A primary reason this is possible -- qualifying for Nationals is essentially
a one-shot deal (never mind that some can take that one shot 4-5 times if
they are so inclined). You run one Divisional or Tour and you are
qualified -- and also never mind for now the option of paying the waiver
Thing is, s*** happens. There also can be folks who run well all year, kick
butt everywhere they go, then do the Divisional and Bad Luck strikes. Flat
tire. Motor goes south. Rain. Whatever. And you finish DFL.
Basically we don't want qualifying for Nationals to be impacted by bad luck.
We DO want some commitment to the program. Running a Divisional or Tour
does that, no matter if the result is good or bad. I guess, so does paying
the waiver fee. We realized this when Nationals was pulling 300-400 cars.
It's still true when we pull over 1000.
Crowning a national champion is almost a byproduct. This is a championship
for the members .. all the members. The one year my stepdaughter ran (1992),
she was so slow the car behind (the national champ) closed to within 4
seconds at the finish lights on their first runs -- we made sure of more
spacing on subsequent runs. But she still remembers that experience as one
of the highlights of her life and took from it a great feeling of
accomplishment. And BTW, she won her qualifying event -- only car in her
class, and how do you quantify that?
Nationals, to me, truly reflects the Olympic ideal that the most important
thing is the competition, not the victory; the struggle, not the triumph. It
is enough to have been part of it.
The point of qualifying, whether by participation or waiver fee, is to
demonstrate involvement not quality. In a sense, we don't care about
legislating quality -- that part takes care of itself at the top of the
results. We care about having people there who want to be there for the
event and the sport. More participants makes it a bigger and more fun party.
It does not detract in any way from the quality at the top of the heap. In
fact, it enhances it. If only the top 30 CP cars had shown up last year,
Buddie Jasman still would've won, but so much cooler to know he won a 58-car
And I gotta tellya, if I can pull off an 8th or 9th again, I'd rather see 30
cars there than 20 in my class because even if the added 10 are slugs,
that'd make a top-10 finish a trophy placement. But chances are 10 new cars
would include at least 2-3 good ones making a top-10 finish just that much
> >From: "Hugh Barber" <email@example.com>
> Actually I was referring to
> folks who don't run a Solo event all year, enter the Divisional and finish
> last in class. By the current rules, they are eligible to enter the
> Nationals. To me, something seems a bit off with that. No, I don't have
> stats on how often/if that happens, but it just seems wrong to me that one
> could do that.
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