SCORE Race Fuel Monopoly

posted Feb 23, 2013, 2:43 AM by Baja Off-Road   [ updated Nov 14, 2013, 11:45 AM ]
The following is a public post by Mark Weyhrich, TSCO Racing, Trophy Truck's # 9 and 98. The concerns are addressing a basically per se monopoly on race-fuel used.
Where to buy and which to use....!
o-tone excerpt: "Any fuels not purchased from ARS through the SCORE website will not be allowed in vehicles competing in the SCORE San Felipe 250 race"
One can choose from several fuel brands (VP or F&L), but has to purchase at 1 supplier (ARS), this is a de-facto monopoly because you must buy it from ARS.
Roger Norman's intent was to keep costs down and have companies pay into a year end points fund, but also to not create a monopoly. Supposedly he had buy in from VP, F&L and Sunoco. At the last minute, Sunoco said they would not pay into a year end fund, so they were out.
1. I was told by one team owner that he is being charged $14.25 per gallon for San Felipe. The fuel bill for TSCO Racing (remember we are only 2 teams out of how many?) will go up by $10,000 for the 3 SCORE races alone.
2. It is completely dysfunctional to try to run multiple fuels, so the TSCO Racing annual fuel bill will go up by about $30,000.
3. We have an annual agreement with Sunoco. This was in place long before SCORE's announcement. Now I either ignore that agreement and deal with potential consequences, or don't race SCORE or HDRA events.
4. While racers can choose from more than 1 fuel, this is a de-facto monopoly because you must buy it from ARS.
5. This announcement comes only 10 days before our race vehicles have to leave for Baja. Even if we did not have a fuel deal, it would not be feasible for us to re-dyno our trucks before the race. And, our race fuel is already bought and paid for for the San Felipe 250.
6. ARS is only giving $25,000 to be split among 40 classes? I'm not suggesting everyone pays what we pay for fuel, but I just told you how much our fuel bill goes up. Do the math.
7. This is not just a business deal for us. We have built a strong relationship with our vendors and their representatives. They have been supporting us and the sport of off-road racing for a long time. For them to be left out in the cold just doesn't seem right.
8. Not only do you have to use VP or F&L, you MUST buy from ARS. You cannot buy these fuels from a distributor and bring them to a race.
9. What happens to teams that have deals with VP or F&L? Do we all subsidize them now?
10. This paves the way for a lot more of this type of thing; wheels, tires, shocks, seats, etc...
Again, I like the intent and it has worked well in other types of racing. If we are going to be told what to do and at what COST, then there need to be a real financial compensatory model, not just $25,000. There needs to be clarity, as in how much of my per gallon cost goes directly into the points fund? And, how many gallons were used during the season? They need to give teams time to make the change.
This remarks are from Mark Weyhrich, Trophy Truck #9