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9726Re: Happy New Year 2006

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  • mike
    Jan 4, 2006
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      --- In TrackChasers@yahoogroups.com, RTRYFBAR@A... wrote:
      >Guy, Thanks for mentioning me for an ice racing trip with you and
      Will. I am looking forward to it. Happy New Year to you and Pam. I
      hope everyone in the group has a healthy 2006 and I hope to cross
      paths with some of the new friends I have made and also meet some
      that I failed to meet up to now. My tentative January schedule
      1st-Ransomville, which was good in the snow and mud
      20th-Scope-(If Kathy lets me celebrate 33rd anniversary 1 day early)
      28th and 29th- I am hoping for some ice races somewhere
      > Remember I can be flexable with the Arena Races as long as I know a
      couple days early.
      Have a great day,
      Mike Knappenberger

      > 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.
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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