Bob’s well-stated views were summed up in his closing statement: “We don’t need more soccer and baseball fields ... we need a motorsports park!”
Bob is a confessed motorsports buff, and he feels he is far from alone in wanting an auto-racing track in our town.
“I drove my first minibike when I was 8 years old, and motorcycling has become a lifelong passion,” he wrote. “I got that same excitement when I used to go to the Altamont Raceway, which has been closed down.”
He cited other venues and events that pump crankcase oil through his veins: the Carnegie dirt-bike park in Corral Hollow Canyon, the Sacramento Raceway, the Sears Point world-class raceway near Sonoma — and when he runs his motorcycle at the Mojave Mile in September.
“Why can’t I get the excitement in Tracy at the ‘Spirit of California’? Why are people so much against something that could be good for our community and have a life-changing impact on kids’ lives?”
The passion of Bob’s reply is in the motorsports aspect of the proposal, but he also notes that the total project could provide jobs and tax revenue and help transform Tracy from being “a bedroom community forever.”
A number of comments that followed last week’s column on the Press website were mostly favorable to the project, but others showed doubts.
Commenters had different takes about the impact of nighttime auto racing.
“I recently attended a NASCAR race, and the race was stopped and ended at the time the curfew took place,” one wrote. “No one had a problem with it. Everyone in attendance (many from out of the area) had a good time and spent a lot of money that was a boon to the local economy.”
Another supporter, though, touched on one of the aspects of building a racetrack close to town that troubles a lot of people, including myself. He or she wrote:
“Years ago, I used to live very close to the Fremont drag strip. I loved to lie in bed at night and listen to ’em wind up when I couldn’t attend.”
Lying in bed on a summer night when all the windows are open and hearing the roar of race car engines isn’t a pleasant prospect, for me at least. That’s why the location of the proposed motorsports park so close to residential neighborhoods is questioned.
There were questions about the flood plain north of town. Isn’t the mall in it? One person touched on the fact that the flood plain from Old River extends as far south as the north parking lot of the mall. Any closer to the river, and there could be problems.
Comments from readers underscore the popularity of motorsports. That popularity didn’t prevent Altamont Raceway from closing, however. As in that case, neighbors are sensitive to hearing the roar of those engines.
Odds and ends
• A sign erected on Tracy’s western outskirts provides information on six Tracy service clubs, including the name of each club along with day, time and location of meetings.
But just as the sign has gone up, already a change needs to be made. This week, members of the Tracy Rotary Club voted to move their Tuesday noon meetings to the Elks Lodge. Apparently, it could cost the club a few bucks to make the change on the brand-new sign.
• It wasn’t like “the old days” when the Tracy Inn Gold Room was filled for the luncheon welcoming new educators to Tracy-area schools.
But a good-sized crowd turned out Monday to welcome new educators to Tracy Unified and Jefferson school districts.
Most folks at the reception in the TUSD board room were impressed by the credentials the new teachers possessed. There were a number, including UC-system graduate school and NASA backgrounds, but hearing that an MIT graduate with a degree in mathematics will teach math at Kimball High caught my attention, and others’, too.
• Sam Matthews, Tracy Press publisher emeritus, can be reached at 830-4234 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.