Editorial: Kimbrough’s Crystal Ball – Life Is Like A Wheel

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I’ve been able to experience dirt track racing in almost every class, including vintage midgets.

I may not look like it, or rather sound like it, but I read things. I read often. Books. Real books, and not just the ones with photos and illustrations either. Books with stories, and books that entertain or make you think. One of my favorite authors is Stephen King. Even if he is a very left-leaning New England liberal, I like his work. He is not my favorite author, but he does entertain me. One of my favorite quotes of his is, “Life is like a wheel. Sooner or later, it always comes around to where you started again.”

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Building a street stock engine in the garage, just like every other dirt track racer across the country.

More importantly than looking at life like a wheel, is the things that we put on the wheel that will come back around. History and karma is fickle, and that is a simple truth. The good and bad come around and go around again. When these things do come around again, we hope that our work and deeds have been good, and we are happy to see their return.

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Cars with fenders were no problem and I was able to collect my share of wins in the stock car classes.

The Beginning

I was lucky enough to be with the team that launched OneDirt magazine back in 2009. The company owner believed enough in me to let me run the magazine. I’d never been an Editor before, and barely had a few years experience as a writer at that time. So, I learned most lessons the hard way, and our little magazine grew despite my lack of experience.

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Years of testing new products and reporting on them.

At some point, John Gibson took over as Editor, and I was moved into a Tech Editor role for several of our magazines. Gibson led the OneDirt title from North Carolina, where the racing was more commonplace than the scarce number of dirt tracks out west. The magazine continued to grow and prosper. The OneDirt magazine enjoyed a decent audience that were loyal followers, which made it a value to anyone wanting to start or advance their own media group. That is exactly what happened. We sold the title and assets to Xceleration Media.

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We’ve tried to do everything that a budget dirt track racer would do, including manually changing tires with a Harbor Freight tire changing machine.

Xceleration Media did well with the magazines they bought – and the ones they started. But much like the growth of OneDirt magazine, Xceleration Media became a valuable entity. Valuable enough that other media companies began to pay attention to their media property’s intrinsic value. OneDirt had been groomed by veteran Editor Jeff Huneycutt, and was being led most recently by the extremely talented Ben Shelton. The magazine was doing well, and near the top of the Xcleration Media portfolio.

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Winged mini-sprints was another class where I managed to eat a lot of dirt while running in circles.

What Happened Next

The Power Automedia group realized the value of the Xceleration Media titles, so we bought them – all of them. The whole media company. In that purchase, the work that we started in 2009, and put on the wheel, came back around. OneDirt was back where it started. But, the ubiquitous Ben Shelton decided to take a contributor role and focus on his own business opportunities. This left a vacancy in the editor’s position.

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New Year’s eve party with five-time CRA sprint car champion Jimmy Oskie.

We’ve all lived through those situations where we think about the things that we would have done differently if we were given a chance. The open editor position was a second chance to do some things that I had thought about, so I gladly jumped at the chance to grab the reigns of OneDirt magazine for a second time.

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Interviewing the late Vic Edelbrock Jr.

While I’ve learned a great deal through the other magazines I have been involved with for the past five years, I cherish many of the things we were able to do when we started the OneDirt title. You can expect to see a blend of old and new with our content. It was important to include Ben Shelton as a special contributor each month, and he has agreed to maintain an important part of the OneDirt puzzle. We’ve also reached out to past editors John Gibson and Jeff Huneycut, both having agreed to contribute at some level in the near future. We feel privileged to have all four of the OneDirt editors playing a role in the magazine.

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The original OneDirt project car running in the sport mod class provided some additional experiences.

What The Content Will Look Like

Thankfully, the OneDirt site itself will be getting a face-lift and modernization to look more like the other magazines in the Power Automedia family. The digital magazine layout will be pleasant to look at and less dated. We have a huge push on graphics and photography in the new layout. You can expect higher quality photos that do not slow the load speed of the page, but will look much better than we’ve had in the past.

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With the old master, Ed Pink.

As far as the written word and articles are concerned, we plan on doing more, and pushing the envelope there too. You’ll find more tech, more non-tech how-to articles, and more informational stories, some of which have never really been discussed at this level before. Wouldn’t it be cool to hear about a sprint car push-truck driver’s job and the safety concerns involved in the task? How about a nice story on how to photograph a dirt track race? You can expect to see those stories coming soon.

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Hanging out with Al Unser Jr.

We will do some race coverage, but more from a photo gallery aspect than the race report or race recap. In this day and age, fans know who won the race as soon as the race ends. Twitter and other social media sites have made race reporting instantaneous. There’s no reason for us to spend too much time trying to cover information that is already old by the time the article is written. Our focus will be on pre-event coverage and letting our fans know what races are coming up, and which teams will be there.

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Hanging it out with the Eriksen brothers’ George Shilala built 1950s midget.

Looking Back 

We have always cherished the history of dirt track racing and that will never change. You can expect to see at least one article a month that covers something in dirt track history. That could be anything from interviews with legendary drivers, to race track profiles and the events that made dirt track racing the sport that we all love. We will visit museums, garages, and racetracks – or spots where racetracks and legendary garages used to be. Did you know that the place where Frank Kurtis built all of his midget cars still exists. We’d love to visit that building and see if the current occupants know the historical significance of the building.

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Sitting down to lunch with Ed Justice Jr., and the late Dan Gurney.

So join us as we embark on the next stage in OneDirt magazine’s evolution. We will strive to do our best to bring you the best in dirt track racing entertainment and information. I’m happy to be back, and looking for your opinions to help us generate a magazine that you are pleased with and can be proud of. Email us at onedirt@powerautomedia.com.

Even in racing, stuff comes around again. I can promise you, Jud Larson would still recognize dirt track racing today.

Look for copies of the OneDirt print magazine in mid-May and Mid-August at racing venues country-wide. We will have information on how to get subscription to the magazine in the near future. See you at the track. – Bobby K

About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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