RaceChaser Blog Takes Time to Give Thanks About Racing

NCR-Slider-Recap-06222017-2
The NOSA Sprints at NCR. Mike Spieker/Speedway Shots

It’s Thanksgiving week, and I wish anybody who reads this blog a Happy Thanksgiving. Despite its problems, remember we live in the greatest country in the world that allows us to enjoy things like racing.

In what could become an annual tradition with this blog, it’s time to list the things I, as a fan, am thankful for about racing. Here we go for 2018:

–thankful for safety advances and equipment that keep drivers safe through some pretty rough crashes (see Travis Robertson’s late model crash at River Cities Speedway earlier this summer). Seeing drivers walk away from a bad crash makes all of us at the track thankful for those safety features.

–thankful to the local tracks for pit access to interview drivers, in particular, I-94 Speedway (Corey Eggen), Sheyenne Speedway (Benji Froemke and Hunter Carter) and Red River Valley Speedway (Scott Sailer). This is a HUGE help to this blog.

–thankful that we were able to have a major event like the Wissota 100 in our backyard. There was some skepticism about I-94 being able to host the event, and yes there are things to improve on logistically – but for the first year at a new track there are a lot of positives. I think many people came away impressed.

–thankful that my dad took me to races growing up and got me hooked. And thankful to the other parents who bring their kids to races now and get them involved.

–thankful there are go-kart tracks in many area towns to help kids get a start in racing.

–thankful we have so many racing options within 120 miles of Fargo-Moorhead. I didn’t have that luxury in my previous living situation.

–thankful for the thrilling side-by-side, hard-fought races that keep people talking for weeks. That is what keeps me going back week after week.

–thankful for the friends I’ve met through this blog, and for some unexpected good friendships I’ve been blessed with.

–thankful to Mike Spieker of Speedway Shots for providing me some photos for my blog. They are top-notch as always and far better than my old phone camera.

–thankful to my wife for her support in letting me be involved with my hobby and do the chasing around. I appreciate it more than anyone can imagine.

–thankful for the sponsors who not only sponsor racers but also provide sponsorships for nights and events at area tracks.

–thankful we have a sport where 60-somethings (or older) can still go out and compete — and win races. Guys like Ron Saurer, Lance Matthees, John Kaanta, Jerry Lamb, John Corell — among others. You are great examples to the younger drivers.

–thankful for the people who read this blog.

–thankful for the drivers who are willing to sacrifice 2-3 nights per week to travel and race – plus the other nights early in the week to work and prep his/her cars — to put on a show for us as fans.

–thankful for all of those people who work to make a weekly racing program work – promoters, concession workers (pits and stands), track prep workers, ticket sellers, announcers, tech inspectors, scorekeepers, security, flagmen, wrecker drivers/workers – many of you do this for very little or no money, and without you, we don’t have weekly racing to enjoy.

–thankful for the drivers who took time to visit with me this season for Race Chaser blog features, which continues to be the most read part of the blog: Brittany Smith, Rick Aukland, Jason and Brendan Blascyk, Maria Broksieck, Jeff Crouse, Mike Stearns, Scott Richardson, Jade Hastings, Nick Omdahl, Abby Gierke, Clay Gentzkow, Ryan Johnson, Marlyn Seidler, Tim Compson, Victoria Stutsky, Austin Lammers, Dan Harstad, Brady and McKenzie Gerdes, Jerry Lamb, Dan Ebert, Ryan Schroeder, Blake Saathoff, Jonny Carter, Kyle and Alex Langland, Brandon Schmidt, Billie, Jaden and Charlie Christ, Andy Wagner, Nate Reinke, Kevin and Erik Robertson, Dave Shipley, Eric Riley, Ward Imrie, Dan Wheeler, Jeff Massingill. That’s 40 drivers. Whew.

Also a special thanks to Vern Olson, the 91-year-old ticket taker at Viking Speedway in Alexandria.

Happy Thanksgiving in advance to everyone!

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