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Inside Motorsports Ceases Publication

This news came as a disappointing shock to me today. IMS was the last drag racing newspaper out there that could "tell it like it is" without having to worry about promoting a particular sanctioning body. Scott and Jon covered the stories nobody else would touch. Their articles got people in the sport talking. I am sorry to see IMS go. Best of luck to Scott and Jon. Any place they go will become better instantly. RIP, IMS. Bill Pratt

WYTHEVILLE, Va. (February 7, 2001) - Inside Motorsports Publisher Scott Sparrow and Editor Jon Paulette have announced that the monthly drag racing newsmagazine will cease publication immediately. 

According to Sparrow, the decision comes on the heels of failed negotiations with an investment group that would have injected the needed capital to mount a much-needed circulation campaign. 

"Our publication had an obligation to its readers and advertisers. Each month we fulfilled that obligation to the reader by offering some of most thought provoking and hard-hitting journalism this sport has ever seen," said Sparrow, who co-founded IMS in 1993. "But without the big numbers that the buff books have, it has become increasingly difficult for advertisers to justify buying us. Looking at the big picture, without a huge infusion of cash to start a balls-to-the-wall circulation effort, it was silly to try and continue. Even though our circulation and advertising numbers have increased each year, so have our expenses. That said, unless money suddenly begins growing on trees, or there's someone out there that believes in what we do and has a couple hundred grand to spend, it's time to say enough is enough."

After years of covering issues and events in all forms of motorsports, IMS changed its format in September of 1999 and became a drag racing-only publication. The change proved to be successful, relatively speaking, as circulation and advertising both improved dramatically. The inability to continue that momentum, however, proved to be the magazine's downfall.

"It's been a great experience to do something that I love and believe in, but ultimately my pockets were not deep enough to continue sustaining the project," Sparrow said. "It's a shame, because IMS was one of the most respected publications in print. Sure, we definitely paid a price for telling the truth and yes, rocking the boat cost us some advertising dollars, but that's not what put us out of business. It was a combination of poor planning during the first several years publishing and lack of sufficient capital the past two years to give our circulation effort the needed thrust to compete with the house organs and glossy books produced by the industry leaders."

"Unfortunately, we were just unable to muster the resources to make IMS as successful economically as it was editorially," said Paulette. " At the end of the day, though, all you've got to fall back on is the quality of the work you did. I think the work was good, and while this is certainly a sad day for all of us who have put so much into making this thing happen every month, we can walk away with a lot of pride in a job well done. Sure, we were controversial at times, but we always tried to be as fair and accurate as possible. That's what journalism is all about and it's been great to bring that kind of perspective to the sport I love. Drag racing deserves that kind of coverage, and it certainly needs it. The question is, now that we're gone, who's going to do the job?"

Subscribers will be notified by letter within the next few weeks on how to receive refunds on their unfulfilled subscriptions.

 

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