2004 through 2008 could be called the Camaraderie Years (Happy Years). The Hall of Fame inducted their second through fifth classes. Racing was outstanding in the local area. Valley Speedway, I-35 Speedway, and the Dirt Track at I-70 Speedway became C.A.R.B. supported tracks. Just a reminder the Central Auto Racing Boosters were formed “To promote interest in and understanding of the Auto Racing Sport in Missouri and elsewhere among the general public. To induce cooperation between Fans, Car Owners, Drivers, Track Officials, and the General Public. To encourage better sportsmanship at the racetracks.”
Oldtimers picnic – In 2006, Marc Olson asked C.A.R.B. to supply workers and he would supply food, first year it was hot, and meal was hotdog, bag of chips, and a drink, next year it became a pulled pork sandwich, baked beans, potato salad, a drink and C.A.R.B. added cookies, then it blossomed from there, Marc started purchasing a tent for shade, tables and chairs, and what started as 100 being fed grew to over 300 being fed. Old time car show developed out of this event when Lowell Christy brought some old cars, soon it was an annual event in conjunction with the annual Ron Shuman Classic of non-wing sprint cars. This event caused jealousy among other tracks and their owners. When we get to the flood of 2011 we will see how the actions of a few hurt this event.
In 2005 Rick Beebe sells the Central Auto Racing Boosters a trailer to use as a mobile Hall of Fame. These funds were provided to C.A.R.B. by the Roberts family. Since C.A.R.B. was mobile it made sense to have a trailer to haul to the various events. We would put the trailer on display and the display included the books for each inductee into the Hall of Fame. It made a great place to set up for C.A.R.B. Nights, and it was the center of keeping us all working together.
Speaking of the trailer, has anyone seen it since the Hall of Fame and Museum took possession last summer? Rumor has it they sold it without General Membership approval and furthermore they sold it to Lowell Christy without offering it to anyone else within the organization. I have sent an email to the president of the Hall of Fame and Museum asking for a copy of the Annual Financial Report to confirm this rumor. To Date the annual financial report has not been provided and her reply in a text message was “who is this?”. I have since text back after a week that I had replied to her question would she be replying to mine, at this publication no reply has been received.
Now while we had great cooperation and great camaraderie within the racing community there were some events which could have led to the split in the racing community. These include the following:
Dean Merryman, an original member of the selection committee got sick and passed. We miss him to this day! Had he not passed the constant changing of the selection process may not have occurred. Look for it to possibly change again this Sunday at the General Membership Meeting of the Hall of Fame and Museum. One thing they should probably change is right now they elect up to nine members from the general membership, the last couple of years it has been the same people, maybe they should consider a limit on how many times someone from the general membership can serve on this committee?
Lakeside Speedway ceased NASCAR sanctioning after the 2006 season.
Scott Traylor resigned from the selection committee.
I-70 Speedway ceased operations.
The Rookie of the Year award could not be changed in a timely matter and this upset some people.
The financial recession and the housing market bubble burst in 2008. Markets and subsequent savings dropped on average 30 per cent. This affected almost everyone an in particular racetracks and racetrack attendance.
On the bright side, C.A.R.B. was busy planning for the Ride for Victory motorcycle ride in support of Victory Junction. But could 2009 be the beginning of the end? Events occurred in 2009 that may have led to the current split. Time will tell as we continue this journey through history and the people who are unwilling to work together and desire to unravel all the good that has been created over the last 20 years!