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  • rpmgordy
    Nov 6, 2013
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      Greetings from your breadman emeritus,
           Just got back from another fabulous weekend of trackchasing. I started by flying into San Diego and visiting my cousin, Ernie and celebrating his birthday. The retired mail dude turned 64, and we spent a night at the Pas after a fine meal at the Broken Yolk. The Eckels joined us after detouring to the John Wayne Airport because of the tragedy at LAX. What a world. The man that did track prep at the PAS passed away recently, putting those duties in the hands of newcomers. A stiff Santa Anna wind dried up their first attempts at such, making for an arid surface that led to the worst PAS race I've ever seen. Of course that was still better than many joints present, and Nic Faas defended his CA turf mostly unchallenged. Positions 5-10 were worth watching most of the race. I bid farewell to Ernie and hopped aboard the Eckel rental for a ride to their time share digs in Newport Beach. Living the viva loca, baby.
           Saturday started with a run to LAX to retrieve Eckel luggage followed by a trek north to the Willow Springs Raceway for some VARA racing. The main road course on this multi-track complex is a long one with elevation changes. About 80% can be viewed by bleachers in the paddock area. We watched 3 of the 4 groups run 30 minute segments on a gorgeous day. More than 20 cars started each race and passing was plentiful at multiple points on the course. We could also see uncountable events occurring simultaneously on 2 separate road course, while the 2 short tracks and figure 8 track were silent. We all left feeling we got our $10 worth.
           Next stop was the Auto Club Speedway for the final hour of an 8 hour Chumpcar race on a course formed entirely in the infield of the superspeedway. 42 entries gave us a fine finale on the flat but racy course. My favorite entry was a 1974 Lotus Elise that probably deserved a better fate than hanging and banging with the odd assortment of entries. Chumpcar is a series I really like to use to score road courses, and I see them being in future plans.
           It was back to the PAS for the final night of the 18th Oval Nationals and a cool, damp evening. The new track crew overcompensated for the dry conditions on Friday and watered the track to the point that it never widened out the groove enough for typical PAS racing. Dave Darland took a popular win over a stout field. Even though the racing was only average, the view of a 410, wingless sprint backing into turn 1 at full song never gets old. Even if the actual racing isn't up to snuff, this event draws a great crowd from across the country that makes for bench racing of the highest caliber. I've caught this event 5 times. I see more in my future.
           After the race the Eckels dropped me at the Ontario Airport where I slept the night in a seat at ticketing. I had a 6:00 am flight to Atlanta, and would not wake them after 2 hours of sleep just to drive back there from Newport Beach. Upon arriving in "Hot 'lanta" I grabbed a rental and headed for the 39th National 100 at East Alabama Motor Speedway. Remaining on the schedule at this very high banked speed plant were 2 consies and a 100 lap feature for super late models on this third and last day. A huge crowd watched a stellar field of drivers put on some fine racing on a cold night. Many fans brought portable propane heaters into the concrete grandstand. None were near enough to benefit me. 15 states were represented in the 24 car starting field. Scott Bloomquist started on the pole, but was passed by Tim McCreadie and Rick Eckert in a race slowed 4 times for minor incidents. Scrub swept around T-Mac with 1 lap remaining to take the win. Anyone but Bloomer is my policy, making me a happy fan. It was back to Atlanta afterwards for a flight home on Monday.
           Not sure about anything before the Bahamas race. I need to rest up some after all this retirement stuff. I could score any number of races Thanksgiving weekend, but time will be given to the family that stood by me during recent tough times. That's more important than any number. Adios.