With my plans to stay home for the weekend to see races at Williams Grove and Pocono, I wanted to make a midweek trip to get one new track for the week. This trip was a perfect example of how many times a plan may change when you follow all forms of short track racing.
1. Original plan was to go to Rushville IN for the TQ Midgets on Thursday.
2. Then I saw a different TQ club was running at Charlestown the day before, so the new plan was to go to Charlestown on Wednesday, and Rushville Thursday.
3. Mike said he would take off Wednesday and Friday and join me.
4. Roger said they were also having Figure-8's at Charlestown on Wednesday so it would be three new tracks for Mike and I.
5. Mike said Jeff "The Impresario" Sands wanted to join us for the trip. This would be my first trip with Jeff, although I have known him for years.
6. Roger Ferrell told us the Charlestown race might not happen. I looked on the F8 website and it said they were canceled. The TQ website still showed the race scheduled.
7. I emailed the TQ club asking about the race. They responded that it was canceled.
8. I told Mike I wanted to go to Rushville anyway. He agreed.
9. Mike asked if we could still leave Wednesday (now after work) and go to Hagerstown for Sprint Speedweek. I said sure.
10. Mike then discovered WVMS was running Sprints. He had never been there and neither had Jeff. He asked if we could go back to leaving Wednesday morning and go there instead. I said sure.
11. WVMS canceled on Tuesday. We were back to Hagerstown for Wednesday.
12. Now Hagerstown was no longer good enough for Mike, who was determined to get Jeff a new track as he wants to get Jeff to 200 tracks to be listed before the end of the year. I looked at the Hell Tour in Illinois or an off road derby in Michigan, but they both would have meant leaving really early on Wednesday, and having only been home from Colorado one day I didn't want to do that.
13. Dave Garrison suggested Musgingum County or Waynesfield, both in Ohio. Mike and I had been to both, Jeff to neither. Of course we opted for the sprint cars. And that's how we ended up at Waynesfield.
Note: The saga will continue in the next report, as we didn't end up at Rushville either, although they did race.
Mike, Jeff, and I met at the Reading Airport and headed towards Ohio. While there, we ran into Dick "Rags" Rauser, who was also meeting a group and heading to New York for the ESS New York Speedweek. Mike and Jeff should be joining him tonight at Fulton, but at the time had absolutely no idea about that. Rauser has been to over 300 tracks and Gordy is going to help Rauser get a list together as well to join the group. Rauser said he started working on his list.
We pulled into Waynesfield just as hot laps were supposed to start. They seemed to be on schedule. Waynesfield had a $7,000 to win 360 Winged Sprint race and drew 37 cars. The companion UMP Modified race had far too many cars, over 50. Admission was $18. The place was packed. They later said it was the biggest crowd they remembered seeing at the track.
This was my third time at Waynesfield, but first to see sprint cars. The first time was by myself when the bigger track first opened, in 2003. Visit number two was to visit the smaller track (note: not an inner oval) in 2005. The smaller track is now defunct. Sheep were grazing on it Wednesday evening. I tried once again to take Pam there the night we ended up at Cridersville for Young Guns, but they had afternoon rain and canceled.
Racing started right on time. We were shocked and elated that there were no time trials. The quarter mile bullring is awesome for racing, but it was very, very dusty. The four sprint heats were excellent though, and were finished around 7:30. Then the show got ridiculous. The modifieds were awful, running in to each other and spinning all over the place. They had way too many Modifieds. I understand the need for a second division, but they paid too much. I would suggest paying the Potomamus Mods a much smaller purse, so they would get 20-30 of them, not over 50. They had interviews, front stretch redraws, giveaways, track watering, regrading, four dashes, 5 B-Mains, etc. Oh, and they only had one ambulance and it had to leave. Everything was done slowly but at least it wasn't dusty like when the sprints were racing.
Although we ate at Wendy's, I did try the shredded chicken sandwich and it was awesome. I have to take Pam there just so I can have a few more of those.
The result of all the pomp and jerkumstance was that it was almost four hours from when the sprint heats ended until the 40 lap sprint A-Main. They had a nice qualifying format, with top heat finishers advancing to dashes. The dashes were inverted on a draw, and short so there was not much time to advance. The result was that some heavy hitters started as far back as tenth.
The feature was really good, since they had a full field of quality cars and drivers and Waynesfield is a kick-ass little bullring for sprints, even winged 360's. But it sure was dusty, more dust than I've inhaled in a long time. There were very few cautions. Tim Shaffer won for the second year in a row from ninth starting spot. Randy Hannagan, Butch Schroeder, Brandon Wimmer, Mike Knappenberger fan Dustin Daggett, Danny Holtgraver, and Sheldon Haudenschield.
It was around 11:45 when the sprint feature ended. I continue to believe that a 4.75 hour show is too long, especially with just two divisions. And this was without the Potomaus Mods feature, which was still to follow. Obviously a post midnight conclusion and over five hours. Luckily we had a Motel 6 only 20 minutes away, as we all needed a shower after that show. But it was good winged sprint car racing, make no mistake about that. Not a new track for Mike or I, but we're still race fans, so we both considered it a good day.
Guy & Pam Smith 2013 Summary
2013 New Tracks--Guy 34 / Pam 22
2013 Events-- Guy 48 / Pam 26
2013 Total Tracks-- Guy 49 / Pam 27
2013 Additional new Non TC Tracks--Guy 4 / Pam NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,511 / Pam 859
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