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Tisdale Motor Speedway

 

Greetings from Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada

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From the travels and adventures of the 

“World’s #1 Trackchaser”

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Tisdale Motor Speedway

Dirt oval

 Lifetime Track #2,453

 

 

The EventVideo PlusPhotos

 

 

 

THE EVENT

I am a “trackchaser”. So, what the heck is that? I get that question all the time 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 say, “I’ve never heard of such a thing”!

 

 

Here’s my best answer.

 

 

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 Attractionsor my “Sports Spectating Resume” page, Sports Spectating Resumeon 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 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

 

 

Senior writer Devan C. Tasa of the Tisdale Recorder newspaper interviewed me at the track today. This is the story he wrote.

 

 

 

A quest to see as many racetracks as possible

 

 

Randy Lewis spends his retirement visiting as many racetracks as possible. He visited the Tisdale Motor Speedway June 17. Photo by Devan C. Tasa

 

 

TISDALE — Two thousand, four hundred, fifty-three.

That’s how many tracks Randy Lewis had visited by the time he attended the opening races at the Tisdale Motor Speedway June 17.

 

 

Lewis is a trackchaser. He travels all around the world to see as many racetracks as he can. Of course, for it to count, there must be a race when he visits. He’s the number one trackchaser in the world, with the next person having seen around 1,700 tracks.

 

 

“I grew up in Illinois and on my block there were 10 houses,” said Lewis, who now lives in San Clemente, Calif. “Three of the houses had racing teams, so as a 10-year-old I could walk around the block and see everybody work on their race cars.”

 

 

He worked with Richardson-Vicks, makers of the Vicks cough candies, as a salesperson. When that was bought out by Procter & Gamble, he worked in product supply and logistics. When he’d travel for a meeting, he’d stay an extra day or two to see local races.

 

 

“At some point in time I said, ‘this travel’s a lot of fun.’”

By the time Lewis retired 16 years ago, he had seen between 600 and 800 tracks. Since he’s retired, he sees an average of 125 tracks per year. Last year, he travelled 49,000 miles in a rental car and flew around 200,000 miles. This year, he’s been to Belarus, Maldives and Bolivia.

 

 

While he saved up and invested his money while he worked, getting from point A to B to C is an exercise in making sure he sees all of the sights he wants to see while not spending every dime he has. That means he’ll sometimes sleep in his car. 

 

 

For this trip he went from California to a race in Indiana June 15, flew into Winnipeg and saw a race in Swan River June 16 before coming into Tisdale. He left Tisdale driving towards Edmonton, expecting to fly back to Los Angeles June 17.

 

 

Lewis does have the support of his wife on these trips.

 

 

“I’ve had to ask my wife 2,400 times if it would be okay if I go to the races tonight and 2,400 times she said yes, so I think that’s a good thing.”

 

 

She’ll join him on some of the trips where there’s more time to see the sights.

 

 

The trackchaser said there’s three basic types of track: a figure-eight, a road course and an oval. Tisdale is an oval.

 

 

“My all-time favourite track is exactly like this: a quarter-mile dirt oval. I’ve been to Monaco, Indianapolis, Daytona and I would much rather be at a place like this to watch the race and enjoy everything than to be in one of those famous places,” he said.

 

 

Lewis said he likes the amateur racing scene better than the professional and that he’d prefer to revisit a track like Tisdale compared to some of the more famous tracks he’s visited.

 

 

“The access is better. You can get up close and personal with the cars and drivers. If I were at a Formula 1 event or Monaco or Singapore, you couldn’t get within 100 yards of the drivers.”

 

 

Lewis said he considers himself living the American dream: doing what he wants to do during his retirement.

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally, Melfort Journal columnist Michael Oleksyn (above) wrote a newspaper story about my visit to the Tisdale Motor Speedway. This is what he had to say.

 

 

 

World’s #1 Trackchaser makes stop at Tisdale Motor Speedway

 

By Michael Oleksyn

Melfort Journal

 

 

Have you ever been committed to your hobby? The World’s #1 Trackchaser Randy Lewis is, he was at the Tisdale Motor Speedway for their races on Sunday, June 17. He has traveled the world to see and experience race tracks.

 

 

“Today’s race is my 2,453rdrace track that I have seen in 80 countries. Doing that more than 2,400 times is a lot,” Lewis said.

 

 

He explained that his hobby has three aspects to it.

 

 

“I have a lot of interest in racing. I grew up around racing as a child. I lived on a block that had 10 houses and three of the houses had stock cars out of the 10, so that was pretty good,” he said.

 

 

The other aspect is the opportunity to see the world. The stop in Tisdale came after a stop in Swan River, Manitoba.

 

 

“As a matter of fact I stopped today at a heritage centre right on the Manitoba Saskatchewan line and that gave me a little bit of a view of what life was probably like at the turn of the century”.

 

 

Lewis is from San Clemente, California so there is a lot of logistics to get to see the world.

 

 

“It is not that easy to get from California to here or to all of the other places I have visited,” Lewis said.

 

 

I do about 125 races a year. I will hit about 35 states. I will typically hit about eight or ten countries a year. There is a lot of travel. I spend about 180 nights on the road,” he added.

 

 

In 2018 he had already been to Bolivia, Maldives and Belarus.

 

 

“On this particular trip I started by flying overnight to Indiana and I saw a race in Indiana. I slept four hours in a highway rest area to fly from Chicago to Winnipeg and I drove five hours over to Swan River and saw their race. Now I am over here,” Lewis said.

 

 

Lewis drove rental cars last year over 49,000 miles and he flew about 200,000 miles.

 

 

He also has a website www.randylewis.orgwhere he tells the world about his travels.

 

 

“I have a website and on my website I will post a very lengthy review. It’s not just talking about the racing bit it is talking about all of the people I met, all the things I saw, what I ate, it is a very indepth review. As well as a YouTube video and a photo album.”

 

 

He was impressed by the track at Tisdale from what he had seen just before the races started.

 

 

“It looks like they are going to start on time and that’s a good thing, not all short tracks do that. The weather is fantastic. That’s another challenge of my hobby is before I can commit to going a lot out of my way I have to have the weather. This kind of racing is very subject (to weather),” Lewis said.

 

 

He explained that it is a difficult decision to commit to travel if there is something like a 60 per cent chance of rain.

 

 

“People ask me the question, what is the most difficult thing about trackchasing? My answer is I had to ask my wife more than 2,400 times if it would be all right if I go to the race,” he added.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, June 17, 2018.

Today I was leaving the Canadian province of Manitoba and heading west toward Saskatchewan. The main destination of the day would be the Tisdale Motor Speedway in Tisdale, Saskatchewan.

 

 

Tisdale was going to be the second half of my mid-Canada trackchasing duo. Yesterday, I had seen racing at the Swan Valley Speedway in Swan River, Manitoba. Both of these tracks are a long way from just about anywhere. That made a trip dedicated to only one of them somewhat logistically impractical. However, in 2018 these two tracks raced on the same weekend exactly one time. I had to be in Manitoba and Saskatchewan for that one weekend!

 

 

Today I would be seeing my 8th lifetime track in the Saskatchewan province. When the first green flag falls I will have seen eight or more race tracks in five of the ten Canadian provinces. How does that compare with other trackchasers? No other trackchaser has done this in more than two Canadian provinces.

 

 

This morning I left the New Country Motel in Swan River with enough time to fill up the National Car Rental Racing Chrysler 300, get a bacon and sausage sandwich from Tim Hortons along with a package of Timbits and drive three hours over to Tisdale. Everything was carefully planned.

 

 

I use the Waze GPS system exclusively for these adventures. Did you know that Waze is a company headquartered in Israel? I found that somewhat surprising.

 

 

Much of today’s drive in Manitoba was in very rural country on very rural roads. A number of my driving kilometers were done over gravel roads. From time to time I saw prominent signs that said, “No moose hunting“. I never did see any moose on this trip. However, I have seen moose on several trips up in Canada and Maine.

 

 

I did find something rather interesting. My last several kilometers as I was leaving Manitoba were on a gravel pothole filled road. As soon as I crossed into Saskatchewan the road surface changed to being paved!

 

 

I had been in Saskatchewan for a few minutes when I came across a sign reading Al Muzur Memorial Heritage Park – Hudson Bay. I had some time. This place looked interesting. I am always on the lookout for a “Trackchasing Tourist Attraction“.

 

 

Today’s Heritage Park was a series of 10-15 buildings that had been relocated from their original location to today’s park. They depicted what life would have been like in this area in the early 1900s. There was a general store, school, church, train station and jail. My senior admission was only four dollars Canadian. The young man who sold me my ticket went out and unlocked all the buildings so that I could see the building’s inside displays. I guess I was the first customer of the day.

 

 

 

THE RACING

 

 

Tisdale Motor Speedway – Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada

 

 

My next major stop was the biggest attraction of the day. I’m talking about the Tisdale Motor Speedway located in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada.

 

 

Tisdale is a town of 3,180 people. Wikipedia had some interesting information about Tisdale.

 

 

“Tisdale is the business centre for the rich agricultural boreal forest area in Northeastern Saskatchewan, Canada. The post office of Tisdale, provisional District of Saskatchewan, North West Territories was created on February 1, 1904. The community was originally known as “Doghide” after the Doghide River that flows through the town, but with the arrival of the railway the community was renamed “Tisdale” in honour of F.W. Tisdale, an employee of the Canadian Northern Railway.

 

 

Western Canada’s biggest gun shoot out took place just east of Tisdale in 1920. The historic gunfight involved a posse of Saskatchewan Provincial Police and four outlaws. Tisdale is the regional sports hub which boasts a 6 sheet curling rink, indoor and outdoor skating rinks, soccer and football fields, indoor gun range and one of Saskatchewan’s most picturesque 9 hole golf courses situated along the Doghide River. Tisdale’s sporting facilities draw teams and individuals from all over Northeast Saskatchewan and beyond.”

 

 

 

 

I did not have an address for the speedway. I figured with a town this small I might just drive in and see the track or see some signs directing me to track. It didn’t exactly work out that way.

 

 

I’ve been trackchasing for a number of years as you might imagine. A good deal of my trackchasing took place in “Pre-GPS days“. How did I find the track once I pulled into the town during those times? I would stop at a convenience store and ask for directions. Often times the convenience store employee would plead ignorance. I wasn’t hard to convince. They would tell me that they “didn’t live near here“.

 

 

I always wondered about that comment. I wondered what their definition of not living “near here” was. In my world if I am within 150-200 miles of somewhere I’m pretty much “near there“. Do these employees live two miles from the store or 20 miles or two blocks? Just how far would someone drive for a minimum wage job? Today I stopped at a convenience store and two gentlemen gladly gave me directions. I guess they lived near the store.

 

 

I pulled into the track parking lot a few minutes before the 2 p.m. official start time. This was going to be a fantastic weather day. The temperature was about 75° or 24 centigrade as these Canadians like to say. There were blue skies with huge white puffy clouds that seemed as if they have been painted onto the sky as part of a science project.

 

 

Today’s general admission price would be just seven dollars Canadian or about five bucks U.S. There was a slowdown in the ticket selling line when I approached. What could possibly be the issue? The ticket seller didn’t have any change. While she waited I waited.

 

 

Today I happened to be wearing my “World’s #1 Trackchaser”, T-shirt. This one was produced by a Minneapolis company. I had 750 Randy Lewis Racing T-shirts printed up by some folks in Iowa a few years ago. I’m all out of those shirts. They proved to be very popular.

 

 

If people are looking for me this shirt helps them find me. That was the case today with Michael Oleksyn. Michael is a reporter for the Melfort Journal, Nipawin Journal and the Northeast Sun! He had come to the Tisdale Motor Speedway looking to interview me. Today he was standing just a couple of people behind me in the ticket line. We met and agreed to do our interview as soon as we could get our tickets. 

 

 

My one and only advance contact from TMS was with club president Casey Randall. You know that I always go to the top and Casey was the top at their race organization. He told me a few days ago that he had arranged for the local newspaper to interview me about my hobby of trackchasing.

 

 

I’ve been interviewed by newspaper, radio and TV journalists more than 100 times. I would guess I’ve probably had 300-400 or more at the track interviews by the race track announcers. It’s all a fantastic way to share the news of trackchasing. Most people have never heard of trackchasing but the newspaper guys and gals find it a great “human interest story” about racing and traveling to points a long way from home. Everyone can relate to that.

 

 

This was a very opportune time to meet up with Michael. He would be my entrée into the pit area. Also, about that time we met Casey Randall’s mother. She welcomed me to the track.

 

 

There would be no time trials today. The drivers drew for positions in their heat races. There were two classes of stock cars at the track today. The pure stocks brought 14 competitors and the street stocks seven.

 

 

The program featured three heats for each driver. The pure stocks divided their class into two separate heats. This meant the overall program had nine heat races, two features as well as a mechanic’s race and a powderpuff race. Some think the term “Powderpuff” is sexist. I still maintain that Powderpuff is not as sexist as “bikini clad hookers” but then that’s just me.

 

 

I got to stand in for the last couple of minutes at the driver’s meeting. The track announcer came up to me and introduced himself. He was a friendly fellow. From the pits I could hear him referencing my visit several times during the day. He told me the track had a special “surprise“ for me. When he said that he finished the comment with a little smirkish smile. Interesting.

 

 

About this time I ran into a young fellow named Devan Tasa. He was the reporter for the local Tisdale paper, The Recorder. He was looking for a newspaper scoop as well. He and Michael are friendly fellow competitors in the local newspaper game.

 

 

I did each one of today’s media interviews separately. When I do those interviews I always like to take a photograph of the interviewer. That way when I post whatever they have the write about on my website in the media section I can give them full credit and include their photograph as well.

 

 

Now I was ready to learn what “surprise” the track had in store for me. Casey Randall’s father Glenn has been a racer at the Tisdale Motor Speedway since it opened in the year 2000. Glenn walked up and introduced himself. He wanted to know if I would have any interest in riding along with him in a race.

 

 

Glenn races in the street stock class. Street stocks are a basic full-sized stock car with some pretty fast V-8 engines. They race on relatively narrow tires and have some other rules that try to keep the cost of competing down to a dull roar.

 

 

If you have followed my hobby for very long you know that I am always up for an opportunity like this. Probably my wildest and craziest ride along adventure happened in New Zealand. At that track both Carol and I rode along, separately, with a driver in a two-seater sprint car.

 

 

You may have seen one of these two-seater sprint cars at a track you have visited. The one in New Zealand was different from anything I’ve ever seen in the states. In New Zealand, the driver and his passenger ride side-by-side. All of the two-seat sprint cars I’ve ever seen in United States have the passenger riding directly behind the driver. Also in the states I have never seen one of these two-seater sprinters compete in an actual race.

 

 

In New Zealand both Carol and I strapped in for a real sprint car heat race. Like I said, in racing it was the wildest thing I can ever remember doing. That was wild and crazy and I probably wouldn’t do it again although I do have a hard time turning down anyone’s request.

 

 

Today Glenn asked me if I would like to ride along in the car, in a specially prepared seat, with him. Of course I would. He asked if I wanted to do this in a heat race, which was 10 laps, or the feature event, which was 20 laps. I figured that 10 laps would be about enough for me. I chose the heat race. That was fine with Glenn. He told me that he would drive by himself in the first heat. That way he could figure out his chassis set up and get accustomed to the car as this was the first race of the year. I would join him in heat race number two.

 

 

I watched the first street stock heat race with a little more interest than I normally would. The cars were competing on a high-banked quarter-mile dirt oval. That’s my favorite configuration of any track to watch.

 

 

My anxiety level might have increased just a bit when Glen spun out in the middle of the first 10-lap heat. Later he told me he was just getting the feel of the track and testing his limits. By now I was committed.

 

 

When he pulled into the pits after that first race it was time for me to get ready. What did getting ready mean? First I need a driver’s suit and later on a helmet.

 

 

I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts. That was not acceptable attire for street stock racing up in Saskatchewan, Canada or most other places for that matter. However, on Friday night at a junk car race in Indiana T-shirts and shorts definitely met the driver dress code. Go figure.

 

 

It just turned out there was a driver at the track today whose car wasn’t quite ready for racing yet this year. He had his driver suit with him. How convenient it was  for me that he was a big guy.

 

 

I stand 6‘3“ tall or 190.5 centimeters if you happen to be thinking about it in Canadian terms. I no longer weigh what I did in high school. Who does? I could just barely fit into the uniform today but I made it.

 

 

Getting into the race car for me was not easy. I have never been the most agile and flexible of movement person. As I have aged that has not gotten any better. Of course the doors on a stock car do not open like your passenger car does.

 

 

As I dictate this I’m driving down an Alberta, Canada Highway in the National Car Rental Racing Chrysler 300. As I look over to the passenger side front seat window I see an opening that might be 15-18 inches tall and maybe a couple of feet wide. In order to get into the street stock today I was going to have to wedge my way through that opening.

 

 

I had a choice. I love choices. I could go in feet first or I could go in headfirst. I knew this. If we had any kind of a problem or I had to get out of the race car quickly I wasn’t going to like that. I hoped we wouldn’t.

 

 

Today I elected to go in feet first. Standing on the ground I kicked my left leg up high with the idea of entering with that approach. However, with the tightness of the driving uniform I was wearing and the tightness of my hamstrings I couldn’t quite lift my leg up high enough to get in. Not a problem. Glenn’s pit crew were very ingenious when it came to solving problems. They brought out a Heuser racing tire on its rim. I stood on that tire and now I could pick my leg up and get started with my entry into the car.

 

 

With my left leg in, all I had to do was bring my right leg up and over into the window itself. Again, that was easier said than done. There was nothing to hold onto on the roof of the car to keep me from falling backwards when I tried to bring the second leg into the car. Again, my pit crew came to my aid and placed me in the car as if I had a broken back. Yes, I know that’s not a very good metaphor at this particular point.

 

 

With two legs mostly inside the car I was able to squeeze the rest of my body in using primarily gravity. At least I fit in the race car. Now we had to get “buckled up“.

 

 

Buckling up in a race car is not exactly like you might do it in your Honda Civic. Today I would be using a five-point safety harness and safety system using the 5-inch wide military airline certified belts.

 

 

One belt comes over your left shoulder and another over your right shoulder. Then another belt comes over your left hip and another over your right hip. They all connect with a short belt that comes up right over your crotch. If it sounds exotic it is. I needed a little help from the crew with the belts to get them all situated. Of course, that’s sort of a “touchy“ subject (pun intended) when the crew member has to reach down to pull up that crotch belt. It’s all part of the fun and it meets my requirement to do things that most other people wouldn’t consider doing.

 

 

 

When I was completely buckled in, I then added a foam rubber neck support ring. It attaches together by Velcro. It’s not exactly a Hans system. Well, it’s not really even close to a Hans system.

 

 

After the neck support was added it was time to put my helmet on. Did you know that the four most important words in auto racing are not really “Gentlemen, start your engines. Then what are the four most famous words? “Put your helmet on”!

 

 

The helmet was a little tight. Maybe that was because I have a big head. I suggested that and the crew all nodded in agreement. I’m not sure how that made me feel but there was no time to think too much more about it. We were just about ready to get going.

 

 

With my helmet in place I was able to slip on my reading glasses. I wasn’t expecting to read too much but I did need to know how to operate my iPhone as we raced. They also gave me a pair of gloves but those weren’t going to work with an iPhone so I dispensed of the left hand glove.

 

 

You may or may not know that street stock racecars do not have a windshield like your passenger car does. Today’s street stock racer had a wire gauge grid. It would protect us from larger obstacles entering the cockpit but with each square being 2-3 inches wide the small stuff could easily come into the cockpit.

 

 

When the pit steward gave us the command to go out onto the track I noticed a few things. First, I noticed I still had my helmet’s face shield up. I didn’t think my reading glasses would function as safety glasses so I flipped down my visor. Secondly, I noticed we were starting on the first row of the seven-car heat race. That was actually bad for one reason. It’s a lot better to take video when there are several cars in front of us than when the track ahead of you was wide open.

 

 

I think I know what some of you are thinking. The folks who don’t follow racing all that closely are probably saying, “This is about the most ‘out there’ thing that you could possibly do. I wouldn’t do something like that if you paid me one million dollars. You really are crazy, Randy.”

 

 

Then there are the somewhat skeptical hard-core race fans. They’re saying right now, “Randy, give me a break. You’re riding in a friggin street stock car for gosh sakes. Maybe if you were riding alongside Scott Bloomquist on the outside poll of the World 100 and you were going to be there for 100 laps I could give you a little more credit. But really…a street stock”?

 

 

I have two responses to these potential observations. First, to the non-racing fans, you are absolutely correct. This was a way “out there” e-ticket ride. Don’t know what an “e-ticket” ride is? Google it.

 

 

And now for those skeptical hard-core racing fans who always sit in the grandstands and explain to the fellow sitting next to them how they could promote the event better, how they could drive the car better and how they could change tires faster than the pit crew you need to listen to this. If you’ve never done the things that you were saying that can be done so easily then you don’t know your butt from a hole in the ground. That’s right I said it. I can’t take it back.

 

 

I challenge anybody who doesn’t think that riding in a street stock on a high-banked quarter-mile dirt track is a big deal and a ride of their life to do it themselves. I had a hard time getting in the car. Most hard-core skeptical race fans are wider than me. You wouldn’t be able to test out my theory because you couldn’t get in the freaking car. This was a big deal and I was about ready to experience this big deal.

 

 

Glenn Randall and the rest of the field took one pace lap and then the green flag fell. We were racing. We drove into turn one at a speed of 70-80 mph. At that point the banking slowed us down a little bit. The track’s bank helped keep us from flying off into outer space. In another 50-75 yards we had completely executed a 180° turn.

 

 

If you can’t get a street stock driver to take you around the track like Glenn was doing for me today you might want to try this. Drive down the interstate at 80 miles an hour. When you see one of those U-turn roads that you’re not supposed to take, take it and make a U-turn. Yep. Simply drive into that turn at 80 miles an hour. About 50 yards before you want to make that turn let off the gas. Try to make the turn and head on down the interstate in the opposite direction. Let me know how you did. I don’t take collect calls from hospitals.

 

 

Today as we took the lead from the outside pole position I had this thought. If Glen led the entire race it wasn’t going to make for a very good video without lots of dicing street stock drivers in front of us. I wouldn’t exactly have to worry about that at least with our first start.

 

 

On lap one as we exited turn two, some “problems” seemed to come our way. Glenn got a little high and as he attempted to correct things the backend started to slide out. Soon we were in a full nearly 360° spin with six hungry street stock drivers coming up right behind us. 

 

 

I will be the first to admit it. At this point I experienced some personal consternation. We had come to a stop at the exit of turn two with the passenger side car facing the oncoming traffic. The passenger side of the stock car was MY SIDE of the stock car. Yes, in all honesty, I experienced some personal consternation at this point.

 

 

Somewhat miraculously all of the competitors missed us. One guy might’ve touched us just a bit but there was no major contact. Wow. That was exciting.

 

 

I looked down at my iPhone. The screen was black. What? Later I would find out that for whatever reason I had not started the video when we took the green flag. #$^&#%#!

 

 

I have had a lot of exciting experiences, like I was having today in the past, that I tried to video tape. I will tell you that on virtually every occasion I have screwed up the video. I don’t know why. I can’t explain it. The one and only time that the video worked pretty well was when I visited an ice racing track up in Minnesota.

 

 

I was rewarded in that instance with the most viewed YouTube video of any of the nearly 1200 that I have posted to my channel. By the way my YouTube channel is named “Ranlay“. That video has gotten more than 25,000 views. Here’s a link to it in case you’d like to see it.

 

 

Upper Red Lake Ice Track – Gresham, Wisconsin – Randy Racing

 

 

 

Now it was time for the restart. No, there was no option to get out of the car although that seemed like an attractive situation had it existed.

 

 

The reporter inside me secretly smiled at the temporary misfortune we had experienced. Now we would be starting at the back of the pack. With a little more video experience in this race I would be able to capture all kinds of exciting racing action in front of us.

 

 

However, I must be cursed when it comes to recording these historical and exciting adventures. We would NOT be starting at the back of the pack. Somehow race officials had decided that we would “get our spot back“. In civilian language that means we would be able to start back on the front row despite our causing a yellow flag at the start of the race. Bummer.

 

 

I’m sure Glenn Randall felt differently. On the restart he would go on to take the lead for the rest of the 10-lap race and win. He was pretty pleased about that. I was too. On the cooldown lap I released the passenger side window net. We took a victory salute past the nearly full grandstands. I could see the crowd clapping. They were happy for Glenn.

 

While we were competing, there was no opportunity to turn around and see what was happening behind us. If I had my wits about me just a little bit better I might’ve tried to hold my iPhone in a position to catch what was going on in the back of the field. I did see one fellow competitor challenging us on the inner part of the track in Glen’s mirror for one lap. However, he was dispatched to second place or beyond never to be heard from again.

 

 

When we pulled back into the pits the crew was there to help me get “disassembled”. It wasn’t much easier getting out of the car than it was getting in it. I’m just glad I didn’t have to get out of the car in a hurry after any kind of racing incident. First I didn’t really know how to operate the quick release belts. Secondly just getting out of such a narrow opening would have been difficult but I’m sure I would have managed.

 

 

I watched the rest of the heat racing from the infield. At intermission they allowed the fans to walk into the pit area, meet the drivers, see the cars up close and simply wander around the sport. That’s a great idea. More promoters should consider doing this once in a while if not all the time.

 

 

At intermission I picked up a can of Coors Light for five bucks and a double cheeseburger for seven on the spectator side of the track. Remember those are Canadian prices so the net cost to me was about nine dollars. It was a huge and tasty double cheeseburger that I consumed in the air-conditioning comfort of my rental car.

 

 

The feature races were good. One car blew a tire on the backstretch and slid into the infield. The car’s rim dug into the dirt. It almost went into a series of side over side flaps. I could only think, “That could’ve been us”.

 

 

After the main features the announcer told the crowd that there would be a brief delay in the program. They needed to let the cars cool down so they could be used for the mechanic’s race and the ladies’ race. At that point I headed for the exit. It was going to be a five-hour drive to my hotel in Lloydminster. Lloydminster is a border town where Saskatchewan and Alberta meet up.

 

 

 

 

AFTER THE RACES

 

 

Today had been another one of my fantastic and historic trackchasing days. I’ve ridden in racecars a few times. Sometimes just to take a lap around the track to see what the configuration looks like. Other times like this to actually compete in a race. I will tell you this. It’s a lot more exciting being inside the car than watching the car race from the grandstands.

 

 

Once I left the Tisdale Motor Speedway all of my focus was on getting myself back to our modest seaside cottage home in San Clemente, California. The best way I could figure out to do that would be to drive over to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, take a flight to Seattle and then onto Los Angeles. If everything worked out really well I would get back home at about 10 p.m. on Monday night.

 

 

I am constantly hearing these words from people who learn about my hobby, “Wow! I would love to do that. How can I have your job”. I appreciate those comments. However, most people only see me at the racetrack. They don’t see me leave the track at 4 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon and pull into my driveway at nearly midnight on Monday night! Nevertheless, this IS a pretty cool gig.

 

 

That brings me to the idea that I live in sunny Southern California. Most of the racetracks I visit are not very near San Clemente. As a matter fact, a typical “out Friday back Monday” trackchasing trip will cover more than 5,000 miles for me. Probably 3/4 of the tracks I have ever seen are located 1,500-2,000 miles or more from where I live.

 

 

I have never had the comfort offered the Dreaded East Coast Trackchasers as they pursue the hobby. They walk out in the driveway, get into their personal vehicle and drive to the track and commonly sleep in their own bed that night. I’m not criticizing. I am simply giving you the facts. You can’t really argue with the facts. You might want to question my using the facts and sharing that with the general public but then I think that’s actually a very good idea. People need to know.

 

 

The excitement and enthusiasm when the last track of the trip has been seen diminishes drastically. It’s like putting a pin in a balloon. The only real objective at that point, after I’ve seen all the racing, is to get back home. I’ve done a couple thousands of these trips and that “deflation“ is common.

 

 

I had booked myself into the BCMinns hotel in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. That seemed like a strange name for a hotel. I used Booking.com to make the reservation. Booking.com is good for these smaller towns where Priceline is not as successful. The small economy hotel was highly rated, came with breakfast and met or exceeded its rating with me.

 

 

 

MONDAY

 

I was out the door of my motel at about 8:30 a.m. I had a 2 ½-half hour drive over to the Edmonton International Airport. There I will be flying standby on the first flight from Edmonton to Seattle. Later on I planned to fly to the Los Angeles International Airport. If I made all the flights, and there were no guarantees of that, I would get home about 10 p.m. If I didn’t make the flight…well I hoped I would make those flights!

 

 

If I do get home tonight, I’ll take all of my racing gear and clean and sanitize the stuff. O.K. I won’t do that but Carol will. I plan on heading out on an all-night flight Tuesday night. Yep. I’ll be home for less than 24 hours. Don’t worry. It’s what I do.

 

 

 

Good afternoon from Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada

 

 

Randy Lewis – 80 countries – 2,453 tracks.

 

 

 

 

 

Saskatchewan

 

 

The Land of the Living Skies province

This afternoon I saw racing at my 8th lifetime track in the Land of the Living Skies province, yes, the Land of the Living Skies province.  I hold the #1 trackchasing ranking in Saskatchewan. Actually, I’m tied for first with Canada’s Don McAuley. No other American trackchaser has seen more than two tracks in this province.

 

 

 

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

Saskatchewan sayings:  Bleeding Green

 

This isn’t so much a term as a way of life. In Saskatchewan we both wear and bleed green in the form of the Saskatchewan Roughriders gear and pride. If, for some odd reason you aren’t familiar, the Riders are our local CFL football team that we’re pretty passionate about. So passionate in fact, we like to carve out watermelons and wear them on our heads at games in support of the team.

 

QUICK FACTS

 

 

LIFETIME TRACKCHASER COMPARISONS 

The threemost 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 655 tracks of my lifetime total.  Don’t blame me.

 

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 2,453

 

 

Total Trackchasing Countries

There are no trackchasers currently within 25 countries of my lifetime total. 

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 80

 

 

 

Current lifetime National Geographic Diversity results

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 4.14

 

 

 

That’s all folks!  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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

I love trackchasing in Saskatchewan. I found a fun old-time tourist attraction and some nice folks from the track

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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