News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

August 15, 2006

Trackside: Change doesn’t come easy in auto racing

TERRE HAUTE — By nature, racers are noted for their reluctance to accept change. It’s a trait that U.S. Auto Club officials know all that well these days.

In a move that they hoped would help pump new life in to their stagnant Silver Crown series has all but backfired on the Speedway-based sanctioning body.

The introduction of the “New Generation” cars for the pavement tracks has not generated the results that the brass at USAC had envisioned.

Small car counts and wide-spread dissension among many of its club members has left USAC’s premier circuit in turmoil and the future of the new cars for the time being in doubt.

It’s a subject officials didn’t care to discuss and one that several car owners and drivers reluctantly express their views on during the recent Sumar Classic.

Some view the current controversy as only temporary growing pains that will gradually disappear once more of the new cars arrive on the scene.

Other view it in a much different light and one they fear threatens the future of USAC.

Car owners, many who had the most to lose with the introduction of the new pavement creations have been the most vocal about the changes.

Terre Haute sprint and Silver Car owner Bill Biddle has watched with interest the way the current dilemma has played out. The local businessman continues to field a car for the USAC dirt tracks but like many has reframed from purchasing one the new cars.

He continues to run his pavement cars but instead on the splinter Premier Racing Association circuit. He thinks there’s a place for both series but is not certain how many of his fellow car owners share the same chain of thought.

Questioned if he feared for the future of the Silver Crown series he expressed the views most commonly heard from many USAC car owners.

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