TRACKSIDE with RICK MINTER (March 28, 2016)

TRACKSIDE with RICK MINTER (March 28, 2016)

Senoia Raceway fans, drivers, crew members and family can look forward to this new weekly blog from journalist Rick Minter.  Rick has been reporting on motorsports at Senoia Raceway and elsewhere since 1976.



I was a bit disappointed – but not too surprised – to turn on the computer Saturday morning and find that the debate over Scott Bloomquist’s failure to appear on the track at Senoia Raceway was overshadowing discussion of a really terrific race the night before.


 Jonathan Davenport’s drive to the front midway through Friday night’s race looked like more of a daredevil stunt than a racing maneuver.


  The next thing you know Chris Madden passed him back for the lead only to once again lose the spot to Davenport, who really did live up to his “Superman” nickname.


 Kenny Collins had a great run behind the lead duo as did young Ashton Winger, and it was fun watching veterans Clint Smith and Ricky Williams battle it out a little farther back in the pack.


 But Bloomquist, who for reasons not quite clear, didn’t appear to arrive at the track prepared to race. His crew worked on his car during the preliminaries, but it never made it on the track.


 It was particularly disappointing given the fact that the track’s promoters had been touting Bloomquist’s appearance, and the man himself had called in to the Monday’s Short Track Racing Show on 92.5 FM to confirm his plans and talk about the upcoming race.


 Given that, Bloomquist should have done everything in his power to compete in the race. He owed it to the fans at Senoia, and to the promoters who were counting on him.


 Some on Facebook questioned why the promoters made such a big deal about Bloomquist.


 The reason is that for a major event at a track like Senoia to be a success, it must attract what could be described as the casual dirt-racing fan – those who follow the sport but don’t attend here regularly. To get them it takes big names, and few names in the dirt world are as big as Bloomquist.


 Others questioned whether he received compensation from someone on the local end.


 If he did, it wouldn’t be the first time that’s ever happened. In NASCAR, the new charter system now in place in the Cup series is at its core a way to funnel extra cash to the drivers and teams that put the most fans in the stands.


 And most dirt touring series have payout formulas that reward past performance.


  If it hadn’t rained Saturday, maybe Bloomquist would have gone out and put on a performance on par with Davenport ’s from Friday night and muted the whole debate. But that didn’t happen.


 With Saturday’s rain-out, the second half of the twin-bill has been rescheduled for April 23, which may or may not work for Bloomquist’s schedule.


  Let’s all hope the driver or drivers that are part of the pre-race publicity next time do indeed go out on the track and race.


 If not, some well-intentioned, hard-working people who have invested a lot of time and money into the track will wind up looking like Chicken Little.


 You remember that childhood tale about the critter who kept saying “the sky is falling” when it really wasn’t and then nobody believed him when it really did.


 I hope for the sake of the fans here that the next time we hear “Bloomquist is coming to race at Senoia” that he really does.


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