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There is only ONE Oklahoma
SOONERS
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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Not so Deep Thoughts

Is there another Speedway that has put more effort into improving their product over the years than the Texas Motor Speedway? Last fall there were a few backhanded comments from a couple of a drivers complaining of a 'dip' in turns 1 and 2 of the Speedway. Although surveys showed that the 'dip' was no more significant than that could be seen at other tracks, TMS this off season decided to go ahead and fix the area where the dirt underneath the asphalt had settled over the infield tunnel. It has been 6 years since the track was completely repaved and while that was considered, the Speedway didn't want to jeopardise the 2nd and 3rd grooves that have been seen the past couple of seasons. Another nice move by the Texas Motor Speedway.
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The 'big stage' moving to Las Vegas? For the fan, it really doesn't matter where the end of the season banquet is held, but maybe having it in 'Sin City' it might prompt a few drivers to exit the woods and attend this event to honor the top ten finishers. The added plus, might be the easy access to the strip clubs available in the area!
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Reading where the North Wilksboro Speedway is to finally be sold to a group of developers and put this track out of it's misery. Ultimately the blame will wrongfully be handed to Bruton Smith but one should look a bit deeper before such a reaction. First, Smith only owns 50% of the shares of the track (Bob Bahre owns the other 50% and also owns the New Hampshere Speedway). Smith did attempt to purchase 100% of the financially troubled track after the death of then owner Enoch Staley in 1995, However the other majority partners turned down Smith's offer. The Smith/Bahre equal split offer was agreed for a reported 14 million dollars, well over the value of the track, considering the renovations needed to make the track 'race day ready' for that time period. While 'racing' may have been great at North Wilks, without the proper financial backing for needed improvements, the track was doomed. But maybe more importantly it sent a wake up call to other 'old' tracks like Martinsville and even Darlington to upgrade their facilities or risk the same fate is North Wilks.
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What to do with North Wilks?
Maybe this should have been done a couple of years ago but I wonder what the reaction would be if Smith/Bahre would authorize ripping up the cracked, grass covered asphalt and replace it with dirt. Renovate the needed stands and plumbing and host an ARCA or maybe a CTS race 'on the dirt'. See if this would catch on then petition Nascar for other series race dates. I still think a CUP race on a 3/4 mile or mile mid banked dirt track might get top 5 to top 10 TeVee rating.

1 comment:

Gvav1 said...

Wilkesboro was out of the mix by the time I became a vroom fan...I would think a 3/4 mile track would be greatly accepted at this point vs all the cookie cutters, and...Nascar is needing a return to it's history vs everything new and everything changing!