Fall in Thunder Valley

Editor's Notebook, November 1998



T.W. Theodore

It is Fall in Thunder Valley. The trees have turned yellow and orange and have almost finished shedding. The hillsides no longer resound with the roar of engines.


Looking down towards the track-out of Canada Corner, you see the neatly raked gravel trap, waiting for the first missed braking-point of Spring. Looking up to the turn-in for Thirteen, you see the sun glistening off the mixture of rubber and oil that marks the racing line between the concrete abutments of the Billy Mitchell Bridge.


Thunder Valley

In other parts of the world, racing continues. In California, in Australia and New Zealand, perhaps where you are, you can feel the engines, smell the racing fuel mixed with the clean morning air, and taste the excitement of the racing experience. To every thing there is a season, however, and in Wisconsin, racing season is over and racing season is waiting to begin.


This past season has not been particularly kind to the few women race car drivers who have gained national recognition. Disappointment on the track and the continual struggle for sponsorship have been, for the most part, their lot in 1998. Some bright spots appeared, for sure, but not the great leap forward that we would have liked.


Why is that? Inquiring minds want to know. I want to know. Perhaps you want to know as well. Together, with hard work and luck, we can figure it out.


the good news

More women are becoming truly knowledgeable about racing, are joining the ranks of race fans, are becoming active in the sport, and are taking their action to the track. You’ll learn about them here, in Thunder Valley.


This month, in Distant Thunder, we feature an article by Kerry Relph, the first installment of her Racing Journal. Kerry shares with you the experience of her first race weekend. Kerry is not yet a Thunder Valley featured driver, but she is a regular participant in the discussion group. You can exchange email messages with her if you join that group.


And, in another first, our Driver of the Month updates the career of Stephanie Welch. The last time Stevie was featured in Distant Thunder, she was a fifteen year old amateur dirt bike rider. Now, at the ripe old age of sixteen, Stevie has turned pro and is committed to grueling seasons of intense AMA racing.


(While we at Thunder Valley spend most of our time dealing with auto racing, we know that motorcycle racing is important to a growing segment of our audience and we’d like to hear more about it from you.)


Join us!

So, whether you are racing, are watching racing, are thinking about racing, would like to think about racing, know someone who is racing or thinking about racing, or would like to know someone who is racing or thinking about racing, Thunder Valley in the Fall and Winter is the place for you.


Join us! Talk with us. Share your experiences. Ask your questions. Find here, with us, a community that fosters your love of racing.


Soon, a blanket of snow will cover the sweetest spot on Earth. The woodland animals will wonder if the engines will ever come to life again. They will. You and I will be here to witness the miracle of Spring in Thunder Valley.

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