Too Much Dust…Not Enough Hewitt!

HAMMOND, IN: As the racing season of 2008 rolls into late summer, two facts have become all too obvious: first: there is way too much dust for the average fan to deal with at many dirt shows. And second: the world still needs Jack Hewitt!

Regarding the dust problem?something is terribly wrong here. Back in the day, when most dirt tracks ran Sunday afternoon shows under the blazing summer sun, dust would, understandably, become a problem as the day wore on, but could usually be fairly well controlled with applications of water. Of course, the use of calcium chloride in track preparation also helped a great deal. But these days, even without the sun baking the dirt, the night races have become dustier than the old daytime events!

We’ve been told that part of today’s dust problem lies in the fact that calcium chloride can no longer be used in dirt track prep, due to the “fact” that it is environmentally “unfriendly”. If this is true, we need to come up with something to take it’s place, before it’s too late?

It’s also possible that another factor contributing to the dust problem is that, with this year’s new daylight savings time law, the additional hour of Midwest sun hinders track preparation. Not much we can do about that, unfortunately.

This season, we’ve attended open wheel dirt night shows shows at places like Eldora, Boswell,IN (Kemp’s Speedway), Gas City and Terre Haute and, at each venue, goggles were MANDATORY! A respirator would be even better! At several of these events?Terre Haure and Boswell in particular, we observed (with the aid of our trusty goggles) lots of folks leaving the grandstands well before the checkered flag. For the continued health of our sport, especially in these tough economic times, this is totally unacceptable. There’s no doubt that many of these folks won’t be back.

And now?for the good news.

On July 25, at Skyline Speedway in southern Ohio’s rolling Appalachia foothills, sprint car legend and Indy 500 vet Jack Hewitt made his return to competition following a long recovery from racing-related injuries. Reportedly, it was just like old times, with Jack running hard on the cushion until slowed by mechanical problems. But?no matter. Hewitt is back!

At this point, no one seem certain what lies ahead for Troy, Ohio’s favorite son. But, no matter what, isn’t it great to know that some things never really change?

Race hard?turn left?but don’t forget your damn goggles?

Share Button