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To All: A Big Thank You And A Happy New Year

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, January 1 2011

Next up for race fans – and RacinToday.com – is the 2011 Daytona 500. See you there. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

If you are reading this, then my big hope for 2011 has been realized. And I sincerely thank you.

RacinToday.com is heading into its third year of publication. I guess the cliched thing to say about that is something like, “Gee, we really didn’t think we would make it through one year.”

But we kind of did. We knew that auto racing fans love their sport and want to keep up with it and be entertained by it and informed about it. We knew that the mainstream image of race fans being low brow and less than literate was as untrue as it was unfortunate.

We figured that race fans would discover us, take a liking to what we do here and visit us every once in a while. We figured that there were large groups of race fans out there in America that still enjoy solid sports journalism. And solid sports journalism is the biggest of big goals for us at RT.

All of us on the eight-person writing staff at RT are former racing beat writers from major daily newspapers. Our average experience level in that capacity is around 20 years.

Most of us at RT lost those jobs when American newspapers decided to cope with hard economic times by cutting staff. And auto racing and its fans, for whatever reasons, were among the first to be deemed unnecessary to the continued operation of daily newspapers and were dumped.

But while we lost our jobs, we did not lose our love of racing. So we banded together and formed RacinToday.com.

Gone are the large, steady paychecks and benefits. Not gone is admiration for the greatest sport in the world. And not gone is a commitment to journalist ethics, fairness, informed opinion, independence, quality writing and respect for the loyal and informed American racing public.

We all grew up around racing, some of us participated. We were race fans and auto culture enthusiasts well before we selected our college majors. Most of us could have moved on to other gigs two years ago. None of us wanted to.

We view ourselves as an online racing magazine. We utilize our contacts in the shops and garages and cockpits to specialize in writing features and opinion. We do cover events and we do immediately post results afterward, often having complete stories well before other internet sites.

And we do break news.

But what we enjoy most is entertaining readers and, hopefully, provoking thought and discussion. We do that by taking readers to places that they cannot get to and that precious few mainstream media outlets now care to get to.

So, here we are. Celebrating our third birthday. Our hope is you will stay with us and help us grow. We urge readers to respond to things we write. We encourage suggestions we plead for ideas.

Thank you all, folks. From the bottoms of our hearts at RacinToday.com. Happy New Year and here is to many, many more to come. See you in Daytona!

– Jim Pedley can be reached at jpedley@racintoday.com

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, January 1 2011
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