TRACKSIDE with RICK MINTER - September 2, 2016

TRACKSIDE with RICK MINTER – September 2, 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.




When I’m hanging around trackside at Senoia Raceway and looking around the fence and into the grandstands, I often wonder about the make-up of the crowd each week.


I know from our choose-and-cut Christmas tree business that statistics for that industry show that fewer than 50 percent come to a farm year to year.


Some come every other year, or less often.  Some have fake trees for a while and then go real again.


Either way, it takes a lot of promotion and marketing just to match last year’s numbers.


I’ve never run a race track, but I’m sure the numbers of week-to-week, rarely-miss-a-race fans are much lower than many would expect.


A good indication can be found on social media, where those who are obviously fans of the track turn to Facebook or Twitter for updates from the track on race nights.


If they were there in person, they’d know how the races were going.


In my earlier years of attending races, I felt like I needed to be there every week to maintain my standing as a member of the racing scene.  As I’ve gotten older, other events tend to draw me away from the track occasionally.  When my granddaughter’s spending the weekend, I don’t go to the track until after she’s gone to bed, if at all.


Work gets in the way sometimes, but thanks to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, I still get the feeling of community that I got back in the low-tech days gone by.


With a few swipes on my phone, I can keep up with my racing friends and what’s going on with their lives.


Most days begin with a good morning post from veteran driver Dorough Bright.  I keep up with his family’s activities through Dede Mitchell Bright’s posts.


I get to watch Baylee Duke’s journey through childhood through her dad Blant’s posts.


I learn about milestones like Hailey Moran’s passing a nursing test through the posts of her proud husband, Clifton ‘Hog Head’ Moran.


Although I don’t travel the NASCAR circuit as much as I once did, I do enjoy keeping up with my friends there, including Tony Stewart.  One minute he will be posting on Twitter a strong commentary about the news of the day and the next time writing something that illustrates what a kind-hearted, thoughtful person he can be.


In the old days, the only way to really know what went on at the tracks was to be there in person.  Today, most of that information can be found on a smart phone or laptop.


Last Saturday night, while I was enjoying some time with my favorite first grader Abigail, I took an occasional look at my phone and watched videos of the action from Senoia.


It’s progress, I guess.  But it sure makes it tough on the folks selling the tickets to the races.


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