Ode to a Short
Submitted by Lady B
April 4, 2007
When people think of NASCAR racing most often they think of the Cup series with its brightest stars….Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, etc. But if you ask the drivers they will tell you that NASCAR means short tracks, dirt tracks and local tracks in their home town. No matter where you live all big cities have a local track within a short driving distance. While it may not be big time racing in the premier Nextel Cup Series to many it is more important than that.
Last week I learned that my local
track, San Antonio
Speedway, was closing its doors forever. Built in 1977, San Antonio Speedway,
with its half-mile, asphalt, 18 degree banking in the turns, ran its first race
San Antonio Speedway was being managed by United States Racing Association (USRA), which is run by Terry and his wife, Tammy Dickerson. Established in 2004, USRA soon turned its sights on the San Antonio Speedway. USRA Track Management Group was formed to manage the San Antonio Speedway for the lease holder, Ted Carlson. Over a two year period the Dickersons tried to purchase the property from the current owner. But to no avail.
We all know that
But fighting the ETJ was not the only battle looming on the horizon for San Antonio Speedway. Just on the other side of town is San Antonio Raceway where they run Funny Cars, Top Fuel, etc. They have been embroiled in battle for years with the surrounding neighborhoods because of the noise pollution, smell, volume of people, etc. Terry Dickerson knew the 50,000 plus residential units that would ultimately house a larger number of people surrounding the San Antonio Speedway would mean even more battles for the speedway.
I’m sad. No, I don’t think you really know how sad I am. San Antonio Speedway is a place where you can take your family to watch some great racing along with a great show. My family and I have watched many races at San Antonio Speedway and we believe in the value of local tracks. Is this what we are faced with as our ultimate destination? No more short tracks? No more places for young drivers to hone their skills? No more places for a family to gather with friends to watch racing?
Yeah, I’m sad. But I’m even sadder when I think about what we have lost. In 1977, retired Nextel Cup Series Champion, Terry Labonte (Texas Terry), won the first Late Model Sportsman Championship in 1977 at San Antonio Speedway. How many other championship caliber drivers will we never know about because San Antonio Speedway has closed its doors? I need to go find my happy place….it used to be located at 14901 State Highway 16 South (towards Poteet), just 3.5 miles outside of Loop 410, San Antonio, Texas._______________________________________________________________________________________________
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