in the world of drag racing
The latest update as of October 26, 1998
Smell something burning??? Don't worry, it's just Northern "Blunder" Thunder frying up a hearty meal of "crow". Hey when we goof up, we do it big time. So, it's on with the (coming) retractions . . .
Received an urgent e-mail message from Division Six Director Chris Blair, pointing out that Mission Raceway Park Track Manager Aubrey Holmes and long-time (contract) employees Bill and Joan Wells are NOT being terminated by MRP. The information I received from a well intentioned source was obviously incorrect. The Wells' terms of employment have been changed, but they are still in their current positions and plan to be there for a long time to come.
I personally spoke with Aubrey Holmes tonight about the report and he, besides being very cordial and understanding, was quite firm about his status with the track. He will be representing MRP at the Divisional Track Operators conference in Seattle next month and hinted at some major plans for the 1999 season. During our conversation, the subject of MRP's relationship with the community of Mission revealed the economic impact of the track for the local businesses. With a total economic activity value of $4.97 million generated for 1998, the figures broke down to a value to the community of $488 for every pass made down the dragstrip this year !
Those kind of numbers should make everyone sit up and take notice. The plans for '99 include more night racing, more promotion and continued growth in spectator and racer numbers. Aubrey also pointed out, quite proudly (and justifiably so) that the Federal-Mogul Series event held each May at Mission has the largest attendance of the 42 events in the series. The biggest divisional race in the whole of North America. Quite an achievement, and something that everyone in the lower mainland, racers and spectators alike, can also take great pride in.
Okay, Bob, you're being too nice now, what's the catch ? No catch, no tricks, it's just that when something good needs to be reported, I can hold the bile and thunder long enough to say something nice (for a change). Can you handle even more good news ? A certain local website that for a number of years was identified as the "official" site of Mission Raceway, may just be that . . . again soon. Too good to be true ? Wait and see. Just don't ask for the source of this bit of news, as all the parties involved will probably deny it (at least until, or if it happens). Stay tuned for the answer(s).
Time for one more retraction before I sign off for the night? . . . Why not? This one concerns some comments directed at the publisher of a local motorsport magazine. And since there's only two (that I know of) you've got at least a 50-50 chance of getting the name right on the first guesss. Well, what can I say? Sometimes people say stupid things in public, and sometimes people post stupid things on the internet. And sometimes private conversations can become very public mud (or worse) slinging matches. While it's never been my intention to go through life making enemies, the past few months of updates on this page has generated a few angry phone calls, a threatened lawsuit or two and created more than a little bad blood.
For regular visitors to this site, you've certainly seen my mouth (or mouse) at full throttle more than once, firing shots at almost everyone within range. Sometimes the hits have been deserved, sometimes not. However, as I've found out (more than once) to my great dismay, once the send/upload/mail button is clicked . . . it's too late to say OOPS. Yeah, I've done it again, and once again legal action is looming on the horizon. Maybe a hit in the pocketbook would smarten me up . . . but then again, I'm not really sure. I'm definitely getting older, but smarter ??? . . . sometimes I think not. And sometimes my emotions get in the way of the facts, so slanting the news/views in one direction makes the story sound better. At least until the phone or fax machine starts ringing.
What about that retraction, Bob? . . . Well, here goes. . . I promise, on my honour, to do my duty, to god and the queen . . . (hold on, that's the boy scout motto) . . . and not throw any more rocks at any person, and only attack those who cannot defend themselves, ie: large, inanimate objects, like the NHRA, and not be a one-sided, no facts thanks (they get in the way) muck-raker. And to Richardt Scholz, publisher of Street & Strip Motorsports, "I guess a little mis-communication goes a long way".
One follow up to my previous story about Trouble in Paradise. The Marketing Manager of Willowbank Raceway, Rob Oberg, has informed me that a five race series for Top Alcohol cars is in the final stages of sponsorship negotiations for the 1999 season. The series events would only be held at Willowbank (Brisbane), but with most of the competitive alcohol cars in Australia based in South Queensland, the fields would be top notch. Looks like a great opportunity for the alcohol racers downunder to show the spectators what kind of a show they can put on as headliners. And if the series does come off, many thanks to Track Manager Dennis Syrmis and Raceway Board President John Winterburn for having enough faith in the racers to make it happen. Who said that "It always looks darkest just before the dawn?" Let's hope it holds true in this case.
More news as it happens, not just when we get bored and make it up.