2013 TrackChaser Report #29--Crossville Raceway, TN
Half a Million Miles! Last Thursday we reached a total of over half a million miles driven on our three family cars. The Buick Rendezvous reached 234,000. Pam's Suburu topped 160,000. And the Oldsmobile I inherited from my pop is at 106,000. Goal achieved. Time to go car shopping.
This past weekend had me spinning around in circles like I was playing Dizzy Bats. Mike and I had been set for months with the USAC/TORC Off-Road Trucks at Eldora, OH. When Roger told me less than a week before the race that they had just announced it would be run on the regular oval, we had to create a backup plan. I looked in all direction, and presented Mike with new track options for us in five additional states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky. We both agreed our best plan would be Lucky 7 Speedway, KY. Then they also threw us a curve ball, by changing their race from Saturday to Friday on Wednesday. Plan C was Crossville Raceway, TN. But the weather looked bad there, with 50% chance of rain, so on Thursday we went to Plan D, and afternoon autocross in Michigan followed by an evening race at Merritt Speedway, where I would be able to get two new tracks. By Friday the weather flipped, and now Tennessee looked better than Michigan, 30% to 50%. So we abandoned Plan D and went back to Plan C.
With Crossville only 728 miles away and as it sits in the Central Time Zone we got an hour back, we didn't need to leave until Saturday morning. We arrived at the track at about 5:30 for the advertised 6:00 p.m. start. With the driver's meeting set for 5:55 and hot laps still to follow, that was certainly a pipe dream.
Crossville is a very nice track and a very nice facility. It is a very comfortable track at which to watch a show. It was very chilly and I had on a Perris sweatshirt before the races even started, and was surprised to be approached by a guy who said he was from Arizona and goes to Perris. Mike and I ended up sitting with him, after he recognized me from the picture in my Area Auto Racing News column. He said he was originally from Owego, NY and we had a nice time bench racing all evening. Where but in racing could you go to a race in Tennessee, meet a guy from Arizona, and end up talking about Gentleman George Wambold and Paul "The Flying Farmer" Bauscher from Mahoning. As the night went on, we found out he was a trackchaser listserve subscriber when Will first started it, and also knows Dave Garrison and Rick Schneider.
There was supposed to be ten divisions on the weekly card, which is absurd in my opinion. Three of the classes didn't have any entries so there were no races for the Stock Trucks, Mini Modifieds, or Micro Sprints. What we did have were four Street Stocks, four Youth Hornets, six Legends, seven Dwarf Cars, seven Hornets, six Pro Hornets, and 14 of the headline Late Models. Hard to believe that they could have a car count of 17 Hornets and manage to split that into three different classes. There were a total of 48 entries in either ten or seven classes, depending how you want to count them. That's only an average of 4.8 cars per class, or 6.9 cars in the contested divisions. Not too good.
Admission was $10, and a fairly small crowd was on hand. It was hard to tell how big the crowd was, as there was backstretch parking where you could watch from your car. Thankfully, the 14 Late Models were the only cars that time trialed, and they got the actual racing started an hour late around 7:00.
Each class had a heat race, except for some reason the seven Dwarf Cars were split into two heats. I think there might possibly have been an eighth car that never raced. Eight must be the cutoff to split into two heats. The Late Models did race heats, much better than some tracks that time trial the top class and they only have one race all night in their feature.
The track was good. It slicked over in the groove quickly, but it was still real racy and there was no dust all night. There was real nice seating, and a very nice scoreboard that showed the top positions and laps. During the very short intermission, I had a burger and fries. The burger was top notch, and came with a "fixin's bar" that included lettuce, tomato, and onion.
Unfortunately, the Late Model feature was last. On the plus side, they had the night schedule posted in several locations, so there was no surprise in the order of events during the show. We settled back to watch the six support classes, none of which had more than seven cars in their feature. In the Dwarf main, one snap rolled in turn four, and we learned that they don't have an ambulance at the track during the races.
The Late Model feature was a pretty good one, except for one thing. The pole starter went into turn one too hot and looped it around, bringing out the yellow. And he got his spot back. That's B.S. I thought the rule might only have been applied because it was lap one. But in the middle of the feature a car in the middle of the pack spun and returned to his same spot for the restart. It doesn't really discourage over driving if you get your spot back when you spin.
The original pole sitter, Chris Wilson, got his spot back but dropped back to third. In the second half of the race he really hooked up on the bottom and retook the lead and went on for the win over Brett Wyatt and Perry Delaney. The show ended at 10:00, which is not too late for anywhere but real good for Tennessee. They ran it off in three hours, after starting the hour late.
Allan Brown would have approved, as Mike and I had 4.0's for the night. We stayed in Crossville Saturday night, but were on the road early on Sunday and although Harrisburg traffic caused me to miss the first half hour of the Survivor finale, we were home in plenty of time for the start of a new work week.
Guy & Pam Smith 2013 Summary
2013 New Tracks--Guy 17 / Pam 9
2013 Events-- Guy 29 / Pam 13
2013 Total Tracks-- Guy 28 / Pam 13
2013 Additional new Non TC Tracks--Guy 1 / Pam NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,494 / Pam 846
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