INDIANAPOLIS — Teamwork generally is best.
Indiana’s Anderson and Winchester Speedways have forged a unique relationship for this season, joining forces to promote a couple of events by putting up a bonus to the driver who can win both.
The Hoosier Double Down incentive was offering a $10,000 bonus if a driver could sweep the Fly Over States 150 at Winchester that was scheduled for May 18 and the Spring Fling 125 presented by Mitch Smith Automotive and Perfecto six days later at Anderson.
Both events featured the ARCA/CRA Super Series late models.
Anderson Speedway and Winchester Speedway each have a long, rich racing history and the tracks are located less than an hour apart. Winchester dates back more than 100 years, while Anderson is a relative youngster celebrating 74 seasons of racing this year.
The two tracks have shared the limelight — along with racers, fans, officials and sponsors — for four generations. Through several different regimes and personalities, across the years the two tracks have experienced alternating periods of warmth and tension.
But the Hoosier Double Down was a notable step toward working together, probably unprecedented for the two tracks. This is a healthy thing for area racers and fans and will likely strengthen both venues.
MAVTV personality and longtime racing broadcaster Bob Dillner recently joined track owner Charlie Shaw to take the promotional reins at Winchester. (Full disclosure: Dillner is a colleague of mine at MAVTV.) Dillner has brought a fresh supply of energy and enthusiasm to the role, along with an outspoken desire to work with area tracks to build racing in general.
Anderson Speedway owner Rick Dawson has been at the helm there for 24 years, enduring the inevitable ebb and flow of racing promotion. Dawson has been a stalwart supporter of late model racing in the area, and through thick and thin has kept weekly pavement racing alive at the historic track.
The two tracks are distinctly different, in both size and character. But for many of us, Anderson and Winchester are cherished destinations dating back more than a lifetime.
Anderson is a tight, tough quarter-mile with high-banked corners. The area surrounding the track has changed dramatically through the years — like the city itself — but the atmosphere remains as dynamic as ever. The moment you walk through the front gate you feel a sense of anticipation, the same thrill your father and your grandfather probably experienced.
Winchester is a long, steep drink of excitement. A sprawling high-banked half-mile that has intimidated nearly everyone who has raced there, it is a shock of action nestled among sleepy farm fields. The history there is palpable, and longtime fans feel a distinct rush of adrenaline as the track approaches in the distance along the state highway.
Both tracks have provided countless chapters of drama and excitement. Along with a third track —historic Mount Lawn Speedway near New Castle — central Indiana fans can relate many great tales of thrills and spills across decades of personalities and competition.
The Hoosier Double Down was just one deal, tying two races and two tracks together. But wouldn’t it be great if it led to an ongoing effort to find ways for area tracks to help build and strengthen each other?
A new generation of race fans is out there, looking for something exciting and interesting.
Promotions such as the Hoosier Double Down are great ways to get their attention and get them into the grandstands.