2012 TrackChaser Report #70--West End Fair F8, PA
Monday was a strange day, as both Pam and I worked a full day, yet still got a new track on a Monday when the local West End Fair in Gilbert finally scheduled an evening of Figure-8 racing to go with their annual three nights of demo derbies.
We headed down to the fair early so that we could eat dinner before the races. Parking was free, admission was $6, and the F8 race was an additional $8. This was the third track that I've seen at this facility. My first trip was to see Legends cars race at the fairgrounds during one of the Pocono NASCAR weekends in 1994. I returned the next year to see the Legends again during the fair, and just a few years ago to see the Micro Sprints race during the fair as well. I've also seen the Quarter Midgets race on an inner track on a couple of occasions not during fair time, but I have not seen any TC countable class race on the smaller track. Each year, Pam and I would comment that with having three straight nights of demo derby, they should mix it up a little bit and have a Figure-8 race on one of the days. This year they sort of took our advice, having a Figure-8 race, but it replaced the Micro Sprint oval track race, not one of the three demo derby nights.
The event was produced by JM Productions, one of the best when it comes to fair Figure-8 shows. Since it was the first time for the event, a large group of TrackChasers were on hand including Mike Knappenberger, Bruce and Pat Eckel, Will White and his mom, Paul Weisel, Bing Metz, Pam and me, as well as our Jersey pal Rusty Currie, who is very slowly closing in on track number 200.
The show was scheduled for 7:30, and they didn't open the gates until 7:10. A decent crowd was on hand, but not like they would get for the demo derby. The car count was good with 20 cars on hand for the first-time event. Since it was JM, they did the Double Figure-8 layout. This is a big arena, and they had plenty of room to lay out a nice course with lots of room to race. Jay does both the announcing and the flagging, and as always, he did a fantastic job of explaining the event to the people, many who had never seen a Figure-8 race before. Many of the groups that produce fair F8 races totally fail in this area.
The fair PR person came over after the heats to ask my opinion of the show, and I told him I thought they were doing a great job for it being first time at the fair. He indicated he was disappointed with only 20 cars, but I tried to tell him that 20 was a nice turnout for the first time, and many similar events draw fewer cars than that. All the while Mike was trying to talk him into scheduling a Bump n Run / Democross race for next year.
The three heats were the perfect number, but only the winner advanced to the feature. They wanted to start eight in the main event, so for some reason they felt the best way to get to eight starters would be to run five "last chance" consies that again transferred only the winner. I think they had about two or three too many consies. In fact, it took one guy three "last chance" races before making it into the main. And to top it off, since every winner drew a pill numbered 1-8 for the feature starting spot, the same guy ended up with number two and got to start the feature on the front row. One of the drivers was NASCAR Modified Tour racer Earl Paules, who did make the feature but was not a factor.
The heats and consies were eight laps each, while the feature was ten laps. Even with the 7:30 start, the one division show moved right along and the feature ended at about 9:10. On a work night, I much preferred this over the Midnight Micro Sprints.
The West End Fair Figure-8 was my 188th track in PA, with only the Lernerville F8 track currently on my HitList. Hopefully I can get that one next month if they still plan on having it. No new tracks for me at all on this holiday weekend. In fact, I'm not even leaving Pennsylvania. I must be getting old. I still have two races, two football games, two fairs, and one baseball game planned though, so I guess not that old.
Have a fun and safe holiday (at least for us here in the Colonies) weekend everyone.
Guy & Pam Smith 2012 Summary
2012 New Tracks--Guy 48 / Pam 41
2012 Events--Guy 66 / Pam 41
2012 Total Tracks--Guy 70 / Pam 44
2012 Additional Non Classified Tracks--Guy 6 /
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,466 / Pam 828
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