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15416RE: [TrackChasers] 2010 Week 48

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  • Bruce A. Spencer
    Dec 2 9:35 AM
      This sounds like it was Guy and Pam's most excellent racing adventure.

      I see nothing at all wrong with bacon cheeseburgers and onion rings for Thanksgiving dinner.


      From: TrackChasers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TrackChasers@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of RTRYFBAR@...
      Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2010 11:33 AM
      To: TrackChasers@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [TrackChasers] 2010 Week 48


      The Thanksgiving weekend was a cold one but a good one in southern California. After seeing two races the previous weekend while getting rained out at one and having another canceled, everything stayed dry this past weekend.

      On Tuesday night, Pam flew to California to join me for the rest of the trip. She had been presenting at the American Speech and Hearing Association convention the week before, so I started the trip solo.

      Wednesday we drove south to San Clemente to have lunch with Randy and Carol Lewis. It was a nice afternoon, as we got to see the beautiful little town of San Clemente, get the tour of RLR World Headquarters, and have lunch at a nice seafood restaurant overlooking the ocean.

      Thursday was Thanksgiving and race day. During the day we headed to Los Angeles and the famous Farmer's Market, which unfortunately was closed. They should have put that information on their website. We ended up eating our Thanksgiving dinner right next to the market at Johnny Rockets. Bacon cheeseburgers and onion rings. Happy Thanksgiving. We did visit the LaBrea Tar Pits. Interesting.

      That evening we went to Irwindale for the 70th runnng of the Turkey Night Midget Grand Prix. They had good fields in all three divisions (38 Midgets, 33 Focus Midgets, 28 Sprints; all under USAC sanction). Irwindale is Gordy's favotire paved track and was at the top of my paved track HitList. I was not disappointed. The Focus Midgets ran the inner track and that race didn't turn out so well. Too many cars resulted in a lot of yellows and reds, and the 40 lap feature was mercifully shortened to 30 laps. The two features on the big track were very good. The progressive banking at Irwindale really works great, as there was a lot of passing and racing in different grooves. The track is fast, and the cars reallly carry the speed into and through the turns. The Midget feature had four different leaders in the first ten laps, all under green. In 98 laps, they had only two yellows. The Sprints have so much power you can really see them accellerate down the backstretch. T! hey had only one yellow in their 40 lapper. The facility is great, and every seat in the 6000 seat grandstand is a good one. A great show that had five races (seven scheduled) and was over at 10:15. Gordy, Bruce, Pat, and Paul were also at Irwindale with us although all of them had been to the track before.

      On Friday we were going to join Gordy in Yuma, AZ; until Bruce and Pat Eckel told me about the race in Visalia that they were going to. We ended up going there because it was a half hour closer. Paul Weisel joined us too. Plaza Park is a really neat little Mini Sprint track, located in a park with tennis courts, ball fields, a lake, etc. Too bad all parks don't have a little dirt track like this. It has great clay and no dust. But it was really cold. They had three divisions with 60 total cars and 40 of them were in the top class. I was really happy that they announced they were moving the starting time up to 5:30 because it was so cold, and that they would do everything possible to run the show as quickly as they could. Although I thought the racing was great, they wasted far too much time. First they time trialed all the cars, then took a 20 minute break before the heats. Then after the heats they took a 35 minute break before the two consies for the one class t! hat had a full field. Too cold, too much downtime, and too far of a drive back to Ontario. Three hours into the show they hadn't run a feature. We left during the first main, this being the only track on my California trip where I didn't see every race.

      Saturday we headed to Perris, number one on my dirt track HitList. I had planned a 1996 trip to Perris with Gordy, but the week before my grandmother died and I passed on the trip for her funeral. On tap in the evening was the USAC/CRA Sprint cars. We got a bonus when they rescheduled the previous week's rained out stock car show for Saturday afternoon. Actually, we got three bonuses. I emailed the track to ask if any of the stock car classes raced on the quarter mile track, and was told that yes they did which would give us a bonus track if we went in the afternoon. So we decided to spend the entire day at Perris. Bruce and Pat joined us for the afternoon show. Admission was $9 for the stock cars and $25 for the Sprints in the evening. We got our second bonus when they announced that anyone at the stock car show was welcome to stay to watch the Sprints for no charge. That was a nice $50 savings and bonus number two. There were only a couple hundred fans at the af! ternoon show. The stock car show consisted of only feature events plus one challenge race between two divisions. I liked that there were no meaningless heats. The Perris track is so good that even with the sun out and it being very windy, it stayed tacky and dust free all afternoon. We got our third bonus one of the races ran on a third track that they called "The Egg". It consisted of using the inner oval turns in one/two, and the outer oval turns in three/four. The stock car show took longer than I had hoped for just features, but ran in a three hour 2:00 - 5:00 window.

      After completely redoing the track, it was time for the USAC/CRA Sprint Cars. Gordy joined the group for the evening, having spent the afternoon at Havasu 95 Speedway in Arizona with Paul. It was again cold and the crowd was significantly down from what others have seen in previous visits. There was some talk of a small field, but that was not the case with 38 Sprints in the pits. The racing was great, and Perris moves easily into my top ten favorite tracks of all time. After a bad flip in the second heat, they announced that rain was moving in fast and they would have to really push to get the show in. The rest of the show was run in on and off light rain, but they indeed really moved along and got the show in by 9:30 and beat the heavier rain by just a few minutes. Cory Krusman took the win over Tracy Hines and Bobby East. East had a great week, finishing high in the Sprints on pavement at Irwindale and the dirt at Perris. He also finished high in the Turkey Night! Midget feature.

      Sunday we flew home and after a brief scare in Washington DC that we would not get on the final leg of the flight to Allentown, we did indeed get on the flight and were home before 1:00 a.m. It was my first race trip to California in over 20 years and it turned out great, with finally getting to see the Turkey Night Midget Grand Prix, as well as Irwindale and Perris. The only downer was getting rained out at Ventura. That track will have to move to the top of my HitList now. As of now, I have no plans for any airplane trips until the end of March.

      My next goal is to try to get a December race in the books which would mean a race in every month for the past 24 straight years.

      Guy Smith

      2010 Summary

      Weeks Racing--45 of 48
      Weeks with New Tracks--37 + 2 (new for Pam only) = 39
      New Tracks Guy--84
      New Tracks Pam--66
      Total Tracks--120
      Total Facilities/Total Events--107
      Total States/Provinces--20 (AZ, MI, NJ, NY, QC, FL, PA, OH, IN, GA, NC, SC, NH, CT, ON, VT, ME, VA, IL, CA)
      Countries--7 (USA, CAN, DNK, DEU, SWE, NLD, BEL)

      Guy Total Lifetime Tracks--1,333
      Pam Total Lifetime Tracks--709

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