No matter your feeling about today's NASCAR'S upper tier of racing any racer or race fan should still seek-out the most basic from of motorsports competition.
I was lucky enough to have been a participant in a family fun nite of short track racing. My son A.J. and I have taken on a father and son project and built a 1992 Chevy Cailver mini-stock style race car. This is a very low buck starter class that allows a driver to gain valuable on track seat time and experience in competition. Basicly no chassis modification and must use only over the counter replacement parts through-out the car build. It can only be powered by a 4 cyl engine either rear wheel drive or the more common style front wheel drive units of today's modern cars. More of this story at a latter date.
My/Our hometown track is only a short trip thru rural NC to the west side of Asheboro,N.C. and Caraway Speedway !This year to be able to give drivers and car owners a chance to expand there weekend of short track racing, Caraway has switched to a Friday night program. At first I was very skeptical about racing on a Friday nite. my thoughts went from thinking about drivers and crews getting off from there work day jobs to be able to make the trip and still earn a pay check to support their family's and there hobby.
As any promoter worth his salt Darren Hackett and his staff at Caraway have pulled off a very profitable night of racing any other short track or any of today's Nascar priemer events would be envious of fans in the stands. He (Darren) billed 7-14-17 as Family Fun Night/Fan Appreciation Night Adult Adm was a meger $5.00and all kids under 12 years old get in FREE.
Part of the pre-race festivities included not only a meet and greet with the drivers and their cars along the front strech, but also a very special treat a "Kid's Ride Along". As fans mingled with there hometown hero's or as in some instances, dad's, uncles, brother's and sister's, plenty of autographs and selfie pix's were passing all about the social media world as we now know it. Track officals and a hand full of crew members helped get this younger generation of racing fans inside these race cars.
With Pace Car light flashing yellow/red all the cars rolled off with cars packed with as many kids as they could pack into these rumbling racer's. At this point I want to emphsise that I wish I could be as flexable as some of these youngster climbing into and around these rollbars and other structure safety measures. As the cars continued for about 4 or 5 laps around the 4/10's mile facility. I sat on the inside pit wall and witnessed kids of all sizes and ages, all wided eyed as silver dollars, some smiling, waving, some holding there hands over there ears, and even one lucky chap sitting in his pop-pop's lap gripping the steering wheel while his beaming pop-pop worked the pedals and shifted the floor shifter gears. As the laps continued to wind down my own mind began to wander a bit to my own childhood memories and my first ride in a race car.
It took me back to more than 60 years ago to a ripe old age of somewhere around 8 or possibly even 10 years of age.My local short track hero was the pilot of a 1937 Chevy full fendered coupe. If my memories still serve me right it was a jalopy class racer powered by the famous inline GMC 6cyl engines of that same era. I can still see that exhaust pipe bellowing fire and smoke down below the drivers side door numbers. I was most likely barefoot and wearing cut-off shorts and a "T" shirt of some sort. I sat on a wire milk crate on the passange's side floorboards for a dream ride of what my future would become.
My advice is for every race fans to go seek out your local short track in most case's you can take the entire family out for meger admission fee's enjoy a fun night and still be back home before midnight.
How many of you can remember your first ride in a race car ? love to hear your experiences posted here ! ! ! ! !