Last night during the Florida Sunbelt Super Late Model
race at New Smyrna Speedway, I met a lot of new drivers
from other tracks here in Florida. And in talking to these
drivers and their crews, it became more than familiar what
they were saying because I have heard it a thousand times.
How the purses at their tracks never pay enough, the stands
are never full enough, and car counts are low. Then, I got this brillant idea, maybe we should let track owners take turns running different tracks and in this regard, they could help each other to see what each track needs to become the "very best" it can be.
Racers love to race close to home. Most of them don't want to haul two, three, four hours away for a race. But when your home track is closed or you are on the outs with the local track owner and crew, what else can you do but travel. You see, the racing blood is very strong and does not really go away because you must drive more.
The strangest thing to me in all this is that I see so much love in these guys for their home tracks and for the people who race at these tracks. This is family to them but with inflation and all, racers need to know that even at a local level, their efforts are appreciated. Tracks raise their entrance fees, food and drinks go up and drivers do need their purses to change. Maybe the owners can't give them a big raise but a raise says something to these guys who work their butts off to race at those tracks to put on shows for the fans so the owners make money.
One track may be a "bad" track to one driver but to another, it is heaven. I have even been told that we actually have HUGE purses compared to some of the tracks back up north. Some tracks need repairs and facelifts, some are perfection. But one thing for sure, most every track I have been to and that includes Daytona International, has the nicest, friendliest people around. Mostare always smiling whether they want to or not and if you give them half a chance, most of them can fill your ear with which driver is the track favorite and which is the track trouble maker.
Somehow, someway, racers, fans, crews, and track owners need
to realize how much each needs the other. We have some of the grestest tracks in the United States here in Florida. We canrace all year long which not many people can say that. So if we love these tracks, we need to work for all of them. The saddest sight there is is a wasted track and that can happen if we don't work together.
There is one thing that everyone should realize in local track racing and that is that your opinion does count. Also, if youhave a skill that the track could use or even one of the racers could use, let them know it. Everyone needs help, there are no exceptions. And in racing, if we did not help each other on the local level, we would have very few cars out there on that track.
All good things take time, I know some think and feel that it is taking forever but things do change and hopefully for the best. Just use that love you have in you for something good and let's go racing with our family.
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