I don't know how to write an obituary for a race track, so I'll just share my thoughts. Anytime a race track is lost it's pretty tough on all the racers, fans, and staff that have been a part of it over the years. It's especially hard on those of us that have decades of memories to deal with. Personally, I grew up at at Lakeville Speedway. From sitting in the stands at age 5, to wrenching on cars and turning laps in my teen years. Later in life I found myself truly a part of Lakeville Speedway and spent the last few years on the flagstand and behind the scenes during the week. I can't say it has always been great fun, but the good times out way the bad times by far. Fond memories of those "tanks" they used to call Late Models, the early Modified/Sprints, and all the way to the birth of Mini Stocks and Mini Trucks, will always be with me, and they all include Lakeville Speedway. This place has given me so many great family memories too and that probably hurts the most when I think of a future without this historic track. The new owners confirmed our worst fears yesterday as they shared their plans to get to work right away stripping and leveling the place that many of us have called "home" for so many years. Barring some miracle Lakeville Speedway has been lost forever as of January 23rd 2014. What a damn shame!
As sad as this news is, I'm sure many are already looking for somebody to blame for this loss. Can we blame Randy & Agnes for letting this place go? Sure, they didn't do everything right and they sure as hell could have done things differently that would have given this track a better future. It's impossible to put all the blame on them though. Can we blame a competing track in the area that set out to hurt Lakeville from the start? Well, that damn sure didn't help when it was already clear that Lakeville was struggling finacially. The rest of the blame might not be so easy for some of you to accept. Those who took every chance they could get to bash Lakeville Speedway in public and online over any little thing had a big part in it's death. Some even used Lakeville for their own gain and then went back to bashing them within days. You know who you are, and you should be ashamed of yourselves. The collection of "keyboard cowboys" out there may be relatively small, but the damage they do is very real and has real consequences. Are ya happy now or will you simply find another track to bash?
The lesson to be learned here is that track owners need to work wisely and get honest feedback from their customers FACE TO FACE. They can't be afraid to think outside the box and do things differently when needed. More importantly though, if you consider yourself a racer or fan, SUPPORT your local tracks in a positive way every chance you get. Sadly,you never know when that last chance may come if you don't do your part too. So the next time you have a bitch or suggestion for your favorite track, get off your ass and talk to the owners directly to express your concerns. They're normally very happy to hear from you and address your issues and explain their side of the situation. Keep in mind that maybe a rough spot in turn 1 or a little dust isn't the end of the world. But little things like that can lead to the end of a race track if handled in a selfish way too many times. Grow up people and make yourself part of the improvements in area racing. It can be very rewarding for everybody involved. If you can't do something that simple, please find another sport/hobby to occupy your time.
One Final Look From The Best Seat In The House...........