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176392013 TrackChaser Report--Raceway Park, Clearfield, PA

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  • rtryfbar2
    Oct 22, 2013
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      On Friday evening Pam, her brother Bruce, and I were in the stands as the Catasauqua High Rough Riders upped their record to 8-0, winning easily, even without two of their top four players.  At halftime I was standing next to 15-year NBA player Donyell Marshall, whose son Paryss plays for Catty.  It was a true Schwarzenegger/Devito "Twins" moment.  Donyell and Paryss are also related to Pro Football Hall of Famer Lenny Moore who played for the Baltimore Colts with Johnny U.  Both Donyell and Lenny are from Reading, home stomping grounds of Mike Knappenberger, Gordy Killian, Jeff Sands, and at one time Patsy Eckel, whose last name at that time I don't think I know.

      On Saturday I had a tough call to make.  Bloomsburg @ East Stroudsburg U. football or the paved Raceway Park in Clearfield for our only race of the weekend.  I didn't want to go raceless, and we already had Sunday work plans, so Pam and I headed to Clearfield while listening to the game on the radio and then tracking the play by play of the game on the iphone.  Bloomsburg's running back, Franklyn Quiteh is the leading active rusher in any NCAA level, having surpassed the 6,000 yard mark.  Last week's 304 yards was a new school record as the 6th in the nation Huskies improved to 7-0.

      Arriving in Clearfield, we stopped at the Dutch Pantry Restaurant for ham & bean soup with cornbreadThere is none finer.  After our soup, we headed to the track.  I had been to Clearfield as a dirt track as early as 1984, then visited as a paved track to see a rare Kenny Brightbill pavement late model start while I was a student at Bloomsburg.  Gordy and I saw a NASCAR Modified Tour race there in the pavement era, then I returned in 2004 to see its return to dirt with the track having been shortened to a 2/5th mile.  I had yet to visit since it returned to pavement for the second time, in 2012, which I wanted to do.

      The weather didn't look good so we decided to wait in the parking lot rather than purchase $15 tickets.  This race was originally supposed to be October 12th at 3:00, but the day before they pushed it back a week until October 19th.  They also pushed the starting time back from 3:00 to 5:00, which made little sense to me given it's the middle of October in Pennsylvania and it is a paved track so dust would not be an issue.  The two and a half hours of practice was completed, and then we had to wait until starting time.  I'm not sure how many race cars were in the pits, or even how many spectator cars were in the drive in section over on the hill.  But I know that when we arrived at 3:45 there were only ten cars in the parking lot and two people in the stands.

      With rain moving in to the area, we all had to sit there and wait for the scheduled starting time.  It never ceases to amaze me how tracks, if faced with starting the heats early due to impending adverse weather, treat the advertised starting time as if it were a sacred covenant with God.  But when it comes to starting late, they can barf up any lame-ass reason, legitimate or lie, or no reason at all for that matter, to start late.

      Of course you can guess what happened.  A half hour before 5:00 with light rain falling, they called the show and postponed it to the next afternoon.  As we already had work planned for Sunday, we could not return.  If they would have had the race on the originally advertised date, they would have got the race in.  If they would have stuck with the original starting time on the rescheduled date, they would have at least had an hour of racing in the books.  In the end I made the wrong call and we didn't get to see the football game on Saturday or see a race.  At least the bean soup was kickin', and we stopped on the way home to do our grocery shopping.

      On Sunday I stayed home for the entire day (well, there was a quick run over to the new house in Saylorsburg in early afternoon).  It was my first day home since deciding to skip the Reading Fair race on Tuesday, August 6.

      Busy again this coming weekend, so we again don't have much time for racing.  Our only planned race is to see the first ever mixed surface Rallycross race at Pocono that Edward Corrado discovered for us.  That would cut my PA HitList tracks from two back down to one.  Also in the plans are house renovations, two football games, and a concert with Jeff Sands and Mike Knappenberger.  Gotta get through the rest of the work week first.

      Guy Smith