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Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds

Greetings from Blackfoot, Idaho

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From the travels and adventures of the 

“World’s #1 Trackchaser”

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Idaho State Fairgrounds

Dirt figure 8

 Lifetime Track #2,587

The EventVideo PlusPhotos

 

THE EVENT

My name is Randy Lewis. I live in San Clemente, California. I am a “trackchaser”. I trackchase. Before you discovered my site had you ever heard of trackchasing? Maybe not? So….what the heck is trackchasing? Sit back, take a read and you’ll be an expert on my hobby of trackchasing when you’re finished.

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Here’s my best explanation on what trackchasing is to me.

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Trackchasing is a three-pronged hobby. I’m a racing fan. I love to travel. I love to analyze opportunities to get the most out of everything while saving time and money.

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Trackchasing fills the need for all of the above. The racing part of my trackchasing has me trying to see wheel to wheel auto racing at as many different racetracks as I can all over the world. Yes, all over the world. So far things are going pretty well. As this is written, I’ve seen racing in 85 countries at more than 2,500 tracks. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen racing at more tracks than anyone else in the world.

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Equally important to me are the things I get to see and experience over the “long and dusty trackchasing trail”. I call these adventures “Trackchasing Tourist Attractions”. You won’t want to miss my “Trackchasing Tourist Attractions” page. Here’s the link:  Trackchasing Tourist Attractions or my “Sports Spectating Resume” page, Sports Spectating Resume on my website at www.randylewis.org.

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I live in southern California. That’s probably the most inconvenient location in the country for seeing tracks in the U.S. Most of the racetracks in the U.S. are located well over 1,000 miles from where I live. As a matter of fact, my average trip covers 5,000 miles and more. I take 35-40 of those trips each season. In any given year I will travel well over 200,000 miles, rent more than 50 cars, and stay in more than 150 hotel rooms.

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I get the chance to meet people all over the world. With trackchasing trips to 85 countries and counting just getting the chance to experience so many other cultures, spend time in their homes and meet their friends is a huge reward for being in this hobby. I am indebted to several of these folks for their help and friendship.

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It takes a good deal of planning to do the above and not spend my entire retirement portfolio. I enjoy the challenge, the travel and every other aspect of “trackchasing”. In reality, my trackchasing hobby is a lot like being with the carnival. I breeze into town, stay a little while and then head on down the road.

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I’ve tried to tell you what the trackchasing hobby is to me. Now I will show you what trackchasing is to me in pictures and music. If you watch just one YouTube video this year, this is the one to watch.

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You will see how a simple trackchasing trip takes me a long way from my environment in California and most importantly not just in miles. My hobby is about seeing and experiencing the things that most folks walk right past. Check this out. It might just make your day.

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Trackchasing….this is exactly why I do it

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Today’s adventure was one more of the 2,000 trips that have taken me up, down and around the proverbial 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

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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!

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Randy on Facebook

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FOREWORD

Wednesday, September 4, 2019.

Did you know that Carol and I are the World’s #1 Trackchasing couple? I know, right! You probably already knew that. Together we’ve seen more than 3,000 tracks. However, it’s really not the number of tracks a couple has seen that would give them the rank of the World’s #1 trackchasing couple, is it?

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Let’s say that a trackchasing couple continued to drive from Los Angeles to New York and from Duluth, Minnesota to Corpus Christi, Texas and in between to see their races. With this approach, they saw a lotta races but they were all in the United States. Do you really think they should be rewarded with a #1 ranking as the WORLD’S #1 Trackchasing couple? Of course not. 

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The World’s #1 Trackchasing couple should be that couple that has seen racing in the most COUNTRIES in the world. Get it? This is about having done something in the WORLD in order to garner the #1 ranking as the World’s #1 Trackchasing couple. 

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Carol and I have seen racing on a combined basis in 134 countries. That’s 85 for me and 49 for her. Our totals are more than twice the number of our nearest fellow competitors in the couples category. 

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Just this year alone Carol has seen racing in the following foreign countries.

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Montenegro

Italy

Antiqua and Barbuda

Japan

Canada

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She has been so focused on foreign country trackchasing that at this late date, early September, she has not seen a single race in her native country of the United States in 2019. I know. Hard to believe right? 

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To correct that we planned a one-night visit to the state of Idaho. We would go over there to catch some dirt figure 8 racing at the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds. By the way, did you know that Idaho has two state fairs at two different locations during the year? I don’t suspect you knew that. That’s why you read these reports, isn’t it? You want to learn new stuff. 

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Right now Idaho is one of a few states where my trackchasing totals are more than double my nearest fellow competitor. Who is my nearest fellow competitor in Idaho? It’s none other than the World’s #3 Trackchaser, Carol Lewis. After tonight I will have seen 25 tracks in Idaho and Carol will have notched #10. What if someday Carol threatened my #1 spot in Idaho? Then I’d have to deal with it! 

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Have you ever thought that you and your spouse or loved one might like to try your hand at trackchasing? I’m going to tell you how Carol and I trackchased during a 24-hour period. Then you can let me know if you’re ready to sign up. 

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Our home alarm came this morning at 3 a.m. Carol always needs just a little bit more time to get ready than I do. We were backing out of the driveway of our modest seaside cottage at 4:06 a.m. 

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At that time of day, there isn’t very much traffic on our famous Los Angeles freeways. After 65 miles of non-stop freeway driving, I dropped Carol off at terminal two. She was instructed to go to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airline lounge in terminal two. While she was doing that I would park my car at the Los Angeles World parking garage. Los Angeles World has been my parking sponsor for more than a decade. 

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While Carol was relaxing in the airline lounge I was making a 20-minute, more than 1-mile walk, from the parking garage to where she was located. I joined her for a few minutes. Then we left terminal two bound for terminal one at LAX. That meant that we would clear airport security again our second security clearance of the early morning. 

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Once we were in terminal one we had breakfast at a cost of more than $56. We dined at one of our trackchasing sponsors, Rock & Brews. Of course, Rock & Brews gives us $56 of free food every time we stop there. Pretty much all we have to do is leave a generous tip for our server. 

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From there we flew on a standby basis from Los Angeles over to Salt Lake City, Utah. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve flown into Salt Lake but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s somewhere in the 50-100 range. The view of the Great Salt Lake is always amazing. 

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While in Salt Lake I grabbed a Nissan Altima rental car from National Car Rental. The Salt Lake City National location used to be one of the worst. It was owned by a fellow who had a Chevy dealership. I’m not a big fan of renting Chevrolets. Things have changed. Now the SLC location is a, “corporate” outlet for National Car Rental.

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They offer up all of the good brands that I’ve enjoyed at National over the years including the Chrysler 300, Toyota Camry and Nissan Maxima/Altima. Each of those models is both comfortable and gets good gas mileage.   

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I try to make Carol’s trackchasing experience the very best that I can. What does that look like? Hopefully that kind of trip includes a limited amount of driving, a nice hotel stay, dining in delicious restaurants, a dust-free race watching experience and more. I really work hard at making sure she’s comfortable when she comes out on one of these trips.

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I checked out possible Trackchasing Tourist Attractions in Salt Lake. I found a good one. We could take a one-hour tour of the Utah State Capitol building. I guess that’s kind of a “thing” of mine. I’ve taken tours of state capital buildings in about a dozen states. Right now it’s not a burning desire to see more but when I have the chance I will. 

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We had an outstanding tour guide. He was a retired English teacher but had also driven Greyline tour buses around Utah for years during his summers off from teaching. He knew just about everything there was to know about the state of Utah, its politics and state capital. We had a wonderful experience. 

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Next, we needed a place to eat lunch. I am a huge fan of a website called roadfood.com. The people who run this travel advisory service offer up some of the most unique restaurant recommendations you’re going to find anywhere in the United States. If you want a place that’s been there for a long time or that has a specialty in some unusual kind of food I recommend you check out roadfood.com.

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On previous trips to Salt Lake, I’ve been to two “road food” recommendations including the Hire’s Big H Drive-in and Navajo Hogan. I loved both of those places. However, when I can even though I’ve had enjoyable experiences at one location or another I like to try new spots. 

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Today we rolled into the Sweet Lake Biscuits and Limeade restaurant. They specialize in as you might imagine from their name, limeade and biscuits. They do a really good job with those specialties. Just how many limeade and biscuit restaurants have you visited? This is just another reason you might like to try trackchasing. If you do, and you do the hobby the way I do it, you’re going to discover all kinds of new cool stuff. 

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I went with the biscuits and gravy, which was excellent and even better to my taste with the red hot habanero hot sauce. That made my bald spot itch and I don’t even have a bald spot. 

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I also had a sugar-free limeade. All of their limeade is made from scratch. Without sugar, it really tasted like sour lemonade. The benefit was zero calories, but it didn’t taste all that much different than water with lemon. 

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The true highlight of our visit to Sweet Lake Biscuits and Limeade was the biscuit bread pudding. This dessert is going to win my best value desert of 2019 and also of this century. 

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The biscuit bread pudding dessert included fresh cream, blueberries and homemade caramel sauce. It sold for only five dollars. The serving portion was humungous. There were three huge bread pudding type biscuits, each of which measured about 4” x 6” x 1 ½”. These biscuits were smothered in a caramel sauce, blueberries and a healthy happy dose of whipped cream. 

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We ate and ate on this dessert and when we were finished and couldn’t eat another mouthful we still had about half of it left. We grabbed a to-go box and took it over to our hotel. 

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Speaking of hotels I can sleep just about anywhere. During the 2018 trackchasing season I slept 43 different nights either in my car, inside an airport terminal are on a jet airplane. Yes, I can sleep anywhere. 

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However, when Carol comes along we never consciously plan for her to sleep in anything other than a quality hotel. That would be the case in Salt Lake as well. I had reserved a Four Points by Sheraton hotel property and then we got upgraded to a top-level room. Yes, Carol is going to be quite comfortable with these accommodations, which also included a complementary fully-cooked hot breakfast.

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After checking into the hotel in the mid-afternoon with 100° temperatures we grabbed a 20-minute power nap. Then we were off on the 160-mile one-way drive from Salt Lake City to Blackfoot, Idaho. 

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THE RACING

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Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds – Blackfoot, Idaho

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The figure 8 racing along with other types of, “motor madness” activities would commence at 7:30 p.m. We pulled into the fairgrounds area a few minutes ahead of schedule. We saw people charging as much as $10 to park. However, being retirees on a small fixed income or whatever, we found a flat side street and parked for free. Although Carol and I spend more money on travel than anybody you know we can also be frugal at times. 

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I had checked out the cost of tickets for tonight’s motor madness event. Online they were going for $17 for each reserved seat. I thought about buying the tickets online but then thought I might just as well wait in case some travel logistical problem came up. 

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It was a little bit difficult getting a handle on where all of the entry points were for the fairgrounds. I knew that the $17 admission charge for the grandstand entertainment also included admission to the fair. I explained the situation to the young lady who was trying to tell me we needed to pay five dollars at her entry point to get into the fair. 

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I sensed she was a volunteer. Lots of volunteers don’t really understand the, “big picture”. She ended up telling us that we could use the five dollars as sort of a, “credit” when we went to the main grandstand to buy our motor madness tickets. That was fair enough. It just wasn’t accurate. 

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It was a pretty long walk from our entry point over to the grandstand. When we found the ticket booth lady selling tickets to motor madness she had no idea about the, “five dollar fair entrance credit” program that had been touted by the young lady just a few minutes ago. That did not surprise me. It is not uncommon in organizations like this for the left hand not to know what the right hand was doing. 

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Simply by principle, I wasn’t going to walk away from $10 in unnecessary state fair admission charges. While Carol relaxed on a park bench I walked back to the original point of entry and got our 10 bucks back. Did the young lady offer an apology for providing bad information? No, she did not. I hadn’t really expected her to. Often times people doing jobs like hers especially in her age group don’t have the manners they were born with. 

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Soon Carol and I were plunking down, via our Chase Sapphire Reserve card, a fee of $39.50 for the two of us. It turned out the $17 seats also came with additional taxes. At least we had reserved seating as we entered the grandstand. 

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Wouldn’t you know it? A group of young women probably in their early 20s were sitting in our seats. I showed them our tickets and asked them to let us sit in the seats that we had purchased. You would have thought I had asked them for their bra size. They thought that we were, “infringing upon their right to sit in the seats”. They were freaking reserve seats mind you! They moved up one row behind us and basically acted like maniacs the whole time. 

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I know this is going to make me sound old and crotchety but I run into a lot of young people, often on the highways, who seem to be simply into, “me, me, me”. They would be the last people to let someone in in traffic. My only satisfaction when I run into these kinds of people is knowing they have no achievement in their background and probably don’t have a pot to piss in…..until their parents die and leave them their money. 

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Tonight we were going to see an event promoted by the Live A Little Promotions group. I believe these folks are based in Salt Lake City or somewhere nearby. I had spoken to the group’s leader Skyler on a couple of occasions. He gave me all of the information I was looking for. This would be our first experience with Live A Little Productions. Overall we were pleased with their promotion. 

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We were seated in a large covered grandstand. The place was packed. I’m going to estimate a couple thousand people were in the stands at $19.75 apiece.

Tonight they would have three figure 8 heat races. We watched all three races and I’m going to guess they had about 15 different figure 8 cars. The action was fast and furious with the F8 racing and all of the other motor madness activity. I never would’ve guessed that seven of the 25 Idaho tracks that I’ve seen have been conducted at figure 8 racing venues. 

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They also had some UTV and motorcycle, “races”. These were races where two cars/bikes started at the same time but raced on a different path for a couple of laps. That didn’t really float my boat. 

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They also had some really good motorcycle freestyle jumpers. They were fun and the crowd loved the jumping. An additional attraction was a fellow who walked all over the dirt floor of the arena drinking some sort of clear liquid. This allowed him to spout huge fire balls that went 10 feet into the air from his mouth! You could actually feel the heat from these fireballs. Everybody has a different gig right? 

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What I liked about the program was that they kept everything moving. They did have a 15-minute intermission. We took that opportunity to go out and walk around the fair a little bit. We got into a nice conversation with a fellow selling solar panels. The cost of a kilowatt-hour of electricity in Idaho is only about $0.10. We pay $0.55 a kilowatt-hour in California if we use more than about 1,100 hours a month! It’s a lot easier to pay out a solar installation at higher prices rather than lower prices. 

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We stayed until the very last event, which was the third figure 8 heat race of the night. It was now past 9 p.m. We had not eaten much so we stopped at a “pronto pups” concessionaire on the way out of the fair. There we had pronto pups also known as corndogs lathered in mustard. We were just like a young high school couple on their first date at the county fair! 

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AFTER THE RACES

We had just a little bit of a difficult time finding our rental car in the darkness of the side streets of Blackfoot, Idaho. Nevertheless, we did locate it and begin our quest to leave Blackfoot at about 10 p.m. Of course we needed to make a convenience store stop so I could grab a bottle of 5-hour Energy drink and a bottle of Diet Mountain Dew. If that wouldn’t keep me awake on the three-hour drive back to Salt Lake I don’t know what would. 

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We pulled into the Sheraton Hotel at 1 a.m. I had guessed up the rental car and we would be ready to go when our 7 a.m. wake-up call came in the morning. The plan was to grab a quick breakfast, at no charge because of our trackchasing supporters, and then drive just five miles over the Salt Lake City airport. 

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Folks, I mentioned that some of you might be considering a career in trackchasing. You’ve just seen what Carol and I have done on a, “typical” trackchasing trip in a little bit more than 24-hours. Still interested? I hope so. This really is a lot of fun and I’m pretty sure you would have a good time doing it.

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We had just enough time to grab our boarding passes for this morning’s flights at the airport. Carol is flying back to Los Angeles. I was flying to Baltimore, Maryland. When she landed at LAX she would use a couple our Priority Pass sponsors, P.F. Chang’s and the Korean Airlines lounge. When I landed in Baltimore I would make a quick stop at the Club at BWI, also a Priority Pass sponsor. No, we couldn’t do this or we couldn’t do it as comfortably without our loyal trackchasing sponsors. 

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This had been a good brief trip for the two of us. Carol was able to get on the domestic trackchasing scoreboard. We also learned of an important future date in 2020 where we can further expand our World’s #1 Trackchasing Couple totals. It was all good. 

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Good evening from the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds in Blackfoot, Idaho.

Randy Lewis – 85 countries – 2,587 tracks.

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Idaho

 

 

The Gem state

This evening I saw racing at my 25th-lifetime track in the Gem state, yes, the Gem state.  I hold the #1 trackchasing ranking in Idaho.  I’ve seen 25 or more tracks in twenty-six different states. No trackchaser can match that stat.

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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

Idaho sayings:  Remember Snowpocalypse?

Also referred to as “snowmageddon.” We are referring to the excessive downfall of snow we experienced during the winter of 2016-2017. Unable to even get their cars out of their driveways, people were trapped in their houses for days. Snow shovels and snow blowers were sold out everywhere you went and were being privately sold for insane amounts. Snowpocalypse was rough on everyone. But like the tough Idahoans we are, we survived.

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JUST THE FACTS

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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

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Total Lifetime Tracks

There are no trackchasers currently within 720 tracks of my lifetime total.  Don’t blame me.

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 2,587
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Total Trackchasing Countries

The nearest trackchasing competitor has seen racing in 30 fewer countries compared to my lifetime total. 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 85

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Current lifetime National Geographic Diversity results

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 4.14

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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 night at the state fair….the Idaho State Fair

 

 


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