The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

April 3, 2014

Shawn Wood's Inside Track: It's racing season again

It's racing season again

There was a time during the long, cold winter, that even the most diehard race fan had to wonder if the season might start by June.

Following sub-zero temperatures, snowstorms, and a Polar Vortex, along comes the groundhog and declares six more weeks of winter on Feb. 2.

And Mother Nature was more than happy to oblige to his prediction.

Thanks, Phil!

But, alas, while the racing season did get a late start, birds are signing, the Phillies won on Opening Day and Selinsgrove Speedway opens a new era on Saturday.

All is right with the world again.

Last year was a tough year for the racing community with three on-track deaths.

Then, just when it seemed as though we had gotten to a point of healing, 15-year-old Niokoa Johnson was killed in a single-car accident in her very first race at Bubba's Raceway Park in Florida a few weeks ago.

A stark reminder that our sport has a very cruel side to it.

There was plenty of racing broadcast on the Internet from Australia and New Zealand during the sub-zero winter nights to hold over even the most diehard fan.

For the first time in its history, the Australian 410 Sprint Car Title was streamed live from Tasmania. It was great to sit back and watch 410 sprint cars fire up in the dead of winter on back-to-back nights.

The time zone difference meant the feature was usually getting over by 7 the next morning. But seeing the sun rise was not a bad payoff to hear the sounds of engines. Now if someone could create an application that would allow the smell of methanol to permeate the room while watching the race, that would have made the experience that much better.

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