Last year, the school board’s controversial decision to make soccer (see story here) an official Armadillo sport created a ripple effect throughout the entire LISD athletic program. But that disturbance will pale in comparison if the proposal made at last week’s LISD board meeting is approved.
Junior Elliot, representing a vocal and boisterous group in attendance at the assembly, spoke directly and passionately about what he believed to be blatant favoritism toward sports involving balls. “I can handle volleyball,” said Elliot, “or even tennis. Last year though, you approved that European sport of fairies and I, we, just won’t stand for it. That’s why we have a signed petition here tonight that requests the addition of NASCAR racin’ to the Armadillo athletic program – for boys and girls, of course. I'll put my girl's mechanical skills against any mechanic in town. She's a helluva a driver too. And she's only 11.”
Elliot clarified that by NASCAR racing, he meant circle track racing, whether on asphalt or dirt tracks. He also proposed several sites in town, including the junior high school teacher’s parking lot, that could accommodate a quarter or half mile banked circuit. In addition, Elliot’s group had highly structured training plans for interested students and parents. These preparations had students racing as early as the second grade, and involved racing 125 cc, 2-stroke go-karts.
Opposition from the school board came in financial form. Elliot was ready for this line of questioning, though. Said Elliot, “Well, if we reallocated the funds from the cross-country, tennis, track, and swim teams, and cut those silly flags from the band, and maybe a few brass instruments, we could afford at least two truck-loads of gravel to lay down a go-kart path for a pilot program at the elementary school. You know, that old field out back where the Arbor Foundation from Austin came in and planted all those damned trees back in the 80s. Then, we could use those cleared trees for a big bonfire kick off rally! Everyone will come out to see the kart races, and then the sponsors will start rolling in once they see the crowds.”
A small faction in attendance didn’t object to auto racing but did object to “all this left turn stuff. What’s wrong with good ole drag racin’?”
Local French immigrant, Jean Jeunet, whom everyone in town refers to as “Pierre” after the only other French person they know, Colts wide receiver Pierre Garcon, criticized both the circle and straight line advocates. Jeunet insisted that the only real racing was road racing, F1 style. Elliot and some drag racing proponents had to be forcibly restrained from attacking Jeunet, but the Grand Prix debate was put to rest by school board member, John Patterson, who deftly explained that LaCucaracha contained too many dirt roads for a proper Grand Prix course to be set up in town anyway.
The board tabled the auto racing discussion since further research was necessary. However, the board did pass a motion to approve a fact finding mission to attend at least three NASCAR sanctioned events before further discussion.