By JENNA SHOTZ / 4WIDE
I recently had a tweet that (sort of) blew up. I was sitting in the back of my macroeconomics class, and like usual when that class got boring… my mind would drift. I started to think about the upcoming racing season. It dawned on me… we are lucky.
Some people may say that “the good old days” are long gone and that racing has changed. Depending on someone’s personal experience with racing, their perspective on this “change” is going to be different from the next person. Maybe their old home track is now closed and all they have left of it is the worn photos and stories told around old friends and a beer. Maybe they used to travel with a big series and claim racing has become too corporate. It usually comes down to the same phrase: “It’s just not the same.”
Sure, it’s not the same. I’ll give the pessimists that. Racing has changed in so many ways. There are tracks that are now strip malls (or a Longhorn Steakhouse and a Walmart… my family still won’t shop at that center in Flemington, New Jersey), the series we thought would last forever may now be poorly run or non-existent, and money is sometimes taken over talent and hard work.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I think people can and should say whatever they want on social media. But I see an awful lot of complaining lately. Sometimes- I really just want to jump in the conversation and shake these people awake! There are always things to improve at any grass-roots hometown dirt track all the way up to the way some major touring series are operated. We all have our opinions and are all entitled to share them. But… what is really so bad?
Yes- things have changed. For both better and worse. However, in twenty years, we will look back on this time and call these years “the good old days.” It is kind of bizarre to think that we are currently living in and actively participating in the next generation of the “good old days.”
Racing is not perfect. Racing is really really hard sometimes. Finances get hard. Making money at it gets hard. Sometimes it’s just not that fun.
But really- how lucky are we? There are new touring series popping up everywhere. Tracks are promoting big races. Crowds are showing up for the fun. Car counts are often less than newsworthy- but they’re good. The way these machines are built nowadays is incredible. These beasts are fast. They’re fun to watch. It is exciting.
Be thankful for what we have today. Remember what we have lost. Be excited for the new things to come. Support the promoters that are trying to better the sport we all love. Buy a t-shirt from a driver to help keep lights on in the shop. Sponsor a small team if you want to. Go to the races. Bring a friend. Enjoy the show.
ABOUT JENNA : Jenna Shotz is a race car driver, writer and a business student.
You can reach Jenna at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as her website.