With Thanksgiving now upon us, it is time to reflect on those things we are thankful for in the sport of dirt racing.
Here is my personal list:
Well Run Shows: Something I am always thankful for is an event that is run in an efficient and timely manner. Many of the races I attend are a good distance from my home which means I frequently have at least a couple of hours in travel time awaiting me when the show is over. Add to that the fact that I typically have a post-race story to write once I get home. With that said, I am always appreciative of a show that is run in such a way that it will not cause me to be going to bed at 3:00am… or later.
Good Track Prep: I am thankful that there are some people in this world who know how to prepare a race track so there will be multi-groove racing throughout the night. Further, I am glad those folks take the time and go to the trouble to use that knowledge. And more, if that racing can take place without excessive dust it makes the evening that much better.
Working Scoreboards: Few things can be more frustrating at a race track than a lack of information. It is hard for fans to truly enjoy the show when they don’t know what car set fast time in qualifying, what lap the feature is on, or the running order of the field behind the lead car. So for those tracks that have a scoreboard that actually works, I am thankful.
Well Schooled PA Announcers: Continuing with the theme of information at the race track, an announcer who actually knows what is going on and is able to convey that message in spite of the noise is a reason to be thankful. Actually knowing something other than the drivers’ names and being able to offer details about the running of the show are essential qualities of a good announcer. Conversely, announcers who have little idea what is happening and only serve to remind fans over and over again that the concession stand is open detract from the show.
Promoters Willing to Take the Risk of Putting on a Show: This sport would not even exist if there weren’t individuals out there who are willing to take the risk putting up the money to stage races. I am thankful for track and series promoters who take those risks so that competitors can race and fans can have shows to enjoy.
Sponsors Who Help Drivers, Tracks and Series: No matter whether it’s a weekly race or a national touring series, it would be impossible for the promoters mentioned above to open the gates if there weren’t companies or individuals willing to put up cash in exchange for exposure for the products and services they sell. If your favorite driver is a Street Stock racer who only competes on one track or a Super Late Model national touring star who races all over the country, it is likely that he/she would not be able to compete without the help of whoever puts their name on the side of the race car. So for those sponsors, I am thankful.
The Sound of a Finely Tuned Engine: Few things are more satisfying than hearing a finely tuned racing engine roar to life. I will always be thankful for the ability to hear that sound, and it never gets old.
The Smell of Racing Fuel: While the sound of racing engines are pleasing to the sense of hearing, the scent of racing fuel in a track’s pit area is equally satisfying to nose. I love the smell of racing and I’m every bit as thankful for it as I am for the sounds of racing.
Drivers and Crew Members Who Are Willing to Do Interviews: From the perspective of a member of the media, I am very thankful for the many drivers and crew members who are willing to give up their time to answer questions either at the track or on the phone. I understand that time is one of the most valuable commodities these people have and the fact they are willing to give some of it up is something I am very appreciative of.
No Playoff: Unlike NASCAR, dirt racing does not have the need to contrive its excitement. I am thankful that there are no major dirt racing series that use the same playoff style format employed by the bigger sanctioning body. They simply let the races stand for themselves… as it should be.
Passion of the Fans, Promoters and Competitors: One thing dirt racing is not lacking for is passion. Fans and competitors alike have a deep love for this sport. Everyone involved has to have a love for it because there isn’t very much money to be made. Without the passion, the sport would die and I am thankful for that passion.
Fans Who Take the Time to Visit This Site: Michael Moats and I are thankful to everyone who takes time out of their day to visit this site and read our material or look at out photos.
May you and your family have a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving!