2012 TrackChaser Report #83--Bartholomew Co. FG, IN
For this past weekend, The Man of Steel, Mike Knappenberger, called and asked if I wanted to help him get his 100th new track of 2012, or at least help him get closer. With Pam having dinner with a visiting aunt and cousin on Friday, and heading to the Penn State football game with her brother on Saturday, it seemed like a great time for a boys night out weekend.
We weighed a surprising number of new track options for this late in October that we could still make without missing any work on Friday or Monday, and without taking a plane of course. We eventually decided on what at one time was our third choice, the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds, wherea show similar to what we had seen the week before in Ohio was takingplace. The show consisted of both big and small car Autocross racing,as well as demo derby.
While the racing the week before was unsanctioned, this event was runby Rouse Promotions. Rouse sanctions various types of motorsportsevents in Indiana and Illinois. Demolition derby is still their topseries. They have various classes including Pro Stock, Stock, Truck,Minis, Youth Full Size, Youth Mini, and Mowers. The demo derbies areof no interest to me. But they also have other sanctioned series aswell. They have two Autocross series, an Indiana series and a Midwest“Illiana” series. This is the first time that I have seen theirevents. They also have series for Front Wheel Drive Stock Cars,motocross, truck and quad drags, and karting. There are two classes in the Autocross series, big and small cars
This was the fourth Autocross event of the year at the BartholomewCounty Fairgrounds. There have been three different tracks at theBartholomew County Fairgrounds. The main track is a quarter mile dirtoval that hosts Three Quarter Midget racing several times a year. In2008, they built a smaller 1/5th mile over for the Micro Sprintsaccording to Will Whiteand his Auto Racing Records site. The third track is the track usedfor this event, a 1/10th mile dirt off-road oval.
We arrived in the afternoon for the event, located the fairgrounds, andheaded into town for lunch. We stopped at an Indiana chain calledArnie’s, and their deluxe pizza was one of the best pizza’s I ever hadin my life.
Back at the fairgrounds, cars were rolling in for the Autocross and thedemo derby. Admission was $8. The fairground is huge, and there isplenty of great parking. There is also a nice grandstand, much largerthan the couple of hundred or so fans that came out on a cold lateOctober day.
The track layout was interesting. The off-road oval was outside therectangle demo derby pit. The derby pit acted as the inner walls forthe oval. The derby pit had three sides, but was open in the front. The off-road oval had dirt mounds in each pair of turns, plus one onthe backstretch.
They had over 35 cars for the demo derby, but not nearly as many forthe Autocross. There were ten cars on hand for each of the twoclasses, the big cars and the small cars. The small cars ran theirstandard show, with a pair of six-lap heat races pus a 15 lap feature. The big cars ran a special “twin 20’s” feature only program. This wasthe last point race of the year.
I really liked the shape of the track, more so than the track designthe week before in Ohio. But I still thought the dirt mounds were a little too high. I understand they are there to slow the cars down for safety reasons toprevent injuries, but they seemed to make side-by-side racing, and thuspassing, very difficult. Still, I enjoy these events pretty much and hope to seemore Rouse Promotions Autocross races in the future. I also plan toreturn to the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds again next year to see the TQMidgets race on the quarter mile track.
Guy & Pam Smith 2012 Summary
2012 New Tracks--Guy 54 / Pam 47
2012 Event-- Guy 79 / Pam 48
2012 Total Tracks-- Guy 83 / Pam 51
2012 Additional Non TC Tracks--Guy 6 / Pam NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,472 / Pam 834
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