The best laid plans of mice and men…

Uncertainty pops up all the time. Plans get changed for many reasons. Family and illness may be top on the list of forcing changes to schedules which, under any other circumstances, would be practically set in stone.

Such is the situation… With that, we’re away from where we thought we would be this weekend. However, we’re hoping the gears are in motion to make the best of it by paying a visit to a race track close to where we are as opposed to where we thought we would be…

Dominion Raceway. It’s an interesting and multi-faceted facility which current events have us close enough to skip out for a few hours and check out some racing from the northern portion of Virginia.

We keep in touch through social media with Dinah Mullins. She is an active photographer at Dominion and also keeps her husband, Willie Mullins, on track with their own car, team, activities and business. We’re shamelessly pulling a string or two… As long as we’re up here…

Dominion features an oval for Late Model, Modified, Sportsman and other standard “left turn” racing. There is also a road course which is open quite often for drivers to have some fun with their own cars – Daily drivers or track spec. The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) has an event there this weekend. Concerts and other gatherings are also hosted.

Short track racing for many Saturdays or weekends feature the NASCAR sanctioned Advance Auto Parts All American Series. Such is the case for Saturday, June 26th. The CARS Tour ran last weekend. The SMART Modified Tour is set for later this year.

Dominion Raceway is a little speed jewel tucked up in Virginia between Richmond and Washington, DC. We’re looking forward to checking the place out in person.

It’s just down the road and many don’t know it is there. Some very famous people have visited and praise it. It is Virginia International Raceway.
This year alone the most famous badges from iconic motorsports have turned laps. Exotic sports cars to American muscle…  VIR is a showcase of motorsport.
Yet many still raise a question over what and where it is. Like its more famous racing cousin up the road in Martinsville, there is history. Martinsville has names like Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. VIR has names like Carroll Shelby and Paul Newman. Also, like the NASCAR icon, there is racing this weekend.

While Martinsville is hosting the Sprint Cup and the CHASE for the championship VIR will be hosting a 13 hour enduro known as the Charge Of The Headlight Brigade.. You may not recognize the drivers but that does not change the challenge or excitement of racing from the morning well into the night.
The field of cars is wide open with variety and intensity. The SCCA drivers and teams are all there for one thing. They want to survive the long day and go for a win.
Yes, it is real racing. The course is open and rolling and with Autumn colors coming into play the backdrop will be spectacular. The racing at VIR is set to start off the grid at 9:00AM Saturday and the checkered flag will fly at 10:00PM.
It is even possible to catch action at VIR, roll up the road and check out the NASCAR trucks at Martinsville and be back at VIR for many more hours of racing into the night. Plus, you still have the CHASE to catch back at Martinsville for Sunday.
Virginia International Raceway is located just East of Danville. Is it worth it?

Virginia International Raceway had some tangles in 2011. The AMA “Suzuki White Lightning” event was pulled from the August date basically from a lack of communication, contract verbiage and an issue with promotions. Fingers pointed both ways. The end picture is that a big weekend at VIR was out.

Follow that with the announcement from the Grand-Am ROLEX Series that VIR would not be on the schedule for 2012.  New Jersey gets an earlier date and Belle Isle Park in Detroit is added to the mix. The Grand-Am race has been a showcase nationwide coverage event for VIR for several years.
Two big events that went a long way to re-establish Virginia International Raceway as a destination for fans and racing were out of the picture as 2011 came to a close.

This would seem to put a kink in the potential for 2012. Hit the brakes and stop the presses, so to speak. However, the folks at VIR have some surprises in store that may have blown by while you were watching the last turn… (more…)

Sitting and watching the ROLEX 24 on SPEED I have to wonder….  Where are the racing fans? I have to watch on TV as I’m several states away with a driveway full of snow but what of racing fans in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia….? Looking at the stands at Daytona during the ROLEX 24 it looks like the Grand-Am guys snuck in started racing! It appears there are more people around the infield than in the stands. Is it the cool weather? Maybe the rain at the start on Saturday?

Seriously…  Drivers from practically every motor sports discipline on hand to get the racing season started with a 24 hour showcase of speed and the stands are so empty you would have food left over from a Bojangles Family Pack! I don’t get it…

But I don’t understand the average racing fan anyway. Perhaps that is the key. Perhaps there are very few “racing” fans out there. It seems there are millions of NASCAR fans but offer an INDY or Formula 1 or Grand-Am race and they just turn away. Why…? Either step up and be a “racing” fan or pose away in your Dale Jr. cap.

I say open yourself up to anything that goes fast. There are people out there that want to shut it all down for political, social or supposed “green” reasons so those of us that enjoy motor sports need to broaden our horizons and embrace some of these other racing series.

Support you local weekend tracks, drivers and race events. If you get the chance to see the INDY, LeMans, Grand-Am or even SCCA races in your neck of the woods get a ticket and GO! It is all racing and it is all good.

All I’m saying is don’t let the naysayers have their way. Be a “racing” fan and support as much of it as you can!