Looking For A Hero
Review of Week of April 4, 2011

Iím not sure what it is, but I feel like an Easter bunny that took a wrong turn and Iím sliding down a greased hellhole. Maybe itís the age of Wiki Leak or maybe people are actually buying this Charlie Sheen Tiger Blood bullshit, but what Iíve been reading the past week has me doubled over in pain. Forget that Tokyo may be a dead man walking. Forget that every day Iím watching the implosion of the American Middle Class in slow mo high def. I get it that racing doesnít amount to a hill of beans, but dammit, itís one of the few things that I care about and Iím really starting to get pissed.

Victorville Regular Grunkemeyer At Home

Let me start with you, Chris. You gotta cool it. You donít need to respond to every little breeze that ruffles the skirts of the old ladies that live on the message board. You are the Series Coordinator for the USAC/CRA 410ís. You are an authority figure. We donít need Jaegermeister bombs; we need leadership. Youíre integrity is unquestioned, your skills are superior, your track record is awesome. But you are winning the fight and losing the war! You are running at the mouth and thatís my job. Do more with less. Speak quietly and speak with authority. Use discretion. Victorville should be a vital part of USACís long term California strategy. You need to be bringing them gently into the fold, not driving them away with an electric cattle prod. The actual survival of non-winged 410 racing in Southern California is at stake and you are one of small select group of people who have a chance to save it. I hate to put the pressure on you, but we need a hero and you are one of the few who is qualified. Iím talking to you like a brother; blow off this learning experience and deliver the goods that many others and I see in you.

Unsung Heroes

Now Steve, I never really got to thank you properly for the outstanding event you promoted at Victorville few weeks ago. The USAC/CRA 410ís are the bomb and my friends and I just had a splendid time. That pit pass was the best fifty bucks I ever spent and the race was so damn good I canít wait for the next chance I have to do business with you. However, you have arrived on the scene at a moment so fragile itís hard to express. Your next actions may be the final nail in the coffin, the straw that finally breaks the back of non-wing 410 racing in Southern California. I would argue and ask that you pause to reconsider the importance of the USAC/CRA 410ís to your track. The reality is that your sprint car program will fail without their presence. Itís not important to me whether they are USAC, or ASCS, or even CIA. But USAC is here, they have boots on the ground and it will be so much easier to fix it with them than change our sanctioning underwear again. They are cognizant of the problem, they have new leadership in place, they are invested and we just need to find a spark of cooperation and hope. Your credentials are impressive. But I am a hardcore fan, my credentials are also in order and Iím asking that you please consider my point of view. The overall problem here is not a lack of racing, the problem is there is too much racing. The fans and the car counts are spread too thin. We donít need a ďnew place to raceĒ. We need an intelligent place to race. Adding another uncoordinated track, sanction and opportunity for the fan to get lost is just leading us all to the edge of an abyss. Perris fielded twenty cars last Saturday; that is barely enough to sustain purse, payroll or even fan interest. It doesnít have to be that way. Decades of selfish interests have diluted the base to the point where the center canít hold. Southern California has a wealth of drivers, owners, teams, inventory and history. But with a vicious economy and entertainment inventory that includes everything from championship dog Frisbee to professional sport franchises, we really have to have to be on our game to stay alive.

The Hardcore Drivers Can Be Found In Santa Maria

If you want to know what your customers are thinking, please listen to this carefully. I came to your track to see the stars. Mike Spencer is a star. David Cardey is a star. Rickie Gaunt, in my opinion, is a super-star. You did a brilliant job promoting that thing, we all came, we all paid and we all had an extraordinary time. This sport needs you. But donít shortchange yourself. What did your ad say? ďTHESE ARE THE BIG BOYS!Ē Figure out how to support ďthe big boysĒ and become a vital part of a few select tracks that need to work together. We need Perris, Ventura, Santa Maria and Victorville to work together. Donít step on each other. Let the 410ís rotate as a premium series and protect the franchise. Build stars and the people will come. All of the tracks need a local series to develop talent and provide for the steady fan base. Troy Rutherford is a star and I will pay several times to see him race at Ventura this year (literally, lol!). But coordinate the schedules and take extra care with the big shows. Iím buying a pit pass, renting a room, eating at the local restaurants, greasing out at your snack stand, buying t shirts and putting my kids in that insane fire truck for a ride. You and Chris need to get past this train wreck, team up and deliver more of that red-hot mojo to lucky fans like me. It wonít happen overnight, weíre in a bad place. Go see Don, sit down and develop a plan that helps both of you. Bloodletting is easy; harmony and growth are hard work. Victorville is an unbelievably special track; I think thereís a reason you have arrived there.

Super Fans and Super Heroes

Iím thinking a lot about Rick Hendrix and Seth Wilson. I think about how much effort and money Seth and Racing Optics have put into Victorville. This is my shout out to both of you guys. Danny Sheridan and Kittle Motorsports were back on the track in Perris last weekend. That kind of heart is stunning. I hope the weather forecast hits a wall and everybody makes it up to Santa Maria Speedway this weekend for that Season Opener. Nobody works harder at this thing than Chris Kearns. The USAC West Coast Sprints are stuffed with talent; Santa Maria has the stickiest mud on the left coast; and every Saturday night Iím out there looking for a hero.