By Patrick Reynolds

“Now is the time. Local tracks are racing. Go see a race at a track near you. Our grassroots ovals, drag strips, and road courses are the backbone and foundation of the auto racing world.”

I say some variation of that line as I sign off from my weekly Speedway Report broadcasts airing on RacersReunion Radio. The point I try to convey is to support your local race track. It does not matter if it a paved or dirt surfaced oval track, a club-affiliated amateur road course or a regional drag strip- get out and attend a race.

I attend as often as I can. Many of you are just like me- would like to go from speedway to speedway, however responsibilities sometimes preclude heading to the track. Such was the case on a recent early summer weekend.

My Speedway Report producer Jeff Gilder traveled from the RacersReunion studio in North Myrtle Beach, SC to the Charlotte, NC area remote studio that I operate from. Our idea was to spend Saturday afternoon to create a new and improved facility suitable for better radio programs and future development of Speedway Report television broadcasts.

Gilder brought some new equipment with him and he packed his vision and imagination as well.

An idea simmered in the back of my brain for Saturday night- Bowman Gray Stadium.

I am a lover of NASCAR Modifieds and BGS is quite the entertaining evening. If we finished early enough, I thought may be able to talk Gilder into an extended road trip for night time.

He sat at my broadcast area and performed some magic with my existing and brand new technology. After several trips to the local home improvement store and hours of work, he created a new studio that will serve us well into the future. However he finally ‘clocked out’ and started his drive for home around 9pm- too late for either of us to take in any Saturday night short track action.

We are thrilled with the project’s outcome but circling back to my opening point, this was a weekend I would not be able to support my local track.

I wanted to prepare a column for the Speedway Report website and a short track race is wonderful place to connect with racers and fans alike for good stories. With that opportunity unable to come to fruition, I looked forward to Sunday.

The following day I could test drive and get the feel for my new broadcast equipment and in the afternoon enjoy a TV tripleheader of Indycar, NASCAR Sprint Cup, and NHRA.

The Lake Norman television signal was hard at work all day as I watched for an intriguing story. There were several.

Will Power and Team Penske worked a solid combination of speed and fuel mileage to win at Road America. Josef Newgarden bounced back from a broken collarbone and bone in his hand to drive to an eighth-place finish. The series return to one of America’s most respected racing facilities resulted in outstanding fan support and side-by-side racing.

NHRA Top Fuel driver Steve Torrence missed the Norwalk, Ohio meet due to a medical condition. Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Eddie Krawiec was a winner but went into the sand traps twice on the final day.

Tony Stewart claimed an extremely popular victory in Sonoma California for a storybook win after all the adversity he has faced in the past few years.

These stories, and more, were there to tell. I would have been writing about all of them from my studio and watching the contests on TV. That can be done, I have done it before and so have others.

I simply had a feeling that all of those were better served by the writers on-site. I did not feel plugged enough into them from my satellite and internet feeds while not at a speedway.

My stories best exist at a track. That is where an experience can be transformed into words and a tale be told.

Support your local track, whether you are writing a story or enjoying a day as a fan. They are what the entire sport is built upon.

“Now is the time. Local tracks are racing. Go see a race at a track near you. Our grassroots ovals, drag strips, and road courses are the backbone and foundation of the auto racing world.”

If Sunday afternoon racing dies, Saturday night racing can still thrive. If Saturday night racing dies, so goes Sunday afternoon.

Patrick Reynolds is a former professional NASCAR mechanic who hosts Speedway Report Mondays 7pm ET/ 4pm PT on Follow on Twitter @SpeedwayPat.