11406Northeast Pond, February 24, 2007
- Mar 2, 2007On Saturday, February 24 I had the chance to pick up a new
track, making it my 42nd new track. Got a ways to go.
Northeast Pond in Milton NH was the site of ice racing on
this day. Even though Milton is only about an hour or so from my
home, this was my first visit. By using the New England Ice Racing
Association website directions I maneuvered through the Mi-Te-Jo
campground to the ticket taker, $10 a car load. From there I drove
onto the pond and pulled up outside turns 3 and 4, next to a car with
Massachusetts plates. I went over to this car to let the fellow know
that I didn't think he was from around here, when lo and behold I
find that the world's No. 1 Track chaser Randy Lewis was also here.
I was able to spend the afternoon watching the races from the comfort
of his car while talking all things racing, big and small.
The track is a third mile plowed oval, and I think you can
definitely consider this a flat track. The pit area was plowed out
behind the backstretch. Parking is plowed in a manner that allows
you to watch the action from about turn three around to the start of
turn one. The flagman had a three step stand to make himself more
visible as well as allowing him to see better. Behind him was a
small enclosed trailer with large windows for the scorers.
Considering the minimum number of cars on hand, I don't think scoring
was an issue. There was a small trailer offering concessions, I
didn't go over there so I can't report on that. Restrooms are
provided by various portapotties around the site.
All the cars use tire chains on the drive wheels, similar to
the kind my father would have used back in the day. On the nondrive
wheels a motorcycle chain is wrapped around the circumference of the
tire, with the tire being blown up tight to the chain. This gives
those tires a little bit of side bite. There are four classes racing
here, modifieds, street stocks, four cylinder rear wheel drive, and
four cylinder front wheel drives. The modifieds are a combination of
what looks like old dirt modifieds without the outer bodywork, making
them look somewhat like a homemade super modified from the 60's.
There was also one sprint car and a 1932 Ford coupe. The Ford coupe
is a real beauty and you may have seen it on the cover Vintage Oval
Racing magazine a few years ago. I must say that it is the only time
I've seen a sprint car with a windshield and working windshield
Ice racing car counts in general are slim and that was the
case here, which was somewhat surprising as this was a special
benefit for Make-A-Wish. NEIRA normally runs here on Sunday's, but
chose a Saturday to allow other ice racing groups to compete. The
modified feature started three cars and after a couple of laps
the '32 coupe and another car got together and didn't return, leaving
the remaining racer the winner.
My favorite division is the street stocks which consist
of `70's Chevrolet Monte Carlos. Watching these behemoths bellow
around the turns in full drift is a great sight. This may be the
last place on earth where you can see American made, rear wheel drive
V-8 stock cars that are actually stock. The #11 of Frank Varney was
painted in the Holly Farms colors of the Junior Johnson/Cale
Yarborough era and won the event. The #8 car wore the current Bud
paint scheme of Dale Jr.
The four cylinder divisions generally have more cars
competing, sometimes as many as 8 in the feature, and that was the
case here. They are very competitive, as well offering some variety
in car makes.
Overall the racing was decent, with the emphasis on fun.
It's probably one of the few places where a driver's suit consists of
insulated snowmobile pants and a Carhart jacket.
On Sunday I met up with Randy at Lees Pond in Moultonborough
NH for their regularly scheduled Sunday afternoon racing. I have
this track already. It was just about the most perfect day I've ever
experienced for ice racing. The temperature was about 30 degrees or
so, the sun was shining, and there was almost no wind. The car
counts were a little better than Milton, and they also have a four
cylinder youth division.
The street stocks were still the highlight of the day with a
good battle for the lead. I can almost imagine that this is what
local dirt track racing may have been like 50 years ago. All in all
a great day at the races.
Please note the Lakes Region Ice Racing Association normally
races on Berry Pond in Moultonborough, which is about a mile or so
away on the other side of town from Lees Pond. If you've seen ice
racing here before, you may not have seen it at Lees Pond.
As the slogan on the cover of the program say, "Just plain
- Next post in topic >>