On The Road Again !!

Welcome to the blog site of 6 time super-fan Ed Esser. The question people ask me isn't when is the next race, it's when is the next time I'll be home. Over 68,000 miles were logged on the '04 Dodge Caravan in 2011 in search of over 130 auto races. My blog site helps race fans know where and when to go to some of the best auto races around the country. I've got schedules for series all around the U.S.and results from the tracks and races I've attended. I'll tell you where I've been, where I'm heading and as always what races and tracks are worth going back to. See you at the races!!!

2011 In Review

"The 6 time super-fan winner went to 120 tracks this year in 26 different states. The '04 Caravan logged over 68,000 miles in search of 130 races. Over $1,750.00 was spent on race admissions and 78"new" tracks were visited this year in search of great auto racing. To say Ed Esser is a dedicated fan is an understatement, he's a Super-Fan!"

Now first overall in the USA trackchaser standings, Ed has over 1,423 tracks that he has visited. Check out the reviews and schedules of where he has been and where he is heading.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Race Report 05

Ohio Indoor Racing March 5, 2011

Saturday I was driving through rain all morning on my way to the indoor kart races at the Ohio Expo grounds in Columbus Ohio. I arrived at the busy Expo grounds where 4 events were ongoing (Catholic men’s conference, basketball tournament, train expo and the races) and after paying the $5 parking fee I went to the southwest corner of the grounds to find the O’Neill Building (hog barn). I paid my $15 to enter the O’Neill Building and found the place filled with karts and the National Anthem playing at 1PM. The building is under renovation and is big but has lots of leaks in the roof.  The track was set in the middle of the building and is about 1/10-mile concrete surface with Armco fencing that was three high in places. There are many roof support poles and one set runs down the center of the track. There is a small curved Armco fencing piece that marks the inside entry of the turns and is fastened to the roof support poles. There were 2 bleachers at each end of the long paper clip shaped track that had adequate lights and some big fans above the track to help with ventilation. The air was quite blue and with many leaks the floor had standing water in almost half the building. The Young Guns Karting Series is a group of champ karts and was part of the racing program today that drew well with 9 Y/G juniors, 11 Y/G sportsmen and 21 Y/G senior champs. There were also 5 quarter midgets and 82 flat karts in 5 classes. The races were run very efficiently with the first round of heats completed in an hour and the second round starting after just a 5 minute break. Heat races were 8 laps and most went non-stop. The senior champs needed a semi with the top 8 after the heats already seeded in the feature and 4 more coming from the semi. Philip Schneider started third in the semi and won the race that was slowed by 4 yellows. The feature had only 3 yellows although one did eliminate two karts when they hit hard in the wall. Josh Hanselman won the senior champ feature from the pole but was pressured by Robbie Sarchet from 3rd with Schneider taking third from his 9th starting spot. Alex Rosenberry won the junior champ feature from second in a race slowed by 5 yellows.
Tyler Street
started on the pole and won the sportsmen champ feature that had only 2 yellows. The races went quickly with the entire program completed by 4:45PM and I was back on the road in rain and light snow. Sunday was to have been races at the Indianapolis Speedrome but as I drove through Indianapolis on Saturday night it was still snowing. Those races have been postponed to next week so I just kept going toward home. Sunday morning after arriving home at 9AM I checked on Lake Sinissippi ice races but they have posted that the season is done as the weather has gotten warm enough to damage the ice.

Texas Trip March 11 – 13, 2011

Thursday after cleaning up from another snowstorm that dumped 5 inches of heavy stuff on us I decided to head south where the storms went through early in the week but it was now nice. I headed out at 3PM Thursday for a drive to Texas and got through Kansas City before I retired for the night. Friday morning I was back on the road early to complete my drive to Lubbock Texas for a visit to the Lady Luck Speedway for day one of the 4th annual Beat the Heat weekend. I arrived at 6PM and found the premises are surrounded by some tall white metal fencing but I found the drive in and parked with about 8 other spectator vehicles here early for the 8:30PM start. There was a continuous line of race cars arriving from this time until I went in at 7:30PM and had an excellent BBQ sandwich. There are three big 12-row steel bleachers that were over half filled tonight and there is trackside parking on the back that was full. The slightly banked black dirt track was very wet tonight and is surrounded by concrete walls with tires to mark the inside. The track is wide and is a short 3/8-mile oval with big sweeping turns. The speakers were fine and the lights were good but set behind the spectators so that parts of the track were not too bright. They did use two temporary generator lights on the backstretch. Track packing went slow with the track very wet and the sprints were finally called to help. The pits were full with 19 sprints (305), 19 modifieds, 31 sport mods, 11 I-stocks, 13 street stocks and 10 pure stocks. Racing started at 9:15 with heats and preliminary racing concluded after 11PM with the first feature taking the track at 11:35PM. (By this time only one quarter of the fans were still in the stands) The sport mods went 20 laps with 5 yellows as pole sitter Tyler Fain held back the field for the win over fifth starter Austin Junod. The I-stocks had only one yellow in their 20 lapper with Cary White getting around pole sitter Jody York to take the win as Keith Cagle came from 7th to claim second at the finish. The modifieds ran 20 laps and front row starter Tommy Fain was a winner over Roy Mason from 5th in a race slowed by 3 yellows. In the sprint feature Mike Springfield got into the wall and needed towing then they ran all green for their 20 laps. Gary Lee Meier and Kyle McCutchen exchanged jumps on the next two attempts to start then Meier got the lead on the third try. McCutchen tracked down Meier after a few laps and took the lead but then as the track finally dried in the middle Meier found plenty of moisture on the inside and re-took the lead with several laps left. As the leaders approached lapped cars on the last lap Meier stayed low in the final turn as McCutchen tried an outside pass of the two lapped cars and Meier but it was Meier across the finish line first, McCutchen second and Lorne Wofford in third. It was just after 1PM and two features to go but I went back to the truck stop for some rest. Saturday I was up early to start the long drive across Texas back to the east side for a stop at Speedarama in Lufkin. I have been here a couple of times but the track was idle for a couple of years and is now back up and running. The banked 1/3-mile dirt track looks like an egg shape with a pointed sharper corner for the first two turns after running down the straightaway that has the outside wall start coming in just after the starting line. The track has Armco fencing with concrete slabs behind to support it and tires to mark the inside. The track was in good shape with no dust tonight for a crowd of about 300 that sits in lawn chairs on the 8 concrete steps or on top of the grass hillside that is on either side of the paved area. Lights and speakers were fine as they started with warm ups at 6:45PM and went to racing at 7:10PM. They took a short intermission at 8PM after heats for the 20 limited mods, 4 street stocks, 12 hobby stocks, 15 pure stocks and one junior mini stock. The hobby stock feature was restarted after 4 cars tangled in the first turn then they ran all green with Will Carter taking the win from the front. The pure stocks needed three tries to complete the second lap then only one more yellow as Wade Stephens captured the feature from the front. The street stocks ran all green with Bobby Bates taking the checkered flag first. The modifieds ran off 9 laps before a slowing car collected two others, then they had 5 yellows in the last half of the feature as pushing and shoving came more into play. Dustin Shoemaker was the winner from the pole over Dewayne Shoemaker as the races were done at 10:05PM giving me time to drive back to Louisiana before retiring for the night. Sunday was a return visit to the Ark-La-Tex Speedway in Vivian Louisiana. This is a high banked dirt quarter mile with the only wall the concrete on the straightaway which is bowed out so that it is not really straight. The stands are in the same curved shape so that all seats offer an unobstructed view of the track. The stands are on a manmade steep hill so that an adult can sit in front of a small child and not block your visibility. There are two rows of steps for lawn chairs on top then 3 rows of individual chair back seats all facing east and having the concession and bathroom buildings provide shade from the late afternoon sun. Today’s race was set to start at 3PM but really got to racing at 3:45PM for 19 modifieds, 17 limited mods, 39 factory stocks, 12 pro mods and 9 beginner cruisers. The track was dry and somewhat dusty but they raced on every inch of it as evidenced by 5 wide racing in the first mod heat. The pro mods had only 2 yellows in the 20 lap feature as pole sitter Ricky Burk JR ran away from the field and won over Adam Stevens from 7th. The factory stocks got rough as one of the 6 yellows was for a multi car tangle that saw two cars stuck together and then the drivers got out and stood on their cars before starting swinging and both ending on the ground and getting a police escort off the track. Cory Grigsby started on the pole and held off Jeff Lewis and Billy Grider. The modifieds completed their 20 laps with 3 yellows and pole sitter Aaron Jorden was the winner over Chris Henigan and Ronald Pilkington. The limited mods also had only 3 yellows but one was when leader Billy Melton was spun out. Melton was sent to the rear on the 12th lap and the other car sent to the pits. Aaron Roy and Adam Penn ran the final lap side by side with Roy the winner in a photo finish and Melton just behind in third. The beginner cruisers completed the day with a 12-lap feature that had 4 yellows and again the judges had to decide who won because Jerry Moore and Katlyn McEachern were dead even at the finish. McEachern was declared the winner and the races were done at 7PM giving me some time to get a start on the drive home.

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