A fans perspective of Gold Cup
By Janelle Schindler
With three Gold Cups under my belt now I still don’t have all the years of attendance that some do but I still loved it. I have been a race fan my whole life but only recently caught the Gold Cup bug. Each year has been exciting but I think this one was the best yet. This year I decided to spend the first two nights in the turn four bleachers and the last two in the pits. I got a whole new perspective and an even bigger respect for the teams and drivers. I saw up close and personal as they wrenched on the cars trying to make them the best that they could be. Being right there in the middle of them working their butts off was quite an experience. It was exciting, nerve wracking all at the same time.
From the minute the cars hit the track for wheel packing on Wednesday to the final checkered flag my heart was pounding. Gold Cup is something that I look forward to all year. I guess because there is electricity in the air throughout. Plus it’s four straight days of dirt flying, fans cheering and the smell of victory and defeat in the air.
I can’t say what my favorite moment was because there are always too many to choose from. From the slide jobs, the hard racing, the spins, the crashes and the flips onto their lids and sides, laughing my butt off at the crazy shenanigans in the camping area, to getting to know other race fans from all over, there is no way to pick a favorite. If you haven’t experienced it, you need to. Day one to the end there’s lots of excitement and fun to be had. From what I experienced in the camping area this year, the party starts the second you arrive. You will meet people from all walks of life and see several different divisions of racing. This year we had Civil War 360 Sprints, Hunt Magneto Wingless Sprints, 360 Sprints, USAC/CRA Wingless Sprints, World of Outlaws 410 Winged Sprints and Dwarf Cars.
It seems like every race that I go to I meet incredible people but I have to say that at Gold Cup you meet an eclectic bunch of people and this year wasn’t any different. I met someone from Australia, present drivers, former drivers and crew, plus some truly addicted fans.
From the hustle and bustle on the grounds to the greatest sound in the world (the sound of a sprint cars running wide open), to seeing and feeling the dirt fly. Yes I got hit a few times, but it was so worth it. The stings of the dirt clods hitting various parts of the body are just part the experience. If a bruise forms then it’s a badge of honor, a remembrance of the experience. It is part of being a dirt racing fan.
Every event has its challenges, this year’s Gold Cup definitely had its share but the vibe amongst the campers Friday night / Saturday morning was evidence of good times being had by all. It was all about having a great time with old and new friends and celebrating the sport that we all love. It is an experience that every dirt fan should encounter.
When you come, don’t expect for the Outlaws to just run away and take everything. Just expect to be treated to a great show. This year wasn’t any different; the Cali boys showed the Outlaws that they don’t rule every race and every track. It was good hard clean racing and a kick in the butt to watch.
If you haven’t made it to Gold Cup, you need to put it on your must see race list. That’s just the opinion of this addicted dirt track racing fan. See you at the track.