2013 TrackChaser Report #17--Clay County, IL
The original plan for Mike and I for last Saturday was to go to the Crawford Co Fairgrounds in the afternoon for the MAORA races and a new track, then to Kokomo, IN in the evening for the big USAC Midget show for fun. When Kokomo was canceled due to wet grounds, I looked at Plymouth, IN which would be a new track too since it has changed from a paved track to a dirt track. Plymouth also was canceled due to wet grounds. Then I advocated for wingless sprints at Lincoln Park, as I hadn't been there in over 20 years. Mike didn't want to do Putnamville, since he is going to Lincoln Park next weekend for USAC. That debate became moot when Lincoln Park also canceled due to wet grounds.
I mentioned Lawrenceburg, where Dave was going. Mike said we should go see wingless sprints, but instead of in the direction of home, he wanted to go the other direction to Illinois again. The conversation went something like this.
MIKE: I think we should go to Clay County, IL for the sprints.
GUY: That's in the opposite direction from home.
GUY: I've never gone to a race in Illinois on a weekend where I still worked a full day on Friday and Monday before and after.
GUY: But Illinois is not in my HitList area.
MIKE: So. Either we don't go to Clay County because Illinois is not on your lis, or you just add Illinois to your list and then we'll do every track in the state.
GUY: But I thought we were going to do every track in Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and Michigan for the next few years?
MIKE: If you add Illinois, we can do every track in all five of those states. Isn't five better than four? Besides, we already did weekend trips to all those other states, plus Georgia and even Florida. I want to prove we can do Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Wisconsin, and even Iowa in a weekend too.
GUY: Count me in.
Although I don't think adding all of Illinois to my HitList is immanent, we did indeed head to Clay County, IL for the wingless sprints, our second trip to Illinois in the past three weeks. It's hard to argue with Mike when he gets motivated and dons his "Man of Steel" superhero persona. It's better to "just go with the flow and be part of the show". Seriously, it's great to count Mike Knappenberger among my friends and we have great time traveling together when I'm not with my wife. We arrived at Clay County well before race time. Admission was only $10. The big race of the night this week was $1200 to win for the UMP Modifieds. The wingless Sprint Cars were also on the card along with the UMP B-Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Hornets. Once a month Crate Late Models are also part of the show.
The track is pretty big, a small half mile or a big third of a mile I would say. It was a chilly night, but the crowd was good. The track is excellent, both in shape and surface. There was no dust the entire night.
The track is also well run. They started on time and had ten heats in the books in an hour, took a half hour break for intermission that included foot races for the kids. The first feature up was for the Modifieds. They had a full field of 24 Modifieds, which was great to see. The first and last part of the race was really good, with six yellows in six laps during the middle portion. The good thing is that the track is really good at getting the race restarted quickly. Randy Shuman won in his first ever visit to the track.
We were disappointed that they only had 11 Sprints. However, the feature was excellent, with cars running both the top and bottom (the mod sleds left a lot of ruts in the middle). Casey Shuman had a pretty big lead at one time, but three others ran him down and the four finished under a blanket with Shuman holding off Terry Babb. They had the top two class features complete before 10:00, only 2.5 hours from starting time. And although we left at that time, the other four features were in the books by 10:30.
A great show at a great track. The only downer was that we wished they had about twice as many sprints. Eleven cars on a big track is not quite enough, even though they put on a great race on this night. Due to the playoff at the Masters, I was all the way home in Effort before the start of the Amazing Race on Sunday night. Illinois is a piece of cake. Bring on Missouri.
Next up, hopefully the third time is the charm for Little Diamond Speedway. They canceled their entire summer schedule last year, as well as their announced fall race just two days before the event. It will be nice if we can finally get that track in the books.
Guy & Pam Smith 2013 Summary
2013 New Tracks--Guy 12 / Pam 5
2013 Events-- Guy 17 / Pam 6
2013 Total Tracks-- Guy 17 / Pam 6
2013 Additional Non TC Tracks--Guy 1 / Pam NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,489 / Pam 842
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