Sunday, March 13, 2011

The cars at the CARB Race On Car Show at the Snake Saturday Festival and Parade were nice. Maybe too nice.

Like clockwork, the CARB Race-On Car Show at the Snake Saturday Parade in North Kansas City is the first glimpse of the new season's race cars, all on display in once place. Rows of shiny, straight, clean, perfect Modifieds and Late Models sit quietly in neat little rows, while families with kids and strollers admire them in their St. Patrick's Day green.

And as someone who parks at the back of the lot to avoid door dings, it always gets me that these guys are willing to take these beautifully constructed and painted machines and tear the hell out of them driving around a mud bowl. How do they do it? It would drive me absolutely crazy. I'd make a horrible racer, and not because I would worry about getting hurt. I just couldn't stand beating up my car!

I'm glad that there are some guys crazy enough to do it, though, because otherwise, what would people do on Friday and Saturday nights all summer? If you've never been to one of the local dirt tracks, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

No, this isn't "NASCAR on Fox." It's better. It's real. These are drivers with everything to lose. Their hearts and souls are as entrenched in this sport as their personal fortunes. If this is a hobby to them, it is a hobby that consumes their entire lives, and the lives of everyone close to them.

The Race-On Car Show is organized by people who understand this passion more than anybody. CARB, or Central Auto Racing Boosters, has been the premiere club for Kansas City short track racing enthusiasts for more than half-a-century. Comprised of volunteers, many of whom have been involved in racing on a high level, CARB tirelessly supports tracks like Lakeside Speedway, I-35 Speedway, Valley Speedway, and Central Missouri Speedway.

To learn more about CARB, including a $10.00 membership that gets you $40.00 worth of free racing tickets, visit

And as if the race car show wasn't enough, there was this little thing known as the Snake Saturday Festival and Parade going on as well. Most Kansas Citians know this is a big deal, with thousands of people turning out for the carnival, celebrity entertainers, and one of the biggest parades anywhere.

So, to round this story out, I'm including a photo slideshow of all the race cars that were on display at the Race On Car Show. That should help whet your appetite for the 2011 racing season. There are also several nice pictures of the cars and trucks from the parade, courtesy of my wife. Vintage fire truck fans will be especially interested in those shots.

I hope you enjoy it, but be warned, this may be the last time you see these cars in this condition ever again!