If you have not had a chance to watch the classic movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart. This movie made in 1946 is a Christmas Classic. George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, spends his entire life giving up his big dreams for the good of his town, Bedford Falls, as we see in flashback. But in the present, on Christmas Eve, he is broken and suicidal over the misplacing of an $8000 loan and the machinations of the evil millionaire, Mr. Potter. His guardian angel, Clarence, falls to Earth, literally, and shows him how his town, family, and friends would turn out if he had never been born. George meant so much to so many people; should he really throw it all away?
Let’s take this same theme and apply to our local racing community. What have you meant to local racing, what have you done for the betterment of racing? What if your guardian angel was able to show you what racing would be like without you? Take a moment and think about that, what would racing be without you? This is similar to what would you do if you won the Powerball tonight? Kind of fun isn’t it!
Let’s take a moment and mention a few who have meant so much to the racing community:
Terry Wantland – 40 plus years of flagging at various local tracks. Who would have flagged if he had not been born?
Gene Claxton – Over 330 plus wins at local tracks? Who would have those wins if he had not been born?
Clyde Ellis – Where would we be in racing locally if Clyde had not been born?
Tom Charles – Another driver with 300 plus wins? Who would have those wins if he had not been born?
Mike Johnson – I-35 Speedway owner, car owner, driver, where would be with that track if he had not been born?
Earl Walls – CMS owners same question as above? We had a glimpse when the track was closed for 2 years and for sale.
Marc Olson – Former Lakeside Speedway owner who brought the current track from disaster as an asphalt track to the status it once held as a premier track? Also where would we be with an “Oldtimers Picnic” or now as they call it “Legends Picnic” if he had not been born?
Diana Green – This is more personal where would I be without this great woman pushing me to accomplish the many dreams in my head? She is a great leader in her own right. All we have to do is look what was accomplished in the racing community during her eight years of C.A.R.B. President!
Tom Mathison – Former head of tech at Lakeside Speedway, where would we be if some of the procedures we utilize today had not been established by him if he had not been born?
Christina Smith – Where would we be when needing hotel space either for a meeting, a room, etc. and with her husband Richard as car owner, would Kerry Davis be a former NASCAR national champion had she not been born?
Tom Wilson – Where would we be without his efforts to start the radio show now known as Track Talk? Be thankful he was born!
Willie Harmon – A former racer, Lakeside Speedway super fan, a racing family member who made calls to various racing family members on Christmas Eve just to touch base. He probably doesn’t realize how much those calls meant to those who received them. Thank the Lord for people like “Wild Willie”!
Let’s take it national for a minute –
Chris Economaki – Where would we be with national racing publications if he had not been born?
Richard Petty – Where would NASCAR be if he had not been born?
Bill France – If not for his leadership imagine racing without NASCAR if he had not been born.
Bringing in back local where would we be if I had not been born? No blog to read, no Hall of Fame to fight over, no Green Rolling Farms, no bowlathon, someone else as Scott Traylor’s rival.
But most of all, think about this, the reason for the season, the reason we could have a wonderful Christmas movie made giving us these thoughts, is because of the birth of our Savior, Our Lord, Our Master, Jesus Christ.
Be thankful for everyone mentioned above and think about your list of “It’s a Wonderful Life”. In racing there is a place for everyone you just have to find it and be thankful you or they were born.