PRN’s At The Track Reaches Out To Grassroots Communityby Hunter Thomas January 27, 2014
PRN’s At The Track took the grassroots community by storm thanks to the brainchild of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s president and general manager, Marcus Smith.
Just after the 2013 NASCAR season got underway, Marcus Smith approached his team and asked them how to reach out to the grassroots fans who watched friends and family members compete at local short tracks every weekend. After all, Charlotte Motor Speedway doesn’t just cater to fans of NASCAR’s top-three series, NHRA or the World of Outlaws; they also host Legends and divisions in the NASCAR Home Track ranks.
After the plan was mapped out and everything was in order, Charlotte Motor Speedway paired their Speedway Television team with radio personnel, Lenny Batycki who has over 25 years of experience, everything from being the vice president of Richard Childress Racing, general manager at Gateway International Raceway and announcer at Rockingham Speedway.
“First and foremost, these local tracks are the heart and soul of motorsports,” Lenny Batycki said. “Whether it’s an 1/8th-mile drag strip, a 3/8th-mile paved or dirt oval, those are the starting points, and if they come see the big show once or twice a year, that’s what we’re in business for, and we try to showcase all those series to the fans with PRN’s At The Track.”
The show and its social media accounts are trying to connect everyone from dirt to asphalt. Whether it’s a Mini Stock race or a regional Late Model event, drivers from all divisions are included in the show. Drivers like Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace started in the Legends, and now they’ve recently entered NASCAR’s highest ranks.
In the past when kids won big Legends events, they’d be forgotten by the time summer was over. Now, PRN’s At The Track offers a media outlet where kids can be recognized year-round. Not only that, but to have a outlet such as the Performance Racing Network (PRN) giving a weekend warrior national attention, is a big deal.
“We try to cover the drivers in all of the divisions when we’re at the tracks,” Batycki said. “You’ll see on our Facebook page and on our Twitter that we tweet out everything from Mini Stocks, all the way up to whatever the Late Model category is, and then on the radio show, we’re trying to build the names that are just emerging on the regional level.
“This provides that opportunity for the local racer who is winning on a regional level to be able to get more publicity, whether it’s on our Twitter, on our Facebook or the opportunity – you know we only have three interviews per show, so on any given weekend, we have a reach to about 15 different series, so you can win and still not make it on because 12 other guys didn’t make it on either. We try to stick with what can we do to promote local racing as our first and foremost situation.”
Last season PRN’s At The Track visited 30 tracks, and the team was already on the road just days after New Year’s Day this season. However, covering events and interviewing drivers, track promoters, crew members and media personnel aren’t the only objectives to the show. It’s all about cultivating those relationships and letting everyone on the local level know that Charlotte Motor Speedway and their staff cares and wants to be part of their career, either by social media, the radio show or by providing top-notch events at the speedway, The Dirt Track or zMAX Dragway.
“If people I run across through the listeners, or the radio stations or my interactions at the racetrack come to one event at Charlotte each year that they maybe didn’t in the past, that builds what we want, and hopefully we are the greatest place to see the race and we keep them entertained enough to where they’ll come back on their own after that,” Batycki said. “I think they’ll like what they see and the feel of what we’ve got going, and to have somebody reach out directly to them, maybe makes that connection that Marcus was looking for.”
In 2014, the show will cover even more events and get the grassroots’ stories out to the world through their affiliate stations located all over the southeast, a movement that will hopefully revitalize local racing and get the sport’s lower divisions back on the up rise. However, Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Performance Racing Network and Lenny Batycki will need your help.
Support the show, and go “LIKE” PRN’s At The Track on Facebook and follow along on Twitter, @PRNAtTheTrack. Check your local affiliate for show airings, or listen on www.GoPRN.com. You can also download the PRN App for the Android and iPhone.