Bradford Speedway, Bradford, Pennsylvania - Track #503
- Greetings from Bradford, Pennsylvania
It was a bit of a slow day for people and travel news.
My Howard Johnson Hotel had an arrangement with the
local YMCA where HJ guests could use the Y facilities.
I had hoped to get an hour of treadmill in. When I
went to the Y it was closed. Undaunted I went over to
the Zippo Lighter Company which had some open space
and did 67 minutes of aerobic exercise in my target
heart rate zone (125-140). My quarterly goal is 220
minutes a week and I�m way behind after just
completing one month of the quarter. I did meet my
goal in the two previous quarters! Too much racing
which makes it difficult to exercise and eat right.
I did spend a few minutes down at the Allegheny
reservoir that is 16 miles outside of Bradford. This
is a large lake and it had a few boaters even though
it was an overcast day. Not really much happening in
the Bradford area. It looks to be an old town that
has seen its better days. I don�t recall seeing so
many houses in need of a coat of paint and cars for
sale along the road. Obviously, this is not an
economically prosperous area.
And you thought you missed the 50s! Just wait one
minute. If your child has a book report due anytime
soon on �The 1950s myth or magic?� stop everything and
take them to Bradford Speedway immediately. I dare
anyone to pick out one item that is newer than 1959 at
this place. Their only concession to the 21st century
is electric lights. They did not need on this day.
I had heard a lot of bad things about this track.
Going in with such low expectations allowed me to
enjoy the show which had several entertaining
elements. The general admission price was $8. A
souvenir program cost $2.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of the track were
the bleachers. Can you spell ancient and potentially
unsafe? I can�t recall any seating anywhere else that
was any worse. This track has been there since 1958.
I believe they must have put the bleachers in a few
years before the track was built. The aisle way
consisted of two 2� by 10�s as the walkway and
positioned at a 45 degree angle from the bottom of the
grandstand to the top. It was somewhat like a
handicap ramp although it went at a 45-degree angle
for 40 feet or more. They had a one foot long 2� by
4�s nailed to the boards about every 12 inches to help
provide some traction. Walking up and down the aisle
was an E ticket ride all by itself!
When it came to the racing it was surprisingly good
for a � mile back woods track. Two different people
told me over the weekend that NASCAR Grand Nationals
(now Winston Cup) raced here in 1958 with Junior
Johnson winning. A lot of dirt has flown around this
little speedway since then. This track had
similarities to two � mile bullrings in Illinois,
Peoria and Macon. Both of those are favorites of
mine. Bradford offers similar type racing they just
don�t have the same quality of cars.
They raced four classes. These included: street
stocks (17), super stocks (9), team trucks (5) and
four cylinders (19). The program started promptly at
5:30 p.m. Incredibly, the show was over at 7:34 p.m.
All classes ran two heats except the trucks and they
all ran 15-20 lap features.
Of course this track does not have a scoreboard or lap
counter. The PA system was great and the announcer
was informative and lively. As I said they did not
have to turn the lights on.
I met the promoter and his wife who had heard about me
the night before at McKean. They wanted to have me
interviewed down at the flagstand so everyone could
see me, something about me having a TV face rather
than a radio face (my words not theirs!). They did
say the assistant flagman who would be doing the
interview with the remote mike was a rookie at
interviews and I should take the lead. He seemed
nervous and asked only one question but made the
mistake of giving me the mike. I did about 30 minutes
of standup (my exaggeration not theirs!). Actually I
told the crowd about the trackchasing hobby and
explained about the website of www.trackchaser.com.
The promoter used my camera to videotape the
interview! It reminded me of talking to the folks at
some of my sales meetings. You know�that deep dark
far away look seemed to be in their eyes. This was a
very rural crowd. I�m not sure how many computers
they have at home. On the way home about 20 miles
from the track I stopped for gas. As I was filling up
the guy in the car next to me asked me how I liked
Bradford Speedway? Noticing that I had nothing about
Bradford Speedway that would identify me with the
track I asked him how he knew I had been there. He
said he was at the track and saw the interview. I may
have to resort to celebrity tactics (sunglasses,
beard, etc.) if this trackchasing thing gets much
bigger (again my exaggeration, not anyone else�s!).
As many know I�m much bigger in the United Kingdom.
With the overcast and water the promoter had put down
(12,000 gallons last night and 3,000 today) the track
never got dusty and was very raceable. With these
lower classes the racing was wild and wooly. The
streets and 4-cylinders put on some great racing.
If you were looking for a Sunday night show at a real
backwoods type place that gets over early and where
the racers race hard Bradford would be a good bet.
The announcer did tell me they were thinking about
running figure 8s once a month next year. Bradford
Speedway was my 503rd lifetime track. It was a great
weekend with 6 countable tracks in four days and
excellent weather. The local activities left a bit to
be desired but the racing was good and it was great to
hook up with Will.
Restaurants of the day: Breakfast: Diet Coke and
rice chex smothered in powdered sugar. Lunch: Arbys.
Dinner: hot link ($1.75) at the track. This was
sort of like a chilidog and was one of the best
sandwiches I�ve had this year at a racetrack. This
was the fourth consecutive track that served soda and
bottled water from a vending machine only. I retract
my statements about this being a unique serving
Weather: Very overcast all day with a threat of rain
which never materialized. It was breezy and there was
an October chill in the air. My shorts were pushing
the comfort level. Camouflage gear was being worn
throughout the crowd. Deer season cannot be too far
off. What is this October weather in July stuff?
Current rental car mileage: The rental car got turned
in with just 451 miles on it. Not bad for a four day
6 race effort. Thanks to Will White and Rand McNally
for suggesting shortcuts along the way.
New racetracks visited in 2001
467. Laughlin Event Center, Laughlin, NV (no web
468. Loc Moran, Mont Carmel, Quebec
469. Circuit Jacques Rainville, Vanier, Quebec (no
470. Pauline Davis Pavilion, Red Bluff, CA
471. The Pavilion at the Fairgrounds, Chico, CA (no
472. Baton Rouge Raceway, Baker, LA
473. Mississippi Motorsports Park, Long Beach, MS
474. South Alabama Motor Speedway, Opp, AL
475. Nashville Super Speedway, Smyrna, TN
476. Beech Bend Raceway (oval track), Bowling Green,
477. Beech Bend Raceway (figure 8 track), Bowling
Green, KY (http://www.beechbend.com)
478. Soggy Bottom Speedway, Morgantown, KY
479. Buttonwillow Raceway Park, Buttonwillow, CA
480. Speedway 90, Beaumont, TX
481. 105 Speedway, Cleveland, TX
482 Savannah Speedway, Savannah, MO (no web site)
483. Winston Speedway, Winston, MO (no web site)
484. Stuart Speedway, Stuart, IA
485. Barberton Speedway, Barberton, OH
486. Eriez Speedway, Erie, PA
487. Anderson Dry Lake, Lucerne Valley, CA
488. Perris Auto Speedway-(figure 8 track), Perris,
489. Dixie Motor Speedway � (figure 8 track), Birch
Run, MI (http://www.dixiemotorspeedway.com)
490. Dixie Motor Speedway � (oval track), Birch Run,
491. Grand Prix of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
492 Painesville Speedway � (oval track),
Painesville, OH (http://members.tripod.com/pspeedway/)
493 Painesville Speedway � (figure 8 track),
Painesville, OH (http://members.tripod.com/pspeedway/)
494. Angola Motor Speedway, Angola, IN
495. Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA
496. Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, GA
497. Rome Speedway, Rome, GA
(http://www.dixiespeedway.com/) Rome uses the same
web site as Dixie Speedway.
498. Holland Speedway (oval), Holland, NY
499. Holland Speedway (figure 8 trackl), Holland, NY
500. Freedom Raceway, Delevan, NY
501. Allegheny Mountain Raceway, La Mont, PA
502. McKean County Raceway, East Smethport, PA
503. Bradford Speedway, Bradford, PA
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