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Derrick McGrew Jr. 12 years old running BB weekly at Albany-Saratoga

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4 hours ago, brian moore said:

My initial response was that this is foolish. But you guys convinced me that it is actually a smart move in the long run. 

You have all said that the jump from sportsman to modified is a huge leap. They have to learn how to drive again with all that power. So if you have the financial resources to do it,  why not learn to drive the car  that you are going to be driving. 

I would think it would be more frustrating to spend years becoming a star in the sportsman class. To then become a back marker in a modified world cause you to overdrive and become a bigger menace. 

If they are running a track with a lot of sportsmen and may not get to make every feature,  you lose track time. 

And,  I have heard a rumor that being a back marker in a modified race pays better than being a back marker in a sportsman race. 

Exactly. What this is is a great business decision 

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Not necessarily specific to this situation because you see it in all sports with kids. But is there any chance this is a father trying to relive his youth  thru his kid? And hurrying the program along a bit to fast?

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1 hour ago, dan dan said:

Not necessarily specific to this situation because you see it in all sports with kids. But is there any chance this is a father trying to relive his youth  thru his kid? And hurrying the program along a bit to fast?

It worked out okay for Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano's dads.

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Never said on occasion it didn't work out. Question was could it be trying again thru your kid doing it. I seen it a few times coaching little league for 16-17 years. I have relation that sucked at sports and has his four kids in every sport u can do year round. 

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53 minutes ago, BillSmith said:

It worked out okay for Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano's dads.

I hope you dont believe this kid might turn into another Jeff Gordon??? Laughable. 

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No, not saying he could be the next Jeff or Danica. But parents vicariously living their dreams through their kids is so common these days ... and sometimes it does work out.

Again, it's all context: If its the parent that's overbearing and pushes his kid and makes him miserable, that's terrible. But a Dad who is a good coach and mentor, who teaches his kid how to handle himself and his competitors with respect and maturity and shows them the value of hard work and dedication ... that's a hell of a bonding experience that money can't buy.

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If it was a 30 year old who did basically nothing in 2 years of sportsman racing said he was moving up to BB everyone would pretty much roll their eyes and say why? So now it's a 12 year old and people say its brilliant!!! Still laughable to me.

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his father most certainly is a good mentor and teacher . jr is a great kid ,with time he'll be fine.

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2 hours ago, dudemann said:

his father most certainly is a good mentor and teacher . jr is a great kid ,with time he'll be fine.

I agree. If you go through the father's facebook photos, it becomes obvious almost immediately that he's proud of his son. But the father is still active as a racer, so living a 2nd childhood through his son isn't happening. Something else you will see is that the kid is active in a lot of the photos working on cars at the track. Too often these days, younger kids know absolutely nothing about the mechanics of a race car and dad does all the work. That's not true here.

I've never said that I support every 12 year old running Big Block Modifieds, but there are occasions where one stands out as having something special and holding them to a number isn't fair.

We all agree that the race car world we live in is in trouble because of lack of interest by today's youth. There are too many other distractions that their friends are into that pulls attention away from what we do. So we get one of the rare circumstances of a young kid being really into racing and has the potential of hooking a lot of other young kids based on his success, and we scoff at it. Not only that, but we'll make up excuses to keep them away.

I will keep on saying this... If a 12 year old kid can pass a skills test on the track with the people he will race against being his judges, THEY should decide, not us. And if the kid constantly screws up, they should have the right to reconvene.


 

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So you want fellow competitors to put it to vote and decide who can race or not? Is that for racers of all ages? or just the underage ones? 

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Consider the fact that there are several modified drivers who have been handicapped to the front every race for years.

The top drivers all know to use caution as they work their way to the front, as the handicapped cars fall back through the field. 

And as I said in an earlier post, qualifying a sportsman when 60 to 80 cars show up is not going to get you into the feature every week.

Modifieds very seldom send cars home for not qualifying at Malta.

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 Children should not be out on a speedway racing with 20-30-40-50 year-old drivers, no matter what the under-age skill level. :nono:

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14 hours ago, BillSmith said:

No, not saying he could be the next Jeff or Danica. But parents vicariously living their dreams through their kids is so common these days ... and sometimes it does work out.

Again, it's all context: If its the parent that's overbearing and pushes his kid and makes him miserable, that's terrible. But a Dad who is a good coach and mentor, who teaches his kid how to handle himself and his competitors with respect and maturity and shows them the value of hard work and dedication ... that's a hell of a bonding experience that money can't buy.

Sometimes you win the lottery and sometimes you go from north east modified racing to nascar. It isn’t impossible but the odds are clearly against it happening. 
 

I think any dad can share the learnings outlined above. I consider that a basic responsibility that accompanies parenting. But I digress.
 

I think what some, scratch that, let’s just say me, find hard in these examples to relate to is the money. I’m not a poor person by any stretch but even as a regular joe it’s hard to comprehend setting a 12 year old up in a modified program. I hear colleagues of mine from work talk about having their kids in AA hockey and travelling for tournaments, etc all year round and that’s a big deal. In some cases I have heard from some that they have spent $10,000 in one winter. And that’s a big damn number. But this is like 20 times that amount. So for a regular guy dishing out 200k on a 12 year old for a hobby is tough to wrap my head around. 
 

Lastly I suppose at the end of the day I hope it works and I mean that in all seriousness. The sport can’t afford not to have new faces and it is not cheap so people with money are what’s needed. 

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If the Dad wants his kid to "Get Noticed", take all that money and buy him a ride with a decent midget team and let him rip. If he shows promise there,  he has a far better chance of going somewhere running a midget  then a BB.

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13 hours ago, russell j said:

 Children should not be out on a speedway racing with 20-30-40-50 year-old drivers, no matter what the under-age skill level. 

Tell that to the micro sprint crowd. 

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