I am dedicating this blog post to my race friend Jon “Jammer” Armstrong who passed away last week and whose funeral was held today. RIP Jammer

I have spent a good amount of time at the dirt track….Im guessing most of you already knew that. Alot of people dont understand why I am so addicted to it, but its not *just about the racing. Its everything.

I love getting to the track before gates open. I like to prepare what Im taking in with me. Once the gates open, I put my stuff down and literally watch the racetrack come to life. If you have never done this, I suggest to do this at least once….no matter where you choose to watch from. Theres nothing like seeing an empty pit area fill up, hauler by hauler….team by team…and seeing the fans stream in. It truly is a wonderful sight.

And once Im in the pits with a team or in my seats amongst friends, all is right with the world again 🙂

Did you know that you can also learn many life lessons from your experiences at the dirt track? Consider it your Friday and Saturday night Sunday School lesson! (no disrespect intended)

*SHARING / GIVING – Did you know that many teams share tools? Did you know that many teams will help another team in the pits? Yes both of these statements are true. Ive seen many teams lend all types of things to other teams in the pits. You know, helping a competitor out doesnt mean youre giving him all your secrets! LOL Did you also know that outside of the track there is a community? No, Im not talking about the community where the track is located…..Im talking about campers! There has been many a night that Ive partaked in eating a burger that someone has given me. (by the way, thanks for that) Without all this sharing and giving going on, the ‘spirit’ of racing would be much-much different.

*FORGIVENESS – Sometimes we really make others mad at us. Sometimes we are mad at others. Either way, you need to forgive them. It doesnt matter if you are a driver or fan….we all need to share the racetrack. If you are a competitor, sometimes you make a mistake. In a split second, you need to decide to either apologize or become a jerk. The other party has to decide whether to forgive you or well, become a jerk. As fans, we encounter all kinds of stuff….whether its having a drink spilled on you or your stuff or having someone park in your camping area, etc. We need to find assertive ways to address these situations because more than likely, this situation will present itself to us again OR we will encounter these people again.

*SUPPORT – This topic covers a multitude of things to say. Ill begin with the obvious…..supporting our community family. Dirt track racing is the only thing I know that does this completely right. I have never before in my life seen another venue where it doesnt matter if you liked someone or even knew them, if there is a loss, we ALL come together to support the family and friends. This not only covers drivers, but fans as well.

  • We ‘race’ to help an injured driver come home and get the medical help they need, giving everything from cash to buying merchandise whose proceeds go towards this cause
  • We (as fans) help drivers by purchasing their merchandise. Did you know that some drivers pay for their insurance with that money?
  • Fans organize all kinds of events during big races (including the ‘famous’ chili-cookoff)
  • Fans helping to save entire divisions by locating sponsors for winners and hard chargers

And and for those outside of the sport, did you know that drivers will pass the helmet for other drivers who are injured? What this means is that a driver will walk into the grandstand area carrying his helmet. Fans put the money in the helmet. This money goes to the injured driver fund or to the injured drivers family for expenses. Oh, and by the way, almost ALL the fans will clap for a driver walking thru the grandstands….even if they boo him on the racetrack.

I guess that one should be called SPORTSMANSHIP – but I basically covered that one in GIVING 🙂

Alot can be discussed amongst the above categories and this isnt an end-all-be-all list by ANY means. And, of course I hope to continue to learn and to continue to see good things happening at the race track.

Until then……keep your elbows up!