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Penns Creek Raceway Park

Penns Creek 2

Greetings from first Summit Point, West Virginia and then Middleburg, Pennsylvania

 

From the travels and adventures of the 

“World’s #1 Trackchaser”

summit point pano

Summit Point Motorsports Park – Shenandoah Circuit

Lifetime Track #1,968

 

Later in the day….

penns creek pano

Penns Creek Raceway Park – dirt oval

Lifetime Track #1,969

HighlightsThe EventVideosPhotos

 

I take lots of flights.

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sugar cookie

I always bring Carol a treat.

 

We weren’t in California anymore.

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ards farm market sign

Ard’s Farm Market saved the day.

 

I don’t get to West Virginia often.

 

I like to challenge folks when I talk to them.

 

A special bonus for Carol?

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forgiveness 

It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

 

Our youthful euphoria was tempered, no muted, no smothered.

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chump cars 

Chump cars are fun to watch.

 

Summit Point….a very unique racing property.

 

Busted!

 

East coast tracks have the best food.

 

This was a most unique and entertaining fan option.

.

hillbiilly 

It was obvious. We ‘weren’t from around here’.

 

 

airplane 234

I take lots of flights.

I woke up this morning in Dearborn, Michigan. Carol woke up in Alexandria, Virginia. We both went to bed in Arlington, Virginia. This is what the day looked like.

 

 

The first item on this morning’s agenda was to grab an early morning flight (6:10 a.m. Eastern time – that would be 3:10 a.m. Pacific time) from Detroit to Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport. Does that sound like “early morning” to you?

 

 

As you can see if you’ve read my reports for very long….I take lots of very early flights and lots of very late flights. I take lots of flights.

 

Lorien hotel

I wanted Carol to be comfortable.

Once I landed I needed to head over to toney Alexandria, Virginia. That’s where the rich people live. That’s where Carol was housed. She had stayed at the most upscale Lorian Hotel & Spa in this Washington, D.C. suburb last evening. With my race in Michigan last night I could not make it to D.C. until this morning. Since I couldn’t be with Carol I wanted her to be comfortable.

 

sugar cookie

I always bring Carol a treat.

There would not be time for a formal breakfast. We had to get moving. However, I had thought to bring Carol some of those famous “soft sugar cookies”, about 6” in diameter from Heyerly’s the famous bakery in Ossian, Indiana.

 

 

Today’s racing plan.

The first track on today’s agenda would be at the Summit Point Raceway in Summit Point, West Virginia. West Virginia has always been one of my most underpenetrated trackchasing states. Even after today I have only seen seven tracks there. Check it all out in “The Race” section.

 

 

 

 

ONE CANNOT LIVE WELL OR SLEEP WELL IF ONE HAS NOT DINED WELL

 

ards vegetables

Ard’s Farm Market, Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania

 

 

We weren’t in California anymore.

Living in California we are accustomed to conveniences of all kinds and at all times. It was a culture shock when we moved from Southern California to Connecticut back in the late 70s. In Connecticut the closest McDonalds was 45 minutes away. NOTHING was open on Sundays. In California everything is open pretty much 24/7 and has been for decades. There are probably 100 restaurants within a 5-mile radius of our house.

 

 

This is not the case in rural Pennsylvania. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t WANT Pennsylvania to be like California. If it were why would I want to come to Pennsylvania on a “travel and adventure” trip? However I don’t want to encounter major inconveniences when I don’t have time for them.

 

 

There was plenty of time for dinner or so I thought.

We had arrived early for the races this evening in Middleburg, Pennsylvania. I figured we had plenty of time to scout out some dinner near the track. However, we kept driving and driving until we thought we would NEVER find a place to eat. We weren’t passing up places we didn’t like. There were just NO places.

 

 

Ard’s Farm Market saved the day.

Finally, we stumbled across Ard’s Farm Market. This was essentially a farmer’s market and gift shop of sorts. They advertised “Fresh produce and more”. Their slogan was “Where town meets country”. I didn’t fancy chowing down on raw carrots and celery for dinner.

 

ards baked beans 

 

whoopie pies

However, we were in for a most pleasant surprise. They had a BBQ restaurant attached to the farmer’s market. The restaurant offered seating both indoors and outdoors. We had some great BBQ and baked beans here. In the gift shop we bought lots of souvenirs. I couldn’t pass up the “Homemade whoopie pies” (think moon pies). Our stop at Ard’s was a fantastic experience.

 

 

 

THE RACE.

 

chump car shenandoah 

Summit Point Raceway – Summit Point, West Virginia – Shenandoah Circuit

 

 

I don’t get to West Virginia often.

I have just a few states where I’ve seen less than 10 tracks. Those would be Delaware (5), District of Columbia (1), Hawaii (6), Maryland (4) Rhode Island (3), Vermont (8) and now West Virginia (7). Several of these states don’t even HAVE ten tracks for me to see!

 

 

Is it logical that I don’t remember every track I’ve seen?

I had been to the Summit Point Raceway back in 2006. On that date, April 30, 2006 I saw an SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) racing event on the Summit Point course. Frankly I remember very little about that outing. I did make a note that read “1st of three countable courses”. It’s not too unusual that I don’t remember much about that day. The Summit Point Circuit was track #1,028. That’s almost 1,000 tracks ago!

 

 

I like to challenge folks when I talk to them.

Carol and I paid our $15 admission price. I asked the ticket seller if that price was worth it. That was a good question to ask. It put the seller on the defensive. He felt he had to “defend” his position.

 

scca summit point

Two tracks? That was a surprise.

“They’re racing on the Summit Point course as well as the Shenandoah Circuit today” he told us. “They have Chump Car racing on Shenandoah and SCCA on the Summit Point layout. I think you can just drive over for the SCCA racing and won’t have to buy another ticket. I don’t think they’re checking” he added. That was great information.

 

 

This is what the Summit Point website has to say about their three different racing configurations:

 

summit point sign 

“The Summit Point Circuit circuit opened in 1969. This 10-turn, 2.0-mile (3.2 km) road course that features a 2,900-foot (880 m) main straight. The Shenandoah Circuit is a 2.2-mile (3.5 km) road course that first opened in 2005. It is a no holds barred technical challenge that will take years for drivers to master. The track contains a dimensional replica of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife’s famous banked Karussell turn complete with 20 degrees of banking. The Jefferson Circuit opened in 1996 as a 1.1 mile road course designed by Bill Scott for high performance, accident avoidance, and emergency driver training. The track expansion to 1.7 miles has just been completed and now includes a skid pad. The track features challenging turns and elevation changes that reward smooth driver inputs and can be driven in either the original or expanded layout. This circuit hosts time trials, motorcycle events, and numerous performance driving events, as well as, driver training courses.”

 

 

As far as I can tell each of these tracks is separate from the other two. There is no overlap.

 

chump car sheanadoah 1 

We had come to see racing on the Shenandoah Circuit.

The first actual racing we saw was on the Shenandoah Circuit. Then we immediately drove over to the Summit Point Circuit to see what the SCCA boys and girts were doing.

 

 

A special bonus for Carol?

Carol and I were high fiving all the way. I had seen racing on the Summit Point track previously but she hadn’t. We showed up today for one reason, to support my trackchasing at the Shenandoah Circuit. Now was Carol going to sneak away with two tracks?

 

 

It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

I knew that our wristbands were a different color for the Chump Car group that what the SCCA was using. I figured if they didn’t like that arrangement they could simply ask us to get back where we had a purchased wristband. By the way there is one grandstand where you can actually see racing on both of these tracks.

 

 

Our youthful euphoria was tempered, no muted, no smothered.

 

Editor’s note: I must add that some of our youthful euphoria was tempered, no muted, no smothered when I learned later that Carol had been with me at Summit Point back in ’06. I told you I didn’t remember much about that day. It was Carol’s 242nd lifetime track. Later that day in 2006 we saw racing at the Old Dominion Speedway.

 

 

Nevertheless, we walked and drove all around the Summit Point Circuit. It was damp with a few sprinkles but I don’t think we missed much. I took a lot of pictures so don’t miss those.

 

 

We hopped back in our rental car and drove to the other countable track at Summit Point, Jefferson Circuit. There was nothing happening at all at the Jefferson Circuit.

 

chump car shenandoah 23 

Chump cars are fun to watch.

The Chump Car group is fun to watch. They have a rule designed to keep costs down. The Chump Car sanctioning body can buy any competitor’s car for $500. It is this type of “claiming” price that keeps racers from putting too much money in the class.

 

 

From what I could see the Shenandoah Circuit is much more unique than the other tracks. Maybe that’s why they don’t have that much wheel-to-wheel automobile racing.

 

chump cars 23434 

One of the turns has a high-banked oval type turn. It’s made of concrete whereas most of the rest of the track’s surface is asphalt. The car’s come off that bank just like they do at Salem or Bristol.

 

 

We stood for several minutes on one of the overpass bridges. It was fun to see and hear the cars race under the bridge and then appear out of nowhere to race past it.

 

 

Summit Point….a very unique racing property.

The Summit Point Raceway is quite the complex. It must cover a lot of land. One might think it to be a rural track given its West Virginia location. However, it’s really just an hour or so from Washington, D.C. and that urban population.

 

 

After spending a few hours at this facility it was time to head on up the road for some evening trackchasing.

 

 

 

Penns Creek Raceway Park – Middleburg, Pennsylvania

 

Penns Creek 2

Can this be?

It would be a three-hour drive from West Virginia up to the Penns Creek Raceway. I liked heading north because the weather looked better. However, I really wanted to be going south to a track in Virginia. The weather there wasn’t very good. That forced us into a northern path to avoid a potential cancellation.

 

Waffle House 235 

Waffle House.

Most of our driving was along I-81. They have a lot of Waffle Houses along that interstate. I didn’t think WH was that popular this far north. We did there for a late lunch. I love WH. Carol likes WH. That makes for a good combination.

 

 

My iPhone GPS unit took us directly to the front door of the Penns Creek Raceway Park. The place is located on a farm and bordered by heavy woods.

 

 

We were early for the racing so we decided to go back into “town” to get something to eat. Yelp! told us about Ard’s Farm Market in somewhat nearby Mifflinburg. It was an 8-mile drive. Check out this unique place in the “Attractions” section of this Trackchaser Report.

 

pennsylvania wings 

The “Pennsylvania Wings” brought us to Penns Creek.

We paid just $3 to enter the grandstand at Penns Creek. You can’t beat that. The star attraction for the evening would be a visiting group called the “Pennsylvania Wings”. This group featured winged outlaw karts with adult drivers. That meets the current trackchasing rules.

 

 

I’m not sure any of the regularly scheduled racing classes at Penns Creek meet the rules. They have a lot of flat kart divisions. They do have a caged adult class but it appears those are bolt on roll cages for flat karts. I believe a class like that should count.

 

 

Busted!

However, former trackchasing commissioner Will White did not agree with me when I tried to count something similar at a track in Maine. He called me on it and I cheerfully removed the track from my list. There are some other caged karts at Penns Creek but kids race them.

 

 

East coast tracks have the best food.

The concessions looked good even if we had eaten a large dinner just before coming to the track. I couldn’t resist the “fresh cut” French Fries nearly a staple at Eastern based tracks. I have said it a million times. Eastern tracks offer the best food.

 

 

I bought a serving for Carol and me to share. I tried to salt it down heavily. I know that for some people salt raises their blood pressure. I have always had abnormally low blood pressure. I’ll keep salting things until that changes. Unfortunately, I didn’t get as much salt on those fries as I hoped I had. That made them much less appetizing.

 

walking track penns creek 

This was a most unique and entertaining fan option.

At intermission drivers, crews and fans were allowed to “walk” the track. I joined in. I think you will like the photos from my one walking circuit around this banked dirt tri-oval surface.

 

 

Also at intermission I ran into the track announcer. We chatted for several minutes while waiting in line at the Porta-potty! He told me his history with karting and announcing. He was a very friendly guy. I gave him my trackchasing business card.

 

 

It was obvious. We ‘weren’t from around here’.

Several fans learned we “weren’t from around here”. This prompted lots of questions from some very congenial people. Pennsylvania is a different place as regards racing than just about any place I have visited.

 

 

These folks take this stuff seriously! I just go for a relaxing evening out. Think of the folks who live in the Bible Belt and go to church four times a week. The Pennsy folks use racing as their bible. They live and breath this stuff. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it. That scares me just a bit but to each his own.

 

 

When we saw the Pennsylvania Wings run their features we headed for the exits. It was getting late and we had a three-hour drive to tackle. After starting this trip with a red-eye flight I hadn’t been getting that much sleep.

 

 

It had been a good day of racing. Anytime I get a trackchasing double (this one was a day/night double) I’m happy. In three days I had seen racing in four states. Tomorrow I’ll see a track in the District of Columbia. However, our MAIN reason for showing up in D.C. was for Carol to add that location to her trackchasing resume.

 

 

 

STATE COMPARISONS

 

West Virginia

 

The Mountain State

This evening I saw my 7th lifetime track in the Mountain state, yes the Mountain state. I come here so infrequently I had to look up the nickname for West Virginia!

 

 

Pennsylvania

 

The Keystone State

This evening I saw my 86th lifetime track in the Keystone state, yes the Keystone state. I am not anywhere close to the trackchasing top ten here….and never will be.

 

 

 

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

West Virginia sayings: She’s about to find pups (pregnant)

Pennsylvania sayings: Potholes….Shmotpoles!

 

 

QUICK FACTS

 

 

AIRPLANE

Los Angeles, CA (LAX) – Cleveland, OH (LCE) – 2,050 miles

 

RENTAL CAR #1

Hopkins (Cleveland) International Airport – trip begins

Croswell, MI

Detroit Metropolitan Airport – trip ends – 151 miles

 

RENTAL CAR #2

Detroit Metropolitan International Airport – trip begins

Hoagland, IN

Detroit Metropolitan International Airport – trip ends – 571 miles

 

AIRPLANE

Detroit, MI (DTW) – Washington, D.C. (DCA) – 409 miles

 

RENTAL CAR #3

Ronald Reagan National Airport – trip begins

Summit Point, WV

Middleburg, PA

 

 

TRACK ADMISSION PRICES:

Croswell County Fairgrounds – $8 ($2 fair admission)

Hoagland Figure 8 Track – $8

Summit Point Raceway – $15

Penns Creek Raceway – $3

 

 

LIFETIME TRACKCHASER COMPARISONS 

The three most important trackchasing comparisons to me are:

 

Total lifetime tracks seen

Total “trackchasing countries” seen

Lifetime National Geographic Diversity results

 

 

Total Lifetime Tracks

There are no trackchasers currently within 400 tracks of my lifetime total. Don’t blame me.

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 1,969

 

 

 

Total Trackchasing Countries

There are no trackchasers currently within 10 countries of my lifetime total.

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 68

 

 

 

Current lifetime National Geographic Diversity results

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 4.96

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Racing from the Summit Point Raceway

 

 

Racing from Penns Creek Raceway Park

 

 

summit point sign

 

Click on the link below to view the photo album:

All kinds of racing from the Summit Point Motorsports Park

 

 

 

Penns Creek 2

Click on the link below to view the photo album from the Penns Creek Raceway Park: 

Take a tour of the rural Pennsylvania countryside with racing to boot! 

 

 

 


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