• July 26, 2014

Backseat Driver: Rain threat pulls the plug on racing at TTS

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Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 11:43 am, Mon Nov 5, 2012.

It didn't look good from the moment I left home Saturday afternoon, headed for the track, not with a heavy drizzle coming down in eastern Copperas Cove.

But, being the eternal optimist, my thoughts drifted to all those other race days when the gray overcast gave way to sunshine and we went racing. Not this time.

Promoter David Goode was also hopeful, but said if it was still misting, sprinkling or worse at 5 p.m. he would cancel and get the word out, so drivers would have a sporting chance to not haul in or could make plans to race elsewhere.

Guess what? At the deadline, the grandstands were too wet to sit on and it was still drizzling on Stan Schlueter Loop, sinking our chances to race faster than the Titanic went down 100 years ago.

One or two racers were already there, one of which I got into a conversation with about the new Outlaw Twister class. This driver,

who will remain nameless, said he'd have his car ready by April 21 and was fired up about it. I casually remarked there are some pretty good racers in this small but growing group.

What about Brian Bagent, Tommy Hultz, Kelvin Harper and Austin Smith, who ran off and left everybody last week?

"I've got something for Austin Smith," said the mystery racer.

No way will his name get out there from me because I don't want it on my conscience if things get out of hand.

When the Texas Twisters were introduced a few years back, they were designed to be an entry level class for neophytes who wanted to learn the sport inexpensively, but with a difference. These drivers could have their cars bought out from under them by fans.

Racing can be a costly hobby, especially in the sanctioned IMCA classes, but a lot of these Twister drivers have as little as $250 in their cars.

This year, with the Outlaw Twisters coming in, a lot of rules have been relaxed for them and it's pretty much run what you brung. The emphasis is on more speed and horsepower, which costs more, plus they can't be claimed except by other drivers in the class. It's a fun group to watch.

If only there were more of them.

Up to now, the biggest field we've had is six cars. Hopefully, we'll see a lot more in the weeks to come.

Saturday's rainout also meant we'll have to reschedule the Street Stock King of the Hill competition, which I really enjoy, because that class is the wildest and wooliest. Those drivers think nothing of trading paint at any point or, in the best Dale Earnhardt tradition, moving somebody out of the way, within the rules of course. After all, rubbin's racin'.

Oh, did I mention how the sun appeared an hour after we canceled?

I guess Mother Nature felt the Cup race in Fort Worth needed more viewers so NASCAR can keep running on Saturday nights, no matter the effect on local tracks.

We'll try again Saturday night.

See ya at the track!

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