We Have Never Run a Race to Make Money

Frank Rant

So we were having lunch after the race on Saturday with some friends and long time racers.  The economy is obviously on everyone’s mind, but it was interesting to me that the state of REM’s finances is such a concern to many of our long time racers.  The crowds at REM have been down the last 6 months of 08, and we started off 09 with a smaller than normal crowd.  There are many reasons for this, obviously the economy is the main contributor.   Weather is also another factor especially at Glen Helen.  Many of our racers have been affected by the downturn in construction, the downfall  of the housing market, car and truck sales falling through the floor, ad nauseum.   Our one bright spot was Octobercross which set a new attendance record.  Nobody does what REM does, we race motocross nearly every Saturday in So Cal.  We don’t move from track to track.  We have a couple of series every year, but compared to the other organizations we keep it sane.  We just do weekly motocross racing, at the REM track at Glen Helen.  Yes, we race twice a year on the national track.  But what makes REM special is, it is basically the same every week, and has been for 23 years.  Every Saturday we show up at Glen Helen prepared to run a motocross race for 100 to 300 racers.  We never know how many will show up, but we try to put in the same effort every week.  If we have a small crowd it is a treat for the regulars to get out of the track early.  If we have a large crowd, our creditors are happy.  I don’t like to put on big events, been there done that.  10 years of Commotion by the Ocean made me never want to do another big race.  It’s the same reason I don’t go to the factories for factory contingency.  It brings out the really negative aspects of this sport.  Cheating, lying, manipulating the system, bad behavior, fighting, hate, discontent, and take outs.  And that’s just in the 85 class.  My buddies at lunch had a lot of suggestions, most of them what I just discussed.  All I can say is REM is not changing because of the economy.  We aren’t going to hire fewer cornerworkers, we aren’t going to cut corners, we aren’t making the motos shorter, and we won’t be whoring ourselves out to every sponsor with a crappy product.   While we are going to continue to try to come up with better track designs every week, provide you with the better awards and prizes,  and keep trying to make improvements in the way we do things, we aren’t going to change what REM has stood for since 1986: weekly Motocross racing.  We will survive just like we have in the past.  The difference between REM and everybody else is we have never run a race just to make money.  Believe that or not, but if it was about making money we would have closed 22 years 11 months ago.