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 Columns & Editorials

June 18, 2001

Positive is the Way to Go

Jane Smith
Something is very wrong here and it is time that the fans of racing who go every week and spend their hard learned money speak out. The message board is full of nothing but complaints, cheating, name-calling, BUT nothing good. There is so much good out there in the world of dirt and asphalt racing. Everyone here knows what they feel in their hearts for this sport, why not dig down and find that and share it instead of all the dark sides.

Every track has diehard fans. And yes, every track has cheaters and some have better safety than others and some have better tech than others and positively some have better food and bathroom facilities. But they all have their faults and good points.

People come to Florida Stock Car Racing because they love racing and they want to know what is going on in the world of round track racing. The front page stories are great but the message board is a place where a complete stranger would think that all Florida fans do is complain. I myself don't go to the message board that much anymore because there is nothing there but whinning and more whinning. We cannot stop cheating, it is just not going to happen. The heavy duty cheater will get caught and believe me, fans in the stands can tell when a car is illegal compared to the rest of the pack. Cheating to win is not winning, we all know that. Stopping the cheating would mean teching every car, every Friday or Saturday night before the races and marking the engines, everything so you know if it has been tampered with or not.

As a writer and a fan, I hear alot from drivers. They admit they cheat but most say they only cheat because everyone else is and they would stop if everyone stopped. But it takes more tech than most tracks have to stop this and it has been going on forever. But it would be so nice to see on the message board someone telling a driver that he did a great job with what he had instead of this car and that car is cheating. Sometimes the positive in life works better than the negative.

In my travels, I have been to many of our asphalt tracks and a few dirt tracks. i have been lucky enough to meet some of the greatest fans and drivers this state has to offer. I have heard complains from purses at a track to attendance but when a track is owned by someone who cares, you do see changes.

That should go for message boards also. It is time to change. All the negative you see now only makes the good fans and racers NOT to want to go there. Just think how you could really make someone feel good when you write a message of congratulations for a great race instead of cheating. Positive is the way to go and the way to make the message board work.

There will always be good and bad in racing, cheating and playing fair but we as fans and readers of this site can and should make it where it is a place we want to come. Old dogs can learn new tricks so can racing fans.

Jane Smith

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