Muscle Cars

The Pros and Cons Of Big Time Racing

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Mark Weisseg

I recently attended a race in Phoenix to rid myself of the colder Northeast and to see an old friend of 50 years.

I know people who watches the race on the beaches of Daytona back in the day. I have old movies of those races. I have a clip where a car going down the beach goes to make a turn and rolls over on its roof. The spectators run out from behind the mounds of sand and rock the car back onto four wheels. The driver then takes off again!

Today, a piece of hot dog wrapper blows onto the track and everyone has a meltdown, NASCAR looks at the standing and if need be they throw the caution. It takes six laps of everyone driving 55 mph to get the Weiner wrap off the track. In the meantime, the TV audience has sat through 9 commercials and if you are at the track you are so bored you keep looking for the green flag but, they are waiting for the commercials to end.
There is nothing good about it anymore and the ratings show it. What happened to good old fashioned racing? Safety – very much needed, but it can be a double-edged sword.

I get it but, when you sign on to drive cars at 200mph and higher there is a risk, same with football. When you volunteer to play ball with guys that are 6 foot five and three hundred sixty pounds you must expect to be a bit banged up. Now, former drivers and players are filing lawsuits.
The races have become so long and boring. The NFL ratings are sky high right now but the fans are beginning to grumble like they did in NASCAR. It will be interesting to see what happens. So, if you love fast cars like I do, go to your local dirt track. That’s real racing. Go to a drag race. That is still raving. Go to the World of Wheels racing, that is real racing and most of these races are the same fun.

Our local dirt track is so much fun on a Friday night. It boasts the local economy big time.
The best dirt tracks I have ever been to is in Canandaigua, New York. It’s old school racing, cheap to get in and they do 50/50 raffles. Give your local race track a try and I will bet you will have so much fun. That is what we do now in the summer.

Seeing machines that resembled cars going 230 miles an hour in the past, was amazing.

When you race you take risks. Even with all the safety devices today, you still risk injury and death from racing. Will that stop us? Heck no. We were built to race. Man first crawled, then walked, then ran, then a bike, then a car, then a airplane, then a rocket and so on.
We are builders, designers and best of all we are dreamers. We dream big and we want to go faster, higher, farther and so on.
Ironically, everyone loves to see a good wreck but, hopefully nobody wants to see a body bag at a race. These drivers have friends, families, goals, hobbies and more just like us. If you race I am in awe of you because it takes money, effort, hard work, and a desire to do it better every time you go out.
The guys and gals out at the local tracks usually are on a shoe string budget. We went to the World of Wheels race last year and a fan favorite blew up his last engine and would miss the last big race. Some clapped, most groaned. But, a fellow racer in the pits offered him a spare engine for free if he wanted it so he could compete. Now, that’s racing.

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