Kevin Harvick Gets It!
I have a new hero in racing… Kevin Harvick. No it’s not because he drives a Ford, nor is it because he has won 3 in a row. But it is because he gets it… He gets the fact that “Grassroots Racing” is what drives motorsports.
At Sunday’s press conference at Phoenix, after putting a whippin’ on the field, Harvick sat with Tony Stewart and Rodney Childers talking about the win. Then in response to a reporter’s question he shifted gears and started calling out the management of Phoenix for not having the grassroots races there. He went on to explain how important the Copper World Classic was for many racers for years. And how the support classes really fueled the sport and racing in general.
This man actually gets it… For a long time I looked at him as a brash diva boy, who landed in a ride with no talent and did, but the more I learned about him and how passionate he is about racing AND about the history of the sport, he moved up a few notches in my eyes.
A few years ago a dear friend of mine, Bill Blair, whose lovely wife Shelia worked for Harvick told me he was a good guy, so I started looking into some of the things he has done over the years since hitting the big time. And Bill was right.
Harvick has helped lots of racers with money, out of his own pocket, while asking to not be named, helping with fund drives to help drivers who have fallen on hard times… the things he did for Sam Ard; the list goes on and on. He really gets it!
The fact that he stepped up, and used his voice to make something heard about grass roots racing says a lot. He knows that it is an important part of racing and that without the grassroots bunch, racing is doomed, and the great thing is he called out the management of Phoenix Raceway on National TV about it! He said “But in the end, you better have those grassroots racers and grassroots fans whether it fits your budget or not, 10 years from now you better hope you got those grassroots racers and grassroots fans filling those seats, because that is your hard core racers and fans,” See? He gets it!
When a track forgets what it takes to put fans in the stands then that track is doomed, it cannot succeed with one BIG race or two BIG races a year to pay the bills. It takes the support classes putting fans in the seats week in and week out. Without those fans, the tracks will dwindle and vanish. And before long you will have to go to “Lost Race Tracks” to see what happened to them.
Racers who get it, racers like Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Larson, (bad as I hate to say it) Kyle Busch, these racers see it, they see the writing on the wall. If promoters and track owners don’t see it soon, there will be nothing left to see.
If NASCAR put as much effort into the support classes as they do to reading social media, we might be able to save racing on a local level.