2011 TrackChaser Report #119--Little Eldora Speedway, OH
This past weekend Pam had a meeting at Ohio University in Athens. She asked if I wanted to tag along to help with driving there and back again. Of course I said I would go. I was hoping the Ohio University Bobcats would have a home game on Saturday, either afternoon or evening. Unfortunately, they didn't play at all last weekend.
So on Saturday morning when Pam went to her meeting, I headed over to Eldora Speedway to see the new kart track that opened last year, dubbed Little Eldora Speedway. The track is not inside the main track, but off in the parking lot. The little track is actually two tracks, an outer track for the Champ Karts and flat karts, and an inner track for the USAC .25 Midgets.
On tap was a two-day Goblin Classic show. The Senior Champ Karts only raced on Saturday. I was supposed to meet Ohio state TrackChasing Champion Norm Wagner there, as I think this is the only active Ohio track he has not been to. I was also planning on seeing my sometimes travelling partner Mike Knappenberger. However, Mike told me the day before that him and his brother had opted for the NASCAR Truck race at Martinsville instead. Practice was supposed to start at 11:00, with racing at 12:30. I arrived at 11:45 and they were on time, in the second of two rounds of practice.
At the specator entrance gate, there was a sign that said admission was $5 but there was no one there collecting it so admission was free. I opted for the $10 pit pass so I could monitor the Champ Kart count and the order of events. There were only eight classes racing on Saturday, which was good. They had a nice turnout of Senior Champ Karts, as there were nine in the pits ready to race. As usual, the Champ Karts were last in the order.
The track is a nice little oval with real good clay. The clay is actually worked, not eternally packed down with a black rubber streak in the groove like so many of the southern kart tracks. In the pits, there is a grassy dirt mound where you can stand and see the track. Over on the spectator side, which is on the backstretch, there are several sets of bleachers.
The races started only about five minutes late. Norm was a no-show, so I called him to see if he was on his way. He had too much work, and had to pass for this year. After a couple of off years for his business, It's good to know that Norm has been very busy this year. It was great to see a well organized and well run program at a kart track. There were 12 heats in the first round, as one class had four heats, one class had two heats, and the other six classes had a single heat. The nine Senior Champs ran a single heat. They really kept the show moving, as when one class took the checkered flag, the next class rolled onto the track in turn four before the previous class exited the track in turn three. Then the class that just entered the track took the green flag the very next time around.
The show had two rounds of heats, one set of features, and the final race of the day was a team race. While we were getting hit by a rare October snow at home, it was nice to get a new track on a beautiful October afternoon in Ohio.
My Ohio HitList is down to just three tracks at this time. One fair Figure-8 that ran in August when we were on vaction; the Hocking County Fairgrounds Autocross course that hosted three events this year but none of which fit into my schedule, and the yet to open BMI Indoor Speedway that is supposed to have monthly Senior Champ Kart races this winter.
I made it back to Athens in time to head to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner with Pam and one of her audiogist friends. In fact, he was Roland Reagan's audiologist, and traveled to the White House to fit Reagan for hearing aides while he was the sitting President. An interesting story was that the Secret Service refused to allow him to put drops in both of Reagan's ears at the same time. It had to be done one ear at a time as the President had to be able to hear at all times for national security reasons.
After dinner, we headed to downtown Athens for the Halloween block party, one of the biggest in the midwest. They even come from neighboring states for it. Pretty crazy. In the day, I would have been right in the thick of it. Now, I just watch from a safe distance and try not to get hurt. Kinda like Joe Pa in the press box.
On Sunday we went for a morning walk by the Mighty Hocking River, then headed for home. Monday was a first in my 25-year teaching career: A snow day in October. That is not necessarily a good thing, as we only have four days more than the state minimum built into our school calendar. And we already used one in August, also a first ever, for the flooding from the hurricane. Thus we are down to two days and winter has not even started. Too many more and we will lose our Easter holiday and even worse, have extra days tacked on to the end of the school year in June. A snow day is not always a good thing for students and teachers.
No trip or new track this coming weekend, as I want to go to high school football on Saturday afternoon, where the two Bethlehem public schools square off in the traditional end of the regular season rivalry game. I'll probably go to a football game on Friday night as well. This year our rivalry game is even bigger than normal as the winner will advance to the District playoffs and the loser will not. I might still try to get a local race in the books sometime during the weekend, as I'd like to get that November race logged in as early in the month as possible. Pam's got a trip this week though, as she will be out at the University of Pittsburgh from Wednesday through Friday, doing more work in her field, so I'll be batching it for three days.
Guy Smith 2011 tracks--78 New, 117 Total. Lifetime total tracks--1,414 (3rd)
Pam Smith 2011 tracks--69 New, 78 Total. Lifetime total tracks--780 (16th)
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