Dayton Fairgrounds – Figure 8

Greetings from Dayton, Pennsylvania 



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



Dayton Fairgrounds

Dirt figure 8

  Track #1,092










Carol and I woke up in Minneapolis, Minnesota this morning. This is what transpired today.









The Strategy


My strategy in trackchasing is to “Make hay while the sun shines.”  What exactly does that mean?  More than 80.4% of all racetrack dates happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  More than 90% of all county fair dates happen during July and August.



All of this is somewhat similar to the stock market.  Did you know that 50% of the market’s 10-year gain occurs on just 40 days during a 10-year trading period?  In the stock market, you don’t know which 40 days during a 10-year period are going to be the big gainers.  In trackchasing, you know that June, July and August are the big months.  A top ranked trackchaser doesn’t want to be sitting back on the block when all of these races are there for the viewing.



Now just because a race is being held DOES NOT mean it has any socially redeeming value from a racing point of view.  Tonight’s “Racing” was done by six pathetic looking four-cylinder figure 8 cars.  I’ll tell you more about it in the “Race track news” section. 



I will say this.  I do not know how ANYONE can ever criticize ANYBODY regarding his or her tracks, when we count freely and without criticism what I saw tonight.  To be clear, this comment is not about counting small car count figure 8 events.  I actually like the strategy such events add to the art of trackchasing, especially when these events are held just once a year.




The Trip


Some might think that the travel requirements of trackchasing are a bit on the extreme side.  They would be correct.  Would you do what I did to make it to tonight’s county fair?


First, Carol and I arrived into our Minneapolis hotel on Sunday night, no make that Monday morning at 2:30 a.m.  I had to sleep quickly because my wake-up call would come less than five hours later at 7:15 a.m.  With the turmoil at the airports, I wanted to arrive early for my 10:20 a.m. departure.


I showed up at curbside to check my bags with Northwest Airlines.  After lugging my two pieces of checked baggage (49.5-pound piece of rolling luggage and a 43-pound golf bag) from the rental car’s trunk to the curb, I learned I was not booked on Northwest Airlines, but United!  I hadn’t thought to recheck that little detail since I made the reservation a few weeks ago.


The United curbside baggage was too congested to check bags.  This meant I must return my rental car, and then look those two big bags as well as my rolling carryon bag and briefcase.  That’s about 150-175 pounds of luggage.  Minneapolis is one of the longest walks, no shuttle, from rental car return to baggage check-in anywhere in the country.


Baggage check-in and clearing security was a piece of cake.  My carryon luggage even cleared with an aerosol can of bug spray (thanks to the Poplar Bluff Speedway of a few weeks ago) and a cream filled tube of suntan lotion. Both of these were supposedly forbidden.


Now I had nearly two hours to kill in the airport while I waited for my plane.  My first flight today was from Minneapolis to Chicago.  That flight was about an hour and a half.  I then had a two-hour layover in Chicago.  My Chicago to Pittsburg flight was about the same length as the first.  I arrived into Pittsburg at nearly 5 p.m. 


It was then wait for the checked bags, lug the checked bags to the rental car pickup area and get another Chevy Impala from National Rental Car.  Carol calls this entire process “Groundhog Day.”  She’s probably right.


In my experience, Boston has the worst road system in and around the airport.  Pittsburgh has to rank second.  Their roads are terrible.  It was an 80-mile drive over to the track located in Dayton, Pennsylvania.  Dayton is out in the middle of #$%^# nowhere!


I arrived at the Dayton Fair at 7:07 p.m.  The racing was to begin at 7:30 p.m.  I had been on the move for the last 12-14 hours and had arrived 23 minutes before the start of the first race.  Now I know where the phrase, “It was a long walk for a short slide”came from.




The People


My trackchasing partner, Trackchasing’s First Mother, aka Carol headed back to California today per our plan.  Last year, I became the first trackchaser to routinely schedule and implement the “Mega” trackchasing trip.  This is a trip of nearly two weeks of daily trackchasing and sometimes longer.  During trips like this, I like to have Carol come in for 5-7 days in the middle of the “Mega”trip to break up the monotony.  During this trip, her 5 days happened at the beginning of the “Mega”trip.










This is my 58thlifetime track in the Keystone state.  In nearly every state 58 tracks would give me a first place ranking.  However, it won’t in Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania is home to more racetracks and more trackchasers that nearly any other state.  My 58 tracks give me a 23rdplace ranking.  I would need another 34 tracks just to crack the top 10.  That will never happen.









I guess I would call the Dayton Fair a medium sized county fair. I paid a $7 admission fee that included unlimited rides on all of the county fair carnival attractions as well as admission to the figure 8 races.  This sounded like a good deal.  Of course, not every good sounding deal really is.


The weather was heavily overcast.  I could feel a few sprinkles in the air.  I took my usual quick tour of the livestock barns.  I was hungry and looking for some good “Fair food.”  I don’t know if you noticed but fair food, especially at the smaller fairs, isn’t nearly as good as it used to be.


I spent several minutes assessing my choices until I finally settled on a cheese steak and Diet Coke.  This little combo set me back $9.50, which was a little pricey.  I had to just about throw an epileptic fit to get my server to not ladle on about 32 oz. of melted Cheese Whiz on my sandwich.  That would have added about 9,700 calories that were not needed.  While struggling to get the vendor’s soda ice machine to work, about a third of my “Steak”sandwich fell to the ground.  Things were not going well and really hadn’t gone well most of the day.  Maybe the racing would improve my outlook.


No, the racing would not improve my outlook!  I entered the large modern covered grandstand that had a seating capacity of 3,000.  It was great to see the government’s money being put to good use at a county where the median income is probably near the poverty level.  There were about 1,000 people in the stands.  That’s a lot of people for what they were about to see.


I guess because they had nothing else to do they were time trialing the figure 8 cars.  I had never seen this done before.  There were only six cars.  Yes, there were only six cars.  I had spent the entire day traveling in a very hostile environment and there were only six #$$%^&%#%^&& cars!


There’s just not much you can do with six cars.  Here is exactly what they did do with those six ##$%&$#^ cars.  They ran a heat race with four cars.  They ran a second heat race with the other two cars.  Some might ask, “Why not divide the field in half for the two heat races.”  Yes, that would be a good question.  I can only suspect the race organizer’s calculator was low on batteries.


This prolific spectacle of motor racing’s elite was followed by a brief intermission.  Then the four cars that were still operating ran a feature event.  Following this feature event, the two or three cars still running were supposed to run a demo derby until only one car was still moving.


To be honest with you the adrenalin rush I had received from watching two figure 8 car heat races with a total of six cars and a feature event with four cars was so much that I didn’t think I had paid enough money to also stay for the demo derby.  I departed.


I did not depart before hopping on the fair’s Ferris wheel.  I figured I would at least try to get SOMETHING for my seven bucks.  The Ferris wheel did not collapse, so I counted the evening a success. 


I had a nearly 100-mile drive to my hotel in Sharon, Pennsylvania. It poured down rain nearly the entire way.  Some tracks are a little more difficult to get to that normal like this one.  Some tracks are a little less entertaining than normal like this one.


I always say I don’t go to the tracks for the racing.  I guess that statement is not 100% true.  If all of the racing I ever saw was like tonight, I would not be a trackchaser for much longer.






The weather was cloudy and heavily overcast. At 6:30 p.m., it was nearly dark. The overcast clouds would dump a good deal of rain on the area just a few minutes after this pathetic program ended.






I will have two rental cars on this trip. One was picked up and returned in Minneapolis.  The second was picked up in Pittsburgh.



Minneapolis Rental Car

Wednesday total driving miles – 288 miles (corrected)

Thursday total driving miles – 119 miles

Friday total driving miles – 512 miles

Saturday total driving miles – 559 miles (that’s a lot of miles to get zero racetracks!)

Sunday total driving miles – 663 miles

Monday total driving miles – 7 miles



The driving portion of this trip covered 2,148 miles.  We stopped for gas five times.  I paid an average price of $3.03 per gallon.  The Chevy Impala gave us 28.0 M.P.G. in fuel mileage at an average cost of 10.8 cents per mile.  The car cost 1.5 cents per mile to rent, all taxes included.



Pittsburgh Rental Car

Monday total driving miles – 175 miles







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


  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 1,092
  2. Guy Smith, Effort, Pennsylvania – 1,051 (-41)
  3. Rick Schneider – Bay Shore, New York – 1,050 (-42)
  4. Allan Brown, Comstock Park, Michigan – 1,021 (-71)*
  5. Gordon Killian, Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania – 1,019 (-73)*
  6. Andy Sivi, Clairton, Pennsylvania – 1,017 (-75)*
  7. Ed Esser, Madison, Wisconsin – 926 (-166)**


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


** Special exemption.





Other notables


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


  1. Sammy Swindell, Bartlett, Tennessee – 279 (+2)
  2. Carol Lewis, San Clemente, California – 277
  3. Dale Danielski, Onalaska, Wisconsin – 269 (-8)
  4. Bob Schafer, Oshkosh, Wisconsin – 267 (-10)






  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 101
  2. Ed Esser, Madison, Wisconsin – 66
  3. Paul Weisel, Orefield, Pennsylvania – 59
  4. Roland Vanden Eynde, Vilvoorde, Belgium – 55
  5. Mike Knappenberger, Reading, Pennsylvania – 54
  6. Carol Lewis, San Clemente, California – 47
  7. Guy Smith, Effort, Pennsylvania – 46
  8. Roger Ferrell, Majenica, Indiana – 45
  9. Allan Brown, Comstock Park, Michigan – 41
  10. Gordon Killian, Sinking Springs, Pennsylvania – 33
  11. Pam Smith, Effort, Pennsylvania – 33





Thanks for reading about my trackchasing,

Randy Lewis

#1 Trackchaser Living West of the Mississippi


I’m very good with figures and wish people asked me to multiply things more often.








Los Angeles, CA –  Minneapolis, MN – 1,530 miles





Lindbergh International Airport – trip begins

Morris, MN – 177 miles

Ada, MN – 351 miles

Miller, SD – 812 miles

Gimli, Manitoba, Canada – 1,495 miles

Bemidji, MN – 1,825 miles

Lindbergh International Airport – trip ends – 2,148 miles




Minneapolis, MN – Chicago, IL – 287 miles

Chicago, IL – Pittsburgh, PA – 416 miles




Pittsburgh International Airport – trip begins

Dayton, PA – 80 miles





Stevens County Fairgrounds – $8

Norman County Fair Raceway – $10

Miller Speedway – $5 with senior discount (Regular admission $10)

Gimli Motorsports Park – Free

Bemidji Speedway – $8

Dayton Fair – $7






Sadly, I have several more county fair figure 8 races like this one on my upcoming schedule.





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


1,065. Tri-City Speedway, Pontoon Beach, Illinois – June 25


1,066. Lake Ozark Speedway, Eldon, Missouri – June 29


1,067. Poplar Bluff Speedway, Poplar Bluff, Missouri – June 30


1,068. Indianapolis Motor Speedway (road course), Indianapolis, Indiana – July 1


1,069. Rush County Fairgrounds, Rushville, Indiana – July 1


1,070. Rock Castle Speedway, Mount Vernon, Kentucky – July 2


** Windy Hollow Speedway (oval), Owensboro, Kentucky – July 2


1,071. Heartland Park Topeka (dirt oval), Topeka, Kansas – July 3


1,072. Thunderhill Speedway, Mayetta, Kansas – July 3


1,073. Little Valley Speedway, Little Valley, New York – July 13


** Twin State Speedway (oval), Claremont, New Hampshire – July 14


1,074. Twin State Speedway (figure 8), Claremont, New Hampshire – July 14


1,075. Canaan Speedway (asphalt oval), Canaan, New Hampshire – July 14


** New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon, New Hampshire – July 15


1,076. White Mountain Motorsports Park, North Woodstock, New Hampshire – July 15


1,077. Legion Speedway, Wentworth, New Hampshire – July 15


1,078. Devil’s Bowl Speedway, Fair Haven, Vermont – July 16


1,079. Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, Connecticut – July 17


1,080. Little Log House Speedway, Hastings, Minnesota – July 28


** Elko Speedway (outer oval), Elko, Minnesota – July 28


** Elko Speedway (inner oval), Elko, Minnesota – July 28


** Elko Speedway (figure 8), Elko, Minnesota – July 28


1,081. Chickasaw Big Four County Fairgrounds, Nashua, Iowa – July 29


1,082. Buffalo River Speedway, Glyndon, Minnesota – July 30


1,083. Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah, – August 4


1,084. Atomic Motor Raceway, Atomic City, Idaho – August 4


1,085. Mission Valley Speedway, Polson, Montana – August 5


1,086. Rock Creek Race Track, Kimberly, Idaho – August 6


1,087. Stevens County Fairgrounds, Morris, Minnesota – August 9


1,088. Norman County Raceway, Ada, Minnesota – August 10


1,089. Miller Speedway, Miller, South Dakota – August 11


1,090. Gimli Motorsports Park, Gimli, Manitoba, Ontario, Canada – August 13


1,091. Bemidji Speedway, Bemidji, Minnesota – August 13


1,092. Dayton Fair (figure 8), Dayton, Pennsylvania – August 14







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