2012 TrackChaser Report #87--Union County Speedway Inner, IN
For three straight weeks, I passed up new race track opportunities for high school and college football. The first week of November, it was indoor Mini Sprints in Michigan. The second week, Rick Schneider called and told me of a new kart track in South Carolina running a Champ Kart money race. And on the third week of the month while Pam was in Atlanta speaking at a speech and hearing conference, I was originally planning on finally returning to Ace Speedway in NC for a second crack at the dirt track. But I was really into the football this year and my final November tally will stand at 11 football games and only two races.
Back on November 4 Pam and I went to Pagoda, PA so I could make sure I had a November race in the books. After that it was all football for awhile. Finally, when it came time for the long Thanksgiving weekend holiday, I just had to take a trip somewhere to get a new track. During the past five Thanksgiving weekends I had been able to get to see new tracks in GA, CA, NY, RI, and FL. This year we looked at Illinois and Arkansas but eventually decided in Indiana.
On Thanksgiving morning we went to the game as we always do, then to mom's house for dinner. I realize how fortunate I am that I am still able to enjoy Thanksgiving with my mom, who is now 85 years old. On Friday morning Pam and I headed out and drove to Mansfield, OH where we stayed for two nights. We headed out to dinner at a local diner named Casey's, and I had the house special beef goulash. Between the hotel and the diner, we passed a stadium. I asked the waitress what they had at the stadium, and she said high school football. As an afterthought, she added that the state semifinals would be played there the next evening. Oh, really!!!
Saturday morning we woke to some snow on the car. I brushed off the white fluff and we headed to Indiana. Actually, on the drive south between Mansfield and Columbus the snow got pretty stout, enough that even the main highway was getting snow covered. But once we got to Route 70 and headed west, we were soon out of the snow.
My last new track before this visit to Union County was.....Union County. Yeah, Mike K. and I were there on October 28 for racing on the main oval, the day before Hurricane Sandy through the entire northeast into disarray. This time the race was an autocross race on an inner off-road oval that used the backstretch of the main track and the infield, and my fourth straight new track in Indiana. Hint, hint!
The show was scheduled for 2:00 and we arrived at 12:30 to find Rick Schneider and Roger Ferrell in the parking lot talking to promoter JR Rouse of Rouse Promotions, who seemed proud that we would come all the way from NY and PA for his show. For Roger, it would be his fourth track at the facility, having seen the main oval, a figure-8, the MAORA off-road trucks, which were outside of the main oval and used the dirt drag strip located behind the backstretch. There is also a go-kart track there too. I walked all around the grounds, photographing the various tracks.
There were only five events, single events for two autocross classes and three demo derby classes. Admission was $10, and a half-decent crowd was on hand, without question larger than what Mike and I saw a month ago for the twin 100 stock car races on the main track. The show started right on time with the lawn mower demo derby for a surprisingly strong field of 12 mowers. The next two events were the autocross races, a 15 lapper for the small cars and a 20 lapper for the big cars.
All four of us left after the two autocross races, and did not stay for the final two demo derbies. Our part of the show was over in an hour, which was a good thing as the high was only 36 degrees. Roger asked us if we wanted to go to dinner with him and Rick, but we passed as I wasn't sure how much snow they ended up getting between Columbus and Mansfield, and I had it in the back of my head that we could maybe make that football game.
We passed the stadium at 6:40, and the game started at 7:00. It was a state semifinal. How could we not stop? With the seats snow covered, we stood the entire time and enjoyed our first Ohio high school football game as Toledo Whitmer defeated Mentor to advance to this week's state championship game. When we left home Friday, I had no idea we would have the opportunity to see a live game, just like happened last year in Texas. Tired from two outdoor events in the cold, we stopped for a pizza and wings to take back to the hotel room and eat while we watched, you guessed it, more football.
Sunday we were glad we were already in Ohio and not still in Indiana, and we were home before dark. It was a most wonderful Thanksgiving weekend for Pam and I spent on the road together. This week, Pam has her second eye surgery, after having great success with the first one in August. By the end of the week, she should be able to see better than she has at any time since the age of nine. Pretty cool!
No races again this week, as I have my eye on at least one and maybe two more football games, but the main reason is that we have a Christmas party to attend on Saturday night at Bloomsburg University for Pam's NSSHLA group.
Our next race will be the bosses promotion in Baltimore on December 8. I'm really looking forward to that, as we should have a large group of TrackChasers on hand. Pam and I will be there. Will said he and his mom will be there. Allan emailed me that as long as the weather is good, he and Nancy are coming. Roger said that he was planning on coming with the Browns if they end up coming. Mike Knappenberger will be there, and Rick Schneider too. Although I haven't heard for sure, I'd be surprised if we didn't have Bruce and Pat Eckel, and Paul and Bing there too. Should be a nice evening for TrackChaser camaraderie. Come on out and join us for some hot indoor TQ Midget racing. Can't wait! See you there.
Guy & Pam Smith 2012 Summary
2012 New Tracks--Guy 57 / Pam 48
2012 Event-- Guy 83 / Pam 50
2012 Total Tracks-- Guy 87 / Pam 53
2012 Additional Non TC Tracks--Guy 6 / Pam NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,475 / Pam 835
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