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 Columns & Editorials

April 20, 2000

Rainy Race Nights

You could be a redneck if you dream in black and white and circles. Or some think of racers as rednecks and I admit, when it is hot, their necks do get red but most are not rednecks. Most are hard working men who like to play on the weekends with their cars. Some, if they are lucky enough to have families, are devoted family members with their families behind them.

Others, well, they are without families sometimes because of racing. Wives and husbands who do not share that unending, fire shooting, electrifying passion deep inside of a racer may just find himself/herself without family. That can be the biggest pitfall to racing, it can either bring a family closer together or end one forever.

When it rains out races, a racer is totally lost. They wonder around with no car to work on, no last minute things to do and find themselves in limbo land. If there are races on the television, that can fill the void for a while. But it is not for long. Here we have this strange new form of racing swamp buggies on land (no water) like drag racing. Depending on the engines and how close you are to the engines, you may find yourself moved around a bit. You can definitely say that this does fill the void left in a raceless weekend.

There is one other thing that can fill the void when racing has been cancelled due to rain and that is sitting around listening to racers talk about the good old days. That has to be one of the most interesting conversations around. Personally, I love hearing about racing when it was at it's best and more up to the man and his ability to fine tune the car and not how much money you have to make the car.

When I think of that in my own head, I go back to when racers use to race on the beach at Daytona sometimes in their family cars and then drive home after the races if the car was driveable. That was true racing. Just like the old moonshiners who would tweak their cars just a little so the law could not catch them. But in those days, there was little traffic and it must have been a lot easier to avoid the long arm of the law if you ran shine.

That brings us to one important question - one that will require some thinking time. If there was no purse at all in local track racing, how many would still race??

Do you race for the purse or do you race because that is what you want to do?

What means more to the local track racer - winning, the purse, the trophy, the recognition from the fans that you won????

Only you know the answers, only you know how you dream and why you race and what fills your void on a rainy race night.

By Jane Smith

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