I have another post, but I was just looking at the Antioch Speedway Facebook page and something struck me. They said that John was on the grader getting things ready for playday, and somebody popped off with the comment that at least it's not intermission.
See, the problem with that comment is some people don't understand why John and his dad before him would do that during a race night. It's really very simple. Sometimes problems start to develop with the track, and a good track prep man can see them coming.
You ether let it develop and let what happens happen, or you try and make it better for the racers. John chooses to try and make to better. Problem is, people only want to talk about when that fails, not when it saves the track. He wouldn't do it if it didn't save the track.
It got me thinking of five typical responses from critics when track promoters or officials do something to try and make it better.
1. Paying $150 to start instead of $100: It figures the cheap bastard wouldn't pay $200.
2. Black flagging a guy for wrecking somebody: They never should have let him race at all.
3. Making big improvements to the facility: He's making so much money, he'd better do it.
4. Bringing in the sanctioning body people wanted: He should have done it years ago.
5. Adjusting the rules to get more cars: The dummy wouldn't have done anything if we hadn't asked.
6. Reduced entry/ticket fees: He can afford it. He owes us.
Two words, just words, can make a difference. When you aren't happy, you are more likely to say something. When you are happy, those words often go unsaid. Whatever the reason. Often times, we just don't think about it. It's nothing personal. However, a simple thank you could go a long way.
I witnessed first hand how the negativity can destroy the good mood and the desire to do more. It's hard work and a thankless job a lot of the time to run a race track. Whatever money there may be, they work hard at this because they love it. This is their way to give back to the racing community and make a difference.
This isn't just for John, but for all promoters out there at our weekly race tracks across the country, and I mean it from the heart. THANK YOU for all you do to keep the sport alive.
Now, playday is here at Antioch Speedway. Let the madness begin. Remember that this is supposed to be fun, so have fun. When the green flag officially files in a few weeks, may the best driver win. Race hard, race clean and remember to put on a good show for the fans. That's what it's all about.
As it used to say on Mike Green's race car, "Let The Good Times Roll."