My Thoughts



Why do racetracks close?


As I look around I see a lot of race tracks that have closed and I think about all of the excitement, fun, and joy that was had at those tracks. It makes me so sad. 

Terry Young, who is in charge of Hoosier Tire Midwest, had a reunion at little Springfield Speedway last fall.   Before I went to that reunion, where over five thousand people attended it at the Springfield State Fairground, I went to where the old racetrack was located.  There now is a McDonald’s and a bank on the property. There were five people in the parking lot at McDonald’s and two people in the parking lot at the bank. I thought of all the thousands of people that went to the races on Sunday nights at Springfield Speedway and how many stories were generated at the there and the many experiences and great memories were experienced on that particular piece of ground.  It made me very sad because I don’t think McDonald’s and the bank are creating those experiences in people’s minds.

            Racetracks close for a few number of reasons.  Number 1.. because lack of attendance,  and there are lots of reasons for that (mostly promotional).   Number 2.. people that own the property just don’t care anymore.  Or number 3.. the property gets sold for more money than the racetrack can make.  If you know any other reasons let me know. 

            Gotta race and a half in this week, yaaaaaaaaaaay!  Went to Farmer City Raceway on Friday night and they had over 100 cars in the pits.  They had a Late Model B Main and a Late Model Feature that went green, white, checkered.  They had a fireworks display that was better than my hometown’s fireworks display! And they had $5 gen admission!  It was a great night and a great crowd.  I saw Buddy Hames and Heidi and their kids.  Buddy was a multi track champ in Illinois in the Street Stock division at Macon, and he even drove for me for several years.  We did not win the Championship.  Heidi loves racing more than anybody I think I know.  I catch them at lots of races across the Midwest. 

            On Saturday night Sharyl got to go with me, to Highlands Speedway for the UMP Summer National Hell Tour.  It was a cornucopia of race cars.  They have a real small pit area at Highland and with the excessive car count they were six inches apart.  Sharyl and I were busy getting bios.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  We got 19 bios and then it started to rain. It was the second hardest rain I’ve been in at a race track.  I was so wet and so was Sharyl.  The only one where I got wetter was at Southern National Speedway Kenly, NC.  We got pictures from both shows. 

            Kurt Busch continues to amaze me.  At the start of the season, he was a dark horse to make the case by winning a race or two and finishing in the top 20 in points. This week he moved into 9th place in points.  And if it hadn’t been for two or three screw-ups he would have been 5th in points. He and his Furniture Row team, which is based out of Colorado, have done more than any other team in NASCAR this year. 

            Illinois is not the only place with a lot of rain this year. LarrE in South Carolina has been rained out the last two weeks. VA Dirt snuck down to County Line Speedway and got some photos down there.  Goose was following those Sprint Cars on the high planes on I 90 Speedway in Hartford, South Dakota.  And we have two new reporters that we’re getting lined up on.  Craig Allender out of Iowa and Shari Neiland out in Nebraska.  Welcome to the team! 






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Revised: July 11, 2013