From the local tracks deciding their championships, classic annual events to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, there is plenty to be happy about over the next few months.
But first, auto racing needs to congratulate itself; we made it through the month of August where tensions usually tend to be high, people at their breaking point with the long season, etc. How many of you heard, “I am never coming back to this place ever again!!” only to see that person be the first one in line next week?
We are at the point of the year where we transition from weekly racing to special events. Race teams are deciding where they want to run for the last part of the year and requests are being put in at workplaces for days off to attend multi-day events.
What makes this time of the year different is that the focus is just on the event. The stress of looking at “Big Picture” racing is not really on anyone’s mind. Their focus is that event, that weekend.
Some events will give teams multiple opportunities to race at a multi-day event.
One example of this is at the Oktoberfest Race Weekend at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem, Wisconsin on October 6, 7, 8, and 9. They have 17 different divisions racing over four days.
A young Super Late Model driver has the potential of racing all four days in three different divisions. On the first day, they could compete in the “The Futures” division which is designed for basically first time competitors at the event. They are under the age of 30 and never competed in NASCAR’s top three series or never started their main event on Sunday.
The second day they can compete in the Dick Trickle 99 Super Late Model race. A unique race that is 99 laps but is broken into three 33-lap segments follows the basic format of the famous Milk Bowl (another great fall event on October 2) at ThunderRoad in Barre, Vermont.
The third and fourth day is for qualifying to make the ARCA Midwest Tour Oktoberfest 200 finale.
If you are in the Midwest, there is an opportunity to get the most racing you can before that white stuff fills up the ground.
Some will go to the aforementioned Milk Bowl in Vermont and some will go to the Winchester 400 (October 9) in Winchester, Indiana.
Many dirt competitors will go to the World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway (November 6-8).
As the weather gets colder in the upper part of the United States more teams will migrate down to New Smyrna Speedway for the Governor’s Cup 200 (November 13) and then the granddaddy of all end of season event’s, the Snowball Derby (December 1-4).
Yes, there are many other events out there and some are near your backyard. But auto racing has become a year-round following rather than a seasonal following.
The internet is helping all of us stay within the racing pulse all 12 months of the year. For those who cover racing, there is really no time to relax and recharge the batteries.
Race teams really have no downtime at all. Many will spend a few days at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas from November 1-4 as well as the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis on December 8-10.
Promoters will head to Las Vegas for the Racing Promotion Monthly Workshops on November 13-15 as well as the Race Track Business Conference in Indianapolis on December 7th.
So, some are wondering when will the 2017 racing season start for many? Don’t be surprised if New Smyrna Speedway in Florida schedules the Red Eye 100 on Saturday, January 7th.
In essence, racing season isn’t winding down; it’s just going to get more fun and entertaining. You may want to review your work schedules and grab some time-off request forms now and be a part of it.