Fastrak Racing Series, Valve Springs, and Live Streaming – with Bill Lupinos

Fastrak Racing Series, Valve Springs, and Live Streaming – with Bill Lupinos

On this episode of the Racing Insiders Podcast, Jimmy and Kate welcomed Bill Lupinos, from Fastrak Racing Series.

Bill’s History in the Racing World

Well, my family and I bought Richmond Raceway in Kentucky, which is where I’m currently sitting because we live in a racetrack we’re starting our seventh season. And two years in, I actually became the series director for the ultimate Heart of America super late model series working under a fast track companies International. And, you know, as time kind of went on, you know, worked a lot with Stan and Mary Kay and all and he had brought up to me maybe a year or so ago, and actually, where you’re at now, about two years ago, about potentially taking over buying the entire company, because you know, his health wasn’t the best. And he’s having you know, a lot of surgeries, and just a lot of things just weren’t really going their way where he could race often he couldn’t go to races, you know, you don’t have all of us and then COVID destroyed everything basically for you know, a lot of the racing industry and all. And so then I’d have to say it was the World Championship in 22. We went to Virginia Motor Speedway, and you know, metal out with them and everything. And that’s when he asked me to come on as Vice President. And I did that starting in December. And then February, he came and said that it’s time to basically do the paperwork, sign this cross the T’s and let’s do it. So March 23, march 24, we signed everything pulled out of there with trucks and trailers, and we’re we’ve been running everything ever since. We’re all developed.

Fastrack History

I grew up going to Lebanon Valley Speedway in New York with my dad, who was a scorer there. Since I was a little little kid, I mean, I cannot remember not going. It was every single Saturday night. You know, I went and sat in the stands while he worked. And then when I got a little bit older, a little bit older mean like seven or eight years old. Uncle Aarthi announcer they’re brought me in and gave me some jobs to do. You know, I started working the lap counter up and turn one and you know, just doing all these different things as I was growing up. And then when I graduated high school, my dad decided it was time to hang that up because he, you know, didn’t have to bring me anymore. And that’s what I hooked on with a big block modified team for a couple years and kind of learn that side of it. And then left and joined the United States Army and got out of that and was living far far away and got a job with PepsiCo, which was my career that I took the retirement from, found Richmond raceway on Facebook that is being sold. We came and look at it actually, ironically, we’re living just outside of Seattle, Washington. We were across country driving in the RV to go to the world finals to Charlotte stopped and looked at the track Halloween of 17 I came back in December did the paperwork on that and moved here in February of 18. And here we are.

So I could keep going. But that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. So here we are. And you know, we do still own and operate Richmond. It’s tough nowadays with nine tracks within three hours or running on Saturday night. So with us having the series stuff as well, we kind of only scheduling here nine or 10 weekends, kind of trying to go off weekends at some other tracks so we can kind of work together and some things. And then we do travel with fast track and ultimate Heart of America ourselves, myself and my family, we run those races, you know, we don’t have them franchised out or anything like that. We actually physically go run those. So once we kick off the race season, we’re either on the road or here running a race pretty much every weekend from April till October.

Weekend Warrior Racing

The way we got to position that’s only when you really see our weekend where we program. You know, we do sign on some tracks to be weekend, weekly racing tracks with us, there is no cost to the track. And then the drivers either $100 membership makes them eligible for the point fund. And their best 15 finishes throughout the season after home track or if they travel around to other fast track sanctioned Tracks add up to be you know, add up and then you have the champion. And we do pay 10,000 to the champion paying the top 10 points. And we just had our banquet last weekend. And I think it was about $22,000 We paid out and weekly point fun money to our you know, our weekend warrior racing guys. And last year, VP came on as the presenting sponsor for that. And you know, last year we went into CS, we only have two weekly tracks. And we have four currently still working on a few more. So it’s fully grown back. We’re working on it.

We do have the touring side as well. I know that in 2022, there was only one race that was a world championship in 21. They didn’t run a single race. Last year, we had five right now we have eight on the schedule, which who more than about that I will have on once we’re done. The goal was 10. And we should be right at that goal. Reason The goal was 10. As I said, like I said ultimate heard of America, that goal was 10 to 12 races, then I have the race track. And so we’re kind of setting the goals of 10 to 1290 series and then what we have to do here and we figured that’s a nice little solid, solid series. You know, you don’t need a 40 race regional series. That’s too much if we can keep attended. Well, the guys seem to like that.

Fastrack’s Damn Yankees 50

We actually took the weekend warrior championship and the Series championship and tied it all to the 2 day Show at my track, which it was the sixth annual Damn Yankees 50 And it was 5000 win, which is what has been all along for 2024 it’s gonna go up to 10,000. We ran a Friday night 5000 And a Saturday 5000 for 2024. We’re going to run a 3000 Friday and a 10,000 Saturday. And that will actually be our championship race. And at those two races we also did give away to GM604 GM performance great motors. In a random drawing you sign in and attempt to qualify your name was in it had a little kid from the grandstands pull the names? Chetty Currents won on Friday night Tommy Bailey won on Saturday night I had the motors here on the ground, so they got to load them up and take them home. And the Damn Yankees 50 I said is better. I’ll tell you when we first moved here. I’m from New York, my wife is from Connecticut. Someone said on Facebook that the Damn Yankees need to go back to Yankee town. So I named the race after it. And now this will be the seventh annual Damn Yankees 50.

There isn’t a world championship. But we do the biggest race of the year is 10,000 win. And that would be the weekend warrior and the Series championship with a motor giveaway. And two days, two separate races. Two shows. And that’ll do it. That’d be September 20 & 21st.

Fastrack Tire Rules

or all these years we had the FT 204 & 400. And you know, Hoosiers doing away with a lot of the special things such as that. Sso we are running those this year as a burn off if people haven’t they can run them but we are going with the National Late Model tire as that is where you know the direction Hoosier is trying to go and by having everyone on that same tires just going to be a good thing in the future I feel but we are going with the National Late model 2, 3, and 4 – 4 year burn off on the 200 & 400 A lot of my thought process on that is I know that a lot of you know smaller crate teams especially some of the weekend teams can go and buy those used tires from those big you know traveling super guys. Specially my guys up in West Virginia area that aren’t that far from Rocket and all that we’re you know they can go buy a tire that’s still good and serviceable used relatively cheap and go run on so you know we are going like say the National Late model 2,3,4 four year burn off of the 200 & 400 So far I have I’ve had all positive feedback on that. So hopefully that won’t change.

200 is the equivalent to the 3 is what they told me and then the 4 is very equivalent to the 400. So guys won’t see much of a drop off or change in anything if they’re doing what they what they’re doing. And in the past Fastrack didn’t allow grooving and siping, we are going to allow that 100% this year. One of the reasons for that is if they are buying a used tire from the big super team, and it’s already been grooved in sight. Then what you know that I’m saying go buy the tire from these guys, but I can’t run it. So we are allowing them to grooving siping across the board, fts. And then that’s all the models just so that they can just go and buy them and run with them. It just makes it easier and just I feel a better fit for everybody.

We’re trying our best to make it as easy as we can for everyone. And then you know, we do know that by next season FT should be 100% gone by what the current inventory is. And then we’ll just go straight to three, four. And you know, people can just go with a gray, so that single race for the Supers. They can just do whatever they want, and make it a lot easier in the big picture.

Fastrack Victory Lane Sponsor

Victory Fuel is actually the sponsor for Fastrack Racing Victory Lane this year. If you’re not familiar with Victory Fuel, it’s an electrolyte water. It’s actually made by Kevin and Jordan Swindell. And getting pretty largely into racing. They were you know, the sponsor of Logan Stevie’s car when he when he won the Chili Bowl again. And they’re getting big on that. But yeah, that’s Kevin and Jordan’s. Drink and it’s an electrolyte water. It’s not an energy drink, no caffeine. And it’s actually really, really good. And they are Victory Lane sponsor. 

Fastrack Rule Changes

The one thing that we had that we did change in the rules for this year is in FastTrack rules that did not allow the Triple Adjustable Shock, where other series did and I was asked about it last year. And once we rolled into the season, I wasn’t going to make a rules change in you know, after X amount of races, because it’s just not fair to people. But here in the offseason, I actually asked a few racers and all and I did look at other series rules. And seeing that other series were allowing them we did make that change to allow them as well. I did put that out at our meeting that we had at our banquet and everybody thought it was good change and you know, on board with it. I mean, I do I look a lot at other series rules before we make any kind of change because we really want to try to be as uniform as we can with other people. Because you know, last year, other series relying triple we were not so if they want to come race with us, so you had to buy or change or whatever. And that’s just more work and more money for them. So I’m trying to avoid that if I can. 

The only reason we went to it is because I saw that is literally what everyone else was running. So, you know, we were making it where these guys had to make a change to come run with us. And I tried to avoid that. I mean, the more you can make it uniform for people, the more cars we’re all gonna get run to me one week and another series the next weekend, because we’re off, that’s awesome. And, you know, kind of bounce around and run for points with whomever but run other places. And, you know, that’s how we all win. So, you know, hopefully other people will kind of see it that way eventually.

GM and Fastrack

Part of our deal with GM to be our presenting sponsor for Fastrack because it is Fastrack Racing Series Powered by GM Performance is we do receive the motors and it was designed to give them away. So we just figured that doing it at our championship race on the whole weekend like that, tried to come up with as random of a way possible to do it. So we just basically made the criteria is you have to sign in, you have to attempt to qualify. And you have to have the sticker on your car, the decal that we give you which I checked as it came through the scale area and took pictures, make sure they have them. And then each time when we finished up, Wesley Outland was announcer for FastTrack, you know, he was here. And he found a random little kid each night and had them come down on the track and pull the name out of the hat. And so it was about as random as you could get. And I thought it’s about it’s fair as you could get. And the only reason that we made it, the way we made it was we didn’t want it to be where someone signed in just to be eligible for the motor and never even took the racetrack. We also didn’t want it to be where if you went out and tried to qualify and blew your motor on the first lap, you weren’t eligible. So want to make it as fair as possible. So you sign in, you sign in and you attempt to qualify you are eligible to win the motor, you didn’t have to run the feature, you need to have to qualify for the feature. There’s so many other criteria where somebody would be like, you know, someone in the feature gets it or someone not qualified yet. We just want it open to everybody. So you know, Friday night, it was Chandy Currents. And then Saturday night is Tommy Bailey, which is kind of cool because one of our weekend warriors traveling over to race with us. And then Tommy’s a local guy that was always a super late model driver that started running a crate. And I think he finished in the top five, and I took he was on the front page for an interview. And then he won, you know, he wanted a motor. So it’s kind of cool. That was one of our travelers and one of our more local that both got one. And like I said we had them in house. So they got to leave physically with the motor. So it was kind of cool.

CARS Racing Show and Fastrack

We will plan on attending again, because I’d have gone two years in a row the first year last year, we just I just went and we walked around and all that. And then this year, we you know, we did have the booth with you guys and on we will definitely be returning because last year I actually got a marketing partner deal out of there. And then this year, I did as well. And, you know, we’ll come hang out again. Your location is perfect to I mean, those hotels are right there and they’re really nice and comfortable. And I mean, your location is just absolutely perfect. I know the first year we went, my wife and I were looking okay, where are we gonna stay and I pulled up the hotel. I’m like, that’s literally right next door. Literally right next door.

The Future of Fastrack

We just want to kind of build the schedules a little bit more and like I said, right now the 10 to 12 is what we’re shooting for. Can’t say that’d be the same mixture, you know, you’d kind of never know what’s going on. I would love to be able to have even higher and better point funds for you know, a lot of that comes with some, you know, more sponsorship and marketing partners, and more races and racetracks to come on board with you. I think that’s kind of my biggest thing is I’d really like to get it to be aware Uh, you know, we can pay out even more than we just did. Because, you know, it’s an expensive hobby for these, these racers, and, you know, if we can give something back to them, you know, that’s a good thing. But, you know, we just, you know, we want to go out and just kind of try to be fair and equal to everybody and just put on some good races for the fans and treat everyone well, and hopefully have some good turnouts and some good racing and kind of go from there.

Streaming Races

We’re actually signed on with PitRoad TV over with Tony Stephens and his group there yet we’re signed on with them to have a current three year contract that we literally just signed going into this offseason here and all of our races will be on Pit Road TV and you know, people want to get a subscription or watching the can, but it’s always good if you’re in the local area to come out to the race because my feeling on streaming is it’s great for people that are not within a certain driving distance of the track. But if you are within a couple hours of racetrack go out to the racetrack and you know, have a hot dog and get dirty and watch them racing live because there’s still nothing like watching live in in person. Because you know, I have Flow and I had to DirtVision and I watch all the stuff from Order and I watched this and I watched that, I enjoy it. But it’s not like being at the racetrack. But you know, we are on PitRoad TV. And I do hope that people around the country around the world for that matter will watch our racing. But I do hope people that can drive to the racetrack will come out and watch it live in person.

You can find Fastrack Racing Series on their website, Facebook, Instagram, and X (Twitter).