Friday, July 18, 2008

July 18 - Conococheague Controvery

That's it. I'm convinced that the Hagerstown Speedway no longer has a big show. Lisa has completely ruined the tradition of the speedway. The legendary track announcer Frank Sagi once said that the Conococheague 100 was the "greatest race I ever saw" when introducing race fans to the Conococheague 100 event. Now, since the event was rained out one time as a World of Outlaws Late Model Series event, the track has seemingly just cancelled the event altogether, which makes no sense whatsoever. People can argue with me all day, but you'll never convince me that the Octoberfest, or the Hub-City are bigger events than the Conococheague 100 was. I'll explain later why I keep calling it the Conococheague 100. I mean, come on people, the Octoberfest is a horrible day race, and the Hub-City is a former day race, that doesn't pay enough to be the track's signature event. Yes, the Conococheague 100 has always been the track's marquee event, and the Hagerstown Speedway, as usual, has tried to ruin it. It started in 2004 when the World of Outlaws Late Model Series first came in and sanctioned the event. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the Concococheague 100 being sanctioned by the WoO Late Models is a problem, it's the fact that it was renamed the Conococheague Classic, and was shortened to 50 laps that is the problem. Hagerstown's marquee event should be 100 laps. If they have to bump the winner's share up a little bit to extend the race to 100 laps then do so, but don't compromise the event just because the WoO Late Models are scared to death to run 100 lap races. When the Conococheague 100 was sanctioned by the STARS and then the Renegade DirtCar Series following them, the event was 100 laps. While the event being compromised down to a 50 lap regular show for the WoO Late Models should be looked down upon by fans and supporters of the Hagerstown Speedway who are aware of the track's history, at least they were still running the event. This year, since the Conococheague rained out and the WoO Late Models and Hagerstown could not find a suitable date, they have just decided to cancel it altogether. That's a load of crap. I know what people are going to say. They are going to say that, well they couldn't find a raindate so what do you want them to do. They should run the race anway. It's the Conococheague, run the damn race. The Williams Grove National Open in 1998 was rained out two or three times and the WoO Sprints dropped their sanctioning of the event. But, guess what, the Williams Grove Speedway still ran the event. Billy Pauch won the National Open that year. Hagerstown, on the other hand it seems, is just going to skip the Conococheague this season with all of this time remaining in the year. It makes no sense to me as a race fan. Past winners of the event include Rodney Combs, Buddy Armel, Bob Wearing, Rodney Franklin, Ronnie McBee, Gary Stuhler, Tom Peck, Nathan Durboraw, Larry Moore, Jack Boggs, Bart Hartman, Steve Francis, Todd Andrews, Earl Pearson Jr., Davey Johnson, Rick Eckert, Robbie Blair, Clint Smith, and Shannon Babb. The list has a lot of great names on it, and the track is going to throw that all away by just giving one chance at running the track's marquee event this season. It's only July, and the Hagerstown Speedway is not going to reschedule the event at all. The Hagerstown Speedway should reconsider their stance on the Conococheague issue this season and reschedule the event anyway. Who cares if the WoO Late Models won't come back. Run the race anyway.

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