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4016Quebec Weekend

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    Mar 3, 2003

      Will and I headed north to Quebec for a weekend of ice racing.

      The weekend started off badly for Will, as his car died on the way to my
      house. But being a true TrackChaser, he just left it at the side of the
      road, walked to a pay phone, and called me to pick him up and we continued on
      to Quebec.

      The trip started off badly for me, too. Our Saturday afternoon track of St.
      Guillaume postponed until Sunday. I am now zero for three at this track, in
      both summer and winter. Will says I gotta pay my dues, as it took him six
      visits to finally see races.

      Saturday night we went to the downtown ice races in Sherbrooke. Gordy and I
      had been here last year, but on Sunday afternoon. It was my first night ice
      race. Parking was $5 and admission was $51.50 for the stands we wanted. If
      you went back Sunday, it would be another $5 and another $51.50. Very high,
      I thought, but they had a crowd in the thousands. Former F1 champ Alain
      Prost won the feature for the top class. Last year the international races
      were sanctioned by IRSI. This year, another sanction took over. They only
      had 13 starters in the Saturday night feature, and that was all three classes
      combined. A disappointing turnout. The FAQ also had their three classes,
      plus there was another international class called cross cars, which were like

      Sunday morning it was snowing. The TV said one centimeter total for the day,
      but we had about 2 1/2 by the time we left for the races. We were a bit
      worried about the races, as the roads were not that good. We headed to Maple
      Grove, where the races were being held on the St. Lawrence River. The snow
      stopped, we found the track, and the races were on. They gave us free
      admission because we were from the States. That's a first. The track was a
      small but very wide oval, and we parked on the backstretch. It's weird
      enough parking on the ice when it is on a lake, but it is even more freaky
      when the river is actually flowing under you. They had six classes, with the
      eight cylinder stocks the biggest class with 24 cars. They have had 47
      drivers in that class alone this season. Each class ran a heat and a
      feature. It was an entertaining show.

      Will got two new Quebec tracks, and now has 23, just two behind Paul for the
      Quebec Championship. I got one new track, my 49th career in Canada. It was
      also my 24th ice race track, four more than Ed and six more than Jack. I
      have to get some winter tracks to keep up with Andy's remembering more
      Baylands tracks. Customs sucked coming home. When we got back I took Will
      to his car, and it started so I didn't have to take him all the way home. I
      hope he made it all the way to Quakertown.

      I will be gone the next four days, as I will be at a DECA conference in
      Hershey, PA. One of my students is running for state president. I think she
      has a good chance to win. This is the first time one of my students ever ran
      for the top office, so I wanted to be there to help, even though I am not
      teaching this year. Dani and I are leaving tomorrow morning. I don't know
      if I will be able to access e-mail while there. Have a good week everyone.