America’s Short Track Survival

I love short track racing and I’m not talking about Bristol or Martinsville, or Richmond.  In fact, I’m not talking Nascar at all.  I like local short track racing, America’s real racing and the backbone of the industry.

I grew up in southern Indiana and my family liked going to races at several of the dirt tracks near our home.  We got to see a lot of “jalopy” races and a ton of USAC midgets and sprints since they were based in Indianapolis.  They were always fun to go to and the excitement? Well well, you didn’t want to turn away.

I advanced from those days to being a part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network and helping to broadcast the Indy 500 from 1980 through 1995.  I then spent several years with CART doing the same.  In recent years, I’ve been the track announcer at Michigan International Speedway and the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.  I worked the PA this past summer for the Daytona July Nascar/GrandAm weekend.

Those are fun and exciting yet I still get just as much enjoyment watching the “local” guys and gals go door-to-door at short tracks here in Michigan, where I now live.

There’s been a lot of discussion in recent weeks about the survival of Nascar, cutbacks in the American LeMans Series, motorcycle racing, and more.  Not discussed, America’s short tracks and how they are doing in these tough economic times.

Flat Rock SpeedwayI called up my good friend Scott Schultz who is the General Manager of Flat Rock Speedway, a quarter-mile paved oval in Flat Rock, Michigan, (Ford builds the Mustang there,) and Toledo Speedway, a half-mile paved oval in Toledo, Ohio.

Toledo SpeedwayHere’s our conversation.    Interview with Scott Schultz

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