By Jim den Hollander
When I started Wisconsinracer.com I promised myself I would make a point of putting opinion pieces, editorials out on a regular basis.
Since started in sports journalism back the caveman days, people have always expressed how important it is to include regular editorial comments. I always contended that I was sacrificing that valuable space for copy and photos of the various sports I was covering.
It was a good argument as when writing for newspapers and magazines it is important to be concise as possible and available space is always an issue, but it was probably more of an excuse. Expressing my own thoughts is not one of my favorite things to do and I don’t consider myself one of those soap box type guys.
Of course, that argument doesn’t stand up when talking about internet journalism as space/time are just not an issue. The more the better.
I planned to do something once a week, perhaps promoting the other stuff I had on my site and maybe some upcoming events. Now three weeks after the March 1 launch of the site, I am finally getting around to putting together my first ‘Notes from a Racing Geek’ since Feb. 26.
While the site itself is basically still invisible. As in, not many people have checked it out, I am still confident things will get better and better. Like I said above, I don’t see myself doing a lot of rant-type columns that many people enjoy. I just like promoting to the different racing disciplines and the Wisconsin racers that seem to excel at every level.
I have learned so much about Wisconsin racers since starting the site. The thing I am amazed about is the young age of many of the racers that have taken part in the off-season events in warmer climate states. I mean, there are guys out there, in the stock car racing events, who are blasting their cars around a track at 150 mph but are unable to drive back to the Hotel, because they are too young.
I have discovered the bright future of Wisconsin racing as a number of these young hotshoes are racing on big name teams in big name events in their teen years. Also, Wisconsin motorcycle racers – in Flat Track and Motocross are representing the Dairy State well. I have yet to discover the Karting scene or drag racing but expect see young Wisconsinites at the top of those lists as well.
The truth it, while rediscovering my love of racing, I was mostly unaware of the racers I have written about so far and it has been a blast and a pleasure discovering all of them and hopefully spreading the word a bit on their accomplishments.
My online experience will take its next step this weekend when I attend my first event, the Lucky Leprechaun 300 Enduro event, hosted by Impact Survival Series (ISS) at Dells Raceway Park on Saturday. The weather is expected to cooperate and for a change, I will have some good pictures to use as opposed to scouring the internet for logos.
While the Enduro, which starts on Saturday at 2 p.m. will be fun, there are other big events taking place this weekend.
- There will be three Wisconsin racers at the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series including a pair making their 2019 debut. Johnny Sauter will be back of course and he is a good bet to win the title this season in his #13 Tenda Heal Ford F150. Travis Kvapil, from Janesville, a one-time NASCAR regular, will make an appearance as well in the #1 Beaver Motorsports Chevy Silverado and Derek Kraus from Stratford will be there as well in his ENOES/NAPA Toyota Tundra. After three practice sessions on Friday, the Truck Series qualifying event will take place on Saturday at 9:40 a.m. There is no television coverage for the practices, but the Qualifying will be on FSN1 and the Martinsville 250 will go green at 1 p.m. on Fox (or MRN Radio).
- One racer who will not be there is Natalie Decker who attended the first three rounds of the series, but this weekend will be a part of a four-day test session at Almeria, Spain as the 28 Round Two qualifiers will be narrowed to 18 that will take part in the all-female W-Series six-race season beginning in May. The drivers will all be testing the W Series Tatuus 318 looking to make the final cut
- After dominating the single cylinder division at the AMA Flat Track season at Daytona Speed Weeks earlier this month, Jesse Janisch from Beaver Dam will take his act to Atlanta for the Yamaha Atlanta Short Track Presented by Cycle Gear on Saturday. Janisch will be back with his Roof Systems Dallax TX, Yamaha, Ohlins, WKR, Rekluse, Belray, Bell Helmets, Vortex, Works Connection, Galfer, Mika Metals, Evan’s. Lightshoe, Cycle Gear, TDFJ, Vibes Decals Yamaha YZ450F. Also returning for the second round will be another Beaver Dam racers, Morgen Mischler on his Waters Autobody Racing, D&D Powersports, Staci Howell State Farm, RLJ Racing, Bell Helmets, Spectro Oils, RASE, Hebeler KTM, Bromley Motorcycles, Evans Coolant, Mr. Sign, Motion Pro, Wiseco Pistons, SuperTrapp, Performance Electronics, Vortex, RK Excel, ODI Grips, Full Spectum Batteries, Steve Fortunato, Robin Mooney, Pete Desantis, John Standiford KTM 450SX-F.
- If you want to go back and check out the great runs by Janisch and Mischler at the Daytona TT from earlier this month, the event will be airing on NBCSN Sunday at 3 p.m.
- Paul Menard will be also be at Martinsville to take part in the STP 500 this weekend with Final Practice and Qualifying both on FS1 at 11:30 a.m. and 4:10 p.m. respectively and the race will be on FS1 as well beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday.
- Hard core open wheel fans may want to check out the Indycar Classic will be visiting the Circuit of the Americas in Texas. Along with IndyCar, the Indy Lights series will be taking part. There are no Wisconsin racers, but if you need an open wheel fix, NBC Sports Gold will have on track and pit stop practice on Friday along with another practice session and the first of two Indy Lights races on Saturday. NBCSN will have IndyCar qualifying at 2 p.m. and the race, beginning with a pre-race show at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The second Indy Lights Race will also be on NBC Sports Gold Sunday at 9:10 a.m.