Fair warning: I’m going to rile up a whole bunch of you keyboard commandos today.

Racing is a very difficult and dangerous sport. It’s not just going fast for a few hundred feet, then turning left. It takes a tremendous amount of skill, and also a little bit of good fortune, to get through a race unscathed.

And when that doesn’t happen – which occurs with great regularity in the dirt track ranks – there’s always bound to be some finger pointing. Sometimes, it’s warranted. But most times, it’s as the old NASCAR guys would say: “It’s just one of them racin’ deals.”

The sport compact wreck at Stuart on Wednesday night was definitely part of the latter group. Sure, you can watch the replay (click HERE) over and over, dozens of times and convince yourself there could have been another outcome. But, at the end of the day, there was nowhere for the last car to go.

He was boxed in on the top and the bottom until the absolute last fraction of a second, and had no room to slide. And if you think the car could’ve stopped in that short of distance, you have no idea how brakes work on a racecar.

But instead, we’ve got a racer who keeps getting inundated withnasty comments and threats from garbage-spewing Internet trolls. Is that really who we are now? If it is, we need to clean it up, and fast, or we’re going to kill the sport.

As with all sports, passions run high – as they should – for our favorite teams and racers. But there’s a line between good ol’ fashioned support and fandom and just plain lunacy. And I suspect those who are spewing the garbage right now hasn’t spent one second behind the wheel of a racecar.

Commenting about racing is perfectly healthy. But going off half-cocked with no basis for forming an opinion is just plain stupid.

Bottom line: unless you were involved directly, what you think absolutely matters zero percent, and your spewing of digital defecation is only bringing the whole sport down a notch. Save it for something you really have a grasp on, like Farmville or Candy Crush.

PARTY IN PELLA

A couple of you asked this past week if I was serious about the invitation to come “Party in Pella” in June during their racing-themed Thursday in Pella event. The short answer: yes, I was. I’ll have more on that in the next couple of weeks. I’d love to see a couple representatives of all the various racing divisions come out and have some fun growing the fan base.

THOUSANDS OF THANKS

Earlier this week, I spoke with our IT guy to see how the web traffic was going for Iowa Racing News, and once again, his numbers floored me. In our third 30 days, we more than doubled how many unique individuals have visited the site, compared to our second 30 days.

Meanwhile, our Facebook page has now surpassed 2,000 fans. It took 30 days to go from 500 to 1,000. It then took only 24 days to go from 1,000 to 2,000. As promised, I will be activating our Top Fan awards on the page.

This kind of phenomenal growth is only because of you. If I could, I would thank each of you individually, but that would take a very long time these days. So, this will have to suffice – until you come visit Pella in June.

In the meantime, to the racers and the racing community, thank you once again for doing what you do, which allows me to do what I do.

(Photo via Pinterest)

Bob Eschliman is publisher-editor of Iowa Racing News. He’s an award-winning professional journalist with more than 20 years’ experience covering dirt track racing – and more than 40 years’ experience watching fast cars make slide jobs for the win. His email address is pitshack@iowaracingnews.com. For more news and information that “covers the Iowa dirt track scene,” visit www.iowaracingnews.com.

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