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Lucas Oil Speedway

lucas oil speedway aerial

Greetings from Wheatland, Missouri

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From the travels and adventures of the “World’s #1 Trackchaser”
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Lucas-Oil-Speedway pano

Lucas Oil Speedway

Dirt oval

Lifetime Track #1,063

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Lucas Oil Speedway

Dirt figure 8

Lifetime Track #1,064

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The winners!

Lucas Oil Speedway

Dirt road course

Lifetime Track #1,349

Highlights2006 - Oval/Figure 82008 - Dirt road coursePhotos

 

lucas oil grandstand

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I first visited the Lucas Oil Speedway back in 2006.  What a wonderful place.  It truly was a “Diamond in the Dirt” as the track’s slogan described.  There have not been all that many dirt short tracks built in the past 10-20 years.  Most started in the 50s and 60s.  Often times the facilities are lacking at a “traditional” dirt oval track.  That is not the case at the Lucas Oil Speedway.

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I was able to return to this track in 2008 to see some “off-road” racing.  It was fun to get even a better feel of the facility since my first trip was cut short by weather.

Reprinted with permission from my June 24, 2006 Trackchaser Report.

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Greeting from Wheatland, Missouri

 

 

Carol and I woke up this morning in Janesville, Wisconsin this morning.  This is what transpired today.

 

 

AND THE READERS RESPOND 

Rather than identifying my readers by name in the “And The Readers Respond” section, I will identify them by their geographical region. This will allow some to offer points of view that are more direct. By the way, I can neither endorse nor be responsible for any reader’s point of view. It’s a free country and everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.

 

lite beer

 

From a former Wisconsin resident in response to my visits to the Badger state as a youth: 

 

“Wisconsin never had 3.2 beer.  Ohio, Indiana & others did, however.

 

That’s why you Illinois “flat-landers” always got drunk, puked & ended up with our fat girls.  It was because you neophites were drinking real beer.”

 

 

From a southeastern U.S. fan of the Trackchaser Report in response to my comment about $#%^& Chicago traffic:

 

“How you people from the OC can complain about other’s traffic is way beyond me.”

 

 

 

PEOPLE/STRATEGY/TRAVEL NEWS

 

The Strategy 

Wow!! This trackchasing day had so many plusses I hardly know where to begin. In order to have so many positives come our way, we had to make some sacrifices, but that’s the way it should be in life. Our major sacrifice was driving 652 miles for the day. With Carol and me sharing the driving, that’s really no big deal.

 

postives

 

Let me list all of today’s positives 

New state (Missouri) for Carol’s trackchasing

Trackchasing double for both of us

Upgraded hotel (see “The trip”)

Visit to my best dirt track ever (see “Race track news”)

Strawberry shortcake from Steak n’ Shake

Identified TTA (Trackchasing Tourist Attraction) for tomorrow

 

 

It was an exciting day to say the least.

 

twins 599 

Trackchasing doubles are the lifeblood of the prolific trackchaser. Tonight’s tracks (oval and figure 8) were a “Same location” trackchasing double. They are the easiest double to get in all of trackchasing. You don’t have to move!

 

This was my third “Same location” double in the last two weeks. In 2006, I now have 21 trackchasing doubles. They break out like this:

 

Day/Night double – 10

Blended double – feature on both ends – 4

Same location double – 3

Blended double – feature on back end only – 3

Traditional double – 1

 

 

 

The trip 

Surprisingly, driving 652 miles in a day and spending three hours at a racetrack is truly not that difficult to do. Of course, it helps to have an extra driver as I’ve had during this trackchasing trip.

 

 

 

The People 

I don’t mean to take up your time with my motel stories on each trip, but I’m obviously being discriminated against by the industry. At about 3 p.m., the weather for tonight’s race looked good. That meant I could make a hotel reservation without fear of having the race cancelled and then having to make a last minute change of tracks. If the weather were threatening, a hotel reservation would act like a boat anchor around my neck. It would limit my options.

 

 

Therefore, I made a confirmed reservation at the Super 8 Motel in Lebanon. For just $51 we were confirmed with a non-smoking king bedded room. The motel would be about an hour’s drive from tonight’s track. That’s a very comfortable distance to drive following a race.

 

 

Of course, life is not without issues. What fun would it be if it were? We pulled into the Super 8 Motel parking lot at about 11:30 p.m. tonight. There were three police cars in the parking lot investigating someone who had mistakenly had their car become high-centered by cutting a turn too short over a six-foot deep ditch. As I say, life is not without issues.

 

 

I walked up to the motel clerk and informed her of our room reservation. A middle-age Midwestern white woman greeted me. She scanned her computer screen before explaining, “Oh no!” This was not what I wanted to hear. From that point, this is how the conversation went. You should know that all of my communication was delivered in a friendly, but firm manner and always in a courteous fashion.

 

sorry apology

 

Super 8: I’m sorry sir, but we have only one room left and it’s a smoking room.

 

Randy: But we reserved a non-smoking room several hours ago.

 

Super 8: I don’t know what happened. I reviewed my rooming list several hours ago as well and didn’t see your reservation. I don’t have a smoking room.

 

Randy: I don’t want a smoking room. What kind of discount will you give me if we take the room?

 

Super 8: You already have the best rate of anyone staying here tonight. I’m not authorized to give a lower rate.

 

Randy: Who is authorized?

 

Super 8: My boss.

 

Randy: Why don’t we ask your boss?

 

Super 8: All right. I’ll call him. (Clerk calling boss). Hello, is John there? Yes, go ahead and wake him up. Hello John, I have a man here with a reservation for a non-smoking room and all we have left is a smoking room. He wants a discount to take the smoking room. Can we give it to him? No? O.K., thanks, John.

 

Randy: Whenever I go to a hotel and they don’t have a room for my guaranteed reservation, they work with another hotel to get the room I’ve reserved. What can you do to help us?

 

Super 8: We don’t do anything like that.

 

Randy: I stay in a Super 8 nearly 100 nights per year. You have a responsibility to find a non-smoking room for us.

 

Super 8: O.K., I’ll dial the number for the Best Western down the street. (Clerk dialing number). Here you go (Handing me the phone.)

 

Randy: Are you guaranteeing the same rate ($51) at the Best Western?

 

Super 8: No, I can’t do that.

 

Randy: Hello, Best Western? Do you have a non-smoking room and what’s the rate?

 

Best Western: Yes, we have a non-smoking room and the rate is $67.

 

Randy: Thanks for your time but I don’t need the room at that rate.

 

Randy (to Super 8 clerk): Their rate is much higher and I don’t want to pay that rate since I have a reservation for $51. Let’s go take a look (smell) at your smoking room.

 

Super 8: O.K., I wanted to check out that room myself. (Ring, Ring).

 

Super 8: Hello, Best Western? You’ll honor our rate for Mr. Lewis? That’s great. Thank you.

 

Super 8: Mr. Lewis, Best Western will honor our $51 rate. Here’s how to get there.

 

 

The Best Western was just down the street. It was a definite upgrade over the Super 8. They had wireless internet, a large comfortable non-smoking king bedded room and even a fully cooked breakfast. This was a definite upgrade over Super 8’s normal Danish and cold cereal breakfast.

 

 

I mention all of this for only one reason. American business must deliver on the product they promise. They cannot offer bait and switch deals and expect the consumer to accept their deception.

 

 

I had not done anything wrong. I had guaranteed the room reservation with my credit card. You can bet if I had not shown up, I would have been billed for the room even though we would not have used it. I had a friendly attitude toward their ineptness. They needed to deliver on their promise. Only through persistence were they forced to provide the product they had guaranteed.

 

 

 

RACE TRACK STATS:

 

 

LUCAS OIL SPEEDWAY (OVAL & FIGURE 8), WHEATLAND, MISSOURI – TRACKS #1,063 & #1,064 – 6/24/06 – CAROL’S TRACKS #257 & #258 

These tracks were my 24th and 25th lifetime tracks in the Show Me state. This was Carol’s first ever trackchasing trip to Missouri and thus here first and second lifetime tracks here. I have now moved from 10th place into an 8th place tie with John Moore. Today’s racing moved me past Gordon Killian, a long-time NGD nemesis. I gained two NGD points (10th to 8th) and Mr. Killian lost one NGD point (9th to 10th). Ed Esser leads Jack Erdmann 45-43 for the state lead.

 

 

 

 

RACE TRACK NEWS:

 

 

LUCAS OIL SPEEDWAY (OVAL & FIGURE 8)

Up until this point, the Perris Auto Speedway in California was my all-time favorite dirt track facility. I’m talking about the facility and not necessarily the racing, although Perris has excellent racing.

 

My new all-time best dirt track facility is:

 

LUCAS OIL SPEEDWAY – WHEATLAND, MISSOURI

 

leaders

 

The Lucas Oil Speedway joins my other all-time facility leaders in these categories:

 

Asphalt oval short track – Irwindale Speedway, Irwindale, California

 

Road course – Barber Motorsports Park, Leeds, Alabama

 

Figure 8 – Colorado National Speedway, Erie, Colorado

 

Super Speedway – California Speedway, Fontana, California

 

International – Coventry International Speedway, Coventry, England

 

 

Tonight was only the second ever racing program (it was the inaugural figure 8 race) at this brand spanking new auto racing plant. It amazed me how they could be doing everything right when they were still opening the wrapping paper.

 

 

Our experience started with an 8 a.m. phone call to the track. Since this was going to be the track’s very first figure 8 race, I wanted to make sure they had some figure 8 cars coming. You’d be surprised at how often oval tracks that purport to run figure 8s don’t.

 

six

 

A live voice greeted my call. That’s unusual especially at 8 a.m. in the morning. Yes, although the figure 8 response has not been great, they would be running all “The figure 8s that show up.” “How many would that be?” I queried. “We’re expecting about six,” the track official told me. With normal tracks, “About six” means “two or three.” At the Lucas Oil Speedway “About six” meant “Six”, that’s how many figure 8 cars they had.

 

amenities 

Let me explain the extensive list of amenities this track offered. Then you can compare that list to the short track that currently sits atop your rankings as “The Best Dirt Track Racing Facility in the World.”

 

  • 33% discount for senior citizens (62 & older)
  • Jumbotron (showed the live racing action as well as replays)
  • 20-position scoreboard
  • Current race standings (as they raced) name and car number and lap time to the thousandth posted on the Jumbotron
  • Enclosed air-conditioned concessions area
  • Concessions that featured among other things – soft serve ice cream, a veggie bar with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, etc for sandwiches. Dijon Mustard, marinara sauce, fresh onion rings, tenderloins and much, much more
  • Grandstands that included eight rows of plastic folding individual chair seats as well as 12 rows of aluminum bleachers with seat backs
  • Kid’s playground with a “Bouncy house”
  • Eighteen Bose speakers (18” by 36”) along the front stretch for a quality P.A. system
  • Air-conditioned gift shop (it was 91 degrees when we arrived) with souvenirs displayed like they would be in an upscale retail outlet
  • Air-conditioned game room/meeting room with several video arcade games
  • All of the track officials had spiffy red, white & blue uniforms
  • Three-story V.I.P. boxes and suites as well as Press Box
  • Fully paved asphalt parking area
  • Paved pit area
  • Catwalk for fans to view pit area while standing in the grandstand area.
  • Full 12-row aluminum bleacher style seating with chair backs on the backstretch
  • Eight Bose speakers for backstretch patrons
  • State of the art catch fence
  • State of the art track lighting
  • Two good announcers and an “In the crowd” announcer
  • Major stadium quality restrooms
  • Free Pocket schedules in concessions area
  • They started at the advertised time
  • Before the cars were leaving the track after their race was finished, the next race’s cars were on the track
  • One spin and you’re out rule for the heats. When a car spun, as if by divine intervention, they restarted and the spectator was spared a useless yellow flag delay

diamond in the dirt

 

The announcers referred to this track as the “Diamond in the Dirt.” This was not an exaggeration. We arrived after driving nearly 600 miles (the 652-mile number referred too above includes the miles we drove after the race for the day as well) at 6:15 p.m. They advertised hot laps at 6:30 p.m. and the cars did just that. Heat racing started at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

They had a large field of cars on this glorious night of racing with a weather.com predicted rain probability of 0%. Before intermission, we watched 15 heat races for these divisions Limited Late Models (13), Factory Stocks (18), Modifieds (45), Pure Stocks (14), B Modifieds (14) and figure 8s (6).

 

 

One of the most remarkable things about this track is that it is located in the small and very rural town of Wheatland, Missouri. The town can’t have more than a couple thousand people. As I looked at the local housing, I’m not sure I saw any with a market value of more than $50,000. To see the Taj Mahal of racing amongst this economically barren landscape was surreal.

 

forest lucas 

In talking with some of the locals I learned that Forest Lucas of the Lucas Oil Company was the driving force behind this track. He is also a major cattle rancher in the region. One fan told me he got the grandstands from “Someplace up near Chicago that was closing.” I think he might have been referring to the shuttered Cicero Speedway.

 

 

This fan also told us, “They sank $3.6 million into this place.” Let me tell you this. I just build a new house, so I have some experience in this area. I don’t think they could have paid the CONCRETE BILL for this track with $3.6 million!

 

 

At just past 9 p.m., they completed their 15th heat race and went to intermission. The plan after intermission was to run a couple of “B” features, then the figure 8 main event and the remaining features. That sounded like a good plan.

 

 

During the heat races, about seven drops of rain had lashed out at our skin. Carol was quick to point out that www.weather.com had predicted a 0% chance of rain and that “No one should ever say 0% or 100%” about anything. I admonished here by saying that I was certain weather.com was referring to measurable rain. No more was said about rain until intermission time.

 

 

At intermission, a few more very light drops began to fall. Then the drops increased to a light rain as the wind picked up. It was still warm and most fans simply remained in the grandstands talking with their friends. The announcer advised everyone that radar indicated that this was a brief shower and would pass quickly.

 

 

The rain continued and picked up in volume. When we looked into the track’s lights the rain looked much more severe that what our sense of touch told us. This is always the case and I don’t know why.

 

 

The light to medium rain continued for 15 minutes. The track was starting to get so wet the few trucks that had been trying to pack the track could no longer get traction to drive around the turns. The announcer the told the crowd, “Hold onto to those ticket stubs, but we still think this shower is going to pass.”

 

 

The track’s Jumbotron showed the weather radar picture on its screen. That was a first for me. As mentioned above, the track’s official parking lot has a paved asphalt surface. Always trying to be one step ahead of the game, I parked in a dirt area that seemed like it might provide a faster exit plan. I began to get worried about getting out of the dirt (now mud?) parking area.

 

people in rain 

After nearly 30 minutes of waiting, I told Carol we should go to the parking lot and move the car from the dirt area to the asphalt area. By this time about 25% of the race fans had left the track. The rain was coming down pretty hard by this time. It didn’t look like they would be able to resume and if they did they probably wouldn’t get the track back in racing condition until 11 p.m. or later. We departed.

 

 

We had an hour’s drive back to Lebanon, Missouri on some very up and downhill winding Ozark mountain roads. Nevertheless, I had something in the back of my mind. The Lebanon I-44 Speedway races on Saturday nights. Since the rain was moving from West to East, they would not get the Wheatland rain until past midnight. Could we get a triple today?

 

 

I hot footed it the best I could on the damp and curvy roads. We arrived back into Lebanon at 10:50 p.m. I had been to the Lebanon I-44 Speedway previously when it was an asphalt track. It’s dirt now and therefore countable again. We hopped on I-44 only to find the track’s exit closed for construction. This was the second night in the past three that the interstate exit has been completely closed. What are the odds of that happening?

 

 

Anyway, with some very spotty directions and nearly complete darkness, we searched for the track. I knew roughly where it was, but we couldn’t find it. Later I called them and a recording told me the race plan was to begin racing at 7:30 p.m. with a 7-divison race program. That type of program should have still been racing at 11 p.m.

 

 

The next morning as we drove out of Lebanon, I could see the track from the freeway. We had driven right past it on a frontage road last night. There is no way they could have been racing when we drove by at just past 11 p.m. since there were no lights on in that area. No matter, this had been a great trackchasing day.

 

 

How often do you have your spouse get a new state, both of us get a trackchasing double as well as seeing the best dirt track racing facility in the world? It was a great trackchasing day!!

 

 

Although Carol was a little chilly, I think she was having a good time.

CAROL’S COMMENTS

 

 

LUCAS OIL SPEEDWAY (OVAL & FIGURE 8) 

It was the most beautiful dirt track I’ve ever seen. State of the art, including a weather map on the Jumbotron. Maybe they should have built covered grandstands since it ended up raining. I’ve never seen such fresh lettuce, tomatoes and onions at a racetrack. The concession lady (same person who handled my trackchasing press release) was very proud and cheery.

 

 

The catwalk around the track that allowed us to see into the pit area was cool. It’s hard to believe that such a nice place is located in such a poor area. I’m grateful we got both of our countable tracks in the books. My favorite thing was the “One spin and you’re out” rule. I liked it when they showed the crowd on the Jumbotron.

 

 

WEATHER CONDITIONS 

This may be the first time ever, I have had a 0% rain chance from weather.com and had this amount of rain. When was the last time you remember me even commenting on a weather delay or rain cancellation at a track I’ve visited.

 

 

RENTAL CAR UPDATE: 

The National Rental Car Racing Nissan Altima is very acceptable car. This car is not quite as solid as some of the Chevies and Pontiacs I’ve rented recently. That may be due to this model not being overly appointed.

Tuesday total driving miles – 123 miles

Wednesday total driving miles – 563 miles

Thursday total driving miles – 729 miles

Friday total driving miles – 275 miles

Saturday total driving miles – 652 miles

 

 

 

LIFETIME TRACKCHASER STANDINGS UPDATE:

 

These worldwide trackchasers are within 100 tracks (plus or minus) of my current trackchaser total.

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 1,064
  2. Rick Schneider – Bay Shore, New York – 1,043 (-21)
  3. Guy Smith, Effort, Pennsylvania – 1,026 (-38)
  4. Allan Brown, Comstock Park, Michigan – 1,021 (-42)
  5. Andy Sivi, Clairton, Pennsylvania – 1,010 (-54)*
  6. Gordon Killian, Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania – 1,005 (-59)*

 

* Warning, you are within 50 tracks of being removed from this list.

 

 

 

Other notables

 

These worldwide trackchasers are within 10 tracks (plus or minus) of Carol’s current trackchaser total.

 

  1. Mike Knappenberger, Reading, Pennsylvania – 268 (+10)
  2. Bob Schafer, Oshkosh, Wisconsin – 267 (+9)
  3. Carol Lewis, San Clemente, California – 258
  4. Spike Rixon, Watford, England – 252 (+5)
  5. Virginia Schuler, Allentown, Pennsylvania – 248 (-9)

 

Steve Kinser’s name has been removed from this list due to non-performance.

 

 

 

2006 TRACKCHASER STANDINGS

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 73
  2. Ed Esser, Madison, Wisconsin – 40
  3. Roland Vanden Eynde, Vilvoorde, Belgium – 40
  4. Mike Knappenberger, Reading, Pennsylvania – 34
  5. Carol Lewis, San Clemente, California – 28
  6. Paul Weisel, Orefield, Pennsylvania – 28
  7. Roger Ferrell, Majenica, Indiana – 23
  8. Guy Smith, Effort, Pennsylvania – 21
  9. Gordon Killian, Sinking Springs, Pennsylvania – 19
  10. Linda Thomas, Watford, England – 15
  11. Will White, Quakertown, Pennsylvania – 15

 

 

Trackchasers everywhere are scurrying to be well-positioned by June 30, 2006. At that time, I will provide my annual review and predictions for the balance of the 2006 season for the current top 10 trackchasers.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading about my trackchasing,

Randy Lewis

#1 Trackchaser Living West of the Mississippi

 

I should never care to argue for anything that would lesson the difficulty of the game because difficulty is its greatest charm. 

 

 

 

 

CUMULATIVE TRAVEL DISTANCES:

AIRPLANE 

Los Angeles, CA – Indianapolis, IN – 1,810 miles

 

 

RENTAL CAR 

Indianapolis International Airport – trip begins

Lawrenceburg, IN – 123 miles

Knox Dale, Pennsylvania – 586 miles

Wausau, Wisconsin – 1,405 miles

Beaver Dam, Wisconsin – 1,614 miles

Wheatland, Missouri – 2,225 miles

 

 

 

TRACK ADMISSION PRICES:

Lawrenceburg Speedway – $7

Thunder Mountain Speedway – $10

State Park Speedway – $12

Dodge County Fairgrounds Speedway – $15

Lucas Oil Speedway – $12

 

 

2006 ri

RACETRACKS VISITED IN 2006 (** not the first time to visit this track)

 

  1. Watermelon Capital Speedway, Cordele, Georgia – January 14

 

  1. Cross Roads Motorplex (asphalt oval), Jasper, Florida – January 15

 

  1. Norfolk Scope Arena, Norfolk, Virginia – January 20

 

  1. Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California – January 21

 

  1. Oregon State Fair & Expo Center, Forster Livestock Arena, Salem, Oregon – January 28

 

  1. Morosso Motorsports Park, Jupiter, Florida – February 4

 

  1. Thunderbowl Speedway of Ocala, Ocala, Florida – February 4

 

  1. Cross Roads Motorplex (dirt oval), Jasper, Florida – February 5

 

1,000. Auburndale Kartway, Auburndale, Florida – February 10

 

1,001. Ocala Speedway (asphalt oval), Ocala, Florida – February 12

 

1,002. Speedworld Speedway, Surprise, Arizona – February 19

 

1,003. Lowe’s Motor Speedway (1/5 mile asphalt oval), Concord, North Carolina – February 25

 

1,004. Concord Raceway, Concord, North Carolina – February 25

 

1,005. Antioch Speedway, Antioch, North Carolina – February 25

 

1,006. Green Valley Speedway, Gadsden, Alabama – February 26

 

1,007. East Bay Raceway (inner oval), Gibsonton, Florida – March 17

 

1,008. Volusia Speedway Park West (1/6M oval), Barberville, Florida – March 18

 

1,009. Speedway Park, Fruitland Park, Florida – March 18

 

1,010. Sand Mountain Speedway (road course), Fort Meade, Florida – March 19

 

1,011. Anderson Motor Speedway, Anderson, South Carolina – March 31

 

1,012. Westminster Speedway, Westminster, South Carolina – March 31

 

1,013. East Lincoln Motor Speedway, Stanley, North Carolina – April 1

 

1,014. Margarettsville Speedway, Margarettsville, North Carolina – April 2

 

1,015. Sunny South Raceway, Grand Bay, Alabama – April 7

 

1,016. Barber Motorsports Park, Leeds, Alabama – April 8

 

1,017. Coldwater Raceway, Coldwater, Alabama – April 8

 

1,018. Talladega Short Track, Talladega, Alabama – April 8

 

1,019. Ballymena Raceway, Ballymena, Northern Ireland – April 14

 

1,020. Oulton Park, Little Budworth, England – April 15

 

1,021. Somerset Rebels Banger Raceway, Rooks Bridge, England – April 16

 

1,022. Mendips Raceway, Shipham, England – April 16

 

1,023. Oval Raceway, Angmering, England – April 17

 

1,024. Arlington Stadium, Eastbourne, England – April 17

 

1,025. Southside Speedway, Midlothian, Virginia – April 28

 

1,026. Motor Mile Speedway, Radford, Virginia – April 29

 

1,027. Wythe Speedway, Wytheville, Virginia – April 29

 

1,028. Summit Point Raceway, Summit Point Circuit, Summit Point, West Virginia – April 30

 

1,029. Old Dominion Speedway – inner inner oval, Manassas, Virginia – April 30

 

1,030. Shenandoah Speedway, Shenandoah, Virginia – May 4

 

1,031. Bridgeport Speedway (inner oval – front), Bridgeport, New Jersey – May 5

 

1,032. Empty Jug, Hawley, Pennsylvania – May 6

 

1,033. Oakland Valley Race Park, Cuddebackville, New York – May 6

 

1,034. Thunder Mountain Speedway, Center Isle, New York – May 6

 

1,035. Motocross 338, Southwick, Massachusetts – May 7

 

1,036. Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, Fultonville, New York – May 7

 

1,037. Calumet County Speedway, Chilton, Wisconsin – May 19

 

1,038. Grant County Speedway, Lancaster, Wisconsin – May 20

 

1,039. Blackhawk Farms Raceway, Rockton, Illinois – May 21

 

1,040. The Milwaukee Mile (Road course), West Allis, Wisconsin – May 21

 

** Angell Park Speedway, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin – May 21 (new track Carol only)

 

1,041. Park Jefferson Speedway, Jefferson, South Dakota – May 25

 

1,042. Superior Speedway, Superior, Wisconsin – May 26

 

1,043. Brainerd International Raceway, Brainerd, Minnesota – May 27

 

1,044. Canby Speedway, Canby, Minnesota – May 27

 

1,045. Crawford County Fairgrounds (figure 8), Denison, Iowa – May 28

 

1,046. Tri-State Speedway, Sisseton, South Dakota – May 29

 

1,047. Sheyenne River Speedway, Lisbon, North Dakota – May 29

 

1,048. Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch, Pahrump, Nevada – June 3

 

1,049. The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nevada – June 3

 

1,050. Hibbing Raceway, Hibbing, Minnesota – June 6

 

1,051. Buena Vista Raceway, Alta, Iowa – June 7

 

1,052. Lebanon Midway Speedway, Lebanon, Missouri – June 8

 

1,053. Rocky Top Raceway, Coal Grove, Ohio – June 9

 

1,054. Midvale Speedway (oval), Midvale, Ohio – June 10

 

1,055. Midvale Speedway (figure 8), Midvale, Ohio – June 10

 

1,056. Spring Valley Raceway, Millport, Ohio – June 11

 

1,057. Rialto Airport Speedway, Rialto, California – June 17

 

1,058. Lawrenceburg Speedway (figure 8), Lawrenceburg, Indiana – June 20

 

1,059. Lawrenceburg Speedway (temporary oval), Lawrenceburg, Indiana – June 20

 

1,060. Thunder Mountain Speedway, Knox Dale, Pennsylvania – June 21

 

1,061. State Park Speedway, Wausau, Wisconsin – June 22

 

1,062. Dodge County Fairgrounds Speedway, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin – June 23

 

1,063. Lucas Oil Speedway (oval), Wheatland, Missouri – June 24

 

1,064. Lucas Oil Speedway (figure 8), Wheatland, Missouri – June 24

 

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memories 2

You might have remembrances of the Lucas Oil Speedway.  If so, please feel free to share in the comments section below.  If you have any photos from back in the day, send them to me at Ranlay@yahoo.com.  I’ll try to include them here.

 

 

Reprinted with permission from my June 1, 2008 Trackchaser Report.

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DAY 3 – THE JUST BUILDING MY TRACK COUNT TRACKCHASING TOUR

 

 

 

TODAY’S HEADLINES 

women 4

How many women rank in the top 40 of the worldwide trackchaser rankings?……………….more in “Updated Rankings”.

 

Just two more days for chocolate chip cookie feedback …………..details in “And the Readers Respond”.

 

It takes some effort to learn new things, maybe that’s why some people never learn anything new…………..details in “The People”.

 

 

 

 

UPDATED RANKINGS! 

 

2nd second place

Let me be the first to congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Guy Smith of Effort, Pennsylvania. They have moved into second place in the worldwide COUPLES trackchaser rankings with a combined total of 1,684 tracks. With that many tracks, comes a boatful of fun experiences both at and away from the track.

 

 

Some might not understand the significance of doing well in this category. Let’s look at it this way. The top 18 trackchasers in the worldwide rankings are all men. Only five of the top 40 trackchasers are women. Oddly, they rank #20, #21, #22, #23 and #27.

 

 

I suspect that trackchasing is not on the top of the list for most ladies when they are looking forward to a night out. Only six of the men in the top 20 trackchasers are even married. I don’t think that trackchasing is a hobby well suited for the married man or women in most cases. I know two different trackchasers who have experimented with Match.com related dating services. One fellow told me that he didn’t even mention trackchasing when he went out on dates. The other said, “Most of the ladies want to do things on the weekend. That sort of shoots racing in the head”.

 

 

There are only five male trackchasers in the worldwide top 40 who have also been able to bring their spouse into that same top 40 ranking. Therefore, Mr. and Mrs. Smith are well ahead of the curve when it comes to having a hobby they can both enjoy together.

 

 

Also congratulations to Mike Knappenberger of Reading, Pennsylvania who now leads the 2008 annual rankings with 55 tracks. The annual trackchasing championship is one of the most coveted categories of any in trackchasing.

 

 

As expected both Ed Esser (Wisconsin) and Roland Vanden Eynde (Belgium) have now moved into the 2008 top five trackchasers. From here on out, the struggle for me begins to attain a top three podium finish for this year. I only have to beat one of these guys (Esser, Knappenberger, or Vanden Eynde) to attain my ninth straight year of podium finishes. It will be the four of us at the top of the standings when the clock strikes twelve on 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

AND THE READERS RESPOND

You have just two more days to respond to my request about “double chocolate chip cookies”. I have received some interesting feedback. Recall, this is the background on this request. I know you’ve got some creative ideas on how I should deal with these cookies. Don’t be shy; send your input right now!

 

 

“I have a dilemma. I need the help of all you loyal and steadfast Trackchaser Report readers. Yes, I need your advice. What would you do in this situation?

 

 

I’m going to lay out a hypothetical collection of facts for you. I would like you to analyze the circumstances. There’s just one caveat. You can’t change the givens. Here goes:

 

 

Let’s say you really like double chocolate chip cookies. No. I mean you REALLY like double chocolate chip cookies. They are your favorite food by far. If given the chance you might eat them for every meal.

 

mrs. fields 

Additionally, these chocolate chip cookies cost so little that you don’t even notice the expense. If you want, you can go down to Mrs. Fields (do they still have Mrs. Fields?) and get all of the double chocolate chip cookies you want for free. You can get them at home. When you go to work, they’re waiting for you in the vending machine at a penny a piece.

 

 

Also, the chocolate chip cookies don’t have any calories at all. They have no negative effect on your overall health whatsoever. The amount of double chocolate chips cookies you eat has no effect whatsoever on you or your family.

 

 

There you have it. What would you do? Would you eat double chocolate chip cookies for every meal? How do you feel about double chocolate chip cookies under these circumstances? Please keep your responses to 270 words or less. I’ll gather feedback for a couple of days from each of you. Then I will tell you why I needed your advice.

 

 

Remember, you can’t change any of the parameters listed above.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings from Wheatland, Missouri.

 

 

I woke up this morning in Warrensburg, Missouri.  I went to sleep in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  This is what transpired today.

 

 

 

PEOPLE/STRATEGY/TRAVEL NEWS

 

 

The Objective  

My primary objective when I’m on the road trackchasing is to……well, see tracks. This was a very basic trackchasing trip for me. I planned to see four tracks in three days. It was the typical out Friday and back home Monday trip that I have perfected.

 

 

mitch astrid sylvia carol 

This trip is not for Carol. By the way, she’s off the trackchasing trail until the grandbabies are born. I would be driving more than 1,100 miles in 50 hours. I came here because the weather forecast was better than anywhere else that also offered four tracks in three days. I have now seen 51 tracks in 40 days of trackchasing. I’ve only had one rained out trackchasing day in all of 2008. That’s pretty good.

 

 

 

The Trip 

This trip required a good deal of driving. There wasn’t time to see much other than the highway. I entertained the thought of driving over to Branson for some country entertainment on Sunday night. However, that would have delayed my arrival back in San Clemente for the better part of a day.

 

 

I’m fine with have local Trackchasing Tourist Attractions BETWEEN tracks during a trip. However, I rarely want to begin or extend a trip for a TTA. I prefer to be in California as much as possible.

 

 

When I’m on the road, it’s difficult to eat well or exercise. With all of the driving it takes to get to the tracks as well as the seat time at the track, there just isn’t much time left for anything else. Couple those limitations with the fact that I’m normally in a time zone that is two or three hours ahead of my own. This makes it all the more difficult to get up early in the local time zone to exercise.

 

 

However, I still do exercise whenever I can while I’m on the road. My favorite form of aerobic exercise in the power walk. My joints don’t take too running much anymore. If I work at it, I can still get my heart rate up to 120-130 B.P.M. (beats per minute) with a very fast walk. For someone of my advanced age, that’s a good aerobic workout. At home when I’m on my elliptical trainer, I go at about 140-150 B.P.M.

 

I'm considering getting into the check cashing business. That's why all of these check cashing stores are catching my eye.

I see some interesting things during my power walks around the local towns where I stay. Much of the stuff I see if so much different from anything I would encounter around where I live. That’s a good thing. Isn’t that why people travel, to see things that are different from what they have at home. I’ve started taking my camera on these power walks. You might be surprised and entertained at what I think is worthy of photographing.  I couldn’t believe how many check cashing outlets I saw all within a few blocks of each other.

 

 

  

The People 

About a year ago, Will White who runs www.trackchaser.net (January 2016 – no longer an active site) came up with a new feature for the site. In case you have never visited trackchaser.net it’s the foremost site for a couple of very important items to any trackchaser. First, there are zillions (maybe just thousands) of web links to tracks all over our country and the world. Although there are competing websites that are very good, trackchaser.net is the one I always go to first for race track linking information.

 

 

Will’s site also includes all of the trackchaser rankings. Of course, many trackchasers like to see where they “stand” in any ranking that is of interest to them.

 

 

As I said, about a year Will added a new feature. For many tracks, he took the time to research their exact location via the Google Earth program. That must have taken him forever. This allowed the user to click on a link and zoom in from outer space to a sometimes crude picture of a racetrack from above.

 

 

When I first heard about this feature, frankly I thought it was a waste of Will’s time. I wasn’t using Google Earth and I didn’t think too many other trackchasers or racing fans were. At the time, I never took advantage of any of this information.

 

 

A little while later, J.J. introduced me (again) to Google Earth. I must admit that new stuff doesn’t always “take” with me, but I do constantly challenge myself to learn new things.

 

google earth 1 

Soon I discovered that Google Earth was pretty cool. About that time son-in-law James told me about downloading custom information into my GPS unit. Now we were on to something. I could find the latitude and longitude information from a track’s location and plug it into my GPS unit. Wow! I mean, in my business, really wow!

 

 

So where does Will’s Google Earth mapping fit into this equation? Yes, I can find the track’s specific location and put that data into my GPS on my own, but I don’t have too because of Will’s work. For the track’s where Will has already mapped, I can simply go on www.trackchaser.net, (January 2016 – no longer an active site) get the L/L data I need and plug it into my GPS. This saves me a good deal of time.

 

 

So I say, good job Will! I must admit that I was ignorant of the opportunity presented to me at first. Thanks also to J.J. and James who moved me down the path. It’s important to have folks in your life that can help you when you need it. Thanks!

 

 

 

RACE REVIEW

 

 

LUCAS OIL SPEEDWAY (ROAD COURSE), WHEATLAND, MISSOURI 

I must say I was disappointed with the program put on by the World Series Off-Road Racing (WSORR) group. They are a spinoff from what is now primarily a west coast based sanctioning body, the Championship Off-Road Racing (CORR) group. Just about everything WSORR did was a shadow of what CORR does in terms of quality.

 

It's fun going in the pit area of both the CORR and WSORR races.

The Lucas Oil Speedway facility is one of the very best, if not the best, independent short track facilities in the world. That statement covers a lot of territory, but that’s my opinion. However, today the crowd for the scheduled Sunday afternoon show was poor. There might have been 2,000 people there. At a CORR show the crowds have averaged 5,000-15,000.

 

 

The weather was warm at about 90, with no chance of rain. Last night’s race schedule had been rained out after just one race. I didn’t think off-road events GOT rained out. This meant that Saturday’s races would be run before the Sunday scheduled (beginning at 1 p.m.) races started. I arrived at just past noon, so I got to see as much racing as I wanted.

 

Oh, my!

There were two primary racing classes: trucks and dune buggies. Each of those had off shoots based primarily upon engine size and 2/4 wheel drive capability. The road course wound itself around the oval area of the speedway as well as beyond turns one and two of the oval track. I was disappointed at how low the jumps at today’s track were. 

 

 

One of the best aspects of the program was being allowed in the pit area to see the competitors’ machines up close. They must have received a lot of rain Saturday night. The mud coming from the racers was piled up on the concrete pit area in every pit.

 

 

I paid $27 to get a reserved seat. General admission was $25. I figured an extra two bucks was worth it to get a top row seat. When I got into the track I soon learned that a reserved seat wasn’t necessary as I could sit just about anywhere I wanted.

 

 

At the California off-road races, the event is promoted like a real “Event”. It’s part rock concert and part auto race. This attracts a real “20-something” crowd that really gets into it. If you haven’t been to a CORR race (Texas excepted) I recommend it. Today, the event was promoted like an auto race only. The announcer was much more low key, there wasn’t any music between races…..it was just a much more low-key (read that low-excitement) show.

 

When done properly, these shows can provide a lot of excitement.

I watched the races for about three hours. This allowed me to see each class race from either the original Saturday night show or Sunday’s show.

 

 

What was the very best thing about the entire program? The show ran in the day time. That meant I could either see another track tonight or get a jump start on getting back to San Clemente. There wasn’t anybody else racing between here and Oklahoma City, where I would be flying from on Monday morning. Therefore, it was a comfortable 400+ mile drive back to the airport. I had about five hours in the motel before my early morning departure took me back to sunny Southern California.

 

 

 

STATE RANKINGS

 

 

missouri 23 

Missouri 

This afternoon I saw my 41st lifetime track in the Show Me state. A larger than normal number of 47 trackchasers has come to the state to pursue their sport. Out of 966 official trackchasing visits in the United States in 2007, forty of those were in Missouri.

 

 

I now trail Wisconsin’s Jack Erdmann by seven Missouri tracks for second place. My third place standing here gives me a third place ranking or better in almost half the states, actually 24 of them. Ed Esser leads in big “MO” with a hefty 58 tracks.

 

 

RENTAL CAR UPDATE 

Oklahoma City – Friday/Monday

None of the Executive Selection cars in the National Rental Car lot had an XM satellite radio. That’s a bummer, as I will be traveling about 1,200 miles in rural country. I’ll probably end up wearing out the “seek” button on the radio before I’m finished. I did get a white Chevy Malibu with a light tan leather interior. That should serve me well in the 90+ degree temperatures forecast for the weekend.

 

 

I drove National Rental Car Racing Chevy Malibu 1,129 miles in the first 50 hours I had it during my three-day rental. That’s an average of more than 20 M.P.H. even for the hours I was sleeping! I paid an average price of $3.76 per gallon. The Malibu gave me 28.2 miles per gallon in fuel mileage at a cost of 13.3 cents (U.S.) per mile. The car cost a miniscule 4.2 cents per mile to rent, all taxes included.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading about my trackchasing,

 

Randy Lewis

Alberta’s #1 Trackchaser

I got a boat for my wife…………pretty good trade, huh.

 

 

 

 

 

TRAVEL DETAILS

 

AIRPLANE 

Los Angeles, CA – Oklahoma City, OK – 1,167 miles

 

 

RENTAL CAR 

Will Rogers World Airport – trip begins

Elk City, OK – 115 miles

Sweet Springs, MO – 659 miles

Warrensburg, MO – 689 miles

Wheatland, MO – 779 miles

Will Rogers World Airport – 1,129 miles

 

 

AIRPLANE 

Oklahoma City, OK – Los Angeles, CA – 1,167 miles 

 

 

Total Air miles – 2,334 miles (2 flights)

 

 

Total auto and air miles traveled on this trip – 3,463 miles

 

 

 

 

TRACK ADMISSION PRICES: 

Elk City Speedway – Free

Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex – $5

Central Missouri Speedway – $8

Lucas Oil Speedway – $27 (reserved seat)

 

Total racetrack admissions for the trip – $40

 

 

 

 

RANKINGS

 

 

LIFETIME TRACKCHASER STANDINGS UPDATE:

 

There are no trackchasers currently within 100 tracks of my lifetime total.

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 1,349

 

 

 

Other notables

 

These worldwide trackchasers are within 10 tracks (plus or minus or more) of Carol’s current trackchaser total.

 

  1. Kevin Eckert, Indianapolis, Indiana – 455

 

  1. Carol Lewis, San Clemente, California – 366

 

  1. Ken Schrader, Concord, North Carolina – 365

 

 

 

 

2008 TRACKCHASER STANDINGS

 

  1. Mike Knappenberger, Reading, Pennsylvania – 55

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 51

 

  1. Ed Esser, Madison, Wisconsin – 31

 

  1. Guy Smith, Effort, Pennsylvania – 19

 

  1. Carol Lewis, San Clemente, California – 17

 

  1. Roland Vanden Eynde, Vilvoorde, Belgium – 17

 

 

 

 

carol 304 

 

LIFETIME COUPLES TRACKCHASING STANDINGS

 

  1. Randy & Carol Lewis, San Clemente, California – 1,713

 

  1. Guy & Pam Smith, Effort, Pennsylvania – 1,684

 

  1. Allan & Nancy Brown, Comstock Park, Michigan – 1,679

 

 

 

 

LIFETIME NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DIVERSITY STANDINGS

After the most recent updates (June 7, 2008) I have a comfortable 21 state position lead. As long as I can keep a 10 state position lead, things will be under control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPCOMING TRACKCHASING PLANS 

After today, it’s back to sunny southern California to rest up, play some golf and get ready for next weekend.

 

 

 

2008 1

RACETRACKS VISITED IN 2008 (** not the first time to visit this track)

 

1,299. Barnes Lake Ice Track, Ashcroft (road course), British Columbia, Canada – January 13

 

1,300. Bira Circuit, Pattaya (road course), Thailand – January 19

 

1,301. Cameron Lake Ice Track (oval), Erskine, Minnesota – January 26

 

1,302. Birch Lake Ice Track (oval), Hackensack, Minnesota – January 27

 

1,303. Mille Lacs Lake Ice Track (road course), Garrison, Minnesota – January 27

 

1,304. Mille Lacs Lake Ice Track (oval), Garrison, Minnesota – January 27

 

1,305. Ozark Empire Fairgrounds (oval), Springfield, Missouri – February 1

 

1,306. Atlanta Motor Speedway (road course), Hampton, Georgia – February 2

 

1,307. Brainerd International Raceway Ice Track (road course), Brainerd, Minnesota – February 3

 

1,308. Bay of Green Bay Ice Track (road course), Marinette, Wisconsin – February 9

 

1,309. Lake Speed Ice Track (oval), Tilleda, Wisconsin – February 9

 

1,310. Shawano Lake Ice Track – North Shore (oval), Shawano, Wisconsin – February 10

 

1,311. Cecil Bay Iceway (oval) – Cecil, Wisconsin – February 10

 

1,312. Mototown USA (oval) – Windsor, Connecticut – February 15

 

1,313. Moosehead Lake Ice Track (oval) – Greenville Junction, Maine – February 16

 

1,314. Clarence Creek Ice Track (oval) – Clarence Creek, Ontario, Canada – February 17

 

1,315. Durban Grand Prix (road course), KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa – February 24

 

1,316. Lake La Biche Ice Track (road course), Lake La Biche, Alberta, Canada – March 1

 

1,317. Rice Lake Ice Track (oval), Rice Lake, Wisconsin – March 8

 

1,318. Ashland Ice Track (oval), Ashland, Wisconsin – March 9

 

1,319. Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez (road course), Mexico City, Mexico – March 16

 

1,320. Hartwell Motor Speedway (oval), Hartwell, Georgia – March 22

 

1,321. Lavonia Speedway, Lavonia (oval), Georgia – March 22

 

1,322. Dover Raceway (road course), Brown’s Town, St. Ann, Jamaica – March 24

 

1,323. Lake Country Speedway (oval), Ardmore, Oklahoma – March 29

 

1,324. Swainsboro Raceway (oval), Swainsboro, Georgia – April 3

 

1,325. Screven Motor (oval), Sylvania, Georgia – April 4

 

1,326. Centerville Super Speedway (oval), Centerville, Arkansas – April 5

 

1,327. Central Arkansas Speedway (oval), Plumerville, Arkansas – April 5

 

1,328. Clinton Country Speedway (oval), Alpha, Kentucky – April 6

 

1,329. Pleasant Valley Raceway (oval), Boise, Idaho – April 20

 

1,330. Bremerton Raceway (road course), Bremerton, Washington – April 26

 

1,331. Port Angeles Speedway (oval), Port Angeles, Washington – April 26

 

1,332. Evergreen Speedway (1/5-mile oval), Monroe, Washington – April 27

 

1,333. Virginia Motor Speedway (oval), Jamaica, Virginia – May 1

 

1,334. Natural Bridge Speedway (oval), Natural Bridge, Virginia – May 2

 

1,335. Sturup Raceway, Malmo (road course), Sweden – May 10

 

1,336. Ring Djursland, Tirstrup (road course), Denmark – May 11

 

1,337. Nisseringen, Naestved (road course), Denmark – May 12

 

1,338. Valentine Speedway (oval), Glenrock, Wyoming – May 17

 

1,339. Gillette Thunder Speedway (oval), Gillette, Wyoming – May 17

 

1,340. Phillips County Speedway (oval), Holyoke, Colorado – May 18

 

1,341. North Pole Speedway (oval), North Pole, Alaska, – May 22

 

1,342. Tanacross Airport (road course), Tok, Alaska, – May 24

 

1,343. Mitchell Raceway (oval), Fairbanks, Alaska, – May 24

 

1,344. North Star Speedway (oval), Wasilla, Alaska, – May 25

 

1,345. Capitol Speedway (oval), Willow, Alaska, – May 25

 

1,346. Elk City Speedway (inner oval), Elk City, Oklahoma, – May 30

 

1,347. Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex (oval), Sweet Springs, Missouri – May 31

 

1,348. Central Missouri Speedway (oval), Warrensburg, Missouri – May 31

 

1,349. Lucas Oil Speedway (road course), Wheatland, Missouri – June 1

 

 

 

 

memories 2

You might have remembrances of the Lucas Oil Speedway.  If so, please feel free to share in the comments section below.  If you have any photos from back in the day, send them to me at Ranlay@yahoo.com.  I’ll try to include them here.

 

 

Photos…easy to view.

That’s right. Click on the link below for a photo album from today’s trackchasing day. Double click on a photo to begin the slide show or watch the photos at your own pace. Hover over a photo to read the caption.

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The facility at the Lucas Oil Speedway is second to none in its class.

 

 

Lucas Oil Speedway – 2008 visit

 


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