Racing at the local level has changed alot over the past few years. It was not that long ago that cars were towed to the track with open trailers by the majority of racers because that was all they could afford. Engines were not so much Boyd Motors or Graham Fabrication but a work of art out of your own shop or garage maybe even driveway.
Somewhere in all the hoopla, racing for fun amoung some of the classes is no longer fun but blood. You lose sleep trying to figure out how to better your car, how to get just a little more horsepower out of the engine you can afford because a Boyd motor is out of reach or any other motor but your own. You forget the reason why you began racing in the first place "because it was fun and you enjoyed it."
Every now and then you will still find a Super Late or a Late Model being towed to the track on an open trailer, tools thrown in the back of a truck, tires loaded in too and every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the family at the track. Yes, you go to win, you ALWAYS go to win. But money has now become your worst enemy and if you don't have it, you probably will just "suck wind" as they say. But having a Boyd motor or a Graham car or a Renegade hauler, does not mean you always win and you are having FUN.
B. J. McLeod was one of the first to have a big hauler but his dad Darwin built that hauler and it was done because B.J. was going to race Southern All Stars and they needed a hauler that could carry two cars and provide them with a "home away from home." B.J. has "Darwin" motors and has proven that his motor is just as good as any.
Some have asked why B.J. quit Southern All Stars when he was doing so well?? Well, the simple answer is that it costs alot of money to do all that traveling and no one was having any FUN. You see, no matter how far B.J. wants to go or will go, when the fun is not there, then the racing becomes a chore and not a pleasure.
Wally Finney, well known in Florida racing, bought a big rig but the only reason he did so was because both his sons, Kevin and Brian, were racing. They needed something that could carry both cars and the family. Brian was running Florida Pro and the Sunbelt series but frustration set in for him and the reason why, was he forgot that it was for fun and not "do or die". When it became a duty and not something you want to do on a Friday or Saturday night and you stayed up long hours at night even though you had work the next day, where is the fun anymore?
There is no one to blame but if you look in the pits at alot of our tracks, what do you see anymore? You see money and big haulers for something that is done just on the weekend. Instead of smiling faces that use to say "boy, am I happy to be here", you see frustratoin and disappointment in the faces of drivers and their crew.
Mark Martin has always said, "when the fun is gone, it is done." When weekend racing becomes more of a job and a task, then something is definitely wrong. Look back when you first started racing and remember how it felt when you first went on that track, your first win, your first "boy, you did a good job" and that was fun. You raced with your friends, you were proud of your accomplishments and you did not have to have a "money tree" in your backyard just to haul your car to the track.
Fewer and fewer racers have open trailers for hauling, some even have homes on wheels hauling but this does not make the racer by any means, the racer makes the racer. It is the ones that make something out of nothing, that never gives up and always has that smile that says "I am having fun."
You will never get rich in our world of racing and some will never get where they want to in racing. But when you lose the fun and find yourself going nuts on the "what I don't have and they do", then where is the fun anymore?
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