Don’t trust the weatherman! As much as modern devices have improved the forecasting, it is still an educated guess at best. If you have been around racing for any length of time you have seen us race when the forecast calls for 100% chance and you have seen cancellations when there was a 10% chance. Last Friday was no different, that morning the forecast was 90 degrees, hot and humid, no rain. What we got was a light shower just as we were preparing to hot lap. Once the track is rolled in we never want any more moisture, it causes a sloppy slickness.
Out rolled our pack trucks helping us save the track. Every week we can count on Roy McNish, Tom Murphy, Mel Wilsher, Gene Wisner, Frank Hughes, Zach Murphy, Tom Murphy, Mike Liston, Dakota Smith, and Cameron DeGhelder to make laps and roll in the track. Some nights we need them when a shower comes through, some nights we need them to roll in the cushion, and some nights we need them only for a few laps. If you listen on the scanner you will hear us talk about not losing the track. With the shower that came we also called out the cars and we thank those drivers and crews and came to the rescue.
We also had a nice drivers meeting. Normally, drivers meetings are reminders, things that have gone well, things that everyone needs to work on, congratulate last week’s winner, off to racing we go. Last week though we talked about safety, and we opened it up to the drivers to discuss their concerns. It was an open discussion to remind us how forward thinking this track has been. Lakeside Speedway is the only track which continues to require a head and neck restraint system. Other tracks recommend a head and neck restraint system. This came about after Randy Lajoie scolded the 2004 Competition Director. Randy Lajoie was close friends with Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and was upset to see local drivers, three years after the death of Dale, not wearing a head and neck restraint. Safety is important to everyone and especially the drivers at Lakeside Speedway, they are to be commended for speaking up when they see something not up to par.
Also something I noticed over the years is drivers who come up complaining about other racers are usually the first out of their races. Happened again last weekend, a driver went to several of the officials complaining about another driver and guess what – first one out of his feature event. Just saying my years of experience it is something I have noticed, maybe they lose focus when complaining? Don’t know just an observation.
Congrats to last week’s winners, there is a story elsewhere in this program about them.
Sister track, I-35 Speedway, was all set to have a huge night. The track was ready, the grandstands were ready, the staff was ready, the officials were ready, the track announcers (Ricky and Ricky Allen) were ready, the owners were ready, but the weather was not cooperative. A couple of drivers arrived and they were ready, we will try again this next weekend.
On a sad note as we got to I-35 Speedway we were informed Doug Keller, Sr. had passed away. I will never forget the first time I met the Kellers. They called and brought an engine they had purchased from A.J. Foyt to be whistled (compression check). They wanted to ensure they got what they had paid for and at that time they were A.R.C.A. racing. We had great conversations that day, and I followed their racing adventures in A.R.C.A. and trucks. Of course the small world of racing brought us back together locally. Every week Sr. would climb out of that truck and come shake hands, a true sign of respect. Rest in peace Doug Sr. you will be missed.