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By
Bryan Chase
       

 

 

This isn’t a story about who won or who lost.

This is a story of evolvement & furtherance.

On Sunday, July 22, 2012 at Penn-Can Speedway… nearly 100 race teams signed in to the pits at the fast 3/8ths-mile clay bullring in Susquehanna, PA. An intriguing stage was set for the evening.

This race was the Small Car Summer Nationals… which was a qualifier & a prelude to the relatively new Small Car Classic that is held later in the racing year. This race featured Slingshots, 270cc Sprints, 600cc Sprints, the 600cc Xcel Modifieds & the Tobias Spdsters. As I took a stroll through the pits, I noticed license plates from all over: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, obviously Pennsylvania… & there might have been some others there that I just didn’t catch. It was like walking around a World of Outlaws show & seeing which invaders made a visit.  Even some of the haulers could rival what’s found at a Super DIRTcar Series race. For as little as these cars are, the men & women are just as much invested into these machines as the big boys are. It was quite the sight to take in.

Now let me get to the evolution part of this. The generation gap was incredible between the competitors. There were boys & girls who appeared to have just graduated from 5th grade.  And they were out there piloting these awesome racecars right next to other drivers who were probably well into their 40s or 50s. That is something you don’t see a lot of. But it was everywhere on Sunday.

One of these pint-sized wheelers was Leo McGurrin, son of former northeast modified shoe Tom McGurrin. Leo pilots the #35 orange Slingshot. It looks very similar to Tom’s modified he had a few years back. It’s the youngsters like Leo that are going to keep this sport from fading away. And it’s parents like Tom McGurrin, who are going to ensure we have racing in the future (Furtherance) by passing along his love of racing to their children.

This is what the future of racing is molded from. It’s sort of like a rite of passage for many of these young boys & girls. In reality, they may not be old enough to actually drive a regular car or vote for that matter, but at the track… these kids are 25 at heart… just like the 50-year-olds are when they strap in. Racing is the fountain of youth, a forever-young infection to the heart, body & mind caused by a bug that we were all bit by at some point in our lives. These young stars are who my son (assuming he likes racing when he gets a little bit older) is going to be cheering for while I’m still rooting for the “old farts” that I grew up watching. It’s these types of cycles that keep the eternal flame of motorsports burning.

This is a “Thank You” to Penn-Can Speedway for giving these cars a special place to go to twice a year. A tip-of-the-hat for providing these teams with an event at a track that very well may be the Talladega Speedway of their racing careers in these little, yet high-powered machines.

This is a “Thank You” for parents like Tom McGurrin who actively & lovingly shared a passion with their children & got them involved in something positive… whether it’s racing or not. And a “Thank You” to the youngsters, like Leo, who (thankfully) decided to strap into a racecar & put on a show for us all.

This story is for all of you who support & continue to grow this great sport we call racing. We’ll never let it die. Even in an economy as bad as we have right now… we’ll find something & make it go faster than it should & call it “fun.” This is a THANK YOU for never letting that fire inside burn out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

       

 

       

 

       
 

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