On Sunday Pam, Mike, and I were planning on going to the Monticello Motor Club for the 24 Hours of Lemons race. I had been there for an EMRA Spec Miata Series race in 2010, but Pam and Mike had not been there.
I was turned off to the track at that time, as Monticello is a private race track and they do not allow non members at any of their events. I had to beg entrance, and when it was finally granted was told I should be "thankful" that the owner decided to let me in to watch. Not my kind of place, although I did have a very nice afternoon at the track that day, despite being on crutches from knee surgery less than a week before.
With all Lemons events always open to spectators, it seemed like a good time to return with my friends. But then something threw "a spanner in the works" as my British friends would say, or "a Spaniard in the works" as John Lennon famously said in his parody of the aforementioned idiom, uttered obviously in the pre-politically correct era. Pam received notice that she was being inducted into the "Pi Kappa Pi" national honor society on Sunday afternoon at Bloomsburg. At first she said she could no longer go to Monticello, but I figured that since the Lemons races start so early in the morning, we could go there for a couple of hours, drive straight to Bloomsburg, and be able to do both. I told her I would do that, but only if Mike had someone else to go with as we had made a commitment to him. Mike hooked up with Gordy for the trip, and all four of us were set.
On Saturday morning before I left the hotel in Harrisburg to head to Mountain for the enduro, I checked both the Mountain and the Lemons websites to make sure there were no surprises. There was indeed a "second Spaniard" to deal with. Within the past couple of days, the Lemons folks had added to their website a note in red that "MMC was requiring that any spectators give the name of a pre-registered driver that they were with to be allowed to buy a ticket." How nice of them to decide that at the last minute.
Not to be deterred, I headed to the Lemons site Forums pages, to find a post from a driver that said he was racing Monticello, whose name I could claim as my benefactor. I also emailed the Lemons folks asking for help, but didn't know if I would get a reply since they were in the middle of an event. I did indeed get a reply later that day, and Lemons gave me the secret password to use to get in. They had added the names of old San Francisco Giants players to the guest list, and I was assigned to be Jose Pagan. Take that MMC!
While noodling around on the Forums looking for drivers names to use, I noticed an interesting post that stated the race would be run on the "North Course", a ten-turn, 1.9 mile inner circuit. Thanks to the Roland Rule designed to balance the scales of justice between ovals and road circuits, one inner circuit variation can be counted as a track in addition to the full circuit that encompasses it on any interconnected road circuit. When I was there for the Spec Miata race three years ago, they used the entire 3.5 mile "Full Circuit". Thus, I would also gain a new track on Sunday as well. Earlier this year, I lost a NY track at the last minute when Can-Am switched their enduro course from a road circuit to an inner oval. At Monticello I would gain one that I didn't expect.
I kept the alarm set at the regular 5:15 work day time, and we left at my normal work day departure of 6:30. We arrived at Monticello around 9:00, with the race resuming at 9:30. It was still very cold there, as was evidenced by the snow still lining much of the track along the guardrail. They were indeed running on the North Course, and it was pretty crowded with 119 cars on hand. Of course they started right on time and "Jose", who bears a striking resemblance to me, was invited to the top of the tower to take pictures and video of the start.
Thus I became the first and only so far to see a race on both the Full Circuit and a second inner circuit at Monticello. This is the first I have heard of any real actual race being held on the "North Course". For Pam, it was her 100th track in New York, the 8th in the annals of TrackChasing history to accomplish that feat. And for Gordy, it was not only his first new track of the year but only his second since last July 4th weekend. Good to have him back. It also allowed me to "complete" New York for the third time this year, but the state is already back on the Hit List with the New York Safety Track I posted about a couple of days back.
The Sunday portion of the race ran from 9:30 to 5:00. We watched for as long as we could, and then headed to Bloomsburg for the induction ceremony, before heading home to rest up for the start of another work week.
Looks like Mike and I are headed to Kokomo for the Midgets this weekend. We brainstormed options as far away as wingless sprints in Illinois, but as of now it looks like we are going to stick with Indiana for off-road trucks and Midgets.
Guy & Pam Smith 2013 Summary
2013 New Tracks--Guy 10 / Pam 5
2013 Events-- Guy 15 / Pam 6
2013 Total Tracks-- Guy 15 / Pam 6
2013 Additional Non TC Tracks--Guy 1 / Pam NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,487 / Pam 842
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]