Its funny how yesterday I attended a seminar on careers in motor sports to hear how its a 6 billion dollar a year industry in the state of North Carolina alone and yet, many still want to brush it off as a redneck sport. Look, I am not the biggest fan of it myself but i do respect it. I also respected billionaire David Murdock and what he has done for this area....until now that is.
Apparently Mr. Murdock is bringing a VIP with him into town this weekend and wants banners removed that are along Dale Earnhardt Boulevard that name it as the "Dale Trail". Strong local rumors are that the guest is Oprah Winfrey and apparently her driving past signs that refer to the town of Kannapolis's son Dale Earnhardt and racing in general is not classy enough for them. Cith manager Mike Legg is quoted in a piece I recently read on http://www.thatsracin.com/ as stating this, "There may be a conflict as to what happens later," Legg wrote, according to the Salisbury newspaper. "There are many (including everybody at Castle & Cooke) that do not want to see anything 'Dale-related' going back up." How in the hell do you deny that a living legend of a sport who gave a lot to this community himself any rights that honored him? This is disgusting and goes back to my first statement that this is no longer "Bubba racin in the dirt bringing his friends along to be his pit crew". This is a nationally televised, technological based sport with numerous top name endorsements that deserves at least some respect and not simply lumped with the South. You would be shocked to know the technology and business aspects involved in all the motor sports in general, let alone NASCAR if you agree with this sentiment.
I am thankful though that some are not sitting down and just tolerating this. DeSales Wagster, president of the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Thursday that she thinks motor sports and high-tech research can co-exist, which I absolutely agree with. She is quoted in the piece as saying, "We are extremely proud of motor sports and what it has brought, as we transition into one of the largest bio-tech areas," she said. "They are very compatible. there is truly room for both." I am sitting here wondering if I should make up my own signs pointing to the positive aspects of the sport such as, "$6 Billion Dollar Industry, Rich History in Kannapolis" or maybe just some huge "3" signs all over the road. These banners are not huge and not eye sores so shut the hell up and accept the fact that it also part of local history and deal with it. Dale Earnhardt is a legend in his sport and in this area and not acknowledging this is spitting on the grave of a man who did a lot in this area. Maybe we should change the name of the Kannapolis Intimidators to the Kannapolis Bio-Geeks to appease him as well. Normally I see Orange and love it but right now I wish I could see the black banners instead of the pissed off red I see right now.