Hey, What Are You Doing This Weekend?
Spring is finally here and hopefully your weather has improved to the point that you can actually indulge in a weekly guilty pleasure. I do not use the term “guilty pleasure” loosely. My family could NOT WAIT until Friday and not only because of the weekend, but because it was time ….time to load up the cooler, throw on the grubby jeans, T-shirt and hit the track! Sorry my NASCAR fiends I am not talking Bristol, Dover or ‘Dega. I’m talking Lee USA Motor Speedway, baby!
That’s right. We LOVED the local tracks and visited them often. Star, Oswego, Thompson – if it was a small track and my cousins were racing, we were there! Before you even ask, yes we would pay to get into the pits. Sometimes out of necessity, when a crew member wouldn’t show up, BAM, just like that, you turned into a grease monkey, and we loved it. Do I even have to mention that the best damn Fried Dough on this planet is at Lee? Trust me; you have NEVER tasted fried dough until you are sitting in the stands with your ears on with butter and confectioners’ sugar rolling down your arm.
I’m sure many of you are thinking “Wow, slow news day. This is the best she has got?” No, there are plenty of things I could write about. I chose this. Why? The number one reason is because I miss it so damn much and believe that every NASCAR fan should make a conscious effort to find their local rack and visit it often.
Unlike a Sprint Cup NASCAR race, the races you see at the local tracks are raw as all heck. You have talented drivers with the low cash flow trying all they have to afford four fresh tires and the money bag drivers that can’t drive an Ice Cream truck down a one way street at five miles per hour. Yet these money bag drivers tend to always win. Why? They have no clue what they are doing and basically take everyone out. That does not happen all the time, though, and let me tell you, watching a quality driver driving some beat up Late Model take out good Ol’ Mr. Trump is payback at its finest.
What people don’t realize is, that at these local tracks you never know who is going to evolve and end up on your TV screen making their NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut. I watched Steve Park and Martin Truex, Jr. from my local track as well as drivers you probably should have paid attention to. Drivers like Paul Richardson and my cousin Jimmy Cheney. Both driver are from my hometown of Georgetown, Massachusetts, and both are great drivers and great friends, yet enemies on the track. These two drivers made you feel like you were watching the last lap of the Daytona 500 every week. I’m too young to remember every race but I am old enough to know that I had a blast yelling “Go Jimmy!” Thank fully when Jim retired, we had other members of the family get behind the wheel and give us a reason to pay that 20 bucks and enjoy a night out at the track.
NASCAR legend Humpy Wheeler is involved in a great cause to save the local tracks throughout the United States. It is called “Speedway Benefits”. Check it out and also check out your local track. I promise you, it will be fun and it just might be memorable, as Sprint Cup drivers like Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, and many other notable drivers love to seek out these tracks and possibly hop in and drive “insert any car here”. And, did I mention the best fights ever are at local tracks? We have seen our share, and I am not telling if I did or didn’t throw a punch…or five.
My lips are sealed.