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Citrus County Speedway

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 Columns & Editorials

September 24, 2000

Just As Expected, Fans, Drivers, and Promoters Do Care

Racing has a big heart, filled with many different chambers. But when it comes to trying to save local track racing, be it dirt or asphalt, round or straight, we do CARE.

Track owners and promotorers this is not an assault on you nor a cutdown saying that you don't care. Even the most hard hearted track owner must care just alittle about racing and people to keep his track going and to make that dollar which means so much to some.

Racing is not complicated, never has been, never will be when it comes to local tracks. You are dealing with everyday people, people who put their pants and dresses on the same way you do. People who work hard to take care of their families and to have enough left over to race without putting the family out on the streets and homeless. You can laugh if you want to but a diehard racer can and does outspend himself just to make his car compete with the high dollar cars.

There is nothing wrong with a Super Late Model class at any track but maybe we need to cut down on the costs to be a local Super Late. It is not the tires nor the gas that is killing the classes, it is what is inside of that 350 4 bolt main or 402 Oldsmobile or whatever motor you have. Save the high dollar motor for the Series like Florida Pro and Florida Sunbelt and be more like Bruce Everett who ran "Chocolate Thunder" for years at Orlando SpeedWorld and New Smyrna Speedway. He had fun, he did not lose his shirt and you could see his face shine when he was behind the wheel of his beloved racecar.

Purses do count, don't get me wrong, but if we could cut the cost of racing itself, the car, the motor then maybe just maybe alot of these "I want to be" can be "I am" a local short track racer. But it must be done at all tracks and that is where it is difficult. If you took a Orlando Sportsman to Florida Speed Park and ran them side by side, Florida Speed Park would be the winner because their cars are built more. And I saw this for myself with a winning Sportsman from Orlando at Florida Speed Park. That Sportsman looked like it was crawling around that track where in Orlando, it flew.

I can bet you that there is not one driver that would not like to see all tracks run the same rules just so you could go experience a new track without it costing you a fortune and hours of work. What would it hurt? Would tracks lose their cars? My bet is that drivers will stay at their home track as long as they are treated human and the rules are fair for all and every now and then, go forth and spread their wings to a new track.

Would not a blown motor hurt less if you did not have your life's savings in it???? I am not saying make them all the same but I am saying make them alittle less than what we have now so more can play. It is not the purses that stop racers, it is the cost of putting together a competitive car. And with more cars, more fans will come and everyone could win.

As for the cost of going to a race, yes, it is killing family fun. A Florida Pro race or Florida Sunbelt race costs the same if not more depending on where you sit for a Hooter's Pro Cup race. If we could charge less and get more fans in for less money, more money would be spent on food and drink and checkered flags. And everyone wins and with more fans comes more "future" stars.

Maybe it is time for all tracks in our state to gather at a central point and try and make it where racing is more family than in-laws or out-laws. I am sure every owner asnd promoter will agree that racing is worth the effort to save and if we don't at least try, then soon we will have nothing to save since car counts drop weekly at tracks. Let the Series Racing have the high dollar motors and bring back more "Chocolate Thunders" for local tracks. Come on guys, I know we can do this.

-by Jane Smith

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