July 31, 2005
Saturday Night Racing
On Saturday nights at the Irwindale Speedway, you can see all types of races, everything from tricked out trucks to Nascar-like racing cars. I met 16-yr old driver David Ross one evening along with his family – his sister, mom and dad. Racing is in their blood, they told me. David's father and sister used to race and his mom had been around race cars all her life. The shop where they work on their cars sits outside their home. It's larger than their house, and they spend more time together in the shop than anywhere else. They even sit down to eat dinner there every night - mom could never get the boys to come inside to eat.
Before the night's races begin, the drivers line up on the track, next to their cars. Fans are allowed on the track to talk with the drivers, admire their cars up close, take pictures and collect autographs. Young girls surround David. Older men ask questions about his car. Driving is a solitary sport, but after the session, there is a sense of connection between the drivers and the fans.
When the session ends and the racing begins, the fans cheer for David's car, but it's not his night. Although he qualified in the top ten, he came in close to last place in his first race of the evening. I imagine his family gathering later that night in their shop. They talk about what went wrong, make any necessary adjustments on the car, and get ready to hit the track again next week.
Posted by Aimee Machado at 09:04 PM