KENTUCKY (12/12/12) - Dear Santa,
I know it’s just a week before your visit but here is my last minute racing Christmas wish list. You know racers… fast, faster, fastest!
Western Kentucky Speedway- Mid season promoter Randle Sweeney gets a full season and a new owner to work with at the Madisonville track for 2013, and with new dirt being hauled in our Christmas wish for WKS is the dirt itself. Hopefully the much needed dirt will finally bring the quality and style of racing the track has the potential since opening years ago. It’s never had much clay to its surface and hopefully the new dirt will include a good mix of clay and knee deep enough to work with all season.
Kentucky Motor Speedway- Recognition from the sports minded community of the OWB that KMS is a key ingredient to its overall sports themed town. Fans, drivers and the like supported the rebirth of the track in 2012, it’s time the marketing arm of the Owensboro tourism got behind the track and recognized the national gift KMS has given to the sport of racing over the years and refocused some attention on the Whitesville track.
Cedar Ridge Speedway- Our Christmas wish for the track built on the side of a hill in Morgantown is more race cars and more fans. Without question the best surface in the Western Kentucky area for racing, Cedar Ridge is like an old tin lizzie. Crank it up and it goes and goes but never fast enough it seems to gain traction and take off like its potential. Owner Richard Ashby brings a racer background to the track and understands the racer, but has struggled to connect to the fans that should be filling the hillside. Here’s hoping 2013 brings that missing something to the track that will fill the parking lots and pit area with cars.
Highland Rim Speedway- After opening in the fall for its 50th season of racing with new owners, the Rim had fans entertained for a handful of events to end the season and eager for a full season of action in 2013. Santa would be well advised to leave well enough alone with the Rim and get with Mother Nature and give the track nothing but good weather for the new year. Everything seemed to be in place and working perfectly, all they folks in Ridgetop, TN need is for sun and fun for a successful next season!
Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway- A new Super Late Model Series will bookend the special events at the historic downtown Nashville facility. With government officials constantly looking over their shoulders trying to close the track, the track produced some quality races in 2012 under the direction of Tony Formosa. The new Super Late Model series will visit three times in the once a month schedule of the Music City track, hopefully the lure of full-fledged, super-fast Late Models will entice a bigger crowd to the track that was already regaining its footing in the racing world as one of the country’s best racing tracks.
Clarksville (TN) Speedway- Sound barrier walls to the north of the track in the style Interstates use at intersections with neighborhoods. With house closing in at an alarming rate, the track is being squeezed from its rural location to metropolis status.
Paducah Int’l Raceway- Owners that support racing. With Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kenny Schrader and company on the PR info as owners of the track, you’d think they was ice skating professionals as they’ve done everything possible it seems to turn the place in to an ice skating rink instead of a racing track. Hopefully a rock will hit them in the head and remind them they are in the business of stock car racing and act accordingly. The fans and drivers are tired of being treated like the problem instead of the solution. Maybe a bundle of switches from the Jolly man in the Red Suit will serve notice that the fans have had enough and are ready for a change.
Tri-State (IN) Speedway- We have the same Christmas wish for Tri-State as we have had for several years now. More Super Late Model races. Former Late Model racer Tommy Helfrich focuses his special events only shows on Sprints for the most part except the one lone UMP SummerNationals event each year. One of the best tracks in the country for Late Model action, fans deserve more than the one show a year at the historic track.
Windy Hollow Speedway- Lump of Coal. Sometimes even Santa has to call them like he sees them.
For area race fans our wish for you for the 2013 racing season is a season of excellent racing weather and full car fields at the tracks you visit! Next week’s column might run a day or so later, but we’ll be with you with our own version of a drivers New Year’s resolution list to finish out the 2012 year. Merry Christmas to you all!
Richard Cunningham is a Madisonville born, Western Kentucky University graduate with some 25 years in the Stock Car Racing PR business. A noted motorsports journalist he publishes several websites including www.KYRacing.com focused on Kentucky motorsports. Contact
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