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Merrittville Speedway

 

Greetings from Thorold, Ontario, Canada

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From the travels and adventures of the 

“World’s #1 Trackchaser”

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Merrittville Speedway

Dirt oval

 Lifetime Track #583

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Merrittville Speedway

Dirt figure 8

 Lifetime Track #2,589

 

The Event2002 oval2019 figure 8Video PlusPhotos

 

THE EVENT

My name is Randy Lewis (above with our professional wait staff on a Princess cruise ship that took us all Japan, South Korea and Taiwan). 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.

 

 

Here’s my best explanation.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

Trackchasing….this is exactly why I do it

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Reprinted with permission from my July 1, 2002, Trackchaser Report. 

 

 

Greetings from Thorold, Ontario, Canada,

 

 

PEOPLE/TRAVEL NEWS

 

 

The special treat awaiting me at Merrittville Speedway was to meet up with Dave Sully, a reporter from the Area Auto Racing News racing paper.  Carol and I had met Dave last season at the Gasport International Speedway in Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada.  Dave and I correspond occasionally on email. He’s an avid reader of my racing reports.  Dave retired three years ago from school teaching and now writes the racing reports for several different tracks.  He’s also the Public Relations Director at the Little Valley Speedway.  I haven’t made it to that track yet but I’ve heard many good things about it.

 

 

An unexpected treat was the opportunity to meet Dave’s wife, Marcia (I’m assuming I have the spelling correct here and it’s not the “other” Marsha, if so please accept my apologies).  Marcia is teaching second grade this year and has taught all of the grades from 1-6.  She likes to go to the races and helps Dave with the scoring recaps.  Marcia and Dave do a lot of traveling together.  The unique thing about their visiting all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces is that they’ve done it on a motorcycle!  I think most of their travels were on a 750cc Kawasaki and now they’ve upgraded to a Honda Gold Wing.  Now that I think about it, I’m wondering how they got the bike to Hawaii? Over the year’s we’ve hosted several racing visitors to San Clemente. Above journalists, Dave Sully, wife Marcia and Dave Roberts enjoy lunch with us at the San Clemente beach.

 

 

Dave is going to do a feature story on my racing travels for one of the magazines he writes for.  He even had a photographer along to get a couple of photos for the piece.  He said it’s likely to come out in August so I’ll be anxious to see the output.  It’s always fun to explain to people the details around the hobby of trackchasing.

 

 

Dave invited me up to the scoring tower to view the feature races.  The announcer also interviewed me for a few minutes about my hobby.  I’ve had several interviews like this but this was one of the better ones because, the announcer, Gordon, was a veteran and seemed to have a real interest in asking the questions.  It was great seeing Dave again and meeting Marcia.  They’re neat people.  Since they have a daughter living in California maybe we’ll have a chance to meet up in the Golden State.

 

 

Following the races, I took the short 20-25 mile drive to the U.S. border.  The route took me through Niagara Falls.  Up until two or three years ago, I had never been to this area.  However, during the last couple of years, I’ve been through there about four times and had a chance to bring Carol up here.  It’s a fun place and the view of the falls, day or night, is worth the trip.  It was absolutely no problem crossing the international borders on this trip.

 

 

When I get home, we’ll be celebrating the fourth of July with our annual party.  We live near the San Clemente pier, which is a major landmark in town.  The fireworks are launched from the end of the pier.  This is the biggest day of the year in our small town.  Just two days after the fourth I’ll pack my gear, get a few extra $20 bills and head out on the longest racing trip of the season.  Carol will be with me for several races on the trip and I should be able to meet up with Will White, commissioner of trackchasing.

 

 

 

RACING NEWS

The Merrittville Speedway is my 583rd different track to see.  They ran four classes including four cylinders, street stocks, pro stocks and 358 modifieds.  The modified feature was especially good with Pete Bicknell chasing Larry Lampman for the entire race before passing him for the win on the last lap.  It was fun to hear the folks in the press box commenting and cheering on their favorite drivers.  The announcer would make a side comment to his friends about the racing, then turn on the microphone, and give a professional analysis of the racing before going “off” mike again.

 

 

General admission was $12 Canadian and $9 U.S.  They had a large crowd to view the action on the dirt oval.  The track did get a bit dusty toward the end of the evening.  By the way, all of the track commentary is in English, whereas almost all of the Quebec, Canada commentary is in French. 

 

 

This track opened on Canada Day, July 1 in 1952.  Tonight’s event marked the completion of their 51st year of racing.  Not many tracks have had that longevity.

 

 

 

TRACK FOOD:    In celebration of Canada Day, the track offered free cake.  It was sort of like a wedding cake and very tasty.

 

 

 

RENTAL CAR UPDATE:    The National Rental Car racing Buick ended up in Buffalo, New York for the night with 1,109 miles on it.  Tuesday’s drive to the Hartford airport took me through the New York towns of Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany and on to Springfield, Massachusetts. Springfield is the home of the Basketball Hall of Fame and located just off I-91.  I’ve been there before with the family and it’s absolutely great!  The final mileage tally for the Buick was a comfortable 1,510 miles.

 

 

 

TRACK RADIO FREQUENCY:     Since I was with the Sully’s, I didn’t use the radio.

 

 

New racetracks visited in 2002

  1. Beebe Speedway, Beebe, AR (http://www.beebespeedway.com/.)
  2. North Alabama Speedway, Tuscumbia, AL (www.northalabamaspeedway.com)
  3. Pike County Speedway, Magnolia, MS (http://hometown.aol.com/racecentrl/index.html)
  4. North Central Arkansas Speedway, Yellville, AR (http://www.northcentralarspeedway.com/)
  5. West Plains Motor Speedway, West Plains, MO (http://www.westplains-speedway.com/)
  6. Southern National Speedway, Kenly, NC (http://www.southernnationalspeedway.com/)
  7. Carolina Motorsports Park, Kershaw, SC (http://www.cmpracetrack.com/)
  8. The Dirt Tract at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, NC (http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/)
  9. Oglethorpe Speedway Park, Savannah, GA (www.ospracing.net)
  10. Big Daddy’s South Boston Speedway, South Boston, VA (http://www.southbostonspeedway.com/)
  11. Bakersfield Raceway Park, Linton, IN (http://www.ncci.net/Bakersfield/)
  12. Indianapolis Raceway Park (road course), Indianapolis, IN (http://www.irponline.com/)
  13. Kil Kare Speedway (one-quarter mile oval), Xenia, OH (http://www.kilkareraceway.com/)
  14. Thunder Raceway, Show Low, AZ (http://www.thunderraceway.com/)
  15. Columbus 151 Speedway, Columbus, WI (http://www.racingonline.com/columbus151/)
  16. Kalamazoo Speedway, Kalamazoo, MI (http://www.kalamazoospeedway.com/)

563.  Galesburg Speedway, Galesburg, MI (http://www.galesburgspeedway.com/)

  1. Toledo Speedway (small oval), Toledo, OH (http://www.arcaracing.com/)
  2. Toledo Speedway (figure 8), Toledo, OH (http://www.arcaracing.com/)
  3. Irwindale Speedway (figure 8), Irwindale, CA (http://www.irwindalespeedway.com/index.html)
  4. Lafayette County Fairgrounds, Darlington, WI (http://www.racingonline.com/lafayette/)
  5. Hamilton County Fairgrounds, Webster City, IA (no web site)
  6. Missou Speedway, Moberly, MO (no web site)
  7. Hartford Raceway Park, Hartford, MI (http://www.hartfordspeedwaypark.com/)
  8. Stateline Speedway, Edon, OH (http://www.statelinespeedway.net/)
  9. Sixty-Seven Raceway Park, Godfrey, IL (http://www.67racewaypark.com/)
  10. Callaway Raceways, Fulton, MO (http://www.callawayraceways.com/)
  11. Adams County Speedway, Corning, IA (http://www.acspeedway.com/)
  12. Mid-America Motorplex, Pacific Junction, IA (http://www.midamericamotorplex.com/)
  13. Price Motors I-35 Speedway, Mason City, IA (http://www.i-35speedway.com/)
  14. Twin Cities Raceway, North Vernon, IN (http://www.twincitiesraceway.com/)
  15. Thompson International Speedway, Thompson, CT (http://www.thompsonspeedway.com/)
  16. Accord Speedway, Accord, NY (http://www.accordspeedway.com/)
  17. Starlight Speedway, Trumansburg, NY (http://www.starlitespeedway.com/)
  18. Wyoming County International Speedway, Perry, NY (http://www.wyomingcountyinternationalspeedway.com/index.html)
  19. Flamboro Speedway, Freelton, Ontario, Canada (http://www.flamborospeedway.itgo.com/)
  20. Merrittville Speedway, Thorold, Ontario, Canada (no web site)

 

 

 

Planned upcoming races

 

584 SAT 6-Jul Figure 8s Brooklyn Raceway Brooklyn, IA
585 SAT 6-Jul Legends Brooklyn Raceway Brooklyn, IA
586 SUN 7-Jul IRL Kansas Speedway Kansas City, KS
587 SUN 7-Jul Regular program Double X Speedway California, MO
588 MON 8-Jul UMP Summernationals Shawano Speedway Shawano, WI Will White
589 TUE 9-Jul Regular program Riverside Raceway Eagle River, WI
590 WED 10-Jul Regular program Manitowoc County Expo Raceway Manitowoc, WI Carol, Will White
591 THR 11-Jul 1/4 mile oval Wisconsin Intl Raceway Kaukauna, WI Carol, Will White
592 THR 11-Jul Figure 8s Wisconsin Intl Raceway Kaukauna, WI Carol, Will White
593 FRI 12-Jul World of Outlaws Route 66 Raceway Joliet, IL
594 SUN 14-Jul Winston Cup Chicagoland Speedway Joliet, IL Carol
595 FRI 19-Jul Featherlite Modifieds New Hampshire Intl Raceway Loudon, NH
596 FRI 19-Jul Regular program Lee USA Speedway Lee, NH
597 SAT 20-Jul American LeMans Series RFK Stadium Circuit Washington,D.C
598 SAT 20-Jul Figure 8s Trail-Way Speedway Hanover, PA
599 SAT 20-Jul Oval Trail-Way Speedway Hanover, PA
600 SAT 20-Jul Road Course Trail-Way Speedway Hanover, PA
601 SUN 21-Jul Regular program 3 p.m. Stonybrook Raceway Stoystown, PA
602 SUN 21-Jul Regular Program Latrobe Speedway Latrobe, PA

 

 

 

                                                                                                           

 

 

 

FOREWORD

 

 

Sunday, September 8, 2019.

I woke up this morning in a Canadian highway rest area along the, “401”. In Southern California, we simply call our interstate highways by their number. I might say I’ll be taking, “the 405” to LAX or, “I slept overnight in a highway rest area along the 401”. 

 

 

I had pulled into my spot last night at nearly 4 a.m. This space seemed like a perfectly safe place to park. Others catching a little bit of shut-eye were nearby. I set the timer on my iPhone 7 to “5 hours”. If I slept from 4 a.m. until 9 a.m. I would be good to go. I did and was welcomed to this wonderful sunrise.

 

 

Of course, as all good Canadian rest areas do they had a Tim Horton’s. I went in and grabbed a 10-piece carton of Timbits and a frosted Canadian maple. Those are sort of my go-to items at Timmy’s. 

 

 

Despite having slept in my street clothes in the driver’s seat of my Avis Rental Car Racing Ford Taurus I was still up for 40 minutes of power walking. Some folks say I have a lot of energy. I guess I have that but what I really have is a passion for travel and my hobby. If that’s not dedication to power walking I don’t know what it is. I also don’t know how many people power walk while eating a frosted Canadian maple. Is there any research on this type of activity? 

 

 

Today I was headed to the Merrittville Speedway in Thorold, Ontario, Canada. This would not be my first visit to the speedway. 

 

 

All the way back in 2002 I made my first trip to Merrittville. That was a special occasion for a few reasons. I was doing my first ever magazine trackchasing interview. My friend Dave Sully (pictured above on Canada Day in 2002) was the interviewer. 

 

 

That track visit was nearly 18 years ago. As you can see from the above photo I haven’t aged a single year since then. Right! 

 

 

The date of that visit to the Merrittville Speedway was July 1, 2002. I had retired from the Procter & Gamble Distributing Company the day before, June 30, 2002. At that point, I was just three days short of having 30 years of service at P&G. However, nearly thirty years of working for the man was enough for me. On July 1, 2002, I was now unemployed. I love the life of being unemployed!

 

 

July 1, 2002, as is every July 1 in Canada is “Canada Day”. Yep, this was a big day on several fronts.

 

 

Trackchasing rules are more than liberal in the counting of tracks. Before I joined up and agreed to abide by the trackchasing rules I never ever would have considered counting more than one track at one location.

 

 

Why do I count my tracks according to the rules of trackchasing? Trackchasing rules allow a trackchaser to count several different “tracks” at one location.

 

 

In the trackchasing hobby, there are three different track configurations that can be used to count a track. Those three are ovals, road courses and figure 8 tracks.

 

 

Then you have the various track surfaces, which can all be counted separately. These surfaces would be paved, dirt and mixed.  Then you have permanent tracks and temporary tracks. You have inner ovals and outer ovals and road courses. You could probably count nearly a dozen different tracks at one location if the circumstances were right. Of course, no one has ever done that. It’s all a little strange to me. The benefit is that if someone adheres to the trackchasing rules they can compare their results with others more easily. 

 

 

Most outdoor tracks in North America race roughly from May through September. Almost all ovals in NA race at night. Most racetracks in Europe race during the day. Some race a little bit longer in the year depending upon their climate and their willingness to challenge the weather gods. Other race with a shorter season sometimes ending when the kids go back to school. 

 

 

As we move toward the fall of the year lots of tracks offer up their “Night of Destruction” events. These often include a demolition derby and all other kinds of novelty race events. Once in awhile a track will add a figure 8 race to the Night of Destruction. That’s what the Merrittville Speedway was doing. That’s why I was coming to Thorold, Ontario. 

 

 

By nearly the middle of September the weather can begin to get cool up in Canada. That’s probably why today’s Sunday race activity had a starting time of 1 p.m. I was in agreement with that. After the race I would hightail it back to Detroit in the hopes of getting just a little bit of sleep this evening in a hotel. Then I planned to fly back to Los Angeles tomorrow. 

 

 

I’ve got quite a few friends in Canada that I’ve met over the years. Two of those friends are, “the Shirton boys”. That would be Graham (left) and Glenn (right). I’ve matched up with them a couple of times at the races over the years and been in contact with Graham for probably a decade. Graham was going to be joining me at the Merrittville Speedway this afternoon. 

 

 

Today was a beautiful fall weather day. The temperature was 64° when I arrived at the speedway. There was no chance of rain. This was going to be a kickback day of trackchasing. Stick with me and I’ll tell you how it all came down. 

 

 

 

THE RACING

 

 

Merrittville Speedway – Thorold, Ontario, Canada

 

 

I pulled into the Merrittville Speedway just a couple of minutes before race time. My buddy Graham Shirton had messaged me. He told me he had two seats reserved for us in the top row down toward the turn one grandstands. It was important to have reserve seats today. Why? 

 

 

When I pulled into the parking lot the place was packed. There was a long line of 50 people or more waiting to buy their tickets. I actually found a very good parking spot and walked into the back of the line. 

 

 

From there I could see Graham waiting for me near the admission gate. I was able to buy my ticket at the senior discounted price of $18 Canadian. The track ticket sign told me I could have paid with U.S. dollars. If I had done that the price would have been $16 U.S. The track was not giving a very good conversion rate. Normally $18 in Canadian funds equals about $13.70 U.S. right now. 

 

 

These, “night of destruction” events, even if they are running in the daytime, are very popular with fans. I’m always telling my race promoter friends that the biggest crowds I see all year are at the tracks that promote “crash and bang” racing.

 

 

Often times these promoters are former racers themselves. They want the prestige of promoting high-dollar late model stock car and sprint car events. They sometimes seem to turn up their noses at these real moneymakers that involve junk cars. 

 

 

Today is September 8, 2019. This is the last activity on the Merrittville Speedway race calendar. When today wraps up they won’t have anything going until next April. 

 

 

The track management truly did have a little bit of everything on today’s schedule. They began with a 15-lap “exhibition” race for their low-dollar six-cylinder division. This group races at the Saturday night programs in Merrittville. 

 

 

That race was followed up by the highlight, from a racing point of view, for the entire day. This was going to be a 100-lap enduro race for four-cylinder stock cars. I’ve seen a lot of enduros. Back in the day car counts used to be huge, sometimes over the 100-car mark. In the last few years the car counts have decreased dramatically and are commonly in the 15-25 car range. Today they had 78 cars for the enduro! That was a great turnout. 

 

 

The racing speeds were slow to begin with because the track had been heavily watered. However with 78 cars racing and it being a sunny and windy day the track dried out quickly. When it dried out speeds got faster. 

 

 

When enduro racing first became a, “thing” they only stopped the race when a car had flipped over or caught on fire. Nowadays, I’m sure due to insurance reasons, they stop these enduro events much more frequently. 

 

 

In today’s race it was common for one driver to simply have his car stop in the middle of the racetrack, sometimes in the middle of the straightaway. With the track drying out the cars were running down the front straight at 60 MPH or more. This created a pretty supreme danger given the large amount of cars on today’s 3/8- mile slightly-banked oval dirt track. A couple of these stopped cars did get run into at high-speeds. I would not have liked to have been either of the drivers in that type of collision. 

 

 

The enduro race seemed to have a yellow flag and occasionally a red flag about every five laps or so. They were a little slow in getting back to racing when they did have a stoppage. Luckily for us they decided to reduce the race distance from 100 laps to only 68 laps. Why 68 laps? Because this was the 68th year of operation at the Merrittville Speedway. 

 

 

As it was the track took two hours to run that first 15 lap six-cylinder exhibition race and 68 laps of the Enduro. Although the enduro was entertaining it was also very time-consuming. 

 

 

They also had one monster truck performing. He drove over some cars which were embedded into the dirt infield and smashed them as monster trucks are wont to do. They also had a really good, “backward” race. I’ve seen a couple of backward races but not as good as the one today. They started more than a dozen cars and these guys really barreled down the straightaway… backward. For what it was, this was an entertaining novelty event. 

 

 

 

I had come to see the figure 8 race, which had been advertised. They also mentioned they were going to have side-by-side races. I wondered if maybe the side-by-sides, which are also commonly referred to as UTVs, might race on some kind of a road course or something other than the traditional oval. By the way, Merrittville also has a go-kart track. That track sits inside the bigger 3/8-mile oval.

 

 

They did have a side-by-side race. However, this was not the kind of side-by-side I had become accustomed to over the past few years. These were not UTV racers. This was simply two junk cars that had been tied together side-by-side with chains (above)! I had never seen such a thing. They had four two-car teams and they got around the track pretty well. I’m surprised the chains were strong enough to hold cars together. 

 

 

I didn’t take the time to count but quite a few of the cars were used in multiple events. They had a ladies race today for eight laps. They got around pretty well in their boyfriend’s and husband’s four-cylinder junk cars. Some of these racers had roll cages but quite a few did not. 

 

 

Last night down in Indiana I saw one driver navigate his Chevy station wagon through the side of a motorhome. I’ve seen that a few times but not all that often. Today they had a similar event. A four-cylinder compact car initiated some fireworks up into the sky (from his trunk!) and then drove HIS car through the side of a motorhome. The crowd loved it. Don’t miss the video.

 

 

Next, I saw something that I had never seen in nearly 2,600 track visits. This was most unusual. After the junk car had driven through the motorhome on two different occasions, creating a gaping hole on both sides of the camper, a man ended up driving the camper all by itself back to the pits. The motorhome looked like a huge torpedo had destroyed it but it was still running. The crowd, as well as myself, was pretty amazed by that. 

 

 

Probably one of the lesser entertaining novelty aspects of today’s show was the figure 8 race. They placed a couple of large concrete blocks out onto the front straightaway of the main oval. Then six cars came out and ran a somewhat uneventful figure 8 race around those pylons. There was very little contact and in less than five minutes the figure 8 cars were heading back toward the pit area. 

 

 

I would be less than straightforward if I didn’t tell you that I have given some thought to the entertainment value I am getting from these novelty track visits. I have compared that entertainment value relative to the time, effort and money it takes to see this stuff. Folks, I had slept in a Canadian highway rest area last night. I was operating on limited sleep. I had driven four hours each way in order to see what amounted to a six-car five-minute junk car figure 8 race. Was this a good value? Er……maybe not. Was there another person in the grandstand that had made a greater commitment to see things today than I did? I doubt it. 

 

 

 

I believed they were going to have a demo derby as the last event of the day. Once Graham and I had seen the figure 8 race there was no need to stay for the demo derby. We had seen the “countable” event. It was pushing 5 o’clock. If I really hustled I might be able to get back to my hotel in Detroit by 10 p.m., but maybe not.

 

 

 

AFTER THE RACES

 

Graham and I bade each other farewell in the parking lot of the Merrittville Speedway after getting our obligatory picture taken together. When I’m with my friends at the races I always like to take a quick photo. It makes a nice souvenir of the day.  With the figure 8 race at the Merrittville Speedway in the books I have now seen racing at 176 Canadian tracks. I’ve seen 69 tracks in Ontario. I’ve seen 36 figure 8 tracks in Canada and 32 of those figure 8 tracks were in Ontario. Obviously most figure 8 racing in Canada takes place in Ontario! I think I build a pretty solid track chasing resume with our neighbors to the north. 

 

 

For most of the next several hours of driving, I listened to the Nate Ryan NASCAR NBC podcast. I can go back over the last three or four years since he’s been hosting his podcast and listen to the interviews that I find most interesting. It definitely makes the time go by just a little quicker when I’m driving. 

 

 

On the drive back to Detroit, I wrapped up a lot of travel details which will make my trip back to California go just a little bit easier. I got a call from our son J.J. He and I agreed that Carol and I would join him for a special VIP tailgating party for the UCLA – Oklahoma game next weekend. I love watching big-time sporting events. UCLA will be a huge underdog and will likely get killed. However, here’s the key to all of that. We will be in the arena. If you’re not in the arena of life you’re missing out on a lot. 

 

 

I spent about eight hours driving in Canada. Nevertheless, I only paid about nine Canadian dollars for fuel in the country. Had I planned a little better I wouldn’t have had to spend any money buying expensive Canadian fuel. Earlier in the trip while driving toward Indiana I paid $2.20 a gallon for gas. Canadian fuel was selling for about a dollar more per gallon. 

 

 

I crossed the Ambassador Bridge getting back to the United States. I ended up with an interesting U.S. border control agent. He was kind of a “tough guy”. He asked me where I had been in Canada. I told him I went to the demolition derby races. He snarled at me, “You didn’t tell me where you were!” At that point, it was all I could do to not jump out of my car and apply my Marine Corps training and choke him out and then as he fell to the ground use a special kick to separate his ribs from his sternum.

 

 

Instead, I simply replied, “Merrittville Speedway”. “Where do you live?” he asked. “California,” was my reply. “Who do you live with?” was his next question. Yep. I should have choked him out. Instead, my answer was, “My wife.”  “You didn’t take the wife with you on this trip?” was his next intrusive question. I looked at him. I craned my neck to look in the back seat. Then I looked back at him and said, “No I didn’t”. Asshole!   

 

 

When my off-ramp on interstate 94 in Detroit was closed I had to drive around the inner city for just a bit to get back on track. Detroit is certainly rough around the edges. They got killed when the automobile industry moved out of the country. They never have recovered and I doubt they ever will. 

 

 

 

Monday, September 9, 2019 

Today I made my way back home after another very successful trackchasing trip that took me from Idaho to Pennsylvania to Michigan to Indiana to Ontario. Yes, there is a reason why my fellow competitors will never be able to catch up.

 

 

 

Good afternoon from Thorold, Ontario, Canada

 

 

 

Randy Lewis – 85 countries – 2,589 tracks.

 

 

 

Ontario

 

 

The Heartland Province

This afternoon, I saw racing at my 69th-lifetime track in the Heartland province, yes, the Heartland province.

 

 

 

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

Ontario sayings:  “I’m going over to The Beer Store for a two-four of Canadian.”

 

As with the sale of liquor, the sale of beer is mostly restricted in Ontario to specially licensed stores called, in what must be the most literal name in the history of stores, The Beer Store. A two-four is, not surprisingly, a case of 24 beers.

JUST THE 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 720 tracks of my lifetime total.  Don’t blame me.

 

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 2,589

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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 quick trip from Indiana to Canada and back home

 

 

 

 


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