TORY

My favorite time of year is finally here…racing season! 

Racing season last from the end of February until November and is a huge part of my life. 

I often get caught talking to my coworkers about racing and they spend that time looking at me like I’m speaking another language. So I thought I’d take some time and explain some things about racing and how it captured my heart and life. 

To start, Chris and I spend our passion for racing in the dirt world. Yes, it’s a whole other world! We don’t care for drag racing, street racing or asphalt racing and especially not Nascar. 

Just think about it, where else can you go and have an exciting time while getting some dirt thrown at you. I know, it doesn’t sound that appealing but it is! 

The kinds of cars that I like to watch and at one time raced are called factory stocks. These cars are usually sheet metal bodies with a floor pan, fire wall, roll cage and these days a big motor and high dollar shocks. 

We race on slick tires not the ones you use on your every day car. 

Once drivers get to the track they get some practice laps, also known as hot laps. This is the best time to test out the changes you have made on your car and see what the track will be like that night. 

The track surface can be tacky, wet, dry or at times full of holes (that’s the worst one). 

Following hot laps drivers will be divided up into heat races. These are similar to qualifying and drivers are positioned by their draw number. At the track I work for I handle the driver draw where drivers pull a number from one to 75 and once everyone is checked in we divide them up based on the car count and place them into heats. 

Your heat race is important because it determines your starting position in the feature or main race. If there is more than 24 cars then often we will race a B main. That race is a last chance qualifier to make the main show and win some money. 

Following intermission the A main races begin. These are the best part of the night! At max 24 cars line up two-wide bumper to bumper and wait for the green flag to drop. A usual A main race is about 20 laps, bigger races run more laps and at times small car count classes run less.  

As part of my job at the race track I am a scorer along with another lady. So what we do is sit in the tower/press box and as each car drives under the start line we write that number down. I keep track of who is in first all the way to last and how many laps have been completed. I have to pay attention to cars leaving the track early due to breaking or whatever the case may be. 

I also have to listen to the flag man calling out cautions on the radio. 

Another part of my job is lining the drivers back up after a caution. So I talk into our radio and the drivers can hear me while driving through their race receiver and headphones. Luckily, the drivers can not talk back to me as sometimes they think we are wrong on their line up.

By the end of a race night whether I’m helping Chris in the pits, set tire pressure and get ready to race or working in the tower I am exhausted but it is all worth it for the adrenaline the night brings. 

I asked Chris earlier this week what racing means to him and he explained it perfectly for the both of us. He said “it’s a passion because it has always been a part of our lives growing up and it is almost all we do.”

Lastly, I know you’re wondering about a comment I made earlier. Yes, I did race a few years ago. Yes, I loved it except for my very first race when I totaled Chris’ car but that’s another story. But I gave that up to watch Presley grow and learn to love the sport like we do. 

Tory Van Blarcum is the society editor for TheHenderson News. Her email address is <society@thehendersonnews.com.>

© 2019, Henderson Newspapers Inc.

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