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9709RE: [TrackChasers] Happy New Year 2006

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  • Vanden Eynde Roland
    Jan 2, 2006
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      Guy,

      First of all I would like to wish all colleagues and their loved ones a
      healthy and successful 2006.

      Secondly, I would like to draw everyone's attention to Will's
      achievements over the years. You quite rightly cited him for his
      admirable work on the TrackChaser website, but omitted to fully
      acknowledge his fantastic trackchasing achievements. It's nice you
      mention me in that respect, but I know what it takes Will to achieve his
      international track list and I can assure you he's successfully tried
      some combinations I would never have thought of. And all this on a very
      small budget. Hats off to Will. I hope you do him justice in your AARN
      column.

      That being said, my racing goals for 2006 are also rather modest. I
      reckon my year 2006 total will be much less than my 2005 one, about 65
      to 70. Therefore, I probably will not be able to compete with Paul
      Weisel for the last top 20 spot. My achievable goals are:

      *
      getting over the 100 track mark in Belgium, thereby making it
      the first non English speaking country where this feat has been achieved
      *
      adding a few more countries to my portfolio. New Zealand in
      March and one or two others, to be chosen between Andorra, Turkey and
      Slovenia
      *
      end my 2006 season with 500 tracks.

      Roland

      ________________________________

      From: TrackChasers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TrackChasers@yahoogroups.com]
      On Behalf Of RTRYFBAR@...
      Sent: maandag 2 januari 2006 4:36
      To: TrackChasers@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [TrackChasers] Happy New Year 2006



      Effort, PA
      January 1, 2006

      TrackChasers:

      I'd like to wish a happy and successful New Year to all of my
      TrackChaser friends. This is kind of an end of the year, state of the
      union message for TrackChasing. Although I?ve been around from the
      beginning, I don?t think my spin on things is any more valid or valuable
      than anyone else?s. I would certainly like to hear from anyone else who
      has any ideas for the greater good of TrackChasing.

      A special congratulation is in order for Randy Lewis, for breaking the
      single season new track record. As is often said, the race is won with
      the preparation back in the garage, and I think that applies in this
      case. However, I don't want to congratulate Randy without also offering
      equal congratulations to Ed Esser, who also broke the previously
      existing single season new track record, to Roland Vanden Eynde, for
      having the top season for a European and adding to his record breaking
      country list, to Andy Sivi, for becoming the third person to reach the
      1000 track mark, to P. J. Hollebrand for getting a new track for an
      incredible number of consecutive years, and to everyone else who has
      reached individual seasonal and career goals and milestones this year.

      It's a pleasure to have been the originator of this group of people from
      all over the world who share the same hobby and interest. I think it is
      commendable that most continue to act in a classy manner, sharing
      information on new tracks and races; and offering congratulations for
      TrackChasing accomplishments; even to those that will neither
      acknowledge them, offer kudos to others, or share info. It really shows
      the character of the group of fine individuals that make up
      TrackChasers. As an example, our first thought when finding out
      Saturday at DeVos was canceled was if there was any way we could contact
      Rick to let him know. Perhaps we should develop an emergency cell phone
      list for the group?

      If I have any concern about the group direction, it's about how
      competitiveness sometimes turns ugly and results in less than admirable
      actions. I am not saying I am immune to this, nor referring to any
      specific individuals. Perhaps we can downplay the competitive aspect by
      offering congratulations when people accomplish TrackChasing firsts, or
      reach TrackChasing milestones, rather than for "passing" or "beating"
      others. I pray that it never gets so competitive that winning becomes
      more important than the group camaraderie that has developed. I fear
      that it has already become more important than the racing, which is what
      started it all for all of us.

      I have mixed emotions that we continue to recognize Rick Schneider as
      the TrackChasing champion. As a friend of Rick long before the term
      "TrackChaser" existed, I am sad that he no longer wants to be associated
      with us, and feel conflicted that we do not honor his wishes to no
      longer add any of his new tracks. I don?t even know if Rick still
      considers me a friend, although I was proud that he called me to inform
      the group about the death of his mom. No one loves going to the races
      more than Rick. With Rick it has always been about the races. No
      matter what he thinks of this group now, and no matter how many tracks
      he really has vs. how many we know about, Rick will always be a
      champion. In the same way, Pappy and Allan will also always be
      champions as well. It takes a certain level of integrity and character
      to earn the title of champion, and having been to the most tracks does
      not necessarily make someone a champion. It only makes them number one.
      Pappy, then Allan, then Rick have earned the title champion. I respect
      and admire them all. Rick could have two hundred more tracks listed,
      and Allan could again be number one if he chose to be. Both Allan and I
      have vowed not to pass Rick for the top spot, as we know we would not be
      the true number one.

      The increased international flavor of the group has been a huge plus, in
      my opinion. Pam and I had such a great time visiting England and
      meeting up with Colin, Spike, Mark, and Colin. We treasure our two
      chances to spend time with Roland in the US. The recent project to
      declare a TrackChaser Number One for each continent is a great step
      forward for the group, as is the continued plugging away at the Chris E.
      list. It's cool to have some international drivers listed along with
      Kinser, Swindell, and Schrader.

      Pam and I were so honored to be invited into Allan and Nancy's home last
      month while in Grand Rapids. I'm very much looking forward to an ice
      racing trip with Mike Knappenberger this month or next. Another new
      chance to swap racing stories with someone who is one of us. It's the
      friendships and the experiences along the way that make this thing
      great.

      My racing goals for 2006 are fairly limited. I promised to myself that
      after reaching 1000 tracks in October, I would go to fewer than a dozen
      tracks in the next half year. I plan to keep that promise, as I have
      only been to four new tracks in three months, skipping December 31 and
      January 1 possibilities in Georgia. Last year I went to over 60 new
      tracks, which was a little too many for me as I have other interests,
      including letting Pam decide how we spend half of our time together. A
      non racing activity with Pam is almost always better than a new track
      without her. What you may not know is that when we got married, Pam
      said I could go off TrackChasing without her but not for more than ten
      days at a time. Fifteen years later, I have yet to go for more than
      five days. Maybe this year? I hope to get to somewhere around 40 new
      tracks in 2006, give or take a few, but without passing Rick for the top
      spot under any circumstances. That's just a personal decision, and I
      have no problem with Andy or Randy or anyone else doing it. Go for it,
      guys! I?ll be right there to offer my congratulations. I guess my main
      goal will be to try see if Will and I can get to 100 different tracks in
      Canada. I hope we can work together to help each other when possible
      and not turn it into too much of a competition. Other than that I'll
      continue to inform the group whenever I find out about new tracks or
      races, and continue to spread the word about the group in AARN. One of
      my projects for early 2006 is going to be a column on the ten greatest
      TrackChasing feats of all-time. I don't think I will try to rank them,
      though.

      I would love to read from others in the group what their TrackChasing
      goals or plans are for 2006.

      I would like to end by offering special thanks to Will for the
      tremendous website he has built for us. Without Will, we would still
      all be waiting for me to put together a yearbook every other year.
      Thanks also to Andy Ritter for offering to take over administration of
      the listserve, to Allan and Nancy for supplying us all with their
      invaluable NSD. And to Gordy, who called me today while looking for the
      Georgia double, I know you had a rough 2005 and were subjected to some
      hurtful guff, both publicly and privately, that was totally undeserved.
      I pray you get your Blessedness back and share it with Sue. Everyone
      else, have a great 2006 and feel free to ask if there is anything I can
      do to help anytime along the way.

      Again, Happy New Year from Guy and Pam.




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