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The new bane of my journalistic life: karts

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by spikechiquet, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    A big kart race for the local area is scheduled last night.
    We do a bunch of press to preview it, I learn some of the names of the points leaders, etc. Get my ducks in a row.
    PR guy tells me to get there around 10 p.m. (?!) since the heats start around 7 and they should be good to go after that.
    I didn't make it til 11 p.m. and thought I was going to be late...I wasn't.
    I get there, have no clue what is going on (I am not a race fan, at all) and start interviewing the names I know (over 240 drivers there for 16 classes!) After talking to the guy about the points race for his class, I find out IT WAS STILL A HEAT RACE! at 11:30 p.m.
    A few of the youth features ran at midnight and then I finally watched the money race heats finish at 1:30 a.m. ... then they took an intermission! I got my interviews for a feature and then get out of there! That's absurd. They finished near dawn this morning.
    One of the guys that we featured talked about how excited he was that we were covering them. He said if we covered the racers more, they would buy our paper. Which is fine...but am I supposed to stay out until 4-5 in the morning to cover this?
    The PR guy wanted me to make sure I knew this was a great "family event" heading up to the event. How is having 4-8 year-olds racing a feature race at midnight "family friendly"? How is having the main event of your "big night" start at 4 a.m.?
    I checked with people and they said they got done at 5 a.m. last year. Am I missing something about the allure of this?
  2. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    Did it not occur to these silly people that perhaps they could split the event into two or three (or however many necessary) days so that they might end at a more reasonable hour?
  3. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    Was this sponsored by IHOP, and everybody goes to breakfast later? Crazy. Is there a violation of curfew angle to pursue?
  4. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    Nah, they do this every other weekend, all in one day. It's easier for THEM to do it all at once, which is fine...but don't expect us to have wall-to-wall coverage!
    This was one of the big races of the year, but when the flag guy starts complaining about a 11-hr day, something is wrong.

    The question, do I mention it to the PR guy (and come off like a un-knowning dick or an prissy sports writer) and risk pissing him off; smile, write a happy-go-lucky column (awe shucks, it's nice these people get to do this golly-darn fun stuff) and just wait to dump it off to someone else next year or just grin and bear it.
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    You missed a great story.
    The hell with results and point races. Talk to the parents, organizers, etc. about why they do this til the wee hours of the morning Talk to the kids about staying up all night to race and why they do it and how they stay awake.
    Either these people are cult-like fanatics to do this til 4 or 5 a.m. or they'll be pissed at the organizers that is goes as long as it does
  6. FuturaBold

    FuturaBold Member

  7. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    That's why I REFUSE to cover dirt racing, and we've got one of the major tracks in the Southeast in town. It's the same deal every Saturday night. They jerk around, prep the track, caution laps don't count, stop to fight, etc. and before you know it, they're still racing at 1-2 a.m.

    The last I went to cover it the feature was supposed to start at 9 p.m. When it hit 11:30 and they still didn't have the field lined up, I packed up and left.
  8. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Is there a legitimate reason these things don't start at a reasonable hour? Do they share the track with other events?

    Also, in addition to curfew laws, is alcohol served/brought to these things? Is there a liquor law violation because of the time frame?
  9. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    Ending races at 5 in the morning in ridiculous. I've covered USAC races like this. The heat races are great, but there needs to be a curfew. Remember this for next time you want to cover these types of races. They end too late and are almost always run by disorganized people. Unless you have someone covering the races who is familiar with the racers and the teams, it's a waste of time. Good luck next time, if there is a next time.
  10. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    Ha! Didn't miss shiiit. That's the story I did! Great minds....LOL
    Of course almost everyone I talked to "loved" it. I did talk to one guy that had been up since 4 a.m. Saturday for work, did a 10-hour shift, drove to the track and finished in the Top 10 of the main event money race. He was a bit tired and I got him saying he probably shouldn't be running machinery at that point.
    Also got a guy, 41, saying he needed a nap...but the rest were "revved" about "racin'"
  11. The story is they race until 4 a.m.
    And what do the neighbors think (if there are any)?
  12. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    That's a money quote. A lot of these operations are lucky no one has been killed yet in a 4 a.m. race.
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