March News

GOING, GOING, GONE…

As the snow finally melts, giving way to the familiar smells and feels of Spring, one thing will be missing. It was one of Central Pennsylvania’s favorite race tracks…Silver Spring Speedway.  I always knew that race season was right around the corner when all the teams met on a cold dark morning at the Spring’s Racing Flea Market. It was a host of information as to who was driving for whom, who retired, and what young rookie was thinking it was to be his year. It’s all gone…except for a lot of construction vehicles and orange plastic barrier fence. The fans and teams will now disperse in a few directions. Some will just move their weekly vigil to Williams Grove Speedway where track promoters will now run their regular Friday night Sprint shows, plus the Saturday night divisions that ran at the Springs.

Others will go to Susquehanna Speedway Park for it’s rendition of Sprint car racing on Thursday nights, which includes a lot of family events like the ever popular school bus and mini van races. SSP will then also attempt to accommodate the displaced folks from the Carlisle Pike with racing on Friday night featuring the Super Sportsman, Late Model and Street Stock Divisions…sound familiar? Some may even drift to other tracks including Lincoln, where they recently had the Ice Breaker 30 go to `the Hammer` Doug Esh on a cold Sunday afternoon, Port Royal, Shippensburg, Trailway, Hagerstown, Selinsgrove, Linda’s, or maybe even straight ahead racing at South Mountain dragway. Any way you look at it…the faces are going to change.     Now to the racers…where will they go? I feel there is going to be a split where a third of the teams will race only at Williams Grove, a third at Susquehanna, and the `toughies` that will try to run the full schedule of events. This will require a lot of time, energy, and above all…money. Lots of the green stuff will be going into the cars this year, and I’m not talking about some new ecological corn fuel. Most teams, unfortunately, will not have the backing to go the entire year I’m afraid. These bigger tracks are very unforgiving when it comes to blowing motors, and to huge, costly wrecks in every turn. The smaller track was more of a handling drivers competition..now it will be the long, fast straight-aways. Not only the car owners will have to put up more dollars, but the teams with their crew members, wives and kids will also have to take more out of their monthly budget to get into these more expensive tracks. Is bigger better? We’ll have to wait and see.     The big boys have started to run also, with Jimmie Johnson capturing the Daytona 500, and one of the Rousch tribe, Matt Kenseth, winning at California as the 2006 chase begins. My gut instinct goes towards the Lowes-Dupont guys..they are due. Plus they don’t have the guess work associated with choosing between the Ford Taurus, or Cobalt. The Dodge boys will have their hands full this year too with the similar decision regarding the Intrepid, and the Charger. Chevrolet may just put another manufacturers trophy on the shelf at the end of the season. I also think Mark Martin will win a championship…in the NASCAR Truck Division, and that J.J. Yeley will be a rocket ship throughout the season. Let’s see what happens.   Another year, more drivers, and even more fans…why not…it’s still the best family sport out there…barr none. Next time I see you…I hope it’s at the track.  Kirk M. Wise  Racing with the Wise Guy Racing Reports are heard daily throughout the midstate on stations like RED 102.3 , ESPN 1350-AM, the Ticket AM  1230, and WHVR AM 1280, plus others. Go to www.wisemotorsport.com for a complete listing of affiliates and times.

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