2013 TrackChaser Report #57--Beechnut Raceway, TN
Yesterday when mentioning Roland getting to visit Rick Young, Virginia Schuler, Chris Tyrrel, and Rick Schneider for the first time, I forgot that he also got to meet Bruce Spencer at Thompson. I understand Roland's trip is still going exactly as planned save for one race cancelation at Saint Just.
On Friday morning Pam and I headed south for a enjoyable weekend in Tennessee and Kentucky. Our Friday stop was at the Beechnut Raceway in Blountville. On tap was the big "American Dream" weekend of kart racing. They were paying some big bucks to the Champ Karts. On Saturday, the Pro Champ race paid $2,000.00 to win, with the Champ Heavy race paying $750.00 to win. On Friday, the Champ Lite race paid $500.00 to win. So one Champ Kart driver could have hauled $3,250 out of Beechnut last weekend by winning all three races. In all, they were paying over $7,000.00 to the Senior Champs. I figured this would be a good time to see my third Champ Kart race of the season.
Practice was scheduled to start at 5:00, and we arrived around that time. Unfortunately, published time schedules don't mean much in the southeast, and they were no where near ready to start. Admission for the Friday part of the show was $15. Our good luck started upon arrival, as the person in front of us in line was a peach farmer and offered us an armful of free peaches, which we graciously accepted and enjoyed for the rest of the weekend.
More good news was that the facility is very nice, at the driver's meeting they said they worked very hard on it this year and it is at it's best in many years. Other good news included that they had a nice turnout of 20 Champ Lites, only seven total classes on the evening, and the Champ Lite feature would be the second event.
I made friends with the couple that owned the refreshment stand, as she inquired about my accent and I told her I was from Pennsylvania. They had also lived in Allentown, and their daughter was born in my hometown of Allentown. She was from Scotland and her husband from New Zealand. They were shocked to hear that I had been to races at both of those places. The food was good and we enjoyed our dinner at the track.
The bleachers were not much, so we put a blanket down and watched from the hill above turn four. Only the next day did we realize we were getting bitten by insects while sitting on the blanket. Practice finally began 90 minutes late at 6:30 and lasted an hour. After the driver's meeting, they had transponder time trial qualifying for all classes, running anywhere from four to six at a time. That started at 8:00 and the qualifying and break that followed took another hour plus.
One interesting thing at the driver's meeting was the number of starters in the Saturday races. They said that the maximum number was 32, but if they had 33, 34, 35, or 36 they would all start. However, once they hit 37 entries, it would drop back to 32 qualifiers. Interesting.
Finally, at almost 9:30 the actual racing began. The first class up had only four entries, so it wasn't long before the 20 Champ Karts lined up for their main. All starts were single file, even the initial start. That was kind of dumb, as the 20th person was almost half a lap down before taking the green. I wish I would have been able to get race video during the day as the lighting was not that great.
The feature was 20 laps in length and went non stop with the winner taking the lead on lap 17. So it was a pretty good race. It ended around 10:00, and we were on our way, a nice evening at the races in the books earlier than expected for a track in Tennessee. A good day of TrackChasing on the road with my best love.
Guy & Pam Smith 2013 Summary
2013 New Tracks--Guy 37 / Pam 23
2013 Events-- Guy 55 / Pam 29
2013 Total Tracks-- Guy 55 / Pam 29
2013 Additional new Non TC Tracks--Guy 4 / Pam NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,514 / Pam 860
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