I love the sport of racing. I have been watching all kinds of racing since I could remember. I think it all started with my dad. He had a good friend of his that raced at the local dirt track in Amarillo. My father would help him out on the weekends on his pit crew. As a result I spent many a Saturday night during the spring and summer at the dirt track. My parents pretty much let me have fun at the track. I remember hanging out with my buddies behind the bleachers just being kids. I also remember sitting in the stands watching my dad’s friend, Bobby Gray, drive his modified around the dirt track. I still can hear the track announcer, telling everyone how great the cheeseburgers were down in the concession stand. He would also say, “All you race fans need to go get a cheeseburger, cheeseburger!” And man…they were good. The memories of those days are so vivid. There was the souvenir stand where you could buy a button with your favorite driver on it. I proudly wore my #77 Bobby Gray button. If you have ever been to a dirt track, you know you don’t leave the track without some of that dirt on you especially if the track was a little muddy. The best part I think about it all was the racing. These are guys who had other careers during the week, but on Saturday night, they were stars. Just like now, I had my favorite driver and the driver I loved to hate. After the races were over, we could go down in the pit area to see all the cars and drivers. It was one of the best times in my life. Here is a picture of my favorite driver (circa 1980). Unfortunately my dad, Claude Crews, and his friend are not longer with us. My dad is the man with the brown shirt over the white t-shirt behind Bobby.
That’s why today brought back so many fond memories of that time. I was headed to one of our local Walmarts and what do I see in the parking lot…race cars! I think I was more excited to see them in the parking lot then my two boys. Of course we had to stop and take a gander at our local racers. They looked different from the ones my father worked on and saw race at the dirt track so long ago, but the feelings were the same. These are guys who love to race and it showed. My oldest son had a ball just going around taking pictures of the cars. My youngest who loves cars was a little shy, but once he got to sit in the car, it was all over with it.
Every Sunday we all watch the big boys race, but the passion and pure love of racing can be seen in these local drivers. If you can’t get to a NASCAR event, support your local tracks. I can guarantee that you will see some great racing action!