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February 6,2015

By Ken Wagner

Success is a wonderful thing in life. You can live off the high of it for a long time. Unfortunately, you can only ride it so long until you are forced to park it in the barn. My Wagtimes world has been a wonderful success over the last 25 plus years while making me proud, but this special effort has reached the end of the line for me, and regrettably, the barn is the next stop. After the very special Wagtimes years I lived in, my Wagtimes efforts has nothing left to give to the CRA racers. So due to life happening, it is time to park it and move along out of the way. That doesn’t mean I have given up on racing or don’t like it anymore, but I will concentrate on what's most important as I move along in my very satisfying and happy life.

When I started the Wagtimes newsletter back in the late 80’s, the readership grew to over 1000 mailed out copies. When The Lafond think tank built the Wags Web internet site in 2001, the popularity grew within the CRA world. There was a time that I posted CRA results minutes after the race was completed, but alas, no more. Facebook does that and way more now with an even better up to the minute relay of race data. It seems my Wagsweb is now behind the times and I can’t even get the virus warning off the damn thing.

Up thru the 2013 CRA season, I was there at every CRA race to take pics and post the pit walk and pen the follow on race action to a small but interested following. Yes, it took hours to go, see, go home, process and post, but I loved it! My stories and personal beliefs and observations were penned from the heart. Now I don’t go racing enough to get that inside info anymore, so now it is time to call it like it is. Surprise, Wagtimes is no longer relevant in the racing world!!!! My website is no longer up to date nor is it even giving the dwindling readership anything to look forward to. Turns out now it is a waste of time for me to post the CRA results you can get on many other internet sites with more up to the minute reports. Without any roving reporters and photogs to send current results, the Wagsweb is toast!

I put my heart and soul into my CRA racing and the Wagtimes events we pulled off over the years. The best of the best was the once popular Wagsdash. The reporting on Wagsweb was just natural for me making the web page a growing active site. When Terry retired in 2013, my racing budget took a major hit and I had to step back and review my budget and see what it had left for me. Alas it was not enough to keep up, but reality has a way of being in the moment. Terry had quit going to the races after we moved to Las Vegas, mostly because she worked full time while I didn’t. After a while she lost touch with the pits and declined going anymore. Sadly, I continued on alone down the highway to every race with some traveling to Indiana and the Chili Bowl outside the CRA schedule like normal. I never lost my love for my racing, but the 250 to 500 miles one way to the tracks I went to started to get to be long, lonely and costly grinds. This proved it wasn’t what I wanted anymore.

Giving up my media pass to CRA events was sad for me in 2014, but since I wasn’t “reporting” any longer, I paid my way in to the few events I attended. I learned a very important thing in 2014 when I discovered I could miss races and didn’t go nuts over it! Certainly not like I always did when I was forced to a wedding or other “important” family event that was on a Saturday! In other words, I have now made a change in my mental attitude since I wasn’t a race chasing reporter any longer, and shockingly, I feel good about it. My famiy is my number one goal now since I have 15 grandkids for so much joy, and that's not going to stop.

OK, the physical side and time of going racing, the cost that I never thought about before and the traveling alone has made me rethink my quality of life and how it affects my once beloved racing trips. For so many years I never thought about missing a race as it was part of my world so very much important to me. I had a good job so I didn’t have to worry about money to go. I had my wife to go with until Las Vegas happened in 2006. For years I traveled with a lot of people going my way on CRA tours and trips all over California, Arizona and Indiana. But there is no Las Vegas racing buddy to make it easier today and I am just tired of the long trips to and from my favorite racetracks. I will no longer follow that fast paced life script I set for myself.

Am I done racing? No, but if I lived in Ventura or Perris or Santa Maria, I’d still go to see the sprints every Saturday night. To expect me to keep up the torrid pace I followed over the last 30 plus , and now from so far away from the CRA world, is unlikely. I did it because I loved sprint car racing and it was important to raise the over $600,000 we gave to the low buck racers, not to mention to see the races. I had a lot of help over the years to make Wagtimes fun, yes too many special people to note here, but these days most of the Wagtimers have moved on as well and I miss them. The memories of the good times we shared are embedded in my head and will stay there with the hopes of getting back together on occasions to enjoy a race or a feed or get together. Look for another Wagsland reunion party in Las Vegas in January of 2016. The big Wagtimers group is scattered all over California, Arizona and beyond and are still out there.

Terry and I have been very preoccupied the last month with getting her recently found breast cancer removed. With that done successfully, I have missed a couple of recent events I would have attended. The most important one to me was the Bruce Bromme Jr fete that I missed and I am sorry to have not been there. Staying with my bride was very important. Nevertheless, R.I.P. Bruce, you were the best of all time and are in my thoughts forever!

At some point in the not too distant future I will close down the Wagtimes web page and will keep tabs on racing things with Facebook, E-mail and the telephone? It has been a grand ride and I wouldn’t change a thing, but I see the barn door from here and so I’ll see you, when I see you. To my many friends, please keep in touch and drop by if you come to sin city. Thank you all, for you are still a big part of my life and I owe you big time for the success of Wagtimes and what you mean to me and Terry.

I still believe “when it’s RACETIME, it’s WAGTIME”!

Color me gone!

What a ride!!!!!!

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