Showtime it is.
Just so none of us have to read all the hater and bashers replies, I am going to spend some time to give you some history to allow you all to understand where I come from and validate some of my strong opinions, suggestions and ideas.
I began attending races at my Missouri local dirt tracks with my father when I was just 4 years old. We attended race programs 3-4 nights weekly with 3 of the 4 being promoted by the same racing organization. By the age of 13, I was working with a crew of a modified and then late model driver who was a 17 time champion and 500+ feature winner. I continued working with this crew until 1994 when I was able to purchase my very own dirt street stock which we raced 3 nights a week for 3 years before attempting a ride in a dirt modified and even a few weeks in a dirt late model.
My entire life changed in 1998 when my job moved me here to Ohio and my plan was to step away from racing and try to enjoy it more again from the grandstand/spectator side. After just 1 week at what was then my local asphalt track, I purchased my first asphalt street stock and began racing weekly once again although this time once a week. At least I got some break. I discovered some great advantages racing asphalt over dirt and still realize those advantages every week. It also was about this time that the FWD Compact racers began to make a presence at so many of the local tracks. I took a liking to these race cars almost immediately and still look forward to them every race week since.
Especially in some places that I plan to post this writing, I know I will be ridiculed for my statements regarding this class of race cars but you may all want to consider just a few of my points regarding this class of racing. I work everyday in a dealership where I see what the future of racing has to offer, I am a family man with 5 dependant children, I work 5 ½ days of week, I love racing and my passion for the sport puts me at a local racetrack nearly every weekend in some capacity. For those of you that may doubt my statement about the future of racing, remember what you said about Toyota and how far they would progress within the sport, particularly in NASCAR.
My point is this, regarding the FWD class. As much as all of us love this sport including the absolute die-hard super modified fans that may be reading this. Many of the young folks that would love to be behind the wheel of a super simply can not afford what 85% of the racing divisions have developed into.
To summarize my involvement within the weekly racing local tracks is simply this: crewman for 23 years, driver for 13 years, car owner for 9 years, track employee for 3 years, and 1 points championship. However, most importantly, a RACE fan for 32 years!!
This is why I decided to take the time to express myself during this current situation involving 2 tracks and the long lasting effects that poor decision making may have on an entire racing community not to mention the effect on the only TRUE RACING FAMILY I have been a part of in the 11 different race tracks that I have been associated with in some sort of weekly race program.
So many things can be said about the state of racing and how the slumping economy and the poor attitude of Americans have hurt the weekly racing programs at our beloved local speed plants. However, I believe the problem is so much deeper than what we want to believe so we all make excuses and continue to watch the sport we love fade away.
We MUST put a stop to this. STEP #1 is to STOP AND REALIZE who the true players are when it comes to the decision of what track we tow our race cars to each and every weekend.
Here’s the question?????…………….
What owner and promoter puts his#####on the line every day, every week, every month, every year to provide us with a track that supplies rules early enough in the off season to allow fair building time, a track that believes enough in his own classes/divisions he retains them year after year even in tough times, a track that once he builds a schedule of events and prints a schedule - sticks with them with the exception of mother nature rainouts and still tries to race even when it has rained all week/all day? What owner and promoter works every day to make sure that the people that do appreciate him feel at home when they arrive at the track on Friday and allowed to camp absolutely free of charge?
I know the answer!
I know there will be a few strong supporters of the “OTHER” track that will disagree. But my love and compassion for the sport and my desire to see local racing continue for the rest of my life and allow my children to have in interest in something other than drugs keep me a supporter of the owner/promoter of what I can call my home track even if my drive is 75 miles from driveway to driveway. My family may consist of blood relatives, however, My TRUE RACING FAMILY resides at SANDUSKY SPEEDWAY.
For those of us that are old enough to remember what racing was like as early as 12 years ago, I believe that you too will agree that in order to bring back the racing we all deserve the foundation remains at Sandusky Speedway. Provide a solid consistent program with the same rules, same classes/divisions and a schedule that does not change weekly. That concept remains the same. Now, just so Mr. Ruic does not think I am leaving him out, lol, I believe that in today’s marketplace, a track must provide some additional entertainment and an occasional traveling series visit. This is a definite must have but again the weekly program must remain the same.
What I have seen over the past few years from the “OTHER” track is nothing but inconsistency, lack of organization, racecar classes that come and go along with mid-year rule changes that benefit only those who changed the rules, an event schedule that may change weekly, and finally how many classes of cars does this track need to stay in business. Maybe, just maybe if we got back to the days of 3 or 4 classes of cars we could see the increase in car count that produces better competition which provides for better entertainment which if you all would sit back and realize what the entertainment factor is, especially when Mr. Ruic talks about the success of his outrageousness we just may start filling back up the grandstand and allowing the local weekly programs to profit and provide for improvements at our local speed plants.
I just hope you all realize that the progression of our beloved sport will never prosper with promoters that are more worried about who may or may not be at their Hall of Fame Ceremony. I know I have never in my 32 years of involvement have really made it a point to be present to watch such a ceremony. Now, don’t take me the wrong way, I am very proud of each and every inductee and would love to see them appreciated by others but when the TRUE RACING FAMILY spends time together, the celebration is far greater than any induction ceremony.
Our sport will also never prosper with a promoter that advertises events on their printed schedules, especially special holiday races only to cancel them later without any justified reason.
Our sport will also never prosper with a promoter that continues to add more and more divisions of racecars in an attempt to make an extra buck or provide a class of race trucks stolen from the dirt tracks because his own truck class didn’t make it.
Our sport will also never prosper with a promoter that thinks only of himself when it comes to tough decisions.
Wow, I could go on for hours.
I will just simply say that I much prefer a race track where the owner/promoter puts his racers and fans first while always remembering he has a business to run. Times are tough and the economy sucks but Kevin and Bev Jaycox and SANDUSKY SPEEDWAY provide the solid foundation for our beloved sport to grow upon.
While you sit and contemplate where you may race next week, next month, next year, remember these few things:
The classes don’t change weekly, the rules don’t change weekly, the events don’t change weekly, and oh yeah, the track has remained open without interruption, not to mention running an open invitation Cavalcade 2 out of 3 years a week or two prior to the final points race. That alone demonstrates what a true owner/promoter will do to fulfill the schedule he produced regardless of financial gains.
Terry Adams, I believe you need to take a deep look within yourself and decide whether you are in it for the sport or for yourself. The drivers, the teams, the car owners, the sponsors, and most of all, the fan in the stand deserve better.
I know that the time it has taken me to write this will not change a thing in the coming weeks but I also know that the strong survive and just like all the reality TV shows and Mafia War Games in the internet, the strongest family wins. That FAMILY resides at SANDUSKY SPEEDWAY every weekend !!
In Case You Need It Or Want It, 740-361-0823