July vacation report
Here's the report from my recently completed July vacation. I saw 9
races and 1 rainout and added 7 new tracks and 3,561 miles to my
July 20 I decided to hold off adding Arcadia and went to see the
Badger midgets at Grant County Speedway in Lancaster. I had been
there once before, but for only a weekly show. I was glad I went
because it was a good race on the well-prepared 3/8 mile. Dan Boorse
edged Aaron Fike at the line when Fike broke on the last lap. Twenty-
five midgets plus pure stocks.
July 21 MSA supermodifieds plus regular divisions at Midvale, Ohio.
The super racing they had 18 cars -- was good when they weren't
spinning. A nice 3/10-mile paved track with concrete walls all around
(I gathered from the fans around me that those walls might have been
added just this season, replacing guard rails that the regulars
regularly drove through). The track is probably too tight for really
fast cars, though. Dave Shullick Jr. made a pass right after a
restart to win. Also 14 late models (Farmer Smith was the winner), 22
modifieds, 29 Detroit Iron(s?), 10 pure stocks and 50 or so compacts.
Track No. 473.
July 22 SCCA racing at Nelson Ledges Road Course. The last race of
the day, for Corvettes and other such cars, was stopped by a bad
three-car crash right at the bridge to the pits. No one was hurt,
thankfully, but that didn't stop officials from yelling to all people
with cameras that we were not allowed to take photos of the smashed
cars. In the SCCA, it's 1984. Track No. 474.
July 22 York Triathlon winged sprints and many regular divisions at
Sportsman's Speedway in York, Pa. I had been rained out here in 1994,
I believe. I hit it on a good night because Tri-City was taking the
night off and the York series was here, so they had a decent filed of
23 sprints. It's a great viewing track with hillside seating. The 1/3-
mile dreid out, but the sprints put on a good race with Rob Eyler
outdueling Jimmy Hawley for the win. Also 18 outlaw stocks, 37 micro
sprints, 14 limited late models and 13 small block mods. Track No.
July 24 Rainout during track packing at Afton, N.Y. It was supposed
to be DIRT 358s, pro stocks and pure stocks. Surprise, surprise,
though, they gave refunds to everyone.
July 25 DIRT 358s at Fulton, N.Y. Another track with seating that
gives fans a great view of the track. Danny Johnson won the 100-
lapper from the third row. There was a great field of mods, about 50,
plus 24 pro stocks and a handful of pure stocks. I used to really
like these DIRT specials, but they now run time trials and that has
taken a lot of the fun out of them. In the past, a Johnson or Steve
Paine might draw poorly for his heat, have to start in back and make
a charge to get a redraw position. Now, they time, start the heats
straight up and there's pretty much no passing. I guess I should just
go to the cheaper weekly shows, but those aren't midweek. Track No.
July 26 Thunder Road International Speedbowl, Barre, Vt. I think it
was my third visit to this place and it remains one of my favorites.
A beautiful facility with great viewing, a track that allows side by
side racing lap after lap, a well-run show, reasonable admission ($8
plus a family plan that lets a couple of kids up to 14 in free with
two adults). No wonder this place is packed every time I come here.
23 late models, 31 flying tigers and 49 compact street stocks (even
with nearly 50 cars in that class, they ran just 3 heats). Pete
Fecteau, who started in the fourth row, won the late model feature
after a long side-by-side duel with Jim Ciley. Roger Brown took the
flying tiger main, coming from fifth to first in the last five laps.
My guess is that most trackchasers have been here, but if not, put
this one on your must-see list. Like Gas City and Silver Spring, it's
a five-star weekly show.
July 27 Weekly program at the Canaan, N.H., dirt track. I had heard
someone at Afton say they saw a good modified race here last weekend.
I was a bit disappointed. A pretty flat ¼-mile with an ancient
grandstand. Fifteen 358s, 10 pro streets, 13 4 cylinders, 9 mini-
sprints and 6 late models (if you really want to call them that).
Chris Donnelly won the crash- and spin-filled 358 feature from the
6th row. I don't think he passed that many cars, he simply was one of
the few guys who didn't spin out during the race. The 4-cylinder
winner drove a BMW, a make I know I've never seen win on a ¼-mile
before. There's also a paved track located beyond the backstretch
with its own bleachers. A couple of cars were practicing there early
in the evening and NEMA is supposed to race there on the 12th, I
believe. Track No. 477.
July 28 Weekly divisions plus the NASCAR mod tour at Holland, N.Y.
Yes, I know paid $25 to get this track, but I'm glad I did. I don't
get to see the mod tour very often, and the weekly divisions here (16
late models, 13 pro mods, 8 pro trucks, 21 chargers and 7 figure 8s)
didn't put on much of a show. There were 36 tour mods, 34 took
qualifying laps and the feature was good. Eddie Flemke Jr. was the
quickest and drew the fifth starting spot. But he missed the drivers'
meeting and, as Tony Stewart knows, that means you start in the back.
Still, he came through the pack, passed Ted Christopher for the lead
with about 10 to go and won. Track No. 478.
July 29 Weekly show at Eriez Speedway in Erie, Pa. A 30-lap super
late model feature that paid $3,000 to win drew a field of 21 cars.
Also 14 limiteds, 25 cadets, 12 super sportsmen (strange-looking,
rear-engined things), 13 4-cylinders and 37 spectators (which they
divided into 3 heats and 3 features). The small track with very sharp
corners turned into a one-groove, on the bottom joint. So both the
limited feature winner and the super late model winner (Randy Lobb)
started on the pole and led all the way. The super late model 30,
though, went without a yellow. It was a really well-run show,
starting at 6 and ending about 9:10. And the concessions were about
as fairly priced as I've seen recently: $1 hot dogs, 75-cent cans of
soda and $1.25 cans of beer plus $1 programs. Track No. 479.