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Arizona Motorsports Park

Arizona sunrise

Greetings from Litchfield Park, Arizona

From the travels and adventures of the 

“World’s #1 Trackchaser”

 

 

Arizona Motorsports Park (2.23-mile road course) – Track #1,949

 

HighlightsThe EventVideosPhotos

 

 

Just imagine doing this yourself

 

 

Making it on a wing and a prayer

 

Hacienda sign boulder city 

Tap! Tap! Tap!

 

 

The left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing

 

AZ gas prices 

Arizona vs. California gas prices

 

 

Never in 1,948 tracks had I seen this track limitation!

 

google earth 

Google Earth! My backup plan

 

 

So what were the ‘frequently asked questions” from the Arizona Motorsports Park?

 

AMP restrooms 

Who needs to drive their car to the track restrooms?

 

 

No one does things in life, repeatedly, if they are going to disappoint themselves

 

 

 

 

Hacienda sign boulder city

Just imagine doing this yourself.

I woke up this morning in the parking lot of the Hacienda Casino Hotel on the Nevada/Arizona border in Boulder City, Nevada. I went to bed back home in San Clemente. This is how the day turned out.

 

 

O.K., the above makes it sound like I at least got a good night’s sleep. Not true. Put yourself in “imagine” mode and try this trip on for size.

 

 

Making it on a wing and a prayer.

Following last night’s inner oval racing in Fallon, Nevada it was a 411-mile drive just to get down to Boulder City, Nevada. When I cleared Hawthorne, NV I had about 100 miles of fuel left. There was gas available in Hawthorne. Nevertheless, I figured I could make it to the next town at around midnight. That “next town” turned out to be Tonopah, NV some 103 miles south of Hawthorne. I made it on a wing and a prayer.

 

secuirty officer 

Tap! Tap! Tap!

I didn’t have to be in Kingman, Arizona until 7:30 a.m. That made the Hacienda Hotel and Casino an attractive place to spend the night/early morning. I would not be using the hotel OR the casino. I was interested in their parking lot. I pulled in at about 4 a.m. There I leaned my seat back and rested my head on my Tempurpedic pillow brought from my very own master bedroom just for this occasion. I couldn’t have been there three minutes until I heard a tap on the window. It was “casino security”.

 

 

“You can’t sleep here. You will have to move on. If you want you can go across the street and sleep in that parking lot” the guard told me. That worked just fine. I slept there for an hour and a half or so. That was just right.

 

Routh 66 Off Road Park 

The left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing.

Next up was a 78-mile drive to Kingman, Arizona site of this morning’s racing activity. Sadly, due to a miscommunication with the track promoter I would not be able to see any racing at 7:30 a.m. as planned. That was a bummer. I thought I had clearly explained what type of motorsports activity (racing) that would need to take place. Nevertheless, the only racing that would benefit me would begin at 3 p.m. not 7:30 a.m. I had to be down toward Phoenix this afternoon. I couldn’t stay for the Kingman race.

 

 

One more Arizona track to pad my lead.

This afternoon my schedule called for a road course event in Litchfield Park, Arizona. Litchfield Park (called Goodyear, AZ on the track’s website) is a suburb of Phoenix. Other than not being able to count a racetrack in Kingman, this miscommunication with the race promoter didn’t really cost me anything in terms of time or money.

 

 

I had seen a race last night in Fallon, Nevada. Today’s afternoon racing activity was in Litchfield Park, Arizona. The travel distance between these two towns was 664 miles. Google Maps told me the driving time, without stops was ten hours and nine minutes. The route took me directly through Kingman regardless of whether Kingman was having a race or not. If I had not planned for a race in Kingman I STILL would have had to sleep for just a few hours (3-4) in my car. However, there’s no getting around it, it was disappointing not to get a countable track this morning, especially in Arizona where my trackchasing lead has been challenged.

 

fried egg on sidewalk 

How about a movie to stay out of the heat?

As it was I arrived into the greater Phoenix area at about 12 noon. Racing was not scheduled to begin until 3:40 p.m. It was about 100 degrees. Once I confirmed the track’s location I searched for a movie theatre. I figured if I could get a 12 noon movie starting time I could be out of the cinema by 2 p.m. and over to the track in time for the start of the race.

 

 

Did you know that one of the reasons movies were so popular back in the 30s, 40s and 50s was because people didn’t have air-conditioning? That’s right. Folks loved going to the air-conditioned movie theatres of the day to get out of their hot houses.

 

 

As it was there were no convenient movie times. My only alternative was to show up at the Arizona Motorsports Park nearly four hours before the race. Much of that time I sat in the car with the air-conditioning running….waiting. That didn’t do my gas mileage much good.

 

 

After the races……

 

desert scenery 

Pretty much on plan.

The Google Maps program tells me the driving distance from the John Wayne Airport (Orange County, CA) to Fallon, NV to Litchfield Park, AZ and back to the John Wayne Airport is 1,490 miles. When I turned the car in I had driven it 1,498.8 miles. I guess I didn’t deviate from the directed path too much!  Much of that drive took me through the Arizona desert.

 

 

Following this afternoon’s racing it was a quick 345-mile drive (4 hours 57 minutes) back to the Orange County airport. The drive was easy on a Saturday night. It would have been much more congested on Sunday night. Then folks are returning from their weekend in the desert or Las Vegas.

 

AZ gas prices 

Arizona vs. California gas prices.

My main mission was to fill my car’s gas tank to the brim in

Quartzite, Arizona. Quartzite is about 10 miles before the California state line. There I purchased gasoline for $3.49 per gallon. Just across the state line in Blythe, California gas sells for about $4.25 U.S. That’s a big change. Nevertheless, my European brothers and sisters pay some $7-8 per gallon of petrol. It’s all relative ain’t it?

 

 

Was this trip really worth it?

The question did run through my mind a time or too of “Is this trip really worth it?” It would have been a lot more “worth it” if I had seen three tracks rather than two. However, I’ve been trying to get the Arizona Motorsports Park for a very long time. Tracks in Arizona, at this stage for me, are difficult to get. I wasn’t passing up much else to come here this weekend. I wasn’t using my own car. I was only spending 40 hours away from home and buying enough gas to get me up and down the road some 1,500 miles.

 

 

Ready to go again!

I would be back home late on Saturday night. I was a little worn out, more from the heat of Nevada and Arizona than the driving. However, after a good night’s sleep I was ready to lead the charge with the family to a Sunday afternoon Angels game and dinner at Knott’s Berry Farm.

 

golf course 

This coming week will find me on the golf course a good bit. Then, believe it or not, I have a nearly identical trip to the one I just completed. These long driving trips in the Far West are very unusual for me. However they allow me to meet my trackchasing objectives. That’s a good thing.

 

 

 

Arizona Motorsports Park – Litchfield Park, Arizona

 

AMP map 

Now or never?

I’ve been wanting to see some racing at AMP for a long time. It is/was the last permanent racetrack I had not seen in Arizona. However, they don’t race very much at the Arizona Motorsports Park.

 

 

In fact, the “ProAutoSports” race group is the only sanctioning body that I know of that has wheel to wheel racing there. They don’t come to AMP very often (2 times/year). They don’t have very much countable racing when they do come (just one countable race today).

 

 

Never in 1,948 tracks had I seen this track limitation!

To make matters worse or a little more challenging they have a “rule” that I have never ever heard of in my previous 1,948 track visits. What in the world could THAT be?

 

overcrowded 

AMP has a “special use” permit that allows only 200 people to be on the site at one time. I had never heard of such a thing! That being the case I needed to contact the ProAutoSports people to confirm they would let me in!

 

 

I did just that. I told them I expected to arrive at about 2 p.m. for their one-day event. My contact seemed to think that would be O.K. “By 2 p.m. a lot of racers and their guests would have left the track. There will be room for you!”. That was good news.

 

Az Mtrsprts Park aerial view 

Google Earth! My backup plan.

However, I normally like to have a “backup plan” just so I have something to fall back on when the “word” I get isn’t what I was expecting (see Kingman above). I went to Google Earth’s program. That gave me a satellite view of the Arizona Motorsports Park property. I noticed I could easily be “off-property” and still see much of the race course. After I actually saw the racing at AMP I confirmed I could have seen just as much of the course from the nearby highway as I could from the AMP paddock area!

 

 

So what were the ‘frequently asked questions” from the Arizona Motorsports Park?

Below is a list of some of the “frequently asked questions” from the AMP website. As you can see they are going out of their way to be “neighborly friendly”.

 

 

Can I come out to the track and pay to run my car or motorcycle?  AMP does not hold “track” days open to the public.  The facility is available to clubs and track day organizations that hold events for their members.  Local clubs such as: ProAutoSports, NASA-AZ (Pro Racing), PCA-AZ Region (Porsche Club of America), Xcel Track days (Motorcycles), SCCA, and others are typical Users.

 

Is Drifting allowed at AMP?  No. The tire-smoke, squealing tires and loud engine noises that are produced by drifting cars are not “neighbor friendly.”

 

How quiet does my car or motorcycle have to be to run at AMP?  Arizona Motorsports Park has set a maximum limit of a 94.dB for any vehicle operating at AMP.

 

How do I know how loud my car or motorcycle is? Periodically Amps’ event organizers hold sound certification days for their members.  When your vehicle passes the sound test a sound compliance sticker is issued and you are OK to run.

 

Don’t the noisy jets from Luke AFB exceed the AMP sound meter limit?  Yes they do, however AMP has data recording sound meters strategically placed on the property that indicate if loud noises are from LUKE AFB jets or vehicles on the track.

 

How many people can be allowed on site at any given time?  AMP’s Special Use Permit allows for a maximum of 200 people to be on site at any time.  Gates open at 8:00 AM with the facility vacated by 5:00 PM.

 

Can races be held at AMP?  Yes with the same 94dB sound limit for each participating  vehicle or motorcycle.

 

cars at amp 

Will I be back some day?

Today I was seeing racing on the “Main” track. This is a 2.23-mile 16-turn flat asphalt road course. There are two other tracks within the main track. Those two configurations are the “West” track at 1.13-miles and 9 turns and the “East” track also at 1.13-miles and seven turns. Who knows? Maybe I will be back some day to see racing on one of those tracks.

 

 

I pulled into the facility at about 12 noon. There was no admission price but they did ask for a contribution to a local charity they were supporting. I laid down a ten-spot, signed a release and drove into the large asphalt parking/paddock area. A huge asphalt parking lot is not the most inviting space during a 100-degree, or warmer, Phoenix day. Did you know that Phoenix has more than 100 days where the temperature reaches 100 degrees or more every day. Phoenix is a very hot place for much of the year.

 

 

Timeliness is next to godliness.

The ProAutoSports groups does an excellent job of staying on schedule. Most road racing groups do. Virtually all short track oval racing does NOT stay on schedule. I have no real idea why that would be the case….but it is.

 

 

There generally were three groups of racing machines today. There was a large contingent of street cars and production road racing cars. These looked as if they all went onto the track together. However, they had no official “races” just what looked to be practice and timing events. There was no P.A. system to inform the limited spectating group (maybe 5-10 people) what was going on.

 

 

Thumbs down.

There were also five flat kart racers here today. They did have one race. However, as you know trackchasing’s founding fathers long ago turned thumbs down on the poor and hapless flat kart racers. That was a shame.

 

 

Last but not least.

The one and only “real race” was the very last event on the program beginning at 3:40 p.m. I guess that was poetic justice in that I still had a five-hour drive to make it home after driving some 20 hours or so just to get here albeit after stopping in Fallon, Nevada.

 

 

I entertained myself by taking photos of everything that moved and lots of stuff that didn’t. It was hot. It was hotter when the heat was radiating off the flat black asphalt.

 

AMP racing 

This was what I had come to see.

The one and only countable race featured just six “formula” type cars. They raced for 20 minutes over the 16-turn course. The race watching was not the greatest. Much of the time the cars were very far from my viewing position. Heck, I didn’t even know where the flagman’s stand was until just before the 3:40 p.m. race began. There was a good battle between three of the racers during much of the race.

 

AMP mobile catering truck 

Who needs to drive their car to the track restrooms?

It was somewhat difficult to find the restrooms as well. This was the only permanent building on the entire site that I could see. The restrooms were a distance of some 200 meters or so from where I was parked. I DROVE to the restrooms just so I could stay in the air-conditioning a bit longer!  Concessions were offered from a mobile catering truck.

 

 

No one does things in life, repeatedly, if they are going to disappoint themselves.

Let me try to summarize this weekend’s trackchasing trip. On Friday night I was in Fallon, Nevada to see four caged karts race. On Saturday morning I was shut out in Kingman, Arizona when my idea of a “race” and the promoters wasn’t the same. Then on Saturday afternoon I ended up seeing just six cars race on a 2.2-mile road course.

 

AMP racers 

Yes, I had driven 1,500-miles round-trip to see just 10 total cars race in two total races. Those races were not the most spine tingling. Was I disappointed? Not really. As I have said several times in the past I don’t really go trackchasing to see good racing. If I did I would be disappointed. If that were the case I would have stopped doing this a long time ago. No one wants to do stuff in life, repeatedly, if it provides disappointment. I am a “track” chaser. As long I as can add the track to my ever burgeoning list I’m O.K. with that.

 

 

This weekend’s tracks in Nevada and Arizona supported my 2014 goal of adding Far Western located racing facilities. Of course, the Arizona track was a big plus for my National Geographic Diversity score. Finally, two tracks were a nice addition to my lifetime track totals.

 

 

 

 

Arizona

 

 

The Grand Canyon state

This evening I saw my 32nd lifetime track in the Grand Canyon state, yes the Grand Canyon state. That gives me a little breathing room over those pesky racing Eckels.

 

 

Thanks for reading about my trackchasing,

 

Randy Lewis

World’s #1 Trackchaser

Peoria Old Timers Racing Club (P.O.R.C.) Hall of Fame Member

Arizona sayings: Any boredom you may have will evaporate in the heat.

 

 

 

QUICK FACTS

 

 

AIRPLANE

No airplanes!

 

 

RENTAL CAR #1

John Wayne (Orange County) Airport – trip begins

Fallon, NV

Litchfield Park, AZ

John Wayne (Orange County) Airport – trip ends – 1,498.8 miles

 

 

 

 

Total rental car miles – 1,498.8 (1 car)

 

Total miles traveled on this trip – 1,498.8 miles 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRACK ADMISSION PRICES:

Rattlesnake Raceway – Complimentary admission

Arizona Motorsports Park – $10 contribution

 

 

Total racetrack admissions for the trip – $10

 

 

 

 

LIFETIME TRACKCHASER COMPARISONS 

The three most important trackchasing comparisons to me are:

 

Total lifetime tracks seen

Total “trackchasing countries” seen

Lifetime National Geographic Diversity results

 

 

Total Lifetime Tracks

There are no trackchasers currently within 400 tracks of my lifetime total. Don’t blame me.

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 1,949

 

 

 

Total Trackchasing Countries

There are no trackchasers currently within 10 countries of my lifetime total.

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 68

 

 

 

Current lifetime National Geographic Diversity results

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 4.96

 

 

 

That’s all folks! Official end of the RLR – Randy Lewis Racing Trackchaser Report

 

 

 

 

 

 


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