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2009 Week 22

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    TrackChasers With Dr. Pam in Denver presenting at an international conference on Aphasia and hiking in the snow at 13,000 feet on the Rockies, I headed to New
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2009

      With Dr. Pam in Denver presenting at an international conference on Aphasia and hiking in the snow at 13,000 feet on the Rockies, I headed to New York solo on Saturday to try to knock off an easy figure 8 event...It turned out to not be quite as easy as expected

      The location was the Livingston County Fairgrounds in Caledonia, NY...The event was demolition derby and compact figure 8 racing, set to start at 6:00...The previous week I had emailed the group putting on the event, to find out if they were sure they were going to have entries for the figure 8 event...I was told there would be no shortage of cars, because guys wanted to run the figure 8 race first and then run the same cars in the compact demo derby later in the event

      I arrived at 4:30 and bought a ticket...There were three lines of big cars for demo derby, and a line of 8 small cars for what I thought was figure 8...All looked good...But the bottom line is: Never trust a promoter to do what he tells you he is going to do...I was relaxing in the car, as they had tractor pulls going on at the time, and I eventually ran into PJ, who was very unhappy and worried...He had talked to the promoter of the demo group, who was now unsure if they were going to have a figure 8 race or not...I guess the fact that they advertised it didn't mean much to him...I accompanied PJ back to the infield to talk to the guy myself, figuring that if another person says they came for the figure 8 race, it would increase the chances of them having it...I told him I was the guy that posted on his message board, and he assured me they had plenty of cars to run the race...He now said they were planning on running it, but AFTER the compact demo derby if there were cars left to run in it...Not only was this contrary to what he had posted in reply to my question, but it is just STUPID to plan to run a race for cars AFTER an event designed to totally destroy them...Soon after this I spotted Paul Weisel, and informed him of the madness...He left to go watch two Micro Sprint heats at Limerock, returning in plenty of time

      They started an hour and twenty minutes late with the compact demo, then had three demo heats for the big cars...At this time, PJ and I went back in the pits asking drivers if they were going to run the figure 8 race...Three said yes, one said if he could get his car started, but one said they were told if they didn't have four or five cars the race would be cancelled...Next came the big car demo consie...Finally the next event was the figure 8 feature

      Four cars dragged themselves to the line for the race...Two were the first two out of the demo and were in good shape, the other two were mangled and could not run well...Needless to say the race wasn't much...But at least they had it, just three hours and fifteen minutes after it was supposed to be held...We spent the evening not even knowing if they were going to have it or not...All this could have been avoided if they would have just used a modicum of common sense and kept their word and done things the way they said they were going to...Then they could have had a much better 8-car figure 8 feature with all the cars fresh...This was the only figure 8 race that Heavy Hitting Productions has scheduled...Clearly they do not understand how to produce this type of event...The highlights of the night were the salt potatoes and hanging out with the now-retired PJ, who I don't get to see that often anymore...And of course it's always more entertaining when Paul Weisel is on hand as well

      Sunday was a beautiful day and I figured it was now or never for Smithton Raceway...If they were not going to race oval track stock cars on this perfect afternoon, I doubted they ever would...I arrived at 2:00 for the 3:00 start and Andy Sivi (making his 8th try for this track) arrived a minute later...From the previous week, they had lowered the spectator admission from $10 plus $5 to park to just $5 total with no parking charge...We watched the cars roll in one by one and they eventually had 8 compact cars to race...They had the track all watered for the racing, but organizational difficulties led to an unanticipated delay, and by the time the first two cars came out for warmups the track had dried out and turned dusty, so they had to stop and rewater the track...They then completed the practice...Another bit of delay followed, and the track dried out again, but they did not water it again until after the two heats

      One hour late, at 4:00, the moment we had waited for for three years took place...They had an actual race on the Smithton Raceway oval...Since it is a small oval, you would think 8 cars would be enough for a decent feature...However, the 8 cars were divided into two classes, with 4 Stock Compacts and 4 Super Stock Compacts...Each class ran a 15 lap heat and a 20 lap feature...With the afternoon dirt surface, it might have been better that they split them 4 and 4 anyway...I wanted to add that the french fries and the burgers are OUTSTANDING

      I was happy to get this track, as I had spent a good deal of time looking for info on their website and their message board...I was happier for Andy that he could finally see a race there too after so many attempts...I think this is what the track needed, to actually hold a race event as scheduled...My best guess is that they were about 2 for 8 in 2007 before canceling the rest of the season, and before Sunday they were 0 for 3 this year...Hopefully they can build on what they started Sunday and make this a successful Sunday afternoon show of compact racing...Of the 21 new tracks I went to so far this year, I was with another TrackChaser friend at every single one of them

      This past weekend was the last that I had to be at work on both Friday and Monday...So far this year, I managed to get a new track on 17 of 22 weekends, and have seen a race on 21 of 22 weekends, all without taking an airplane flight and having worked every one of those 22 weeks...No wonder I'm tired

      But not TOO tired...IT'S USAC TIME!...I'm hoping to hit the first two of the four USAC Sprint Car eastern tour shows, starting tonight at Grandview, even while still working a full week this week

      Guy Smith

      Week 22 Summary

      Weeks Racing--21 of 22
      Weeks with New Tracks--17
      New Tracks--21
      Total Tracks--34
      Total Race Events--34

      Lifetime Tracks--1,208

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