Year End Review: A Year on the Road – New Tracks to be Seen
Well one thing is for sure this year, we spent plenty of time in the car and on the road! One of the necessary evils that comes along while working in this business. We have someone of an advantage having one of the Mid-Atlantic’s premier NASCAR short tracks – Langley Speedway – in our back yard but to witness some of the best racing you have to go abroad. So as the season, weather, budget, and the weekly job permitted we would occasionally travel out of town to see what some of these other tracks had in store.
Not every track we visited this year were NASCAR sanctioned, not every event was your average weekly program. We got to witness races this year where the top five in points were so close a six place finish was just as bad as a DNF. We saw races where drivers were in the middle of settling old scores from last month. This year we got to cover some some of the biggest races anyone one Late Model driver would compete in. Seven tracks we made it to this year, two of them it was our first time stepping foot on the complex.
Virginia: Langley, South Boston, Martinsville, Southside Speedway
North Carolina: East Carolina, Southern National
South Carolina: Myrtle Beach
2015 brought great racing all over the region, I just hate I didnt have a time machine or something to be able to attend every race. Kind of hard for one person to be at two different tracks on the same day though. It also brought along new destinations, new drivers, and a few different divisions. We were able to make it up to Southside Speedway for the first time in not only my career covering short track racing, but my time as a racing fan. There is no doubt why the track advertises itself as one of the toughest short tracks. Its all but flat, narrow, and incredibly tight turns.
Southside, located in Midlothian, Virginia, was the only short track that we went to this season that was not under the NASCAR sanctioning body. It was also the only track this season running on Friday nights, it wasn’t however the only track that provided exciting action. Like most tracks in this area host a Late Model division for the experienced racer and a UCAR division for your up and coming driver. What I was happy to see is it also host the INEX Legends as well as the IMCA style asphalt Mods. However, the bread and butter of Southside Speedway – of course this is just my opinion – has got to be the Grandstock division! You want to see some tough, door-to-door, beatin’ and banging’ racing? Duke out of work early one day and take a trip unto the Richmond area. I had fun myself and looking to go back next year. For more information check them out on the web at www.southsidespeedway.net
A new record has been set for The Weekly Racer in 2015 – Farthest Track Traveled To goes to? Myrtle Beach Speedway. A few years even before we got the idea to start this little project I had always wanted to go see the Battle at the Beach! Well this was the year to finally make it happen and check the track and the race off my bucket list! I was able to get a small team put together, mostly family and friends who have been nothing but supportive of the site, to take the trip down there and cover the race.
I know it was our first time and we didnt have any other races to compare to but when you start 40+ cars on a half mile track for 200 laps fighting for a pretty big pay day your going to get some great. What we got was 50+ laps of the top ten practically nose to tail. Young drivers like Brenden Queen setting on the outside pole. Myatt Snider battling some of the greats and winning one of the biggest races of his career.
Outside of covering short tracks The Weekly Racer was on the road a lot for educational purposes as well. Being able to go to tracks on the NASCAR circuit that I, as a fan, have never been to before. Being able to be down in the pits with people who work in the upper tiers of the sport, being able to pick their brains and learn tips and tricks of the trade. Being able to watch a race from Charlotte Motor Speedway & Darlington Motors Speedway were true highlights of the year
Now, with every positive there is a negative right? Whats the saying, you can’t have your cake and eat it too? The one part of the year that disappointed me the most was the inability to travel around with the newly introduced CARS Tour Series. Over this past off season we were really looking forward to following and documenting this brand new racing series for all of you fans but just could not get all the stars to line up. No sense crying over spilled milk right? Just have to try harder next year.
We want to hear about your trips and adventures to and from tracks all over in 2015. Leave a comment bellow or in the comment section of our Facebook about a memorable trip this year. It can be a track you go to all the time and won big at, or a new track that you ventured out to. Tell us somewhere you would like to go in 2016.