side notes


Hooray!
I am excited. The race season officially starts for me first thing in the morning.
I head off for Daytona bright and early. It will take me all day to get there from California but it is something that I look forward to every year.
Daytona is something that every race fan should experience once. At least once!
This year I am taking two new comers to the track. One, is a good friend of mine who will come in late Thursday night. We’ll spend the next three days living and breathing NASCAR. She is a great new fan.. got hooked in the middle of last season and is now attending our biggest race for her very first race. I’ll show her what’s left of the beach course and the Streamline, the Best Damn Garage and the little pockets of racing history that linger all through Daytona Beach.
The second person who I am bringing along won’t actually be “with” me. It is the Tax Assessor with whom I happened to strike up a conversation with at┬ádinner party for my day job. Since I talk racing and NASCAR all the time, the subject eventually came up.

He was so excited! Apparently, his personal bucket list consists of the major sporting events around the World, and I could help him navigate one big one, the Daytona 500. ­čśÇ I helped him get seats that I thought would make him enjoy the race the most, and will meet up with him and the folks he is travelling with at the Nationwide race grandstands.

I truly believe that the way to get new fans involved in NASCAR is to show them our sport. Our fast, heart pounding, history filled, fast and beautiful sport. I am thrilled to bring two new fans to our stands.

If you happen to be at the Daytona 500 you can find me hanging out at the ISC Archives, the Tweet-up, the Duels, the Truck race, the Nationwide Race and the very tip top of the stands in Turn Four for the 500. Come say hello!

 

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A great piece from Bob over at 4Ever3 on the importance of local race tracks. It reminds me a lot of what the Petaluma Fairground track went through.
Folks moving next to a race track and then complaining about it. We lose short tracks and home tracks each and every year. It sucks.

This is one of the things that means the most to me in my quest to try to ensure people understand how important race track heritage is. Local history, local pride and local legends are alive at every home town track.

Clickity! The Tale of a Grandstand

There was a really interesting comment on my Ranting & Raving column yesterday about whether or not the new points system is one more piece of losing the “old school” in NASCAR.

I don’t think┬ánecessarily┬áso, but I also think that this might be the start of an interesting discussion. If you would like to follow or join in the conversation, come on back over to Ranting & Raving.
I’m curious to see what folks think.
Ranting & Raving- 35 Years Follow Up

 

Hey everyone!
My new post at Ranting and Raving is up. With the announcement of the points changes to the series, I thought that it would be interesting to take a quick peek at the points systems over the years. It isn’t as easy as it sounds!

I also have a few tidbits about what was going on in NASCAR in 1975, come take a peek!

35 Years of Counting to 175

NASCAR just announced the schedule for 2011! Phew, Martinsville kept both dates and the west was re-sorted just a bit.
The season will also see an addition, Kentucky Speedway. The Bluegrass State hasn’t had a Cup race since 1954. Hop on over to NASCAR Ranting and Raving for a peek at 1954.
You know that I don’t have that much to say about another 1.5 miler being added to the season. Really. Short tracks! Give me short tracks!!
ahem.
Here you go!

Enjoy!

Clicky!┬áAnother 1.5 Miler? Let’s Talk 1954!

I have been accepted to speak at my first conference. I am excited beyond explaining in my little blog here. Well, excited and of course terrified! Whatever will I say!?

Ah. Of course I do know what I will be saying. Not exactly, but I do intend to do my best- with a short presentation and a lovely power point- to let them all know how important the history of stock car racing is to American history.

The conference is in May. It will be held at the very nice looking Disney World Coronado Springs Resort. On the fun side, apparently there is a free shuttle between the conference and Disney World.

I am really looking forward to it. I need to revisit my proposal for the conference and begin to develop a lovely and concise presentation.

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In other news! It is almost time for the Daytona 500! How excited am I for that? So excited.

I will be spending a lot of time at the ISC Archives. I am looking froward to that for the sheer number of people who come through there. It is walking history every minute. And I will be attending the Living Legends of Auto Racing Banquet again this year. I enjoyed my time there last year so very much. Unbelievable to sit at a table with men who were there when NASCAR was still ripping it’s way through the sandy turns instead of cookie cutter tracks. Pictures and updates coming- I’ll be there from next Tuesday through Monday the 16th.

I will also be posting over at SkirtsAndSkuffs which you should definitely check out if you haven’t yet. Even more gals writing about racing. We’re quite the bunch.

I was very excited, as one might guess, to learn that the History Channel was going to air a documentary (docu-drama) on Bowman-Gray Stadium. The advertising for the show before it aired, boasted that 61 years of tempers and hard racing made Bowman-Gray part of the “holy land” of racing. And it does. And it is the oldest sanctioned track. The stories, the rivalries and the feuds which are a part of the track can be traced back through the history of stock car racing in North Carolina..

Which they totally and utterly ignore.

Madhouse completely disregards any history that the track represents and instead focuses on the lives of two racers and their bitter rivalry. Which is fine. Except that it is the┬áHistory channel. I don’t think that I could be anymore disappointed in the series. ┬áRather than focus on a part of America that is still stereotyped and exploring the contributions of stock car racing to American history and rather than celebrating a real American institution (61 years is not that far off from 100 years of stock car racing!) the program focuses on what can only be perceived from the outside as a whole bunch of rednecks.

Stock car racing is a passionate, intense sport. And yes, there is the cultural element that most people negatively stereotype as rednecks. But you know, all these elements can be explored in such a way which actually examines what makes stock car racing exciting and what makes such a unique and important part of American culture.

The second episode is tonight. I will catch it on the second roll through at 11. I wish that I could say that I was excited to see it. Other than the racing clips which feed my need for the racing season to start up again, there is very little that Madhouse can offer.

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