- Greetings from your breadman,
I hope eveveryone had a geat Thanksgiving. This is one of the
highest volume weeks in breadworld, and I have one less day to deal
with it all. My first day back to work on Monday after having last
week off was a 13 hour effort that was followed by 2, 10 hour rounds.
I need another vacation already. I did spend the last half of that
vacation enjoying the hospitality of my in-laws in Sarasota, FL. This
gave me the opportunity to knock off some tracks that aren't usually
running during speedweeks.
First up was the kart track at East Bay Raceway Park that sits
in the infield of the Regular track on Nov. 17. It's a 1/6th? mile of
slightly banked, sandy clay that forced the karts to get slideways.
That made for better than normal kart racing. Nine senior champkarts
made up the one, countable division on a cool night. Their race was
12th on the docket, and took place 1 hour after my arrival at 7:00pm.
This was a very organized kart show, with multiple yellows flying
only in the kidkart class. Thoughts of a double entered my head, and
it was off to Auburndale.
I arrived at the Auburndale Kartway an hour later to find them
at intermission at another 1/6th? of a mile, flat, dirt track. The
countable , senior champkarts would be the 9th feture of the night,
which meant I would have to endure 2 hours worth of caution filled
kart racing slowed by a 50 minute kidkart feature while the temps
continued to drop. The 7 senior champs hit the track at 11:45 and
concluded their 20 lapper 5 minutes later. The PA systems at both
tracks were used only to call karts to the grid. Kart racing remains
fan unfriendly, and is no hurry to change this. The only people that
watch individual races are family members of the participants at
these back gate driven events. Still, it was nice to get 2 of these
on the list with a minimum of fuss.
The next day found me entering Speedway Park in Fruitland Park,
FL for yet another kart show. I scrambled to a viewing area as
champkarts were lining up for a race when I arrived at the 5:30pm
starting time. Alas, they were just the first of 2 junior classes and
the 5th race of the program. They actually started early right after
practice concluded. It was cool and getting cooler, and they had no
intention of getting any colder than necessary. I would only have to
wait 4 more races for the countable seniors this time. The track was
a 1/6th? (Anyone see a theme, here?) mile, flat, dirt track inside a
very nice facility with permanant structures housing concessions,
teck area, office, parts places and rest rooms. I enjoyed a couple of
burgers as I waited for the champs. I parked my rented Dodge Charger
against the fence in turn 2, and watched in comfort and warmth. That
car proved quite capable, roomy and comfortable while doubling as a
chick magnet. Even a churlish, gristled, old breadman drew favorable
inquiries from envious, young females. Ah, to be 25 again. I digress.
Thoughts of a double surfaces again, and I headed north to Ocala.
The Thunder Bowl Speedway of Ocala was running their show of
motorcycles, quads, gadgets and 250 microsprints at 7:00. It was too
close and convenient to pass up. The track is a 1/5th of a mile,
flat, narrow, dirt paper clip with 4 small sections of bleachers on
the front side. As the pits are right there, also, everyone that
enters must sign a release. Every class ran 2 heats and a feature,
with the micros being the second class in the running order. I stayed
for all the heats and the micro feature before heading back to Tampa
from which I would fly home the next day. There were 12 micros on
hand, and all 3 of their races were pretty decent as there were 4
good cars, 4 medium cars and 4 oh my God's that made finding a good
passing lane a challenge to say the least. Two of the quad classes
put on some good racing, though the speedway bikes were lacking in
number and quality. Then there were the gadgets. Gadgets are just
Odysseys with a different name. I hadn't seen this class race
anywhere in years, and with only 3 competing, that's a trend that
will probably continue. My 9:50 departure got me back to Tampa before
midnight. It was funny how the bike people ignored the micro races
and vice versa. I was the only person that watched everything.
Before I go I must add my congrats to Mike Knappenberger on his
100 new track acchievement. It was my pleasure riding shotgun for
many of those shows. I could never have garnered my meager 56 new
ones without his help. Co-operation and friendship have competition
beat all to Hell. With that in mind, I'd like to invite all to my
birthday bash at the indoor show in Columbus, OH on Jan. 20. The best
present I could possibly receive would be having the largest
gathering of trackchasers possible for the largest, group photo to be
taken to date. I now make a special invite to Randy. I know it's far
from San Clemente, but for better or worse, you are an integral part
of this group and should be in the photo and sit with us at the
event. Please, consider it. Hopefully, Mr. Moderator approves of this
message and my sincere extension of an olive branch. Adios.