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The best thing about the holidays when they are over, is they are over, but the bills often linger on, don't they Santa? Now that our puppy, Dubya, has had his first Xmas where he got more presents than me (?), maybe we can get on with life in the fast lane. Dubya is training to be a race dog, but don't know when his debut will be? So, in the meantime, the Wagtime's winter break ends this week. Only one of the Wagner household must now trek back to the cold confines of Tulsa, Oklahoma and endure the finest midget race known to man, The Chili Bowl 2002 version. What makes that special moniker true of this race? Mostly the fact that nearly 200 midgets are inside the Tulsa Expo Center for 5 days to put on one awesome show for 4 nights for an always-packed house. It is the place to be in January, so will I see you there?

My first visit to the Tulsa Expo Center happened years ago, in 1974 I think, when I was courting my bride and Tulsa was the site of the annual Street Rod Nationals. A rainy Saturday sent the hot rods inside this huge building and the viewing never missed a beat. I was amazed that this two level building could showcase so many street rods, but it was nice that the weather didn't ruin the show. My first visit back there to see a Chili Bowl race was a shock to see what went on inside in the dead of winter while my rented car was freezing over with a light rain outside? There is nothing like it anywhere and you have to see it to believe it!

Since I am the one going to the biggest winter carnival in racing, and Mrs Wags is stuck behind working so I can go, I intend to see it all and report back the best of what I feel is worthy. If you see a 6 foot tall version of me roaming around the area in Wagtime's wear, it is my son Kevin, as he will be doing the "stand in" photography for Mrs Wags that will appear in the Photos section of our Wagsweb. Hopefully I can send back nightly reports that will be both informative and give you the feeling of being there! Regardless, Kevin and I plan to have fun being together and enjoy the races.

The race is so well paced, and is always exciting, so it is hard to not go each year. That is regardless of the extra cost after the Xmas fun, plus handling the weather us So Cal fans aren't use to, all making it a hard trip from the left coast each trip. The addition of another night will only enhance the event if the car count on the three qualifying days provides quality action on the track. When it's all said and done, there will be lots to talk about on the flight home!

The Cory Kruseman Driving school is presenting a unique opportunity for racers or fans who want to learn a little more about setting up a sprint car. The Chassis Setup Workshop will feature Harlan Willis, the 2001 SCRA Owner Champion, Steve (Biggie) Watt, a shock dyno specialist, and the 2001 SCRA Driver Champion, Cory Kruseman himself. The workshop includes race car assembly & pre race preparation, chassis setup for different types of tracks, choosing the right stagger, torsion bars, & shocks, and how to adjust driving techniques & much more. The cost is $150.00 per person or $300.00 for a crew of 3. The date is February 17, 2002, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, with lunch included. The location is at 200 Kinetic Drive in Oxnard, CA. For more info, call 805-649-1243. Cory's driving school has been very successful because he can teach as well as he drives! This should be a worthy learning experience for all that attend.

The SCRA schedule has already seen a couple of changes. The first was the addition of Las Vegas on June 29 that we already reported. Now the Tulare date for April 20 has been dropped. Please update your schedules. The possibility for an addition to the NWWC tour still exists, but no announcement as of yet. Julie Shiosaki, of Anchors Away Travel, is already working on the many possibilities to make all or part of this amazing tour special for you, so call 310-325-3383 for your travel arrangements. We are thinking of adding Boston to our new sites to visit, but there is so much to see besides the racing, it is mind boggling!

The short pause from the last race has allowed many of the SCRA racers to spiff up their equipment and search for sponsors. Most teams really need more help than they have, so if you know someone who wants to get involved, help them find a team! Sponsorship is the hardest thing to find in racing, especially with the belt tightening that has gone on since last September. Most teams are looking for any kind of help, even someone to buy fuel, or tires, or lunch for heavens sake, and maybe even work on the car, it all helps! Pick a racing team and call them to add you to their list of sponsors! No amount will be too small for them, and you can be part of what's happening! (Hic - broken record)

The coming season will cause our Wagtime's efforts to be a little more difficult than in the past. Normally, the first half of the year we work on the NWWC tour, then work on the Wagsdash, and then add money to the final night at the PAS. This year the first 7 months of the 10-month season will be over before we can get in high gear on the dash. The NWWC Tour is in August, which means we only have 6 racing weekends before the Wagsdash date of October 26th. The two weeks preceding the 12th annual Wagsdash are dark, so some of the last minute work we normally do at the track has to be completed three weeks ahead of normal. So, we have our work cut out for us and could use some help or money raising ideas! If you would like to get involved with helping our efforts at the track, let me know by E-mail or in person. We can always use some help!

As usual we will be collecting tow money for the SCRA racers that tow back East, but the trip is twice as long this year because of the PA visit. We need your financial help as usual, so start thinking about adding to the fund as the year starts. You can send a check or money order to Wagtime's, P.O. Box 9040 # 327, Mission Viejo, CA, or see me at the track. As always, 100% of all donations to Wagtimes will go to the racers.

For those that want to spread out their donations for the tour, or the Wagsdash, and are like most of us always running short of cash, consider the tithing approach that we have used in the past. Figure out what you want to donate by year-end and divide it up into smaller amounts. Then, at each race, drop off your donation, or mail it to me, and I will post it on the Wagsweb under either the Tour or the Wagsdash. You can mail it to the above address, just get involved and watch your donations grow with others. Try tithing with us, it will work for the SCRA racers!

There are so many people who help the Wagtimes, it is hard to single them all out. The list of helpers goes beyond just the Wagtimes Worker's, beyond the people who donate Wagsbucks, beyond the people who give us auction items, and beyond the fans, media and track personnel who support and further our causes. I can't express my thanks enough to all of you because you make it all happen, but there is a certain couple from Mechanicsburg, PA that recently got a thank you letter about the Wagtimer's in the racer's bible, National Speed Sport News, that needs some special thanks.

Jeff & Cindy Kohler have linked up with us on more than one occasion over the years as they travel away from their nearby Williams Grove race track to see their preferred non-winger's. Jeff was the mastermind who loaded a bus of non-wing fans in PA and brought them to the CRA's first appearance at the legendary Eldora back in the late 80's. They have logged a number of trips out West and have made many friends in California over the years while they are enjoying our brand of racing. Jeff has special plans for the racers who come to PA this year at the bowling alley he runs there. He is planning a bowling fun time as a get together for the travelers. My thanks to Jeff and Cindy for the kind words and hoping the PA part of the tour is especially fun for all the non-wing fans back there.

With the first day race in years looming on the horizon, there are still a lot of things to do. February 9th is less than a month away, so get all those honey do's done, now! I know I have completed most of mine, but can't seem to get them all done yet. Perhaps I have been playing too much with a certain puppy, then again, maybe I just enjoyed the rest and recuperation after the long season. Yes, but now I am ready to crank it up again! I am looking forward to seeing all my friends in Tulsa, so this trip should be fun. Come say HI!

Stock car racing Open Wheel portion? Very poor!

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