Thursday began a new TrackChaing era for me. The Buick Rendezvous was officially retired with 234,000 plus miles on it. I decided to go smaller with better gas mileage this time around. With my last four cars being a Chevy, Pontiac, Olds, and Buick and Pam's a Subaru, of course I bought a Ford. My first Ford ever, in fact. The brand new jet black Focus hatchback was set to make its racing debut. I figured if the Focus engine was good enough for the USAC Midgets, it's good enough for me. In addition, I figured: New car, new era. And I broke down and finally bought a Garmin GPS, named Gypsy.
I had saved my two personal days the entire school year, and used them on the 11th and 10th last days. We began the day with a trip to Reading to see the former Reading Phillies, now the Fightin Phils, play the annual 11:35 a.m. start Education Day game. We watched two hours of baseball before having to leave for our evening destination.
That destination was the McKean County Raceway in East Smethport, PA. I had only been there one time, with Gordy and Gin (one of my first trips with Gordy), 28 years ago in 1986. I first met Gordy at the Carbon County Fairgrounds in 1982, and first sat with him when he showed up at Penn Can with Kevin Eckert for an ARDC Midget race at Penn Can in the Fall of 1985 when I was living in Bloomsburg, But I am not sure exactly which was the first place we went together.
There was a 50% chance of rain, but the track said they were running so we decided to support them. I had hope right up until the end. Less than ten miles from the track, we came around a bend and the sky was just black. It started pouring a minute later. We literally arrived at the track gate at the exact second the first car came out of the parking lot. They had just canceled.
It rained the next hour or more as we headed to Clarion for the night. When we arrived, we stopped at the Pizza Hut for dinner, then stayed at the same exit off I-80 where Mike and I had stayed six days before after Clinton County, albeit at a different hotel.
I was disappointed by the rainout, but we still got in a ballgame and the odds of seeing were not in our favor anyway. It was worth a shot. No regrets. The Focus race debut would have to wait another day.
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