I've heard plenty of grumbling about things at Lakeville lately, and decided to check things out for myself. The new owners haven't been in control of things long enough to make a complete judgement of things, but I have to say that the time is right to make or break things at Lakeville. This is their chance at a fresh start, and so far it's not looking so great. Yea, it's nice to see them enforce the rules on fighting but it only makes things worse when it's not enforced equally. To me, that was their best chance at setting an example of how things will be run and they BLEW it! Favoritism wins again.
Dirty/rough driving: It's come to be expected at Lakeville over the years and the reason alot of teams won't go there. Seems to me that this is another opportunity to set things right and so far they've blown that too. Do they OWN a black flag? I'll buy them one if needed!
Restarts & line-ups: What a fuggin joke that has become. I remember not that long ago Lakeville was used as an example (by ME even) of a track getting a show in quickly and smoothly. Now there's a caution every few laps and it takes forever to get things lined back up. Then it takes a few tries to get the start they "want". (Example-last weeks mini feature)
Track conditions: We all know that hole has been in turn 1 forever, and somtimes it's better than others. It would be nice to finally get that fixed, but I don't consider it a huge deal since nobody else has been able to fix it over the years. Anybody that bitches about dust at Hilltop has obviously not made the trip to Lakeville lately. I'm not usually one to bitch about dust but DAMN!! I've been there the last 2 weeks and actually left early this week because I couldn't see the cars after 2 green flag laps. Well, that,, and they couldn't seem to get more than 2-3 green flag laps in at a time. Still think Hilltop is dustier? Check the pictures listed in the results on the website of each track (especially the week of Sept 2nd. Sprints at Hilltop not as dusty as Pure Stocks at Lakeville). There's your proof! Again, I don't think anybody has a cure for this at any of the area tracks that suffer from it, and weather has alot to do with it, but it's plain to see that one track is handling it better than the other. Is it better enough? You decide.
Favoritism: Still alive and well! I'm certainly in no "Rush" to compete in the Mini Stock class at Lakeville. ;-) Rules are made for everybody and should be enforced the same no matter who you are or related to, what class you're in, or the family you married into. Subtle enough for ya?
Conclusion: I went to Lakeville the past 2 weeks because I really wanted to enjoy the place again. I know bad calls and non-calls happen at every track and not everything goes smoothly, but this past week made me leave early and in a pissed off mood. I paid the $30 pit pass to watch Minis, Pures, and a few Cruisers, mainly to support a track that offered a great payout to "the little guys". Call me crazy, but I respect any track that does something like this for those that don't have unlimited funds to race on. Yea, I know there are low buck Late Model and Modified teams, as well as I know that some Minis and Pures are way over funded. This is still the best way to show some lovin' to what many consider the "lower classes", and I'll support it any time I can. While I'm willing to give any new owners time to get things in order, some of their early decisions make me wonder if they really will make things better, or settle for things as they are. Maybe it's time for a sit down talk between race teams and the owners to get things out in the open. It does absolutely no good for racers to bitch about things to each other, yet not take their concerns to the people that can do something about it. Calmly explaining the problems you have (and don't be shy) goes alot further than bitching amongst yourselves. That's the only way I see things getting cleared up. Let's hope it happens soon! Lakeville can be a great action packed track, and I hope like hell things get straightened out so that we can all enjoy the trip there again.