April Racing Article

Racing is still Great Family Entertainment…
     I often hear from folks, young and old, how much they used to enjoy going to the races with their family. Names like Mitch Smith, Jimmy Nace, Keith Kauffman, Steve Smith and the like always come up. Kids love to go to the races because they can “run around” at the facility. The tracks are usually small enough on the front or back stretch, that kids can frolic with each other while their parents and older siblings watch the racing action. “It’s fun to play in the dirt” one child told me after the races, he loved grabbing the clumps of clay and molding them…or chucking them. The food seems to be unique to each track. It’s inexpensive, and full of action. Where else can the kids get in for free, the youth pay only a few dollars, and the parents get in for maybe $20 for a 6 hour or more show? I like the movies (where even a soda is $3), bowling (like smoke?), arcades (take plenty of dough for the games) and other family related venues, but none comes close to the value of racing. We are privileged to have to minor league baseball teams in our area in York and Harrisburg, but even there the prices for the seats and food combined add to an expensive night…and don’t even bring up Hershey Park. Sure I have plenty of great memories on the rides, at the ball park, and at the bowling alley…but as a parent who has bills coming out my ears like everyone else, racing is still the best value.The other things I appreciate aret that the drivers are available before and after the events to meet the kids, and don’t ask for money for autographs. They generally always sing the national anthem and pray before each night’s activities, and the NASCAR Cup series even takes off the entire day for Easter and Mother’s Day…now there’s family values. The local tracks honor the mothers with reduced or free tickets, flowers and the like. Some tracks, like Susquehanna, have kid’s events during the intermission before the feature events. So even if you don’t know anything about racing…take the family to the track, have a seat, and the other fans will let you know what’s going on…just make sure you don’t sit in anyone else’s’ seat…they’ll let ya know about that too..it’s just like church…everyone sits in the same spot week after week.
     Now for the updates…how ’bout Pat Cannon and the Highlands team! Not only are they winning again in the 358 sprint ranks to defend their 2007 track championship at the Grove, but have a win in the 410’s as well. Pat now has wins in Sportsman, 358 and 410 divisions…and is still the same quiet, humble guy he has always been. His school teacher mother, and past track champion in Jersey Dad are to be credited with raising some pretty nice boys, including younger brother Steve who also competes in the Sportsman division. Family values…yup! It also helps having the Highlands dollars and know-how behind the team. Zane, Matt, and the dearly deceased Bob of Newville are a really tough dynasty to beat. Looks like Todd Shaffer is back with the Beam family of Patti and Gary….and winning already again in the young 2008 season. Quarter Aces Drag-O-Way in Boiling Springs is still working on opening day sometime in late April. And finally, watch out for Toyota in the NASCAR ranks…the teams and technology are starting to catch up with the other manufacturers, and will be a force to be reckoned with…I understand Toyota, or one of the other Asian auto companies may be buying the name Oldsmobile…hmmm…could we see an 883 back on the track in the future? Who knows…but if you’re not at the track…you won’t see it for yourself.
submitted by:
Kirk M. Wise – Racing with the Wise Guy
Daily radio features can be heard throughout Central PA on a variety of stations…
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