Sunday, December 21, 2014
Commentary: "Let not your heart be troubled"
Silly Season is fun. It is, you can't deny it. All the rumors and speculation, the schedule releases, the chassis switches, it helps keep us warm this time of year.
It sucks not to be at the track right now, we're lamenting every day that passes that we're not there. And, we're still trying to figure out the practical purpose of winter, while trying to figure out how to build an indoor 3/8 mile semi banked, red clay speedway (anybody want to help us with a telethon to raise construction funds?). But for now, there's nothing on the clay till January, so we'll monitor the offseason as best we can, it shows the way to the light at the end of the tunnel. But there's a dark side to every light....
Accompanying the silly season, there's the standard "pissing match" season. And, it's already seen it's first exchanges. Tracks scheduling over other tracks, sanctions, likewise over other sanctions within reasonable driving range. There's rumors of unpaid drivers (some true, some unfounded), and new series that spring up, primed to show the racing world that they're going to show the fans and drivers how it's done, plus fans with agendas spewing negativity left and right. These matches happen regionally, locally and nationally, in all divisions as we all know. This year so far we've got 410 sprints and NE Modifieds on the card. So whether it's Renegades vs All Stars, or SDS (Super DIRTcar Modifieds) vs STSS (Short Track Super Series Mods) with a very interested RoC looking on, there's conflict to go round this time of year. And don't worry late model fans, there'll be something headed your direction soon most likely.
To be honest, I could care less. Know why? Because these things happen, and at the end of the season, or even further down the road, dirt racing still happens despite the best or worst intentions of any administrators at every level. Everything works out folks, always does, but in the meantime, take the opportunity to view this objectively as an opportunity.
Could the Renegades, NSL, or STSS provide a new approach? Can they open doors to more opportunities for fans and drivers? Can they show us that there's more room for growth than we thought? Absolutely! And it's actually important to give them a fair chance while at the same time taking in the action from the elder series at the same time. Perhaps one may fail, but the lessons we learn from that are important. And maybe, just maybe, there's room for all.
Here's what I can't stand. Perhaps you've heard this before. "I won't support (fill in name of track/series here)" Because of (list unfounded rumor or personal grudge here)
As a fan, it makes absolutely no sense to waste a perfectly good night at home instead of at the track to try to prove your point. The races will still be going on and you'll have missed them.
Right now, the sanction heads, administrators and promoters of our sports are planning and preparing their best hope of a successful 2015. Their decisions will be judged and their fate will be sealed, by drivers and fans. Your ticket or pit pass purchase is an efficient vote on what these series directors have organized for you. It's simple. You know what you like to see, where you like to see it, and what drivers you want to throw down your hard earned cash to see. It doesn't matter whether that's an All Star/Renegade/SDS/STSS/RoC or any other series that's experiencing conflict. What's important, is that you still go!
Let the people at the top of the organizations shift the balance for a period of time, there's going to be racing, in fact more racing. And trust me, even the decision makers in these series really don't want to see anybody go out of business altogether, they're protecting their brand, running a business, and probably are taking nothing personally as they glimpse the press releases from their competitors. After all, it's always understood, by those that play the game....
So let not your heart be troubled DIRT Nation! Start making out your 2015 racing plans, start getting excited, and let none of this off track bs get you down. Even when times seem tough, racing comes down to people, and racing's a fairly strong addiction with an inelastic demand, it's going to be just fine at the end of the day.