I'd like to start by thanking Zach Hiser for asking me to be a writing contributor for Horsepower Happenings and trusting me to put pen to paper and then fingers to keyboard. As a former columnist for The Michigan Racing Scene, I will try to do my best to convey some interesting columns and stories for the readers.
So the big story of 2020 has been the effect COVID-19 (or Coronavirus whichever you prefer) has had on local auto racing. From the late start of the season for some to no racing at all for others and some with just three to five races, this year has been a trying one for the track owners.
For the owners of our favorite "playgrounds of power", their source of Spring to early Fall income has been cut in half or eliminated completely by the lack of revenue from a full grandstand or pit. Racers and fans often criticize the track owners for everything from bad calls and the cost of admission to calling the races due to the weather. But in this situation of uncertainty and trying times, we need to pull together and support them.
That's why it was disheartening to see some tracks and fans make snarky comments on social media regarding their track being shut down while a neighboring track was running. One of the few that strayed from that mindset was Kevin England from Galesburg Speedway. When Galesburg was forced to close down due to COVID restrictions (and a couple of rumored snitches and questionable press reports), Kevin got on social media and stated " Still get out and support all the tracks who are racing if you can." He also used #WeSupportRacing along with posting and sharing events of tracks like South Bend, Owosso, and Butler.
Kevin is a perfect example of what a true race fan and supporter should be! So it pleases me to announce him as the 2020/2021 Chris Throgmartin Spirit Award Winner. The award will be presented during the 4th Annual Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club (www.marfc.org) Bowling Tournament that will be held sometime in March at the Capitol Bowl in Owosso, MI. More details on that great event will be coming in the next few months.
If there are any stories or topics that you the reader would like to see me talk about, my email is email@example.com.
Editor's note: Chuck Darling is a lifelong race fan (and Mike Eddy fan) from Saginaw, MI. The founder ("Flounder") of the former MSTRC message board as well as former announcer for the Midwest Classic Racers Dwarf Car Series and fill in talker when needed has a good grasp of local auto racing and will share that with the readers of Horsepower Happenings.
Story: Chuck Darling, Horsepower Happenings
Photo: Jim DenHamer