Navigation 

My Favorite Racetracks

favorites

 

 

My trakchasing favorites!

From the travels and adventures of the “World’s #1 Trackchaser”

 

HighlightsU.S. WestU.S. MidwestU.S. SouthU.S. EastForeign

Tracks I would go back to in a heartbeat.
This section contains all of my “favorite” tracks.  This doesn’t mean the best tracks, the biggest tracks or the most popular tracks although it could.  As I went through my entire track list of nearly 2,300 these favorite tracks struck a cord for one reason or another.

 

 

About 10% of my tracks made the cut here.  I’ve attached a comment, and a picture in some cases, so you’ll have an idea why I picked these places as my favorites.  Hope you enjoy my favorite track list.

 

 

TRACK CITY STATE COUNTRY DATE TRACK TYPE
Twin City Raceway Kenai Alaska United States August 5, 1995 DO

This was my first ever trackchasing trip to Alaska.  Daughter Kristy came along and caught a 55-pound king salmon on our father/daughter Alaskan fishing trip the day before the race.



 

North Pole Speedway North Pole Alaska United States May 22, 2008 PO

North Pole

Who wouldn’t want to go to the North Pole to see some racing?  It didn’t get dark until nearly midnight.



Manzanita Speedway Phoenix Arizona United States Pre-1980 OUTER-DO

In 1974 we lived in Phoenix and this was our home track.  We learned to eat “cheese crisps” here and loved the Western World Sprint Car Championships.  This is where we got to watch the Shuman Brothers and Bill Cheesebourg one of my all-time favorite drivers race.



 

Silver Dollar Speedway Chico California United States June 6, 1980 DO

This is a tight little bullring where I’ve seen the World of Outlaws sprint cars nine times.  Our latest visit featured NASCAR’s Tony Stewart racing with the WOO sprints.



 

Baylands Raceway Park Fremont California United States June 23, 1984 DO

This track didn’t last long but they had great sprint car racing.  We sat next to Jimmy Boyd’s (first ever WOO sprint car winner) wife on my first visit here.  It was at this track that I witnessed a fan crossing the track as hot laps were beginning.  Shane Carson hit and killed the spectator in turn one.



 

Santa Maria Speedway Santa Maria California United States September 14, 1984 OUTER-DO
You always get a great view at Santa Maria.

You always get a great view at Santa Maria.

This is another high-banked fast dirt oval that I have visited ten times.  We used to bring our kids up and camp out for the World of Outlaws sprinters.



 

Kings Speedway Hanford California United States September 25, 1985 DO

Back in the 80s we headed to Northern California for the sprint cars all the time.  I’ve been to Kings thirteen times.  Saw Jeff Gordon watching as a spectator when he was about fourteen years old and living in Vallejo, California.



 

Ventura Raceway Ventura California United States November 21, 1986 DO

What a great little bullring for midgets and sprints.  The grandstand backs up to the Pacific Ocean.  I’ve only been there five times but should go more.



 

Long Beach Grand Prix Long Beach California United States April 5, 1987 STREET-RC

Long Beach

I wasn’t a big fan of the LBGP.  However, when American Airlines invited us to come watch the race I couldn’t turn down the invitation.  We ended up winning a contest that required us to guess the winner’s average speed.  The prize?  Round-trip airfare for two and a week’s hotel in…..Zurich, Switzerland!



 

Bakersfield Speedway Oildale California United States October 8, 1988 DO

Bakersfield

I love little dirt bullrings and that’s what Bakersfield Speedway is.  Big crowds.  I’ve been there nine times.




I.M.I. Raceway Pearsonville California United States November 27, 1994 DO

This is a rural track with low-dollar cars.  Nevertheless, I made the 200-mile one-way drive three times to see racing late in the year.



Perris Auto Speedway  Perris California United States July 4, 1996 OUTER-DO

This is the replacement track for the shuttered Ascot Park.  The main attraction is wingless sprints.  Everything about this track is top notch from the concessions to the lighting, announcing and of course the racing.  With all of the trackchasing I do outside of California I have only been here nine times since they opened in 1996. 




Irwindale Speedway  Irwindale California United States May 15, 1999 OUTER-PO

irwindale-speedway-grandstand

This may be the very best asphalt short track facility in the world.  The place is over the top in every aspect.  Nevertheless, I am not a big short track asphalt fan and have only been here four times.  They do have an inner oval and figure 8 racing which provides three tracks for the opportunistic trackchaser.



Chula Vista International Off-Road Raceway I Chula Vista California United States October 2, 2005 DRC

This was one of the best “Stadium Off-Road” tracks I have seen.  Car counts were huge with nearly 30 competitors in most races.  The track was located on what was to be a near-term housing development.  Therefore, it’s life was short but it offered great racing. 



Naval Air Station North Island Coronado California United States October 9, 2005 TEMPORARY-PRC

Coronado Island is one of the most beautiful spots in the country.  This track uses airport runways for it’s track surfaces.  They race here just once a year but the vintage sports car spectacle is tops.



Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Los Angeles California United States April 27, 2013 MIXED-RC

Hello Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. We'll be seeing you soon.

We didn’t come here for the racing as much as the ambience.  The Los Angles Memorial Coliseum was home to the 1932 and 1984 summer Olympics.  This track was also the very first seen by our grandchildren, Astrid and Mitch.




Riverside International Raceway Riverside California United States Pre-1980 PRC
Riverside is no more.

Riverside is no more.

I hitched a ride up to Riverside while stationed with the Marines in San Diego in 1972 to see the NASCAR boys play.  Sadly, this track closed in 1989.



Ascot Park  Gardena California United States Pre-1980 OUTER-DO

I fell in love with wingless sprint cars at Ascot.

I fell in love with wingless sprint cars at Ascot.

Ascot Park would easily fall into my top five lifetime tracks.  It was our home track from 1974-1978 and again from 1983 until it closed in 1990.  It was here that I fell in love with wingless sprint cars.  I never missed a Turkey night midget race while we were in California.  I didn’t see very many stock car events but enjoyed the 300-lappers contested by the NASCAR West group.



Ontario Motor Speedway Ontario California United States Pre-1980 PO

Although this track closed in 1980 I made it out there several times for NASCAR racing.  Back in those days, and maybe today as well, Californians didn’t support NASCAR tracks very well.



Speedway 605 Irwindale California United States Pre-1980 PO

This was a very competitive track in the heart of Los Angeles that closed in the late 70s.  I saw a $10,000 to win show there.  I met legendary racechaser Gary Jacob for the first time at this show in the mid-70s.  A YouTube video shows TWO ovals at this track but I only remember seeing racing on one of them.



Corona Raceway Corona California United States Pre-1980 DO

This is another in a long list of Southern California tracks that closed when the land became too valuable to operate as a racetrack.  It was here that I watched one of my all-time favorite drivers, Bill Cheesebourg.  Like Speedway 605, a YouTube video shows TWO ovals available for racing but I only remember seeing racing on one despite being at the track many times.



West Capital Raceway West Sacramento California United States Pre-1980 DO

My San Francisco buddy Stan Logan and I went to the West Capital Raceway several times in the 70s for West coast sprint car racing.  This track closed in about 1980.  It was a great little bullring.



El Toro Speedway El Toro California United States Pre-1980 DO
The closest track ever to where we lived.

The closest track ever to where we lived.

The El Toro Speedway was just a couple of miles from our home in Mission Viejo, California.  It was a tiny little track shaped almost in a circle.  They raced TQ midgets there and I loved it.  Following the races on August 16,1977 on the ride home I first learned of Elvis Presley’s death.  I think about the El Toro Speedway often as I pass the Courtyard by Marriott hotel that sits on top of it now!



Mesa Marin Raceway Bakersfield California United States Pre-1980 PO

Virtually none of my long-time favorite California tracks are open any more.  Mesa Marin closed in 2005.  I went there in the 70s and saw 13 more races at Mesa Marin when I first started recording dates for each track visit in 1980.  I saw several outstanding events at Mesa Marin including NASCAR-West races with the likes of Herschel McGriff and others.



Hawaii Raceway Park  Kapolei Hawaii United States August 18, 1984 DO

Two things make this track most unique to me.  We went there before our first countable visit in 1984.  However, a hurricane had hit the islands earlier in the week and the track’s electricity was still out.  No race!  We had made that trip specifically to Hawaii to add a new state to my trackchasing resume.  For a long-time Hawaii Raceway Park was the only active oval track in all of Hawaii.



Rexburg Figure 8 Track Rexburg Idaho United States January 26, 2013 DF8

The panoramic view of the Rexburg figure 8 track.

The race at Rexburg had to be the wettest track where I have ever seen racing.  I had to go across the street to Wal-Mart to buy boots that would allow me to walk through the mud and rain puddles.  The mud was nearly a foot deep in spots.  It was also most unusual to see people walking the streets of Rexburg with pistols on their side and a rifle slung over their shoulder.



Las Vegas International Off Road Raceway Primm Nevada United States November 4, 2007 DRC

I’ve seen racing racing at ten different tracks in the city of Las Vegas.  This track carries “Las Vegas” in it’s name even though Primm, Nevada is some 40 miles from Las Vegas.  I saw some outstanding C.O.R.R. Stadium off-road racing here.



Hollywood Hills Speedway San Felipe Pueblo New Mexico United States April 29, 2007 DO

I’ve been to a few tracks located on Indian reservations and this is one of them.  The track has had a checkered past of opening and closing before apparently closing for good in 2009.  An Indian casino sits next to the track and it’s massive grandstand.  I was there for a daytime show for modifieds.



Cardinal Motor Speedway Eunice New Mexico United States April 24, 2010 DO

Cardinal Motor Speedway

I included this track simply because it is so far off the beaten path.  Any group that can operate a racing program in a place like this deserves to be commended.  It was too bad I was rained out at intermission here.



Miller Motorsports Park  Tooele Utah United States August 4, 2006 PRC

I only see a few “state of the art” racing facilities and this in one of them.  I’ve been there twice, once for their asphalt road racing and once for a dirt stadium off-road racing event.



Rocky Mountain Raceways  Salt Lake City Utah United States May 12, 2007 PF8

rocky mountain raceways aerial

Not many figure 8 tracks make this list.  However, the Rocky Mountain Raceways facility has been dramatically upgraded over the years.  Their figure 8 “train” races are most entertaining. 



Deseret Peak Complex  Tooele Utah United States August 4, 2012 DF8

They really pack ’em in here for their once a year event.  The figure 8 racing is marginal at best.  However, the demo derby that comes along with it is the fantastic!



Skagit Speedway Alger Washington United States June 14, 1984 DO

Skagit

I haven’t been here in nearly thirty years but I remember the sprint cars at Skagit.  They are still going strong with the sprinters all these years later so they must have a pretty good show.



Evergreen Speedway  Monroe Washington United States August 18, 1985 OUTER-PO

I’ve been to Evergreen four times to see five different tracks (three ovals, road course and figure 8).  One of the very best shows was a NASCAR West show with Bill Elliott as a guest driver.  I had my photo taken with Bill on that day in 1985 when he was just getting started.  Later, in Atlanta, Bill told me he had driven in a figure 8 race at Evergreen!



Eagle Track Raceway Republic Washington United States June 24, 2000 DO

Eagle Track

I most love to see racing on Sunday afternoons.  To get to the Eagle Track Raceway I had to take a car ferry.  This was old time rural racing at a location less than an hour from the Canadian border with simply outstanding Far West scenery.



Pacific Raceways Kent Washington United States September 24, 2005 PRC

Not many road courses make my list of favorite tracks.  What I liked most about the Pacific Raceways was the Northwest scenery of tall trees and cool breezes.  I could walk around the perimeter of most of the track.  The paddock area was located amongst the trees as well.



Teton County Fairgrounds  Jackson Wyoming United States July 26, 2007 DF8

Teton County Fair Le Mans start 2

Wyoming is rodeo country.  This figure 8 track was located at the fairgrounds rodeo grounds.  What was most memorable about this figure 8 race?  They had a LeMans start where the drivers ran a long distance hopped in their cars and started racing.  I’m told they don’t do this type of start anymore because it became too dangerous for the slow-footed drivers.



Interstate Speedway Sheridan Wyoming United States Pre-1980 DO

I saw racing at this track in about 1970.  It was one of the dustiest afternoon races I had ever seen up to this day.  I didn’t care.  I was an Illinois boy seeing a race in Wyoming at what was officially my 16th lifetime track.


TRACK CITY STATE COUNTRY DATE TRACK TYPE
Peoria Speedway – Mt. Hawley Peoria Illinois United States Pre-1980 DO

This is the first racetrack I ever attended.  I’m guessing my first race was in 1954 or 1955 at the age of five or six. They were running the coupes back in those days.  Racing was so popular they raced on both Wednesday and Saturday nights.  Rocky Nohl was my favorite driver but Lloyd Caldwell in the red and white #72 was the dominant winner.



Peoria Speedway – Farmington Road Peoria Illinois United States Pre-1980 DO

peoria speedway the first 25 years

Today’s Peoria Speedway replaced the Mt. Hawley track in 1964.  These two “Peoria Speedways” are my all-time favorite track!  Yes,it’s a “two for one”.  Today’s track is a high-banked quarter-mile dirt track where side by side racing is the norm.  The flagman stands in a “judge’s stand” located on the inside of the track.  Pork tenderloins and grilled pork chops are the concession items of choice.  I LOVE the Peoria Speedway although the last time I was there, by feature time, it was a dust bowl.  Didn’t care;  I LOVE the Peoria Speedway.



Sterling Speedbowl Sterling Illinois United States Pre-1980 DO
Sterling Speedbowl Park - 1959 race program

Sterling Speedbowl Park – 1959 race program

The Sterling Speedbowl was the first track a long way from home (82 miles) that we visited frequently.  It was here that I was first introduced to my all-time favorite driver, Darrell Dake who was winning feature events in a 1962 Ford convertible.  The track closed in 1968 when a part from a race car flew into the stands killing a spectator. 



Rockford Speedway  Rockford Illinois United States Pre-1980 PO

The Rockford Speedway was the first asphalt track I ever attended.  We started making the long haul to Rockford (137 miles) in about 1966.  Joe Shear, in some of the best looking race cars I had ever seen, won just about every race he entered at Rockford.  We went to the “Rockford Nationals” many times seeing drivers like Dick Trickle and Ramo Stott dominate.  It was here that I first met Dick Trickle and saw a spectator race car do a series of side over side flips destroying the once pristine Camaro.  I saw many events here prior to 1980 and have been to the speedway 23 times since 1980.



Santa Fe Speedway  Hinsdale Illinois United States Pre-1980 OUTER-DO
Santa Fe Speedway 1953-1995.

Santa Fe Speedway 1953-1995.

Santa Fe Speedway was our “home” track from 1980-83.  I went there several times before 1980 and 27 times after 1980 until the track closed in 1995.  Santa Fe once hosted what is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup series in 1954.  I saw some great dirt late model and sprint car racing at this track.  A facility highlight was the best attended event of the year at SFS, the “crasharama” events featuring demo derbies, figure 8 racing and the like.



East Moline Speedway East Moline Illinois United States August 23, 1981 DO

This is one of the tightest little quarter-miles I have ever seen.  There is very little room to pass so that means some beating and banging.  Spectators sit close to the action.  I am surprised that I have only been here two times, in 1981 and 1983.



LaSalle Speedway LaSalle Illinois United States August 22, 1992 DO

Illinois has a lot of smaller banked dirt ovals that provide great racing.  LaSalle is one of those tracks.  They do a great job of attracting top-flight competition in the late model and sprint divisions.  As a family we made a re-visit to this track on the weekend following my mother’s funeral.



Belle-Clair Speedway Belleville Illinois United States June 13, 2004 DO

belle-clair logo

If I were a “racechaser” and not a “trackchaser” I would go to this track all the time.  It’s a tight little bullring where the midgets and modifieds rule.  I need to get back here. 




Southern Illinois Center DuQuoin Illinois United States January 16, 2005 DO

I had wanted to get to “DuQuoin” for years.  Little did I know it would be for an indoor event and not racing on the fairgrounds mile track.  I don’t list many indoor facilities as a “favorite track”.  However, the Southern Illinois Center is a most modern if unheated place to watch good indoor midget racing.



Shepp’s Speedway Alexander Illinois United States June 28, 2009 DO

I only made it to Shepp’s one time.  This was a good track that opened and closed quickly after being open for only 3-4 years.  The Midwest has the best dirt stock car and modified racing by far.  I was disappointed to see this track go.



Winchester Speedway Winchester Indiana United States October 3, 1981 PO

I was able to catch a couple of Winchester 400 weekends here back in the early 80s.  Bob Senneker was winning everything then.  We were also there the day Pat Schauer was killed in the most violent crash I have ever seen.




Kokomo Speedway Kokomo Indiana United States August 2, 1982 DO

1984 Sabos at Kokomo

Kokomo Speedway is an ultra competitive flat quarter-mile dirt oval bullring.  I’ve been here six times to see the likes of Sammy Swindell, Rich Vogler and Steve Kinser win.




Indianapolis Motor Speedway  Speedway Indiana United States May 26, 1991 PO

Indy

I’m not an Indy car fan and I am not a fan of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  We had great seats for the Indy 500 but still could only see the cars for about ten seconds of a forty second lap.  I wouldn’t go back unless somebody gave me free tickets!  Nevertheless, as racing fans, Carol and I were happy to see the 75th running on this historic race.



Salem Super Speedway  Salem Indiana United States Pre-1980 OUTER-PO

This track will forever go down as the first track that was ever a major road trip for my stepfather and me.  Salem was 309 miles from East Peoria.  This was the “south” and the facilities in the early 70s told us we were watching major, but down home racing.  On the trip I visited my first ever Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet!  Peoria favorite Jim Strube and Bobby Allison, in the Roger Penske AMC Matador raced in the ARCA sanctioned event.



Indianapolis Speedrome  Indianapolis Indiana United States Retroactive – 2001 PF8

You won’t see many figure 8 tracks on my most favorite tracks list.  However, at the Indianapolis Speedrome they RACE figure 8 cars.  This is pretty much the top of the line for figure 8 racing.  The cars look more like late models from the World 100 more than anything else.



Boone Speedway Boone Iowa United States September 9, 1999 DO
Don't miss the Boone Nationals.

Don’t miss the Boone Nationals.

If you are a dirt modified fan and haven’t been to Boone for the “Nationals” then you haven’t seen dirt modified racing.  I’ve been there for six nights of racing spread over three separate years.  During the nationals they will run more than 40 heats each night and 10-15 features.  Car counts will be in the 300s.  Don’t miss the rib-eye steak sandwich and mile high fries.  These are one of the best track concessions in the country.  Don’t miss Boone!



Cerro Gordo County Multi Purpose Center Mason City Iowa United States February 4, 2012 INDOOR-PO

I saw my first ever “golf kart” racing here.  Of course, these were not your ordinary golf karts.  Flat karts were turning the flat concrete oval in less than six seconds aided by a surface laden with Coke syrup.  Refreshments were homemade and the cheapest you will ever find.  If you go to Mason City you MUST eat at the Northwestern Steakhouse.  If you don’t get there within thirty seconds of them opening you will wait for a table.



Davenport Speedway  Davenport Iowa United States Pre-1980 INNER-DO

A trip to Davenport was my first ever road trip with my soon to be stepfather (mom was on this trip too).  However, these too lovebirds spent too much time talking in a dimly lit supper club for my tastes (I was 14).  We ended up missing the race!  Nevertheless, I went back to Davenport many times during the 70s to see all of those famous and fantastic Iowa drivers compete.



Hawkeye Downs Speedway  Cedar Rapids Iowa United States Pre-1980 DO

falstaff

I went to just about every Falstaff 100 and Miller 100 mid-week special at the Downs for many years in the 70s.  Back then the 180-mile one-way drive seemed like about 500 especially when I had to work the next morning.  Bobby Allison would fly up for this race and compete in dirt cars against Iowa’s best.



West Liberty Fair Speedway West Liberty Iowa United States Pre-1980 DO

All I needed to guarantee a good night of racing was to see this hauler coming over the hill.

West Liberty was always a good track located in a very small town.  My all-time favorite Darrell Dake won his last ever feature here.  The racing was great but the haulers in the infield blocked the view a bit.  I said hello to Darrel Dake here in 1999 after he was retired and attending the races as a spectator.  He always seem amazed that a “California guy” kept showing up at an Iowa racetrack.



Knoxville Raceway Knoxville Iowa United States Pre-1980 DO
Knoxville at sunset.

Knoxville at sunset.

Who wouldn’t have Knoxville as one of their favorite tracks?  I first started coming here in 1979 when Ronnie Shuman won the nationals.  Since 1980 I’ve been here 14 times.  This track has it all.  My last visit had me watching the Lucas Oil Late Models, a great show.  The Knoxville McDonalds is the only McDonalds I know of with a huge sprint car mural inside the restaurant.



Belleville High Banks Belleville Kansas United States August 4, 1994 DO

We were here for a three-day weekend for the nationals event in 1994.  Although the place is hard to get to the racing back in those days was lightning fast.



Humboldt Speedway Humboldt Kansas United States May 26, 2000 DO

This is another little bullring with outstanding modified racing to be had.  I first met trackchaser John Moore at Humboldt.  The announcer had recognized my visit to Humboldt as my 423rd lifetime track.  THEN he later announcec that John Moore was in the house with over 600 tracks!



Caney Valley Speedway Caney Kansas United States July 16, 2010 DO

I battled rainy weather to get here.  Just when I thought there was no chance for a Caney Valley race the weather cleared and they raced.  This is a Peoria Speedway clone with great side by side racing all over it’s high banks.  I would come to this track every week if I lived in the area.




Silverdome Pontiac Michigan United States February 27, 1983 INDOOR-PO

dick trickle i70

Can you imagine an indoor stock car race with the likes of Rusty Wallace, Alan Kulwicki and Dick Trickle among others being contested on a flat 1/4-mile or less track?  It was wild and it was loud.  After the race Dick Trickle told me “The track will give you what is will give you and that’s it”. 




Spartan Speedway  Lansing Michigan United States August 7, 2005 PF8

This was high speed late model figure 8 racing.  If these cars had met at the F8 intersection they would have knocked one and another into Ann Arbor.




Standish Asphalt Raceway Standish Michigan United States August 7, 2005 PO

I picked this track as a favorite from 2005 because it looked as if the entire facility was in a time warp from about 1960.  There were huge weeds (mini-trees) growing up between the rows of the grandstand.




Deer Creek Speedway Racine Minnesota United States May 24, 2003 DO

This track “gets it”.  They seem to be one of the most progressive tracks in the Midwest.  This is a great place for dirt modified racing.  They have an unusual policy with their inner oval called Button Buck Speedway.  They race during the day there.  Fans can go in for free, but have to leave their car keys at the ticket window.  This insures EVERYONE will leave when the inner oval racing is finished during the day, reclaim their car keys and then if staying for the evening show on the big track buy a ticket.




Little Log House Speedway Hastings Minnesota United States July 28, 2006 DO

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These folks race just once a year.  The main attraction for me was the vintage stock car racing.  They had several “late models” from the 60s and 70s.  I love vintage stock car racing as it reminds me of my early days at the Peoria Speedway.




Birch Lake Ice Track Hackensack Minnesota United States January 27, 2008 ICE-O

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Carol and I had a good time at this track.  Only a handful (or less!) of the tracks I have visited race without helmets.  This was one of them.  Somehow Carol was talked into riding inside a big old Mercury ice racer for the feature event.  She would not be alone.  She rode with four huge Minnesota men, all without helmets at speeds reaching 60 M.P.H.  I filmed it all in 12-degree temperatures.




Ogilvie Raceway Ogilvie Minnesota United States September 12, 2010 DO

This raceway is a rare quality track to open in the last few years.  They did a wonderful job with Ogilvie.  The modified stock cars put on a great show here.  The under the grandstand concession and amenities area is top notch.



Bass Lake Ice Track Underwood Minnesota United States February 20, 2011 ICE-O

This was a normal upper midwest ice racing event….until I was invited to ride in a race car.  Unfortunately, my YouTube video had it’s audio restricted and the great in car conversations were eliminated.  Nevertheless, nice folks and one of the most fun experiences I’ve had riding in a race car during a race.



Lucas Oil Speedway  Wheatland Missouri United States June 24, 2006 DO

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This facility may be the best ever for a dirt track in all of the world.  If you like racing you need to visit the Lucas Oil Speedway.  They’ve poured more concrete here that at all the tracks combined in many states.  Our visit here was noteworthy for one other reason than  the racing.  The show was delayed several minutes by rain when the rain forecast called for a ZERO percent chance of rain.  Carol constantly reminds me of that fact whenever I tell her we have almost no chance of rain.




Riviera Raceway Norfolk Nebraska United States August 10, 2002 DO

I’ve included this racetrack for two unique reasons.  First, I had never ever heard of this track until I got out into the middle of Nebraska. Secondly, they’ve been putting on quality racing for nearly 50 years at Riviera!  That just goes to show me that there are tracks out there with rich racing local histories that need to be seen.  When they are seen their story need to be told.




US 30 Speedway  Columbus Nebraska United States July 8, 2004 OUTER-DO

I had my first ever newspaper interview with the local paper in Columbus, Nebraska.  I ran into the newspaper’s reporter in the track press box.  It was here that I discovered that my trackchasing saga makes for a perfect “human interest” sports related story.  To show you that Nebraska people are the nicest in the country let me share this anecdote with you.  When the promoter heard my story and found out that I had PAID for a ticket she insisted on giving my seven dollars back in cash.  That move may have bought her the best seven dollars worth of free advertising ever.




River Cities Speedway Grand Forks North Dakota United States June 17, 2005 DO

I saw the World of Outlaws sprint cars race here on a miserably hot day with the shining directly into my seating location and still loved it.  Fans are up close to the action at this track.




Eldora Speedway Rossburg Ohio United States April 27, 1980 DO
Late models at Eldora

Late models at EldoraRandy, Jim Sabo, Pete Kreyling and John Kane at an early 80s World 100.

Randy, Jim Sabo, Pete Kreyling and John Kane at an early 80s World 100.

What can I say about Eldora that my actions don’t already confirm.  The track is more than 2,000 miles from my home and I’ve been there 35 times.  My favorite events have been the more than ten World 100 stock races I’ve seen.  Don’t miss the pizza burgers!




Vinton Raceway Vinton Ohio United States June 10, 2007 DO

I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon here.  The racing was just like it would have been in 1950.  That afternoon the live bluegrass country music made the event most memorable.  I’m told this track is now closed and a lake is being constructed on the property.




Queen City Speedway West Chester Ohio United States Pre-1980 PO

In 1974 this was my home track.  I saw some great stock car racing from the likes of Joe Ruttman and Ed Howe here.  Importantly, I saw my first ever sprint car racing at the Queen City Speedway.  Jan Opperman was racing that day.




Tulsa Expo Park Tulsa Oklahoma United States January 12, 1995 DO

You will not find any better indoor racing than the Chili Bowl event hosted by the Tulsa Expo Park.  I’ve seen four nights of racing here and if I can get approval from my lung doctor, or get an iron lung sponsorship I’m down with coming back again and again.




Hallett Motor Racing Circuit Hallett Oklahoma United States April 3, 2005 PRC
Hallett Motor Racing Circuit

Hallett Motor Racing Circuit

I came here on a windy spring day to find an old-time country road course.  I was able to walk all over the grounds in this most laidback atmosphere.




77 Speedway & Arena Newkirk Oklahoma United States August 22, 2009 DF8

If a track can race figure 8 cars on a permanent track devoted only to figure 8 racing they must be doing something right.  The fans back up their pickup trucks and watch from their truck beds.  This is down home figure 8 racing the likes of which are not seen in very many places.




Lake County Speedway Madison South Dakota United States May 30, 1998 DO

This is one of those “Peoria Speedway” clones that I love so much.  Just as I was beginning to enjoy the racing here a tornado warning hit the area.  The event was canceled and everyone was evacuated immediately.  Sadly, I am told this track no longer exists.




Interstate Speedway Jefferson South Dakota United States September 20, 1998 DO

interstate speedway 3

Thank goodness for high-banked quarter-mile dirt tracks.  This one looks and acts just like it might have in the 50s.  The stock cars can race lap after lap side by side and never touch.  Wish I could see this track every Saturday night.




Slinger Super Speedway  Slinger Wisconsin United States July 21, 1981 PO

I’ve only been here a couple of times but the racing on the high-banked quarter-mile asphalt track was great.  Tracks like “Slinger” are known all around the country and for good reason.




Crandon International Off-Road Raceway Crandon Wisconsin United States June 25, 2005 DRC
Racing at Crandon

Racing at Crandon

This was one of my first introductions (maybe my first) to the wild and wacky world of stadium off-road racing.  What a show.  The place had thousands of fans.  Cars and trucks from several locations at one time could be seen flying through the air.  When a show attracts a crowd like this you know they are doing lots of things right.




Rice Lake Ice Track Rice Lake Wisconsin United States March 8, 2008 ICE-O

The guys up here put on a great ice racing show in the middle of some very frigid winters.  They had great fields of cars, friendly people and close ice racing.  Excellent show.




Wisconsin State Fair Park  West Allis Wisconsin United States Pre-1980 OUTER-PO
Jack Bowsher #21 and A.J. Foyt #31

Jack Bowsher #21 and A.J. Foyt #31

This was my first introduction to “big-time” stock car racing.  In the late 60s and early 70s I went to Milwaukee many times with my stepfather and two of his buddies.  We saw names like A.J. Foyt, Don White, Norm Nelson and Jack Bowsher winning big races.  We never missed stopping at the Mars Cheese Castle in Kenosha on the way home.  I still stop there to this day, although they have a brand new “castle” now!




Road America Elkhart Lake Wisconsin United States Pre-1980 PRC

Admittedly I am not a big road course racing fan.  However, Road America holds a special place from my college days.  For three summers my college fraternity Delta Sigma Pi held a special weekend event when Road America was hosting the Trans-Am “pony” car championships.  What a beautiful setting for a picnic and they had racing there too.  The night before Sunday’s races the group always went out for an evening of go-kart racing.  I remember racing at the back of the pack and watching Carol win the feature event over some twenty young men of Delta Sigma Pi.

 

TRACK CITY STATE COUNTRY DATE TRACK TYPE

 

Fairgrounds Raceway Birmingham Alabama United States July 24, 1993 PO

davey-allison

I came to the Fairgrounds Raceway just a couple of days after Alabamian Davey Allison was fatally injured in a helicopter crash at Talladega.  The Allison family lived in the Birmingham area.  A very moving tribute ceremony was done at the track with Davey’s sister and other family members.




Talladega Superspeedway Talladega Alabama United States July 25, 1993 PO

Neil Bonnett crashes into the catch fence causing a one-hour delay in the race.




Jimmy Horton flies over the wall in Talladega

I’ve been to Talladega three times.  Highlights include seeing the Neil Bonnet crash into the catch fence in 1993 (see video #1 above), watching Jimmy Horton flip completely out of the track (see video #2 above) and experiencing the hottest day ever in my trackchasing career.  There’s a great museum at Talladega as well.  I love ‘dega.




Barber Motorsports Park Leeds Alabama United States April 8, 2006 PRC
Barber Motorsports Park

Barber Motorsports Park

Every track is memorable for one reason or another.  The Barber Motorsports Park is the most upscale road racing facility I have ever seen and I’ve seen more than 200 permanent road courses.  I was told the safety fencing at Barber included 40,000 BRAND NEW tires!!





East Bay Raceway  Gibsonton Florida United States February 6, 1980 OUTER-DO

East Bay ranks in my top-10 favorite tracks.  Maybe that’s why I’ve been there 22 times since first discovering the track in 1980.  I really like watching the late models on this dust free track.  I’ve seen drivers come from the last row to win feature events.  Most of my East Bay visits have been during SpeedWeeks in February.  I’ll always say to Carol, and she agrees, some of the coldest nights we have ever spent at a racetrack have been in Florida!





Sebring Raceway Sebring Florida United States November 27, 2004 PRC
Sebring Raceway

Sebring Raceway

I guess I liked Sebring because of it’s long time racing history.  I went to Sebring with my stepfather and we enjoyed just exploring the entire facility and soaking up the ambience.




Zephyrhills Antique Car Raceway Zephyrhills Florida United States February 26, 2005 DO

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I absolutely love seeing vintage stock car racing events.  Zephyrhills does a fantastic job with that.  They also host a huge automotive flea market and auto auction when the races are on.





Auburndale Kartway Auburndale Florida United States February 10, 2006 DO
Betty, Bill (my stepfather), Carol and Ed on the night of my 1,000th track in Auburndale, Florida.

Betty, Bill (my stepfather), Carol and Ed on the night of my 1,000th track in Auburndale, Florida.

Not much racing here but it WAS my 1,000th lifetime track!  Carol, my stepfather Bill and his wife Betty and Ed Esser showed up to celebrate the event. 





Daytona International Speedway   Daytona Beach Florida United States Pre-1980 OUTER-PO

Every stock car fan has to have this track on his/her favorites list.  I still haven’t seen the Daytona 500 live.  I need to do that.  It’s on my bucket list.




Deland Speedway Deland Florida United States Pre-1980 DO

I don’t remember much about this track other than it was down in a bowl.  This was back in the day when EVERY dirt stock car driver who was any good raced in Florida during SpeedWeeks at the “Winter Nationals”.  One year, my favorite Darrell Dake won the weeklong championship.




Toccoa Speedway Toccoa Georgia United States March 17, 2007 DO

Toccoa Speedway

Toccoa Speedway

I never got to see any southern short track stock car racing “back in the day”.  Nevertheless, in 2007 I felt that I had.  There hasn’t been much updating at Toccoa since it opened in the 50s or 60s.  That was fine with me.  It took me back to a time I thought I had missed.




Atlanta International Raceway  Hampton Georgia United States Pre-1980 OUTER-PO

Atlanta is where Carol and I saw our first ever NASCAR Sprint Cup race.  We were college seniors and drove down to Florida over spring break stopping along the way to see A.J. Foyt win the Atlanta 500 for the Wood Brothers.  It was a very hot day and we pale-skinned Illini still have the sunburn scars to prove our attendance.  




High Banks Speedway  Philpot Kentucky United States July 20, 2007 DF8

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What was so special about this track was the promoter’s interest to help me as a trackchaser.  It had rained a ton and the grounds were more than wet.  The track ran races on an oval and figure 8 track.  Before the races I told the promoter about my trackchasing and how I had come here specifically to see racing on his two tracks.  With that he got on his grader and spent a very long time getting a halfway raceable figure 8 track.  I meet lots of nice people along the trackchasing trail.




Paducah International Raceway  Paducah Kentucky United States March 30, 2012 INNER-DO

The inner oval racing here wasn’t much with the Warrior division.  However, the track’s program was run perfectly by Bob Sargent passt promoter of the year.  Race promotion doesn’t seem too difficult if you can do 8-10 very basic things well.




No Problem Raceway Park Belle Rose Louisiana United States December 2, 2007 PRC

This was another “country” road course, the kind I like best.  I had this track on my radar screen for many years before finally getting there.  One of the concession items was “Boudin Balls”!  Who could resist that?  Coming here also gave me an excuse to eat in New Orleans, my favorite culinary city.




Bowman Gray Stadium Winston-Salem North Carolina United States April 26, 2003 PO
Bowman Grey Stadium

Bowman Grey Stadium

I’ve only been here once but I could sense the history that goes with this place.  It’s definitely a “bump n run” flat racetrack that draws huge crowds.  I need to go back.




East Lincoln Speedway Stanley North Carolina United States April 1, 2006 DO

What makes this track standout has something to do with the Speed Channel.  It was here that we filmed a TV pilot program called “Trachchasers” with the Speed Channel’s Steve Stone.  Although the program never made it on air just being part of this project was a great learning experience and lots of fun.  You can see the show in another section of my site.




Uwharrie Figure 8 Troy, NC North Carolina United States October 27, 2012 DF8

This was about as “down home” as you can get.  There was a big fight after the figure 8 race.  The demo derby was A+++.  The concession sandwiches might have been the best of the year.




Darlington International Speedway Darlington South Carolina United States March 28, 1992 PO
Darlington Speedway

Darlington Speedway

This is another historic track that was a “must see” for me.  During my weekend visit I got to see both Robert Pressley and Bill Elliott win races.  I loved the on-site racing museum that featured many cars from the early days of NASCAR.




Hemi Speedway Mount Croghan South Carolina United States October 15, 2006 DO

I’m a big fan on the “out in the boondocks” tracks that look as if time has stood still for them.  The Hemi Speedway qualifies on all counts here.  It was dusty, backwoods and just plain Sunday afternoon fun.




Nashville International Raceway  Lebanon Tennessee United States November 1, 1981 OUTER-PO

sccarol-waltrip

Lots of memories from here.  Carol had a wonderful picture taken with Darrell Waltrip at the All-American 400.  On another occasion during a rain delay fans were asked to take their cars onto the track to help dry it out!  My car was parked in the pits and I drove out onto the track.  This was one of the most fun things I have ever done.  When my stepfather and I returned to the hotel my mother couldn’t believe THEIR Ford Taurus had taken a few laps on the famous Nashville track!





Bristol International Raceway Bristol Tennessee United States March 14, 1982 PO
Bristol International Raceway

Bristol International Raceway

It’s Bristol baby!  I got to see both Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Sr. win here.  Can’t believe my last visit was in 1988.  Saw Mark Martin race in his rookie year here and Benny Parsons hold court at his car after the races.  I showed up for the night race wearing shorts and NASCAR wouldn’t let me in the pits.  I returned with two hotel towels pinned around my shorts to “resemble” long pants and they let me in.  Once inside I ditched the towels and no one said a thing.




Tazewell Speedway Tazewell Tennessee United States March 18, 2007 DO

Definitely a bullring but a HIGH BANKED one at that.  Love tracks like this if they can run without yellow flags.  They have the reddest of dirt at Tazewell.




Highland Rim Speedway Ridgetop Tennessee United States November 13, 2010 PO

This was another one of those old-time tracks with lots of history.  I enjoyed sitting in the turn three and four grandstand imagining all that had gone on at the Highland Rim Speedway over the years.




Devil’s Bowl Speedway Mesquite Texas United States March 13, 1980 DO
Doug Wolfgang & Ronnie Shuman battle at Devil's Bowl.

Doug Wolfgang & Ronnie Shuman battle at Devil’s Bowl.

The Devil’s Bowl Speedway would probably rank in my top ten tracks of all-time.  I’ve been there ten times for the World of Outlaw sprint car races.  Back in the day those afternoon shows were epic.  This is also the place where, while attempting to get my car positioned for an early exit after the feature, I nearly blocked the one and only exit road.  Luckily, a quick-thinking tow truck driver saved me.




Cycle Ranch Floresville Texas United States October 15, 2011 DRC

The cool thing about going to this track that this was way out of the way for this form of racing.  That made me think it was a somewhat major “one and done” event.

 

TRACK CITY STATE COUNTRY DATE TRACK TYPE

 

Stafford Springs Motor Speedway  Stafford Springs Connecticut United States April 13, 1980 OUTER-PO

This is an old-time asphalt modified track that has both history and great racing.  The track is situated in a neighborhood just a few blocks from the small downtown of Stafford Springs.  I was there for the Spring Sizzler seeing Geoff Bodine win and then a couple months later when Ronnie Bouchard was the feature winner.




Oxford Plains Speedway Oxford Maine United States July 13, 1986 PO

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was there in 1986 during a rain plagued weekend with NASCAR stars such as Bobby Allison and Harry Gant in town for the “Oxford 250”.  Luckily I was able to return in 2009 to see some excellent racing on what is one of the very best venues in New England.




Fantasy Speedway Unity Maine United States July 22, 2012 DO

Fantasy Speedway ....a special place.

Close your eyes at the Fantasy Speedway then open them back up.  You’re in the 1950s!  This track is 100% dedicated to re-creating racing in the “old coupe” days just like it was way back when.  The people couldn’t be nicer.  This is one of less than a handful of tracks that regularly and exclusively race vintage oval track race cars.



Flemington Speedway  Flemington New Jersey United States May 26, 1980 DO
Modifieds from Flemington Speedway when it was dirt.

Modifieds from Flemington Speedway when it was dirt.

I only made it to the dirt version of Flemington one time.  It was an afternoon show with the modifieds.  The racing was great on what appeared to be a square track with four turns connecting the straights.  It was so dirty from the rubber dust when I took on my goggles I looked like a raccoon.  



Orange County Fair Speedway Middletown New York United States May 3, 1980 OUTER-DO

This was our home track for dirt racing when we lived in Connecticut.  I went there four times in 1980.  I love their old grandstand and the food is some of the best anywhere.



Lebanon Valley Speedway West Lebanon New York United States July 8, 1980 DO

I’ve been here just three times.  The racing is excellent.  For concessions it’s one of those tracks where you buy “food coupons” from one location and redeem them for your food at another location.  I’ve had two big disappointments at Lebanon Valley.  The first was having the features events cancelled by fog.  I don’t know that ever happened to me anywhere else.  The second missed opportunity was having them cancel a figure 8 race (for lacked of cars I believe) that they had drummed up all evening over the P.A.




Oswego Speedway Oswego New York United States October 9, 1982 PO
Long-time Oswego favorite, Jim Shampine

Long-time Oswego favorite, Jim Shampine

Just about anyone who has been to Oswego would have them on their favorite tracks list.  Oswego is the king of asphalt super modified racing just as Knoxville is for sprint cars and Daytona for stock car super speedway racing.  I was here in ’82 and ’98.  The steel grandstands make it LOUD!



Woodhull Raceway Woodhull New York United States May 31, 2010 DO

Seeing racing at Woodhull was a pleasant surprise.  They really get it on here.  The car counts are great.  The track has a good deal of banking and every division seems to race two and three wide all around the track.  I can’t wait to go back.



Stateline Speedway Busti New York United States August 27, 2011 DO

I had a great time at this speedway.  The promoter could not have been nicer.  They have quality racing throughout the program both on and off the track.  Their “senior discount” was a $2 off coupon at the concession stand.  I had never seen that before.  Good idea! 



Empty Jug Hawley Pennsylvania United States May 6, 2006 DO

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve meet a lot of nice people along the trackchasing trail.  None were nicer than the men and women at Empty Jug.  This is a private track.  You have to “know someone” to get in.  Somehow I passed muster and spent part of the day in an old hunting cabin drinking beer and hearing the story of “Empty Jug”.  The racing is down home here but I would rather be at Empty jug than Daytona or Indianapolis.



Race-1 Motor Speedway Dubois Pennsylvania United States May 25, 2015 DO

Race-1 kart racing

You likely won’t see many “kart” tracks among my all-time favorites.  However the racing at Race-1 is superior.  I have never seen harder “on the gas racing” at any kart track….ever.  The promoter has owned and operated this track for 18 years.  How many kart tracks, on any racetracks, have a promoter with that much seniority?  Not many.  The pits were full, they had a good announcer and most importantly excellent racing.

 

Schenley Park Pittsburgh Pennsylvania United States July 19, 2009 STREET-RC
Fans kicking back at Schenley Park.

Fans kicking back at Schenley Park.

I’m a sucker for watching vintage road racing machines is a beautiful city park.  That’s what is offered, once a year, in Pittsburgh.  Although I really don’t know the history of these types of cars, I do know they are each worthy of their own photo shoot.  Pittsburgh is a beautiful place and the day I visited Schenley Park the weather and race cars were gorgeous.



Reading Fairgrounds Reading Pennsylvania United States Pre-1980 DO

I don’t remember much of my visit to the Reading Fairgrounds in the mid-70s.  I was in the area for a business meeting in Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania.  I did know enough to understand this was a famous racetrack.  I had never seen a track before that had strings of yellow caution lights draped over the racetrack itself.



Barnyard Raceway Chepachet Rhode Island United States October 7, 2001 DO

barnyard-raceway012

This was a very important track for me.  It allowed me to join the “50 state club” of trackchasing.  At the time it was the only track racing in Rhode Island.  The track itself sat in the backyard of its owner.  I would call this gentleman every year to see if and when they were racing.  One year the season was cancelled because the owner’s wife was expecting a child!  Finally I made it for a race in Rhode Island and have seen two more tracks in RI since.



Puffers Pond Ice Track  Vernon Vermont United States January 9, 2011 ICE-F8

p1130227

I remember two things about my visit to Puffers Pond.  First, the people who ran the place were incredibly nice.  They showed me all over their facility.  Secondly, this was the first time I had ever seen figure 8 racing on ice.  That was special.  I even got to ride shotgun in a few of the oval races.



Martinsville Speedway Martinsville Virginia United States April 26, 1986 PO
Richard Petty paces one of the many races he won at Martinsville.

Richard Petty paces one of the many races he won at Martinsville.

I enjoy NASCAR Sprint Cup racing and I really like it on the short tracks.  I’ve seen seven races at Martinsville.  I love the two dollar RED hot dogs.  What other major league sporting event can you attend and get free parking?  I’ll be back to Martinsville whenever I can make it.



Richmond International Raceway  Richmond Virginia United States September 6, 1991 PO
Jim Sabo and my stepfather Bill Virt join me at Richmond in 1991.

Jim Sabo and my stepfather Bill Virt join me at Richmond in 1991.

We were at Richmond for the first-ever night race.  I like short tracks and that makes Richmond one of my favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup tracks.  I would have gone to Richmond more often but their fall show always ran on the same weekend at Eldora’s World 100.



Pennsboro Speedway Pennsboro West Virginia United States October 16, 1982 DO

At the time I had never been to a track more rural than this.  However, they were paying $50,000 to win and Charlie Swartz had brought the first ever “wedge” stock car there to win the money.  On the backstretch hillside they put dead fish to discourage freeloaders from grabbing a free seat.  Jim Sabo and I camped with my parents that weekend and the music played until the wee hours of the morning.



Tyler County Speedway Middlebourne West Virginia United States August 30, 2012 DO

This is your basic little quarter-mile bullring.  I remember it for two reasons.  First, the side by side racing was outstanding.  Secondly, it was one of the dustiest tracks I had ever visited and I have visited my share.  However I was lucky enough to have remembered my dust goggles.  From that point I simply sat down and kept my mouth shut.  I left after midnight.  The World of Outlaws stock cars were scheduled to go out for practice sometime between 3-4 a.m.!!



TRACK CITY STATE COUNTRY DATE TRACK TYPE
Coventry International Motor Speedway Coventry England United Kingdom July 3, 1999 DO

A visit to Coventry seemed to provide “state of the art” dirt track racing in the U.K.  The pagentry, indoor grandstands and quality racing made this one of our best visits to the U.K.




Hilltop Raceway Tirley England United Kingdom July 30, 2000 DO

My trackchasing experiences don’t get any more special that my visit to the autograss racing venue called the Hilltop Raceway.  During an interview with the commentator I was asked if I had ever driven in a real race and if I wanted too today.  Of course I did.  Soon I was in a well-used Ford Fiesta with right side steering, a left sided gear shift and an oval track where they raced clockwise.  In my ten-car heat I got off a slow start out of the standing start format before passing up to eighth place.  When I finished I was awarded a metal at the start/finish line.  This was one of my best ever “at the track” experiences.



Standlake Arena Standlake England United Kingdom December 2, 2001 PO

standlake-arena

I love the banger racing in the U.K.  I’ve never seen it anywhere else.  Standlake Arena had some of the best banger racing I’ve ever seen.  The day I visited they had a huge Russian car in the banger class.  It looked about twice as big as a Cadillac Escalade!




Wimbledon Stadium Wimbleton England United Kingdom December 2, 2001 PO

I had the most difficult time finding this place in the heavy city traffic of London.  I loved the indoor seating setup of Wimbledon.  In the banger division a front wheel drive car was nearly cut in half during a crash.  Not to worry…the driver kept racing with the front wheels pulling and the rear of the car dragging along the ground in a shower of sparks.





Belle Vue Greyhound Stadium Belle Vue England United Kingdom April 12, 2004 DO

My favorite racing class in the U.S. is the BriSCA formula 1 stock cars.  These guys put on a great program at Belle Vue.  It’s a dog track as well with an indoor grandstand for the fans.




Arena Essex Raceway Purfleet England United Kingdom April 23, 2011 PO

arena-essex-program

I tried to get this track in the U.K. for a very long time.  It’s just outside of London with a long history of quality racing.  I’m a big fan of U.K. racing on tracks exactly like Arena Essex.



Brands Hatch Fawkham England United Kingdom March 31, 2013 PRC

This track has some of the best history of any in the U.K.  I liked it because fans can see the action all around the course and walk the entire perimeter.  The building and retail shops might have been the best I have seen at any track I have visited. 




Onchan Raceway Onchan Isle of Mann United Kingdom July 31, 2000 PO

How many people have ever seen a race on the Isle of Mann?  It was a special flight (my first time on EasyJet) from Liverpool (took a Beatles tour there) to the island.  There’s a banked go-kart track next to the full-sized track.  This was a fun trip.




Triovalo Bernardo Obregon Tiajomulco de Zeniga Jalisco Mexico October 14, 2007 PO

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This was my first ever trackchasing effort in Mexico.  We had to go “under cover” just to get tickets once at the track.  Night before the race dinner in Guadalajara was the best Mexican eatery I have ever visited.  That along with eating at roadside Mexican food stops made this trip one of the most memorable ever with both Carol and J.J.




Parramatta City Raceway Granville New South Wales Australia November 17, 1989 DO

This was our first ever visit to Australia for a trackchasing effort.  We rode the train from our hotel to the track with our newfound friend, “Frankie”.  Frankie, traveled without a train ticket until the police kicked him off!  Amazed at how popular American drivers are in Aussie land.  Walking through a deserted warehouse district late at night after the races to the train station was an adventure.




Western Springs Speedway Western Springs North Island New Zealand December 26, 2006 DO
New Zealand celebrates Christmas during their summer. The stores all had their best Christmas displays up.

New Zealand celebrates Christmas during their summer. The stores all had their best Christmas displays up.

Western Springs is the “Knoxville” or “Eldora” of New Zealand.  Great crowds watch sprint and midget racing here that’s on a par with anything in the world.  Did a nice interview at Western Springs.




Blue Chip Speedway at Baypark Mt. Maunganui North Island New Zealand December 28, 2006 DO
Steve Williams - New Zealand Saloon Car Champion

Steve Williams – New Zealand Saloon Car Champion

The best short track facility of any I have visited outside of the U.S.  I’ve never seen such a huge asphalted pit area anywhere.  Excellent racing at Blue Chip as well.  We’ve enjoyed following the driving exploits of Steve Williams when we’ve come to New Zealand.




Meremere Raceway Meremere North Island New Zealand January 1, 2007 DO

carol-in-new-zealand-sprint-car

Every track is remembered for one thing or another.  At Meremere Carol and I may have done the most dangerous thing we’ve ever done.  We each rode in a tw0-seated sprint car during an actual heat race!  This two-seater had the seats side by side rather than front to back.  This was the ultimate “E-ticket” ride and something I’d rather not do again!!




Ohsweken Speedway Ohsweken Ontario Canada May 5, 2000 OUTER-DO

I first came here in 2000 and returned in 2013.  During my 2000 visit I had my first-ever on track interview with the Ohsweken announcer.  In 2013 I was impressed to see the track did EVERYTHING right from the racing to the spectator side.  I don’t see that often but the Ohsweken Speedway had it wired.




Rockton Fairgrounds  Rockton Ontario Canada October 11, 2009 DF8

The fall Rockton figure 8 show is one of the most competitive I have ever seen.  They bring more than 60 F8 competitors on an invitation only basis.  During my visit Canadian Thrill Show Productions owner Willie Williams had me address the driver’s meeting regarding my unusual hobby and desire to see this particular figure 8 show.




Oyster Bed Speedway Charlottetown Prince Edward Island Canada May 21, 2012 AO

I hope these all pass "safety tech".

This is the one and only track in PEI.  Carol and I were rained out here a few years ago on a night I felt they could have raced.  With the addition of the Oyster Bed Speedway I have seen racing in nine of Canada’s ten provinces.  Some day I hope to make it to Newfoundland and Labrador. 




Autodrome Rive Sud Ste-Philippe Quebec Canada July 11, 1992 DO

Every track is special for one reason or another.  My stepfather and I visited the Autodrome Rive Sud only to be greeted by a French only speaking announcer.  We never understood a word all night and still had a wonderful time in a true international setting.




Circuit Jacques Rainville Vanier Quebec Canada February 11, 2001 ICE-RC

This track had three firsts for me.  It was my first ever ice racing weekend.  It was my first ever, and last, trackchasing trip with Will White and Guy Smith.  Finally, it was the coldest weekend of trackchasing I had ever experienced.  The temperature was -38 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind.  Will White’s video camera froze in the first five minutes of being outside and my still camera stopped working due to the cold!




Circuit Mont-Tremblant Mont-Tremblant Quebec Canada July 10, 2011 PRC

There are some beautiful road course settings in the world.  The Circuit Mont-Tremblant is one of them.  I was lucky enough to be there for a vintage racing competition on a beautiful weather day.  I walked the perimeter of most of the course.




Archerfield Speedway Archerfield Queensland Australia December 1, 2012 DO

Overall, the racing at the Archerfield Speedway ranked in the top 10% of all tracks I have seen in 2012.

I made it to Archerfield on a last minute weekend trip to Australia.  This was my first ever track visit to Queensland.  The racing was great.  I had a fantastic interview with track commentator Bob Leyland.



Auto Clearing Speedway Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada July 27, 2011 PO
Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Saskatoon Star Phoenix

 

Saskatoon Star Phoenix - RNL

This was an A+ facility that I lucked into finding a major Canadian NASCAR race on a Wednesday night.  However, what made this trip so special was the media coverage I received from the Saskatoon Star Phoenix newspaper.  Their editor saw fit to print a story about my trackchasing on the front page of the paper with a color photo.  This was the best newspaper coverage of my hobby I had ever received.  The next morning, while flying out of the Saskatoon airport, I ventured over to the airport gift shop to see my friendly face smiling off the front page of the newspaper rack! 




Outlook Stock Car Track Outlook Saskatchewan Canada July 31, 2011 DO

This track was located in the tiny town of Outlook which is home to SkyTrail, the longest pedestrian bridge in Canada.  I walked across the bridge (more than a mile out and back) at an elevation of more than 150 feet above the South Saskatchewan River.  At the track the people were the nicest ever.  Track announcer “Skeeter” did a nice interview with me, they took my photo for the local paper and gave me a t-shirt as a souvenir from the track.




Cowdenbeath Racewall Cowdenbeath Scotland United Kingdom August 5, 2000 PO

The racing was excellent at Cowdenbeath at a track located downtown.  It was special to see my first and only, to date, track in Scotland.  However what was most fun and unique was meeting track starter Graham Alexander.  After the races Graham invited us to his home (at about midnight!) for coffee and cake.  It was a most special evening in Scotland.



Sungold Stadium Allansford Victoria Australia January 1, 2005 DO

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What a special track visit on New Year’s Day in Australia.  The track and racing would stand up nicely to the very best sprint car tracks in the U.S.A.  Local reporters did a great story on Carol’s and my visit including a color photo of the two of us in the Warrnambool Standard daily newspaper.  After the story appeared folks were coming up to us in the coffee shop asking, “Aren’t you the….”.




Anglesey Circuit Ty Croes Wales United Kingdom April 22, 2011 PRC

Warm at the track hospitality and great vintage racing greeted us at Anglesey.  The circuit, the first Carol and I had ever seen in Wales, sits literally a stone’s throw from the Irish Sea with great views in every direction.  To this day I still receive a Christmas card from the track!




Durban Grand Prix Durban   South Africa February 24, 2008 STREET-RC

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Who wouldn’t love coming to South Africa to trackchase?  I really couldn’t see a thing on the street circuit that ran through the streets of Durban South Africa.  However, I got to go on an African safari with son J.J., tour the country of Senegal where slavery first started, eat at one of my all-time favorite restaurants in Johannesburg and much, much more.  It was a wonderful trip and trackchasing brought me to South Africa.





Dover Raceway Brown’s Town   Jamaica March 24, 2008 PRC

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I loved this rural up and down hill road course.  I had a nice interview with the track announcer and met the top racing official for road racing in the Caribbean.  The real highlight were all of the “jerk chicken” concessions.  They did their BBQ in old rusted 55-gallon drums and the smells were fantastic.



South Dakota Circuit Timehri   Guyana November 2, 2008 PRC

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The crowd stood out for me at the South Dakota Circuit.  The place was packed with folks having a good time in every nook and cranny at the track.  Don’t miss the pictures.  However, the real highlight of being in Guyana were the boat rides we took from island to island.  We even got the chance to visit some local people at their home…a true trip highlight.



Grandvalira Circuit Port d’Envalira   Andora January 17, 2009 DRC

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was the middle of winter in a European ski resort.  My viewing point was high above the snow and ice-covered racetrack.  In the not too distant background I could see skiers gliding down the mountains of Andorra.  The entire scene seemed a bit surreal.  However, the real thrill was when I decided to come back down the OTHER side of the mountain at nearly midnight.  I didn’t think the hairpin turns would ever end.




Losail International Circuit Doha   Qatar February 13, 2009 PRC

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This may have been the nicest road racing facility I’ve ever seen.  The press area had about 100 flat screen TVs.  The Qatar newspapers did two feature stories on my visit.  I even had my photo taken with the head racing honcho of Qatar.



Autodromo de Tocancipa Tocancipa   Columbia March 22, 2009 PRC

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Visiting a city like Bogota at an elevation of about 8,600 feet was a treat.  The people at this track were the friendliest ever.  At their BBQ lunch I feasted on Capybara….the biggest rodent in the world.  Following the race I was again invited to dine with the racing folks from the Autodromo de Tocancipa.  Another major event was doing a radio interview where the host translated my English answers to his questions into Spanish for his listeners.



Circuito de Murça Murça   Portugal March 29, 2009 DRC

Again it was the hospitality of the people that made my trackchasing visit to Portugal so special.  I was only in the country for a few hours.  However, “Nina” and her husband Rodrigo took care of me at the track.  They introduced me to the drivers and crew and had me eating lunch with several race teams.  These folks from Portugal know how to tailgate!



Kapelluhraun Hafnarfjorour   Iceland April 25, 2009 PRC

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Who wouldn’t want to go trackchasing in Iceland?  During my short visit there I was able to drive all over the island.  With all of the black and gray lava it reminded me of the Big Island of Hawaii.  My visit to Iceland was special for another reason.  Iceland was the first part of the one and only inter-continent trackchasing double ever achieved.  I watched the racing in Iceland during the afternoon.  I got some feature events later than evening in New Hampshire!




Ta’Qali Racetrack Ta’Qali   Malta February 7, 2010 DRC

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was our experience with the people of Malta, specifically Frans Deguara Malta’s race organizer, that was over the top.  Frans organized two TV interviews one of which was an hour long in a TV studio ala “Sports Center”.  Then to top it off he act as our personal tour guide for a full day of Malta touring.  



Lake Pidisjärvi Ice Track Nivala   Finland February 20, 2010 ICE-RC

I’ve seen a good deal of ice racing in North America.  However, to see ice racing in a country like Finland was a real treat during the middle of winter.  A highlight was visiting my first “ice bar” in downtown Helsinki.



Suzuka Circuit Suzuka   Japan March 21, 2010 PRC

I liked this hairpin turn. It made for some great viewing.

Visiting the historic Suzuka Circuit was a fun track to see in Japan.  However, the long-lasting memories of my visit to Japan will include staying in a “capsule” hotel, riding the bullet train and seeing an indoor Japanese major league baseball game in the Nagoya Dome home to the Chunichi Dragons.




Autódromo Pedro Cofino Alotenango   Guatamala August 15, 2010 PRC

randy-newspaper-guatemala

There were so many pluses with my trip to Guatamala.  First, my host, Gabriel Lopez set me up with a fantastic hotel.  My room had its own fireplace.  I had a lovely dinner with Gabriel and his girlfriend Sylvia.  Whenever I can have personal interactions with local people the trip is all the better.  When I arrived at the track a huge 4′ by 8′ vinyl banner recognized my arrival with a personal message.  Later a ride around the track in the pace car made this trip one to remember.



Autódromo El Jabalí Quezaltepeque   El Salvador August 22, 2010 PRC

el-salvador-with-family-1

This was another one of those country visits where the racing was great but the people I met were even greater.  My local contact for race information was Mr. Pedro Velado.  Little did I know that Pedro would be so involved with my trip.  He and his family met us at the airport.  Throughout the weekend we ate meals with the Velados and their friends.  I have never experienced any better hospitality than what Pedro and his family and friends offered.  We are forever grateful at discovering pupusas! 



Burgas Burgas   Bulgaria October 17, 2010 PRC

bulgaria-with-twins

The racing I saw in Bulgaria was somewhat “run of the mill”.  However, the commitment that first Lyubomir Simeonov and then his brother Plamen “Pako” Simeonov provided was the strongest I have ever received from anyone in trackchasing.  Lyubomir helped me with all of the advance information needed to make this trip work.  Then Pako drove six hours from Bulgaria to Romania to pick me up for the six-hour ride back to Bulgaria.  While in Bulgaria we had several meals together and met the boy’s parents.  When the racing was finished Pako drove me (another six-hour one-way drive) back to Romania and then he drove back to Bulgaria his homeland.  I could never thank the Simeonov brothers enough for their hospitality.



Korea International Circuit Yeongam   South Korea October 24, 2010 PRC

randy-south-korea

This was my first ever international Formula 1 event.  It was almost rained out.  I didn’t finalize this trip until just a few hours before I left for South Korea.  The cooperation I received from Derrick and Sugi, the trip organizers and their people was above and beyond.  This trip for me was about as “fly by night” as any could have been.  Luckily I had these great people as my “safety net” making sure that everything went perfectly.



Sentul International Circuit Babakan Madang, Bogor   Indonesia May 29, 2011 PRC

randy-indonesia

The racing at Sentul was fun but the touring was the very best.  I hired a driver named “Ruswadi”.  Over the course of my trip Ruswadi took me to every important sight and experience in and around Jakarta.  We went to the worst slum, I boarded a wooden-hulled ship bound for the Indonesian islands, saw the grade school that President Obama attended as a child, visited the interior of a huge mosque (above) and much more.  During my two days with Ruswadi I got to know him very well.  Don’t miss the video!



Piriapolis Grand Prix Piriapolis   Uruguay November 12, 2011 STREET-RC

The street racing in Uruguay was fun.  This was a difficult race to track down and then confirm.  Once in Uruguay I did get a ticket for driving the wrong way on a one-way street!  It’s fun to know that I can go anywhere in the world on my own and have fun and be safe.  That’s a powerful ability to have.



Pannala International Circuit Pannala   Sri Lanka February 12, 2012 PRC
Chandra, Ashini, Laleet and Chahini. A great family!

Chandra, Ashini, Laleet and Chahini. A great family!

The racing is such a faraway place as Sri Lanka was well above average.  As I have done in many countries I hired a driver to take me around the country.  In SriLanka not only is that a good idea it is pretty much required.  My driver Ariya, was the best.  HE should be racing in World F1!  During the trip Ariya took me to his sister’s house in rural Sri Lanka.  There I spent several hours enjoying a specially prepared lunch, where I was the only one eating, as well as talking with the family (mom, day, two daughters) about every subject that we could think of.  This was one of my very best international touring experiences.



Circuit de Monaco Monte Carlo   Monaco May 13, 2012 STREET-RC

monaco-racing

Most of my foreign country trackchasing adventures end up being more about the people and the sights than the racing.  However, in Monaco it was all about the racing.  We were there for the bi-annual historic Grand Prix of Monaco.  This brings out all of the race cars that have made what the Circuit de Monaco is today.  I would much rather have seen this event than the F1 race for many reasons.  Don’t miss the pictures.



Autodromo La Chutana Lima   Peru October 21, 2012 PRC

In Peru the trip was all about the sights and the people.  We hired drivers who took us to such interesting sights as the Nicollini antique car museum and the opera in downtown Lima.  However, it was the people from the Autodromo La Chutana who were the best.  Our host was Julio R. Mickle Valdivia.  Julio was wonderful as were his compatriots.  We’ve never been treated any better on one of our foreign country trips.



Moscow Central Hippodrome Moscow   Russia February 23, 2013 DO
Off we went into the Moscow city traffic.

Off we went into the Moscow city traffic.

For a lad growing up in the U.S.A. a trackchasing trip to Russia was the best it could possibly get.  No trackchaser has ever visited Russia for a race.  It was the middle of winter but touring Moscow was still great fun.  It’s come a long way since our last visit in the early 90s.  We rode the “Metro” all over Moscow seeing the Moscow Circus, touring the Kremlin, attending the Moscow symphony and much more.  At the track we scored a suite with the Continental Tire Company.  It was quite a trip.




 


Comments

  1. We are sooo proud to have made it on your favorites. Thank you! That was a special day for us too. Unfortunately Dickie and I have moved to Florida. So the track is no more. One guy tried to do it the first year, but said Dickie must have been crazy. He couldn’t figure out how Dickie and his brother kept it going.

      • If you’re ever in Sebring Fl, we are 10-15 mins from Sebring Speedway, We have 2 spare rooms, private bathroom. Please feel free to stay with us. There is a great “home track” in Bradenton Fl. Desoto Speedway about an hour from us. Dickie’s raced there twice. Got a 4th and a 3rd. Please remember to keep us in mind when in Fl.

Leave a Reply