BURLINGTON, NC :: This time I’m going to go old school, so forgive me if I step on your toes.

The last couple of years I have noticed a trend that I detest, I really dislike, one that does almost no good.  The use of social media/message boards for the sole purpose of complaining and track bashing.

Maybe I’m just old school, but if you genuinely have a complaint or a problem with someone or something, is it so hard to approach them to resolve the issue or at least speak to them directly?

Racing is unique to this because, no matter how perfect a race event goes, inevitably, someone is going to have a complaint and most of time it’s a legit concern.  Someone’s going to feel like they got taken advantage of or got done wrong if they didn’t end up in victory lane.   Sometimes the complaints are selfish and outlandish, but the majority of the time the concerns I hear are genuine.

And that’s fine, it really is.  Racing, no matter which track, is a community and, like any other form of community, we have to work together to help try to make everyone as content as possible.  Is this possible all the time? No, absolutely not.  But it always has to be at least attempted.

Vince Lombardi, the famous former head coach of the Green Bay Packers once said to his team, “We will strive for perfection, knowing full and well we won’t accomplish it, but our pursuit of perfection will make us better”.

I come from a unique situation because while on one hand I’m a track employee and without question I defend my track’s decisions because that’s my definition of loyalty.  On the other hand I have many friends that race, and invest a lot of hard earned money and time into the sport who just want to feel they’re getting a fair shake.

But to the point of this article, if you have a complaint or an issue, do yourself and your race track a favor and approach the parties involved in person or directly.  Do we honestly believe that track bashing and blasting a track on a message board or on Facebook does anybody any good?  If you do, then you probably should’ve stopped reading a long time ago.

A friend in racing once told me, “Social Media and Message boards can kill a race track quickly”.  Sadly I had to agree with him, it’s a shame that this is the case.  For whatever reason, we feel more powerful behind a keyboard to bash and blast each other than we do in person to handle things like adults.

Do you think, if Dale Earnhardt had an issue with NASCAR, he had to make a Facebook post to resolve the issue? No.  Bill France, Jr. told stories all the time in interviews about conversations with the Intimidator and issues that had to be resolved between the two about the sport.

So to conclude I’ll leave you with this.  While I write this article with a bitter taste in my mouth, the truth is that the majority of the racers, teams, fans that I work with DO handle their situations in an adult-like manner.  If they’re unhappy they’ll let you know, believe it, my ears have taken a pounding numerous times as a track employee.  But I’ll always listen, because that’s what I owe to those who ultimately put on the show that I get to announce and enjoy doing so much.

Good Luck, God Bless, and Live Second.

Tyler Williams is the track announcer at Ace Speedway and Southern National Motorsports Park.