2013 TrackChaser Report #77--Baker Hill Motorsports Road Circuit, PA
After watching my school's football team lose their opener against a weak opponent on Friday night, Saturday morning Pam and I headed to western PA for the Cornfield 500 at the Baker Hill Motorsports Speedway. After running on an oval track from 2001 to 2012, this year the course was changed to a 0.8 mile dirt road circuit.
The race is always held on Labor Day weekend. I had been there once before, in 2003. With me that day were "those Sivi boys", Andy and Tom. Pam had not been to the race before.
There actually was a road circuit before, as in 2008 they had a mass start buggy race on an off-road circuit, as witnessed by Bruce and Pat Eckel, who put in their time this year at the Baltimore Grand Prix. When Andy Sivi returned the next year, they only raced the buggies two at a time.
The races were scheduled to start at 11:45, and we pulled in right at that time. Admission was $15. The new course is mostly located to the right of the old oval, most of which is still part of the new road circuit. However, the rest of the new course is where the former pit area was located. The new pits are where the spectator area used to be, so it's unlikely we will see a future Cornfield 500 that would include racing on both the oval and the road circuit.
There was a good sampling of TrackChaser friends on hand, including Rick Schneider, Gordy Killian who was with fellow AARN columnist Dave Kittey, Andy Sivi who brought his late brother's ashes to the track in tribute, and former driving great Bing Metz.
Right talked to the promoters about running a figure 8 race in the future. One sounded interested, the other said the card was already too full. So, drop something!
There were a total of seven races on the day, but not a lot of laps of racing. There were three classes, Four Cylinder Stocks, Six Cylinder Stocks, and Eight Cylinder Stocks. Each had one heat and a feature. At the end of the day there was an enduro. The heats were just three laps, the features five laps, and the enduro 13 laps. Pam and I watched six of the seven races, skipping the enduro.
With only nine laps of heat racing, I was running around trying to get photos and video, but still didn't have enough time to get everything I wanted. After the heats, they had truck drags in the mud, then motorcyle freestyle competition with just two entries. During that time, I grabbed myself a burger and Pam a black bean wrap, both very good. I also got us each a corn on the cob, a Cornfield 500 tradition. The corns were only a buck, and they were delicious. The peanut butter and bacon burger sounded interesting, but I chickened out on that one.
The car counts were decent in two of the three classes. There were 18 in the four cylinder class, 15 in the six cylinder class, and just five in the dying eight cylinder division. For the first feature, I got up on the flatbed truck with the scorers and got my best video of the day by far. The two classes with decent fields had entertaining races, the eight cylinder five lap feature was checkered on lap three when only one car remained.
After the three features, they had another round of mud drags and freestyle, and also had jeep races on a rock crawler course. These were held on a different track than the flat track the cars raced on, but they were one at a time runs against the clock. In addition, fan reaction for the best jump was used to award a time reduction.
It was at this time Pam and I headed out. We saw Bing making his exit at this time too. We stopped at Walmart for some provisions, then proceeded to Ohio for our evening race at the Lake County Speedway. Bing had earlier said he was headed to Lake Erie Speedway on Saturday night, then Eriez on Sunday. Gordy and Dave Kitty were headed to Marion Center, where Kitty works.
The three heat races and three feature races were over at 2:30, with those six races accounting for a total of 22 laps of racing. A somewhat strange, but fun holiday weekend afternoon at the races.
Guy & Pam Smith 2013 Summary
2013 New Tracks--Guy 49 / Pam 34
2013 Events-- Guy 74 / Pam 43
2013 Total Tracks-- Guy 74 / Pam 43
2013 Additional Non TC Tracks--Guy 4 / Pam NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,526 / Pam 871
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