Monday, January 11, 2010

Some Things Never Change

I'm sitting here, not feeling too well at the moment. Normally, I probably would have moved away from the racing stuff. I'm already getting tired of it. I simply wanted to post some recollections here when my name started coming up in conversations. I wasn't looking for the attention, but it came anyway.

I once felt the passion over racing that some of the posters out on the web feel. My life centered around the races, so I felt the need to get political sometimes. Just remember when politics overtake the love of the sport, you will burn out. The actual sport becomes less important. Suddenly, you'd rather do something else with your time. Then, you don't even go to the races anymore.

Is it perfect out there at the races? Clearly it's not, or people wouldn't be running their mouths. As to Antioch Speedway, the real time to speak up was last year, WHEN THE TRACK WAS UP FOR BID. What we have now is a pissing contest. The "current" promoter, John Soares Jr., no he's not the "ex" promoter at the moment, attempted to negotiate. That's all.

The comment, "I may have to move on" or however it was phrased in his letter was clearly an attempt to renegotiate. The Fair Board was not going to budge. They have a certain expectation of what they will get from the track, and that's that. Oh, and the $5 parking fee, that's the fairgrounds, not John. Wanna complain about something, start with that. $5 parking certainly didn't help San Jose Speedway, did it?

Now, I'm not a Board member. I don't know what, if anything, may be going on behind the scenes that led to this current situation. Obviously, somebody in power doesn't like John and felt this was their chance, and others stepped in to try and use the opportunity to get the track. A connection between the two? Not my call to make as I'm unfamiliar with it, but it's obvious somebody who tried to get the track hates the man enough to throw the idea of a personal boycott around.

I know people are complaining about John saying he isn't making any money. I have yet to meet a promoter who claimed to be making money. You never want people to know just how much you are making. How many people go around bragging about what they make at their job? This is just an observation. Is John making money or not? I'm not going there, because I couldn't even make a guess. Judging from the car count and grandstand photos I've seen, it doesn't look good.

So, people are complaining and bashing. There are some people stirring the pot, not really picking a side but stirring the pot. Not gonna say who, but it doesn't surprise me. Vent on the board if you want to, but what good will it do you in the end? The decision will still be in front of you, to race or not to race. What will you do when the time comes?

What are you even gonna say at the fair board meeting this week? Will it even matter? I'm sorry to inform you that the decision will probably be made before things open to the public. Then what? Voice your concerns? What are you gonna say? I don't believe your opinion will make one bit of difference when they make the decision, and the promoter will be the same.

So, what are you gonna say? I'm not happy and I'm gonna quit? He's not fair and he's mean? It used to be this way, but now it's that way? I doubt they will care. I'm not telling you not to say anything. It's your right to speak during public comments. Just don't be mad if it doesn't do you any good. I know a man who went to the fair board for change during the 90's and managed to get their attention. Some hated him, but I respected him because he didn't blow hot air and leave. He was part of the reason change came.

So, what are we mad at? He won't listen? Have you tried to talk to him? Have you thought about forming a driver's group and electing a representative? Have you thought about whether there was anything you could do to help? There's lots of room for improvement, and you CAN make a difference if you choose. Or, you can choose to bitch and moan on a message board where nobody cares. It's up to you.

Want a change? There will be another bid in four years, and the time to start planning is now. Not a back door policy, but a submitted bid through the proper channels. If that is the change you seek, it starts now. I'm not gonna tell you how to do it, but it's fairly obvious.

This is part of the reason I burned out. I fought for change. I fought for a better race track. I didn't feel like I had the support on either side in the end. What's the point? People will tell you you suck when you try to do something, but when the benefit comes, they are at the front of the line talking about what "we" did. I still recall when the man once told me, there is no "we".

Whether I come back or not, I want the track to be there. I want little kids to learn to love the place as much as I did. I want new legends of the speedway to be made. Whether I'm there to witness it or not doesn't matter. What matters is we still have a track to go to on Saturday nights. That could change at any time, so enjoy it while you can.