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A (Racing) Wish List for 2020

Full grandstands and a Wissota Street Stock tour/series are on the wish list for 2020. (Photo from Sheyenne Facebook page))

Many people make New Year’s Resolutions. For this RaceChaser blog I decided to put together a New Year’s Wish List instead. Happy New Year!

Some racing New Year’s wishes for 2020:

More first-time winners. RaceChaser counted 21 drivers who won their first career features in 2019. It is a big deal to break through and get that first checkered flag and a lot of the fun of it is seeing the drivers celebrate when he or she gets that trophy.

More drivers in the late model class. Dan Dowling of Davenport has stated he will move up to Wissota Late Models for 2020. Love to see 3-4 more drivers move up this year. It was a good move for drivers like Billy Vogel, who won at feature at I-94, and Cole Babcock, who finished ninth in the NLRA standings, in 2019.

Better weather. Not just for racing, but for agriculture and other livelihoods influenced by weather. Many of the rural tracks have drivers/sponsors involved in agriculture and this past year was devastating to many because of wet weather. Through Dec. 8, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture, 57 percent of the corn crop and 40 percent of the sunflower crop was unharvested in the state of North Dakota. That is sad. Let’s pray for a much better year in 2020.

More cooperation between tracks. Let’s not schedule a bunch of late-season late model specials on the same weekend. There aren’t enough to go around any more.

A Wissota Street Stock series/tour. This class deserves more love than it gets at a lot of tracks — better weekly payout being at the top of the list. So many good drivers in this class. And a tour with a decent point fund reward at the end.

Bring the Challenge Series back to the region. I’d love to see the Wissota Late Model Challenge Series back at I-94 and Viking Speedways this summer. And maybe to a few other tracks in the RaceChaser area.

More Fans in the Seats. There were some packed grandstands last year — particularly at the NLRA Late Model race at Sheyenne and the NOSA Sprint race at Norman County Raceway, plus a great crowd for the Corn Cob Nationals (Night 2 at least) at Buffalo River Race Park. I’d love to see more of that this summer.

Boosts in Numbers in INEX Legends and NOSA Sprints locally. Numbers were a tad down in 2019 and I’d like to see a few more in each class weekly this summer.

More Female Drivers. The more the merrier. As I’ve written several of them are pretty dang good. They are racers just like the guys.

Faster Shows. One common complaint I hear from fans is shows go too long or too late. There are things tracks can do to keep the show moving and some made that effort in 2019 — love to see that as a priority for 2020.

Some Rivalries. I’m not talking about destroying-each-other’s-equipment stuff because there is no need for that, but a little rubbing and hard racing seems to get the crowd into racing. Some of the rivalry element has been lost in our sport and I think it’s hurt crowds.

More appreciation for those who work at tracks. Some workers are volunteers, some don’t get paid much, and many put in hours far above what they are paid. Tell these individuals — track prep, concessions, wreckers, announcers, flag men/women, ticket takers, etc. — thank you for their time and effort.

People having fun at the track. No matter if it is drivers, fans or pit crew members, let’s remember we love this sport because it is FUN.

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