Texas Thunder Speedway,
A track where the stands were rickety, the food was average, and the bathrooms were on par with just about any small-town gas station. A place where I held my first job; they paid me $10 a night to operate the scoreboard. This track, for all its faults, quirkiness, and imperfections, was home.
This track was a place where my father and I would drive 5 hours round trip every Saturday. Why? Well, where else could you see IMCA Modified National Champions, Keith White and P.J. Egbert, battle each other every week? Where else could my father and I see door to door action in every class at the track? Nowhere because we tried finding it elsewhere and we would always come right back. This track had the best racing in Texas, and at times, I dare say the world.
Texas Thunder Speedway had plenty of character and had a fair share of characters. Names like Jason “The Acro” Batt, Gary “Stormin” Norman, and Ken Old were always fan favorites. The track had two distinct racing grooves that appealed to the cushion huggers and the bottom feeders, who inevitably, always seemed to meet at the flag stand for a photo finish. That would leave us in the scoring booth to debate and at times, take a vote, to agree on the winner. After a while, we finally got smart and started using transponders to handle that.
Sadly, this track no longer exists. It got demolished to make a Walmart SuperCenter. Glad to know life is fair, right?
I’ve learned a lot of life lessons from this defunct race track, and as I sit here and reminisce, I have come to realize that she had one more life lesson to offer and that is “nothing lasts forever.” This track taught me that I need to cherish, enjoy, and protect what I have in life because certain experiences and opportunities may never happen again. This statement is proving to be accurate as I try to plant my roots and find a new track to call home.
Until I do, I can only think about how special Texas Thunder Speedway was and still is to me and to those who also called this track home.
“On behalf of the entire staff and crew here at Texas Thunder Speedway, I hope you had as much fun watching them, as we did bringing them to you.” -Sarge, co-announcer