(July 2, 2020) – With the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting our world, we felt like reflecting on what we’re thankful for this Independence Day. We’re thankful for our freedom in the United States to pursue our passions and have life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. We are grateful for our friends and family, our health and racing. This holiday has always been one of the greatest for racing and that tradition continues both in California and across the country. We asked some of our friends in motorsports in California what they think of when they think of the meaning of Independence Day.

“We are normally racing 4th of July weekend, so it’ll be nice to take advantage of a free weekend to enjoy some sunshine and some type of water. No set plans as of now. And I’m thankful to live in a free country where I can carve my own path and follow a career in motorsports.” – Tj Smith, Micro Sprint champion.

Micro Sprint racer Cameron Paul

“I’m thankful I can make a career out of anything I set my mind to. Being in a country where we have so much free range and can really do whatever we want. My Fourth of July will be on the beach with a white claw and pizza.” – Cameron Paul, Micro Sprint racer who knows how to party.

“I am thankful for my freedom and doing the things I love like racing. I plan on going to the lake on the 4th and Petaluma speedway on the 5th.” – George Nielson, Micro Sprint racer.

“I’m thankful for having the ability to hold races and have the chance to attend Knoxville coming up. And I’m at the race track this weekend: My happy place!” – Gary Thomas, Placerville Speedway announcer.

“(I’m) hanging with my family and partying a little bit. I’m thankful for all the troops that we can go racing.” – Racin Vernon, Madera Pro Late Model driver.

Jr. Late Model standout Seth Wise

“4th of July has always been one of the (most fun) times. We’ve always had big parties with friends and family to celebrate our freedom, although this year feels a lot different. It feels like we are being stripped of our freedom, we aren’t allowed to see anyone and aren’t allowed out of our houses. This year we’ll try and have a nice BBQ and see some family.” – Seth Wise, Madera Jr. Late Model driver.

“The showing of pure patriotism and thankfulness towards our service men and women on the 4th of July has always been an important influence in my life just like many others. I’ll be spending the 4th of July with many family members, watching fireworks while already working hard on the rest of 2020 and the 2021 race season.” – Austin Edwards, driver in Ford Focus Midgets, Spec Miatas, Southwest Tour Trucks, and anything else he can find with a steering wheel.

“I’m thankful for the opportunities that the United States offers; anybody can be anything here. My 4th of July plans are racing at Stockton 99 Speedway with the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour.” – Matt Wendt, Late Model and Tour Late Model driver.

“I’m thankful for all of those that came before us, in this great country, that sacrificed everything to give us a free place to live where we can chase our dreams – including horsepower dreams.” – Kenny Shepherd, promoter of Madera Speedway.

Jodie Robinson (left) and Ryan Robinson (right), siblings who race in the 360 Sprint Car scene

“I am thankful to be born in The United States of America where I have true freedom. A freedom that is protected under the constitution and fought for by the men and women of this great country. Because of this freedom I am given the best opportunity to fulfill my happiness and find my true self. Fourth of July is my second favorite holiday. Part of that is due to the pyro inside of me. I love firing off big mortars or shooting roman candles at some buddies. But being back in California this year that is frowned upon. This year I will be racing on Saturday at Placerville Speedway but there won’t be a firework show. I’ll have to celebrate the holiday the following weekend on the lake for sure.” – Ryan Robinson, Sprint Car driver.

“What I am thankful for as an American: my freedom of choice. Without it, myself & family wouldn’t (have) had the choice to pursue our dreams of owning racetracks or for myself graduating college – things we were told we could never accomplish. As for my plans for the 4th of July, fast cars & family fun at my racetrack!” – Danica Noceti, Stockton 99 Speedway.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

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About Steven Blakesley

Steven Blakesley is a motorsports announcer and public relations specialist with more than 15 years of experience. His biggest pet peeve is race fans who only enjoy one form of racing over all others.