The Callahan Report: CART at Mid-Ohio - The Best Family Track Around

7 August 1997

LEXINGTON, OHIO: To adults, rural America can be a peaceful, scenic, comfortable place. To kids who are restless at the end of their summer vacation, rural America can be a coma inducing boredom factory. By this time of year, kids are long overdue for excitement. Parents can step in at any time.....any weekend....It's racing to the rescue.

This country has an abundance of race tracks. Small dirt tracks are located within a short driving distance of almost everyone's home. Even some of the best known and exciting race tracks are located in rural areas. One such track is located in the hills of northern Ohio between Columbus and Cleveland.

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is without a doubt, the best family oriented major track in the country. Many families have already discovered this hotbed of family fun. They will journey to the hills this weekend to watch stars like Unser, Andretti, Rahal, and Tracy put on a precision high speed driving show. You can join them.....and cure your comatose kids at the same time.

Bobby Rahal [ Bobby Rahal ]

The Mid-Ohio course is like a park with the added twist of high speed. There are viewing mounds at nearly every corner of the track. Families can spread out blankets and have a cold drink while at the same time watching half million dollar works of art scream by. Wandering around the track is expected and encouraged.

Want to get a closer look? The garage area at Mid-Ohio has a unique design. Race fans can climb a flight of stairs and look down into all the garages as the teams tweak and tune their racing machines. Drivers will look up and give a friendly wink and wave to the kids and other adoring fans. The comfortable, relaxed atmosphere of this rural setting seems to spread to the teams and drivers who have been so busy during the racing season.

If you can't make it to Mid-Ohio.... Make it to your local short track. Your addiction to racing will begin. All of the stars of tomorrow start somewhere. Sometime in the future, you may be able to say something like "I remember when the family and I watched this guy when he was banging wheels at the track down the street.... now he just won the biggest race in the world."

Unlike cites and suburbs, where families have ample opportunity for family outings to major sports such as baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and hockey, rural Americans have found a different obsession. Where the city folks are walking billboards for tennis shoe companies, rural attire in many areas consists of jeans and a multi colored t shirt touting their favorite driver. That rural dress code is making surges into the city.....and for good reason. It is an exciting culture. A clean culture...... A family culture.

Note: The Mid-Ohio racing weekend is packed full. There will be non-stop action from Thursday through Sunday. The Indy style cars are the highlight of the weekend. For a full list of racing action, check www.midohio.com.

Terry Callahan -- The Auto Channel

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