Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Beginning...My Second Editorial...from May, 1981

The Beginning

This is the second editorial I ever wrote in Quick Times Racing
News…the May, 1981 issue…32 years ago!!! I wonder how much difference
there would be in drag racing now if track operators had followed my
advice all the way back then? I am not afraid to say the sport would
now have thousands of more spectators than we do now and lots more
racers! I always did everything I thought I could to help the sport
and this was one way I felt would really help every track AND the
future of drag racing.

I wrote editorials time after time about how track operators could get
more racers, more spectators and be more involved with their
community…therefore making friends with their neighbors so when
problem did arise…which they always do…tracks would have a way to
defend their positions AND their actions.

I could only give advice all those years…which I did…but I could not
do my job and theirs, too! You know the old saying, "You can lead a
horse to water but you can't make it drink?" I don't know of any way
to better describe drag strip operators. I am going to be putting more
of these 'ageless' editorials on the blog in the near future! Read
this and tell me what YOU think!

On the Racing QT…with Becky White (May, 1981)

Now that the weather is getting warm, I wonder how many track
operators have considered trying to get younger people involved in the
sport of drag racing? At least one track I know of is really doing
something. Each week, a different group of youngsters, along with
their chaperones, are invited to attend the race free of charge. You,
as a track operator, cannot possibly lose money on this venture since
the youngsters will be visiting your concession stand quite often to
buy refreshments and most tracks don't charge admission for children
under 12 anyway. This will not only help drag racing get more
spectators, it will also improve the relationship between your track
and surrounding areas.

You may ask, "What groups?" but have you ever noticed just how many
youth groups there are? Churches have youth groups, there's 4-H, Girl
Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownie and Cub Scouts and school groups, just to
name a few. How do you go about inviting these different groups? You
can call your county agriculture office for 4-H, the Tri-Ad Council of
Scouts, preachers for information on church groups, talk to people who
work at the public library and contact your local newspaper, also
school principals and secretaries. Then contact the group leaders. Set
a date which will be convenient for them. Assure them you will reserve
their group a section where they can all stay together.

If possible, have a track official meet them at the gate with name
tags so everyone will know they are not a part of the usual crowd. In
other words, give them the 'red carpet' treatment! Always try to
schedule a different group at each race. If you do have guests and you
have your race reports printed in local newspaper, BE SURE to include
this in your report. It won't be long before people will be calling
you to ask if they can bring a group.

Everyone agrees wholeheartedly drag racing needs more spectators and I
feel this is one of the best of all ways to get the younger generation
more interested in this sport on the local track, weekly race level
(where spectators are needed most). Results won't be seen overnight,
but if this great sport continues to be what it is, it needs those
spectators and in the long run, who's to say this isn't the best
possible way in the world to get those spectators until we try and

Give this idea a try at your track and I believe you will be able to
see the difference before the end of the 1981 season. Becky White

(My note in 2013: What I ask you is this…if I knew this as long ago as
May, 1981, why in the world couldn't track operators see it, too? And
after reading that editorial, will someone PLEASE explain to me…WHY
didn't track operators act IMMEDIATELY on this idea and get on the
phone before they ever laid that issue down? When Steve Earwood
introduced me at the 2012 North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame, he
said I never minded telling track operators how to run their tracks! I
presume he was talking about editorials such at that one.

This was not a way to TELL track operators how to run their track, my
editorials were a way to give track operators suggestions on HOW TO
MAKE MORE MONEY…not just immediately, but for many years in the
future! How many of them acted on this? How many of them took this
suggestion? How about 'almost ZERO!' I KNOW running a track is a hard
job. I have never been a track operator but there isn't anyone in drag
racing who can say I DID NOT closely work WITH track operators…on a
daily and sometimes a minute to minute basis! I know what they went
through and I know all the hassles they had on a daily basis…at least
those who really cared.

But I CAN tell you this…many, MANY track operators I have worked with
over the past 34 years are some of the absolute LAZIEST people in the
WORLD! How much time and how many phone calls would it have taken to
get just a few childrens' groups to their track each year? But instead
of taking my suggestions and the advice I gave to them over the years
of all the ways I 'advised' them they could have MORE people in their
gates and more money in their pockets, they just shrugged it off as
TOO much work, too hard to do or the ravings of a 'woman.' Instead of
using my intentions in the way they were intended, they just laid the
paper down and went on to doing whatever it was they were doing before
they picked the paper up to begin with.

How many more spectators could we possibly have in this sport if this
idea of mine had been put to fruition in 1981? WOW! I can't even
imagine. Even if we only got ONE percent of all the children we could
possibly have gotten inside the gates in the past 34 years, that could
STILL be thousands! If you don't believe it, ask Bill Bader! If you
don't believe it, ask Marshall Oldham or Mark Joyce or even Melvin
Bishop! All these guys are track operators who have been, used some of
the ideas I suggested and gave me many more to pass on to others. Some
of those others no longer ever have a track…I think I know most of the
reasons why. And at least some of those track operators lost their
tracks because they were too lazy to help themselves a little bit!
Maybe there are some out there who will read these timeless
suggestions and try them now!)

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