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Bradford Speedway, Bradford, Pennsylvania - Track #503

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  • Randy Lewis
    Greetings from Bradford, Pennsylvania TRAVEL/PEOPLE NEWS It was a bit of a slow day for people and travel news. My Howard Johnson Hotel had an arrangement with
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2001
      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
      web site)
      470. Pauline Davis Pavilion, Red Bluff, CA
      471. The Pavilion at the Fairgrounds, Chico, CA (no
      web site)
      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,
      KY (http://www.beechbend.com)
      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,
      MI (http://www.dixiemotorspeedway.com)
      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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