Monday, December 29, 2014

Book Update, Big Races Coming And An Audio Show

I picked up the microphone for another edition of The DCRR Racing Radio show.  I think it's been a while since I did a show.  I want to say 2010?  An interesting anecdote about the show was it started in 1998 as a .wav file that gave me about 11 minutes.

I had the old page on AOL and a host for the audio at Xoom and then Homestead.  Being low buck reporter, I was using free resources.  It was all about getting the word out about the Antioch Speedway racers and creating a buzz for the track back then.

The thing was, I could only go 11 minutes.  Just one second longer and the show was too long.  I'd have to start over.  You could always tell when I knew time was running out.  I started speaking quicker as time ran out.  Then, it was probably a half an hour to upload.  I don't have any of those shows in my archives anymore.

I dropped the show when I had problems uploading new ones.  There it sat until 2000 when I met Joe Martinez at Chowchilla Speeedway in April of that year.  I handed him a copy of the magazine, and we ended up talking on the phone a few days later.  It turns out that Joe actually heard some of those old shows.

Well, I ended up recording  shows for our new web site, California Racing Online (CRO).  Joe produced them and added his touches.  I knew nothing about that stuff.  After that, Don O'Keefe Jr. hosted my shows and other audio on his web site, and then Dana Craig sponsored me a web site of my own.  I could not have done it without people like them and my dad.

Okay, two things...

The process of putting this book together is taking forever.  I'm not making it any easier by adding new stuff all the time.  It started as a Best Of The DCRR Blog book, or I should say three books?  Then, I started adding new content.  I think I've typed over 30,000 new words to make it "better" in my opinion.  I've added photos from my personal archives and some nice pictures that we ran in the magazine from L&J Photography and Green Flag Photography have been added too.

This is NOT a history book.  It's not the book I started this blog to talk about, but it has those elements to it.  The personal anecdotes (and opinions) in this book make it different in that regard.  Plus, I'd be working for weeks and weeks to do that book, and I want something sooner.  This is important to me, because I think a few people might like what I have here.  There are some historical stories in there, so maybe it's version .5 of the racing history book?

The problem is, it is over 400 pages now, and I'm just halfway through formatting it.  More to do, and I keep say, "Oh, I need to add this" as I go.  I'm like a kid in the candy store with that stuff.  I want to get done, because I have a roughly 70,000 word racing auto biography of my time in the sport to finish next.  There's not enough hours in the day, and you don't even want to know about the hours I'm keeping now.  I feel compelled to do this.

I was making plans for New Years to coincide with the Christmas release of this book, but obviously, I'm very late.  I'm not sure the plans I had to ring in the new year will happen.  It will require some effort to make that happen, and it's so cold.  100 pounds ago, I could probably handle it better, but these days...  The cold and the effort needed will probably prevent those plans, so I'm just dropping it for now.  Finishing these books is the priority.

And on New Years, John will be holding races at Antioch.  This will continue the next day, then Merced on the 3rd and then John's latest acquisition, Chowchilla Speedway, after that.  A four day blowout event for racing fans to start the new year.   I still can't believe that man has three tracks, but I always believed John could be a leader in bringing unity to the tracks.

I guess I didn't think it would be him playing the role of a modern day Bob Barkhimer, but perhaps somebody has to do it?  I don't know.  When Barky sold BBA, it slowly went down hill.  The 80's were still good, but it was fading fast.  I stressed so hard on track unity issues that it got to me.  Probably contributed to my departure.  I wanted universal rules and point races, but when you have so many promoter's egos at the table, it's hard to accomplish anything.

John has three tracks now.  With a grace period allowing drivers to make their cars legal, we can get there.  But, will the racers accept it?   I see signs of unrest from my spot on the sidelines.  Car count isn't spectacular, and there are nit pickers out there.  Without John, there many not be racing at Merced Speedway, and they are coming off of a pretty good season for car count.  I think his heart is in the right place.

So, I hope things work out with this.  As for New Years, it's so cold out there, I don't know how this will work for any of the tracks.  For the sake of the sport and the tracks that I love, I hope it works out.  Looking at those old pictures and the stories as I put the book together, I have to say we've had some damn good racing at these tracks through the years.  I hope it continues for years to come.

I remember when they called what was left of the State point race the WAM (Watsonville, Antioch, Merced) Series.  Now, John has put the CAM (Chowchilla, Antioch, Merced) Series together.  Not too bad, if you ask me.  I have to wonder, after the surprise addition of Chowchilla, if a new letter or two could be added to The CAM?  First things first.  It's time to build The CAM into something special.

Anyway, I put a show together in case anybody might be interested.  I cover a few things, there's news and speculation and more on the book.  The first show I did rambled too much, so I had to do a second one. 

I did forget to make a note that I wanted to comment on the report I heard of John Prentice taking over the Hunt Wingless Spec Sprint Series.  Very interesting.  I still wish Antioch would get involved.  Antioch should have started it, which I was lobbying for.  Anyway...  Spiv Sprints at Calistoga?  Are you ready for that?  I'm a little nervous about it, bit we shall see...

Oh, by the way, the new content I typed for this book will be released as posts on The DCRRBook blog in the days ahead, so stay tuned...

The DCRR Racing Radio Show: Episode 1 by GenWhat