The first time I fell in love was at the age of three, it wasn’t some neighborhood boy, or even a cool new toy…Instead it was with the sport of auto racing!
When I made my first visit to Standish Speedway (MI) and saw Late Models slinging dirt I was a goner.
Over the past two decades I have been involved in racing in various ways. First as a fan of course and then at the age of 9 I took to the track behind the wheel of a ¼-Midget.
Although I didn’t experience great success or set any big records; I did have a lot of fun and still enjoy making visits to the Capital QMA Track in Lansing, Michigan where so many memories were made.
While driving the Beebe Sign’s & Marc Times Racing News sponsored ¼-Midget I began writing a weekly column in the Marc Times titled “The Kid’s Korner”. How Pat Beebe ever had the patience to edit the handwritten columns of a 9-Year-Old I will never know, but I truly loved writing about the drivers that I enjoyed watching, and liked the idea that other kids like myself could read about their favorite driver whether he was in a 4-Cylinder or racing in a national series.
Over the years I learned that I just couldn’t give up writing and the Beebe’s continued to have patience with me and became part of my extended family.
Dick and Pat were some of the most kind-hearted people I know and became an extra set of grandparents to me. Although neither of them are here with us any longer, their memory definitely lives on in my heart, as do the memories I have of Dick’s second wife Kathie who quickly became someone I loved and admired.
Once I hit my twenties, my column name changed to “Pitside with Darcie”, the writing matured a little more, but the premise was always the same.
Racing by Webster’s definition is “A competition of speed”, and my theory has always been that in order to have winners you must have losers…Nobody can race themselves and what makes auto racing so wonderful is the diverse group of people that make up a division. Maybe the fastest driver on the track isn’t the best racer, and maybe the best racer that there ever was never made it into victory lane because they didn’t have the equipment to get them there. I always really enjoyed writing about those drivers who you may not see on the cover of a newspaper, but they do the sport justice. It was my hope that maybe, just maybe…someone would see a name or their picture and find a new local track favorite to cheer on.
For me, racing isn’t just a hobby or summer fun, it is a community. A group of people with the same passion and a desire to see the sport flourish. We all may have different favorites at the local circle track or enjoy completely different forms of the sport altogether, but somehow when the checkered flag flies or the end of the ¼-mile is reached we are all cheering the same. That is the true heart of motorsports and what I enjoy the very most.
As a board member of the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame, I am given the opportunity to help honor and work with individuals from all different forms of competition and it has truly broadened my horizons. I love to watch everything from stock car action, to open-wheel excitement, the thrilling ¼-mile, to the back-roads where rally cars fly.
In 2008 I was given the great opportunity to write for National Speed Sport News. In the spring of 2011 NSSN moved to an electronic format and my columns at www.nationalspeedsportnews.com feature regional racing stars-of which there are many in this area.
More recently, I have also begun writing various features for Three Wide Media. If you ever get a chance to check out their Dirt Modified, Dirt Late Model, and Flat Out Magazines you will surely not be dissapointed with their content, and I am very excited to be a part of that for 2012.
The columns in this blog will not cover or take away from those interviews or features but will instead provide an outlet to share the thoughts of some of our local racing heroes. I will also interject on occasion some results and my thoughts on the track or event. The format will be somewhat similar to my “Kids Korner” –“Pit Side with Darcie” columns from the Marc Times Racing News.
As racing still remains my weekend addiction and my weekdays are filled with my career as a Production Information Supervisor, I will be making an attempt to update this blog every 2-3 weeks throughout the summer and once a month throughout the long winter months.
Thank you for reading and I’ll see you when the next green flag flies!