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Trackchasing Champs

Champion

Trackchasing Champs

From the travels and adventures of the “World’s #1 Trackchaser”

 

 

 

HighlightsPast Trackchasing Champs

Trackchasing is a very competitive hobby!

competitive

Attention!

Effective January 1, 2019 a change in trackchaser championship eligibility will take effect. It’s based on what the sport of major league baseball does with its batting champion statistics. There is probably no sport that tops baseball for being on top of player stats. In order to be a batting champion in Major League Baseball a batter must have had 3.1 plate appearances for each of the season’s 162 games. That comes to a total of 502 at bats. This rule is designed to prevent a player coming to bat, let’s say 40 times and getting 20 hits for a .500 batting average, and winning the batting title. Baseball doesn’t think, and I doubt many baseball fans do either, that a player who goes 20 for 40 and gets a .500 batting average should win the batting title.

 

 

Something similar to the “20 for 40” analogy in trackchasing exists. Over the past couple of years “rookie” trackchasers came into the season with very low lifetime trackchasing totals (less than 400 tracks). They ended up seeing a large amount of tracks in a single year. It is obviously much easier for someone to see lots of tracks when they haven’t seen very many in the past. In many of those cases, after a brand new trackchaser picked all of the low hanging fruit, the next year those “chasers” almost stopped trackchasing all together! It wouldn’t be fair to the people who have made a strong commitment to the hobby to be compared to people who have put almost no time and effort to the hobby of trackchasing.

 

 

Up to now no trackchaser, in the modern era of trackchasing (since 2000), has ever been able to win the trackchasing championship with almost no background whatsoever in trackchasing….although some have come close. In order to prevent anyone from becoming a trackchasing champion with the equivalent of going “20 for 40” effective January 1, 2019 only those trackchasers who enter the season with a lifetime track total of at least 400 tracks will be eligible to win the trackchasing championship. This leaves the chase for the championship open to 35-40 trackchasers who have demonstrated a commitment to trackchasing.

 

 

By the way here are some examples of what I’m describing that has happened in the recent past. These trackchasers had a “career” year once and then fell off the trackchasing map the next year. This is NOT a criticism of any trackchaser. I hope that each year every chaser gets to see racing at as many new tracks as they want. The 2019 policy change as regards championship eligibility is not retroactive.

 

 

Bing Metz 2009 – 174 tracks; 2010 – 33 tracks

Jeff Sands 2013 – 75 tracks; 2014 – 30 tracks

John Ritter 2017 – 103 tracks; 2018 – 13 tracks

 

 

This method of calculating the championship is totally consistent with a rule that has been in place in trackchasing for years. It takes a minimum of 400 tracks for a trackchaser to be eligible to vote on any prospective rule changes. This requirement is in place to prevent people who have not made much of a commitment to trackchasing (yet) from having an impact on the rules that trackchasers have followed for more than 20 years. Consistency and commitment to the hobby of trackchasing is paramount. If someone has shown the commitment to trackchasing they are eligible to both vote on rule changes and compete for the coveted trackchasing annual championship.

 

 

Yes, trackchasing is a competitive hobby.  Trackchasers will go nearly to the end of the world and spend their cat’s milk money just to add one more track.  Most trackchasers will not even consider returning to a faraway track after they have counted it just once.  Trackchasing is a “counting” hobby.  Trackchasing is not really a racing hobby. Trackchasing is a “one and done” hobby for the most part with track visits.

 


Few trackchasers can ever say they saw more tracks in a given year than all of their fellow competitors.  The results listed here come from the most reliable sources available.  Prior to about the year 2000 some trackchasers had submitted their track lists without a specific date when that track was visited.  In those cases the tracks do not count in their annual results.  Tracks without a date count in lifetime totals just not in annual totals. 

 

early days
In the early days of trackchasing most trackchasers did not submit their track lists with a date included when the track was first visited.  This is why you will see some “champions” with very low track totals.  Up through the 80s and 90s only a few trackchasers thought to include dates with their track submissions.  In reality, only a few people were even “competing” for the championship in those early years because of the date issue. This means that in some cases, prior to about 2000, a trackchaser who might have seen a lot of tracks, but never submitted the dates when those tracks were seen, had actually seen the most tracks. Doesn’t matter. During that time period if you didn’t submit a date your results were not counted in the annual results.

 


From about 2000 forward just about every trackchaser was sending in a date with the track submission.  Therefore, for the past 20 years or so, nearly every trackchaser was competing for the championship.  As you can see it normally takes 100 tracks or more to be a trackchasing champ nowadays.

 

 

I have a deadline of a month or so at the end of the calendar year for a trackchaser’s results to be posted. I gather the numbers from any source that I deem credible. I don’t accept “retroactive” results. Let’s say a trackchaser comes along in 2018 and can legitimately prove that he/she saw 150 new tracks back in 1986 when the leading total was 31 tracks. Sorry. Too late. In 1986 Guy Smith will forever be known as the trackchasing champion….with 31 tracks.

 

champion

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2018 – Randy Lewis – San Clemente, California – 112

2017 – Randy Lewis – San Clemente, California – 115

2016 – Randy Lewis – San Clemente, California – 106

2015 – Randy Lewis – San Clemente, California – 134

2014 – Randy Lewis – San Clemente, California – 130
2013 – Randy Lewis – San Clemente, California – 109
2012 – Mike Knappenberger – Reading, Pennsylvania – 102

2011 – Randy Lewis – San Clemente, California – 113

2010 – Randy Lewis – San Clemente, California – 95

2009 – Bing Metz – Tatamy, Pennsylvania – 174

2008 – Mike Knappenberger – Reading, Pennsylvania – 167

2007 – Randy Lewis – San Clemente, California – 160 

2006 – Randy Lewis – San Clemente, California – 147

2005 – Randy Lewis – San Clemente, California – 182

2004 – Randy Lewis – San Clemente, California – 127

2003 – Ed Esser – Madison, Wisconsin – 114

2002 – Andy Sivi – Clairton, Pennsylvania – 83

2001 – Andy Sivi – Clairton, Pennsylvania – 101

2000 – Andy Sivi – Clairton, Pennsylvania – 100

1999 – Gordon Killian – Reading, Pennsylvania – 55

1998 – Jack Erdmann – DePere, Wisconsin – 63

1997 – Will White – Quakertown, Pennsylvania – 60

1996 – Mark Kelly – Milton Keynes, England – 64

1995 – Jack Erdmann – DePere, Wisconsin – 63

1994 – Jack Erdmann – DePere, Wisconsin – 54

1993 – Jack Erdmann – DePere, Wisconsin – 52

1992 – Guy Smith – Effort, Pennsylvania – 36

1991 – Jack Erdmann – DePere, Wisconsin – 45

1990 – Andy Sivi – Clairton, Pennsylvania – 94

1989 – Guy Smith – Effort, Pennsylvania – 40

1988 – Andy Sivi – Clairton, Pennsylvania – 44

1987 – Guy Smith – Effort, Pennsylvania – 41

1986 – Guy Smith – Effort, Pennsylvania – 31

1985 – P.J. Hollebrand – Webster, New York – 23

1984 – Guy Smith – Effort, Pennsylvania – 24

1983 – Don McAuley – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – 27

1982 – Andy Sivi – Clairton, Pennsylvania – 25

1981 – Don McAuley – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – 23

1980- Guy Smith – Effort, Pennsylvania – 42

1979 – P.J. Hollebrand – Webster, New York/Don McAuley – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – 9

1978 – Andy Sivi – Clairton, Pennsylvania – 13

1977 – P.J. Hollebrand – Webster, New York – 21

1976 – P.J. Hollebrand – Webster, New York – 18

1975 – P.J. Hollebrand – Webster, New York – 40

1974 – P.J. Hollebrand – Webster, New York – 56

1973 – P.J. Hollebrand – Webster, New York – 44

1972 – P.J. Hollebrand – Webster, New York – 24

1971 – Jody Scheckter – Somewhere in Africa – 15

1970 – Gary Jacob – Turlock, California – 8

1969 – Allan Brown – Comstock Park, Michigan – 12

 

 


Comments

  1. I imagine Randy I hold the record for race track visits for someone confined to a wheelchair. I started going to the races in 1968. I did not really begin going to many tracks until 1976. I like to attend new tracks too…but like to see old friends and drivers I can talk with and meet. I have been to 89 tracks in the USA and 3 in Canada. I admire your dedication but some of the tracks you and Guy consider race tracks are far from professional. Do you have a number for permanent facilities?

    I’m not sure if you plan on attending the St. Petersburg Grand Prix for the INDY cars. I did not see that in your list. Here, like my former home in Connecticut you could add 6 tracks in no time…and if you like a Baseball game too. Let me know…

    Stay safe and the very best of success in 2015.

    Sincerely,

    Rick Raducha

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