This is something I did maybe 3 years ago but it still holds true today.
My Hope for Dirt Tracks
It is really a shame that racing has become so negative. No matter what you do or what you try, someone always wants to put it down and make it bad.
What and who have we become?
What happened to a racer who will race for nothing, and just wants to race? In a world so full of negative things now, why is it, when someone offers a fun time, it is not enough??
There are quite a few classes everywhere that race for nothing but a trophy. They don't complain because they know from the start that is all there is in it for them. They just want to race and have some fun. So why is it when someone gives the racers a place to have fun, it is not good enough? Too many divisions, not enough cars, but then again, to many rules, favoritism to their buddy, that is the case all the time no matter where you go.
Saturday night, at your local dirt track, fun was the name of the game. You come, you race no matter if there is one car in your class or fifteen. You have fun. You learn. You enjoy yourself. That doesn't sound bad to me, but then again, I am not a negative person by any means.
There is enough cut throat racing during the year. You hit me; I am going to get you back. I don't like you because you beat me, so just maybe you will find yourself against the wall and maybe I will win. Your car is illegal, it has to be, it beat me and I know I'm cheating, I am the best. Come on now, who really enjoys that.
I have been around this sport now for too many years to count. I have seen the good and the bad from the grandstands and the pits. And I have worked on all sides from the track's side to the owner's side. But hopefully I have never looked on the negative side and always seen the good in everyone and everything in racing.
The other day at my local track, a complete stranger came up to me and thanked me, that meant more to me because seldom do we get thanked for bringing good to a sport that everyone wants to put down. No matter the situation, the track, the racer, the fan, I have always tried to be positive and hope people see what I see at a track. Because if your heart is not into making this the best it can be, you have no place in the racing world.
My wish for 2014 is that everyone, fan, driver, crew, officials, track workers, everyone, sees the joy I do in this sport. Lifelong friendships are made at these tracks. Extended families are a gift and should be treasured. That we look inside of each other and not judge so harshly. Racing lasts but minutes, friendships can last a lifetime.
Bill, I enjoyed reading your article.
I agree in everything you are saying. In fact my son CJ and I talk about the future of even the Vintage Cars and even our own 659. Weekend racing is what I have enjoyed for most of my life. In fact today, if Eddie Bohn were not in Carolina, CJ & I would still be involved each and every week.
But, this all started back in the late seventies when money brought on another factor in our sport. And today throughout all forms of racing, money is the key element in maintaining front running cars.
I do want to thank all of those short track promoters who struggle to fill the pits and the stands each and every week for all of us to enjoy. We have lost quite a few short tracks over the years and that does not make a guy like me happy.
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
Well said Terry, but if you make that into a flower pot, I'd have to smack you upside the head. You also forgot to mention that if you blew a tire, came in the pits and found that you didn't have a spare, you could go to one of the guys you were friendly with and borrow it from him for the night.Not anymore, they now have the tire scanning issue that complicates that scenario. You can't buy used tires from another racer like we used to do, which helped offset the cost of racing for many of us.
A source told me that Bridgeport and EWS run the same brand name tire, yet you cannot run a BP tire at EWS and vice-verse...makes no sense to me. So if you wanted to run both tracks, you'd have to buy two sets of tires and God forbid if you accidentally put the EWS set on the car you were going to race at BPort.
Plus you can't buy the tire from a dealer which would allow you to pay $20 less for the tire than otherwise buying it from the track supplier. Again, this was told to me by someone who is still in racing so feel free to comment if that info is wrong.