Â Â Â Â Yes, another year has all but come to a close for our racing season here in Central Pennsylvania. Champions have been crowned, and the driver’s seat merry-go-round has begun. But does the racing season ever really end? For the real champions and their teams …the answer is a resounding NO!. Let’s take for example 2008 track champions Fred Rahmer, Frankie Herr, and Pat Cannon. These three drivers run at the top of their divisions year in and year out not only because they are very talented, but because they run their teams like an ongoing business that never sits still. Rahmer could have gone to a larger venue, but instead due to his love of family and our area, he stayed put. He also likes the idea of not only driving the car, but having a hand in it’s preparation. I have known Frankie Herr since his go karting days at Hunterstown. He has always been very focused on his performance, safety, and professionalism, whether he was driving for some one else, or his own team. Every year he wins….why?… because he never stops tweaking, adjusting, searching for improvements, and striving to be the very best that he can be…every year. He, as well as most of the other champions, not only talks the talk…they walk the walk. I know other drivers that tell you that they have really put in the effort, but then they don’t even show up at the shop but a few nights out of the month to help prepare for the next week, and to just make the team a more cohesive bunch. Pat Cannon comes from a racing family, of a very talented brother driver named Steve, to a champion in his own right father and school teaching mother. They were always there for both boys every week to support their efforts, and the family that stayed together…won together. When these drivers get into victory lane and thank the team, wives, and families…they mean it. All have sacrificed dearly for the driver to get into victory lane…but without them…and of course their sponsors for the dollar juice…they would not be able to acc omplish their goals.
Â Â Â Â Some drivers that also have some lofty goals are those in the Sprint Chase. Man, I’d love to see Jeff Burton win the championship…and it is possible, but with the likes of Jimmi Johnson, Carl Edwards, and now Greg Biffle peaking at just the right time, it’s gonna be rough. I would not count out the Wild Child Kyle Bush, but I think he shot off his cannon early this year, and now when consistency is of the utmost importance…it’s just not there for him. I still am not a big proponent of the Chase procedure for evening out the field for the last ten races of the year…but it does make for an exciting finish….but does it really reward consistency for the entire year…not really.
Â Â Â Â Get ready for the shows, and the phone calling for sponsorships…they are just around the corner.
Next time I see you …I hope it’s at the track
submitted by: Kirk M. Wise – Racing with the Wise Guy
Heard on over a dozen radio stations daily…
go to www.wisemotorsport.com forÂ the affiliates in your area.Â
Â Â Â Â Yes, it is stinkin’ hot most of the nights this time of year in South Central Pennsylvania. Yes, and muggy too…but it’s really cool to see some different faces and tracks come to life in our area. The racing itself is also cool, in that we have such a wide variety of venues to choose from including our 410 and 358 sprints, sportsman, late models, and micros all the way to the Women on Wheels, and mini van races…and don’t forget the school buses either. We are truly blessed to have more tracks per capita than any other state in the union, but it does cause a quandary on Saturday nights especially, as we have to choose which track to visit. Most fans get into a regular groove (pun intended) of where to go each week to sit with friends and family, but many folks like to follow either a particular series or driver from track to track. Either way, it’s more fun than sitting at some sporting events where all you do is sit, and sit and watch the same thing over and over. In racing each lap has a personality of it’s own. It’s nice to see Jake “the Snake” Raudabaugh’s face back in Williams Grove’s victory lane once again after a couple years out of the winner’s circle…and how ’bout Cody Darrah…this young’n can drive. New tracks like the renewed Quarter Aces Drag-O-Way in Boiling Springs are going strong after a lengthy wait early in the year…and Susquehanna Speedway Park’s Outback Track should be flying as early as the beginning of August with a variety of smaller winged and carted racers.
Â Â Â Â Now to the “what were they thinking” files…how ’bout the Indianapolis Motor Speedway/ Goodyear fiasco at the Brickyard 400. Between the track diamond cutting the track to make grooves in it…to Goodyear just plain missing the compound call…it was something no one would have believed could happen in the over-scrutinized micro-managed sport of NASCAR. Ten laps and then a competition yellow…once would be acceptable, but throughout the entire race? Come on now, they’ve been running this event for 15 years, and packed the house with over 250,000 paying fans to see 10 lap heat events…I don’t think so. The drivers were all very articulate with their acceptance and explanation of the situation…almost like they were rehearsed…hmmm. Kenny Wallace put it best when he said the track looked like if you placed your hand across your other hand with just your four fingers sticking up. Different heights of grooves cut into the track, with the hopes that Saint Nicholas…or Jimi Johnson in this case…would fill them with rubber. Unfortunately, the tires would wear, and blow before they had a chance to accomplish thatÂ goal. None the less, the HendricksÂ #48 team got to kiss the bricks again…and everyone was happy…NOT.
Â Â Â Â With the final few months of racing now in sight…it’s time for the big guns to make their move to the front…those with the big bucks ($$$) to see them through to the end of the season with new tires for every race, freshened motors and eyes set on the checkered flag in each heat and feature race. It’s fun to watch and participate…don’t miss the action even thou it’ll be hot in the strands…it will be even hotter on the track…and really cool if your favorite driver wins!
Next time I see you… hope it’s at the track…