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18117best laid plans

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  • rpmgordy
    Mar 17, 2014
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      Happy St. Patrick's Day from your breadman emeritus. I centered my weekend travel plans around the 25th Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway that was supposed to take place on Sunday. Plans were made to fill Friday and Saturday with new tracks and a return home on Monday. The weather nixed the Opp option, and a forecast for Monday snow on my return made driving home on Sunday prudent considering my Camaro is compromised in wintry conditions. Alas, the snow was early, stretching my Sunday drive to almost 15 hours. Temps started dropping as I entered VA. Snow started falling in Richmond and didn't cease until I was north of Baltimore. It was a white knuckle deal for 4 agonizing hours. When I took a pit stop in PA I discovered there was an inch of ice on the entire grill of my car. No where else.The LED lights on modern vehicles generate no heat, forcing me to chop the ice off my headlights to continue. Those same lights are brighter than their predecessors, making the glare and reflection in the falling snow conducive to poor visibility. My driveway looked real good when I got there. I did mange 3 for me. Here's the skinny. 
      Friday I attended the season opener at the Anderson Speedway in SC. Six divisions took to the paved 4/10 mile with 13 degree banking. Infield pits made viewing the bottom groove in turns 1 & 2 impossible. $10 got you in for the 8:00 start. Four of the 6 classes numbered between 15 and 20, with the other 2 less than 10. Passing was tough but possible. A night of destruction was being pitched all night for May, but arrived during the late model feature. Six of the 15 starters survived the carnage. Three of the other features went non-stop. It was a mixed bag for sure. At least the weather was nice with a balmy 60 degree temp upon completion.
      Saturday found me rising early to head for Moree's Paradise Speedway for a kart show where a Ford F150 truck was the top prize for 1 of the classes. That class drew 40 entries from as far away as NE. I was there for the 4 countable champkarts. Thankfully they were the first, scheduled class. Sadly, it was a brutal reminder of why I call such shows champkart hell. The Facebook site said hot laps at 10:00, racing to follow. They excluded the 1 word necessary for clarity. Qualifying. At 12:30 they started qualifying for every class. The first feature started on the announced time of 4:00, thankfully. The 4:30 wait time to see the only countable race was a bitter reminder why I rarely attend such shows these days. This might be the finest kart facility I've ever visited. The $20 admission just made for a worse taste in my mouth, when you factor in the total lack of entertainment.
      Waycross Motor Speedway in GA had practice scheduled for 7:00 with racing to follow. Even leaving Moree's at 4:15, I was confident I wouldn't miss too much after a 5 hour drive. I never thought I wouldn't miss any of the actual racing. The first heat of the 7 division show pulled onto the track as I settled into the bleachers. Woe is me. Every class had 2 heats except the super late models that had their 24 entries run 4. All other classes had 6 to 10 entries. Two of the heats had 3 entries. Running races on the track for kids were had between heats and features. The  7th and final feature started after midnight, and yes, that was the headlining slm's. Thankfully, my motel was less than a mile away. I crashed almost immediately.
      None of these 3 will crack my top 800, though the 2 regular tracks have the potential to do so. At least the weather was great until Sunday evening, giving me plenty of quality time behind the wheel of the finest, passenger car in trackchasing. Sadly the weekend ended with the passing of Gary Bettenhausen. The 2 finest laps I ever saw at my beloved Reading Fairgrounds were turned by this man. Those laps hooked me on sprint car racing. RIP, Gary B. Adios.