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Western Raceway

Greetings from White Hills, Arizona

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From the travels and adventures of the 

“World’s #1 Trackchaser”

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Western Raceway

Dirt road course

 Lifetime Track #2,427

 

 

The EventVideo PlusPhotos

 

 

THE EVENT

I have had the opportunity to follow my trackchasing hobby all over the world.  As this is written I have seen racing in 79 countries.  My lifetime track total is just over 2,400.  Long ago I wrapped up seeing racing in every American state.

 

 

Some twelve years ago I moved into the “World’s #1 Trackchasing” spot.  Of course, that’s if that title is awarded to the person who has seen the most lifetime tracks.  Frankly, I don’t think it should be.   Maybe “Most Prolific Trackchaser” is a better description for that category.

 

 

The World’s #1 Trackchaser title should be bestowed on the person who has seen the most racing in the most countries. That’s what the “world” is made up of isn’t it?  Countries!

 

 

I was lucky on this trip. I had already committed to a trip to very rural Arizona to see one new track on a Sunday afternoon. It would be a 680-mile one-way drive. Then, at the last minute, another track popped up on the radar of the Randy Lewis Racing research department. They were racing Saturday night. Now I could see TWO new tracks and the driving distance would be just 920 miles. Ya, I was lucky. Ya, I have a very positive attitude toward this hobby.

 

 

It’s important to note that my hobby is not only about racing.  Yes, that is one part of it.  However, of equal importance are the logistics of trackchasing (getting from point A to B to C, etc.) and the opportunity to see the world.

 

 

I live in Southern California.  The vast majority of tracks in the U.S. are located in the Midwest and East.  It takes a good deal of logistical planning to get from where I live to where the tracks are.  A typical weekend trip within the U.S. will cover more than 5,000 air and driving miles. I do about forty of those trips each year.  For the past 15 years I have traveled about 175 nights each and every year. Surprisingly to some, more than half of those overnights were not part of trackchasing.

 

 

A big part of trackchasing for me is simply travel just for the fun of seeing new things.  You won’t want to miss my “Trackchasing Tourist Attractions” page or my “Sports Spectating Resume” page on my website at www.randylewis.org. Search around on my site.  Use the drop-down menus.  They will take you all over the world!  My site will give you some understanding on how important seeing the world and just “seeing stuff” is with my trackchasing hobby.

 

 

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

 

 

Sunday, April 1, 2018.

 

 

I woke up this morning in the Motel 6 located in Kingman, Arizona. I don’t stay at Motel 6 properties much anymore. Once I discovered I could get hotels on Priceline.com, that were dramatically better at pretty much the same price, I stopped staying at Motel 6s. However, this property was clean, convenient and had the best shower I’ve used this year.

 

 

As you know I travel a lot with my trackchasing hobby. That makes it difficult for me to meet my exercise goals. If you check out the goal section on my website you’ll see what I mean. I want to exercise aerobically a minimum of five times every week for the entire year. That’s 250 exercise periods.

 

 

Considering that I travel 180 nights a year and fly on more than 200 airplanes every year finding the time to exercise while I’m on the road is difficult. Nevertheless, I had a few minutes this morning. I had time for a couple of miles now and the rest of my walking could be done at the racetrack.

 

 

There was just one problem. I had forgotten my workout gear. However, in my world that’s not a problem. I was wearing dark somewhat longish boxer shorts. Those now became my workout shorts!

 

 

My Motel 6 was located on Andy Devine Boulevard. That must have meant that Andy grew up in Kingman. As a matter fact he did.

 

 

From Wikipedia…..”Andrew Vabre “Andy” Devine (October 7, 1905 – February 18, 19777 was an American character actor known for his distinctive raspy, crackly voice. He is probably best remembered for his role as Cookie, the sidekick of Roy Rogers in 10 feature films.” Yes, Andy grew up in Kingman!

 

 

There doesn’t seem to be a heck of a lot going on in Kingman. It’s one of those far west smaller cities. Oftentimes, the architecture in these locales is pretty basic and often times older. No, it’s not old like the east coast but old as in weather beaten and just basic. Lots of people think of themselves as Cowboys!

 

 

There was just enough time to have a couple of loaded breakfast sandwiches at Jack in the Box next-door. Now I’m in my no carb eating phase after over eating like a gluttonous person of royalty for the last two months in places like New Orleans, Belarus, Maldives and a Western Caribbean cruise. It’s time to pay the piper.

 

 

Last night I had seen racing at the Canyon Speedway Park. Today I was headed to the Western Raceway in White Hills, Arizona. What makes this plan so unusual?

 

 

First of all, this was Easter weekend and most tracks don’t race over Easter weekend. Secondly, I’ve seen more than 2,400 race tracks. When you’ve seen that many tracks it’s hard to find places where I haven’t been yet.

 

 

Finally, I was trackchasing in Arizona. Arizona doesn’t have that many tracks. Nevertheless, after I checked off the Western Raceway I would have seen my 40th track in the Grand Canyon State.

 

 

Following the Western Raceway activity, I will have seen forty or more tracks in 19 states. Not a single trackchaser comes close to matching those results. Here’s a list of the states where I’ve seen 40 tracks or more.

 

Arizona

California

Florida

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Michigan

Minnesota

Missouri

Nebraska

New York

North Carolina

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Texas

Washington

Wisconsin

 

 

The high temperature in White Hills, Arizona was expected to be about 85° today. There’s no humidity and no chance of rain. That’s pretty good weather. Today, April 1, my hometown of East Peoria, Illinois has a temperature of 23° with snow.

 

 

White Hills, Arizona doesn’t have good weather every day. On Saturday August 5, 1899 a flash flood wiped out virtually the entire town. White Hills was home to major silver mines. Following the flood White Hills became a ghost town!

 

 

A lot of people in this part of Arizona come down from their cold climates for a few months in the winter. Today while traveling on route 93 north I encountered all kinds of huge recreational vehicles. There were towing their cars for the long trip back home. Spring is just beginning to spring up north.

 

 

 

THE RACING

 

 

Western Raceway – White Hills, Arizona

 

 

Today’s racing was being organized and sanctioned by Arizona Off-Road Promotions. They are known as AZOP. I’ve seen several of their shows. I like what they do for a few reasons.

 

 

I like a promotion that you can count on. AZOP starts their shows on time and they don’t cancel race programs listed on their schedule. They get a good field of cars, i.e. UTVs. They also have a starting procedure that meets and exceeds trackchasing rules. It’s for these reasons I support AZOP.

 

 

With that being said today’s desert off-road track wasn’t all that spectator friendly. Most of the spectating opportunities were from the paddock area. I have no real idea how long the track was. I’m going to guess it might have been around three miles long. Most of those three miles of racetrack were a long way from my viewing position.

 

 

There were four classes of UTV racers on the card today. These included the following:

 

UTV Pro (4)

1000cc Turbo (6)

1000cc Non-Turbo (8)

900cc (3)

 

 

At most UTV races the width of the starting line limits the number of competitors that can start in a single row. For whatever reason, with this type of racing they do not start multiple rows of competitors at once as they do in most other forms of racing.

 

 

So, what happens when the starting area is wide enough for seven starters but more than seven starters show up to race? In almost every case when that happens some of the racers start in row one. The remainder of the field starts in row two and further back if needed. To start the race the green flag is raised and row one takes off. Then 30 seconds or so later the next row goes off and so forth. What does all of this mean? The winner of a race like this is determined by elapsed time. The “Randy Rule” of trackchasing (one of several) does not allow this type of race start to count in trackchasing.

 

 

Today, only one class, the 1000cc non-turbos had too many entries (8) to start in one row. Races officials would have this class start with four cars in two different rows. The winner of that race was based solely on elapsed time. The other three classes all started their race at the same time. That’s what is needed in order to meet trackchasing rules.

 

 

It looked like the temperature topped out at about 80°. I’m sure there hasn’t been any rain in this area for a long time. A good part of the track was very very dusty. Despite water being put down by a couple of old time water trucks it didn’t change the dust situation much. There is really no way to effectively water a track of this size.

 

 
This kind of racing is about 180° different than the quarter-mile dirt oval stock car racing I grew up with. Once you commit to accepting these differences you can become a trackchaser.

 

 

“Track” “Chasing” pretty well describes what I do. I chase TRACKS. A quarter-mile dirt oval at the Peoria Speedway is a track. A three-mile desert off-road course at the Western Raceway in White Hills, Arizona is a track. As they say it doesn’t get much simpler than that.

 

 

Today’s UTV Racing was scheduled to start at 2:15 p.m. The race would go for about an hour. I pulled into the Western Raceway about 30 or 40 minutes before race time.

 

 

Arizona Off-Road Promotions had scheduled a two-day racing program. Day #1 was yesterday on Saturday. In addition to the racing they had an Easter egg hunt on Saturday afternoon.

 

 

Today was the last day of the two-day racing weekend. I had arrived at the Western Raceway property during the last hour or two of the entire weekend’s activity. I drove through the entrance slowly. I think they had stopped collecting admission at this particular point. I looked around and didn’t see anyone selling tickets or wristbands.

 

 

I had hoped to be able to walk around the track confines a little bit today. I needed to get in some more mileage in order to meet my four-mile daily walking goal. However this truly was desert. The surface was uneven and dusty. I spent most of my time inside the air-conditioned comfort and dust free environment of the Budget Rental Car Racing Chevy impala.

 

 

I tried to get as many video clips of the racing as I possibly could from inside my car. If needed I can crop those clips and it will look as if I was standing outside. Yes, it’s the magic of Hollywood!

 

 

I changed my position at the track by driving from one place to the next. In a way it was somewhat similar to last week’s trackchasing activity in the country of Maldives. Over there we rode a motorbike from one viewing spot to the next.

 

 

I guess when I think about it that was just about the only similarity between today’s trackchasing activity and what we did in Maldives. Of course, being in Maldives, with all of its uniqueness, will be one of the true highlights of the year.

 

 

 

AFTER THE RACES

 

When the racing was finished I headed my rental car in the direction of our modest seaside cottage in the sleepy little village of San Clemente, California. I will be returning the car to the John Wayne Orange County Airport. The Chevy impala had worked out very well. It gave me more than 30 miles per gallon over more than 900 miles of driving.

 

 

Did you know there are nearly a dozen people who have seen racing in all 50 of the American states? Yes, it’s true. However, a number of those people did it just to say they did it. In several states, even after years and years of trackchasing, they still have only seen a single track or maybe two in several of the fifty states. That’s O.K. Much of trackchasing is simply done for the bragging rights.

 

 

I’m not sure how many tracks you have to see in one particular state to consider yourself a regular. I would think if you had seen 40 tracks or more in one state that you have quite a bit of experience in that location. Today I saw my 40th lifetime track in Arizona, the Grand Canyon State. I guess that makes me a regular here.

 

 

I’ve seen more racetracks than anyone else in 24 separate states. Can you guess which state was the first where I had seen the most tracks? Arizona! Yep. Not many trackchasers come to the Far West to trackchase. It’s just too far to come when most of the tracks race on Saturday.

 

 

I benefited from living in Arizona for a year in 1974. As a matter of fact, Kyle the AZOP promoter grew up within a couple of blocks from where we lived out on Greenway Road. It didn’t hurt my Arizona effort when my brother moved to Phoenix….or from our living in California, on two separate occasions, for some 40 years.

 

 

In all of those states where I hold a leadership position, I have only been caught and passed one time. That was by those pesky racing Eckels, Bruce and Pat. In the middle of the year they passed me in Arizona. However, by the end of the year I had tied them again.

 

 

After that experience I had to put a special focus on the Grand Canyon state. I didn’t think much of the Eckels passing me in the AZ trackchasing standings. Today I have 40 tracks in Arizona and they have 32. I don’t think they’ll be passing me ever ever again here. No offense towards the pesky Eckels. They just need to know their place.

 

 

I couldn’t be more pleased at being able to see two separate tracks over Easter weekend. I didn’t need to get on an airplane to do it either. I was only gone from home for one night. It was a very productive trackchasing weekend. However, Carol from time to time quotes her father with this gem, “There is no free lunch. The only thing free in life is a kick in the butt.” I hate that saying.

 

 

The only downside to this trackchasing weekend would be the drive home. I would essentially be joining the Las Vegas crowd for the ride home. White Hills, Arizona was only about an hour from Vegas. My Waze GPS directed ride put me on the road with all of the folks who had come out to party in Sin City over Easter weekend.

 

 

I’m going to guess that most of these people did not observe Good Friday. Ya, just a guess. I’ll bet they didn’t go to church on Easter Sunday either. Nevertheless, here they were clogging up the freeways all the way back to Southern California. Did you know that on any given weekend in Las Vegas about half of the people in town are from Southern California? It’s true.

 

 

During the first quarter of 2018 and the first day of the second quarter I’ve been getting up and down the long and dusty trackchasing trail pretty often. After today I’ve already seen 20 tracks in 2018. I’m going to take a break for a couple weeks.

 

 

Carol and I own a couple of timeshares in Maui, Hawaii. Hawaii is the only location in the world that we are willing to go back for a week at a time over and over again. I’m happy with two visits to the Aloha State separated by about six months each year. We have been doing this for years and have made well over 50 visits to the island paradise.

 

 

I use our April trip to spend time looking at track schedules for the coming year. Most permanent oval tracks don’t start racing until April or May. That means that our early Maui trip is perfect timing for putting all of their important racing dates into a single proprietary database. Why is it proprietary? Because I believe in capitalism and not socialism. Any questions?

 

 

The overall participation rate in the trackchasing hobby is down in the dumps. Why? It’s pretty simple really. Most of the older trackchasers now sit on the porch back at home dreaming of their past travels.

 

 

The newest trackchasers not really are “into it”. You might have one guy who sees a large number of tracks, sometimes even more than 100, in a single season. Those folks soon find out they can’t maintain that pace and a life on the road that it requires. They soon revert back to some really low numbers. Don’t believe me? Check the stats.

 

 

If you are a trackchaser or observe the trackchasing hobby from afar please don’t get mad at me for explaining this phenomenon. I am only telling you the facts. You can always count on getting the facts from me in my Trackchasers Reports. Sadly, it is true. Trackchasing is a dying art.

 

 

For the last couple hundred miles of the trip back home tonight, the traffic rolled along Interstate 15 at speeds from 15-30 miles an hour. Most of the road out in the desert is only two lanes in each direction. Near the California/Nevada border I passed through the California border control checkpoint.

 

 

I’m really not a big fan of some drivers. I talking about the people who drive in traffic where the speeds are 20 miles an hour and the cars are bumper-to-bumper over two lanes operating in the same direction. These idiots feel the need to CHANGE lanes in order to get an advantage. I find people to be very annoying when they try to get an advantage when there is no advantage to be gotten. Save it folks. That’s right. Save your energy for when it really counts. If I knew those people personally I would never hire them for a job. They would just be too annoying!

 

 

So that’s about it from my Arizona Easter trackchasing weekend. I got more than I expected. I am very much appreciative for that.

 

 

Good afternoon from White Hills, Arizona.

 

 

Randy Lewis – 79 countries – 2,427 tracks.

 

 

 

 

Arizona

 

 

The Grand Canyon state

This afternoon, I saw racing at my 40th lifetime track in the Grand Canyon state, yes, the Grand Canyon state.  I hold the #1 trackchasing ranking in Arizona.  I’ve seen 40 or more tracks in nineteen different states.

 

 

 

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

Arizona sayings: Sunscreen is for sissies. 

 

 

 

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 645 tracks of my lifetime total.  Don’t blame me.

 

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 2,427

 

 

 

Total Trackchasing Countries

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

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 79

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Some interesting Far Western desert scenery PLUS off-road racing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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