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What Sets Racing Apart From Other Sports

by June 10, 2012 0 comments

Ricky Locklair helps Tommy Poole replace a broken engine

Racing isn’t like most other sports for a variety of reasons but none are more impressive than the feeling of camaraderie and cooperation among it’s competitors. Each one of them is out there to win however they are also there to race. None of them want to be just handed a trophy, they want to earn it, they want to race someone for it.

I was witness to this last weekend at the Dillon Motor Speedway. Tommy Poole who races in the Street Stock class had blown an engine in practice. Now the track has a crate motor available for teams who have race day problems like this but time was short. Qualifying and racing were set to begin in less than 2 hours. Tommy had to get the blown engine out and the spare one in. As I walked through the pits checking with drivers that didn’t have working transponders during practice I saw the #3 Street Stock with the hood up getting ready to pull the blown engine. Elbows deep helping was Ricky Locklair, driver of the #50 Street Stock.

Ricky and Tommy are rivals on the track.  They go head to head just about every weekend.  The only way they would be able to do  that today was for Tommy to get his wounded car back in racing condition.   Ricky wanted to race and one of his fellow racers needed help.  You see this all around the track every weekend.  Teams lend each other parts and tools all the time.  On a local level if a car needs an in-race pit stop there is always plenty of help from all the teams around them.

This isn’t just a local phenomenon, to the extent that the rules allow in NASCAR, Indy, Formula 1 or any major series most teams are more than happy to help each other out.  They really only compete out on the track.  A few weeks ago there was a fire in the Williams garage shortly after Pastor Maldonado had won the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix.  Other teams rushed in to help Williams put the fire out.  Offers to lend replacements of damaged equipment until new ones could be bought followed in the next few days.

Drivers and the racing community pull together like no other competitors.  When was the last time you saw that kind of cooperation at a football or basketball game.  The spirit of America show through in America’s favorite sport.  Make it a point to visit a local track soon and see it in action.

Chris Neal

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