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Roseau County Fairgrounds

Greetings from Roseau, Minnesota

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From the travels and adventures of the 

“World’s #1 Trackchaser”

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Roseau County Fairgrounds

Dirt road course

Lifetime Track #2,348

 

The EventVideo PlusPhotos

 

 

More than 2,300 Lifetime Tracks Visited

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. Here’s the funny thing about that. I was perfectly content to remain in about seventh place in the worldwide trackchasing standings. Then I had rotator cuff surgery, which knocked me out of golf for about six months. With no golf and time on my hands I turned up my trackchasing by a notch or two. I discovered I liked MORE trackchasing and LESS golf. It didn’t take all that long to move up to the top of the world trackchasing standings at that point.

 

 

One of the very best things about my trackchasing hobby is meeting the people who are stationed all over the long and dusty trackchasing trail. They don’t come any nicer than the folks up in Minnesota. The hospitality they show strangers with even stranger hobbies is remarkable. As you read my story I know you will heartily agree with this assessment.

 

 

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

I am just coming off a 10-day hiatus from my hobby of trackchasing. We’ve had our twin grandbabies visiting during this time from Texas. They just turned nine years old. That’s is a great age for grandparents!

 

 

I might be the most fortunate trackchaser in the entire hobby. The demographic of a trackchaser is most often that of a single male or if married a male with no children. Why is that?

 

 

To be an active trackchaser, having seen maybe 500 or more tracks, you’re going to have to make a commitment to auto racing. That commitment is going to take travel and time devoted to racing to the exclusion of other activities.

 

 

If one considers themselves a “family man/woman” then it’s going to be very difficult to balance a family and a strong love of auto racing that manifests itself in trackchasing travel. Folks, I don’t make this stuff up. If you have the chance look at the trackchasers that rank in the top 25 in the world. The demographics that come from that list will confirm what I am describing.

 

 

I ask my family that would be Carol, our three children and our two grandchildren, to give me as much lead-time on their activities as possible. All they have to do is to tell me what their plans are that I can be involved in and I will be there. For me I can honestly say that my family activities come before trackchasing.

 

 

From 1980-1994, a period of 15 years, I never saw more than 20 new tracks in a single season. Contrast that to the fact that I have AVERAGED more than 115 new tracks in each of the last 15 years! I didn’t do much trackchasing when our kids were in the average age range of 3-18.

 

 

Our three adult children all have active professional lives. Two of them live more than 1,000 miles from our home in Southern California. Nevertheless, when we have the chance to be together I consider that a privilege.

 

 

Yesterday, we had an epic Disneyland day. I’m going to tell you we’ve been to Disney parks closer to 100 times than fifty. Our son J.J. as well as daughter Kristy along with her husband James and the grandbabies and Carol and I spent a very FULL day at the Anaheim, California resort.

 

 

What do I mean by full day? We left our home in San Clemente at 6:30 a.m. We met everyone else near the park at 7:30 a.m. We were going through the turnstiles at 8 a.m. We were still going strong when the park closed at midnight! By the time we got back to our car and everyone disbursed to his or her appropriate locations we weren’t back at the San Clemente compound until almost 2 a.m. That’s nearly a 24-hour commitment to going to Disneyland!

 

 

My Apple iPhone pedometer showed that we walked 9.7 miles during the day. That was almost 30,000 steps. Remember, we were doing this with two nine-year-olds. With their pension for running here and there they probably did 35,000 steps!

 

 

Our son J.J. worked at Disneyland during his high school and college years. He loved the job. He was telling me that nearly 20 years ago when he worked at Disneyland the park admission price was $40 per adult. What do you think it is today? If you said $165 per person (admission to both Disney parks) with no discounts available anywhere you would be correct.

 

 

The grandbabies and their parents were now wrapping up their time in SoCal. They weren’t through with their summer vacation however. They will be going to Europe for a few weeks now until almost the time when school starts. It was great spending time with family and now everyone else must continue with their active lives until we have a chance to get together again.

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY

Most of the time I fly standby with my airline sponsorships. However, sometimes I will buy a ticket at full price to start one of these trips. Especially in the summertime, it’s very comforting to know that I have a confirmed seat to at least get the trip started. Once I get out on the road to my first location I can often drive to where I need to be if that makes the most sense.

 

 

Several weeks ago I was able to get an airline reservation on Spirit Airlines for a nonstop flight from Los Angeles to Minneapolis. The fare was cheap. With a confirmed ticket I knew I would be able to get where I was going on time.

 

 

My fellow competitors rarely travel on airplanes. When they do they have to purchase their airline tickets a few weeks if not more in advance. The drawback to that plan is weather. No one can predict three weeks ahead of time if weather is going to be a problem. Weather and a non-refundable airline ticket are not good bed partners.

 

 

There is one significant drawback to buying an inexpensive ticket with Spirit Airlines. Spirit charges for checked airline baggage as well as carry-on baggage beyond a certain relatively small size.

 

 

I have easily flown on more than 10,000 flights in my lifetime. If I had to guess I would say that I have paid to check baggage less than five times. I rarely check baggage at all. Much of my flying was done before airlines started charging for baggage. Even since they have added this increased expense my elite flying status often gets me complementary bags.

 

 

Spirit Airlines charges $42 for a checked bag. Ya, I know! I remember the day when I was making $1.80 an hour working 40 hours a week cutting weeds for the city of East Peoria. Even at this stage in life $42 is still very dear to me. However, there are many many other times when sums much greater than $42 are added to my credit card without my batting an eyelash.

 

 

I have a special Spirit Airlines carry-on bag. It meets their requirements for a complementary bag of 18″ x 14″ x 8″. It barely meets the requirement but it meets it.

 

 

I’m going to be gone on this trip for five or six days. I’ll be carrying my laptop and my Bose headset and an extra pair of shoes. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for six days of clothing and toiletries and the like in a bag the size that must meet Spirit Airlines stringent requirements.

 

 

Despite the temperatures that were expected to be in the mid to high 80s for most of my stops on this trip I was bringing my army field jacket with me. Why would I do that? I can stuff the sleeves of that field jacket with quite a bit of material. It’s not the most convenient thing to do but it gives me that extra advantage that most Spirit airline passengers will not have. Isn’t that one of the keys to a good life….getting an advantage that most others don’t have?

 

 

I had my airline ticket now at rock-bottom prices. I also have an airport parking sponsorship. Parking at LAX will commonly run $15-$20 per day. Last year I probably had my car at LAX for 175 days or maybe a little more for the entire year. At those rates you can do the calculations for what airport parking would cost me in a single trackchasing year. However, with my sponsorship I don’t pay anything close to that.

 

 

I had made a hotel reservation using Priceline.com at the La Quinta Inn near the Minneapolis airport. However, I had mistakenly made it for one day later than what I really intended. With Priceline that is a problem. You pretty much have to cut off your right arm and exchange it to get them to make an exception.

 

 

That being the case I simply called the La Quinta Inn hotel directly. The front desk clerk told me he didn’t think he could make the change. I asked to speak to the manager. It always pays to go to the top. My request to move up my reservation by one day was readily accepted by a very cooperative hotel manager. You’ve just got to love the nature and cooperative attitude that Minnesota folks exude. By the way I got about 50% off of the best available rate at the La Quinta hotel.

 

 

When I landed in Minneapolis at midnight I rode the hotel shuttle over to where I would be staying. Why wasn’t I picking up my car at midnight? I chose to pick it up the next day at about 10 a.m.  I would save a full day’s rental car expense doing that.

 

 

 

THURSDAY

It was easy to get a complementary ride from the hotel back to the airport this morning. I might have rented more cars at the Minneapolis airport than any place else. I certainly know that it seems like I’m there 5-10 times a year during each trackchasing season.

 

 

I think I could walk into the center of the Minneapolis airport and find my way to the rental car garage blindfolded. I quickly rode the escalator up to the Executive Elite section for National Car Rental. Looking through the window I could see a beautiful gleaming white Chrysler 300 rental car. That would be perfect for me.

 

 

I was appreciating my good fortune when I left the building and walked toward my luxurious rental car. However, right at that point another renter had eyed the same machine. He already had his bags sitting in the trunk. Bummer!

 

 

As quickly as my smile had turned to a frown my smile came back. The guy was taking his bags out of the trunk of the Chrysler 300 and going off to seek brighter fortunes from his point of view. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure right? I think the Chrysler 300 is one of the best full-sized rental car options available. Lots of rental car companies would put the Chrysler 300 in their premium category. Additionally, the National Car Rental was sponsoring part of my rental car program this weekend.

 

 

I have seven categories of trackchasing expense. Those groups are airline tickets, airport parking, rental cars, hotels, gasoline, food and race tickets.

 

 

From the above descriptions you have just seen how I have maximized my effort with quality travel experiences. A possible exception to that claim would be flying on Spirit Airlines!

 

 

I don’t have a formal gasoline sponsorship program. If someone wants to be part of that I’m all ears. However, I do use the gas buddy iPhone app. That app by itself probably saves me 5-10% on gasoline purchases.

 

 

My food expense is pretty much a constant. When I’m doing a lot of driving my dining experiences are almost exclusively through the drive-thru lane. If Carol comes along we will do a little bit of that and some sit down meals as you might expect.

 

 

Race tickets are my lowest expense within the seven categories that I track. Often times promoters will give me, at their initiative, complementary admission. I’m very appreciative of that.

 

 

In other cases, for the more expensive races like NASCAR or Red Bull Global Rally Cross, I will use my own ingenuity to get tickets for free or at a dramatically reduced cost. I haven’t paid more than twenty dollars for a NASCAR Cup ticket in years.

 

 

My fellow competitors don’t do much with airline travel. They might have about the same number of annual airline trips in a year that I commonly have each and every month. I think the reason they don’t do that is if they think it’s too expensive.

 

 

If I had to guess I would say that I pay about 50% of what a normal person would pay for their travel. I get about half of that 50% savings back from my sponsorship programs. I get the other half of that 50% return by simply being able to buy travel “right”.

 

 

However, there is one thing about my travel expertise that can be overlooked. Let’s say I am paying 50% less than the normal traveler. Here’s the real advantage in addition to the significant price savings I get.

 

 

It is true that someone else may pay $100 for travel when I pay $50. However I am getting better travel experiences for my $50 than most others get for their $100. I am getting luxurious full-sized rental cars. I am getting upgraded hotel accommodations from the top chains, which include other amenities like free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and the like. With the airlines I am getting the upgraded coach seats and often times first class accommodations.

 

 

In my example, I am getting for $50 what my fellow competitors would probably have to pay nearly $200 for. I’ve been able to do this for many years. Yes, I have spent a lot of money with my hobby of trackchasing. However I’ve gotten a significant amount of value for the money I have spent.

 

 

As you can see from reading the above, strategic planning is what I’m all about with regards to trackchasing. I don’t mind sharing my experiences. Nevertheless, I have found that even when I share winning ideas that many people are unwilling or incapable or both to get on board with new ideas. Why is that? I guess it’s just human nature. All I can really do is keep sharing. The really “smart cookies” will get with the plan.

 

 

I have another trackchasing strategy that I have used for years and years. If I fly into an airport like I am to Minneapolis this weekend I often have more than one choice on where I could be trackchasing.

 

 

It’s not all that unusual that one of my options will be two hours from the airport and another of the options might be six hours away as an example. Most people would happily and quickly choose the track that’s only two hours from the airport. I do exactly the opposite.

 

 

If everything else is equal such as weather, countability and the likelihood of the race actually happening I will more often than not choose the track that is six hours away rather than the closer one. Why in the world would I do that?

 

 

I look at it this way. If I can get the tougher six-hour drive out-of-the-way now, later on when I have less time and maybe less enthusiasm for a future six-hour drive that two-hour trip will look mighty fine.

 

 

I’ve noticed that my fellow competitors, who as mentioned don’t fly that often, go for the easier alternatives when they land at the airport. That’s fine for now. However, if they ever come back to that geographical area they’re going to be faced with lots of long drives to tracks that don’t match up well for combinations because they took the easy way out to begin with.

 

 

Folks, a successful life is made up of a series of almost daily if not hourly strategic decisions. Those decisions are designed to make life easier and more productive not only for today but tomorrow. I know this discussion is going over the heads of some but resonating strongly with others. Remember when I make these points I am NOT talking about trackchasing. I’m talking about life.

 

 

Now let’s talk about tonight. Before I would be willing to make a six-hour drive up to a remote location like Roseau, Minnesota I needed to talk to someone personally. I needed a verbal confirmation that the race was happening under the circumstances that I required. The track had to meet the trackchasing rules. That being the case, I made a call to Tony Wensloff. Tony was running the races up in Roseau.

 

 

Tony was a friendly guy. He confirmed that the racing, called “Bush racing” would be essentially for junk cars running heat races, consolations and feature events. They would race on what sounded like a road course with “obstacles”. That worked for me.

 

 

I usually try to tell the race promoter why I am asking so many unusual questions. Often times they ask! I gave Tony a brief description of my trackchasing hobby. More often than not the promoter is pretty impressed with what I do as a racing fan. They will often offer me complementary admission and VIP status at their track. Why do they do that?

 

 

It’s a little bit like having a guest in your home. When that guest shows up at the front door you greet them with a smile. You’re hoping that they’ll have a wonderful experience while they’re in your care. I encounter this welcoming reaction so often with our nation’s, and actually the world’s racing promoters. I am most thankful and appreciative for their kindness.

 

 

It was going to be a 415-mile, six-hour, one-way drive from Minneapolis up to the Roseau County Fairgrounds in Roseau, Minnesota. Roseau is located just eight miles south of the Canadian border.

 

 

I picked up my rental car at 10:30 a.m. I expect to be returning the car to the Minneapolis airport tomorrow morning at about 5:30 a.m. That means in the space of about 19 hours I will drive the National Car Rental Racing Chrysler 300 nearly 900 miles. If every renter did that the car would be taken off the rental car lot and moved over to the used car lot in less than a month!

 

 

Today’s weather in Minnesota was going to be clear with a high temperature of about 85° or so. Tomorrow’s weather in Minnesota was not going to be nearly as good. This weather problem would follow me to the east coast. I really wanted to trackchase in Minnesota tomorrow as well. However, they were calling for about an inch of rain where I was planning to go.

 

 

That being the case I planned to catch an early morning flight tomorrow from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh. Then I’ll drive from Pittsburgh up to a rural location in Michigan, north of Detroit. The weather is better up there for tomorrow’s Michigan county fair racing.

 

 

With a Pittsburgh rental car pick up I will be positioned well for some trackchasing activity in Pennsylvania on Saturday. The weather where I’m planning to go this weekend isn’t all that great. Rain is expected nearly everywhere. Some of the places I will be visiting race in the rain and some do not. I was hoping to get six tracks during this trip but I might only end up with four. We will see.

 

 

I very much enjoy driving on these trips. I’ll certainly fly when I can but I don’t mind driving the least bit. Of course, 99% of the time I don’t use my own car.

 

 

I have two main forms of audio entertainment as I move along our nation’s highways. I’m not much of a music fan. I won’t listen to local AM/FM radio. The reception quality is so poor in many places. With satellite radio the reception is perfect all the time.

 

 

That’s when my smart phone comes into play. In my lifestyle my smart phone comes into play almost every minute of the day. I have more than 100 episodes of podcasts that I can listen to. I’ll also listen to Sirius XM satellite radio from my iPhone.

 

 

It’s really nice to be able to listen to these broadcasts through the audio system of my rental car. I think back on the “good old days”. Most of the things that I have described up to this point couldn’t have been done 20-25 years ago. If they could have it would have been much more expensive and/or much more inconvenient. We are lucky to be living in the world we live in today and will likely be even luckier as technology progresses further.

 

 

My 400-mile plus drive up from Minneapolis to Roseau, Minnesota was for the most part uneventful. I did stop off at a casino just to stretch my legs. Minnesota has several of them, casinos not legs. It turned out that I left my money clip in the car during my short visit. I couldn’t have gambled at that point if I wanted to.

 

 

When I was about two hours south of Roseau my phone rang. It was Tony my Roseau County Fairgrounds race contact calling. He just wanted to make sure I was on my way and told me to give him a call as soon as I reached the fairgrounds.

 

 

Folks if you have followed my trackchasing for very long you know what “NIMS” people are. Regardless of whether you know about that description or not I recommend you type the word “NIMS” into the search box on the homepage of my website at www.randyLewis.org. You will likely be inundated with more than 100 of my Trackchasing Reports that mention the “NIMS” phenomenon.

 

 

Think back to a couple of weeks ago when I was trackchasing in Wall Lake, Iowa. On that afternoon I got a call from my race contact inviting Carol and me for a special tour of Andy Williams’ boyhood home in Wall Lake, Iowa. Now today I was getting a similar call from my race contact interest in Minnesota. He was just confirming that everything was going well on my trip and letting me know that they were expecting me at the Roseau tonight.

 

 

What do these two phone calls have in common? The people calling me were from Minnesota and Iowa. You’ve heard me say more than frequently that I love “NIMS” people. Of course “NIMS” people are folks who live in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota. They truly are the nicest people in the United States. This is not to say there are not nice people in other locations. What I mean to say is that the number of nice folks in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota are just nicer than you would have a right to expect them to be. Good on them.

 

 

I entered Roseau, Minnesota, a small town of just 2,600 people. I took a brief ride through downtown. I certainly wouldn’t want to go directly to the fairgrounds and miss the opportunity for a short tour of Roseau. Don’t miss the pictures.

 

 

 

THE RACING

 

 

Roseau County Fairgrounds – Roseau, Minnesota

 

 

Racing was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. I got to the fairgrounds at about 6:30 p.m. I gave Tony a call. In the background I could hear him announcing the beginning of the driver’s meeting. This was perfect timing for me.

 

 

Let’s think about this for a moment. This was the only car-racing event of the entire year at the Roseau County Fairgrounds. Tony was one of the three major organizers of the racing. He was just announcing over a megaphone that the driver’s meeting was about ready to begin.

 

 

Nevertheless, Tony took the 100-yard walk from where the meeting was being held over to the grandstand entrance to welcome me. We introduced ourselves and Tony cleared the way for a complementary pit admission for me. Then we hopped in his UTV and drove over to the driver’s meeting. It takes a very special person to take time out of their busy schedule to welcome a visitor like Tony did.

 

 

It’s always fun to attend the driver’s meeting. I think that all drivers’ meeting should be broadcast over the PA system to inform and entertain the general spectator. You can learn so much about the backstory of the race program from this meeting.

 

 

Tonight I found out there would be 14 races in total. There were about 60 cars in the pit area. They actually had to cut off the entries a few days in advance of the race. They already had all they could handle. There would be heat races, consolations, semi finals and main events for both the men and women’s division.

 

 

Tony told me that I would have free run of the place. I could go up to the press box and watch from there if I liked. He just told me to enjoy myself while he was about his promotional duties.

 

 

I spent several minutes walking through the pit area. There were all kinds of brightly colored racecars. I spent some time talking to a couple of guys that had come to race from Canada. That’s not quite as big a deal as you might imagine. Roseau, Minnesota is only 8 miles from the Canadian border! They were nice guys. The Canadian fellas had talked to Tony about my visiting the races tonight. There were several folks who came up to me and knew that I was coming. That was nice of them to mention that.

 

 

For a county fair junk car racing show this was one of the most entertaining I have ever seen. They were doing so many things right. As I progress through this report I’ll tell you about them. You can decide for yourself if you agree with me. I think you will.

 

 

The fellow running the driver’s meeting told the drivers they had to be ready in advance for their races. He said that if they didn’t show up they were not going to search them out in the pit area. I’ve heard that line 1,000,000 times. Rarely is it ever enforced. Tonight they didn’t need to enforce it because the drivers showed up on time and ready to race when it was their turn.

 

 

I watched a couple of heats from different viewing perspectives. Then I took about 20 minutes to explore the fair. I knew that when all of the races were finished I would have to get on the road and head back to Minneapolis as soon as I could. Now was the time to see the fair.

 

 

Minnesota is noted for cheese curds at their county fairs. I’m eating a low-carb diet right now. I justified that a cheese curd was simply fried cheese and oil. There shouldn’t be too many carbs in that situation. I ordered a six-piece cheese curd serving and paid six bucks for it. I found a place to sit down with a Diet Mountain Dew and enjoyed my delicacy washed down by my soft drink.

 

 

I took a tour of some of the farm buildings and the other pavilions offering various county fair crafts. The covered grandstand was packed with race viewers. There was an equal amount of people outside enjoying the once a year county fair.

 

 

My next stop was to run up to the press box and say hello to the guys up there. They had a great view of the racing. I soon met Richard, president and organizer of the entire fair. What a nice guy. He took several minutes to explain the background of what they were doing with the racing at the fair this year.

 

 

Tonight’s racing was called “Bush” racing. It turns out that about 25 years ago some people actually had this type of junk car racing on their farms in the area. They called it “Bush” racing because they pulled cars out of the bushes to make the racecars. I was told that they raced three or four times each summer on their farms, a few miles out of Roseau. Then over time the racing died out.

 

 

Just three years ago they revived the bush racing and presented it at the fairgrounds during the fair. It was pretty amazing to me that they now offer one of the best county fair junk car racing programs that I’ve seen and they’ve only been doing it for three years.

 

 

Some states have more racing at their county fairs than others. Actually some states have virtually no racing at county fairs. Minnesota has quite a bit of this type of racing.

 

 

Tonight I was seeing my 85th lifetime track in the Gopher State. About twenty those races were held at county fairs. That’s a pretty high percentage.

 

 

They started the racing program exactly on time at 7 p.m. The cars were actually lined up on the track and ready to race about 15 minutes earlier. For the first race I was a long way from the grandstand. I couldn’t tell if they played both the Canadian and United States national anthems or not. I suspect that they did.

 

 

In talking with Richard up in the press box he told me that this year’s fair had two nights of rodeo, a night of bush racing and a demolition derby on the fourth day. He told me the purse for the demolition derby was nearly eight times what it is for the bush racing.

 

 

He also mentioned that the demolition derby cars were getting harder to come by. I’ve heard that from promoters. There are least a couple of reasons for the potential demise of the big car demolition derby.

 

 

One is that large V-8 powered rear wheel cars aren’t available from junkyards as much as they used to be. Demolition derbies and time have knocked a lot of them out of their misery and put them into the recycle bin. The high cost of metals from recycling has eliminated some of the big cars.
The people organizing the Roseau County Fairgrounds have a unique relationship with a local sponsor. They have an auto salvage dealer that will allow someone to buy one of their junk cars for $200. A person can then race that car in the bush races. If they bring back the car to the junkyard when they’re finished with it, in whatever condition, their $200 purchase fee is refunded 100%. That means a person can get a junk car, have a lot of fun racing it, and do it all for free. How in the world can you beat a deal like that?

 

 

Tonight’s racing was being done on a 100% dirt surface. The track configuration was a road course. I’m going to guess it was about a half-mile in length or maybe just a tad longer.

 

 

Huge straw bales were used as barriers. These bales were big enough and strong enough that when a car hit them it didn’t hurt the racecar too much and it didn’t break up into one million pieces of small straw. One of the turns had been watered heavily to create an obstacle for the drivers when they passed that part of the track. It slowed the cars a bit for the upcoming straightaway and created quite a muddy mess that the crowd loved a lot.

 

 

The entire race program was very well organized tonight. Each of the races started about eight cars or so. I think the men’s feature started 12-14. They didn’t take any time between races for track prep because they didn’t need to. Almost all of the cars finished without wrecking which saved on the time it takes to remove the cars that become disabled. They were able to complete their entire 14-race program in exactly 2 hours. When have you ever heard me say that a 60-car, 14-race program could be wrapped up in a couple of hours? Never?

 

 

I met some interesting characters up in the press box. I did a short interview with Mike, the announcer. Mike did a great job describing the action. He knew all the driver’s names and called each race helping entertain the crowd. He was doing this over a stout PA system with speakers spread around about half the track. Everyone watching the races could hear and see where their favorite driver was on the track.

 

 

I also spent some time talking with the sound engineers who were managing this robust audio system. They were a couple of guys who played in a band in the area. They were both very interesting to talk to and had lots of unique experiences that I never would’ve expected to hear about.

 

 

I watched the last couple of races from the middle of the grandstands. I hope you take the time to watch my racing video of the action tonight. If you do I think you’ll see some entertaining racing. Like I say the entertainment value, for a junk car race, was well above average tonight. This enabled the organizers to have a 100% filled grandstand and additional overflow seating area on the east end of the track.

 

 

When the races were finished I had a chance to go down to say my final goodbyes to Tony who was presenting the men’s feature winner with a huge 5-foot trophy. I also had the chance meet the relatives of the man who started the bush racing back on that farm in rural upstate Minnesota so many years ago. This was a great way to put a bow on my trip to Roseau, Minnesota.

 

 

I told you earlier that I would explain in detail why the racing was so good tonight. When you get 60 cars that run at 14 races in two hours that’s a good thing. They started on time. That’s a good thing. When you have a high-quality announcer over a robust sound system that’s a good thing. When you have people who are running the races that take time to welcome visitors that’s a good thing. Tonight there was no admission for the fair and I think general admission tickets for the grandstand were 10 bucks. That’s all a really good deal as well.

 

 

 

AFTER THE RACES

 

It was 9:15 p.m. I had to get going. I was looking at more than a 400-mile drive back to the Minneapolis airport. Based upon a very bad weather forecast of 1 to 2 inches of rain for central Minnesota tomorrow I was going to change my trackchasing plan.

 

 

My new plan would have me taking a 6:50 a.m. flight from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh. There I would pick up a car in Pittsburgh and drive five hours to just north of Detroit. Goodells, Michigan had a really good-looking weather forecast. They also had an auto race scheduled for tomorrow night. Because of the extremely poor Minnesota forecast I couldn’t risk staying here another day and being rained out.

 

 

I am most appreciative of all of the folks that I met at Roseau tonight. They couldn’t have been nicer. They couldn’t have offered a better racing program with this genre of stock car racing. I thank them very much for their hospitality.

 

 

I downed a bottle of 5-Hour energy drink and made a beeline toward the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The National Car Rental Chrysler 300 was giving me 31 miles a gallon. I like everything about the Chrysler 300 as a rental car.

 

 

 

Good evening from Roseau, Minnesota.

 

 

 

 

 

Minnesota

 

 

The North Star state

This evening I saw my 105th lifetime track in the North Star state, yes the North Star state. I hold the #1 trackchasing spot in Minnesota as I do in 24 states in total. I’ve seen 105 or more tracks in seven 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

Minnesota sayings: Hot dish.

 

 

A delicious food consisting of leftovers, tater tots and cheese. Not to be confused with casserole.

 

 

 

 

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 600 tracks of my lifetime total. Don’t blame me.

 

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 2,348

 

 

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.

 

 

 

A day and night of fun with nice people in Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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