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Mitchell County Fairgrounds – Figure 8

 

Greetings from first Newton, Iowa

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and then Osage, Iowa

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From the travels and adventures of the 

“World’s #1 Trackchaser”

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Iowa Speedway

Asphalt road course

 Lifetime Track #1,224

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Mitchell County Fairgrounds

Dirt figure 8

 Lifetime Track #1,225

 

 

The Event

 

Reprinted with permission from my July 14, 2007 Trackchaser Report. 

 

 

 

 

THE CLASSIC TRACKCHASER REPORT

 

 

Editor’s note: This is a CLASSIC Trackchaser Report. What the heck does “Classic” mean? It’s simply a Trackchaser Report that comes from my trackchasing archives. For whatever reason (usually not enough time) it didn’t get posted to my website when I first made the track visit. Often times a classic TR will not have a video and/or photo album attached. I didn’t begin producing my YouTube videos until 2009 (YouTube channel: RANLAY). I didn’t begin writing a complete Trackchaser Report until I had seen about 430 tracks. Photo albums were sort of hit or miss during the early years of my trackchasing. Additionally, if you see a website link know that link worked when the TR was originally written. Will it work now? Your guess is as good as mine! Nevertheless, this CLASSIC Trackchaser Report has finally bubbled to the surface and is now available for everyone to see at www.randylewis.org. I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

 

I AM A TRACKCHASER

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.

 

 

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’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”. 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.

 

 

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

 

 

 

FOREWORD

 

 

Saturday, July 14, 2007.

 

 

TODAY’S HEADLINES

 

 

SPECIAL NOTICE!! 

Today is the completion of day two of the 10-day “Monster Midwest Tour”.  I will be driving 300-400 miles per day and sometimes further. I will not have enough time to provide the normal quality of Trackchaser Reports that long-time readers have come to expect.

 

 

Never fear, you will still be entertained.  I have obtained the full level of cooperation and support from Belgium trackchaser Roland Vanden Eynde.  Roland only recently completed a nearly three-week trackchasing tour of the United States.  During his trip, he added 26 new tracks to his total and now stands at #15 in the world rankings.

 

 

Roland has written some interesting and entertaining reports about his U.S. travels.  I simply like reading Roland’s reports for the way he sees things and expresses his thoughts.  I think you will enjoy each of his five U.S. based trackchaser reports.  The first is located at the very bottom of this Trackchaser Report.  Please share any comments you may have about Roland’s experiences.

 

 

GREETINGS FROM NEWTON, IOWA AND THEN OSAGE, IOWA.

 

 

 

I WOKE UP IN QUINCY, ILLINOIS THIS MORNING.  I WENT TO SLEEP IN ANKENY, IOWA.  THIS IS WHAT TRANSPIRED TODAY.

 

 

PEOPLE/STRATEGY/TRAVEL NEWS

 

 

The Strategy     

I am obviously sticking to my base trackchasing strategy of seeing as many tracks as I can.  I will wait to see what my competition does in the National Geographic Diversity standings before trying to add more points to my totals in semi-remote states.

 

 

 

The Trip

I sure like the fact that Iowa rest areas have wireless internet connections available.  Why don’t other states do the same?  Iowa has had this for a few years now.

 

 

I worked my entire life for a big corporation.  I know that most decisions are made in conference rooms after many hours of debate and fresh pastries.  That being the case, help me out with this.

 

 

There are several spots on the interstate where the speed limit is 70 M.P.H.  Occasionally, I will come across a reduced speed limit area, where the limit is 65 M.P.H.  I would love to have been in the conference room when this decision was “hammered”out.  What exactly would the “value add” (yes, this is corporate speak) be to lowering the speed limit from 70 M.P.H. to 65 M.P.H. for a mile or two?  Can anyone answer this question for me?

 

 

The People

 

I like Iowa People.

 

 

STATE RANKINGS

These were my 64th and 65th lifetime tracks to see in the Hawkeye state.  I trail Max Allender’s 71 tracks for third place. Jack Erdmann leads in Iowa with 83 tracks.

 

 

 

RACE REVIEW – IOWA SPEEDWAY (ROAD COURSE), NEWTON, IOWA

I’m sorry, but I just can’t give the road racing at the Iowa Speedway a very positive review.  Fifteen cars is about right for a feature event on a quarter mile oval track.  However, that amount of cars on a 1.3-mile road course just doesn’t get it.

 

 

There was a small crowd on hand, that looked even smaller in a 50,000-seat grandstand.  Couple that with a 90-degree bright sun day and it made the two-hour and thirty minute race time seem about two hours too long.

 

 

I listened to the Speed Channel broadcast over my racing radio.  One of the neat things about being able to do that is that during commercials, I don’t hear the commercial messages.  What I do hear is the announcers making personal comments about things they would never talk about on the live broadcast.  I am surprised fans are allowed to listen to this content.

 

 

After just one third of the race was complete, I heard this comment from one of the TV announcers during the break, “Boy, this is really booooring”.  I could not disagree.  At the race’s midpoint, I heard this, “There is absolutely no passing at this place”.  I could not disagree.  Finally, toward the end, this comment came over the airwaves, “This race was way too long”.  I could not disagree.

 

 

After the first 40 minutes or so, I took a seat underneath the grandstands with hundreds of my other friends. This area offered shade.  It was just too danged hot to watch 15 cars follow each other over the space of a 1.3 mile road course.  The traffic on I-80 in the nearby distance had much more passing.

 

 

Ticket prices ranged from $30-50. I chose a $30 ticket because I knew that once I got in, I could sit anywhere I wanted.  This ticket may have been good for the motorcycle races that were to run later this evening.  Although I would not be staying for that, I’m pretty sure motorcycles on the oval at night would be much more entertaining than cars on the road course during the day.

 

 

This is my third visit to this track in the past six months or so.  I was here on opening night September 15, 2007.  I expect I will be back one more time to catch the legends race on the track’s quarter mile flat asphalt oval.

 

 

In the long run, I’m not certain how successful this track is going to be.  I suspect that many (most?) of the fans who came out for today’s show either got free tickets from a local business or were forced to buy tickets as part of a season ticket oval program.  Iowa fans know their racing and they are not known to be wild spenders. The Iowa Speedway had better bring in some entertaining shows on the oval or, in the not too distant future, will be closing this track.  If they get a NASCAR Busch race, it will go a long way towards making the track successful.

 

 

 

RACE TRACK STATS:

 

 

IOWA SPEEDWAY (ROAD COURSE) – TRACK #1,224

Track details

 

Website:  http://www.iowaspeedway.com

 

Weather:  It was hot, much too hot to sit out in the grandstands for three hours.

 

Track type: road course

 

Length/Surface: 1.3 miles – nine turns

 

Grandstands:  Gleaming bright aluminum grandstands.  State of the art, with seating for 50,000 or so.

 

P.A.:  Very good.

 

Announcer: Professional in a disc jockey sort of way.

 

On time:  They started bang on time.  When a race is televised like this one, they always start on time.

 

Pit area:  All cars were pitted in the track’s infield.

 

Classes:  Just one, this afternoon.  The Rolex GT sports cars were the featured attraction.

 

Radio Frequency: 451.something.  I picked up the TV audio, which helped me understand what was going on.

 

Concessions:  I went with a Jeannie’s grinder.  It was spicy and made my bald spot burn.  That’s just the way I like it!  Bottle water was $3.50 for a smaller bottle!

 

Scoreboard: State of the art baby, except the scoreboard only shows 12 positions.

 

Extras:  The track was having a concert following the race, although I didn’t have time to stay for it.

 

 

 

RACE REVIEW – MITCHELL COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS (FIGURE 8), OSAGE, IOWA

Iowa and Michigan are probably the two best dirt figure 8 racing states.  They go for the big V-8 rear-wheel drive “Detroit big iron”cars.  They had 50-75 such cars and an overflowing grandstand. 

 

 

The track’s turns were banked some 10-12 feet high.  The grandstands sit about 75 yards from the racetrack.  This is WAY too far away.  I watched the races from the pit area.  That viewing point wasn’t that great either since the berms of the track’s turns were so high it was hard to see the racing.  Iowa dirt is the blackest of any I see all year.

 

 

The St. Isidore Catholic Church provided supper.  I had a pork tenderloin that was grilled not fried.  I supplemented that with a piece of raspberry pie alamode.  Since the portions were small and I have little self-discipline when it comes to eating my Catholic feast was supplemented by a chilidog and popcorn.  Yes, I am a growing boy.

 

 

RACE TRACK STATS:

 

 

MITCHELL COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS (FIGURE 8) – TRACK #1,225

 

Track details

 

Website:  None.

 

Weather:  By the time the evening rolled around, it was very comfortable.  Definitely shorts and t-shirt weather.

 

Track type:  figure 8

 

Length/Surface: Good-sized permanent figure 8 track – dirt

 

Grandstands:  Grandstand and bleacher seating for some 1,500+ people. The place was packed as was the pit area.  The grandstand sits about 75 yards from the track.  This was much too far back for those fans to see the action well, although they did not seem to mind.

 

P.A.:  Just fair.

 

Announcer:  Often I go to tracks where I recognize the announcer from his work at another nearby track.  That was the case tonight. 

 

On time:  I pulled into the track right at 7 p.m., just in time to hear the first words of the National Anthem.

 

Pit area: Located along the sides of the “eight”and beyond.  They had a very nice field of “big iron”figure 8 racecars.

 

Classes:  They had front wheel drive cars as well as stock and open rear wheel drive cars.

 

Radio Frequency: Didn’t use the radio.

 

Concessions:  Delightful fair food purchased from the Catholic Church concession.

 

Scoreboard:  Not at a track like this.

 

Extras:  Five bucks extra got me into the pits.  That was well worth it, as I could also visit the fair and the food.  Sitting in the grandstands, due to how far it was situated from the racing action looked like a bummer to me.

 

 

 

RENTAL CAR UPDATE

 

 

St. Louis – Friday-Monday (10 days)

I’m on a tank a day plan with my National Rental Car Racing Chevy Impala.  I’ll probably use nearly a full tank of fuel on every day of the 10-day Monster Midwest Tour.

 

I am most surprised to see that fuel with an octane of 89 is priced ten cents less that 87-octane fuel.  The 89 octane is the much ballyhooed ethanol fuel. I’ll have to pay closer attention and go with the higher octane fuel when it is less expensive. 

 

 

Thanks for reading about my trackchasing,

 

Randy Lewis

Alberta’s #1 Trackchaser

On the plains of hesitation lie the bleached bones of millions who, when within the grasp of victory sat and waited and waiting died.

 

 

 

AIRPLANE 

Los Angeles, CA – St. Louis, MO – 1,591 miles

 

 

RENTAL CAR – ST. LOUIS

St. Louis International Airport – trip begins

Troy, Missouri – 71 miles

Pittsfield, Illinois – 132 miles

Newton, Iowa – 403 miles

Osage, Iowa – 583 miles

 

 

 

TRACK ADMSSION PRICES: 

Lincoln County Fairgrounds – $20

Pike County Speedway – $Free (normally $3 for fan 55 & older)

Iowa Speedway – $30

Mitchell County Fairgrounds – $15 (pit pass)

 

 

 

 

RANKINGS

 

 

LIFETIME TRACKCHASER STANDINGS UPDATE:

There are no trackchasers currently within 100 tracks of my lifetime total. Why? I suggest you take that up with them. 

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 1,225

 

 

 

 

Other notables

 

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

 

  1. Tom Schmeh, Knoxville, Iowa – 330

 

  1. Carol Lewis, San Clemente, California – 330

 

  1. Dwight Bucks, Topton, Pennsylvania – 325

 

 

 

2007 TRACKCHASER STANDINGS

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 87

 

  1. Roland Vanden Eynde, Vilvoorde, Belgium – 59

 

  1. Ed Esser, Madison, Wisconsin – 56

 

  1. Mike Knappenberger, Reading, Pennsylvania – 40

 

  1. Carol Lewis, San Clemente, California – 36

 

  1. Paul Weisel, Orefield, Pennsylvania – 35

 

  1. Guy Smith, Effort, Pennsylvania – 28

 

  1. Pam Smith, Effort, Pennsylvania – 23

 

  1. Gordon Killian, Sinking Springs, Pennsylvania – 21

 

  1. Roger Ferrell, Majenica, Indiana – 20

 

Tracks have been reported by 37 different worldwide trackchasers this season.

 

 

 

LIFETIME NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DIVERSITY STANDINGS

 

2007 (current thru 6/29/07)**

 

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 6.65
  2. Gordon Killian, Sinking Springs, Pennsylvania – 6.86
  3. Allan Brown, Comstock Park, Michigan – 7.57

 

**Until the end of the year, NGD rankings are unofficial.  Rankings are affected not only by the leader’s activities but also by other trackchasers impact on the leader’s position in each state. 

 

 

 

UPCOMING TRACKCHASING PLANS 

I love trackchasing doubles. Through today, I have seen 87 new tracks in just 61 days of trackchasing.  The Monster Midwest Tour will continue with stops in Indiana and Michigan upcoming.

 

 

RACETRACKS VISITED IN 2007 (** not the first time to visit this track)

1,139.  Meremere Dirt Track Club, Meremere, New Zealand – January 1

 

1,140.  Meeanee Speedway, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand – January 1

 

1,141.  Top of the South Speedway, Richmond, New Zealand – January 2

 

1,142.  Woodford Glen Speedway, Christchurch, New Zealand – January 3

 

1,143.  Robertson Holden International Speedway, Palmerston North, New Zealand – January 5

 

1,144.  Taupo Motorsports Park, Taupo, North, New Zealand – January 6

 

1,145.  Waikaraka Park International Speedway, Auckland, New Zealand – January 6

 

1,146.  Angels Stadium of Anaheim (inner oval), Anaheim, California – January 13

 

1,147.  Angels Stadium of Anaheim (outer oval), Anaheim, California – January 13

 

1,148.  West Valley Speedway, Surprise, Arizona – January 14

 

1,149. Sandia Motorsports Park (road course), Albuquerque, New Mexico – January 28

 

1,150. Grand Prix De Lanaudiere, Lavaltrie, Quebec, Canada – February 3

 

1,151. Ste-Eulalie Ice Track, Eulalie, Quebec, Canada – February 4

 

1,152. St Guillaume, St Guillaume, Quebec, Canada – February 4

 

1,153. Caldwell Rodeo Arena, Caldwell, Idaho – February 10

 

1,154. Balsam Lake Ice Track, Balsam Lake, Wisconsin – February 18

 

1,155. Northeast Pond Ice Track, Milton, New Hampshire – February 24

 

1,156. Lee Pond Ice Track, Moultonborough, New Hampshire – February 25

 

1,157. New Hendry Country Speedway, Clewiston, Florida – March 3

 

1,158. Florida Sports Park, Naples, Florida – March 4

 

1,159. Honeoye Lake Ice Track – Road Course, Honeoye, New York – March 10

 

1,160. Houston Raceway Park, Baytown, Texas – March 16

 

1,161. Houston Motorsports Park, Houston, Texas – March 16

 

1,162. Dawgwood Speedway, Chatsworth, Georgia – March 17

 

1,163. Toccoa Speedway, Toccoa, Georgia – March 17

 

1,164. Tazewell Speedway, Tazewell, Tennessee – March 18

 

1,165. Malden Speedway, Malden, Missouri, Tennessee – March 23

 

1,166. Dacosa Speedway, Byhalia, Mississippi – March 24

 

1,167. Swinging Bridge Raceway, Byram, Mississippi – March 24

 

1,168. Florence Motor Speedway, Florence, South Carolina – March 25

 

1,169. Foothills Raceway, Easley, South Carolina – March 30

 

1,170. Mileback Speedway, Gray Court, South Carolina – March 30

 

1,171. Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Florida – April 1

 

1,172. Vegas Grand Prix, Las Vegas, Nevada – April 8

 

1,173. Huntsville Speedway, Huntsville, Alabama – April 13

 

1,174. Low Country Kartway, Aynor, South Carolina – April 14

 

1,175. Dillon Motor Speedway, Dillon, South Carolina – April 14

 

1,176. Valley Dirt Riders, Berthoud, Colorado – April 15

 

1,177. Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, Lancaster, California – April 22

 

1,178. Sertoma Speedway, Tularosa, New Mexico – April 27

 

1,179. Sandia Motorsports Park (outer oval), Albuquerque, New Mexico – April 28

 

1,180. Sandia Motorsports Park (inner oval), Albuquerque, New Mexico – April 28

 

1,181. Hollywood Hills Speedway, San Felipe Pueblo, New Mexico – April 29

 

1,182. Meridian Speedway, Meridian, Idaho – May 11

 

1,183. Diamond Mountain Speedway, Vernal, Utah, Idaho – May 12

 

1,184. Rocky Mountain Raceways (oval), Salt Lake City, Utah – May 12 

 

1,185. Rocky Mountain Raceways (figure 8), Salt Lake City, Utah – May 12

 

1,186. Modoc Speedway, Modoc, South Carolina – May 18

 

1,187. Possum Kingdom Super Speedway, Belton, South Carolina – May 19

 

1,188. Laurens County Speedway, Laurens, South Carolina – May 19

 

1,189. Fairplex at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds, Pomona, California – May 20

 

1,190. Lowes Motor Speedway (inner oval), Concord, North Carolina – May 24

 

1,191. Lowes Motor Speedway (road course), Concord, North Carolina – May 24

 

1,192. Madison International Speedway (inner oval), Oregon, Wisconsin – May 25

 

** Madison International Speedway (outer oval), Oregon, Wisconsin – May 25

 

1,193. Thunderbird Stadium (figure 8), Bremerton, Washington – May 26

 

1,194. Thunderbird Stadium (oval), Bremerton, Washington – May 26

 

1,195. Whispering Pines Motorsports Park, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada – May 27

 

1,196. Magic Valley Speedway, Twin Falls, Idaho – May 28

 

1,197. Owyhee Motorcycle Raceway Park, Boise, Idaho – June 1

 

1,198. Race City Motorsports Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada – June 2

 

1,199. Edmonton International Raceway, Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada – June 2

 

1,200. Castrol Raceway, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – June 2

 

1,201. Hidden Valley Motorsports Park, Drumheller, Alberta, Canada – June 2

 

1,202. Boyd’s Speedway, Ringgold, Georgia – June 8

 

1,203. Fayette County Fairgrounds, Washington Courthouse, Ohio – June 9

 

1,204. Brush Creek Motorsports Park, Pebbles, Ohio – June 9

 

1,205. Brown County Speedway, Russellville, Ohio – June 9

 

1,206. Vinton Speedway, Vinton, Ohio – June 10

 

1,207. Hilltop Speedway, Millersburg, Ohio – June 10

 

1,208. I-70 Speedway – dirt (outer oval), Odessa, Missouri – June 13

 

1,209. L A Raceway, La Monte, Missouri – June 14

 

1,210. Valley Speedway, Grain Valley, Missouri – June 22

 

1,211. Jamaica Raceway, Jamaica, Iowa – June 23

 

1,212. Calhoun County Fairgrounds (figure 8), Rockwell City, Jamaica, Iowa – June 23

 

** Hamilton County Speedway, Webster City, Iowa – June 23 (new for Carol only)

 

** Iowa Speedway (outer oval), Newton, Iowa, Iowa – June 24 (new for Carol only)

 

1,213. Butler Motor Speedway, Butler, Missouri – June 24

 

** Peoria Speedway, Peoria, Illinois – June 25

 

1,214. Kart Kanyon Raceway, Aztec, New Mexico – June 30

 

1,215. Aztec Speedway, Aztec, New Mexico – June 30

 

1,216. Sunvalley Speedway, Vernon, British Columbia, Canada – July 1

 

1,217. Georgetown Speedway, Georgetown, Delaware – July 6

 

1,218. Delmarva Motorsports Park, Middleford, Delaware – July 6

 

1,219. Hunterstown Speedway, Hunterstown, Pennsylvania – July 7

 

1,220. Shippensburg Speedway, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania – July 7 (Randy only)

 

** Hagerstown Speedway, Hagerstown, Maryland – July 7 (new for Carol only)

 

1,221. Blanket Hill Speedway, Whitesburg, Pennsylvania – July 8

 

1,222. Lincoln County Fairgrounds (figure 8), Troy, Missouri – July 13

 

1,223. Pike County Speedway, Pittsfield, Illinois – July 13

 

1,224. Iowa Speedway (road course), Newton, Iowa – July 14

 

1,225. Mitchell County Fairgrounds (figure 8), Osage, Iowa – July 14

 

 

ROLAND VANDEN EYNDE – TRACK REPORT (1 OF 5)

 

It’s been quite a while since you last heard from me, but I’m back in Belgium and I suppose it’s time to give you a little account of my American road movie. I’ll do this chronologically, starting from June 14.

 

DAY 1: JUNE 14, 2007

 

I got up at 6.00AM local time (midnight Eastern Standard Time). After breakfast and a bit of grooming, I left my house 45 minutes later to walk to a nearby bus stop. I caught the first bus to the airport a few minutes before 7.00AM. My day started with a bonus as the driver couldn’t give me change to the EUR 20 note I wanted to pay with and I was granted a free ride. It wasn’t an easy one however, as the badge these drivers use to open barriers to allow the bus to drive on the airport service roads (thereby cutting travel time to the terminal by 20 minutes) refused service and at every barrier a long procedure for remote opening had to be endured. Anyway, we arrived well and the administrative and security procedures for my American Airlines flight to JFK went surprisingly smooth and fast. The flight landed on time, but I experienced a nasty problem with my ear drums (very impaired hearing), of which my right one only recovered on June 29. Immigration was passed double quick and I got my hire car quickly as well. But then I encountered New York City traffic conditions. Road works, lots of (rude)traffic and appalling road signage contributed to very slow progress. In my first two hours after driving of at JFK, I did a grand total of 24 miles. And if I hadn’t vast experience from driving in Brussels, I might have stood waiting to enter the Lincoln tunnel (eight lanes funneling down to two) even longer. Anyway, I arrived at Carlisle, my chosen spot for my first 3 nights, at about 7.00PM. I had some trouble finding my Motel 6, but in the end I could drop my bag, change trousers and shoe ware and set off to Newberrytown for the Midget and Legends meeting at Susquehanna Speedway Park. There I was greeted by an enormous welcoming committee, consisting of you, Guy Smith (who I want to congratulate on reaching the 1100 track mark), Bruce Eckel, Gordy Killian, Mike Knappenberger and Dwight Bucks. It was worth the 20 hour journey and my first American race meeting was a good one. It was nice meeting such a large number of other trackchasers. Only problem was that I was beginning to experience some contact lens troubles. I had to change conservation products a week earlier and my eyes reacted well to it. Now my right eye started to put out a slimy substance that made the lens opaque and that burnt into my eye lashes and the flesh around my eyes. So it was time for an early night.

 

States visited: NY, NJ, PA

New states visited: 0

Number of new tracks: 1

Total number of new tracks: 1

Of which in new states: 0

 

DAY 2: JUNE 15, 2007

 

I didn’t sleep well and every time I opened my eyes the solidified slimes made that operation difficult. I washed away the slime as well as I could and when I put in my lenses, they felt very comfortable and my view was unimpaired. I spent the morning shopping at Wal-Mart (CD’s and clothing are ridiculously cheap in the US) and the afternoon at Gettysburg. I arrived at Trail-Way Speedway well in time for the start, unlike Guy and Pam Smith, who timed their arrival perfectly, ten minutes before the programme started. The meeting was very strung out with way too many yellows. Lights and PA also left a lot to be desired. And my eyes became sore again, as a result of fatigue and dust. By the time the Figure 8 race started, I could hardly see more than the contours of the few cars racing. When I drove off after the meeting my eye sight was more or less normal again, but upon leaving Hanover by a small road matters went from bad to worse. Every time I crossed a car, it’s head lights formed a sort of aurora and after it passed I was completely blinded. My eyes were belching out so much slime I could hardly wipe it off and my eye sight became more and more blurred. I could also only concentrate on the road itself, road signs were impossible to read and when I stopped to take a look at the map, I was unable to read that as well. I stopped at a cross roads in a village and decided to wait for cars stopping at the traffic lights to check for directions. I was lucky, as the occupants of the very first car to stop confirmed I was still heading in the right direction. Many other road users must have been annoyed by my stop and go driving as when I reached Carlisle, I only drove on instinct, I could hardly see the road. Had this been in Belgium, I would surely have been driven into a ditch by my fellow motorists, but the local drivers behaved very well. I finally made it to my hotel and cleaned my eyes and lenses as good as I could.

 

States visited: PA

New states visited: 0

Number of new tracks: 2

Total number of new tracks: 3

Of which in new states: 0

 

DAY 3: JUNE 16, 2007

 

Again, my lenses felt nice when I put them into my eyes. The burns of the slimes around my eyeballs was hurting much more. I had noticed my eyes reacted only after wearing them for several hours. I took everything with me to clean them every three hours. At Carlisle I found a pharmacist and got some red eye relief drops from Bausch & Lomb. It must have been one the best way I ever spent $5. I first drove to the Summit Point Raceway at Charles Town, parked my car in the shade, took out my lenses for half an hour and applied the eye drops to both eyes. This treatment seemed to work very well. I toured the paddock, saw some very nice cars and learned I was really in luck. Normally, only practice was on, but the Mazda Miata class was oversubscribed and in order to give everybody a race, the class drivers had decided on two qualifying races early on Saturday afternoon. Mazda Miata’s are very popular in American club road racing, I was going to see a lot of them. I lunched with some corner workers and heard some great anecdotes. After lunch I toured the track to get the best vantage place. Although modern and nice, I wasn’t that much impressed by the track. Even though following the lay of the land, it’s a little bland and it lacks a bit of distinguishing features. The races were very fiercely disputed and after cleaning my lenses again, I was on my way back to Trail-Way again. I had just arrived and given my lenses another visit to the cleansing liquid, when a sinister black car stopped beside my hired Toyota van, followed by a track employee on a quad. Turned out it was you, being suspected of trespassing. After explanations, we were on our way to the hugest Subway foot long tuna sub I ever experienced. After this enormous dinner, we set off for the track where again we were joined by the Smiths. Racing was just as yellow flag infested as the day before and again it was late in the evening when the cars came out for a race on the ‘road track’, in which they took an infield line around a huge tyre. Unlike the evening before I could clearly see the cars, but when there was a lengthy delay, two thirds into the race, I took leave of you, Pam and Guy and headed to Carlisle, while I could still see good enough. My first three days were not the easiest ones in my trackchasing career. But my lens trouble was more than counterbalanced with the very nice company at each and every race. Seeing a race with fellow chasers is so much better than seeing it on your own. And there were still a few surprises to follow. 

 

States visited: PA, MD, WV, VA

New states visited: 0

Number of new tracks: 2

Total number of new tracks: 5

Of which in new states: 1

 

 

Roland 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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