ATTICA, Ohio — Brad Doty believes that every driver should have to promote a race at least once.
“When I was a driver, like a lot of drivers, we thought the promoters just opened the gates and the people showed up, and they counted the money at the end of the night,” Doty explained. “Now that I’m a promoter, I found out that there’s a whole heck of a lot more work to it and a lot more stress goes into it than I ever imagined in my life.”
It was 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night at Attica Raceway Park during the 33rd running of the Brad Doty Classic, the race named in his honor, which he co-promotes. The weather forecast leading up to this year’s running of the event was dismal, with rain predicted throughout the afternoon and evening.
Several teams had arrived later to the track than normal, in anticipation of the event being canceled early due to the imminent storms. Doty admitted he hadn’t gotten much sleep the previous night due to his concerns about the weather.
“It seems like we’ve been snakebit,” he shares. “Every year except last year during COVID it seems like there’s a threat of rain for this event. So, you add that stress to it. It’s bad enough to put on an event knowing it takes quite a bit of butts in the seat, as we say, just to break even. And then you throw in bad weather, where people might stay home or watch it online, it just adds to the stress.”
At this point of the night, the facility had already dodged a bullet, with the oval catching only the edge of a massive rain cell. And, it looked like the bad weather behind it was also shifting south of Attica, Ohio, but Doty was not prepared to relax yet.
“I don’t want to jinx this, he stated, “Until the checkered flag falls in that A-Main, that’s when I finally can relax. But, with weather all around us and a major massive storm just missed us, which really would have delayed us, so far so good.”
Brad Doty was a successful and popular World of Outlaws driver at the height of his racing career, coming off a season in which he finished second to “The King of the Outlaws” Steve Kinser in 1987, when a sprint car accident during the 1988 Kings Royal at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway left him paralyzed, ending his driving career.
The racing community rallied around him and a race was contested in his honor at Attica with Steve Kinser taking the checkered flag. It became an annual event. When Janet Holbrook took over the lease for a multi-year run as promoter of Attica, Doty’s stake in the race was increased and he took on the role of co-promoter in earnest. The race moved to Limaland Motorsports Park for a 10-year run before returning to Attica in 2016.
And, it is here, at Attica, that Doty feels this race belongs. “John Bores, the promoter here at Attica, and his general manager, Rex LeJeune, they work really well with me, and vice versa, and all our sponsors. And, they have been just really super to work with. Don’t get me wrong, the guys at Lima were, too, but we just got rained out there a couple times. A lot of people thought I moved the race, and I didn’t; they actually asked me to move the race. So, the only logical place to move it to, was right back at Attica where it started in 1989.”
In the end, the 33rd annual Ohio Logistics Brad Doty Classic presented by Racing Optics program suffered only a short rain delay. Despite a large field of 48 cars, the program was moved along quickly with Spencer Bayston taking the checkers just after 10:30.
“I’ve had some promoters say, ‘You know, you can’t worry about the weather because you can’t control that. And I feel the complete opposite,” Doty said with a smile. “I feel that everything we can control we have under control, between the World of Outlaws officials, that do a great job getting the show run in an efficient time, and all the crew here at Attica. They know what to do.
“It’s the unknown, which is the weather, that we can’t control, that’s always what scares me,” Doty added. “So, I feel that their theory’s totally wrong. I don’t worry about what we can control; I worry about what we can’t control, and that’s the weather.”
Roughly five minutes after the trophy presentation, a huge rain storm engulfed Attica Raceway Park, but promoter Brad Doty had already won.