The 2006 racing season is upon us in south central Pennsylvania. Lincoln, Trailway, Williams Grove and south of the border Hagerstown Speedways have all completed their first races of the year. Hundreds of fans braved the chilly temperatures, but the big lines were involving the racers themselves. The car count is still up, and nearly all the teams come in enclosed trailers, which adds to the long lines at the pit gate. The super sportsman division, that will be regulars at both the Grove and at Susquehanna this year, showed up opening day with thirty-nine teams competing for twenty-four starting positions. The racing however was no the traditional close, side by side competition that the fans were hoping to see. The cold track was not conducive to racing. I don’t care how much preparation goes into it, the cold clay just does not work. All the divisions, especially the sprints, get in a line …and stay there. Very few passes are made, except for maybe one or two drivers who are willing to risk it all with driving or at the sacrifice of tires and car to move up in position. I just wish the promoters would start a little later in the year, and go longer into the fall, not only for the freezing fans, but for the cold motors, and the caliber of racing we are accustomed to seeing here in the mid-state. I have heard that the tracks don’t want to compete with high school football in the fall…o.k… I don’t go to local games…a lot of race fans don’t either, and they’re usually played on Friday nights…SO RACE ON SATURDAY OR SUNDAY. Now I’ll get off the soap box…
     The Nascar boys are going full steam ahead with Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth going neck and neck to the front of the points standings…even if they have to bump and bang to get there. Is it my imagination, or is the Nextel Cup starting to turn into a soap opera of who gets along with who, and who owes one to the other guy, and who’s gonna shove who in the pits after the race. Plus, if there’s a part hanging off of Jarrett’s car..nothing happens, but if one of the young guns has a piece of tape on wrong they are told to take it to the pits…exaggerated..a little…was it fiberglass …yes, but it was still gonna be debris flying through the air. It’s like the rules are being bent “kinda funny”…and it’s gonna snap sooner or later. The beauty of auto racing is it’s simplicity…the first one to the checkered flag wins…but now’s there’s all this other stuff going on during the race that takes away from the purist version of the sport. Finally, how ’bout Mark Martin! He was supposed to retire last year…thank God he didn’t. He’s winning everywhere, and tops in the points in every division he’s competing in…so much for retirement…GO Mark!
     Special thanks goes to the individual who mailed me my appointment book that I lost at the Hershey Convention Center…no return address, just a short note saying that this may be important so I returned it to you. Yes, extremely important..so thank you for being kind enough to spend the time and money sending it to me, with no way of thanking you unless you read this article…there are still genuinely nice people in the world.
     Next time I see you…I hope it’s at the track…

Kirk Wise – the Wise Guy
Go to www.wisemotorsport.com for a complete listing of radio stations airing the daily Racing with the Wise Guy reports, racing information, and photos.

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