This past weekend was my final three-race weekend of the year. On Friday I took my non-native English speaker class on a tour of one of the local Crayola plants as part of National Manufacturing Day. In the evening, I still had time to add a new track to my TrackChaser list. Not too shabby!
The track was the Blue Mountain Speedway, only about 40 minutes from my house. Their Friday night shows are usually non-countable kids Quarter Midget races. I had only been there once in the past. In 1993: Pam, my mom, and myself went there for a Wednesday night benefit race.
Earlier this year when Russ Currie joined the group I saw he had it on his track list. It was Rusty that told me that during their annual season ending "Fun Night", that they have Adult Handler's Races. I didn't know about it, because Handler's Races were not mentioned on the schedule, just Fun Night. So thanks to Rusty for that tip. I had been to Adult Handler's Races before, at Phoenixville and Schnecksville, after Will had ruled that Quarter Midgets were a TC approved small car class as long as their was no age restrictions on the drivers. We had quite a nice group for the Handler's Race at Schnecksville, if I recall.
I contacted the Blue Mountain club president and he assured me that the Handler's Races were a go. There would be one for moms and one for dads. I arrived way early to get track pictures before dark, and met Rich, the club president. He apologized for the smaller than normal field, but some drivers went to race at Snydersville since the regular season at Blue Mountain was over. Soon I was joined by Mike Knappenberger, and then by Will White and his mom. Much later Edward Corrado, who was stuck in traffic behind an accident on the PA Turnpike, would join us. Edward missed all the Quarter Midget races, but made it in time for both Handler's features.
Blue Mountain has a great track. Unique was the fact that they actually dig up and work the track, then run it in before the races. It developed a nice little cushion to be proud of. The rest of the grounds are very nice. Everything about the place is clean and operational. I met the woman in charge of the refreshment stand, and although she apologized for the limited menu on this night, she did make me the best cheeseburger I've had in a long time.
There were nine classes and they each had a feature race only due to the Handler's Races being run after intermission. The car counts weren't nearly as small as what I had seen earlier in the year at Pocono or West End. One race had 13 starters. All the features were 30 laps and they all had a time limit, something I like to see.
After the features, they ran the two Handler's Races for the parents. The five moms entered ran 15 laps, and the seven dads ran 20 laps. After the races, Rich came up to talk to the five of us for about ten minutes. I headed to the car to text Pam, who was in North Carolina with her brother for their cousin's funeral service the next day. By the time I finished texting Pam and Patsy Eckel, it started to rain. A bit of a lucky start to the weekend.
I know I'm going back next year at some point, as I had forgotten just how nice this place is. And hopefully I'll be able to take Pam to the 2014 version of Fun Night and she will be able to see the Handler's Races as well.
2013 Guy & Pam Smith Summary
2013 New Tracks--Guy 55 / Pam 41
2013 Events-- Guy 83 / Pam 51
2013 Total Tracks-- Guy 86 / Pam 55
2013 Additional Non TC Tracks--Guy 6 / Pam NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,532 / Pam 878