Boyd Raceway, Boyd, Texas - Track #825
- GREETINGS FROM BOYD, TEXAS,
AND THE READERS RESPOND
�I'm back in the office after being at a business meeting at Amelia Island for the last four days and I am looking at going through approximately 200 emails. To get through this I try and read the "fun" emails first so you can imagine an email from you would be one of the first I read. I feel I should pack my bags and head home after reading your latest report with the list of trackchasing equipment. I'm reading the list jotting down some recommendations for equipment upgrades when I come to the letter "W" and the word wife. I laughed for 5 minutes.� Louis S., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
�Just thought I'd say how much I enjoyed looking at the Zephyr Hills photos on your website, .. unfortunately I could`nt get all the pics to apear... maybe they are too big for my computor to download ! ... One of the ones not appearing was the Austin you mentioned.. I havnt heard of a Cambria... but I used to own an Austin Cambridge... I had a 1966 . (went off for my honeymoon in it ..I`m divorced now so better forget that LOL ). Rick Y. Ontario, Canada
I really get a kick out of the track reports, especially because of all
the local color. One thing for certain is that the stock car crowds are a
very interesting cross section of American culture. There are some interesting people and places out there! Bob B., Dekalb, Illinois
It�s on the road again. Yes, it�s only two days since I returned from England but it was good timing for a trackchasing trip to Texas/Oklahoma. Why? The main reason is that Carol is still in New Mexico visiting her parents. Being one of the few married trackchasers (why is that?), and the longest married one at that (again, why is that?), I don�t want to wear out my trackchasing welcome with Carol. I know some of you are saying, �It�s too late for that!�
I must compliment Carol as being the most understanding wife a fellow could have. (Editor�s note: I�ve become a fan of the TV show, �Wife Swap�. After watching that show I realize what a great wife I have.) She has always supported my lust for travel ,whether she was coming along or not. I guess there�s a reason that I�ve seen more new tracks while being married than any other trackchaser in the world.
Before I leave the England topic for another year or longer, I wanted to share one more thing. I really enjoy the manner in which the British speak the American language. It�s so proper and polite. Here�s an example of such speech on a sign in a restaurant offering free refills on sodas. Rather than the American way, which would probably be a simple sign that said �Free refills�, the English sing read, �Free refuel, check in a Diet Coke at the cash desk and make as many return journeys as you wish for 1.79 pounds.�
During my two days at home, with Carol on the road, I�ve been living the life of a bachelor. On the rare occasions when she�s gone and I�m home I don�t make the bed, wash any dishes or cook any meals. Actually, this is exactly how I behave when Carol IS home but it seems different when she�s gone. At least I don�t drink directly out of the orange juice carton!
I must admit that she did call to check on me. She asked a few questions like, �Did it rain?�, �Are the flowers drying out?�, �Did you remember to lock all the doors?� etc. Of course, each of these questions stumped me�..and she really knew they would. Nevertheless, I will look forward to our reunion on Monday evening.
Living in a metropolitan area like Los Angeles provides many conveniences. One of those conveniences is the ability to fly on just about any airline at just about any time of day to just about any destination. There are six commercial airports within an hour or less of my home. These include Orange County (my favorite), Los Angeles, San Diego, Burbank, Ontario and Long Beach.
I chose to fly from Long Beach today. The Long Beach airport is old and small. The main terminal is probably no more than 2,000 square feet. They use temporary buildings as departure gates. To board the plane, you must walk outside the building and climb up steps to get into the airplane. Since it was a perfectly clear day, this unusual departure method was quite pleasant. We took off over the Pacific Ocean and then made a u-turn to fly back toward Dallas. When we were just a few hundred yards off the coast the view of a glistening ocean in the morning sun and the nearby snow-capped mountains was gorgeous.
Tonight�s track is about 70 miles northwest of Dallas. After I landed, I drove out to the track. I expected to see a hotel somewhere during the last 30 miles. I didn�t. I was at the racetrack as 4 p.m. Racing didn�t start until 8 p.m. I needed a hotel room but the track was way out in the country. What to do?
I fired up my laptop. I hooked up my portable GPS unit and presto, changeo I found out a Motel 6 was within 8.83 miles. I made a call to the motel and confirmed a room. In the olden days (that would be last month), I would have been in a fix being out in the middle of nowhere with no idea about where a motel might be located. Even if I came upon a motel, I would have to stop and risk no rooms being available and the wasted time that goes with that.
The GPS offered up five different hotels all within 10 miles. Addresses, directions and phone numbers were provided for each hotel. I could make a cell phone call from the track and get everything confirmed. The GPS unit would them guide me to my evening�s resting place. I can see how such technology can create a dependency, but the efficiency results are unsurpassed.
RACE TRACK NEWS:
BOYD RACEWAY #825� BOYD, TEXAS
The Boyd Raceway is my 18th lifetime track to see in Texas. This breaks my tie with Pappy Hough for Texas tracks and helps with National Geographic Diversity points. I�m still far south of Texas state leader John Moore and his 29 tracks. When I was a racechaser (that was before I became a trackchaser), I used to go to the Devil�s Bowl Speedway to watch the World of Outlaws all the time. Back in the early �80s, I went to this famous oval on 10 different occasions.
I was all set to see a little dirt track out in rural Texas and dump all over it in comparison to the fan friendly English tracks. Surely tonight they would have small car counts, lots of yellow flags and other too numerous to mention delays. Alas, that will not be the case.
I arrived to pay my $8 general admission at 7:58 p.m. The scheduled start time was 8 p.m. The track began their invocation and national anthem right at 8 p.m. I�ll have to give them an A for starting on time.
How about car counts? They were excellent. Although I�m doing this by memory, I would estimate there were between 125 and 150 cars on hand spread over about eight classes. They had mini-stox, IMCA modifieds, hobby stocks and stock cars, pro-mod 4s and 2-4 other stock car classes. I�d have to give the track an A+ for car counts.
How about delays? During the first half of the show, there were virtually no yellow flags. I�m guessing they ran 20 heat races. There were only two yellow flags in all of those heat races. One yellow was for a piece of debris and the other for a spinning racer. You�ll have to visit a hundred tracks before you�ll match the Boyd Raceway�s record in this area for their heat races.
Following each heat race, the next heat rolled onto the track quickly. I timed the point from when the last car of a race took the checkered flag until the first car of the next heat was coming onto the track. Eleven seconds! You can go to some tracks and it�s eleven minutes from one heat to the next.
Why were they so good with the yellows? They had a one spin and you�re out rule in the heats. I wondered why each car kept moving after a spin. One spin and you�re out in the heats��sounds like a pretty good rule to me.
The lighting made it look like it was daylight. The P.A. system was loud and could be heard distinctly at all parts of the track. The racing surface looked like it was made of the famous �Iowa black dirt�. All of the racing on the track remained perfectly smooth, tacky and without the first speck of dust the entire night. There were several cashiers at the concession stand and there was never a backup line of customer wanting to eat. The announcer was outstanding. He gave the car number and driver name of every driver before the race started. He was constantly interviewing prizewinners and giving background information about the drivers on the track. The announcer stood between the flag stand and the concession stand as he worked. That�s very unusual. He was wearing a black leather coat, had a little bit of an Elvis look going on. J.J., actually he looked a little bit like Flo.
My trackchasing press release was given to the announcer. In no time, I was down with him at the flag stand doing an interview. Actually doing interviews has become a bit common place with my newly designed press release. Tonight�s announcer took the trackchasing information to the next level.
He must have reminded the crowd at least five times over the stadium quality sound system that when they went home �they should log on to their computer and check out trackchaser.com�. He also went through the worldwide trackchaser top 10 including each trackchaser�s hometown. Maybe I�ll put the sound track on my website.
At one point in time, he came up into the grandstand with his handheld microphone and announced the race while he sat next to me. We talked whenever there was a break in the action. He�s been announcing for about 10 years and has announced at several Texas short tracks. He told me he was the type of guy who �got a little weak in the knees� when he had to speak in front of a group but that feeling went away when he was working as a racetrack announcer.
It�s been a long time since the trackchasing hobby has gotten this much coverage. I find the better announcers are always willing to talk about our unusual hobby. The dud announcers who aren�t very articulate or creative don�t seem to realize they have a story their customers might like to here. This lack of understanding typically separates the good mike men from the mediocre.
No track can be great at everything. The Boyd Raceway signs were good at 4 p.m. in the daylight. By 8 p.m., it was dark and there were no lights on the signs. If I had not been out to the track in the afternoon, I would have had a hard time finding the place in the evening.
Following the heats there were a series of �B� mains. During the B mains, the yellow flag delays started to happen often. Even though about 20 heats were run from 8 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., it took them from 9:15 p.m. to 10:48 to run B main events and the first two �A� mains. It was at this point that I felt I had gotten my eight dollars worth and headed for the exit. It was also getting very cold. I would guess this show might not have ended until past midnight. They had either too many classes or too many cars or both. It�s definitely a double-edged sword that can cut you both ways.
Nevertheless, this was a good start to what looks like a very productive weekend of trackchasing. The track announcer went a long way toward educating the crowd about trackchasing. He even wondered aloud if �figure 8 racing has been outlawed in some states because of the danger�. A fan came up and told the announcer over the P.A. system that Shakopee, Minnesota had the longest running figure 8 track in the country.
RACE TRACK FOOD:
The most unusual item on the track�s concession menu was the $3 patty melt sandwich. It�s very rare to see this menu item at a racetrack. There�s been some discussion recently about what a racetrack should charge for a Coke. I�ll try to include the price of a soft drink at each track I visit for season long comparison. Tonight a can of Coke cost one dollar. It will not get much lower than that.
Nevertheless, I chose to eat at a seafood Bayou place before the race that was not good enough to recommend to my readers. I felt a bit out of place wearing a Harrah�s Casino pullover and deck shoes into a place where the predominant mode of dress was cowboy boots, blue jeans, white t-shirt and a cowboy or baseball hat worn indoors. Can you spell �you�re not from around here, are you boy?�
RENTAL CAR UPDATE:
I will be driving the National Rental Car Racing Chevy Impala on this trip. My rental fee is just $15.95 per day. Are these rental car people crazy? How can you run a railroad like that? I realize that Dallas is a huge business travel spot during the week. However, just because you have a ton of cars for weekday business travelers and not that many weekend visitors do you have to give the cars away on the weekend? I understand the need for cash flow but I would think the miles I will put on the car would decrease its value much more than the 48 bucks they will get from me. Of course, the rental car managers are not idiots (I don�t think). I have found in life, when you don�t know the motivation of an individual or group, if you look at the money, you�re likely to find your answer. Note, I�m passing out pearls here, don�t forget to bend down to pick them up.
LIFETIME TRACKCHASER STANDINGS UPDATE:
The battle for positions that could change in the near future is as follows:
5. Guy Smith - 949
6. Jack Erdman - 869
Randy Lewis � 825
P.J. Hollebrand � 804
John Moore � 787
Ed Esser � 751
2005 TRACKCHASER STANDINGS
1. Ed Esser � 23
2. P.J. Hollebrand � 16
3. Randy Lewis - 16
CUMULATIVE DRIVING DISTANCES:
Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, Fort Worth, Texas � trip begins
Boyd, Texas � 91 miles
TRACK ADMSSION PRICES:
Boyd Raceway - $8
Thanks for reading about my trackchasing,
The #1 trackchaser living west of the Mississippi
That�s all the news that�s fit to print from San Clemente where the women are strong, the men are good-looking, all of the children are above average and the real estate prices are way above average.
My past trackchasing stories are available on the following website:
http://uk.geocities.com/trackchaser2001/ (photos from my racing trips are also available on this Scotland based site)
Official trackchaser standings can be viewed at:
Planned new racetracks (on the last day of each racing trip I will post my tentative plans for my next trip)
April 2 � Port City Speedway, Tulsa, Oklahoma
April 2 � Outlaw Motor Speedway, Oktaha, Oklahoma
April 3 � Hallet Motor Racing Circuit, Jennings, Oklahoma
April 3 � JRP Speedway, Tulsa, Oklahoma
April 9 � Charlotte County Speedway � F8, Punta Gorda, Florida
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