Race Track Promotion in
Now looking up magic in Wikipedia, I discovered that the word
Magic, illusion, trickery and deception…
Whilst true there are some deceptions within the world of promotion, mostly it is all illusion. The magician or track promoter will say what is or is not happening and the eager audience of race teams and fans wait with eyes fixed, hearts beating and adrenalin rising to watch the next Léger de main, collusion or misdirection the skilled promoter can conjure up.
And it seems that there is nothing the racing audience enjoys more than the art of the trick. The promoter seeks to present an effect so clever and skillful that the racing audience cannot believe their eyes, and cannot think of the explanation. The sense of bafflement is part of the entertainment. In turn, the audience plays a role in which they agree to be entertained by something they know to be a deception.
From early 2006 to today, deceptions have been roaring full steam ahead…or is that full smoke ahead as in smoke and mirrors?
The grandest deception, illusion, trickery, whatever one may chose to call it…has to be the closing of the Stockton 99 Speedway.
We all heard the rumor…the first sleight of hand….the rumor was put to bed via an article by Bill Poindexter on February 5, 2005 when he interviewed Ken Clapp regarding the rumored closure ( blog post by a concerned racer ) and sale of Stockton 99 Speedway, who said, "It makes a great story, and I'm very flattered, but there's no truth to it…. I'm totally committed for the next few years at Stockton, totally committed."
It seems a reversal in commitment would come one short month later, as it was reported in an article in the Oakland Tribune in September 2006 that, “Clapp and his partner, Bob Hunefeld, decided 18 months ago (March 2005) to sell the track's 20-acre property to housing developers for $6 million.”
We were told when it was the last USAC race at the track when it was the last Late Model race at the track and when it was the last West race there ever would be at the historic track.
From the time that track supposedly sold, dismantled and torn apart, I have said it was not really gone. I almost felt like I saw behind the magician’s screen, saw through the smoke.
But I was repeatedly assured by insiders that it was gone. No lights, no scoreboard, no stands...all gone. We heard Kenny Shepherd bought it all we were told. Bill McAnally was given Clapp’s word that the track was gone. We would be nuts not to believe it, right?
Now we find that voila! it was there all along. Now we find out that according to the ModBee Carol and Tony Nocetti, "... purchased the speedway's lights, bleachers, fencing and other items after 99 closed and now plan to begin moving them back into the facility." The Stockton 99 Speedway is slated for a March 2009 reopening.
Why…we just took part in one grand feat of magic as we were all deceived by one of the most famous of all magician trickeries, the art of transformation. Transformation is a combination of a vanish and a production, restoration, where the promoter or magician destroys an object, then restores it back to its original state—a rope is cut, a newspaper is torn, a racetrack or woman is sawn in half and then they are all restored to their original state.
It’s magic! But which of the promoters was the master magician? Was it Bill McAnally of All American Speedway, the Nocetis who leased Stockton 99, Kenny Shepherd who went from running Altamont Raceway Park to running Madera Speedway, John Condren who supposedly was spearheading a 1200-acre, motorsports-themed family recreation and entertainment center, Bob Hunefeld or Ken Clapp, Stockton 99 Speedway promoters or is itJeff Macey, promoter of Altamont Motorsports Park?
I will let the reader decide if it was one master magician working alone, or one master magician with several assistants that created an illusion more exciting to the local racer than David Copperfield’s disappearance and reappearance of the Statue of Liberty performance.
I personally see nothing for some of the mentioned promoters to gain. In fact I can see pain brought on by this restoration to some of them, unless the promoters work together. Now if that happens…there will be magic...but a very good magic.
I look forward to watching and reading of the action that the four NASCAR tracks in
I have to admit I have been amused and have a feeling of wonder even though I am aware that the magic is performed using trickery, still there is some devious enjoyment from the magician's skill and cunning, especially when you knew it would happen…but didn’t know the who, what, where, why and how of it all.
In the next few months leading up to the grand re-opening of Stockton 99 Speedway, there may be what appear to be revelations of what happened behind the screen, obscured from view by the smoke, but the revelation of a magical secret is merely another form of misdirection.
I wish the Noceti’s well. I wish Shepherd and Macey and McAnally well. At risk of being redundant ...here goes... I hope that in 2009 the trickery can be replaced by the magic of promoters working together for the good of their pocketbook, the needs of the racers and the enjoyment of the fans.
Other good to know stuff from Wikipedia on Magic:
Misuse of magic
In modern conjuring, it is not considered ethical to give a performance which claims to be anything other than a clever and skillful deception.
Categories of effects – I have added Promoter alongside Magician
It is generally agreed that there are very few different types of effect.. Some of these are listed below.
- Production The magician or promoter produces something from nothing—a rabbit from an empty hat, fan of cards from thin air, a shower of coins from an empty bucket, a racetrack from a vandalized field or the promoters themselves, appearing in a puff of smoke on an empty stage -- all of these effects are productions.
- Vanishing The magician or promoter makes something disappear—a coin, a cage of doves, milk from a newspaper, an assistant from a cabinet, racetrack grandstands, lighting, scoreboards. A vanish, being the reverse of a production, may use a similar technique, in reverse.
- Transformation The magician or promoter transforms something from one state into another—a silk handkerchief changes colour, a lady turns into a tiger an indifferent card changes to the spectator's chosen card a racetrack that was stated as gone…suddenly reappearing as full of life. A transformation can be seen as a combination of a vanish and a production.
- Restoration The magician or promoter destroys an object, then restores it back to its original state—a rope is cut, a newspaper is torn, a racetrack is sawn in half, a borrowed watch is smashed to pieces—then they are all restored to their original state.
- Teleportation The magician or promoter causes something to move from one place to another—a borrowed ring is found inside a ball of wool, a canary inside a light bulb, an assistant from a cabinet to the back of the theatre, lights and grandstands can be found in a warehouse. When two objects exchange places, it is called a transposition: a simultaneous, double teleportation.
- Prediction The magician or promoter predicts the choice of a spectator, or the outcome of an event under seemingly impossible circumstances—a newspaper headline is predicted (Now tell me this isn’t a favorite of promoters), the total amount of loose change in the spectator's pocket, a picture drawn on a slate, a track rumor dispelled only to be true.