- Greetings from your breadman emeritus.
It's been quite a while since I've been able to take such a trip.
Suz's health and eventual passing took most of my time the past 2 years.
Nothing else took precedence. The past 3+ months led to much soul searching. I
needed to get back to my former self, and scheduled the kind of madness few
trackchasers could pull off. Well, I'm here to tell you I'm back in the
game. I still have it, and I will do my best to raise the bar so many are
trying to bring down. I can't wait to see how that last statement is
July 2. Drove to Baltimore to fly to Portland, OR. Procured a car and drove
to the Coos Bay Speedway where I joined Kevin Eckert to watch an ASCS
Northwest Speedweek show. 28 sprints topped the card on a narrow 1/4 mile of
arid clay. Plenty of seating lies on a hill above the track with the drag
strip between them. They provided a golf cart for those needing a ride to the
top. The track promoter took a seat next to my top row perch and conducted
business with a walkie-talkie. My advice was sometimes heeded. Travis Rilat
also joined us briefly looking for concession advice. The conversation was
better than the racing this evening. The 2 support classes could not
provide double figure entries making the night shorter than hoped for. Kevin may
not always make the best decisions, but his racing knowledge is second to
none. I miss our infrequent chats. Always a brother, always a friend.
July 3. From the cool ocean breezes it was southeast to the sweltering heat
of Anderson, CA and the Shasta Speedway. The nearly flat, 3/8 mile track
lies on a fairgrounds like many CA tracks. A 50 lap modified open headlined
a four division show with all classes in the teens. The show was kept
moving because the county had scheduled fireworks there at 9:30 pm. They just
made it. They gave me a bonus when they decided to run the hornets on a road
course using parts of the dirt infield. I'll take it. There was a decent
crowd on hand, but nothing compared to the massive throng outside waiting to
see free fireworks. Crowd estimates the next day were near 20,000. I used
the fireworks to make my way back to my motel. State and local police were
setting up exit lanes to get the people out later.
July 4. 2 hours north was the Siskiyou Speedway in Yreka, CA. A 5:00 start
made sure the show would be run in daylight, which drained the 1/4 mile of
moisture. 18 mods did put on a decent feature after they stunk up their
heats. I did enjoy two, tasty, massive chilidogs before beating the crowd out
as they watched, you guessed it, fireworks. I drove back into OR to get a
room and was delayed by an awful, multi-vehicle crash on I-5 created by
rubberkneckers trying to watch fireworks. Very sad.
July 5. Pacific Raceway lies near Seattle and was holding the 25th annual
SOVREN Vintage Historic Race. Road racing will never be my favorite, but if
I go I prefer vintage shows. Walking the paddock and looking at the cars
and chatting with proud owners is better than the racing for me. I watched
from a grandstand shared with the drag strip where I could see 1/3 of the 2.3
mile layout. Just hearing the cars racing through the pines on the unseen
parts of the course was cool. I believe the Mad Belgian might like this
place. The show was over at 4:30 which left me time to make the 10:00 pm start
of the 36 hour Chumpcar World Series race at Spokane Raceway Park. I found
a space against a fence in turn 8 where I could watch the 45, light stick
covered cars begin their longest event. I returned the next morning for
another hour of daylight racing. It was my first permanent road course double.
I doubt I'll get another.
July 6. It was off to Kalispell, MT and Montana Raceway Park for a 125 lap
race for 16 super late models and 4 support classes. Soon after entering
this fabulous 1/4 mile of banked pavement I encountered a fan wearing a
Whelen Modified Series tshirt. My Waterford Speedbowl shirt soon had me sitting
and chatting with he and his wife. He was originally from near Providence,
RI and "grew up" at Thompson Speedway where his dad had been a track
photographer. What an enjoyable evening, and the racing was pretty good, too.
Nights like these are what make trackchasing for me. I wish more people would
see it that way.
July 7. I had to get up early to make the 2:00 pm start time at the Central
Alberta Raceway. This was their season opener as the area has been victim
to major flooding. That day was the first time they had enough dry ground
to have spectator parking. Some real good clay had to be scraped off to
make the track surface usable. The wind that helped dry the parking wreaked
havoc on the surface. It was rough and dry. Out of power, so signing off.
This has been Gordy Killian.
Alberta's #1 ranked trackchaser
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