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  • tombergie01

Things I Like About Racing, and Things I Don't

Close racing has been the norm for the Steffes Street Stock Tour the past two years.

I would like to be writing about actual racing – local weather isn’t providing much help on that.

So I thought of the things I like about the state of racing and the things I don’t. It’s hopeful to build on the things that are good and work to improve on the things that aren’t as good.

Totally my opinion, here’s the list:

Things I like:

--Good, hard, side by side racing. The Wissota Street Stocks prove this can be done, and we see it done in a lot of other classes. I love seeing cars running side by side for laps with the drivers driving their rear ends off.

--Family involvement. I love walking the pit area and seeing families together – husbands and wives, kids who love seeing their mom or dad get into the race car. Not to mention siblings who travel and race together (and against each other)

--Full grandstands. Yes the crowds some nights aren’t the best. But when there is a great crowd at a race, nothing makes me feel better.

--IMCA Stock Cars. They are IMCA’s best class in terms of level of competition and parity – and putting on a show, at least in my opinion. There are about a dozen cars that can win weekly at Red River Valley Speedway.

--Advantage RV Modified Tour. Some excellent racing on this tour, and this year there are more dates, too.

--Rebel Midwest Mod Tour. Numbers were very good in Year 1 in the Wissota Midwest Modifieds, and with more dates this year I expect similar turnouts this year.

--Steffes Street Stock Tour. This is a well-deserved chance for Wissota Street Stocks to earn some money.

--NLRA Late Models. This has saved late model racing in the Red River Valley. Solid purses and a point fund payout at the end. And the series goes to a good variety of tracks.

--Rivalries. We don’t seem to have as many as years ago – the ones where half a crowd cheers one guy and the other have cheers for the other. Don’t get me wrong, there are drivers who dislike each other, but I don’t think we see the rivalries in today’s racing that really stoke up the crowds.

--Growth in numbers of female drivers. 30 years ago there were a small handful of females who raced regularly but very few. Most of the women who got to drive did so in Powder Puff. Now that number of regular racers has grown and it’s been great for racing. Some very good talent, too. The more the merrier.

--good concession stand food. Sheyenne Speedway’s hot dogs, Norman County Raceway’s taco in a bag, River Cities Speedway’s Extreme Nachos (That come in a small bucket) are all at the top. Good chicken strips at Viking Speedway too.

--the sound of engines roaring at a green flag for a feature race. Still gives me goosebumps after all these years.

--the camaraderie among drivers. Still one of the best things about this sport is the friendships and relationships built.

--the people behind the scenes who keep racetracks running weekly. Definitely the promoters but several others -- (gate workers, track prep, tickets, concessions, scorers, security) -- do a lot of work that shouldn't go unnoticed.

Things I don’t like:

--Social media “experts.” These are the ones who post things ripping tracks or drivers that simply are not factual. You have the right to an opinion about a track or driver, yes, but base it on fact and not spreading misinformation. I wonder how some -- and I emphasize some -- actually think before they post.

--4-hour long (or more) regular weekly racing shows. Too much idle time, and fans lose interest quickly. Creates a problem of retaining fans week to week.

--Starting late. I’ll cut some slack early in the season as track prep takes a little more time and tracks are just getting their bugs worked out operations-wise, but starting 20-30 minutes late in July bug me.

--Rising costs. This year will be more trying with higher gas prices. Of course the current presidential regime isn’t to blame for any of it 

--sanctioning body divides. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had an IMCA Modified to easily be able to run a Wissota special locally? Or vice-versa? The Wissota vs. IMCA Modified divide has not been good for local modified racing in my opinion.

--too many classes. Let’s use the seven tracks in the RaceChaser coverage area as an example. Here are weekly classes offered: Wissota Late Models, Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprints, IMCA or Wissota A Modifieds, IMCA or Wissota B Mods, street stocks, stock cars, hobby/pure stocks, mini stocks/short trackers/hornets, INEX Legends, Lightning Sprints, IMCA RaceSaver Sprints, Limited Late Models and super stocks. That’s 13 classes alone. It’s spreading the driver pool a bit too thin. This is a problem in general in racing.

--Torn Up Equipment. There are some budget racers who are one big wreck or a blown engine away from being done for the year. I don’t like seeing totalled out race cars – one reason is the amount of money and time that have been invested in putting these machines together. Sad to see a car loaded on a trailer by a wrecker.

--Jumbled up restarts. Seems like we have the accordion affect where cars get bottled up on restarts and they are a mess. Which ultimately leads to more caution flags.

--Lack of use of the black flag for rough driving. There are a handful of drivers who just drive over people and get away with it. I don’t like it.

So while I listed things I don’t like or certain aspects of racing that can be improved upon, I also listed a good number of things that are positive, too – and building on those will help strengthen racing.

Sponsorship Shoutout

I have one sponsorship slot left for 2022, very thankful for all of the support. Want to give the following a big thank you for sponsoring this summer.

Presenting Sponsors:

Dirt Race Central

Viking Speedway

Beast Custom Works

Rebel Midwest Mod Tour

Steffes Street Stock Tour

Business Sponsors

Skalicky’s Auto Repair

Neset Land Surveys

Mason Aaron’s Racing Videos

Graphic Creations

Trisha Satter-Coldwell Banker


River Cities Speedway

Buffalo River Speedway

Sheyenne Speedway

Red River Valley Speedway

Norman County Raceway

I-94 Sure Step Speedway

Race Teams

Cole Schill Motorsports

Kyle Anderson Racing

Heinrich/Schulz Racing

Jonny Carter Racing

Brody Carlsrud Racing

Braydon Kunze Racing

Brad Staples Racing

Pavlicek Racing

Luke Lick Racing

Justin Vogel Racing

M and J Racing (Andrew Jochim)

Jeff Hanson Motorsports

Lindsey Hansen Racing Motorsports

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