Some years back I wrote a column for Redline titled “SOLDIERS IN WHITE”. And before that, the DA of F & C wrote the column. Christine thought with the new format of Redline it would be a good time to start the column again. So here goes.
If you don’t work corners or at least attend a club road race you probably won’t get some of what I’ll say. You lose!
A brief history: I went to my first road race at Greenwood Raceway in Iowa in 1963, been hooked ever since. Started working corners in the mid 80’s at Pueblo, and did my first drivers school in Mrs. Animal’s 240Z in 1999 (I love dropping a wheels(s) off to raise a little dust for her)! I starting racing my own Midget (purchased from Jerry Oleson and Bruce Gurney) in 2000, built a new (?) Midget over the winter of 2007/2008, crashed it in April 2008 at Pueblo, and finally got it rebuilt in July this year. I’ve worked corners all over the country/Canada/Puerto Rico for all different sanctioning bodies. My best friends are corner workers for good reasons. When you rely on them to possibly save your life, you quickly become friends. Plus, there are no better partiers!
Since November I have been spending almost every Saturday at High Plains Raceway bolting (screwing) tires together. I think a more appropriate name is High Winds or Plain Windy Raceway, but I’m sure the CAMA/High Plains folks don’t think that’s too funny. Actually, it hasn’t been too windy out there, but there is always at least a breeze. We watched a couple of turkey vultures yesterday scope out Caleb’s sandwich.
High Plains Raceway. Where the hell are you SCCA’ers??? It seems it’s always the same 12-15 people every weekend who volunteer to help with the tires. There are a 1000+ SCCA members in the Colorado Region and we get 1-2% to help build a new race track. Why are you a member? So you can get the cheesy monthly magazine, so you can put a cheap little decal on your car, or so you can tell your co-workers how cool it is to belong to the Sports Car Club of America. Our first race out there is the first weekend of April and the track will have to be done by mid-March at the latest so it can be inspected and corrections made. With the current level of help, it ain’t goin’ happen! There is one big exception, the solo folks are out working in big numbers, and it may be years before they get their own pad. So far Ted Winning (SM), Ed Shuler (Corner Worker), Steve Meyer (Formula Ford), Mark Foust (Solo), Hank Derr (Solo), and Arthur Santomango (Corner Worker) are the leading attendees.
Yea, yea, I know, you wrote a big check. You did your part. Well, it’s a club, money is only part of it. Maybe if you wrote TWO big checks we could hire a bunch of illegals to do the WORK so you could go race.
So, when you go out, dress like you’re goin’ skiing (your OLD ski clothes) and stop at the Country Burger for breakfast (it’s a block south of the stop sign). If you have a bad whatever, there is a big need for help loading washers/nuts/screws. It’s easy and very helpful, plus it speeds everything up. And as Caleb says, it’s oddly entertaining. One more note, watch for the local sheriff just west of the track, seems they know when we show up and leave.
Next month, a more positive column with news from the convention, HPR corner stations, and a summer of working corners and racing my Midget.