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 Columns & Editorials

October 4, 2000

Time to Rumble or Is It?

by Jane Smith

We have all heard that it is the "show" that counts in local racing. The "show" brings in the cars and the drivers and the cars and drivers bring in the fans. And with more cars and more fans comes more "purse" money. This is true to an extent but now when new rules are being written at most of our local tracks, maybe it is time to ask how do we do this feat?

There are far more racers out there than what you see every weekend at your local track. There are far more racecars in moth balls than you could ever imagine, so WHY aren't they racing them?: People from Orlando and New Smyrna Speedway would say "purses" but when you have people who come all the way from Sunshine Speedway every Friday night to race at Orlando, IT CAN'T BE ALL PURSES. Even if we could have every track pay the same purse for the same class, would the car counts grow????

Owners, you must realize thst you have these cars in moth balls. Have you ever talked to any of these drivers who once ran your track every weekend with their families in tow??? If you love your tracks, and I honestly believe that most of you do, try talking to one of these drivers and really listen to them. Not all your drivers have alot of endless money to spend on what we call a "sport". It is really bad when you can either race or build a home.

There was a time when a mini-stock used a stock motor and when it blew, the nearest junkyard was the engine builder. There was a time when Super Stocks or Bombers had at the most $l500.00 in an engine, now you see up to $5,000.00. What is wrong with this picture? When and how did it get so expensive to race every Friday and Saturday for FUN.

The worse part of racing is that once you have done it and it gets into your blood, it is very hard to let go. You don't want to let go but very few of us have open wallets, endless racing budgets and families who are willing to do without for racing. So, you are forced to make a decision and that should never be the case. We have let racing take control of our wallets and I think if all those "backyard" racers would speak up and let the owners know how many there are, just maybe some changes would be made.

Making it cheaper to race could not hurt racing at all. In fact, it just could give you the car counts you want and the fans that you desire. You could go down the "yellow brick road" hand in hand - owner and racer and find the "pot of gold" that will give us all wings to fly. We could all be sister tracks and share the wealth of our kinship and families and the joy that racing gives us all.

Everyone says it, "racing is a family sport", now let's prove it and make it where all the family can do it.

- Jane Smith

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