Since what I have to say definitely takes more than the 140 characters allotted by twitter, I decided to put my thoughts where they belong…..my neglected blog.

First-let me get this out of the way:  Race fans can never be satisfied. Period.

This post addresses two issues that recently have popped up via social network conversations.

First issue:  Track conditions

A long time ago, when I went to a dirt track, the track was wet, tacky and had one heck of a cushion. (with the exception of day races at the beginning of the season) The past five or so years, this trend has gone by the wayside to a dry, slick, blackened track. Granted, with some of the multiple division shows, this is to be expected…..but quite honestly, the racing itself, while still WAY better than Nascar, has gone downhill.

Case in point….This past week Central PA has hosted the Eastern Swing of USAC. Because I was unable to attend a good portion of the races, I lurked twitter and facebook for updates. While I wasnt shocked to see that our local tracks prepared the tracks as normal, it did amaze me that they ran the track in so much and did not give these guys the cushion most fans came to expect.

I was able to attend the Wednesday night race at Lincoln Speedway in Hanover…..which is my favorite local dirt track. When I arrived at the track at 5:30 the track was in awesome condition. It was actually resembling what Ive seen of Kokomo. (If you havent seen a race there live, go check out youtube. The USAC cars really bounce around that place!) Unfortunately, the track was ran down as usual which made for a really dusty feature.

Passing was at a premium all evening. Most was done on the starts and restarts with a few exceptions and all in all, despite my personal complaints, I enjoyed the evening.

Second issue:  Rain delays / Drivers-Teams leaving before its called

Mother Nature is not a race fan. This year has seen more cancellations and rain outs than Ive seen in awhile. No race fan is pleased. No race track is pleased. No race team is pleased.

This past Saturday night, rain forced many local tracks to cancel. Thankfully for most fans, the one track that will try to get in a race, did so. Granted, it was after two rain delays, but they did run the 410 feature. Unfortunately, the 358 feature and thundercar features were postponed. (Today I found out there was some drama surrounding that, but since I wasnt there – nor in the pits – I will refrain from commenting on that)

From what Ive seen discussed, there were 3 410 teams that left the track after running 7 laps of their feature. All these teams were scheduled to race the next day at Clinton County and by the time they had left, it was close to 1 am.

This is where it gets touchy.

As a fan of at least one of the drivers who left before the race ended, I can attest that you can feel ripped off when this happens. Drivers need to understand that while most of us root for a handful of drivers, if our favorite one leaves, it can make you feel this way. Ive seen some really ugly replies to those who vented online Saturday (coming from a drivers family). No fan should be ‘ripped’ in the way I saw.

I think I can safely say that I understand the sport in a unique way, so I do realize that at 1 am with a feature a few laps in and red flagged, if you must leave to get the car ready and the driver and team rested for the next days events, so be it. Take care of what you have to.

But, my question is: would you have chosen to do this if you were in the top 5 or top 10 in points?

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