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11406Northeast Pond, February 24, 2007

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  • bardahlspl2000
    Mar 2, 2007
      On 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
      wipers.

      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
      fun".
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