Thursday, August 28, 2008

Three is a number we can all agree we like, right?

So the third post, I'll introduce myself and the blog- and hope someone comes around to read it!
I'm a historian. An architectural historian at the moment. I am really interested in the history of NASCAR, and especially interested in preserving local race tracks. I think that its a shame so many are lost.
California just lost the Stockton 99- and more and more are threatened.
So. I am just starting to write my Master's Thesis on historic NASCAR tracks as important cultural landscapes.
This really just means that they are places that are important to people, to the history of NASCAR and to the history of America, really.
This also does not mean that I want to put these tracks in glass bubbles, with guided tours and special hours. It means that I think that it is important that we keep our racing heritage alive by racing at them. Crazy, isn't it!?
Preservation and the National Register and local registers really scare people, because they think that it means that nothing can ever be touched again.
My argument is that this isn't a concept that applies to places like tracks. These are places that need to be kept viable to be kept.

So. I've been meaning to start this. First off, to start writing about the tracks- to get their histories out there, and to get them sorted in my head. They all have great stories.
I'm going to try to work it so that each week there is a race at a heritage track, I'll dig into it a little. The weeks that we have races at modern tracks? Well. I'll probably talk about the importance of keeping our heritage alive, and the speed in which we are fast heading towards a whole season of 1.5 mile cookie cutters.

No matter what the drivers or fans actually want.

This is also a place for me to bounce my own ideas around, to work some things out in order to have them come across more succinctly (amazingly brilliantly) in my thesis.
Let me know if you stop by. I'm curious to see if anyone else is interested. Also! Feel free to share your stories!

I'll get some links up soon, and some pictures. And some Dispatches From the Frontstretch when I head out to the tracks for research.

Thanks for hanging out. Grab a beer, run your flag up the whip-pole and enjoy yourself.


samatwitch said...

I look forward to reading your thoughts on this subject, MA. Good luck with your thesis.

Tracy said...

A professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg has put together the history of some of the "lost" tracks, as I recall, in Virginia and NC. I too find the old tracks fascinating, especially their impact on local economies way back when.
Caught you on DalyPlanet!

The Track Girl said...

Tracy! Hi fellow Dalyplanet-er!
Thanks for the tip!
I will look into that for sure.
I've moved my blog on over to

because I can use my own picture in the background!

Maybe I should be double posting! I never knew anyone even came over to see what I was going on about!