Wednesday, June 2, 2010

San Jose Speedway Petition Discussed On Tony Karis Radio Show

Interesting information from the Motorsports Show with Tony Karis on 1240 KNRY. The show was pretty entertaining as it was, but about halfway through the second hour, there was something discussed I thought I would share here.

If you are a racing fan in the Watsonville area, you really should be listening to the Motorsports Show hosted by Tony Karis in 1240 KNRY, Wednesday Nights 7-9. And it's streaming on the station's website. This means race fans in Antioch, Petaluma, Merced... You get the picture

Tony has a nice mixture of dirt track news from Watsonville and road racing stuff as well. And, he has guests. This week, that included Bobby Scott, Matt Sotomayor and Jim Pettit II. Great guests, by the way. Matt talked about the difference in running a Four Banger, where he won the Ocean Speedway championship last season, and an American Stock, where he is running second in points.

Scott and Pettit were on together for a bit and they talked Ocean Late Models, getting more cars, the tire rule and other stuff. Scott talked about wishing Pettit or Dave Byrd would get involved in the class. Pettit commented that he already has two Southwest Tour Late Models and the IMCA Modified he has won two features in this season. Pettit talked about the Southwest Tour and his schedule for June. He is currently third in that series and is a two time champion.

Just that alone would be enough, but it doesn't stop there. Mike Hennessy, who has the Mike Hennessy Automotive web page, revealed a movement that he is trying to get off the ground, and every race fan in the San Jose area should pay close attention. Mike will be circulating a petition at the Hot San Jose Nights event in July to get a new race track built at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds site.

There is a movement to bring racing back to San Jose again, and this really needs to happen. Let's not even talk about the unpleasantness of the closure of the old track at the end of 1999 or the demolishing of those grandstands a couple of years later. Forget about the failed amphitheater idea.

Fact is, they have a 1/8th mile track on the site right now, so why not go all the way? It sounds like a few discussions have been held with people in power. Nothing was revealed in that area, but the movement needs the help of the racers.

Mike would love to get the mile back. I don't know if that would be possible, but a quarter-mile or 3/8th mile would seem doable. Any Sprint Car racer should be all over this, but any racer period. If you see that petition, sign it. If you hear of a meeting to discuss putting a race track back at the fairgrounds that is open to the public, attend it. Don't just sit on the sidelines when your chance to help comes.

I really don't know where any of this will lead, but Mike and Tony were pretty excited about this deal. The Hot San Jose Nights Car Show will feature some of the coolest machines around, and I understand Dennis Mattish, who published a book on San Jose Speedway History, will also be in attendance at Hot San Jose Nights, July 9-11. I understand Mike has some bigger things planned for the 2011 event too.

You might ask why I bring any of this up? Do you realize that when people get together and get behind a project, good things can happen? That can be the case here. I know the attitude for some may be, "It will never happen, so I won't even bother to lend my voice to it or sign the petition when I see it."

That is a defeatist attitude. I recall there were a lot of people who said Altamont would never get a weekly thing going, but they went from the mid 90's to the mid 00's because there were some people out there who fought for the cause.

So, basically, keep your eyes open out there for any news. I'd suggest getting petitions to racers and fans at other venues, especially ones not far from San Jose, though I know promoters at those tracks may frown on this sort of thing.

At any rate, it looks like Mike is at least looking at this thing and trying to work towards bringing a return of San Jose Speedway, and it looks like he's a man who can get things done. However, even people who can get things done need the support of people who would enjoy the benefits of the results of the effort.

And by the way, check out Tony's show. It's pretty cool.