3/16/2010  5:30am

The term March Madness will be used over and over the next few days. With three schools from South Carolina in the Big Dance this year, there will be record interest here in the Upstate.

            First, a thought about Winthrop and the play-in game: So let me make sure I understand this, Winthrop has an automatic bid, they have been to several in recent years, but they have to play in the play-in game?

            So let’s use that in racing: For conversation, we will use a generically named driver. Karl Childers, driving the Kaiser Blade Pontiac GTO, has qualified to race in a Piston Cup race. Childers was very excited after earning a spot in the field, since he did not have owner’s points to fall back on.

            “I reckon the old car was shift. You might say fast, but I would say shift,” said Childers after timing in 15 fastest of the 54 cars that posted qualifying laps.

            But in a strange twist, Childers will have to run a consolation race, with the remaining go or go-home cars, to determine who has the 43rd starting spot.

            Childers followed the guidelines, he qualified as fast as he could and he earned a spot, but race officials determined that he must out-race a dozen or so cars to get in the race.

            This is the same for WinthropUniversity. These young men earned the right to be playing basketball either this Thursday (3/18/10) or Friday (3/19/10) among the other 63 schools. If the tournament is going to have a play-in game, how about using some of the ‘at-large’ teams, instead of a school that has met the requirements.

            Second, two NASCAR short track races in March, yes that will be Madness.

            With the gloves off, fenders will be flying at Bristol and Martinsville the next two weeks. This might be good for ratings, it might sell a few tickets, but this outlaw mentality that we are about to see in NASCAR is not a good thing. This will trickle down to the local short tracks, kart racing tracks, bicycle tracks, motocross tracks, and perhaps even track and field events.

            A kid will be asked, “Hey, why did you wreck your opponent?” His reply will be, “I saw it on TV.” Maybe we need the old wrestling disclaimer that Bob Caudle would read during the opening minutes of Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling. “Kids, don’t try this at home, these are trained professionals.” 

            And last, looking over the Greenville-Pickens Speedway schedule, the K&N Pro Series East will be coming to town on March 27th, and this will continue the Madness. The East Series has visited Greenville-Pickens several times now, and Joey Logano picked up his first NASCAR win here. This should be a great show. Go early, park on the back stretch, take the grill, make a day of it and enjoy some great racing.

I almost forgot,