KISS THE YEAR GOOD BYE…
Â Â Â Â Where did the year 2006 go? It seems like just yesterday we were crowning Tony Stewart for his fence climbing efforts and Nextel championship for 2005. This year, he was not even qualified to compete in the top ten chase, but I still have not heard of anybody figuring out where he would have actually finished in the point standings if the NASCAR “biggies” hadn’t thrown in their ratings boosting play-off scenario. Jimmie Johnson was due, as he was deemed the driver to beat for the last two seasons, and he was consistent. He even survived losing his crew chief for four races after Chad Knause was caught cheating at Daytona. I just still have a hard time wrapping my arms around a team that is owned on paper by another competitor, but bank rolled by a fellow who did time for his business practices. Hey, I know, no one is perfect, but I’d much rather cheer for a good ol’ boy, than a corporation. I was however happy to see Brian Vickers in victory lane, also from the Hendrick stable, but he’s leaving at the end of the year. There were more than just a few drivers this year battling on the track with “late in the race” bumps and spins from behind, so I can’t point any fingers at any one team, but I do think I’d rather watch the wives that have started to scrap in the pits, over the Dupont slugger who likes to push drivers away rather than “get into it”…that’s actually a side ways compliment.
Â Â Â Â Kudos have to go to the Childress teams this year, with Harvick dominating in the Busch division, and both he and Jeff Burton within striking distance of capturing the Cup championship. Evernham racing is struggling, especially when the team owner is rumored to be more than giving advise to a NASCAR Truck competitor…oh yea, the driver is a girl…whew! Michael Waltrip will be attempting to put Toyota on the map for next year with the help of some of his buddies like Dale Jarrett, and Bill Elliott..yea..we’ll see. Also congratulations must be sent to the Bodine family, as the youngin’ ,Todd, captured the Craftsman Truck Series for 2006. And to end this moment of quips…how ’bout the Cat in the Hat! Rousch racing is losing it’s elder statesman, as Mark Martin retires..oops, no he’s not doing that again this year, he’s going to another team for 2007 instead…come on boys..couldn’t you have worked something out! I mean, Mark was the owner of the Kenseth car..wasn’t he? A great competitor in the Nextel Cup, Truck and Busch series..so why let him go!
Â Â Â Â Don’t worry race fans…Daytona is only about 90 days away…which will give the networks more time to figure out how they can jam even more commercials and less of the race into their broadcasts for 2007…o.k. I’m finished….
Â Â Â Â Locally, it was the first year with no Silver Springs, and my heart still sinks every time I drive by and see yet another mall going up in our area. Williams Grove, Lincoln and Susquehanna Speedways all survived the year, but with no huge fan counts that you might expect with one of the tracks closing. In fact, the numbers were down especially for the Grove both in cars and fans…but 2007 will be a new year, and plans include racing both nights at the Mechanicsburg oval, an Outback track at SSP for micros and carts, and more divisions coming to Lincoln’s high banks for racing excitement. Trailway is adding more clayin Hanover and will continue two night’s of racing for the new year, South Mountain Dragway will see yet another season come April, and the Port and Selinsgrove, as well as Big Diamond will advertise for fans to come out next year. All in all, we still have the best racing around, and should not only be proud of it, but support it too. I, for one, plan to attend more events in the new year..as long as my wife says it’s o.k.
Â Â Â Â Have a safe and happy Christmas, and New Year, and don’t forget to check out the new www.wisemotorsportmarketing.com site for information and applications for the upcoming Dirt Trackin’ Show sponsored this year by Jack Giambalvo Motor Company to be held at the York Expo Center January 26-28th, featuring the #20 Home Depot Car, PWE Wrestlers, the Ms. Dirt Trackin Contest, Jazz Me Band, and hundreds of cars, drivers, fans and vendors.
Next time I see you…I hope it’s at the track.
Kirk M. Wise
Racin’ with the Wise Guy is heard on over a dozen radio stations daily…check the website for broadcast times, or listen to the actual broadcasts at the site on the MP3 player.