Navigation 

Standlake Arena

 

Greetings from Standlake, England

.

.

From the travels and adventures of the 

“World’s #1 Trackchaser”

.

.

Standlake Arena

Dirt 545

 Lifetime Track #545

 

 

The Event

 

 

THE EVENT

I am a “trackchaser”. So, what the heck is that? I get that question from racing and non-racing people all the time. This is a difficult question to answer. Why? Because after I do my best to respond people still say, “I’ve never heard of such a thing”!

 

 

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. I’ve seen racing at nearly 2,500 tracks in 80 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 www.randylewis.org.

 

 

I live in southern California. 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 trips to 80 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

 

 

 

 

 

FOREWORD

 

 

Sunday, December 2, 2001.

 

 

 

Greetings from Standlake, England

 

 

 

TRAVEL/PEOPLE NEWS

This trip was a spur of the moment (sometimes the best kind) trip to London.  The primary reason for the trip was to visit my son, J.J., who lives there.  Carol elected to stay back and work on Christmas chores.  As with most spur of the moment ideas you sometimes need flexibility to enjoy them the fullest.  It turned out that on the weekend I wanted to visit J.J. he already had two guests coming for the weekend to his one bedroom apartment.  No problem!  I would just catch a couple more U.K. tracks until his guests departed.

 

 

There are lots of great airfare deals to Europe now. I ended up paying $380 roundtrip for a non-stop flight from Los Angeles.  That’s not the best price I’ve seen for this itinerary but it’s a good one. I also earned 22,000 frequent flyer miles.  Since you can get a free domestic ticket for just 25,000 miles, in effect I was paying $380 for a trip to Europe and getting an almost free domestic ticket.  Not a bad deal! 

 

 

My ticket was booked in coach.  I was interested in upgrading to business class. But, when I was told the upgrade fee was $3,279 I decided to curl up in coach and ride it out.  Even in coach I had my own personal video screen and a choice of four movies at no extra charge.  I also had three seats to layover and catch some shuteye.

 

 

The tailwind-aided flight took just 9 hours and 10 minutes and I landed at London’s Heathrow airport at about 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.  Customs clearance was absolutely no problem.  After I got my one checked bag I handed my passport over to the customs agent and was past him in less than 30 seconds.

 

 

Using computer driven driving directions I headed out to the Oxford, England area.  I stopped at a Welcome Break (rest area) on the way.  I was able to go up to the Burger King restaurant and pay for my meal with exact change in English pounds and pence.  I must admit I had to take the English money Carol had given me over to a corner location and, with my reading glasses, examine each coin closely so I could confidently pay for my meal. 

 

 

Welcome Breaks in England are very nice for the traveling motorist.  They are similar to some of the rest areas on the Ohio Turnpike.  They usually have 3-4 restaurants in addition to gift shops and a convenience store.  The most unusual item I saw was a machine that takes your photo and transfers your picture into a computerized charcoal drawing.  The product was very unique and cost just three pounds ($4.20).  I did this and was very pleased with the result considering what they had to work with!

 

 

The winter U.K. weather was about 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit.  It was cloudy most of the time with light rain sprinkles some of the time.  For the first time I can ever remember I drove the 75 miles or so directly to the track without any backtracking or getting lost whatsoever.  Since the race at Standlake Arena was not until Sunday at noon I needed to find a hotel. I ended up with a nice place in Abington for 70 pounds that included breakfast. 

 

 

I must ask my English friends, “What is going on with the shower controls in the bathrooms?”  They seem to have four controls that 1) control the volume of water, 2) the heat of the water and 3) whether the water comes from the showerhead or the bathtub faucet.  How many permutations are there from four controls and three options?  Whatever the number it took a long time to get 1) the right amount of water with 2) the proper temperature and 3) the water coming from the showerhead.  A mighty challenge indeed.  Where was Carol when I needed her to help me take my shower?

 

 

 

RACING NEWS

 

The Standlake arena is a 380 metre concrete oval that’s been racing since 1972.  Actually it looked older.  There are no grandstands at this track.  Fans can park their cars around the outside guardrail and watch the races from there. Admission was just 6 English pounds ($8.40).  I got there at 11 a.m. for the noon start that provided plenty of time to tour the pit area.

 

 

Most U.K. tracks do not have an additional charge for entering the pit area whereas virtually every U.S. track does charge extra for pit admission.  In the U.K. even small children are allowed in the pits that is normally a major U.S. no no.

 

 

Several of the racecar haulers are like flatbed trucks with cranes attached.  They use the cranes to lift the racecar up into the air and lower it gently to the ground. This is unique to the U.K.  The Standlake Arena is the 545thracetrack I’ve been too.  It was also my 16thUnited Kingdom racetrack giving me the lead in this category among all worldwide trackchasers.  It is unique in one way from any other track I’ve ever seen.

 

 

The original value of the racecars in the pits is probably greater than any track I’ve seen.  The Banger class had several Jaguars, a Mercedes and even a Bentley. The Banger class is really fun to watch as they try to complete their race around the oval while actively trying to wreck anybody they can.  In the U.K. they call this “full contact” racing and in the U.S. it’s likely to be called a demolition derby.

 

 

The most unusual car I saw was the “big Russian” car.  This was a four-door sedan that would make a Ford Expedition look like a Yugo.  It was big.  Unfortunately, I screwed up an entire roll of film or I would attach a photo. I did get some video of this behemoth. It was so huge the 8-inch tires looked like bicycle tires. 

 

 

I stayed for two hours of racing that featured five Banger heats, hot rod class heats and some metro racing.  I was the only person at the track wearing shorts (aka golfing trousers).  The weather had started to turn cold and being able to retreat to the car to watch the races was helpful. 

 

 

The public address system was a little weak. The announcer did spend a little time talking about my trackchasing hobby.  Refreshments were served in a small portable trailer.  Since I had had a big English breakfast at the hotel I passed on the track food.  Bathrooms were a bit on the primitive side.

 

 

Overall, Standlake was a fun place to watch U.K. Banger racing.  They race on selected Sunday afternoons and have a comprehensive web site.

 

 

 

Rental Car update:  My Hertz rental car was a four door, automatic transmission, Ford Focus.  The gold/copper color was really bright and strange looking.  The car smelled heavy of smoke which I was reminded of on every inhale.  Of course, the steering wheel was on the right and they drive on the left.  This little car cost about $55 a day and rode and drove really well.

 

 

 

 

Editor’s note: The website URLs below worked in 2001. Do they work today? You’re on your own!

New racetracks visited in 2001

  1. Laughlin Event Center, Laughlin, NV (no web site)
  2. Loc Moran, Mont Carmel, Quebec (http://www.grabnetworks.net/delta/)
  3. Circuit Jacques Rainville, Vanier, Quebec (no web site)
  4. Pauline Davis Pavilion, Red Bluff, CA (http://www.rboutlaws.com/)
  5. The Pavilion at the Fairgrounds, Chico, CA (no web site)
  6. Baton Rouge Raceway, Baker, LA (http://www.batonrougeraceway.com)
  7. Mississippi Motorsports Park, Long Beach, MS (http://www.msmotorsportspark.com)
  8. South Alabama Motor Speedway, Opp, AL (http://www.southalabamaspeedway.com)
  9. Nashville Super Speedway, Smyrna, TN (http://www.nashvillesuperspeedway.com)
  10. Beech Bend Raceway (oval track), Bowling Green, KY (http://www.beechbend.com)
  11. Beech Bend Raceway (figure 8 track), Bowling Green, KY (http://www.beechbend.com)
  12. Soggy Bottom Speedway, Morgantown, KY (http://www.soggybottomspeedway.com)
  13. Buttonwillow Raceway Park, Buttonwillow, CA (http://www.buttonwillowraceway.com)
  14. Speedway 90, Beaumont, TX (http://www.Speedway90Bmt.com)
  15. 105 Speedway, Cleveland, TX (http://www.105speedway.com/)

482   Savannah Speedway, Savannah, MO (no web site)

  1. Winston Speedway, Winston, MO (no web site)
  2. Stuart Speedway, Stuart, IA (http://www.midiowa.com/showtime/stuart.html)
  3. Barberton Speedway, Barberton, OH (http://www.barbertonspeedway.com/)
  4. Eriez Speedway, Erie, PA (http://www.statelineeriezspeedway.com/)
  5. Anderson Dry Lake, Lucerne Valley, CA (http://hometown.aol.com/mdrracing/index.html)
  6. Perris Auto Speedway- (figure 8 track), Perris, CA (http://www.perrisautospeedway.com/)
  7. Dixie Motor Speedway – (figure 8 track), Birch Run, MI (http://www.dixiemotorspeedway.com)
  8. Dixie Motor Speedway – (oval track), Birch Run, MI (http://www.dixiemotorspeedway.com)
  9. Grand Prix of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH (http://www.imgmotorsports.com/)

492   Painesville Speedway – (oval track), Painesville, OH (http://members.tripod.com/pspeedway/)

493   Painesville Speedway – (figure 8 track), Painesville, OH (http://members.tripod.com/pspeedway/)

  1. Angola Motor Speedway, Angola, IN (http://www.angolamotorspeedway.com/index.shtml)
  2. Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA (http://www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/)
  3. Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, GA (http://www.dixiespeedway.com/)
  4. Rome Speedway, Rome, GA (http://www.dixiespeedway.com/) Rome uses the same web site as Dixie Speedway.
  5. Holland Speedway (oval), Holland, NY (http://www.hollandspeedway.com/)
  6. Holland Speedway (figure 8 track), Holland, NY (http://www.hollandspeedway.com/)
  7. Freedom Raceway, Delevan, NY (http://www.freedomraceway.com/)
  8. Allegheny Mountain Raceway, La Mont, PA (http://www.amraceway.com/)
  9. McKean County Raceway, East Smethport, PA (http://www.mckeancountyraceway.com/)
  10. Bradford Speedway, Bradford, PA(http://www.bradfordspeedway.com/)
  11. Ventura Raceway, Ventura, CA (http://www.venturaraceway.com/)
  12. Winnebago County Speedway, Pecatonica, IL (no web site)
  13. Boone County Fairgrounds, Belvidere, IL (http://www.boonecountyfair.com/index2.htm)
  14. Slinger Super Speedway, Slinger, WI (http://www.slingersuperspeedway.com/)
  15. Steele County Fairgrounds, Owatonna, MN (no web site)
  16. Viking Speedway, Alexandria, MN (http://www.vikingspeeday.com/)
  17. Princeton Speedway, Princeton, MN (http://www.princetonspeedway.com/)
  18. North Center Motor Speedway, Brainerd, MN (http://www.borderlineracing.com/)
  19. Golden Spike Speedway, Sauk Rapids, MN (oval)(no web site)
  20. Golden Spike Speedway, Sauk Rapids, MN (figure 8)(no web site)
  21. Portland Speedway (1/2 mile dirt oval), Portland, OR (http://www.portlandspeedway.com/)
  22. Evergreen Speedway (figure 8), Monroe, WA (http://www.evergreenspeedway.com/)
  23. Evergreen Speedway (3/8 mile oval), Monroe, WA (http://www.evergreenspeedway.com/)
  24. Kent Raceways, Agassiz, British Columbia (http://www.kentraceways.com/)
  25. Louisville Motor Speedway (3/8 mile oval), Louisville, KY (http://www.louisvillemotorspeedway.com/)
  26. Louisville Motor Speedway (figure 8), Louisville, KY (http://www.louisvillemotorspeedway.com/)
  27. Plymouth Speedway, Plymouth, IN (no web site)
  28. Race City USA, Hermiston, OR (http://www.angelfire.com/biz2/racecityusa/)
  29. The Rock – Allegheny County Speedway – Cumberland, MD (http://www.dirtrock.com/Flash.html)
  30. Bridgeport Speedway (1/4 mile oval), Bridgeport, NJ (http://www.bridgeportspeedway.com/)
  31. Kauneonga Speedway, White Lake, NY (http://www.kauneonga.com/)
  32. Barnyard Raceway, Chepachet, RI (no web site)
  33. Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk, MA (http://www.seekonkspeedway.com/)
  34. Afton Speedway, Afton, NY (no web site)
  35. Adirondack International Speedway, New Bremen, NY (http://www.adirondackspeedway.com/)
  36. Five Mile Point Speedway, Kirkwood, NY (http://www.fivemilepointspeedway.com/sys-tmpl/door/)
  37. Fonda Speedway, Fonda, NY (http://www.fondaspeedway.com/)
  38. Arizona State Fairgrounds (oval), Phoenix, AZ (http://www.azstatefair.com/)
  39. Arizona State Fairgrounds (figure 8), Phoenix, AZ (http://www.azstatefair.com/)
  40. Hawaii Raceway Park (road course), Ewa Beach (Oahu), Hawaii (http://www.hawaiiracewaypark.com/)
  41. Paradise Speedway, Maui, Hawaii (no web site)

 

 

 

When a new rule allowing figure 8 track configurations was voted on and approved “retroactive” figure 8 tracks were added to everyone’s lifetime trackchasing lists at the end of 2001. What did “retroactive” mean? It meant if you have seen racing at a figure 8 track BEFORE the rule to add figure 8 tracks was approved you could still count that track. I didn’t agree with that idea but trackchasing commissioner Will White ruled that despite the group not voting on retroactivity tracks seen before the F8 rule was proposed and approved retroactive tracks would count.

 

 

 

         Retroactive figure 8 tracks

  1. Manzanita Speedway, Phoenix, AZ
  2. Orange Show Speedway, San Bernadino, CA
  3. Watsonville Fairgrounds Speedway, Watsonville, CA
  4. Ascot Park, Gardena, CA
  5. Citrus County Speedway, Inverness, FL
  6. Rockford Speedway, Rockford, IL
  7. Indianapolis Speedrome, Indianapolis, IN
  8. Flat Rock Speedway, Flat Rock, MI
  9. Raceway Park, Shakopee, MN
  10. South Sound Speedway, Rochester, MN

 

  1. Standlake Arena, Standlake, England (http://www.standlakearena.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Leave a Reply