I reminisced with Dicky Gore, one of the developers of the Late Model Stock class years ago for NASCAR. Our discussion centered on racetrack promotion. Gore sold Old D. a few years ago and the new owner had a difficult time with the promotion side of the venture. Gore agreed to come back and manage the promotions, and the track is well on its way to recovery.

The classes that ran on this night were mixed with a combination of Late Models, four-cylinder stockers, Mini-cup cars, and Legends cars. The Legends cars put on quite a show with the leader getting turned in Turn 4 with two laps to go and flipping down the front straight numerous times. It's a testament to the durability of these cars that the driver emerged from the car unscathed.

The eventual winner of the Late Model race approached me after winning the pole and said how much he enjoyed reading Circle Track and how much good information he had gotten from us. He was still in development with the car, but was very close to getting it just right. In the race, his car was far more consistent and although he did not lead early on, he chased down the leader and eventually passed for the lead and took the checkered flag. That scenario would play out many times over the course of our Tour.

As for the promotion of Old D., Gore does it right. His approach is to come to know each and every one of the competitors, follow what they are doing all during each week, and try to help them to success, as well as to build the pit attendance by enforcing rules and making sensible judgements on violations, some of which he has learned over the years are unintentional. Knowing when to throw the book at a competitor and when to back off has earned him the respect of the racers and allowed this track to be successful over the years.

When we competed back in 1996, we were stinking up the show by all indicators. We sat on the pole most nights, won most of the races, and most nights we were usually leading by a half lap at the end. This is not what most promoters want to see. And there were rumors of cheating on our part circulating. So, one night, Gore was going to find our "secret" one way or the other. After winning the race, the officials stripped the car of all of the body panels, removed the transmission and rearend, disassembled those and traced every electrical wire on the car. After a couple of hours of frustration, the car was deemed legal.

In doing so, Mr. Gore had demonstrated to the other competitors that he was bound and determined to run a fair show and once we were thoroughly inspected, he told Troup he would never do so again. The whole of the pits was satisfied that we were legal and all knew that they were going to have to get busy and do their homework if they were going to keep up. And they did-with another of my clients, Dale Delozier, winning the track championship two years in a row in 1998 and 1999.

Hickory Motor Speedway We added Hickory MS after the original schedule was published and we're sure glad it we did. Hickory was hosting the USARacing series along with the USAC Ford Focus Midgets, ISCAR (an ASA-sanctioned series for compact stock cars formerly known as the Goodies Dash Series), and the Allison Legacy racing series.

Granted, these were not typical Saturday night scheduled classes because USARacing rents the track for this event. But it does tell us something about how this premier series is adapting to the changing times. The regular Hickory fans get to see not only the top non-NASCAR series for short tracks (ARCA being considered a big track series), but they were able to see Midget cars and a few other traveling series run. And the competition was very good providing lots of racing action, passing, and last minute lead changes all night.