Simple - production and sales volume differences. Try maybe a 100:1 sales ratio
OK, BUT: What are the real differences? The circle track tire is bigger, has more materials, and has to withstand higher loading (more layers or bigger cords in the sidewall, right?) It takes more labor to build because of that, and arguably, a few more seconds in handling each tire in each step of manufacturing.
There might be a setup charge in re-configuring the machine for a different size tire, and that would have to me amortized over the run, but it can't take that long, or cause a whole $hitload of tires to cost twice as much.
The Saturday night roundy-round guys usually have a local track tire rule, so guaranteed business for the company that gets it.
I think it's more along the lines of charging what the market will bear.
Interestingly, on Hoosiers, there's not even a commercial angle to the business, just market share differences with other racing tire suppliers.
They other guys used to believe in "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday" but that went away with the loss of spectators and the realization that everything can be a profit center.
I only spent a few seasons in the roundy-round world. Our tires were considerably cheaper and it had nothing to do with volume. In fact we used the very same Hoosier tire that many vintage racers use(used) so production costs were the same yet we were paying less than 1/2 of the cost of the same tire being sold elsewhere. We had to buy them from a single source (at the track) and were limited to 2 tires per car per weekend.
Guys, “The Problem” is big. To focus on real actions that can be taken to deal with it, let’s first recognize those factors – many mentioned above - which are simply the way things are today, facts of life or trends unlikely to be easily countered.
CLUB RACING TODAY - Club Racing has gone seriously UP MARKET. In general, the current demographic of club racers want – and have - the best of everything and they can afford it. It appears to be a “no compromises” sport.
YOUNG PEOPLE - Young people have much less interest in cars than previous generations. They have a ton of other fun activities and interests – all at less cost. Simple fact of life and nothing can be done about it. You can’t market the sport to a disinterested population. Sorry.
HIGH COSTS ARE A BARRIER – In any case, there is no way a young person can afford to go racing – unless dad picks up the tab. Period. Track rental costs are high and entry fees have had to follow. Every single part, all equipment, all services and, of course, cars and engines have become very sophisticated and thus very expensive. Hi-Tech is the name of the game. $5000 sets of shocks on CF cars? Ha!
TIRES – There are several debates and hundreds of posts on this forum about tire costs, spec tires, etc. It’s become kind of ridiculous, really. (A little history: In NER 1984, the plan for the new CF class was one set of spec of tires per year. Before long, “to win at all costs”, guys bought three sets. The American way?)
THE ECONOMY – The economy is in the pits – in the US and the rest of the world - and will be for a few more years. It is said that many resulting economic and consumer 'adjustments' are permanent.
RUNNING IN THE BACK? - Going racing for the pure fun of it and running at the back – or mid-pack - in an old VEE or a tired Club Ford can be done but no one seems to be interested in that option.
TIME - Racing takes A LOT OF TIME, time a lot of people simply don't have. Even if you run a fairly “low-maintenance” car, the race weekend involves many, many hours for a very small amount of on-track time. For many, the time commitment is impossible to justify.
AGGRAVATION FACTOR - Rules and officials can, on occasion, make the ‘experience’ just a tiny bit painful.
In simple terms, these factors don’t appear to be easily changed or offset. The sport may have to seek some sort of major change if it is to survive in the long run. A really cheap spec car and one day Regionals anyone? Even at that, entry levels will not return to the heydays. And the same is true for US pro open wheel and sports-car racing.
Coop I have 6 guys because we basically have built our cars ourselves much like you I think. I have more often than not run 2 FC's sometimes 3 at each event and as I alluded to not every one of my guys can even go to every race. I am fortunate I realise but they all work which leaves me nobody to get the stuff to the track. You can't drive the motor home and the trailer too. My guys need to sleep somewhere. So they have to come separately say 6hrs to WGI -or- 13 to VIR and I SHOUILD pay their gas . I can't get them home to get to work if we are past what Group 3?
THE MORE I THINK ABOUT ALL THIS I COME TO THIS IDEA. Look why don't I build a Cobra Daytona Coupe put a 8pt cage in it with an LS3 and do track days. Honestly if you just smiled to yourself like I did you have your answer.
(PS) I realise the LS3 is sacrilige but you might as well have the technology especially after running Pinto cars.