As I sit here excited for the Fall weather to blow in, it reminds me that the Midwest racing season will soon be drawing to a close. As depressing as that is to me, it also means some of the greatest races of the season are still ahead. Rockford Speedway will close out the season the last weekend in September with the infamous National Short Track Championships weekend, and of course, the crown jewel of the season, Oktoberfest at La Crosse Speedway will top it all off the first weekend in October.
This weekend, however, I’ll be heading to Jefferson Speedway, a track that I have not been to in probably 20 years. The last time I was there was the last time my dad raced there. I honestly don’t remember much about the race, although I know it was twin features, much like this weekend will be, and of course in my mind I believe he won at least one of the features that night. Although I could be thinking of a different race. In my mind my dad won every race he was in, but I am a little biased.
If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I live and breathe racing to the core. I’ve lived the sport since I was conceived (yes, I just went there) and of course married into it as well. I’ve been called “racing royalty” by many because of my dad’s legendary career along with marrying into the Carlson family, hence allowing me to carry the name Shear-Carlson with pride. Believe me I was just as shocked to think a Shear could marry a Carlson.
As honored as being called “royalty” can feel, I actually think of myself more as a racing purebred. My grandfathers raced, my father raced, my uncles raced, my brothers raced, my cousins raced, my husband raced, my father-in-law and his brothers raced, and now even my own son has gotten behind the wheel; and I’ll let you all in on a little unknown secret. I even got behind the wheel a time or two, incognito of course. Shhhh. I’ll never tell.
As I make the three-hour drive to Jefferson Speedway this weekend, I can guarantee you a plethora of thoughts will be flying through my mind. I cannot wait to get back to Wisconsin for the weekend. I am really looking forward to finding out if Jefferson Speedway is what I remember it to be. But most of all, I cannot wait to see the people.
When I say the people, I don’t just mean the people that I already know and grew up with. I mean ALL the people. I love to look up in the grandstands and see the flurry of activity as fans prepare for the racing action. I love it when they are cheering with all their hearts for their favorite drivers, or even for just great racing in general.
I’m not just a racing purebred (haha…that sounds kind of funny now). I am a supporter of the sport I love with all of my heart and soul. I cannot imagine my life without short track racing. I know I have the advantage of being part of a racing team and also having the opportunity to work in the sport. I know that others would die for those opportunities, and I have never taken them for granted. I am beyond blessed to be able to do what I do, and I am always seeking ways to do more, not for myself, but for the sport.
No matter the reason I go to a race track, whether it be to work, support my own team, or join the excitement in the grandstands, I still experience anxiety. My heart pounds, my hands begin to shake and I get the feeling that the butterflies in my stomach want to fly from my stomach to my throat. It is something I have experienced since I was a little girl. It is not necessarily because I am nervous, okay maybe a little, but it is because every time I go to a race, I want it to be an experience that I will always remember. I want that for the track, the teams, and the fans.
It is only Wednesday, but my mind is already halfway to Jefferson Speedway. I hope the stands are filled with fans ready for great racing. I hope the track personnel and race teams are ready to put on the best show possible for everyone involved, but most of all, I hope this race will be an event that I and everyone else will always remember. Were all of my dad’s races sunshine and roses? No, but they all created memories that will last a lifetime, and I can’t help but smile thinking back on every single one of them.
I can’t wait to create more memories this weekend and the remainder of this racing season.
And just in case you need someone to cheer for this weekend, I highly recommend Caleb Adrian in the #29 Adrian Carriers/Liz Girl Logistics Chevrolet. This will be his first ever race in WI and in the Big 8 Series. I say we start building him a Wisconsin fan base. 😉