LONDON: Dealing With Culture Shock

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VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. — A newspaper itself should not be the headline story, but as you know, National Speed Sport News has become one. The days of this publication being passed around in garages, being read during rain delays is over. It is culture shock.

It sure was for me. In addition to the 47 years I have been writing for NSSN, I was a subscriber for about four years before that. My mailbox will have a void, and so will I.

It is great to hear from so many people on the affect this will have on them and I am humbled by those who asked where my future lies. I’m old school and this is quite a change for me but I love writing so I’m going to try to continue doing it here.

I feel bad for Chris Economaki. He’s the one that gave NSSN life and I know we are sorry things turned out that way. I think of friends like Ron Hedger, Marty Little and Keith Waltz, who like me have devoted a lot of years here.

Here in the Northeast, we are still waiting for spring to come. The cold weather has kiboshed many early racing events. I hope things improve as weekly tracks can only depend on a few nice days a year.

NASCAR finally got something right. The shortening of the California Cup race worked out well with a garrison charge to the finish by Kevin Harvick.

I got stuck with watching a couple of NASCAR shows on Speed last week and it made me realize why I usually ignore them. On the “Hub” show, Jimmy Makar was interviewed about the engine failures suffered at Joe Gibbs Racing. You would think that somebody died. Such a solemn and serious mood. Engines have blown in racing before. I was expecting tears.

Then Larry McReynolds, who can over analyze a garbage pickup went on and on about the crucial situation for owners making into the top 35. At California, only 43 cars showed up. Where is the importance? There were just 48 cars at Daytona.

Somehow I don’t think open-wheel cars having double-file restarts on a road course is working too well.

Even if you can’t attend the 100th anniversary running of the Indy 500, make sure you pick up a copy of the program, which should be very special. You can get it online at the IMS gift shop. They do a follow-up mailing and send a printed copy of the race line up.

Turner Motorsports has gone whole hog into the Nationwide Series with three teams. When they look at the bottom line at the end of the season, I wonder how they will feel. Already this year they have made three round trips to the West Coast, racing for a purse that has been cut 25 percent.

I could have sworn I saw Casey Atwood’s picture on a milk carton.

I certainly enjoy my participation with my many racing friends on Facebook. Among them was a familiar name, Ruth Buzzi. You may remember her as a regular on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in. Eddie Gossage says she’s a real race fan.

Fritz Roehrig has retaken the helm of Big Diamond Raceway, which he built in 1971. They open April 10 and go to their regular Friday night sked. Located in Minersville, Pa., it’s a neat place.

Orange County Speedway in Middletown, N.Y., starts its 62nd season on Saturday April 9 at 6:30 p.m. OCFS is one of those great old traditional speedways.

I think J.J. Yeley should be named commissioner of birthdays. He is far more a natal day expert than Willard Scott.

Speaking of which, mine is today, Thursday. Suffering with No. 66 along with Gabe (Mr. Kotter) Kaplan and New England ex-modified driver S.J. Evonsion.

Trying to figure out where the time went.

My sympathies too longtime friend Bruce Ellis, who lost his wife Denise after a tough fight with illness. Bruce has been the announcer at Williams Grove for years.

Cliff Krause has taken over the lease for the troubled Wall Stadium. He has a difficult job ahead. In addition to building up his fans, he has to instill confidence to the racers that the will have a place to race. Wall racers don’t really have an alternative track to race.

 

 

 

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