The Doldrums

dol-drums, [dohl-druh mz], noun,

  1. A state of inactivity or stagnation
  2. A dull, listless depressed mood; low spirits

The novelty of very young drivers has worn off for me. There is no doubt that the Snowball winner is a very skilled driver. Did you see him fight it out with Kyle Busch and come out on top? He is amazing behind the wheel, but could he also design his own chassis improvements? Then could he fire up the welder and fabricate them? Would he still be as good of a driver if he was up half the night for weeks building, repairing and preparing the car? I sure he would not be as sharp.

The old days are fading because now the hot set-up is to have a young driver who spends his/her time practicing on the simulator and resting in the toter. Someone else can pay the bills and do the work. It is a fact of racing, but I miss the old way.

The PRI show is gone, and with it goes what has been an exciting weekend of racing with plenty of new fans in the area, looking for a track to spend their money at. In the past, Orlando, Volusia and other tracks (USA?) put on special events to coincide with the PRI. Some were very successful; I saw some excellent shows. I noticed that Bubba’s put a flyer on the windshield of cars at the PRI parking lot, and they scheduled a multi-day LM nationals for the PRI weekend. They swung for the fence and I hope it went well, but I am not aware of anyone else who even tried to capitalize on the PRI crowd this year.

What was once a big, exciting and unique weekend of racing is now gone. Taking its place is another late fall night with many tracks closed up tight.

I see on Orlando’s website the announcement that they will re-open next year. That is good news: anyone who was there for most of 2012 would have to question its future plans. This is my favorite track in Florida. Its an excellent racing surface with a good facility surrounding it, so it should be so much more successful than it is.

The website says they are re-opening, but where are the plans to improve? Is construction underway to fix the ridiculous, long-term drainage problems? Is the schedule revised, or are they still closed during the dry season and scheduling races throught the monsoon season? Are the rules more modern? The cars less expensive? The show more attractive?

Showtime, Punta Gorda and possibly some other tracks are trying to run through the winter. I’ll be supporting a few of those shows!