Speed Week begins today. The NASCAR Budweiser Shootout is tonight. Will you watch? How about the “Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200” ARCA Series race that runs earlier in the afternoon? Maybe – Maybe not…? Yes, but only because it is on and part of the day of racing tied to the Shootout…? No…?
Here’s the thing and I think it is important right now. It is no longer OK to just be a NASCAR fan or an INDY fan or a Grand-Am fan. It is time to embrace auto racing as a “whole package”. That means tuning into a race you might have skipped over in the past. That means packing up the car and heading out to some of those Saturday night races at the local oval. It also means showing support for these small teams and drivers that work the 40 during the week so they can run 100 laps on the weekend. It is time to become a RACING fan. Why…..?
Well, look around and get an eyeful of what is going on around you. Those folks in Washington, DC are about to sign off on what they are calling a “stimulus” package. Jimmy Dean has sold less pork in 40 years than the Democrats have packed in this thing in just two weeks. It is not just the bloated cost of wasteful Government expansion that we, as motor-sports fans, should be concerned with. There is a lot of pay-off money going to the so-called “green initiative” special interests for backing these nutjobs that have the nerve to call themselves “concerned” as leaders of our Country. Billions of dollars are going to “climate change” (formerly known as “global warming”) researchers and you can wager your Pit Pass that the “researchers” getting the cash are more concerned with agenda than fact. There are billions going to “renewable” energy research and development meaning bio-fuels and electrics. On the surface, that is a fine goal. However, look behind the curtain and you see the cost to convert crops to fuel is hardly easy or cost-effective and is not likely to be without huge subsidies. Not to mention the inflation of other by-products as more growers turn to selling for fuel rather than food. Hybrids and electrics are being developed and being forced onto the marketplace by growing Government mandates on MPG minimums. On the surface, again, a fine idea. However, nobody is talking about what to do with discarded batteries at the end of their run or the environmental impact of creating batteries in the first place. Billions of dollars of “stimulus” are going to wind and solar research. Fine. Billions are going into initiatives to force companies to go “green” or be “green friendly”. OK… But here is THE question. If the goal is to get us away from dependence on foreign oil, why is there no real investment in this “stimulus” on finding, drilling and developing our own oil? Oil that we know exists. Oil that we can get to. Oil that is available to fuel our economy while also funding much of this “research” they are forcing our deficit dollars to pay for. Where is it in this bill, Mr. President? The answer is that it is not there because it upsets the very people they are paying off with our money.
But what does it mean to us as “racing” fans? It means that billions of our tax dollars are being spent, and given to, people that hate and loath the sport of motor racing. They look at it as a big waste of fuel and a stain on the “environment”. They see all of us as un-educated rednecks with bellies full of beer and trailers surrounded by junkers on blocks. They do not see the innovation from the sport that has made every modern car on the road safer and more efficient. They do not see the college degrees, the engineers, the artists and talented from all ways of life in the garage or the stands. All they see is cars going in circles spewing filth in the air.
That is why it is time to support your sport. Go to the local track. Watch a race series you might otherwise skip over. Grow the numbers, grow the support, grow the sport. They will come after the sport of motor racing. It is only a matter of time. They will legislate it out of existence by making it harder and harder to operate. They have a mission to force everyone to live within the parameters they set. And don’t be fooled into thinking it is “for our own good”. It is for their consolidation of power.