Fisher Racing's team members...
Fisher Racing's team members from left to right; Robert (the rider), Rob (the sponsor), and Milvia (the Team Manager). Kylynn frakes
Turn Five can be one of the more difficult items to write in Circle Track. Each month I feel the pressure of a championship run to write something meaningful, thought provoking or, at the very least, entertaining. I'll admit to deferring to the regurgitation of the table of contents (a back-pocket trick every editor has used at some point) when deadlines and inspiration don't exactly meet in a timely manner. This month was shaping up to be just such a column but then I received a Letter to the Editor from Kyle S. Emmel, a North Dakota Army National Guardsman stationed in Afghanistan.
Kyle's letter, which you can read in Pit Board, is a poignant reminder of the significant role that fathers play in all of our lives. We all have one and in many cases we, ourselves, are one.
This issue hits the newsstands on June 23 which is two days after Father's Day. Given the way magazine distribution occurs that means that the majority of our subscriber base will get this issue in its hands the week prior to Father's Day.
So, I began thinking. In the world of racing you don't have to look very far to find fathers and sons working together in the pursuit of victory. Whether it's our own John Gibson and his dad Chuck; Will Kimmel and his old man Bill (as well as Uncle Frank); or any number of our Young Racers' Club winners, who 99.9 per-cent of the time get into racing because their father raced, Dad is never that far from the child's car or pits.
In fact, I have my own dad to thank for my racing addiction. To this day, he loves to tell the story how he took me to the NHRA Summernationals at Englishtown, NJ, when I was 3. Now a 3-year-old's eardrums and nitro-methane-burning Funny Cars don't exactly mix, and despite mine and my mom's protests and pleads to go home my dad said, "We're not leaving, he's going to like racing!" My days at Englishtown soon gave way to oval track racing at the likes of Flemington, East Windsor, New Egypt, and Wall-all tracks in our home state of NJ. In every instance of my racing exploits, my dad was with me, he stood by my side in Victory Lane and he was there to cheer me up when things didn't go so well.
Those days behind me, racing in the Fisher household now revolves around my own son, Robert. At this stage, his chosen "profession" is BMX-and although he hasn't climbed behind the wheel of a car yet, Jason Sides assured me that Sprint Cars would be in Robert's future since BMX is the way that he (Jason) got started racing.
Regardless of what you race, the relationship you develop with your child through racing is the same. It brings you closer, it did with my dad and me. It teaches respect, discipline, and that hard work pays off. I never thought about it much in the past but all those times spent at the track with my dad was a life lesson of sorts.
So here's to my dad, Kyle's dad, and all the racing dad's out there for being mentors, friends, pit crew, and fans. Circle Track raises our glass to each and every one of you-Happy Father's Day!
Until next month, go fast, turn left.