It seems that the older I get the more I reminisce about days past. Between the struggle of accepting the fact that I am getting older and being busier than ever with a wife, 3 kids, job, church, and my favorite summer hobby among many other things, the few spare moments in life are many times spent thinking about the past. I even dug out my old copies of Slinger and Madison International Speedway yearbooks and spent some time in those. A good friend of mine recently posted a challenge to his friends. Name the top 12 music albums that have made the biggest influence on your life, past and present. Always up for a mental challenge I sat down and created my list. It was much harder than anticipated. Many drafts and tweaks later I finally had my list. Like any list as time goes on it constantly changes. A mood may strike, something in your life may happen to change your perspective on something, or something new and better may come along. There will never be a perfect list and there will never be a list that doesn’t change. Reflecting on this exercise and me being who I am I of course had to find a way to do something similar with short track racing. If you follow any of the facebook groups of racing’s past you may have caught my post, but I did in fact come up with what I felt was a great exercise to see what I could come up with. It was quite a popular post and like any list as more people chimed in my list changed a bit too.
Here is the challenge:
You have an 18 car Super Late Model dream feature lineup to fill with any drivers past to present. Must have run at least 1 race in the Midwest and can be based off anything you choose. What does your lineup look like?
It was interesting to see what people had to say about the question and what their list was. Some couldn’t get over the fact that it wasn’t a top 18 drivers of all time list, some picked their favorite track to run the race at, and it was cool to see all the diversity in every list and what made their list important to them. The bottom line is there are no restrictions outside of it must have 18 drivers and they must have run at least 1 race in the Midwest. That is what made my friends music exercise so challenging yet fun and what makes this challenge a real thinker.
How did I pick my lineup? First I had to identify some of my most memorable races I attended in years past and what made them memorable. Things that stood out to me were a diverse mix of old and new, NASCAR stars, and a wild card driver that I had never seen race before. I still remember the 2005 Slinger Nationals when I saw Matt Kocourek race for the first time and lead a large portion of the race. It was exciting for me that this out of nowhere racer came and kicked my local hero's butts. I wanted some attitude in my lineup guaranteeing fireworks of some sort. I also took into consideration longevity but mainly focused on drivers I saw do something no one else has, drivers who won a lot of premier races, and drivers who were light years better than anyone else during a certain period of time.
My dream lineup: (in no particular order)
Dick Trickle * Joe Shear
Mark Martin * Butch Miller
Bob Senneker * Matt Kenseth
Rich Bickle * Steve Carlson
Kyle Busch * Johnny Sauter
Chase Elliott * Terry Baldry
Ty Majeski * Rusty Wallace
Lowell Bennett * Nate Hasleau
Junior Hanley * Bubba Pollard
If I had to I would change a few now, ask me again in 2 weeks and I’ll probably change it again.
So what is your dream lineup?
Rich Zimpel has been attending local race tracks for the past 30 years.