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Southern Short Track Stock Car Racing

April 2, 2008

A Simple "Thanks" Will Help

by Jane Smith

People ask many times, "where are the cars?" when they go to a track.

Well plain and simple, the cars are at home because the economy won't allow the racers to race. With the price of gas to haul to a track and home, to pit gate entry, food at the track, fuel for the cars and tires if needed, people just don't have the money right now.

Orlando SpeedWorld is trying to give the racer a break by letting one division in free each week starting April 25th. That means no pit entry fee for the racer. But is this enough to bring the cars out and support the track, who knows.

People are losing their jobs because of the economy. People are losing their houses because they have no jobs. Insurance and property tax is crazy and when your escrow account is more than your actual mortgage payment, that is just plain wrong.

Eggs might as well be gold. Milk, it is almost cheaper to own your own cow. And if gas goes up much more, we will all new bikes to get around.

But something has to take away all this stress and give us a few hours of just plain fun. Fun where you forget your troubles and just enjoy yourself.

For some it is racing, for others it is a movie and dinner, and for some, it is just sitting home and watching a movie on tv because that is all you got.

Will these bad times end soon, I hope so.

I have talked to many racers who have been honest and said they just plain can't afford to race every weekend. Maybe once every two weeks and some only once a month. They have to save to race. Some give up racing to help a family member race which is very hard but they do it. Watching and not racing is the hardest thing any racer can do but I have seen this sacrifice many times.

So if you are a race fan and you go to a local race, please remember when the car count is down, it is not because the racers don't want to be there for you, it is because they have bills also and don't have the money themselves to race.

So next time you are at your local track and you are down on pit road for an autograph session or in the pits after a race, just say a simple "thanks" and that will mean more than you ever know to a racer.

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December 4, 2007

My Hope for 2008

by Jane Smith

It is really a shame that racing has become so negative. No matter what you do or what you try, someone always wants to put it down and make it bad.

What and who have we become?

What happened to a racer will race for nothing just to race? In a world so full of negative things now, why is it when someone offers a fun time, it is not enough??

There are quite a few classes everywhere that race for nothing but a trophy. They don't complain because they know from the start that is all there is in it for them. They just want to race and have some fun. So why is it when someone gives the racers a place to have fun, it is not good enough? Too many divisions, not enough cars but then again, that is the case all the time no matter where you go.

Saturday afternoon at SpeedWorld, fun was the name of the game. You come, you race no matter if there is one car in your class or fifteen. You have fun. You learn. You enjoy yourself. That doesn't sound bad to me but then again, I am not a negative person by any means.

There is enough cut throat racing during the year. You hit me, I am going to get you back. I don't like you because you beat me so just maybe you will find yourself against the wall and maybe I will win. Your car is illegal, it has to be, it beat me and I am the best. Come on now, who really enjoys that.

I have been around this sport now for too many years to count. I have seen the good and the bad from the grandstands and the pits. And I have worked on all sides from the track's side to the writer's side. But hopefully I have never looked on the negative side and always seen the good in everyone and everything in racing.

Yesterday at SpeedWorld, a complete stranger came up to me and thanked me for my writing and all I do for Florida racing. He wasn't sure it was me, the Jane of karnac and the Jane of FASCAR but when I said yes, it was me, he thanked me. That meant more to me because seldom do we get thanked for bringing good to a sport that everyone wants to put down. No matter the situation, the track, the racer, the fan, I have always tried to be positive and hope people see what I see at a track. Because if your heart is not into making this the best it can be, you have no place in the racing world.

My wish for 2008 is that everyone, fan, driver, crew, officials, track workers, everyone, sees the joy I do in this sport. Lifelong friendships are made at these tracks. Extended families are a gift and should be treasured. That we look inside of each other and not judge so harshly. Racing lasts but minutes, friendships can last a lifetime.

Merry Christmas to all!!!!!!

Have an opinion on this story? Post a message on our Message Board!
or send a letter to the editor!


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 A Mother's Point of View

 Rainy Race Nights

 Taking Turns?

  Time for Change

 Adding My Two Cents - Jane Smith

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 Looking to the 2000 Racing Season

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The Best of Jane Smith's Racing Columns From 1999 and 1998


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