Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Chowchilla Speedway Closed

Just read this over at the http://www.chowchillaspeedway.com/ forum:


That post was from Tom Sagmiller

I can't believe what I'm seeing. I hope this isn't the way it ends. I'm composing my thoughts on this and will probably add something more to this post.

Where do I even start with this? There is so much about Chowchilla Speedway that I loved. It rekindled my interest in racing and kept me involved in the sport. This track must be a part of my book for all the good that came from there. I was well aware of Tom Sagmiller. I knew of what went down in Merced. Not getting into it now, but I'll admit one thing. I felt that Tom was a kindred spirit when it came to standing up for what's right and just taking a stand. Enough said.

The track opened in 2000, and Don O'Keefe Jr. and I showed up to support George Terry and the Greer's Winged 362 Sprints effort. It didn't look like your typical track. It was low buck. But there was something about this place. Then, a guy came riding by on a golf cart and said, "$25 fine if you're not having fun." That was the mantra of Chowchilla Speedway, have fun. I was hooked. I had to get down there. This was also the night in which my partnership with Joe Martinez and CRO was born.

For the rest of the season, I took a train, hitched a ride with anybody from Antioch I could get to go. I had to be there. I was not happy with things at another track I was at that year (not getting into that here), but I was loving what I was seeing in the valley. Chowchilla was the racing equivalent of the Field Of Dreams to me. If you build it, they will come. I wanted to help make it grow.

Tom believed in giving everybody a chance. There were some racers who had messed up at their track, but Chowchilla became a second chance. Tom believed in making things affordable. How's $5 spectator tickets and no membership required to race grab you? At that point, it was about having fun, not about beating people over the head with rule books and making the racers OBEY.

And guess what? Car count grew. Hobby Stocks went from single digits to B Mains in a year and the Modifieds had a car count from the start that rivaled other area tracks. Even the carbureted Sprints hit double digits by season's end. I did my best to spread the word in newspapers and racing publications. The people came. It was not uncommon for a racer to tow 2 or 3 hours to race, even for less money than their home track. Why? It was fun, and Tom treated the racers with respect.

Chowchilla changed the landscape of racing in the area. Tom green lighted two races, the Hobby Stock $500 and Open Wheel Round Up, based on conversations that took place in the CRO chat room. Both races were successful. Other area tracks ended up starting Hobby Stocks based on Chowchilla success.

And, you can forget about some plot to put other tracks out of business. Anger may have played a part in opening Chowchilla, but it was business time when the gates opened. The track chose Friday nights to not conflict with others, and I witnessed Tom altering programs to help tracks that didn't want him in business, just because it was the right thing to do. Bear in mind, you are talking about a low dollar track losing money by doing that.

2000 Chowchilla was a miracle in a time when we lost San Jose Speedway. We needed something positive like Chowchilla. This gave berth to the racer's question, "Just where the hell is Chowchilla anyway?"

By mid 2000 or so, George Steitz, God rest his soul, decided he wanted to keep the big San Jose race alive, and he wanted to do it at Chowchilla. Tom could have easily done this race himself. His reputation at the time was growing, but there was a respect for George. The partership paid off in a huge car count close to 200 that year. Man, cars were parked in the field across the street, and I had to walk all over to get the names to announce that weekend. Still a fond memory, and I still have my hat for that race.

By the end of 2000, it was time to plan an even bigger 2001. Tom adjusted Mini Trucks to be a Mini Stock class, gaining cars. Chowchilla locals poured into the Hobby Stock class, Street Stocks maintained and Modifieds got bigger. IMCA still sucks, but as Tom so aptly put it, "Who needs the IMCA." Okay, that was unnecesary, but IMCA could have stepped up here and been a mediator, intead of the second rate, wanna be NASCAR but can't even be WISSOTA organization that they are, in my opinion.

I was and still am proud to have been a part of the crew for those two seasons. Still have two plaques to comemorate it. Tom and Cindy took me into their home that second season, and didn't complain that I went to Merced every Saturday to help that track out. Yes, I was staying at Tom's house and helping BOTH Chowchilla and Merced, and he supported it. If things had remained that way, I don't think it's a stretch to say I'd still be involved in the sport. I loved it down in the valley.

Chowchilla had a laid back, have fun mentality. People were nice. Come race time, it was all business, and the racing was good. Tom may not have received any awards for running Chowchilla, but those first two seasons rocked the racing world. I fondly recall the after race meals and discussions of what to do next. Those were some great times. If I played any part in helping Tom get things established, it was my pleasure and honor to do it.

7 years is not enough for Tom & Cindy to run that place. It's just not. There's a passion there to run a fun, family friendly place. I'm not sure why it would close now. I have ideas, but I won't speculate. Hopefully, things can be salvaged, and more racing history can be written in Chowchilla. It truly was a great place to race.

I used to joke that there should be a statue of Tom at the entrence to the track, hat on backwards and pointing the way to Chowchilla Speedway. Inscribed on it:

Give us your tired, disenfranchised
suspended and downtrodden,
leave your troubles at the gate,
come join us for the race
don't forget to smile and remember
it's a $25 fine if your're not having fun

Something like that. It's been a while since I spoke the words.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The 20 Most Influential Moments In Bay Area Racing During My Time In Racing

There have been a lot of interesting things that I have seen in racing during my time covering the sport. For nearly 30 years, racing was a regular part of my life. I went from being a fan in the stands to an announcer, co founder of a division and magazine publisher. This particular topic could very well be a part of the book I'm working on.

The 20 Most Influential Moments In Bay Area Racing During My Time In Racing

In no particular order of importance...

1-The Sportsman division ends, Stock Cars take over
I loved the Sportsman division. It hooked me on the sport

2-Rick Farren gets Cars Inc./West Coast Speedways
This had a huge impact on things

3-John Soares Jr. gets Antioch
It didn't fall apart. In the beginning, things were great

4-Spec Sprints
Don and I worked hard on this class, and it made Sprint Cars more affordable and attractive to those who otherwise never would have driven one.

5-Bert Moreland adds Figure 8 to Antioch
Attendance went up and what a wild time it was.

6-Baylands Closes
There goes the track that would run anything. Petaluma gained for a while.

7-San Jose Closes
Not another track. This one hurt.

8-NARC folds
410 Sprint Car racing in Califiornia hasn't been the same since.

9-Chowchilla opens
Tom who? Is he crazy? Oh man, this place is awesome!!!

10-Busby books West Coast Nationals at Antioch
83 Modifieds, still a track record. Directly responsible for #11.

11-Late Models dropped, Grand American Modifieds get Regional points.
At Antioch, the quality of the racing went down. But, man, the car count.

12-Street Stocks added to Antioch
From Busby, Shipherd and Rodrigues to Bellando, Feree and Hodges to Shirk and Rosa. Great division

13-Petaluma All Pro Series
The craze of adding divisions to boost pit count begins and spreads to other tracks.

14-California Dirt Cars come to Santa Maria
The modern Spec Sprint movement in California can be traced to this.

15-Rosa and Torres go over the fence at Antioch on a full moon night
You had to be there. Crazy night.

16-Darryl Shirk asked to leave Street Stocks at Antioch
Won 5 in a row and 7 out of 8. Son Troy took the point lead when Darryl began his reign of domination in the NCMA.

17-Madness at Baylands, Pettit wins Regional title
Jim Pettit II didn't let this one slip away.

18-Pettit-Wills-Byrd battle at Antioch for two seasons
Byrd wins two titles by 10 points total, nifty speedo buttons have a button for sale that reads, "Today is Thanksgiving, stuff a Byrd."

19-Tom Sagmiller kicked out of Merced
A year earlier, he was champion. If this hadn't happened, would there be a Chowchilla Speedway?

20-Mike Chisholm dies in a car crash returning from the races.
Perhaps the best Super Stock racer ever at Petaluma and Vallejo. Wasn't long after that when Petaluma went from Super Stocks to Late Models.

21-Altamont reopens under new management.
About 1997 or so, and the track has remained open.

22-Stockton 99 Speedway Closes
End of an era.

23-John Soares Sr. Retires
It was the end of an era, but son Jim is carrying on the family tradition and rebuilding the program.

24-The Steitz Race Begins
This big show at San Jose drew the biggest car count in the state. Nobody seemed to care about the yellow-checkerd finishes. More than a race, it was a gathering.

25-Bruce Paulson debuts FasTrack on Public Access TV
A show covering Bay Area racing.

26-Racing Wheels Folds
The end of an era. Did the internet kill the weekly publication?

27-CRO Is Born
L&J teams with DCRR and rocks the racing world.

28-Brian Holden-John Keldsen Fued At Antioch
The track's inability to control this sutuation had much to do with the end of the class, which had big car counts until the end.

29-Brian Davis dies at Chowchilla
Brian loved this race and supported every Figure 8 he could.

30-Rick Petruzzi Biggest Villain In Antioch History
The guy would get booed walking in front of the grandstand

31-Butch Althar Replaced By John Meyers At Antioch
Butch was one of the best and a true professional. Thus began the announcing career of Meyers.

32-Larry Folkner refuses claim by Merced Promoter, forfeits point lead.
What is going on down there?

33-The Civil War Series is born
Huge car counts occur when promoters work together.

34-Mike Johnson founds NCMA
Bumps the Dirt Modifieds off Antioch agenda for two years.

35-Official Deciscions Decide Championships
Three that come to mind were Don Shelton at Antioch, Scott Busby at Watsonville and a point audit in 1990 moves NCMA title from Jim Berryhill to Scott Holloway.

36-President Jim Booth turns the NCMA around
Berryhill, Murch and Moore leave NCMA in the point controversy. Booth would do much to get things under control and build the NCMA.

37-Tryon, Olibas & Others Form POSSE
After Petaluma dropped Super Stocks, POSSE was formed and was big for a few years. Mark Keys scored a huge upset win in his Stock Car at Merced.

38-John Soares Sr. Wins Antioch Bid, Throws It Back
This led to a brief period when we didn't know if the track would open in 1987.

39-Club Mentality Gains A Foothold
NCMA, SORA, Northern Stars, PCDCRA, NCDCRA and others form clubs and get dates at tracks looking to add divisions without having to promote traveling classes.

40-CarQuest Late Model Tour Formed
The Bay Area racers gained a place to run their race cars when Sandy Bainton formed a new tour for them. Only Petaluma included a regular spot for the class in the Bay Area.

Okay, that's a lot more than 20. Needs a little bit of work too, but I had this idea in my mind for a couple days and wanted to put it out there. There are a lot of other things that could be on this list that aren't coming to mind as I stare at the screen. It's a work in progress.

A Few Notes

I wanted to drop a post on more current events, though I'm really not as in tune with things as I was a few years ago. First, I found this article in the Contra Costa Times about Cathy McCause. Cathy is a Pure Stock racer at Antioch Speedway who recently quit a six figure job in marketing to pursue a dream of starting a company that sells a clothing and accessories for women racing fans. The company is called Racey Girl, for anybody interested, and I'll include a link here:


The newspaper article was interesting. She gave up a high paying job to do this. It takes courage to do something like that. Having done my racing publication for 18 years, I can tell you that the money isn't always there, but if you love doing it, who cares, right? Anyway, it does mention Antioch Speedway too, which is the most publicity the track has gotten in months. I'll include a link to the story, but read it while you can. I'm sure the link will change within a week or so.


Antioch did get a little ink in this weeks motorsports column, mentioning Kellen Chadwick's Late Model win. Usually, the "pros" get all the ink, and the locals get nothing. I'm, not sure who, if anybody, is sending info to the papers for the track. I noticed Dennis Daniel got a story printed in the latest issue of John Kelly's publication, MotoRacing. Kelly may have the only California based paper these days covering the local tracks. I know the news is a little older when it hits the mail box, but it's still better than nothing.

As for Dennis, I have to give him a lot of credit for hanging in there at the track and keeping an excellent web page with the points and results. If not for him, we'd have no information on the track. I know that there were people trying to stir things up about me when times got bad. With Dennis, I recall him speaking up for me when I got tossed from the pits back in the 90's, and I also recall him saving much of my racing data when I had a hard drive crash at no charge, I might add. The guy does care about the sport, and he's found a way not to burn out on things at Antioch Speedway. Dennis will be one of two officials, to my knowledge, who have been at Antioch through the entire era of John Soares Jr.

The Fairgrounds in Vallejo had a race during the fair, an enduro race. Steve Hazelton was the promoter. Here are a few excerpts from his e-mails about the event.

Results First:

I want to thank all the competitors and crews that participated in our first event. From the beginning we all knew it would be a bull ring, but competitors got more action than they ever could have experienced on a quarter mile. I named the event "Commuters Dream" for a reason.

I did not have enough rules and entry forms for the fans when I went to the bleachers at the break. Every one can relate to being stuck in traffic and being frustrated. These are the participants I am looking for.The arena is safe and fun. It takes a combination of driving skills, car endurance and luck to win. Every one was competing on the same surface.

It got dry quick in the first heat and every one stayed low in the dry dirt. I made sure it was wet on the bottom for the second heat, and the action was great. Nick King did a great job of turning Virgils Volvo around on the back straight near the end of the race.Unlike the Derby last night, all drivers got out of their cars with a smile on their face, asking when the next race is.

First place went to Nick King from Sebastopol, followed by (2) Timber Cookson from Windsor, (3) Dave Vaaler from Vallejo (4) Virgil Breachar from Vallejo (5) Regina Holloch from Sonama.The new season will be posted as soon as I have a contract from the fairgounds which should be in the next two weeks. I am as anxious as the racers to get started on The Commuters Dream Season.In the mean time find me a commute DJ or two that wants to experience the ULTIMATE COMMUTE DREAM.

Some of Steve's Comments about trying To Make The Race Happen:

Saturday, the 14th was our next event, the "Commuters Dream" endurance race. The effort to get cars built for the event was a real struggle. Round table conversations with Joe Barkett, and fair dept heads about future events, was passed on to racers. This information convinced racers to invest in a car for the event, and future events. I worked for a car count to put on a good show for the fair. I rustled up 12 cars, but my target was 20. Now, over 40 local cars are being built by people in, real estate, restaurants, and businesses from A to Z, who have heard about the Commuters Dream, and want to be a part of it, at the fairgrounds.

My responsibility was to put on a show that attracted people to buy tickets on line, and also attract people attending the fair. Bobbie and I dedicated ourselves to putting on a competitive and entertaining events for the people attending the fair.

I invited Kenny Lewis, founder of "STOP THE VIOLENCE TRACK MEET" to attend the event as my guest. I interviewed Kenny at the intermission, and asked why there were not any African American competitors? I asked, don’t Black people drive cars, work on cars, and have a fun time racing cars, as a tongue in cheek question.

Kenny said "Black families and society want to know how to get started in this family fun". My response was, "this is the purpose of Vallejo Speedway 2 at the fairgrounds".

An element of our future program is to focus on Diversity and Gender neutral competition, to present to the community. Kenny said "We need to talk after the fair".

Filipino, Hispanic, Asian, African American, and all communities are invited to attend any future events. Information can be found at; vallejospeedway2@sbcglobal.net

We want to thank the Solano County Fairgrounds, and the SC Board of Supervisors for the opportunity to again bring motorsports to the fairgrounds, the place Jeff Gordon started years ago. There are so many young kids and teens looking for motorsports activity in Solano County, and Vallejo. We are here to serve the community.

I worked for a car count to put on a good show for the fair. I rustled up 12 cars, but my target was 20. Now, over 40 local cars are being built by people in, real estate, restaurants, and businesses from A to Z, who have heard about the Commuters Dream, and want to be a part of it, at the fairgrounds.

I wish Steve luck on this project. The more race tracks the better.

I should point out that this post had more to it, but I edited my comments. They dealt with the nature of my departure from the sport. I am saving them, perhaps to be posted later. This was not the time. I added Steve's Vallejo information instead.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

This Just In

I'm going on a little trip to Indy next month to visit an old friend and see the sights. I should tell you I'm a little bit nervous about the whole airplane thing, but I'm going. The fact is I've needed to get out that way for a while, and things have lined up nicely. I'm getting to live out a childhood "geek" dream of going to Gencon, the largest Role Playing Game convention in the country, and I'm going to see one of the best friends I've ever had, Don O'Keefe Jr.

I don't even know where to start. Don is a friend who has been there for me when things have been bad and when they've gotten good. When things did start falling apart, Don never once said to hell with this guy, I've got better places to be. He was one of the few who said how can I help make it better. DCRR the last two seasons it ran, the Sweet 16 State point race and other stuff would not have been possible without the support of Don & Linda. That simple.

This is why I was so excited when I heard that Don got out there and raced a couple weeks ago. He deserved it. He deserved to have that moment of satisfaction. He's certainly helped me and so many other people have better situations, whether they be a magazine, a new division to race or a better running race car. I really can't say enough. I can't wait to get back there and tell old racing war stories. I'm starting to make early plans on the first racing book that I will start writing, and Don has always has great insight into what works.

Being able to put the Spec Sprint division together with Don is in my top three of proudest achievements I've had in the sport of racing. We're coming up on the 9th year anniversary of us sitting at a pizza parlor near where I live and writing out the rules and making a plan to make it all happen. The stories I can tell you, and probably will at some point. We intended to have 12 cars opening day that next year, and we did. Limited Late Models, Dirt Modifieds and Pure Stocks each only had four cars when they debuted at Antioch. Still very proud of that 12 car count too.

I'd like to think Don and I had something to do with the success. We had to handle a lot more than some may realize. If I had it to do all over again, I would. Even knowing how things ended for me. I was asked by a lady who has done great things in spreading the Spec Sprint word, Debbie Shipherd, what I thought of the Spec Sprints now? Well, I wanted to think about it for a bit, but I didn't need to.

The fact is, I'm proud of this class. I think things could have been handled better by certain promoters, but overall, I love the choices the drivers have. They don't have to go to the same track and put of with the same b.s. if that track, or group, can't their act together. They have choices. Some of these places are doing well with the class. Some will get better if they hang in there. Glad to see Tom Sagmiller at Chowchilla is doing his own class. If he hangs in there, it will get better.

Tom is the man who booked the fist big Spec Sprint bash, the Open Wheel Roundup. Still can't believe I got a Stock Car guy to give this one a chance, but we pulled in 32 Spec Sprints and over 130 open wheel cars for that event. This is another thing I'm proud of being a part of. Glad that Tom is still holding this show every season too.

Overall, I still love this class. Things could be a little bit better if certain leaders would try a little harder. I still think there should be a Civil War type series. The NCMA did okay with the Select Series, but it didn't quite hit the mark. But overall, I still like what I'm seeing. I still like it when I see the class referred to as Spec Sprints, because there is a reason they were called that. That's for another post.

When I get to Indy, it's gonna be great to see Don again. It will be like old times again. I've missed having my old friend around here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What's In A Name? DCRR

When I first started creating anything for racing, it was my own version of a program for Antioch Speedway back in 1982 or 1983. It's been a while, so I'm not exactly sure. The reason I did it was the official programs sucked, and they sucked badly. I've always been very proud of the two years Jackie and I did the programs at Antioch, because I got to do it the way I thought it needed to be done. They were updated every week, including new pictures, new covers and a four page story in the middle. Track history was covered. If I were a new fan at the track or somebody who wanted to know the scoop, I'd buy it. They sold extremely well, even though magazine sales took a hit.

But back in 82 or 83, the track needed something. Charlie Zeno, God rest his soul, was getting up in years and the publicity was lagging at the track. Lots of misspelled names too. I'll say this about Charlie so people don't think I'm bashing him. I liked the guy, and we always got along well. I would give him any information I could to help improve a story. He helped me get the word out about the NCMA in its early years, him and Jerry Gandy. I did a lot to get the word out for that club, but I'm drifting from the subject. Fact is, Charlie's Antioch Speedway stories in the late 70's were an inspiration to me. Lots of info back then, and coupled with Harry Osboune's announcing, those stories got me excited about the Sportsman division.

So, in the early 80's, I was making up my own programs (not for sale) and I began score keeping to keep track of it all. About 1984, I wrote a story about Antioch Speedway officiating for my English class at school and got a B. I had to retype it, but the teacher was impressed. It had an effect on me as I had never really been complimented on anything like that. I started to think I could write. In those days, I had been introduced to Al Nordstrom by his daughter Mary. Actually, I was invited to go to Baylands with Al. This is another subject in itself, but it's worth mentioning as I got a chance to see the behind the scenes part of racing.

There were two racers before Al that I got to hang out in their garages. Street Stock racer Dennis Brown and Sportsman racer Marion Heaton. At Marion's house, I got to meet guys like Dan Hatfield, Rick "Doc" Brophy and Dave "Ozzie" Oswald. Oswald had a beautiful #03a car that he bought from Rich Oagle. Just the prettiest paint job until a night in 1980 when he crashed with Nordstrom, ending a top ten season for Dave. I still remember Dave flipping off Al after he got out of his car.

I have to admit to not being a fan of Al in those days, but I didn't know the man. He seemed like one of those guys getting in the way all the time. As fan you can think things like that without really knowing everything, but if you get lucky enough to get to meet these people, you learn more about them. I'm proud to call Al a friend. The man opened up doors for me to get into the inside of the sport. Just some kid from the grandstands.

I got to go places with Al, and I got to be in the pits at Baylands. I wasn't 16 yet, and Al sneaked me into the pits with him in that van of his. When I think back to what a risk he was taking doing that.... The man helped a lot of people in his days, and two or three went on to get cars of their own. I went on to announce and do a magazine, among other things. I was very fortunate.

Back in 84, I had a knack for getting drivers finishes changed based on my scoring. Al benefited, the late Rich Richards and others as well. It got to the point where racers would ask me where they finished, and if the officials didn't match, there would be an argument. Amazingly enough, I helped get several drivers better finishes that way.

It served to build a reputation I desired as a person who was for the racers. The late Sharon Smith, God rest her soul, and I butted heads on more than one occasion over this. I recall our first meeting in 1983 when John "Boom Boom" Bellando came up to the booth after a race to get his finish. He was leading, if I recall correctly, drove up onto the Turn 4 wall on the last lap, rolled over and still finished sixth. I told him I thought that was where he finished, and Sharon told me I should never do that as it could create problems. I told her that I said I wasn't official. Maybe I should have listen to that advice, but I didn't. Had I listened, perhaps I might have began a path to a better position in NASCAR, or perhaps I wouldn't have experienced what I have been lucky enough to have experienced. I don't regret my decision.

So, in 1985, I began hand writing an actual magazine called Antioch 85. Real clever name there. Anna Temple, God rest her soul, was the main buyer. She encouraged me to sell them and have a little confidence in what I was doing. For the next couple of years, I did Antioch 86 and Antioch Speedway Magazine. It was in 1987 when I had a run in with the late Bert Moreland, God rest his soul. Why Watsonville doesn't honor him with a race is beyond me. He deserves one. Bert had given me my first shot at being in the pits at Antioch in 1985.

Back then, my job was to bang the dry dirt off the front fence and put up and take down the American Flag. He gave me an opportunity in 1986 to write a story on Jerry Garner for the newspaper, but he didn't use it. Garner had a great start and led the points early, but I believe the team ended the season with Jimmy Ford as driver when Nick Burcher decided to switch drivers.

In 1987, I had a magazine I was particularly proud of with a cover story about Jim Pettit II. I had recently upped my printing to 20 issues as I was selling them out at ten. Still hand written and copied on a cheap copier. Bert seized all of my copies and told me I couldn't sell them. This had nothing to do with anything I had written, but the fact that there could be something controversial in them. I was just a little bit pissed off at this decision as it cost me money. The next magazine's existance depended on the sales of the previous one back then.

At that time, I wasn't even that controversial that I recall, but don't worry. I would soon get very controversial. A few years later, when Bert got the shaft from NASCAR as seemed to happen to the old timers around here, he remarked to me at Petaluma that he shouldn't have done that to me and that I was good for racing. That meant a lot to me and still does. Guys like Bert Moreland and John Soares Sr. paved the way for this sport here in California as far as I'm concerned. I always thought it was pretty darn cool that Soares Sr. made sure his old friend Moreland had a job at his track for as long as he wanted.

In 1988, I decided to take on a new name, but what? I wanted to expand the magazine's range beyond Antioch. I had gotten a new type writer from Gary Jacob, God rest his soul, and I was up to 30 printings per week that year on some weeks. My humble town decided to have a vote to change the name to Bay Point which passed, and there was talk about changing this side of the hill from Contra Costa County to Delta County. I thought it was gonna happen, and I liked the name. And so, Delta County Race Report was born.

Over the years, it changed a few times, and there are some stories behind why it happened. The last name was Don's California Racing Review. The DCRR went through a few twists and turns from 1988 until the creation of this blog. It was sold and repurchased. There was the web site that helped lead to an really awesome web site, there was a simulated racing league, a state point race, articles that got me kicked out of the pits and so much more. I just realized how much I have written here, so I'm going to end it here. If you want, I can continue in another post.

Been Lagging A Bit Here

Sorry about the lack of posts here lately. Most of my writing effort has gone into a game I've been working on. That is the project at the forefront for me right now, along with reediting a book I wrote a while back and eventually getting that published. The site I'm leaning towards right now is lulu as they do a nice job from everything I see.

Thank you to those who have responded that they are reading. It's encouraging to know as I put more thought into what the book will be. Actually, I have several ideas floating around, so more than one book is certainly possible.

As many of you know, I kept records and statistics for many years, and one of the things I'd like to include is a champions list and possibly top ten in points for several tracks, including Antioch, Watsonville, Merced and Petaluma.

I want to include Chowchilla in this for a variety of reasons. Some of the more recent information is not as easily available, but I'm sure Tom would make it available if I asked. Tom Sagmiller is a truly amazing individual, and he does things differently than some of the other guys. I could, and probably will, write a lot about Tom, but I'll leave it at this. I've always known him to make every effort to make the racers and fans happy, and he's the only Promoter that I've worked with who in the last few years has shown any concern for me or my family. That right there speaks volumes for who Tom is, and if I lived down there, let's just say I probably would have attended a race in the last few years.

I don't mean anything personal, but I have no desire to attend a race at the track closest to me. I feel I could be helpful there, but I'm not motivated enough to want to go there. I believe they could use the help. I'll leave it at that. I've jumped from the subject.

What I consider the modern carbureted Sprint Car era began in 1987, so we are at the 20th Anniversary of the effort. I believe I could write a book just on that subject alone. Why did I ever got involved with it in the first place? I was asked what I think of the effort now. Well, I'm very proud of it. I'll get more into it later, but it's nice to know the drivers have choices.

The Dirt Modified effort hit Califiornia in 1987, and I'd like to talk about that in the book. Being part of the Al Nordstom team back in those days, I witnessed the struggle to get this class at Antioch first hand. Two of the first car owners in the Antioch area were part of Al's team. Some of this may be a post on the blog, but it will be a long post.

There are so many things to cover that I'm not worried about material. There will be plenty. I'd like to recall certain events that just stick out to me, like David Rosa and Phil Torres going over the fence, Gordon Chappa's NCMA win, some of the NASCAR Regional battles I covered and so many other things. Putting together the Spec Sprint Class with Don O'Keefe Jr. and a bunch of awesome racers who believed in what we were doing. I'd like to share my thoughts on certain track managers and promoters, racers and people who helped make it all happen.

When I finally sit down to do some writing, I'll have no shortage of material.