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Mini E Raceway (plus Eagle Raceway limited)

Greetings from Eagle, Nebraska

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From the travels and adventures of the 

“World’s #1 Trackchaser”

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Eagle Raceway

Outer dirt oval

Lifetime Track #172

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Mini E Raceway

Inner dirt oval

Lifetime Track #2,318

 

The EventVideo PlusPhotos

 

 

 

THE EVENT

 

 

I have had the opportunity to follow my trackchasing hobby all over the world. As this is written I have seen racing in 74 countries. My lifetime track total exceeds 2,300. Each and every year I will trackchase in 25-30 states. At track #1,040 I moved into the “World’s #1 Trackchasing” spot.

 

 

My hobby is not only about racing. Trackchasing for me centers around three things. The racing part is pretty obvious. However of equal importance is the logistics of trackchasing and the opportunity to see the world.

 

 

I live in Southern California. The vast majority of tracks are located in the Midwest and East. It takes a good deal of logistical planning to get from where I live to where the tracks are. For the past 15 years I have traveled about 175 nights each and every year. Surprisingly to some, more than half of those overnights were not part of trackchasing.

 

 

Then there’s the travel just for the fun of seeing new things. You won’t want to miss my “Trackchasing Tourist Attractions” page or my “Sports Spectating Resume” page on my website at www.randylewis.org. That will give you some understanding on how important seeing the world is with my hobby.

 

 

Today’s adventure was one more of the 2,000 trips that have taken me up, down and around the long and dusty trackchasing trail. If you would like to see where I’ve been and experience those adventures here’s the link:

 

 

Randy’s Complete Track List

 

 

If you’ve got a question, comment or whatever please leave it at the bottom of this report.  It’s very easy to do.  Or you can visit me on Facebook.  Thanks!

 

 

Randy on Facebook

 

 

 

 

FOREWORD

 

 

This trip is a bit of a strange one for me. I’ll be home next weekend celebrating Mother’s Day appropriately with Trackchasing’s First Mother. That being the case I thought it would be a good idea to get out on the road and stretch my legs this weekend.

 

 

I would be leaving Thursday night and would likely get home sometime on Monday. That was a lot of travel for just two kart tracks. However, there was a bit more to the trip than that. As you read along over this Trackchaser Report and the next one you’ll find out what the extra part of the trip was going to be.

 

 

For some unknown reason, God gave me the opportunity and ability to work with numbers pretty well. From my past experience I am a firm believer that if you make lots of small numerical decisions correctly in the world of finance those small savings will add up to large numbers. It doesn’t take long either.

 

 

 

ON THE WAY TO THE RACES

 

 

THURSDAY

 

 

This afternoon I hopped on a jet airplane from Los Angeles bound for Kansas City, Missouri. I couldn’t book a hotel until I was confirmed on the plane. As soon as that happened I jumped on Priceline.com. Timing for that booking was tight. I had to work fast before I entered the jet way.

 

 

Nevertheless, I was soon pressing “OK” to indicate that I would purchase a night’s stay at the Extended Stay America hotel in Tiffany Springs, Missouri. With my Priceline skills I got the $82 hotel for just 52 bucks. I was more than satisfied with that.

 

 

Earlier in the day I had booked a rental car reservation. Rental car bookings are much easier because you can cancel them at any time without penalty.

 

 

My long-time rental car sponsor, which may not be my long-time rental car sponsor for much longer (National Car Rental), wanted $67 for a day’s worth of car rental in Kansas City. I thought that was outrageous.

 

 

I have a secondary rental car supplier that is working to become number one. If they win my contract their stock price is likely to go up.

 

 

I’m talking about Costco Travel. Carol and I are big users of Costco. We buy lots of stuff there. I love shopping in Costco.

 

 

For this trip Costco was willing to rent me a full-sized car from Avis for just 27 bucks. How could I go wrong on that? I snapped it up.

 

 

In about three hours my plane was landing in Kansas City. The local time was just about midnight. However, I didn’t want to pick up my rental car now. If I did I would have to pay an extra day’s rental while I slept overnight in my hotel!

 

 

Remember what I said. Lots of small financial decisions add up to lots of dollars in the long run. I don’t try to save money for the sake of saving it. I save it here and then SPEND it on something that is much more worthwhile. Are we clear on that?

 

 

That being the case I hired an Uber car to take me from the airport to my hotel. The charge was $12. That saved me a $15 bill compared to having an extra day of Avis Rental Car expense.

 

 

Now I had saved $30 on my hotel room. I had saved another $15 from the smoking hot Avis rental car price. Folks, that’s 45 bucks. How long does it take you at work to earn $45 cash? Get my point?

 

 

P.S. to the above paragraph. Carol and I were at an Angels’ game not long ago. A family in front of us bought five foot-long hot dogs for $46.25 from a grandstand vendor. That, in addition to all of the beer they were drinking, and other assorted snacks probably brought their concessions bill for the night to nearly $200 U.S. They didn’t look like they could afford it. I hope I was wrong on that.

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY

 

 

It is rare when I can stay in my hotel room until 12 noon. Quite often I’m out of the room at five or six or seven o’clock in the morning. However, today I had an easy three-hour drive from Kansas City up to Eagle, Nebraska. Eagle is located just outside of the capital of Nebraska, Lincoln.

 

 

The weather in Kansas City was drop-dead “San Clemente gorgeous”. What does that mean? The temperature would range from 65 to 75° with a slight breeze and lots of sun. In my opinion that is the most beautiful weather there is.

 

 

This morning I had time for 60 minutes of power walking. The area around my hotel was perfect for walking with lots of wide streets and very little traffic.

 

 

I’m happy to report this is the fifth day of the month and I have already exercised six times. That puts me in good stead with my trackchasing travel/exercise goal. This is probably my most difficult goal to achieve. So far I am kicking butt.

 

 

On the way up to the racetrack I would stop at Culver’s one of my very favorite casual dining options. There I went with the triple cheeseburger with no bun to support my low-carb fetish at this point in time.

 

 

I brought my laptop in and used Culver’s Wi-Fi for nearly three hours. It was a beautiful environment to catch up on some work. I bought several airline tickets, which will have me traveling on an international basis later this year. On one of those upcoming trips son Jim is coming along. That will be fantastic.

 

 

From Culver’s I headed directly to the Mini E Raceway in Eagle, Nebraska. Mini E races on Friday nights. I’ve had this track in my crosshairs many many times.

 

 

Sometimes the weather prevented me from getting there. Sometimes their schedule knocked them off of my list. However today seemed to be the day. The “day” seems to happen for just about every track in America sooner or later for me.

 

 

I had the time so I stopped off at the Texas T-bone Steakhouse in Lincoln, Nebraska. It had a 4-star Yelp racing. I’m on a low-carb eating plan right now. Nevertheless, I had a hankering for a big old steak. It was too bad I couldn’t have eaten all the bread, beans and potatoes that could have come with it.

 

 

I settled on a 20-ounce sirloin steak. It was very good. I took nearly half of it to go and munched on it all the way through my 3 a.m. drive. It almost tasted better cold than when it was originally served.

 

 

I did pass up one of my all-time favorite fast food joints, Don and Millies. Don and Millies has seven stores in around Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska. When I get out of food rehab you can bet I’ll be back there this summer for their margaritas, onion rings double cheeseburgers and more. Donna and Millies rocks.

 

 

 

THE RACING

 

 

Mini E Raceway – Eagle, Nebraska

 

 

Following dinner it will be just a 15-mile drive southward down to Eagle, Nebraska. The small town of just over 1,000 people is home to the Eagle Raceway Park. I first went there all the way back in 1988. At the time it was my 172nd lifetime track. Yep. That was more than 2,000 tracks ago!

 

 

On that late June evening nearly 30 years ago Steve Kinser won the World of Outlaws feature event.  If I remember correctly I saw Allan Brown and his lovely wife Nancy at the track.  They had just had their van broken into in the track’s parking lot.  Again, as I recall, they only lost clothing.  I figured it had to be a visitor from the east who committed the crime.  No one from Nebraska would ever do such a thing.  It’s also surprising to note that at the age of 39 I had only seen 172 tracks.  I got a VERY late start in trackchasing compared to many of my leading fellow competitors.

 

 

Tonight I was in town to see racing at the Mini E Raceway. It’s a kart track. I’m guessing it’s about 1/10 mile in distance. The little oval sits inside the big oval at the Eagle Raceway.

 

 

The admission procedure and pricing plan was a little complicated for me. If you bought a pit pass that allowed you into the “hot pits” for 10 bucks. Otherwise, for five dollars you could get into the pit area and stand right up next to the racetrack. However with that ticket I would not be allowed to go in the hot pits. I never did find the “hot pits” so I didn’t know what I might be missing. It looked to me like I was able to go everywhere anyone else was.

 

 

I arrived early as I almost always do. I was in time for the driver’s meeting. Tonight they would be racing both caged karts and flat karts. They probably had about 75 racers in the pit area.

 

 

Tonight there would be 24 heat races and eight feature events. About half the classes were for caged karts and the other half for flat karts. There was only one caged class open to adults. That was the 206 class. From what I could tell they were nearly identical to anything that might commonly be called a senior champ kart.

 

 

I set it on the driver’s meeting. It was brief. The race organizer told everyone that he did his job for the benefit of the young racers. He then said jokingly that all the parents could go up in the stands as far as he was concerned. Yes, kart racing for kids is a lot like Little League baseball. Sometimes the parents can get a little “over anxious”.

 

 

I was happy to see that they started on time at 7:30 p.m. Several of the classes had enough competitors to run two heat races. You don’t see that all that much in kart racing.

 

 

Tonight each racer would get to compete in two heat races and a feature event. They ran the first set of 12 heats one after the other very quickly. They then took a very short intermission of about five minutes and repeated the heat race rotation.

 

 

Following the second heat session they had another five-minute intermission. Then they jumped right into feature racing. The entire 24 heat and eight feature race program was completed in just two hours and 20 minutes. Good for them. Well done. Keep it up.

 

 

I think you’re going to enjoy my video from this track. I was able to stand right next to the entrance of turn one and then later at the exit of turn four. The karts were fast and the action was close. The racing had me “bailing out” just like a curveball would in Little League.

 

 

It’s very easy to see how a five or six-year-old can get started in caged kart racing. They can just keep moving up class by class until they’re racing in a midget or sprint car. Of course not everyone makes the transition but if you upgrade year-to-year it becomes a very gradual process.

 

 

The karts pit outside the backstretch of the large track. I actually parked my car at the fence between turns one and two of the big oval. That’s where I watched tonight’s feature racing. It was a good view from there just like it had been when I was standing next to the fence for all the heat races.

 

 

The Mini E Raceway races on most Friday nights from late spring through summer. Long ago I wiped out all of the Sunday night tracks. I’m not that far away from obliterating every track that races weekly on Fridays.

 

 

The concession stand had a full menu, which was a bit surprising for a go-kart show. Since I had eaten at the steakhouse I only ordered a large bottle of water and a 20-ounce Diet Mountain Dew both selling for $2.25 U.S. each.

 

 

 

AFTER THE RACES

 

 

Using rough numbers I was out of the track by about 10 p.m. It was going to be a three-hour drive down to the Kansas City airport. After I gassed up my car and got organized it was going to be nearly 2 a.m. I was hoping to get on a flight on Saturday morning down for Tampa, Florida or maybe even Orlando, Florida. Those flights were departing at 6:30 a.m.

 

 

There would be no time for a hotel. That makes it easier on my trackchasing budget. As you know I’ve never had the money to spend on trackchasing like those Dreaded East Coast Trackchasers. I’ve been retired for 15 years and do all of this on my own. Most of the Dreaded East Coast Trackchasers had to work much later in life than I did. Then when they go trackchasing they have to ask a friend to come along to help pay expenses. I’m glad I don’t have to live with that trackchasing model.

 

 

I did stop at the Missouri Welcome Center rest area for about an hour and a half of sleep. It was interesting that I had seen racing in Nebraska tonight. When I left the track I first went through Iowa and then Missouri before ending up at the airport in Kansas!

 

 

After my short nap in the interstate rest area I decided to complete the rest of the drive to the airport. I pulled into the rental car center and returned my car with 357 miles on the trip odometer.

 

 

The Avis Rental Car Racing Nissan Ultima gave me 33.7 miles per gallon. I had the upgraded model. It was a wonderful car. I would rent one of those nearly every time if I could.

 

 

Back at the huge cavernous rental car center there was little activity at 3 a.m. I found a very comfortable leather sofa. I would bed down there for the next hour and a half. It felt good to sleep there and it was perfectly safe.

 

 

Then I rode the shuttle bus over to the airport terminal. If I made it to Florida on one of my standby flights the trip would continue unabated. If I didn’t make the flight I would try to scrounge a trackchasing opportunity at the last minute in the Midwest. I’m happy to say I did make a flight to Tampa, Florida I will tell you about that in my next Trackchaser Report.

 

 

Good evening from Eagle, Nebraska.

 

 

 

Nebraska

 

 

 

The Cornhusker state

This evening, I saw my 43rd lifetime track in the Cornhusker state, yes the Cornhusker state. I hold the #1 trackchasing spot in Nebraska. I’ve seen 43 or more tracks in 16 separate states.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading about my trackchasing,

 

Randy Lewis

World’s #1 Trackchaser

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

Nebraska sayings: AKSARBEN

 

 

That’s “Nebraska” spelled backward. Clever, right? The name dates back to 1895 when a group of Omaha businessmen formed a coalition to keep the Nebraska State Fair in Omaha. The name most famously graced the former AKSARBEN horseracing track; today, the name is still attached to the philanthropic organization but is also used on a trendy mixed-use business development called Aksarben Village.

 

 

 

 

QUICK FACTS

 

 

LIFETIME TRACKCHASER COMPARISONS 

The three most important trackchasing comparisons to me are:

 

Total lifetime tracks seen

Total “trackchasing countries” seen

Lifetime National Geographic Diversity results

 

 

Total Lifetime Tracks

There are no trackchasers currently within 585 tracks of my lifetime total. Don’t blame me.

 

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 2,318

 

 

Total Trackchasing Countries

There are no trackchasers currently within 20 countries of my lifetime total.

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 74

 

 

 

Current lifetime National Geographic Diversity results

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 4.37

 

 

 

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

 

 

Click on the link below to see the video production from the racing action today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the link below for a photo album from today’s trackchasing day.  You can view the album slide by slide or click on the “slide show” icon for a self-guided tour of today’s trackchasing adventure.

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A fun trip to Nebraska with some great photos on the way there

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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