Thankful – The Dirt Track Edition

Ben Shelton - Sheryl Shelton

Family members – like my wife – are the ones who sacrifice the most, while we live the racing life.

So here we are on Thanksgiving Day 2017.

For many of us it’s a time to hit the reset button – even if for just one day. It’s also a time to spend time with those that matter the most.

While we all know the things in our personal lives for which we should be thankful, I thought it would only be appropriate this morning to throw together a quick article, highlighting the aspects of racing for which I’m most thankful.

I would be sadly remised if I didn’t start this piece by saying I’m eternally thankful for all the awesome men and women of our military. If not for their bravery, selfless sacrifices, and hard work, there’s no way that we could be enjoying the greatest sport in the world in the greatest country in the world.

Past, present and future members of the military – I salute you all.

Next, I’m thankful for all the awesome folks, who support OneDirt.

In a very short time you’ve helped us grow from a small website and a small magazine to one of the most-read media outlets in the industry. Without your support, OneDirt wouldn’t be where it is today. Even more exciting is the fact that the best is definitely yet to come.

For this incredible support, I tip my hat to you.

I’m thankful for all the mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, husbands, wives, aunts, and uncles who allow dirtheads around the globe to miss anniversaries, holidays, birthdays, etc. just to go and play in the dirt every week.

If I’ve it said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – life on the road as a member of the racing fraternity can be tough, but the true sacrifices are made by those back home.

So, again I say thank you for allowing so many of us to live the life that we love the most.

I thank all the racers for putting on the show for us, each-and-every week. I especially thank the blue-collar guys, who work 60 hours a week at their job, but still find time to make it to the track just in time for hot laps on a steamy Saturday night.

You men and women are truly the backbone of what keeps our sport alive.

I’m thankful for the track owners, who keep the doors open to hundreds of tracks. While, there’s some exceptions, many of these places do good to clear $1,000 a week. All the while, they are usually taking non-stop criticisms and complaints. Plain and simple, the profit margins tend to be thin, and there frequently seems like a better opportunity to lose money than it does to make it.

Despite the cards being stacked against them, these owners keep forging ahead. I don’t know that I would have it in me to do it, but they do – and that’s all that really matters.

I spent just about every Friday and Saturday night of my childhood at the track with my family. I have so many incredible memories, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Those experiences most definitely molded me into the person that I am today.

As a result, I sincerely want to thank the tracks for giving us a place to play race.

Brock Zearfoss (3z) and Jason Sides

Much appreciation and thanks are extended to the individuals and companies who sponsor racing. Whether you sponsor a car, a track or a series, you are a major player in keeping the wheels turning. I know there’s probably times when you question why you do it, or you think about all the stuff you could’ve bought with that money. However, just like the track owners you do it for the love of the sport.

And for that I thank you.

Finally, I want to say that I’m thankful for our racing family. Sure, we have a tendency to fight and bicker with one another, but when the cards are stacked against us, we have a special way of banding together to help those in need.

We truly take care of our own, and I’m so very proud to say that I’m a member of the racing family.

I hope you folks have a fantastic Thanksgiving. Thanks again so much for your support!

Now let’s eat!

About the author

Ben Shelton

Ben got his start at historic Riverside International Speedway. His accomplished motorsports media career includes journalist, race announcer, and on-air personality.
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