2013 TrackChaser Report #69--Franklin Co Fairgrounds, NY
With no overnight trip planned for this past weekend, on Saturday Pam and I headed to New York state for a Figure-8 race at the Franklin County Fair. Also spotted walking around the fair were Brian Hickey with his girlfriend and daughter, as well as The Manager of Steel and his protege Jeff Sands. We all ended up sitting together in the huge old grandstands. This was the first time that any of the group had been to this fairgrounds. According to Will's ARR site the last race there was at the still in existence half mile oval on August 27, 1933! I guess every 80 years or so they decide to have a race!
What made me confident that this F8 race would be run with no problems was that it was a stand-alone show. The Figure-8 show was scheduled for 3:00 p.m. with a demolition derby at 5:00. The derby was being run by the Total Destruction group, and they had done F8 races in the past at several New York and Pennsylvania fairs and race tracks. I contacted them regarding the F8 and was told that they had nothing to do with it, they were just doing the derby. The fair was running the F8 race by themselves. This was a bit of a cause for concern, but when I contacted the fair they assured the F8 racing was on as planned.
We arrived a bit after 1:30 for the 3:00 show and there were already people in the stands. Fair admission was $10, parking on the grounds $5, with no additional charge for the F8 race or derby. There were already people in the stands. With the size of the grandstands, I was not worried about getting a seat, and Pam and I set out to walk the fair and get something to eat.
We returned to the grandstands at 2:30 and a large crowd was in place for the F8 racing, but the grandstand was huge and there were still plenty of good seats. There were plenty of both small cars and big cars in the pits. I knew that only the small cars were eligible for the Figure 8 racing, but it looked that there were a lot there that could participate in both the racing and later the derby.
At about 2:45 they started building the track. It would be of the "double figure 8" variety with three tires instead of two. At about 3:15, they called for the Figure-8 cars to line up. Only four cars responded. The cars were brought into the arena for the race. At that time we realized we were pretty lucky to get a new track, as out of all the four cylinder cars in the pits, these four were all that registered for the Figure-8 show.
After a couple of slow warmup laps, the cars stopped and the best appearing car was given a trophy. The cars were lined up and from a standing start, the lone Figure-8 feature race was run over a distance of ten laps. They had money and trophies for the top three finishers and interestingly, the one that won the best appearing trophy finished fourth, so everyone int he F8 race won a trophy. All four cars were still running at the end.
Although disappointed in that there was so little racing, we instead chose to look on the bright side and Pam and I celebrated the fact that at least we got a new track in the books, with an ice cream cone. Mike, Jeff, and Brian headed to Airborne Speedway for NEMA Midgets while we headed back home, this being our only planned activity for the day.
Guy & Pam Smith 2013 Summary
2013 New Tracks--Guy 45 / Pam 30
2013 Events-- Guy 66 / Pam 37
2013 Total Tracks-- Guy 66 / Pam 37
2013 Additional Non TC Tracks--Guy 4 / Pam NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,522 / Pam 867
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