Randy Weaver on dirt late model costs

Weaver talks the costs of super late model racing; Defends big haulers

At the start of the 2019 racing season, Randy Weaver Racing had a fleet of super late models and driver Tanner English. They hit the road for Florida Speedweeks.

Upon return to Crossville, Tennessee, the team closed it door’s on the super late model program. A few different sponsorship packages failed to come up with the funding.

One of the most respected dirt late model teams in the country, was forced out of the business. English was also forced to find a new ride.

Randy Weaver can still be found at the track. The hauler is now loaded with a crate late model that’s piloted by his son, Cameron Weaver.

Randy Weaver 0985
Randy Weaver 0985

Costs of dirt late model racing

Are out of control…

Let’s put you in the shoes of the rule makers for a second. What would you do to help bring the costs down?

“Well, the first thing I’d do is get both national series, the top-10 drivers and team owners on both sides. We’d have one big conference,” Randy Weaver told RacingNews.co .

“It would be pretty easy really. You put a big white board up there and say, ‘I want everybody to tell me the number one expense in our sport.’ The first thing their gonna say is engines. So, we’re gonna write engines down.”

“Secondly, they’re either gonna say labor or tires. That does go hand in hand.”

“People say, ‘Well, they buy these big haulers.’ Well, that ain’t an expense. That’s an investment. It’s the only thing you’ll ever make money or get your money back on, every single time.”

They hold their value you mean?

“Hell yeah. Or they go up. You could be a new one for $450,000, if you can get a new one for that. In Spring, everybody’s panicking because you can’t just reach and get one. It takes 17 months to get one of them. You can sell that thing and make you $30-40,000. It happens all the time.”

Randy Weaver - #116 Crate Late Model Team 0979
Randy Weaver – #116 Crate Late Model Team 0979

I’m under the impression that some of those big teams, not all of them, also use those big haulers to save money on hotels.

“Oh sure. Just with the three people here on this crate team… Sleeping, cooking, all of our eats. You can go spend a $100 for a weekend with me and two guys. Or you can go out and eat and you’ll spend twice that.”

“Add the hotel. And trying to get to one. It’s not feasible.”

“The haulers, everybody wants to through fingers at that. Really, it’s nothing more than an investment. It’s like buying a rental property and getting rid of it. Because you get to write it off the whole time you got it.”

Dirt Late Model Motors

“Definitely, motors is gonna be your first thing. Labor, tires. it would be easy to fix all that. But, I have really good friends that are motor builders and I understand their side.”

“I don’t know why these big series are so tied up with these motor guys. They should just go back to what they used to do. I remember when I first started racing, you claimed what your motor was and then you could be tore down and inspect that.”

“You could say you’re going back to a 400 cu in motor, whatever. I ain’t saying you gotta go back to 9-1 or 362’s. But, pick whatever it is. The market is flooded with that stuff.”

“What I’m saying there is that outta be the rule, that you can only run a 400 cu in motor. Say I win. Then, the guy that runs 2nd can protest me.”

“And the series or track has to have their tech man — Not Joe Blow that does headers for a guy that works for a guy. You need to have a tech man that tears it down to make sure you’re within to rules.”

“It will take out all the spread bore stuff. I mean, these motors are $50,000 a piece. At one time, I had 5 of them. You can only race one at a time. But, you gotta have spares and rotation. You gotta send them to get freshened.”

“It forces you to get in way deeper than what you thought you could run a series for. To do it right, you just gotta do that. They’ll be 15 teams in the pits that say they can do it but there’s only 10 that really can do it.”

“Everybody else is just juggling and doing all they can to try to make it to the next race. That’s fine and I hope they all do great. But, in 2-3 years, if they don’t get a handle on it. It’s going to be hard to go watch a race that’s got 50-60 cars there.”

“With a 400 cu in rule, the guy that works 40 hours a week can go buy a $15,000 motor and say, ‘These guys aren’t going to out-motor me tonight. I still might not win but it ain’t gonna be because of dollars on my motor.’ They’ll run just as good as a brand new one.”

“They gotta get a handle on motors. Then, they gotta get a handle on some promoting. I know Lucas and them got some big sponsors. But, it’s a funny thing to me, I can pull up papers of where I won races in the mid-90’s and it was $10,000 to win.”

“Well, everything, including hamburgers have tripled. Pit prices have tripled and we’re still racing for $10,000.”

“There’s gotta be some kind of a sweet spot. I understand the promoters need to make it as well as the series. I’m all about everybody getting their part of the pie. But, it seams like somebody’s cutting it awful slim on the racers side.”

“Hopefully, they’ll get it where it needs to be. The crate stuff, it ain’t where it needs to be either. But, it’s a lot cheaper and it’s a good learning place for a beginner.”

“My son ain’t run but 22 races in his life. But, he’s doing pretty good and he’s having fun doing it. I’m just going to enjoy stuff and watch him learn.”


Randy Weaver shuts down super late model operations

Tanner English talks the national late model tour

English to SWR Racing

Tanner English is running a throwback car to his dad’s 1991 car (2017)


Randy Weaver | SWR Racing | Tanner English