LONDON: The Racing Journal


VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. — This certainly is a tough time for aspiring young racers. There are hardly any rides in the highest ranking racing series.

But the difficulties are far lower than that.

So many parents got their youngsters started in racing by getting them a quarter midget or a go-kart. In fact, here on Long Island, quarter midget racing goes back to the 1950s when the kids raced on the former Mitchell Field airstrip. Several members of the Brunnhoelzl family were active.

Eventually, there was a lot of racing involving children. The model was Jeff Gordon. On Thursday Night Thunder, where Jeff’s stardom first shined, it was told that his stepfather John Bickford started him racing when he was four years old.

Enterprising parents though this was the thing to do. It is very difficult to break into Major League Baseball. There are virtually thousands of great prospects, who never get a chance to get into the “show.”

Since racing is an individual sport, you can break in if you have the stuff.

So fathers (and mothers, too) treated their children to a vehicle for them to race. There are all sorts of venues all over the country to race small midgets, mini sprints or go-karts.

Like all other racing, it is getting out of hand. I have talked to and heard from unhappy people who had to give up racing, especially go-karts. It is getting too expensive. One dad told me he would spend about 10 grand this year so his son can be competitive. He hated to disappoint his son, but the money wasn’t there.

Racing used to be made mostly of hobbyists. Those days are long gone.

There is virtually no cheap ways to race anymore. Where will our future come from? I guess it will be cheaper to buy your kid golf clubs. After all, Tiger Woods isn’t playing.

Indy car racing continues to put on the best show. After a satisfying Indy 500, Marco Andretti’s win at Iowa Speedway was chilling. It was sad to see such a poor crowd at The Milwaukee Mile.

Robin Miller says they should go back to running the week after Indianapolis, which was a long tradition. I hope so.




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