2013 TrackChaser Report #12--Lasalle, IL
For the Easter weekend, both The Man of Steel and I had off on Friday, so we hoped to find a weekend trip where we could each see two new tracks. With me over 1400 tracks, and Mike nearing 1000, that is easier said than done. Especially with Easter so early this year. It was still March, so there were not as many tracks running as there normally would be.
I thought I had found a good plan. Mike and I had never been to Alabama together and he is always eager to push the boundary of the range of where we can drive on a weekend to get new tracks. We've already proven to ourselves we can do almost any track in Quebec and Ontario, Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Florida. Mike wants to push our range into Wisconsin and Alabama. We were all set to do Green Valley Speedway on Friday and Sayre Speedway on Saturday. But then Green Valley canceled on Tuesday. Now we had no Friday track in Alabama. I had to decide whether it was still worth going that far for just one track. Mike suggested Hattiesburg, MS on Friday; but I already have that on my schedule for August when Pam and I vacation at Pensacola Beach.
We looked at various other Friday alternatives, but could find nothing that would be new for both Mike and me. I was ready to settle for Attica for the All Star Sprints, not a new track for either of us, when Mike suggested Lasalle, IL. I had seen that they were running, but I didn't suggest it because Mike had already been there. But he said it was a good track and he wouldn't mind going back, and he wanted to help me get the track. I'm certainly fortunate to have good friends like Mike, in TrackChasing.
Speaking of good friends, Roger Ferrell was also going to Lasalle, so we made plans to sit with him at the show. We left Thursday after work and easily made Lasalle by Friday afternoon, despite Mike having the flu.
Illinois has a lot of good tracks, but it is a place I have not spent that much time. Yet. I have seen some good tracks there including NASCAR at Gateway (well, that one wasn't that good), both dirt miles, a great show at Granite City with CRA sprints on the outer track and MARA Midgets on the inner track, USAC Midgets indoors in Chicago, USAC Sprints and Midgets at Little Springfield, etc. But there are a lot of good tracks left to see, and I'm looking forward to seeing as many as I can in the future.
We pulled into the parking lot and immediately found Roger. Actually, Roger found us. He had saved us top row seats. Roger introduced me to Oakshade Speedway employee "Five" Smith, who said both he and his brother had been to over 200 tracks. I invited him and his brother to join our group and he gave me his contact information.
There were four divisions on hand: Late Models, Modifieds, Street Stocks, and Hornets. Admission was $20, which was very high for a race paying only $2000 to win, less than a lot of tracks around here pay their top class weekly. Lasalle benefited from a Friday cancellation at Paducah, and gained quite a few good Late Models. There were 46 Late Models and over 40 Modifieds.
The track is a classic IL quarter mile dirt track. It's small but wide, and has a decent surface. The grandstands are nice and you can see the whole track. They have a scoreboard and lap counter, which is always a plus. It was not dusty. They had a good crowd on the chilly evening.
They time trialed the Late Models and Modifieds before the 7:30 scheduled start. The racing started right on time and they ran 13 heats and three consies without a break. Good thing, because it was cold, getting down to 41 by feature time.
They only had a short break before the features began. They ran the Hornets first, and then the Late Models. The Late Model feature was good, but not great. By then the track had slicked over somewhat and there was not a lot of passing. There was clean racing through, with hardly any cautions, which I like to see. Dennis Erb won over Austin Hubbard and Jimmy Mars. The Late Models were finished by 10:30.
We said our goodbyes to Roger and headed to the warmth of the hotel room, only nine minutes away.
Guy & Pam Smith 2013 Summary
2013 New Tracks--Guy 8 / Pam 4
2013 Events-- Guy 12 / Pam 5
2013 Total Tracks-- Guy 12 / Pam 5
2013 Additional Non TC Tracks--Guy 1 / Pam NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,485 / Pam 841
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