Paducah International Raceway – (2 tracks)


Greetings from Paducah, Kentucky



From the travels and adventures of the 

“World’s #1 Trackchaser”



Paducah International Raceway

Dirt outer oval

 Lifetime Track #886



Paducah International Raceway

Dirt inner oval

 Lifetime Track #1,737



The Event2005 – big oval2012 small ovalVideo PlusPhotos


Editor’s note: From time to time I go back into the archives of Randy Lewis Racing to look at the tracks and the stories I have never had the time to add to my website. That is the case with the Paducah International Raceway. I first went there in 2005 to see a UMP Summer Nationals late model race on the track’s larger oval. Then I came back in 2012 to see the 4-cylinder “Warriors” compete on Paducah’s smaller oval. Today, in 2019, the story from Kentucky finally gets shared. I hope you enjoy my two Trackchaser Reports from here.





I am a “trackchaser”. I trackchase all over the world. 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 at more than 2,500 tracks in 82 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 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



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 82 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”. 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











The people/travel news section is normally a lighthearted look at the people I meet and the things I see during a trackchasing adventure.  It seems there are always people and sights that are a bit unusual, at least from my point of view.  From the feedback I get, this is the most popular section of the trackchaser report and the most entertaining.



Today will be different.  What I have to talk about is not a lighthearted story.  My words are not meant to entertain you or make you smile.  There are some of you who may not want to read further.  For those, I would recommend you delete this message now.



Traveling to Paducah, Kentucky, one of the more southern points in the state might seem unusual during a trackchasing trip that included stops in Canada and North Dakota.  There was a method to my madness.



I went in this direction so that I could visit my grandfather who is confined to a nursing home in Evansville, Indiana.  Readers will recall that I visited him in this nursing home a few months ago just before his birthday.  Based upon his condition then, I never expected to darken the front doors of this facility again.



I pulled into Evansville this afternoon. It was 94 degrees and the air was heavy with humidity.  My grandfather grew up here but spent the majority of his life with my grandmother in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. 



Evansville is a somewhat rundown town on the southern edge of the Midwest.  The houses and stores look like they have seen much better days.  The people look like they have never seen better days.  People drive around with their windows down on a 94-degree day not because they are looking for fresh air but because they do not have air conditioning.  I can see where the next 10 years on mini-car enduro vehicles will come from.



I knew the way to the nursing home. Nevertheless, I got lost driving to it. I think that subconsciously I didn’t really want to visit my grandfather.  He was always a very active man.  He was a true outdoorsman and went fishing or hunting nearly every day that he wasn’t working.  He was also a physical fitness nut and ate a healthy diet long before most people knew that was a good idea.  He could stand on his head when he was in his seventies.



The last time I visited him he was bedridden. I wasn’t sure he recognized me although we talked about different things that were common to both of us.  Back then, he was on oxygen and could barely move. Some of his thoughts didn’t seem to have anything to do with the moment.



I had called ahead to relatives in Evansville. I wanted to try to understand his current condition so I might know what to expect.  I was told he slept most of the time.  When he was alert it was sort of a hit or miss situation as to whether any understandable conversation would occur.



It was with this background that I walked into the Heritage Center on Buena Vista Road.  The facility is modern and attractive.  Today, the parking lot was absolutely jammed with more than 50 cars. The series of one-story buildings are all well-kept with a grey concrete block exterior and white shuttered windows. There is a large cemetery just across the road and up the hill.



Walking into the building was easy.  The first thing I saw was a huge reception area. This area had 5-6 large sofas and a fireplace.  It reminded me a little bit of walking into the sitting area of a country club.  Just beyond the reception area was a large well-lit dining room.



The receptionist asked me who I was looking for. I said I was here to see my grandfather, John Shuck.  “He’s in room 145”, the young woman replied.  I was given directions but I didn’t really need them.  I had been down that hallway before.



The hallways and resident’s (patients?) room remind me of a hospital.  There were a large number of people roaming the halls who looked like they worked there in one capacity or another.  I am not sure how many residents there are, but the number of support people seemed out of proportion.



It was that time.  This visit was sort of like showing up for a dental cleaning.  You don’t like it but it’s got to be done. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to see my grandfather, it’s just that didn’t want to see him in this condition.



When I walked into room 145, my grandfather was sleeping.  He had oxygen tubes to help his breathing.  He never awoke during the entire time I was there.



I sat down in a chair near the foot of his bed. I figured I would wait to see if he would wake up.  After I sat down I noticed that Grandpa Shuck had a roommate.  The nametags near the entry door told me his roommate was Donald Krack.



Mr. Krack was in a wheelchair with his back to me. He seemed to be preoccupied with something and didn’t look up when I entered the room.  I continued to wait and sit in my chair.  Soon Mr. Krack started to turn his wheelchair in my direction. He still didn’t look my way.  He was slumped over and a seat belt held him in the chair.  His arms and legs didn’t work well and it took him a good amount of time to get the chair turned around.



Finally, he looked my way.  I said hello.  There was no reaction from Mr. Krack.  Even though I got no reaction from him and I wasn’t even sure he was really looking at me I continued to talk to him.  After I while I gave up and concentrated on my grandfather who was still sleeping.



A few more minutes later, I looked over at Mr. Krack again.  I waved at him with my hand without moving my hand from the arm of the chair it was resting on.  Surprisingly, he returned the wave with his hand that was fixed on the wheel chair arm. All right, Mr. Krack was tracking!



He said something that I couldn’t understand. I sensed he might be a stroke victim. From time to time he would say other things, but I still couldn’t understand anything.  As time went by, Mr. Krack pushed his wheelchair closer and closer to me.  It was not long before he had pushed his wheelchair to the point where it touched my chair.  I really didn’t have anywhere else to go in the room so I just sat there.



Now, Mr. Krack’s face was no more than 15 inches from mine.  He looked into my eyes and I looked into his.  This was a strange feeling.  I had come to see my grandfather.  Now I was looking directly into the face of a man I had never met.  For the next 10 minutes, we continued to be within inches of each other.  I had some strange idea that he was going to jump out of his chair and strangle me ala One Flew Over the Coo Coo’s Nest.  That concern was unjustified as Mr. Krack’s days of jumping out of his chair were now past.



I continued to try to talk to him.  I told him it was very hot outside.  I asked him how he liked the food.  Finally, he said some words I could understand.  “My wife died two weeks ago”, he mumbled.  I had noticed a framed obituary of a woman near Mr. Krack’s bed.  I suspected this was his wife.  I also suspected she had not passed just two weeks ago.  I could see tears in his eyes.  I got a couple more words out of him but not much more.



I looked around the room.  There was my grandfather still sleeping in his bed. Mr. Krack had a faraway look on his face.  My grandfather was a very active man and I guess that Mr. Krack had been as well. Now they were in a position during the last days, months or even years of their lives where they could hardly speak or move.



I’ve been to three different nursing homes to see relatives.  I have never had a positive outcome.  Nursing homes are bad places.  They really aren’t bad for the residents.  I am certain the residents get excellent care.  Nursing homes are bad places for the people who have to visit them.  No one wants to see his or her loved ones in such bad shape.



I hope that when my time comes, and the time of those that are close to me, that death comes quickly.  I would hate to see my loved ones linger in this hopeless state. 



Soon it was time to go.  My grandfather had never awakened during the time of my visit. I looked over at Mr. Krack.  I said “Bye”.  He looked in my direction and I heard him say gently, “Bye”. 



I walked back out into the hall where the nursing home employees were busily conversing and going about their duties. I had been in a totally different world for the past 45 minutes with just my grandfather and Mr. Krack.  I walked out the door of the Heritage Center. I don’t expect to ever go back there again, but I hope that I do.








This racetrack is my 17th lifetime countable track to see in Kentucky.  I am tied with Roger Ferrell for 6thplace in the state.   Rick Schneider is the state of Kentucky leader with 44 tracks.  I have 29 countable tracks in the state still to see, of which about 16 race on a weekly basis.



I arrived at the Paducah International Raceway at 5:45 p.m.  It was 94 degrees outside.  I bought a ticket to the grandstand for $20 and placed my Sabo Tourist Fishing sponsored stadium seat in a premium location in the top row near the flagman’s position. The first race was not scheduled to start until 8 p.m.  There are four other classes racing tonight with the headliner UMP Summer Nationals stock cars.  I can’t wait to be entertained by those support classes in this heat.



I went back to the Chevy Malibu and parked on the shady side of a huge motor home.  My momma didn’t race no dumb kids.  I sat in the car for the next two hours getting everything that I’m working on organized.  I ran the engine and the air conditioning.  I have no idea how much gasoline I would burn with the engine idling for this long.  It couldn’t have been that expensive considering the alternative. 



By the way, if you have any interest in figuring out how much I spend on gasoline, I will help you out.  Divide my current mileage from below by 475.  I’m getting about 475 miles per tank full.  Each tank of gas costs about $30.  Just before I reached P.I.R., I filled up for the 10thtime in 14 days.



Why do promoters who have a very good racing product continually present it in the most negative light?  Are they just stupid?  Do they not care about their customers?  Are they just naïve?



Tonight’s program featured the late models of the UMP Summer Nationals.  This had the potential for being one of the better shows I could see all year.  The track was a high banked and fast dirt oval. There were 36 late models on hand with some of the better Midwestern late model drivers including Shannon Babb (above), Kevin Weaver and Wendell Wallace.



What went wrong?  First, they scheduled the show to begin racing at 8 p.m.  Even though it is a Tuesday night program that is at least 30 minutes and maybe an hour too late to start.  Then, they had to have time trials for both the late models and the 20 modifieds in attendance.  Why not go with the U.S.M.T.S. format and forgo time trials all together.  Time trials ran late and the first race did not start until 8:30 p.m.



There were not very many women in the crowd tonight. I watched single man after single man walking from the parking lot to the grandstands.  This looked like the show catered to the professional auto-racing fan.  I am sure most of these people were not here to see any of the support divisions.  I also suspect that many had driven long distances and had to be at work on Wednesday morning.



Wouldn’t it be better to run the late models first so the traveling fans could get on the road?  Which division ran the first heat?  The pure stocks!  Make that the three pure stocks at the track tonight.  Only two cars finished the last eight laps.



This was followed by the late model dash.  The fastest nine cars from qualifications started the dash.  They drew for their positions in the dash.  The top six of the starting nine cars transferred to the “A” main.  I wonder how much UMP officials had to drink before they decided on this format.



It was a very hot and humid night.  I remember a night or two like this back at Peoria Speedway.  It’s hard to even get your breath.  In addition to the terrible weather conditions, my good plan to put my stadium seat at the top row had backfired.  Little did I now when I picked that location that the seat would be near one of the track lights.  Lights tonight meant bugs.  Lots of bugs! Many people including me moved from these prime seats to positions lower in the grandstand that were not as bug invested.



The track also ran steel block late models and four cylinders.  Couldn’t we have invited at least three more classes to race?  The steel block heat race took 16 minutes.  Absolutely ridiculous.  At the onset of the one four-cylinder heat, I went to move my car. At least I can have a preferred exit strategy following the late model feature.  At 10:03 p.m., it was 88 degrees!  The only saving grace was that they did not take an intermission.



I received a very nice trackchaser announcement during a red flag for a modified driver’s injury.  The late model and modified racing was very good.  Cars could pass and race three abreast.  The late model feature checkered at 11:18 p.m. That’s too late for a Tuesday night. There were still two more support features still to run.



I simply cannot believe that someone would go to all of the trouble to buy a racetrack and then run it so poorly. Maybe that is why the few tracks in the country that are promoted well draw excellent crowds, while the poorly promoted tracks change management every few years.  I wish I had been a promoter. 




The National Rental Car Racing Chevy Malibu was worth its weight in gold……as an air conditioner.





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


  1. Any Sivi, Clairton, Pennsylvania – 977
  2. Guy Smith, Effort, Pennsylvania – 969
  3. Gordon Killian, Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania – 964
  4. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 886
  5. Jack Erdmann, DePere, Wisconsin – 872
  6. P.J. Hollebrand, Webster, New York – 817
  7. John Moore, Knoxville, Tennessee – 795
  8. Ed Esser, Madison, Wisconsin – 786 (courtesy note, please try to keep up. If you fall more than 100 tracks behind for a period of greater than seven days, Trackchaser Report bylaws will force me to remove your name from this list)




  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 77
  2. Ed Esser, Madison, Wisconsin – 58
  3. Roland Vanden Eynde, Vilvoorde, Belgium – 39





Chicago O’Hare Airport – trip begins

Marshfield, Wisconsin – 288 miles

Menomonie, Wisconsin – 537 miles

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – 1,767 kilometers

Grand Forks, North Dakota – 1,327 miles

Beaver Dam, Wisconsin – 1,960 miles

Jefferson, Wisconsin – 2, 005 miles

Plover, Wisconsin – 2,171 miles

Antigo, Wisconsin – 2,826 miles

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin – 2,974 miles

Luxemburg, Wisconsin – 3,023 miles

Unity, Wisconsin – 3,326 miles

Crandon, Wisconsin – 3,521 miles

Tomahawk, Wisconsin – 3,576 miles

Three Lakes, Wisconsin – 3,619 miles

Shelbyville, Indiana – 4,276 miles

North Vernon, Indiana – 4,369 miles

Paducah, Kentucky – 4,709 miles



Total trip air travel – 3,472 miles




Marshfield Super Speedway – Free

Red Cedar Speedway – $12

Victory Lane Speedway – $20 Canadian

River Cities Speedway – I’m bringing you in for free!

Raceway @ Powercom Park – $9

Jefferson Speedway – $9

Golden Sands Speedway – $10

Langlade County Speedway – $12

Thunderhill Raceway – $12

Luxemburg Speedway – $12

Monster Hall Raceway – $10

Crandon International Off-Road Course – $15

Pepsi Raceway Park – $10

TNT Speedway – $9

Shelby County Speedway -$8

Jennings County Fairgrounds – $8

Paducah International Raceway – $20




Thanks for reading about my trackchasing,

Randy Lewis

Trackchasing’s #1 trackchaser of the 21stcentury


That’s all the news that’s fit to print from San Clemente where the women are strong, the men are good-looking, all of the children are above average and the real estate prices are way above average.





Planned new racetracks (on the last day of each racing trip I will post my tentative plans for my next trip)

June 29 – Crystal Motor Speedway, Crystal, Michigan

June 30 – Mansfield Motor Speedway, Mansfield, Ohio



Racetracks visited in 2005 (** not the first time to visit this track)

  1. Sungold Stadium aka Premier Speedway, Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia, January 1


  1. Freedom Hall – Oval – Louisville, Kentucky, January 15


  1. Freedom Hall – Figure 8 – Louisville, Kentucky, January 15


  1. Southern Illinois Center, DuQuoin, Illinois, January 16


  1. Golden Aisles Speedway, Waynesville, Georgia, February 25


  1. Zephyrhills Antique Racecar Track, Zephyrhills, Florida, February 26


  1. Dirt Devil’s Speedway, Land O’ Lakes, Florida, February 26


  1. Ringwood Raceway, Ringwood, England, March 25


  1. Birmingham Wheels, Birmingham, England, March 26


  1. Boiling Hills Farm, Sleaford, England, March 27


  1. Snetterton Circuit, Snetterton, England, March 27


**     Great Yarmouth Stadium (oval), Yarmouth, England, March 27


  1. Great Yarmouth Stadium (Figure 8), Yarmouth, England, March 27


  1. The Grove Farm, Monkland, England, March 28


  1. Grimley Raceway, Grimley, England, March 28


  1. Castle Combe Circuit, Castle Combe, England, March 28


  1. Boyd Raceway, Boyd, Texas, April 1


  1. Port City Raceway, Tulsa, Oklahoma, April 2


  1. Outlaw Motor Speedway, Oktaha, Oklahoma, April 2


  1. Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, Jennings, Oklahoma, April 3


  1. JPR Speedway, Tulsa, Oklahoma, April 3


  1. Charlotte County Speedway – Figure 8, Punta Gorda, Florida, April 9


  1. CORA Speedway, Dixon, California, April 16


  1. Reno-Fernley Raceway – Road Course, Fernley, Nevada, April 17


  1. Lakeside Speedway, Kansas City, Kansas, April 22


  1. Salina Speedway, Salina, Kansas, April 23


  1. Jetmore Motorplex, Jetmore, Kansas, April 24


  1. Oberlin Speedway, Oberlin, Kansas, April 24


  1. USA Race Track, Tucson, Arizona, April 30


  1. Tucson Raceway Park (inner oval), Tucson, Arizona, April 30


  1. Driesum Race Track, Driesum, Netherlands, May 5


  1. Autosportsdadion de Polderputten, Ter Apel, Netherlands, May 5


  1. Bellekouter Autocross – oval, Affligem, Belgium, May 8


  1. Bellekouter Autocross – road course, Affligem, Belgium, May 8


  1. Circuit de Croix-En-Ternois, Saint-Pol sur-Ternoise, France May 8


  1. Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany, May 13


  1. Lopik – oval, Lopik, Netherlands, May 14


  1. Lopik – road course, Lopik, Netherlands, May 14


  1. Ten Boer Autocross, Ten Boer, Netherlands, May 14


  1. Rennplatz “Casper Gerd”, Rutenbrock, Germany, May 15


  1. Zuidwolde Autocross, Zuidwolde, Netherlands, May 15


  1. Midland Speedway Circuit, Lelystad, Netherlands, May 15


  1. Aalten Autocross, Aalten, Netherlands, May 16


  1. Circuit de Peel International Speedway, Venray, Netherlands, May 16


  1. U.S. 30 Speedway – permanent inner oval, Columbus, Nebraska, May 26


  1. Hitchcock County Speedway, Culbertson Nebraska, May 27


  1. Pikes Peak International Raceway, Fountain, Colorado, May 28


  1. Colorado National Speedway – asphalt oval, Dacono, Colorado, May 28


  1. Colorado National Speedway – figure 8, Dacono, Colorado, May 28


  1. Rocky Mountain National Speedway – figure 8, Commerce City, Colorado, May 28


  1. Broken Bow Wilderness Park – figure 8, Fullerton, Nebraska, May 29


  1. Casino Speedway, Watertown, South Dakota, May 29


  1. Sioux Speedway, Sioux Center, Iowa, May 30


  1. Madison Speedway, Madison, Minnesota, May 30


  1. Hawkeye Downs, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, June 3


  1. Autobahn Country Club – North Course, Joliet, Illinois, June 4


  1. Shadyhill Speedway, Medaryville, Indiana, June 4


  1. Pottawattamie County Fairgrounds, Avoca, Iowa, June 5


  1. Dawson County Speedway, Lexington, Nebraska, June 5


  1. Marshfield Super Speedway, Marshfield, Wisconsin, June 14


  1. Red Cedar Speedway, Menomonie, Wisconsin, June 15


  1. Victory Lane Speedway, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, June 16


  1. River Cities Speedway, Grand Forks, North Dakota, June 17


  1. Raceway @ Powercom Park, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, June 18


  1. Jefferson Speedway, Jefferson, Wisconsin – outer oval, June 18


  1. Jefferson Speedway, Jefferson, Wisconsin – inner oval, June 18


  1. Golden Sands Speedway, Plover, Wisconsin – June 19


  1. Langlade County Speedway, Antigo, Wisconsin – June 21


  1. Thunderhill Raceway, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin – June 22


  1. Luxemburg Speedway, Luxemburg, Wisconsin – June 23


  1. Monster Hall Raceway, Unity, Wisconsin – June 24


  1. Crandon International Off-Road Course, Crandon, Wisconsin – June 25


  1. Pepsi Raceway Park, Tomahawk, Wisconsin – June 25


  1. TNT Speedway, Three Lakes, Wisconsin – June 25


  1. Shelby County Speedway – permanent oval, Shelbyville, Indiana – June 26


  1. Shelby County Speedway – temporary oval, Shelbyville, Indiana – June 26


  1. Jennings County Fairgrounds, North Vernon, Indiana – June 27


  1. Paducah International Speedway, Paducah, Kentucky – June 28








Don’t be dumb.

It’s important in life to limit your liabilities.  That’s why everyone, with any valuable assets should have an insurance umbrella policy.  In order to limit my own liabilities my lawyers ask that I make this simple post at least once a year.



Don’t blame me.

I am not responsible for any other trackchaser’s actions be they personal, financial or otherwise.  If any of my fellow competitors make inappropriate trackchasing decisions, while trying to keep up with my track totals, and which may or may not result in their financial demise they cannot blame me for it.  Most of my fellow competitors are still “working for the man”.  As most everyone knows a dollar spent today is FOUR DOLLARS that won’t be available for retirement in fifteen years.  Lots of money can be wasted on trackchasing.  If any of my fellow competitors run out of money, have to work longer or both it’s on them and not me.



This is just like your daily newspaper.

One more reminder, my Trackchaser Reports are just like your daily newspaper (remember newspapers).  It is divided into sections.  Just like you probably don’t often read everything in every section of your newspaper you can’t be expected to read every word of each Trackchaser Report. However, if you don’t read every word you just might miss winning a valuable six-dollar Wal-Mart gift certificate awarded to my frequent readers program members.



My Trackchaser Reports will tell you about the racetrack I visited.  However, that will be only one of the highlights discussed.  You’ll also get the “commentary of the trip” just as if you were sitting in the front seat right beside me.  You’ll hear about the “Trackchaser Tourist Attractions”, the “Places to Eat Before it’s Too Late” and lots of other good stuff.  You can’t be expected to be in Paducah one night, then Killeen the next and finally Omaha the next afternoon.  Don’t worry; I do it so you don’t have too.



You’ll read about lots of diverse stuff.

Along the way, you’ll get a financial tip or two.  I’ve been retired ten years so if it worked for me it might work for you.  I’ll discuss the rules and regulations of the trackchasing hobby.  I’ll even cover the behind the scenes “political hi-jinks” that go on in smoke-filled rooms attended only by the privileged in the trackchasing political hierarchy.



In essence you will get it all from someone who has been around the trackchasing block more than a time or two.  So whether the “Plan” the “Trip” or the “People” is your favorite section, or any other parts for that matter, I hope you continue reading the parts you like and reading as much as you like.



The printed word morphs into the digital age.

Over time many folks have supplemented their reading by viewing my photos (Picasa) and videos (YouTube).  As a matter of fact, by the time you read this Trackchaser Report the total amount of views of my racing films on YouTube will have exceeded 100,000 (one hundred thousand).  If you were part of those views I hope you liked what you saw.



I will continue to make a typo or too.  Research tells me that some folks look for that stuff and expect it. 



Time to wrap it up.

The lawyers are telling me to wrap it up.  According to them I have satisfied my “legal requirements for full disclosure and liability limitations” for another year.










What’s the most fun part of this for me? …………..details in “The Plan”.



The south is different……………..more in “The People”.



Would this be the best run program of the year? …………..details in “Race Results”.





That would be a legitimate question to ask.  It HAS been 19 days since my last trackchasing adventure….in Ecuador.  Of course, one of my time management goals is to spend time doing lots of different activities.  That means I will be taking off at least 22 weekends from my trackchasing hobby. Left to my own devices I might go trackchasing every weekend.  However, that would short change so many other people and it would short change me. 



Goal: 22 weekends away from trackchasing (just to keep my free time in perspective)



Current results: SIX weekends off and well on my way to meeting and maybe even exceeding my entertainment diversity goal.



We try to stay busy.

During one of the two weekends off Carol and I took in a Jerry Seinfeld concert.  We preceded our outing with dinner at an authentic Ecuadorian restaurant so I could compare their food with the real thing I experienced in Ecuador itself on my most recent international trackchasing trip.



This is always a fun weekend.

The next weekend was reserved for a three-day college fraternity golf outing (Delta Sigma Pi).  Some parts of the outing went well and some didn’t go well.  I hosted the event at my golf club in San Clemente.  A weekend highlight was having friend Dan Smith join us. Dan was a former standout for the Bradley Braves and part of the team that won the N.I.T. championship in 1960. That year Bradley was ranked #4 in the nation and, for their only time ever, beat the #1 ranked team in the nation, which was the Cincinnati Bearcats, 91-90.  Dan jokingly tells how he “held” Oscar Robertson to just 46 points in that game. Dan is now a PGA teaching golf pro and gave everyone a few pointers.



The weekend was highlighted with a bunch of “sixty-something” guys bullshitting late well into the night after dining at the area’s best restaurants. There was one downside to the weekend. In the middle of the first round an insect bit the back of my right hand.  It swelled up to well over twice its normal size.  I was dispatched to the Doctor for a tetanus shot and ten days’ worth of antibiotics.  I had to miss the last two rounds of golf but not the BS sessions.  It is exactly weekends like this that encourage me to pursue “free time diversification”.



On the morning my golfing brothers were flying to their homes in Las Vegas and Chicago I was poised to attend the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana.  I had not been to the track since the year it opened in 1997.  It definitely is not a NASCAR favorite track of mine.  It’s way too wide with little to no side-by-side racing. However, I was willing to give it another chance.



The forecast called for a 90% chance of rain by 1-2 p.m.  Race time was 12 noon.  I did not fancy battling the congestion to see less than a full race or maybe even no race.  I elected not to go even though my race scanner was fully charged.  Did it rain?  Yes. Was the race shortened?  Yes.  The rains came on lap 129 of the 200-lap race.  Once again my iPhone Weather app had saved my day.








From one of my long-time Texas readers regarding the buying of lottery tickets.



“Congrats on country #57!  I always get a kick out of reading your trip reports, but this one was especially enjoyable, perhaps because of your visit to your driver’s family home.  Plus I love getting a bargain, especially on a meal, so I liked hearing about those parts too.



I do occasionally buy a lottery ticket.  You said:  “Secondly you’re chances of winning are roughly the same whether you buy a ticket or not.”  Au contraire, my globetrotting friend!  The chances when you don’t buy a ticket are very precise: 0.  The chances when you do buy a ticket can also be calculated very precisely; for the Texas lotto, the chances of winning the jackpot are 1 in 17.5 million, or about 5.71428571 × 10 to the minus 8th power per cent.  That’s WAY better than ZERO!” 











The Plan 



What’s the most fun part of this for me?

The planning process is probably the most fun part of trackchasing for me.  I’ve been doing this for a long time.  I’ve finished in the top three trackchasers for eleven consecutive years. As I begin the head into the heart of the trackchasing season I am reminded of three important factors in trackchasing timing.



The three seasons of trackchasing.

First, virtually every ice race runs from just January to February.  Secondly, almost all of the once a year racing events at the country’s county fairs race from July to August. 



This leaves the regularly scheduled events, mainly on ovals.  These tracks begin racing when the weather turns warm (April/May).  They finish their seasons when the weather turns cooler and kids head back to school (September/October).  There are exceptions to these rules but not many.



Where did all the tracks go?

I am now down to just 12 tracks that race on Friday night.  Long ago I eliminated the few regularly scheduled Sunday night tracks.  I have seen all but about fourteen permanent road courses in the U.S. and Canada.  For the most part that leaves just regularly scheduled Saturday night oval tracks for March, April, May, June, September and October.  It’s important to understand your market so you can set your goals accordingly.



For the past week or more I have spent hours on my computer first searching out tracks that would be racing at the end of March.  My time was also spent trying to find a way to get there from the most remote logistical spot of any U.S. based trackchaser.  Yes, I’m talking about my home, which sits roughly at the intersection of Tijuana, Mexico, the Pacific Ocean and the southern tip of California.  I guess the trackchasing god’s knew that I would have many advantages over my fellow competitors.  Therefore, they decided to put my 2,000-3,000 miles from most of the tracks!  No problemo. It just makes the planning all the more fun.



The plan(s)

Plan 1 – This was going to be an easy out Friday back Sunday trip to first Tennessee, then North Carolina and then up to Martinsville, Virginia for the Sunday afternoon NASCAR race.



Plan 2 – However, I discovered a unique race opportunity in North Carolina on Thursday night.  If that worked I could then add a Wednesday night special event in North Carolina, add in all of Plan 1 and trackchase from Wednesday through Sunday.



Plan 3 – Just when I was about ready to leave the house the countability of Thursday’s race came into question. That uncertainty would also knock out Wednesday’s track since I wouldn’t have anywhere to be on Thursday.  I never like to spend a day on the road without seeing a new track on one of these trips.  I love racing but I don’t want to be away from home without racing activity. It was about this time that the Friday Tennessee forecast changed from a 20% chance of precipitation to 80%.



Plan 4 – About this time I found a track in Kentucky that was racing on Friday night.  However, the Friday Tennessee rain was moving into North Carolina for Saturday.  That was bad news for the balance of the trip.



Plan 5 – This effort called for a Friday race in Kentucky and then a possible two-track adventure in Texas on Saturday.  However, I could not get from Texas to Virginia on Sunday morning for the NASCAR race. This brought Louisiana into consideration for Sunday afternoon.



Plan 6 – However, when I got more information about Louisiana I found they had only four cars signed up to race for their show.  With that low car count they might not race.  Continuing to search I found a race on Sunday afternoon in Nebraska that might go with Friday night in Kentucky and Saturday night in Texas.  Of course, most of these plans would require that I either sleep overnight on an airplane or in my car.



Plan 7 – It was about this time that I came in contact with a driver who was racing in North Carolina on Friday night. There were two problems with this idea. The weather wasn’t great and there might only be one or two “countable” cars at the race.  Two cars would work; one car would be a disaster.



What to do?

That’s right.  What to do?  Now can you see the fun that’s in all of this for me?  No, the question is not whether this would be fun for someone else. However, the creativity and flexibility that is required to pull one of these trips off is what drives me in the trackchasing hobby.




The Trip



Just a few ‘housekeeping’ chores before departure.

I woke up this morning in San Clemente, California.  I went to bed aboard a plane flying from Phoenix, Arizona to Charlotte, North Carolina. This is what today looked like.




On the way to the airport I had to stop at my golf club’s driving range to hit a bucket of balls.  You can never practice, assuming you are practicing properly, golf enough.  Then I met up with Carol to take in an afternoon movie, “Jeff Who Lives At Home”. Carol and I enjoy going to the movies and this was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time.  We capped off our late afternoon at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, the El Cortez in Laguna Niguel. Living just 75 miles north of the Mexican border gives up plenty of just as authentic as real Mexico restaurants.



Following our meal Carol drove south to San Clemente.  I drove north to LAX.  I would be boarding a plane from Los Angeles to Phoenix.  I would then have a three-hour layover there before getting on a 1:20 a.m. Phoenix-Charlotte departure.



It was finally decision time.

When I arrived in Charlotte some four hours after leaving from Phoenix I would have a decision to make.  I could stay in Charlotte and drive just forty miles to a local track.  There were two problems with that plan.  First, I did not have a final confirmation from my brand new driver friend if there would even be two countable cars at the track!  Secondly, and just as important was the weather forecast.  It called for a 40% chance of rain at race time. If I have plenty of choices I would never go where the chance of rain is that great.  However, I did not have that many Friday night options.



Would it be North Carolina or Kentucky?

When I landed in Charlotte I would check my email and the weather again.  If I did not get confirmation about the Charlotte area race I would likely head to Nashville, Tennessee.  From there I would drive nearly three hours to Kentucky.  If I ended up going to Kentucky I would have to sleep overnight in my car on Friday.  If I trackchased in North Carolina I would at least be able to get a hotel. 



Prying eyes.

Astute readers will note that I have mentioned state names rather than track names in my planning process. Why?  Folks, often time “prying eyes are watching”.  I’m not here to give my fellow competitors a COMPLETE understanding of what it takes to be successful in this hobby.  They should have to do some of the pre-planning stuff on their own right?  Heck, even if I told them what to do I’m not sure they could do it.



Carol had been forewarned.

I had warned Carol in advance that I might not have time for a hotel on any of the three nights I expected to be gone. I reminded her that I might return unshaven and looking a bit homeless.  Her advice to me?  “I don’t think your seatmates on the airplane are going to like sitting next to you”. She was probably right.  Carol is always looking out for the other people.




The People



I like the south.

The south is different.  I like the south.  I like southern people.  However, their racial past is almost beyond belief.  Recently I invited Dan Smith, former Bradley University basketball star (1960 N.I.T. champs) to a day at my golf club.  Dan played on some of the most famous Bradley University basketball teams in the school’s history.  Since I was eleven years old it was the most fun to be able to ask him questions about this long ago era.



Bradley University is in Peoria, Illinois.  I grew up across the river from Peoria.  Peoria is just three hours north of St. Louis.  Dan told me the team had some of its biggest racial discrimination problems in St. Louis and some other Missouri cities.  Oscar Robertson, college basketball’s biggest star of 1960, was not allowed to stay with the team in Houston, Texas because of his skin color. What were they thinking? 



The “chaining” of America hasn’t wiped out all of our differences.

Even today probably the biggest difference in people in the U.S. is between the folks from the south and the people who live in the north.  Of course, those easterners can be a different breed as well. 



I had the opportunity to observe my fellow Americans from the south on this trip.  I would be in and out of the Charlotte airport several times.  Did you know the Charlotte airport still has a black bathroom “attendant”?  Yes, this person makes sure you have a towel when you need one and the mouthwash dispenser is operational.  I even noticed the Orange County Fair Speedway, in Middletown, New York, had a “blast from the past” in the form of a bathroom attendant.



The friendliest staff in the country.

Of course whenever I come to the south I have to stop at least once at a Waffle House.  We don’t have ‘em in California.  I don’t know of any business that has a staff as friendly as those at WH. They ALWAYS greet you when you come through the door.  The patrons already eating look up to see who has come into the restaurant when these greetings are loudly announced.  Where else do you see something like that?  No, Wal-Mart has pretty much done away with their greeters.  I’ve had Wal-Mart greeters tell me that job didn’t exist to welcome customers but to watch the door so that customers weren’t leaving the store with items they had not paid for, i.e. stealing.



My server at the Waffle House was a younger southern woman.  She was most attentive.  I am always super respectful of people who serve me in any way.  Someone once said that a true test of character is not how you treat your boss or even your family.  It’s how you treat the people in life, like waitresses, desk clerks and others in service positions, when you know they aren’t likely to be able to help you in life.



On one occasion today I asked my server who was standing about ten feet from me, “Excuse me, would you mind refilling my drink”.  Her caring response was “Honey, don’t be afraid to ask me to help you.  It’s my job”.  Of course she was about 30 years old and I was twice her age.



Direct from ‘Casting 101’.

I have always said if I were casting a movie for the “down and out” in life’s big picture I would simply go to a Waffle House.  There just like my as my grandmother used to say I could “take my pick”.  At the table next to me was a very thin woman of about my age.  Throughout her entire meal she sobbed and sobbed.  I never did get the jist of what she was concerned about.  Of course, my server knew the woman personally and assured her all was going to be O.K.  In situations like this I enjoy leaving a very large tip.  To see these people “light up” at their immediate good fortune is worth many times the size of the tip.



When you give, you frequently get.

When I arrived at the racetrack in Kentucky I sat for a few minutes in my car.  That was good fortune for me.  A couple of “big ol’ boys” from the Bluegrass state walked up to my car door.  “You already got your ticket?” they asked. Nope, I didn’t have a ticket. “Good, we’ve got some extras. Here you go”.  The big fella bent down to look inside my car.  “You got anybody else with you.  We have a few more tickets,” he said.



Folks I was in the south.  I was not standing outside of Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Had I been there and had there been “extra tickets” I don’t think they would have offered them to me for free!  There are major differences in the south and everywhere else.



She’s right.

Carol always says that when “you give you get”.  Of course, in most cases it’s probably not a good idea to be giving just to get.  My tip on my nine-dollar Waffle House bill was healthy.  However, it was still less than twelve dollars, the value to the ticket that I was given.  Folks, those who give will get a lot more back in life even if it’s simply the smile and gratification from the person receiving your gift.











I have no idea how the track in Paducah, Kentucky got to be an “international” track.  It’s not anywhere near a foreign border.  They don’t play the national anthem of any other country than the U.S. before the races start.  If I had to guess, the incidence of foreign travellers amongst the P.I.R. clientele would be lower than normal.



Nevertheless, the track does have some famous owners.  NASCAR drivers Ken Schrader, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart are all part owners of this track.  I guess if you were a driver or fan and was injured at the speedway having these three rich guys would make a better lawsuit than a fellow who lived in a “single-wide” across the street from the track.



I was back for the little track.

Tonight I was here to see racing on the inner oval.  Back in 2005, I came here, on a blistering hot day, to see racing on the high-banked 1/3-mile dirt oval.  Nowadays several tracks are building “an oval inside an oval”.  Smaller cars and younger drivers race on these layouts. As you know by now, trackchasing rules allow chasers to count an inner oval for full credit.  I trackchase according to all rules, guidelines and bylaws of the trackchasing hobby.



A blast from the past.

By the way, the “outer” oval was my 886th lifetime track to see.  Tonight’s inner oval was track #1,737.  I didn’t enjoy myself as much on my first visit to P.I.R.  If you’re interested in reading that report it appears at the bottom of THIS report.  Of course, no extra charge for the added creative content!  You might be interested in how my reporting has changed over the years….and how it has stayed the same.



Was this fellow going to live up to his reputation?

The track promoter is a fellow named Bob Sargent (above left).  Bob promotes several tracks in Illinois as well as P.I.R.  This past year Bob was named “Promoter of the Year” on a national basis.  That meant that I should expect a pretty good racing program from a promoter like this. Would the show live up to Mr. Sargent’s reputation or would it be like so many short track shows and fail in many areas of customer satisfaction?




I’m here to tell that this show was run nearly perfectly.  If these folks can do it, then why can’t everybody get their promotional act together? If I were thirty years younger I would have loved to have been a track promoter.



I had called ahead to find out for sure that one and only countable class, the UMP 4-cylinder “Warriors”, were racing on the inner oval.  Sometimes classes like this take the week off.  Sometimes they race, a time or two each year, on the bigger oval.



A P.I.R. employee called me back promptly.  Yes the warriors would be racing on the smaller oval he told me.  “Bob has them run their heat races to start the program. Then their feature race is the last event of the night.  Don’t be late, sometimes he starts them a few minutes early,” the caller explained.



The miracles just kept coming….I loved it.

First of all, it’s a minor miracle if a short track starts on time.  I consider any track that starts within 15 minutes of the advertised starting time as being “on time”.  That’s a pretty liberal view isn’t it?  When was the last time any professional sporting event you attended or even a movie for that matter started after the advertised start time?  Short track promoters just don’t “get it” in about 80% of the cases.  The folks at P.I.R. get it!



The racing began right on time at 7:30 p.m.  The track was damp but not too damp.  There was not a bit of dust all night.  After several races large track packers “ran in” the “cushion” (Yes, I know these are a lot of racing’s technical terms) for a couple of laps.



Don’t have a race scanner?  If you want to hear the ‘inside scoop’ you better get one.

I had the benefit of listening to the P.I.R. crew over my race scanner (channel 153.700).  These guys didn’t kid around.  When one race ended they had the next racing field coming onto the track almost immediately.  There were very few yellow flags. 



The race director was giving advice and direction to several on track employees all night.  Even the guy who had responsibility for the “the string and the cone” had a radio headset.  The flagman was outstanding.  He didn’t waste any time starting or restarting the race.  Sometimes the track packer would be exiting turn four and heading toward the infield with the racecars in the middle of turns three and four.  Most tracks would wait another lap to start the race.  Not P.I.R. Just something as simple as not “taking another lap” probably saved them thirty minutes of dead time tonight.



There were five classes of 10-14 cars per class.  Those are small car counts.  Each class ran two heats.  In the heats they used “passing points” to help determine the feature line-up.  Most promoters don’t have the “balls” to do that. The fast guys, who normally have the most political clout, want to start up front, stay up front and transfer to the front of the feature without passing a car for position all night.



P.I.R. had the right people in the right places.

The track’s most important “consumer” employee is the announcer.  P.I.R. has an excellent announcer.  The track’s speaker system is located on poles behind the spectators.  Normally the speakers are in front of the speaker. The speaker quality where I sat, right behind the flagman, was not as clear as I would have liked.  Although when I ventured just 75 feet to my left the sound was perfect.



With just five and six car heats that part of the program was not outstanding.  At least I knew the drivers were trying to pass each other to earn more passing points. The ten heats were done in 45 minutes or so.  Remember, this was “opening night” so you might expect some “bugs” in the program but there really weren’t any. 



Would the program fall apart with a long intermission?

At 8:15 p.m. the track went to intermission.  I fully expected with a large crowd on hand that intermission might take a very long time while they tried to unload that “last hot dog”.  Nope!  With people still standing in the concession line the intermission ended after fifteen minutes.  Mind you, this was on a perfect 75-degree weather night as well.



At around 8:30 p.m. the feature racing started.  There were five classes tonight including 1) crate late models, 2) modifieds, 3) late models, 4) street stocks and 5) warriors (above).  The first three features were for the three main classes, the crates, mods and late models.  The features for these groups were 15-20 laps.  What’s good about this?  First, the fans don’t want to wait through nine classes of racing to get to the top one or two classes.  Secondly, with lower car counts features don’t have to be thirty laps.



I fear I won’t see a program all year long that is this well run.

I left at 9:17 p.m. after seeing some well above average feature racing.  With the mods the second place driver did a “slide job” on the leader in turn four of the last lap to grab the lead just 100 yards from the checkered flag. However, he couldn’t maintain his line and the former leader did a “crossover” to get the feature win.



I had a three-hour driver back to Nashville and a 4 a.m. wakeup call in my immediate future.  Others must have had “things to do” as well as several people (but still far less than half) headed for the exits after the late model feature.  Good for P.I.R. for having the best features first!



Friday nights are far less popular than Saturdays for short track racing.  This form of entertainment attracts more of a “blue collar” fan than your local polo club might.  These folks have to work for a living so getting home from work and heading to the races on Friday night is difficult. 



However, with the strong promotion and racing program, one of the larger crowds (maybe 1,000 people) that I will likely see at a normal weekly all year showed up tonight.  What the P.I.R. promoter did was not “rocket science”. Just about anybody COULD do it but very few DO do it.



Is effective race promotion really that hard?

How hard is it to throw the green flag at the advertised start time?  How hard is it to have the cars from the next race drive onto the track as the cars from the previous race are leaving the track?  How hard is it to keep the track from throwing off enough dust to cause several cases of “black lung”?  How hard is it to keep concession prices low (hog dogs were $1.50, cheeseburgers $3.50)? How hard is it to spend a few extra bucks to get a first class announcer and flagman?



It must be pretty hard.  Most tracks can’t or don’t do it.  However, the Paducah International Raceway “gets it”. No wonder they have the “promoter of the year”.  I hope I see another track or two in all of 2012 that can match P.I.R. on so many fronts. I might not.








This evening I saw my 32nd lifetime track in Kentucky, the Bluegrass state, yes the Bluegrass state. 



I have about twenty tracks left to see in Kentucky.  Only two of those race on a regularly scheduled basis.  Websites are still taking hold in Kentucky.  I say to all Kentuckians; the internet is here to stay.  If I could properly check those twenty remaining tracks I might find that several are no longer active.



Somewhat surprisingly to me, Rich Schneider has reported the most tracks in the Bluegrass state with 44.  Ed Esser has seen the fifth most tracks in Kentucky just one ahead of me.




Coming Soon – RLR – Randy Lewis Racing Exclusive Features!

Do some trackchasers carry an unfair geographical advantage?



Should foreign trackchasers be given a handicap so they can enjoy the fruits of trackchasing glory?




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:  Ain’t no point in beatin’ a dead horse…’course, can’t hurt none either.









Los Angeles, CA (LAX) – Phoenix, AZ (PHX) – 369 miles

Phoenix, AZ (PHX) – Charlotte, NC (CLT) – 1,770 miles

Charlotte, NC (CLT) – Nashville, TN (BNA) – 328 miles




Nashville International Airport – trip begins

Paducah, KY – 157 miles





Paducah International Raceway – No charge – free ticket from a local fan








There are no trackchasers currently within 300 tracks of my lifetime total.  Don’t blame me.


  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 1,737





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.


Racing from the Paducah International Raceway in 2012. Sorry! I don’t know what was going on with the sound. 



The trip from start to finish in pictorial form via video!





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.




 Racing from Paducah, first in 2005 and then 2012










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