racers to excluding anyone who has run another class at all in the last couple of seasons. We’ve concluded that there really isn’t a good way to define eligibility and have it written in stone. There will inevitably be some Sportsman Truck racers who are clearly more competitive than others. There is always going to be some judgment involved and there will inevitably be folks who disagree with the judgments made. We still think we know a Sportsman racer when we see one. The basic guideline we will follow in making our judgment will continue to be a racer’s overall competitiveness in the faster classes. We will continue to exclude anyone who has raced their way into an A Main against a full, competitive field in the faster classes and make a judgment call on others.

There are some other things we can do to preserve the Sportsman nature of the class. For the 2012–2013 John’s BSR Tires Brushless Racing League Oval Series we will continue to award points in the Sportsman Truck Class and have a season point championship. However, a win or a TQ in the Truck class will no longer qualify a racer for the All Star Race at the Novak Finals. Racing for a large cash prize isn’t compatible with the basic idea of a Sportsman racer and a Sportsman racing class. This will also eliminate the possibility of someone cherry picking the class as a way to gain an invite to the All Star Race. It will also give us greater flexibility in picking a class to be used for the All Star Race since the eligible racers will span a smaller performance range.
 

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I think that is a good approach to take.

I know it is difficult to make all the racers happy all the time.
 

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I just noticed something funny here, the 4 guys to post have an F-14 avatar or drive the car. Just struck me funny. Sorry.
 
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