2012 TrackChaser Report #73--Middle Road Speedway, PA
This past weekend Pam was in Ohio spending the weekend at Ohio University so I was on my own. My original plan was to go to Lernerville for the Figure-8 race, the only track on my HitList for my home state of Pennsylvania. But before the Lernerville race, I found out about two more tracks in PA, bringing the PA HitList total up to three. After seeing the PA-Wings group race at Cove Valley on Labor Day weekend, I went to their website to gather information for my AARN column and noticed they had a race scheduled at Middle Road Speedway on September 15, the same day as Lernerville. I had not heard of that track, but after a little research I discovered it was less than three hours from my house in Lewistown, and usually hosts racing for mowers and yard karts. At first I was unsure if they were going to have any real wheel-to-wheel racing, since the website was promoting a "1 vs. 1" format. Once I became sure they were going to have regular races too, I decided to take the new track closer to home over the one that has eluded me for three years, the Lernerville Figure-8 track. Mike wanted to try to make both tracks, but in the end we both decided to be satisfied with one.
On Friday after work I visited mom and Aunt Gin and brought them Wendy's chili for dinner (their request). That evening, Pam's brother and I headed to high school football, and the Rough Riders of Catasauqua crushed the Palisades Pirates 44-0 to go to 3-0 for the season. Pam and her brother graduated from Catty High, while I did my student teaching there, lived there for 15 years, two of my best non-racing buddies are assistant coaches for the football team, and another buddy's kid is the starting QB.
On Saturday morning I fed the cats and headed to Lewistown. Warmups were scheduled for noon, with racing at 1:00. I arrived right at noon and found thee friends already there. Mike Knappenberger had been there for hours, while Rick Schneider and Russ Currie arrived just before I did. There was no charge for spectators, and the pit pass was only $3. Warmups and racing started pretty much on time.
The track was small, only 1/10th of a mile. It was perfect for the mowers, but a tight little bull ring for the PA Wings Winged Outlaw Karts. I like tight little bull rings. The facilities were very nice and it was an very enjoyable atmosphere to spend an afternoon and watch a show. The big negative was the dust, which was surprisingly heavy for such small cars, mowers, and flat karts that raced there.
The PA Wings said that they would be able to put up to eight cars on the track at one time. The Sportsman class only had four entries, so they ran their match races, a heat, and a feature. The Unlimited class had 11 cars, so after their match races they split the field into two heat races. The top three in each heat went to the six car A-Main, with the other five to the B-Main.
The show lasted about four hours, with the three Winged Outlaw Kart features being the last three races of the afternoon. I had a nice time spending a few hours with Mike, Rick, and Rusty. Rusty is only about six tracks away from reaching the 200 track mark. I am very much looking forward to displaying his track list on the website as soon as he gets to 200 tracks. The four of us made plans to meet again in two weeks at the TC debut of the new Little Diamond Speedway. I have a feeling some other TrackChasers will be joining us that day.
Middle Road Speedway was my 50th new track of 2012. That was my goal for the year, as usual. I have always known that there was no way I was going to be able to get 50 new tracks every year until I retire, which is scheduled for 2020. But every year I surprise myself and get one year closer to doing so. And every year I make 50 without mining the Michigan treasure trove of fairgrounds tracks, I know I still have at least one more year of 50 new tracks left in me while still having to be at work Friday afternoons and Monday mornings. Of course, many factors could change that rather quickly. As always, I'll go with the flow.
With the goal of 50 reached, I may spend a little more time at football games this fall. I probably still have five or six new tracks left in me for 2012, as well as some other races at old favorites.
Guy & Pam Smith 2012 Summary
2012 New Tracks--Guy 50 / Pam 43
2012 Events--Guy 69 / Pam 43
2012 Total Tracks--Guy 73 / Pam 46
2012 Additional Non Classified Tracks--Guy 6 /
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,468 / Pam 830
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