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 Columns & Editorials

October 19, 2007

Short Track Racing is Going to the Dogs


by L.M. Schneider

Short track racing has gone to the dogs.

Yes, I said, to the dogs.

Where has the fun gone?

Seems what use to be fun is now cut throat and there are far too many chiefs and not enough Indians in the sport. Everyone thinks they know it all and yet, they really know nothing.

That is when the sport is no longer a sport but a war where no one wins especially the racers. Unless you have been on a race team and been a fan, you have no idea of what a racer goes thrum to race. A fan sits in the stands, picks out their favorite racer, and comes every week to see how she/he does. They have no idea of what it takes for that racer to be at that track. The sacrifices he/she makes and the family to be at that track. Most short track racers are hard working family men. They go to work, come home and spend time with their family, hopefully have dinner together, and then steal a few precious hours maybe to work on their cars if they are lucky.

None make money at racing so the little they get paid goes into the car fund. If there is no car fund, there is no racing. Bills, mortgage, food must come first. Racing should take a back seat to that always.

Most drivers will tell you they race for fun, it takes away the weekly stress and they love going fast. Sure they want to win but winning is not everything to the majority of the drivers. Winning is the icing on the cake but racing is the cake. They do their best and expect their fellow racers to play fair but more and more lately, that just is not the case.

All a racer wants is a fair playing field. Cars teched the same for everyone. They don't want to be taken out because someone does not like them. They really don't want to fight but tempers are getting hotter. They ask very little of the tracks except to be respected and they don't always get that. Respect is very important to all of us but in racing, it is a must. Without the racer, you have no cars or fans and then no track.

Racers whine, that is a given.

But when they whine, they are only asking to be heard. But the problem is that officials also are hard working people who work all day and then come to the track after a hard day and aren't really in the mood for more whining. Funny thing is that both racer and official have worked their butts off and forget that another life exists beyond that track, that night.

How and where is the solution?

The solution lives in all of us.

The solution is that this is a sport, a hobby not a livelihood. We race for fun. We race for the happiness it brings to our hearts. We race because racing is in our hearts. You won't get rich, heck, you probably won't even break even at the end of the year. It is time to bring back the joy in short track racing. Time to remember that we all sacrifice certain parts of our lives to be at that track.

Time to say "thanks for coming" and "thanks for having us."

Time to remember that the TAZ on the track could be your best friend in times of need. Time to remember that we all deserve respect and that we are one family linked together by racing.

When we feel appreciated, we want to come back. When we have come in last and still have a car to put in that hauler, that is a great job. Easy to say but often not.

Have an opinion on this story? Post a message on our Message Board!
or send a letter to the editor!



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