Guy Smith 2011 TrackChaser Report #18--Dawgwood Speedway, Chatsworth, GA
This past weekend Mike and I headed south again. Our initial plan was to go to Watermelon Capital Speedway Saturday afternoon and Albany Speedway Saturday night. Midweek, I changed the afternoon destination to Dawgwood Speedway instead.
DawgwoodSpeedway is a 1/5th mile dirt oval located in Chatsworth, GA. Thetrack has been there around ten years. It is only a hundred or soyards down the road from the North Georgia Speedway, a 1/3rd mile dirtoval that has raced since the mid-1970’s, one I visited in 2006. The two tracks are completely separatefacilities and operations, although Dawgwood was called North GeorgiaMini Speedway once upon a time.
Dawgwood at one time had Mini Sprint racing and even had some racingfor the Tobias Slingshots. For the past three years, they have notfeatured any scale car racing other than an occasional race for theChamp Karts, instead doing quite well with numerous flat kart classesweekly.
I was looking for an opportunity to visit this track when they woulddraw a decent field of Champ Karts, as it is not one of the classes thetrack hosts for their weekly events. This event was for the Tri StatePro Series, also known as the Tri State All-Star Series depending whereyou look. The season opened on February 19th at Wheel Crazy Kartway inJohnsonville, SC. That is a track that I have not yet visited and Ishould have gone that day as Ed Esser reported that they had 21 Senior Champs in the one classand 17 in the other. Unfortunately, I put all of my eggs in the FSAQice race basket at Trois Rivieres, Quebec that weekend, and that race wascanceled. Dawgwood was race two in the series. Besides the twoSenior Champ classes, they have 19 classes of flat karts as well.
Georgia has no Champ Kart racing on a regular basis at any of theirkart races. The only time to catch them at Georgia tracks is when atraveling series comes to town. With the 21 and 17 car counts at the Wheel Crazy opener, I figured a reasonable turnout would come toGeorgia. My email to the series asking for a Champ Kart pre-entrytotal was unanswered, just as my email query to Golden Isles the weekbefore was unanswered. We arrived at 1:00, which was when qualifyingwas supposed to start. Practice had started at 9:00. Admission was$20 and we found a total of 14 Champs in the two divisions. We set upcamp and waited out the end of practice, which was running late, andthe time trials. The 22 classes had approximately 320 entries.
During the qualifying, we ran into former NASCAR star Jody Ridley, andformer TrackChasing star Rick "The Champ" Schneider. I told Rick this was track number 1,350 for me, which he termed "a pretty good start". Mike and I hung with The Champ for the rest of the afternoon. I sampled a fantastic burgerand decent fries. The track is small and has a very narrow racingsurface, about as narrow as I have seen. There are bleachers on thefrontstretch and between turns three and four. There is a good publicaddress system. The overall grounds are not that large, and with allthe karts on hand it was packed to the gills.
Actual racing started at 4:30 with a consie in the pro class, “only” 7½ hours after practice began. The top 30 had qualified from timetrials, and the ten karts left for the consie would transfer only thewinner. The features were up next. We watch through the first of thetwo Champ Kart main events, which were only 15-laps in length. Ofcourse the main events started straight up and there was not a lot ofpassing. The track is so narrow that even the initial start of thefeatures was single file. Track number 778 for Mike tied him with the career total of Norm Wagner.
Overall I was more than satisfied. I got to see a track that Imissed when they ran Mini Sprints, and we were on our way out beforeevening.
Guy Smith 2011 tracks--14 New, 17 Total. Lifetime total tracks--1,350
Mike Knappenberger 2011 tracks--10 New, 13 Total. Lifetime total tracks--778
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