Last weekend, Pam and I saw a race in a different time zone for the third consecutive Saturday. And none of them were the time zone where we live!
After the end of the USAC Champ Car main event ended at Pikes Peak, we headed south for the short trip to Pueblo and the I-25 Speedway. My hectic summer finally caught up to me in Colorado and I was knocked on my butt by a bad summer cold. At Pikes Peak, I tried to conserve energy and did not even go into the pits or garages, which was included with the ticket and normally I would have jumped on that. I just didn't have enough in the tank to make the walk into the infield. However, I was determined to go to I-25, at least for awhile.
I-25 Speedway, or Beacon Hill, has been around since the 1960's. It's a 1/5th mile banked paved oval, with a Figure-8 "X" in the middle. They run the Figure-8's every other week. Unfortunately, this was not the week for the F8's. As bad as I felt, maybe it was a good thing.
Still, they had a whopping seven classes, none with too much of a field. None of the classes even reached 15 cars. The Hornets and Mini Stocks were the only two with car counts in the teens. Those two classes should be combined. The Late Models (7), Sportsman (6), and Street Stocks (5) should all be combined as well. The other two classes were the INEX Legends and Bandleros.
Edward Corrado was also planning on going to I-25 after Pikes Peak, but I did not see him at the track, so I'm not yet sure if he made it or not.
There was an options to park in the paved and lined parking area for $3, or the dirt area for free. Admission was $10. There is a small steeply pitched concrete grandstand, that was basically full. The infield is empty, so the stands offer an unobstructed view of the track. There is a lap counter and position board as well. The public address system is good. They time trial all classes, but they do it before the show. The races are advertised to start at 6:00, early for a Saturday show, and they started only about five minutes late. Each of the seven classes ran a 10-lap trophy dash. That's the longest trophy dashes I've ever seen.
With almost nothing to eat at the big track and little time between the end of the Champ Car race and the beginning of the show at I-25, we ate dinner at the track. I tried the pork barbeque sandwich and fries, and both were good and fairly priced.
After the dashes, there were a couple of heat races, followed by the features. Due to my energy draining summer cold, we did not make it to the Late Model feature so I can't report a show length on this one. Maybe someday I'll get back to the area and be able to return to see the Figure-8 course.
Pikes Peak and I-25 were only my second and third tracks in Colorado, well behind pal Gordy Killian's 16 tracks in the state. I'm sure I will return to Colorado sometime in the future, as Pam and I both decided we liked it very much.
On Sunday we made this a "2n2" (two race, two baseball) weekend by taking in the Colorado Springs Sky Sox minor league baseball game. The Sky Sox are the AAA team of the Colorado Rockies. On the Sox roster is Matt McBride, who is from the school district where I teach, albeit the other public high school. We also met up with one of Pam's former students at the game. Even the rain delay and the 14-1 Sox loss couldn't ruin the pleasant day we had in Colorado.
On Monday we flew home to Pennsylvania. After three weeks in a row on airplanes, we should stay grounded until our beach vacation return to Pensacola in mid August, which annually precedes our return to school. For this coming weekend I have no trip planned as we should see "Champ Cars" for the second week in a row, but this time the Indy Cars as they make their return to Pocono, only seven miles from my house. I plan on going to Pocono both Saturday and Sunday. There should be a good field of TrackChasers at Pocono, as I know myself, Pam, Ginny, Mike, and Edward all plan on being there, even though it will not be a new track for any of us. Still race fans and all that, you know the drill. A short midweek trip is a possibility, as is the PA Sprint Speedweek show at Williams Grove on Friday.
Guy & Pam Smith 2013 Summary
2013 New Tracks--Guy 34 / Pam 22
2013 Events-- Guy 47 / Pam 26
2013 Total Tracks-- Guy 48 / Pam 27
2013 Additional new Non TC Tracks--Guy 4 / Pam NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,511 / Pam 859
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