Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?…………..
The Possum had a hit in which he asked that question referring to where will the future stars of country music come.
Luckily that question was answered by a new group of up and coming Country music entertainers.
When it comes to racing that question is also being answered with the addition of new racers every year at the local tracks.
Never in our history has the local racer had the opportunities we see today to move up to either a regional or national racing series and then up to the top racing series in the US.
Sadly the same cannot be said about the fans in the bleachers.
Today’s fan base is growing steadily older with every season.
The only kids we see at the tracks these days are the family members of the racers themselves.
Because of this, tracks across the US are having attendance problems leading more tracks every year to close their doors.
We all know the problem, the question is what has created this problem and what can we do to correct the problem?
Society has changed dramatically since the day of my youth where we spent most of our time in the neighborhood with other kids running around and enjoying the outdoors.
Even in my teens, we were physically active playing some sort of ball game just about daily in the summer.
Today many in our society spend most of their time behind a computer monitor or with their noses stuck in their cell phones.
Rarely looking up to see the real world around them.
Everything is instant gratification.
No one has patience for anything that doesn’t happen quickly.
I still remember when the first home drip coffee maker went on the market.
Mr. Coffee took brewing time from 15-20 minutes down to five minutes.
Today it is individual cup coffee maker which takes just seconds to brew a cup of coffee.
Everything is instant instant instant.
How do we get this instant generation interested in racing programs which last between 3 and 4 hours?
One way is to get them to the track each week and letting them see the action with their own eyes.
While TV has its place in the sport.
Racing is best viewed live where you can feel the energy.
But this will not happen on its own.
It will take an organized effort from every racing fan to introduce our sport to those outside of our racing community.
We must work together to promote our sport.
We need to pursue community groups such as church youth programs.
We must represent our sport in the community.
If there is a gathering we need to make sure we have a presence at that gathering.
Car shows to get the rest of our community exposed to our sport.
We need to be in the schools in auto shop classes.
We need to have exposure in our community Christmas parades.
We can no longer adopt the open the doors and they will come attitude.
There are too many entertainment options in today’s society for us to go along with that mindset.
We must ALL take an active part in promoting our sport to the community as a whole.
While we in the racing community are a close-knit community, we are steadily growing older and smaller.
Either we take steps to correct this or there may not be a racing community a few generations from today.