9709RE: [TrackChasers] Happy New Year 2006
- Jan 2, 2006Guy,
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
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
end my 2006 season with 500 tracks.
From: TrackChasers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TrackChasers@yahoogroups.com]
On Behalf Of RTRYFBAR@...
Sent: maandag 2 januari 2006 4:36
Subject: [TrackChasers] Happy New Year 2006
January 1, 2006
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
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,
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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