I started Hobby Factory Stock at age 22. I almost won rookie of the year, but a mid season tie-rod break cost me three races. I had to re-clip the car and didn't have the resources to get back to the track, therefore I took 13th Place for the season.
I didn't have enough money to race so I went from good credit to very bad credit and now I can't buy a house. I didn't realize then that I was addicted to racing! So here comes the 2009 season with high hopes. The car is re-clipped and I learned a whole bunch from the guys at Circle Track and we were fast. We had a great season and took Fourth in points for the season, we improved and so it was a successful season.
What I am trying to say is that I sacrificed too much to be successful. There are things I'm not proud of to get that Fourth in points. I owe people money all over town, which will be paid back eventually. To all you people who think you can race and really can't afford it, take a look at your finances. Is it an addiction? Probably! I looked back and realized that I was addicted to racing and spent too much money that I did not need to be spending on racing.
I decided that I will not be racing this 2010 season, but yes I will always love racing and I will be back, but it will be when I can afford it or have a full sponsorship backing me. I need to keep my priorities in a row. Wife and kids, dogs, job, credit, house, a few other things, and then racing . . . if I can afford it! I can go on and on about what not to do but we would be here all day and I now need a job. So if your hiring for anything at Circle Track magazine let me know.
On a good note, I raced my two years with two different promoters and the guy that took over our track totally turned it around and Santa Maria Speedway is on its way up through the roof. The season is over and they are still racing carts on the little track he built in the infield. He has made it fan-friendly and racer-friendly. I wish them good luck in 2010, it could only get better. I definitely will be there watching.
BB in California
Your message is one many racers need to hear. It's one thing me saying all of that, but when someone comes forward with their story, it lends support. This situation is not the norm in racing, and may well be a small problem, but it does exist.
If you feel you must race when you don't really have the funds to do it, evaluate your individual situation and take honest stock of where your money is going versus where it should be going. Family is life and death, racing isn't. The industry will survive your absence.
First, let me commend you and the staff at Circle Track for the great information that you provide in each issue. I've been a subscriber for many years and have been fortunate enough to witness the evolution of BBSS setups, as well as the increased understanding of the moment center (roll center) technology, pretty much in their entirety.
I have worked on straight-rail Late Model chassis for more than 10 years, but I'm curious to know what is the true purpose of a drop-snout? I'm envisioning that it is to better-align the sway bar with the front lower control arms, allowing for increased efficiency in the front geometry system. Please advise. Again, thanks for your hard work and great information.
Nelson (Rob) Watkins
The drop snout is a product of the late '90s when we were trying to increase the angle of the upper control arms to better control the moment center. What dropped were the framerails and the upper chassis mounts. This allowed us to increase the upper control arm angles.