1. Archive

Here's a suggestion the next time rain washes out races

Racing at Sunshine Speedway was canceled Saturday night because of a little rain. After reviewing the events on this season's schedule, the only question is, Why?

"We're completely flooded out," promoter Frank Hill grumbled early Saturday afternoon. "We have water all the way up to the flagger's stand," the floor of which is 13 or nine feet above the pavement.

Considering how creative racing promoters are in trying to lure the curious away from the tube, night clubs and other forms of entertaining competition, it's surprising Hill didn't change the program to the First Annual No Wheel Races. Simple enough _ canoes, john boats, motorized rubber rafts, all the way up to bass boats to replace Late Models. All at the same price, and free docking too. Tech inspectors would have had to go fishing to find something illegal.

If you think that sounds crazy, it is. Still, check out some of the other stuff in local racing. The big race that was washed out last week was for Winged, Outlaw Open Wheel Sprint cars. Dedicated race fans know Sprints are the fastest thing to land on a short track, but the name could conjure up a different image to a normal person _ masked creatures dressed in black, flapping lap after lap, stopping only to mug an official or patron.

Then, there's all this new, small stuff. We've got Dwarfs and T.Q. Midgets. By the way, T.Q. stands for three-quarter, so you've got three-quarters of a midget, which must mean the Dwarfs are towering over the T.Q. Midgets. Not.

We also have Mini Cup cars, which sounds as if they escaped from a tea party in Alice in Wonderland. It probably all started with Mini Stocks, which are not inexpensive investment hares.

Legend Cars, of course, have only been around a few years.

And the special events Earlier this year, we were treated to Wet and Wild, which had absolutely nothing to do with T-shirts. Next was the IRS Tax Bash Demolition Derby, which was a commendable concept but no government representative was present. And there was the Train Race on the track but without tracks, and the Blindfold Race.

Coming up in a couple of weeks is the School Bus Figure 8 race, which is the offspring of the highly popular School Bus Demolition Derby. Obviously, these events were inspired by the hiring practices of the Pinellas County School Board.

The last show of the year will feature the Eve of Destruction Demolition Derby and the Figure 8 Chain Race.

If Hill is still looking for ideas, how about this: Flood the track, bring the school buses back, and have them chase the Dwarfs and Midgets, who must be blindfolded and chained together, on a Figure 8 or wherever-you-can-find-them course. Just to make it interesting, illuminate it only with strobe lights. Helmets and seatbelts required.