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Kentucky Motor Speedway (4 tracks)

Greetings from Whitesville, Kentucky

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From the travels and adventures of the 

“World’s #1 Trackchaser”

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Kentucky Motor Speedway

Outer asphalt oval

 Lifetime Track #1,481

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Kentucky Motor Speedway

Asphalt figure 8

 Lifetime Track #1,482

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Kentucky Motor Speedway

Inner asphalt oval

 Lifetime Track #2,446

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Kentucky Motor Speedway

Asphalt road course (using F8 “X” near front stretch)

 Lifetime Track #2,447

 

 

 

The Event2018 – Inner oval & road course2009 – Outer oval & figure 8 Video PlusPhotos

 

 

THE EVENT

I am a “trackchaser”. So, what the heck is that? I get that question from racing and non-racing people all the time. Here’s my best answer.

 

 

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.

 

 

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. So far that is going pretty well. I’ve seen racing at more than 2,400 tracks in 80 countries. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen racing at more tracks than anyone else in the world.

 

 

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

 

 

I live in southern California. 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.

 

 

I get the chance to meet people all over the world. With trips to 80 countries and counting just getting the chance to experience so many other cultures, spend times 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.

 

 

It’s 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”.

 

 

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

 

 

Sunday, June 3, 2018.

 

 

Today, Carol and I woke up in West Plains, Missouri. After a quality complimentary breakfast at the Hampton Inn we were off on the last trackchasing day of the trip.

 

 

We did stop at Walgreens to see if Carol could get her bum knee fixed. We don’t know what the problem is but it’s slowing her down a good bit. However, the show must go on. We were off on a six-hour drive over to Whitesville, Kentucky.

 

 

The drive was uneventful. It was a beautiful and clear warm late spring day. Much of our drive took us through the Ozarks in Missouri and Arkansas. We did have enough time to visit Owensboro, Kentucky’s #1 tourist attraction, according to TripAdvisor.com. It was the world’s biggest sassafras tree! 

 

 

 

THE RACING

 

 

Kentucky Motor Speedway – Whitesville, Kentucky

Tonight racing destination was the Kentucky Motor Speedway in Whitesville, Kentucky. I had been there one other time in August 2009. On that trip I saw racing on their larger asphalt oval and their figure 8 track. That was a long time ago. Those tracks are recorded on my lifetime list as tracks #1,481 and #1,482.

 

 

Since this was Carol‘s first trip to KMS we were expecting a triple for her. She would see racing on their larger quarter-mile asphalt oval, the figure 8 track as well as a smaller asphalt inner oval.

 

 

There is a class called “scrappers“ that races at a couple of tracks in Kentucky and one in southern Indiana. As far as I know this scrapper division doesn’t race anywhere else in the country nor does any other racetrack have a division with this name.

 

 

You probably know by now, if you’ve been reading my Trackchaser Reports for very long, what I’m about to tell you. The hobby of trackchasing has rules. If someone thinks someone else is breaking the rules, like Guy Smith did to poor old P.J. Hollebrand, they consider them to be a cheater. P.J. didn’t deserve that at least not without a full hearing. So this is the way it is. The hobby counts racing on three different major configurations. Those would be ovals, road courses and figure 8 tracks.

 

 

It seems pretty self-explanatory that an oval track has a driver making turns continuously and in only ONE direction. That direction could be clockwise or counterclockwise but whatever it is the turns are all left or all right.

 

 

For a configuration to be counted as a road course the driver must make both left and right hand turns. That’s about the easiest way to explain what a road course is. Finally, a figure 8 track is a track that crosses over itself but not at an elevation. Any questions?

 

 

As mentioned the Kentucky Motor Speedway has a quarter-mile banked asphalt oval where most of their racing takes place. Their asphalt figure 8 track is what we would call a traditional figure 8 track. That means an “X” connects the oval’s turns so the drivers can race around a track that’s roughly in the shape of an eight.

 

 

At KMS the scrapper division races on a makeshift oval. This “oval” includes turns one and two of the larger oval track as well as the straight portions of the figure 8 “X” that begins in turn number two of the big oval and continues thru the “X” where the drivers make a left-hand turn at the “X” that then takes them on a short straight and into the big oval’s turn one. You may have to re-read that exclamation a time or two to get it or you could just watch my video. 

 

 

I left a message for the staff at the Kentucky Motor Speedway earlier this week. I was just trying to confirm the scrappers were going to be racing. The “scrapper oval” would be Carol’s third new track today. It would be my first and only new track for this Kentucky Motor Speedway visit. I got a text back from the track confirming that the scrappers would race on the smaller oval. We were all set.

 

 

I had seen something, when researching background information on KMS, that said that last week they didn’t use the figure 8 track. That was a little concerning. I wanted to make sure Carol got three tracks from her visit if at it all possible. While we were at the track tonight I texted management about the figure 8 racing. I got a quick reply. No, they were not racing the figure eights tonight.

 

 

This knocked Carol back to just the big oval and the smaller scrapper oval. She would still get two tracks. That wasn’t so bad. About that time I received a text from the track’s management asking me to come up and talk with the announcer in the scoring tower. I love to do that kind of thing so I went on over.

 

 

I still remember my interview at Kentucky Motor Speedway from back in 2009. On that night I had talked with announcer Steve Bridgeman. Steve and I got into a long conversation off-air about his experiences with Indiana high school basketball. He told me about high school arenas that have capacities  approaching 10,000 people for a basketball game. That’s still a bucket list of mine to see a game in an arena like that in Indiana.

 

 

Tonight I met with the track announcer Malcolm West. He gave me his card. It stated that he was the Mayor Pro-Tem of the city of Central City. He told me a great story about hanging onto the top of a speeding car while crashing through a “wall of flame” at a stunt car show. Malcolm was a fun guy, good announcer and seemed like a great guy to hang with.

 

 

I also got a chance to talk with the KMS general manager/promoter, Brad Payne. Brad was a former racer of some note. He had competed with the southern All-Pro circuit. When they came “north” he raced at tracks like I-70 and Winchester against the likes of Dick Trickle, Bob Senneker and Mark Martin.

 

 

It was great talking to those guys. They were a fun-loving informative group of folks who appreciated the idea that somebody had come all the way from California to pursue the hobby of trackchasing. During my talks with the Brad, and I must say very late into our conversation, he informed me their scrapper division would run the feature event on a road course!

 

 

The trackchasers who seem to want to challenge the countability of other’s tracks have a very checkered past themselves. Some of “trackchasing’s elites”, the folks who started this hobby for gosh sakes, have been part of some very questionable ethics issues in the past.

 

 

Let’s say you are not a trackchaser. You just read these reports for fun when you have a little extra time. You loosely understand the rules of trackchasing. Despite being a somewhat distant observer of trackchasing you want the hobby to be on the up and up right. If your daily life you try to do the right thing. You want others to do that as well.

 

 

What would you think if I talked with tonight’s promoter, Brad Payne, and asked if he could “help” me out a little bit? Maybe I gave him a fifty-dollar bill and a wink and all of a sudden a scrapper race on a KMS road course appeared on the schedule. If something like that happened you wouldn’t like it would you? No, I wouldn’t like that and I would never do that.

 

 

Well folks, hold onto your rocker. We have trackchasers who’ve been in the hobby from day one who have PAID track promoters to run a race on a configuration just for their benefit. Not only have they done this once but more than once! Disgusting!

 

 

Some think I have more financial resources, even though financial statements have never been required in the hobby of trackchasing, than anyone else. If that were true I suspect it would be very easy to “encourage” a track promoter to run a 5-lap “race” on a special “configuration”. I estimate that for a $50 bill I could have done that more than one hundred times. But I didn’t. I have NEVER done that. Do you think the trackchasers who HAVE done that should forfeit the tracks where they paid promoters to run a race? Should they pay a penalty or be expelled from the hobby? That won’t happen. No, there will be no training of the swamp because they run the swamp!

 

 

Tonight’s scrapper road course race, AN IDEA THOUGHT UP AND PLANNED IN ADANCE BY THE STAFF AT THE KENTUCKY MOTOR SPEEDWAY had this configuration. The four-cylinder cars raced out of the large oval’s fourth turn and then made an immediate left onto the figure 8 track. At the “X” of the figure 8 track they made a right hand turn. This took them on a small straight out onto the big oval’s turn one. They then raced around the big oval through turns two and three. When they got to turn four they again made the left onto the figure 8 track. Effectively this chicane made things a road course.

 

 

This configuration will be classified as a permanent road course. The track is there 24/7 every day of the year. They don’t put up anything special that would be temporary in nature. The cars simply race around most of the big oval and the added chicane meets the definition of a permanent road course. If they ever used the chicane off of the backstretch that would be another permanent road course countable at KMS. I wonder if they will ever do that? If they do, do you think track promoter Mr. Brad Payne will give me a call. I think he just might!

 

 

Initially, I was disappointed that I had promised Carol three tracks and that didn’t seem like that was going to happen. When the figure 8 track went by the wayside she was now at only two new tracks for tonight. However, this special scrapper road course feature race bumped her back up to three tracks and added two new tracks for the evening for me. There’s a very good chance that we would not have stayed around to watch the scrapper feature on the road course if we had known it was coming.

 

 

Of course, I never would have known that scrapper road course race WAS coming without having lots of contact with the KMS staff. I always say it pays to know people. It pays to “go to the top”. I did that at KMS tonight. It paid off!

 

 

A general admission ticket for tonight‘s event was $10 per person. However, seniors got in for eight dollars apiece. That was more than reasonable.

 

 

We were a little concerned when we walked into the grandstand for the 6 p.m. start to see a crowd of only 150-200 people. The pit area car count was really skimpy as well. There were five or six scrapper cars. They had about six street stocks and a couple of thunder stocks. There might have been another class racing tonight but in total there were only about 15-20 race cars in the pit area.

 

 

As we sat in the grandstands I told Carol that I was a little concerned for the future success of the Kentucky Motor speedway. The crowd the small. The car count was equally small. That is not normally a formula for a successful racing program.

 

 

However, after talking to the track promoter he assured me that they have four or five “big“ shows during the year. He told me that when the CR late models had their big race, they get a crowd of 2,500 people or more. He says they can’t keep up with the demand at the concession stands with such a large crowd. I was happy to hear that.

 

 

Brad Payne was a nice guy. He has been the promoter at KMS for seven seasons. You can’t do that if you don’t have a successful business plan. Yes, I was happy to know they have some very successful programs which more than offset a regular race like tonight where the crowd is small and the car count as small as well.

 

 

Carol and I ordered a couple of Coors light beers for three bucks apiece. That was more than reasonable. Funnel cakes went for $5 USD. Tonight’s early start time would make sure that we got up to Evansville, Indiana where we were staying tonight at a reasonable hour as well.

 

 

I was probably only disappointed in one thing at tonight‘s race track. It had nothing to do with the current promoters. The Kentucky Motor Speedway started in the racing business all the way back in about 1960. Yes, it’s been there a long time.

 

 

What was the big drawback for me? It was the grandstand seating arrangement. The stands face the setting sun. The sun goes down right over turn three directly into the face of the spectators. Back in 1960 did they build the track at night? They didn’t know that the sun was going to be in the face of the spectators for the first couple of hours of each summer evening race program? I see this situation once in a while and I never like it.

 

 

One of the worst examples is the Devil’s Bowl Speedway up in Vermont. They can get some pretty warm summer days up there and having to stare into the sun for three hours is a major bummer.

 

 

The last race of the night was the scrapper feature, featuring only women drivers on the smaller oval. Just three of the scrapper entries were loaned to the lady drivers. Nevertheless, they did a little banging with some tire squealing. The entire racing program at the Kentucky Motor Speedway was finished before 9 o’clock.

 

 

 

AFTER THE RACES

I had booked a reservation at the Wyndham Hotel in Evansville using Priceline. We got a great rate. Tomorrow morning we would be on our way to first Peoria and then Chicago as we wind ourselves homeward after trackchasing first in Wisconsin, then Missouri and now Kentucky.

 

 

Except for Carol’s knee, problem of which the cause is still to be determined, it’s been a very successful trip. We’ve seen all kinds of relatives and we’re going to see even more tomorrow night. We lucked out with the weather. Then tonight we lucked out with a brand new track that we had not anticipated seeing. We’re having lots of good fortune on this trip for which we really are both thankful and appreciative.

 

 

 

 

MONDAY

Today we headed up to my boyhood home of East Peoria, Illinois. We had family and friends to see. One of the highlights of my trackchasing, given that I live nearly 2,000 miles from where I grew up is getting back to see these folks.

 

 

First up was a visit to Bev and Mike’s house. It’s always good to see them. We’ve known Bev for more than 40 years. We have lots of “Bev” stories. There was the time we were waiting for our pizza to be served. The wait was long. Bev was hungry. With the people at the next table left she grabbed a slice of their uneaten pizza. She never lived that one down. Mike is famous for his marathon running. He’s got one more state to go, Alaska, before he can say he’s competed in TWO marathons in all fifty states. That’s impressive.

 

 

From their house we drove over to Pekin, Illinois. Pekin is famous for winning the Illinois state high school basketball championship in 1964 and 1967. They were the Pekin Chinks then. The PC world came along and they are now the Dragons.

 

 

We would be having supper with my best boyhood friend Larry, his wife Sandy and my godson Rich. This was my first chance to meet Sandy. She was a good sport as Larry, Rich and I spent a lot of time talking sports. Those guys are sports fans!

 

 

We were all at a sport pub called Kouri’s Pub. Soon my relatives were joining us. My sister Becky and husband Bob drove more than two hours down from Northern Illinois to be there. We had spent two nights at their house a few days ago. Then my brother Mark and sister Lynn (twins!) along with Lynn’s husband Ed (a Peoria Speedway street stock driver) and their daughter, my niece Carley. We all had a great time.

 

 

 

TUESDAY

 

We were up early to have breakfast with my boyhood friend Walt and his lovely wife Mary. Walt and I first became friends in about the sixth grade. He was a little guy but the star on his grade school basketball team. Walt is having some health issues right now so I hope he gets to feeling much better real quick.

 

 

This was a relatively short trip, a bit less than a week. Nevertheless, we did a lot, saw a lot and had fun. That’s what trips like these are all about.

 

 

So long from the Midwest, the place I grew up.

 

 

 

Randy Lewis – 80 countries – 2,437 tracks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kentucky

 

 

The Bluegrass state

This evening I saw racing at my 47thand 48th lifetime tracks in the Bluegrass state, yes, the Bluegrass state.  I hold the #1 trackchasing ranking in Kentucky. I’ve made 33 separate trips to Kentucky to trackchase.  I’ve seen 48 or more tracks in fifteen different 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

Kentucky sayings: Day Lord? AKA something so shocking, surprising or troubling that surely the Lord has returned to walk the Earth.

 

 

QUICK FACTS

 

 

LIFETIME TRACKCHASER COMPARISONS 

The threemost 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 650 tracks of my lifetime total.  Don’t blame me.

 

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 2,437

 

 

Total Trackchasing Countries

There are no trackchasers currently within 25 countries of my lifetime total. 

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 80

 

 

 

Current lifetime National Geographic Diversity results

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 4.14

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

DAYS 5-6 – “I PLANNED TO FLY EVERYDAY” TRACKCHASING TOUR

 

 

 

Greetings from Whitesville, Kentucky

 

 

 

TODAY’S HEADLINES

 

 

It’s always fun to see old friends at new tracks. …………..details in “The People”.

 

 

Do you have a “flexible mindset”?………………more in “The Objective”.

 

 

Planes, trains and automobiles (four rental cars and a bus).  This trip had it all. …………..details in “The People”.

 

 

 

 

THE OBJECTIVE, THE TRIP, THE PEOPLE…AND A WHOLE LOT MORE

 

 

The Objective 

 

 

A flexible “mind set” is a wonderful thing to have.

In order to successfully trackchase on a worldwide basis, one has to be flexible.  I think it takes a special “mindset” to truly be mentally flexible.  In the world of trackchasing being flexible results in an increased track count at the end of the year.  It should also produce trackchasing trips that are just “easier”. 

 

 

 

Some folks are more flexible than others.

I think some of my fellow competitors are much more flexible than others as one might expect from any group of people. Some have their flexibility reduced by financial limitations.  Others have their ability to change plans in the middle of the trip affected by their own inability to try something different.

 

 

Please pay close attention to “The Trip” section of this Trackchaser Report.  You will see how I had to be “flexible” when unexpected obstacles came about.  You might also notice that having the proper systems in place kept my costs down.  The combination produced the ideal.  What is the “ideal” for a traveling trackchaser?  It’s getting maximum track counts at a reasonable cost with a minimum of logistical hassle.

 

 

 

 

The Trip

 

 

Reality is much different than the drawing board.

This outing was scheduled as a 5 day/4 night trackchasing trip.  The original plan had me flying overnight from California to Ohio on day one.  Day 2 would move me from Ohio to Texas.  Then on day three, I would fly back to Ohio. Finally, on day four I would drive on down to Kentucky before trying to get back to California on the last day, day five.

 

 

Of course, it is rare that any of my plans work out the way I hope they would.  Sometimes I don’t know why I put so much time into developing the original plan in the first place.  I estimate than more than 90% of my trips do not go fully according to the agenda that I leave home with.

 

 

I had not planned on flying into Detroit. I wasn’t sure if the Texas part of this trip would work.  Once I moved into alternative planning on these two major changes, the original plan didn’t work that well with the new parts of the plan.  This is often the case.

 

 

 

Why am I out here?

I try to never lose sight of my reason for being out on the road during a trackchasing trip.  I’m here to see racetracks that meet the rules of trackchasing. I want to do it in a cost-effective manner as easy as possible and have fun. 

 

 

 

When I see a better way, I try to change.

I do not feel compelled to stick with the original plan.  I am always looking for ways to make the plan better even on a minute’s notice. Sometimes other people’s plans or the weather forces me to deviate from the original directive.  That’s O.K. too.  It just encourages me to remain flexible.  Many people become somewhat inflexible as they age.  Of course, few of these people would admit to that.  Nevertheless, my plans will nearly always be in a constant state of flux based upon the newest data I can get my hands on.  I just think that’s the best way to do it.

 

 

 

There was no better time to test my flexibility than when I returned home.

Once I got back in California, it was time to test just how flexible I could be.  Carol had dropped me off at the airport on the outbound portion of this trip.  That meant I didn’t have a car parked at any of the Southern California airports.  I also didn’t want to bug Carol to come pick me up…..if I didn’t have too.

 

 

Today I would be trying a brand new way to get from the airport to near home.  I’m talking about buses and trains.  I have long wished I could ride a train cross-country to one on my trackchasing trips.  So far, I have not gotten up the courage to spend both the time and money to do that.

 

 

However, today’s transportation options would be a “test market”. If this worked I would have that much more flexibility for future trips.

 

 

The first part of this test was to hop on the “FlyAway” bus at LAX.  This bus takes passengers to Union Station in Los Angeles.  From there I could grab either a Metro train or an Amtrak train down to San Juan Capistrano, California.  At that point, Carol could drive less than ten miles to pick me up. Had I been arriving at a better time of day I could have ridden the train to the San Clemente pier.  From the pier, I could have walked less than half a mile to home.  I’ll save that one for a later trip.

 

 

I waited just nine minutes for the FlyAway bus.  They run every 30 minutes during the day and hourly late at night.  The fee is seven dollars.  The ride took me some 25 minutes in the car pool lane of the local freeways.  I could see that traffic in the regular lanes was much heavier so we were making good time.

 

 

The Union Station train terminal in Los Angeles is fully refurbished and beautiful.  In some ways, it looks like Grand Central Station in New York City. The Metro trains are cheaper than the Amtrak trains.  However, the Metro trains run mainly during the commuter hours.  I was traveling during mid-day so Amtrak had a better schedule for me.  The one-way train fare from Los Angeles to San Juan Capistrano was $18.  That meant the total cost of this one-way trip from LAX to near home would be $25.  Gasoline alone would run between $15-20 for Carol to drive up and back to LAX to get me.

 

 

I enjoyed riding the train as I always do.  The trip lasted less about an hour with 5-6 stops.  The trains stops just beyond the center field fence of Angels Stadium in Anaheim.  We can ride the train to baseball games for afternoon contests but not for night games. The train doesn’t run later at night.

 

 

I got a “second floor” seat that allowed for good sightseeing.  The train cars also have AC electric plugs for laptops and other electrical gadgets.  I can’t wait to get to ride the train again!

 

 

 

 

The People

 

 

Tonight I met a friend in the booth.

When the racetracks I visit know I’m in the audience I am often given special attention.  Of course, I am more than appreciative of that.  Unbeknownst to me, tonight’s announcer was an old friend, Steve Bridgmon.  I had met Steve on two previous occasions while trackchasing in Kentucky.

 

 

I first ran into Steve back in July, 2007 at the High Banks Speedway in Philpot, Kentucky.  On that evening, Steve and I spent several minutes off-air in the announcing booth just getting to know each other.  He’s done a good deal of local basketball announcing in addition to what he does at the racetrack.  Two nights later in 2007, we met up while he was working at the Windy Hollow Speedway in Owensboro, Kentucky.

 

 

Steve broadcasts both high school and semi-pro basketball games.  He tells me of Indiana and Kentucky high school basketball games that draw more than 8,000 fans to a game.  I want to see that.  Maybe I’ll journey down that way this winter to see one of those games.

 

 

He just plowed it under.

Steve was telling me that the Kentucky High Banks Speedway, where we first met, is no more.  Apparently, the promoter, who operates several non-racing businesses had had enough.  He told his wife that he no longer wanted to be in the race promotion business.  His wife asked him to think about his decision. Then, she told him, if he still wanted to get out of the racetrack business, he would need to plow the entire track under.  The man thought about it and two days later got on his tractor and turned the entire racetrack back into a pasture!!

 

 

I remember my night at the Kentucky High Banks Speedway fondly.  The track had received a good deal of rain in the days preceding my attendance.  Under “normal” conditions, the figure 8 track might  have been too wet to use.  However, when the track promoter learned I was there and that his oval and figure 8 track could be counted as two tracks by me, he got on that tractor of his and worked the figure 8 track back into shape.  I didn’t ask him to do that and never would.  However, I was most pleased that he wanted to do this for my benefit.

 

 

 

Momma didn’t raise any dumb kids.

Tonight Steve invited me up into the air-conditioned announcing booth.  I get these invitations frequently.  Normally, I just do and interview and “meet and greet” and spend the rest of the evening out in the stands with the regular fans. I often find the announcing booth a little too confining for my tastes.

 

 

However, tonight was different.  I was enjoying talking to Steve and the two scorers, Kim and Lauren.  Kim’s son was racing as was Lauren’s boyfriend.  Racing is a family sport!  There was one other reason for staying in the announcing tower.  They had air-conditioning!  Outside it was 90 degrees and humid.

 

 

 

Have you tried a “Momma Sue’s” corn dog?

Later in the program, Steve took me down in front of the grandstands and we did a short interview.  I also got to draw the winning 50/50 ticket.  Steve insisted on my trying a “Momma Sue’s” foot long corn dog.  It was excellent.

 

 

The Kentucky Motor Speedway does something that very few tracks do.  They sell ice cream.  No, I’m not talking about ice cream novelty items such as ice cream sandwiches and drumsticks but real ice cream.  Steve gave me a secretly coded plastic spoon that would get me free ice cream at their concession.

 

 

Later in the evening, I was watching the medics work on the injured figure 8 driver (described below) from a distance of about 25 feet.  This was going on behind the main grandstand.  There were a few other fans nearby.  It was about time to head back to Cincinnati for me.  I had seen most of the feature events and the delay looked like it might be a long one as they attended to the injured driver.

 

 

 

No ice cream for me.

Just at that point, I reached in my pocket to be reminded I still had my plastic “free ice cream” spoon.  I had already had dinner and a foot long “Momma Sue’s” corn dog.  I didn’t really need any more calories for the night.  Standing next to me was a man and his young 7-8 year old son.  I handed the boy the spoon and told him what he could use it for.  He thanked me and the father asked where I would be trackchasing next.  I told him, but I’ll keep it as a surprise for the folks reading this.

 

 

Overall, I very much appreciated the hospitality shown me by Steve Bridgmon and his staff.  They couldn’t have been nicer.  Steve, maybe we’ll meet up at a high school basketball game this winter.  Thanks for the offer to stay at your place and eat some food cooked by your Italian wife!!

 

 

 

RACE REVIEW

 

 

KENTUCKY MOTOR SPEEDWAY – OVAL & FIGURE 8

 

 

  

I’m glad they re-opened.

The Kentucky Motor Speedway (KMS) re-opened this year after having been shuttered for four years.  This is the track where the NASCAR’s Waltrip brothers (Darrell and Michael) got their start in racing.  Given the fact that the place had been closed, I wasn’t expecting much.  I was surprised to see that this is a very nice racing facility.

 

 

What was really great, from a trackchasing point of view, was that KMS has races on a 3/8-mile asphalt oval AND a traditional figure 8 course.  By “traditional” figure 8 course, I mean the F8 track used the turns of the oval for the turns of the “eight”.  To top it all off they race on Sunday nights.

 

 

The Windy Hollow Speedway races on Sunday nights as well just 20 down the road.  Windy Hollow is a dirt track.  Steve Bridgmon told me that’s not a problem.  He feels dirt racing fans won’t cross over much to asphalt racing and vice versa.  I’m not sure about that.  If I lived in the area, I would likely go to both tracks depending upon how well the show was run.  In the past Windy Hollow has also run both an oval track and a figure 8 show at the same time.  Currently, they only race on the oval.  Figure 8 racing, for some reason is big near the triangle completed by the cities of Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Louisville.

 

 

Tonight it was warm and humid.  That meant the invitation I received from Steve B. to watch the races from the air-conditioned V.I.P./announcing tower was all the more valuable.

 

 

 

The car counts were small but the people were great.

I was told the car counts and crowd were down because school would be starting in the local area tomorrow morning.  Actually, the parking lot and grandstands seemed to have a large number of fans considering this was Sunday night, it was very hot and the area is somewhat rural.

 

 

However, the cars counts were small.  There were six classes racing tonight and three of them, including the figure 8s had only five cars.  The Thunder Stocks brought 14, the mini-stocks 13 and the late models just nine for their 50-lap feature.

 

 

It was fun listening and seeing Steve announce the program. You’ll see some of the “aids” Steve uses to get everyone’s name and sponsors straight as well as see how Kim and Lauren do the scoring.

 

 

The program began early, acknowledging it was Sunday night and there was school tomorrow. Starting time was 5:30 p.m.  I liked that idea too.  I was looking at a 200-mile drive after the races up to Cincinnati.  From there I would ride an airplane to Los Angeles before hopping on a bus and then a train to get me to San Juan Capistrano, California.  From there Carol would pick me up in the Carol Lewis owned and Life of Virginia sponsored Lexus LS 430.

 

 

 

Tonight’s figure 8 race had a major accident.

The racing was somewhat unremarkable.  However, during the figure 8 race, as mentioned above, a serious accident took place. You’re probably thinking there was a crash at the “X” of the figure 8 track.  Nope! Although there were only five figure 8 competitors, and they did breeze through the “X” at high speeds, that’s not where the accident occurred.

 

 

One of the drivers had just driven through the “X” at speed when his engine blew. He then drove directly into the backstretch wall at top speed.  It took track workers several minutes to get him out of the car.  Then it took emergency workers several more minutes of work to get the driver stabilized and off to the hospital.

 

 

What I found somewhat surprising was the amount of emergency equipment that came to the track to help just one injured driver.  First, two ambulances showed up.  Then two large fire trucks came roaring up with their red lights flashing in the darkness of the night.  To top it off, several “volunteers” showed up in their private vehicles with portable flashing lights.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for doing everything possible to help an injured person.  But doesn’t two ambulances and two large fire trucks seem like a bit of overkill to help just one person?  I hope our governments, to include local, state and federal can manage their resources in a better way than this.

 

 

At this point, I wrapped up the racing portion of my trackchasing trip.  It had been fun as they all are.  I was pleased to see five new tracks on this trip.  That brings me up to 82 for the season.

 

 

 

STATE COMPARISONS

 

 

Kentucky

Tonight I saw my 27th lifetime track in the Bluegrass state.  I have seen 25 or more tracks in sixteen different states.  This was my first visit to Kentucky this year.  I have now trackchased in 30 different states in 2009. This should serve me well when it comes time to compute the ANNUAL National Geographic Diversity standings. I’m in sixth place in Kentucky just one track behind Jack Erdmann.  Rick Schneider leads here with 44 tracks.

 

 

I show 29 tracks remaining to be seen in Kentucky.  Ten of those race on a regularly scheduled basis.  However, my database along with the website interest/ability of Kentucky racetracks may overstate that number a bit.

 

 

 

Coming Soon – RANLAY Racing Exclusive Features!

 

Why I fear Ed Esser. (Delayed again! Come on Ed I can’t wait forever…..my readers can’t either.  They’re beginning to bug me about this).

 

 

What is Randy’s (speaking in the third person) trackchasing future? (Coming August, 2009)

 

 

Who have been Randy’s three toughest trackchasing competitors? (September, 2009)

 

 

 

Thanks for reading about my trackchasing,

 

Randy Lewis

Alberta’s #1 Trackchaser

Age and treachery will overcome youth and good intentions.

 

 

 

 

TRAVEL DETAILS

 

 

AIRPLANE

Los Angeles, CA – Detroit, MI – 1,970 miles

Detroit, MI – Cincinnati, OH – 229 miles

 

 

RENTAL CAR #1

Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky International – trip begins

Cincinnati, OH – 30 miles

Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky International – 66 miles – trip ends

 

 

RENTAL CAR #2 (re-rent same car)

Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky International – trip begins

Chandler, IN – 317 miles

Princeton, IN – 352 miles

Columbus, OH – 699 miles

Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky International – 825 miles – trip ends

 

 

RENTAL CAR #3 (re-rent same car)

Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky International – trip begins

Whitesville, KY – 991 miles

Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky International – 1,220 miles – trip ends

 

 

AIRPLANE

Cincinnati, OH – Los Angeles, CA – 1,901 miles

 

 

Total Air miles – 4,100 (3 flights)

 

 

Total auto and air miles traveled on this trip – 5,320 miles

 

 

 

TRACK ADMSSION PRICES: 

Hamilton County Fairgrounds – $8 ($4 parking)

Chandler Motor Speedway – $10

Seedtick Raceway – $4

Columbus Motor Speedway – $18

Kentucky Motor Speedway – $8

 

 

Total racetrack admissions for the trip – $48

 

 

 

COMPARISONS

 

 

 

 

LIFETIME NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DIVERSITY UPDATE

 

 

Randy Lewis – current score = 4.92 (tracks posted thru August 9)

 

2009 NGD point changes

Connecticut -7

Iowa -1

Maine -10

Massachusetts -6

New Hampshire -11

North Dakota -1

Rhode Island -8

South Dakota -1

Wisconsin -1

Texas +1

Vermont -8

Wisconsin -1

 

Net changes -53

 

 

 

Gordon Killian – current score = 5.82 (tracks posted thru July 25)

 

2009 NGD point changes

Connecticut +1

Georgia -6

Kansas +1

Kentucky +1

New Jersey +1

New Mexico -4

North Dakota -1

Ohio -1

Rhode Island -1

South Carolina +2

South Dakota +1

 

Net changes -6

 

 

 

LIFETIME TRACKCHASER COMPARISONS 

 

 

There are no trackchasers currently within 200 tracks of my lifetime total. 

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 1,482

 

 

 

Official end of RANLAY 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 very productive Kentucky trackchasing stop PLUS some special time to visit family and friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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