With the weather being nice one day and not so nice the next, we hit upon a nice day. Sunday was pleasant but windy. Mom’s brothers, one from California and one from Arizona, were able to come. Dad’s brother Francis & sister Janice were both able to be there. Dad’s cousin Donald, who was Dad’s best man, was able to make it from Omaha. Janice had been Mom’s bridesmaid.
I never really looked at the guestbook, so I’m not sure of what the final count for the afternoon was, but there were still people coming in while we were packing things up getting ready to go. I think that in itself says a lot about the last 60 years that Dad & Mom have shared, not only with each other, but with family, friends and even the surrounding community. Even though they have both been long retired, they stay active by helping with the community Food Net and the Maples, which is a local historical society.
The rules for the factory stock class at Beatrice Speedway have FINALLY been posted! There is really no excuse for waiting until the last minute, but the rules were not released until the week of practice. I know the webmaster can’t post the rules until they are released, so it’s not her fault. In past years, we always had a meeting in November outlining the upcoming season and everybody knew the plans in advance.
The rules this year will allow the pro-am type cars to race with us, which is what some of us were hoping would happen. However, it looks like in 2012 we will once again be IMCA sanctioned and the pro-am cars won’t be allowed to race with us.
I like standardized rules such as IMCA provides, but I don’t especially like having to buy the license. My experience with IMCA is that when you race at one track, the money paid back from IMCA at the end of the season may cover the cost of the license. However, with IMCA sanctioning, teams will have to make a decision as to what engine package they will run in 2012. If they continue to run their current engine, they will have to buy a smaller carburetor. If they want to run their current carburetor, they will have to spend money to change their engines. Seems like every time there is a rule change to save us money, it ends up costing us money.
Before a final decision is made on IMCA sanctioning for factory stock/stock cars, I would hope the people making that decision would look at the past history of the IMCA stock car class at Beatrice Speedway. The last year that Beatrice Speedway had IMCA sanctioned stock cars, by the end of the season there were only 9 cars that raced week in and week out. In 2010, the factory stock class averaged 14 cars a night. I think that with pro-am type cars being allowed in 2011, the car count may increase a little. Of course, with the cost of fuel for the haulers, there are teams that will probably stay closer to home no matter what class they race, so it’s a toss-up as far as car count goes.
I know if drivers have to purchase a license in 2012, our car will not be able to be there every week. We have been splitting driving time between Jason, Jeremy and I, and I don’t think either of them will want to buy a license.
I know that the changing economy hurts our sport. There are other reasons that car counts decline - loss of interest, expenses, family, etc. We need to do everything possible to make it more attractive to fans as well as current and future racers. Maybe we could even attract some of the old racers to come back. Making the sport more expensive for the participants will not accomplish this.