Since all innovation is typically followed by a plethora of questions, we thought we should take the time to address the most common ones we have received regarding the format for OA5.
1. Why did you change things?
-For the racers and the fans. Under this new format, racers will have an opportunity to be in the track a minimum of three times. Not only does this create more exposure for the drivers and their sponsors on one of the biggest stages in the sport, but it also allows racers to do more of what they love. Putting together these cars, traveling hundreds of miles, and assembling their families and crews is expensive and time-consuming. The end goal of all that is to actually be on the track competing…and this format allows for that to take center stage.
For the fans, they get to see MORE action. At previous OA events, a class with 64 cars would produce 63 side-by-side races. With this change, that same class of 64 cars will provide 103 side-by-side races over two days. More matchups, more smack talk, more action…a better fan experience overall.
-Is this like an “everybody gets a trophy” thing?
-Absolutely not. There are no prizes for winning qualifying rounds. This is still a “winner take all” event…we are just getting to that winner in a slightly different way.
-Can you explain the qualifying?
-Most all heads-up races use ETs to qualify a large group of cars and set a pre-determined field for eliminations. That is exactly what this will be, except instead of ETs (since there are no clocks) we will use win/loss records of the head to head matchups to select the field. Out of all entries, the top 8 records (and all ties) qualify for the field.
-As a racer, am I going to have won more races to get paid?
-No. In a traditional 64 car field, it takes 6 round wins to be crowned the champion. In this format, you will make 3 qualifying passes. If you qualify for the 8 car field for final eliminations, you run 3 elimination rounds to win the overall class…equaling 6 total runs down the track.
Are you going to have enough time to run all this?
-Yes. Fields will be capped to guarantee we can run everything over two days.
What if this doesn’t work?
-With innovation, there is always the possibility of failure. If this format does not work for OA, then future events will revert back to the traditional style. We have the utmost confidence in our new format and think it will be a great change for the event. However, if things do not work out, then we will learn our lesson. At the end of the day, it’s much better to try and fail than not try at all. Our goal is to improve not only OA but the sport as a whole.