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.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Race Report 18

Iowa weekend September 9-11, 2011

Friday was a chance to stay close to home for another visit to Columbus 151 Speedway in Columbus Wisconsin before a short trip to see some new tracks in Iowa. I arrived early during the qualifying but a large crowd was already on hand and the pits were full to the brim. With the season done at Madison International and not much going on in southern Wisconsin the people were out on a nice night even though it is a high school football night. The nearly flat quarter mile paved oval drew good car counts of 29 late models, 14 street stocks, 22 hobby stocks, 19 bandits, 16 legends and 8 back up cars. With lots of cars to qualify and some oil spilled during the timed runs they were about 20 minutes behind making the 8PM start for racing. Steven Sauer did set a new track record in the Hobby stock qualifying with a 14.812 second lap. The racing started with a benefit race in the legend division and Aaron Moyer took the honors in the 15-lap event. After the heats and a couple of semis they took a short break before the features. The bandits were up first with an 18-lap feature and it was Seth Reamer who took advantage of the three cautions while he came from a 14th starting spot to take the win over Ken Ring from 8th. The street stocks ran 25 laps with three late race cautions and a good 4-car battle for the win. Phil Denikas started 9th and just held off Randy Breunig who started 11th as the crossed ahead of Kevin Anderson who got third from his 10th starting spot. The legends ran a 25-lap feature that had 4 cautions but again it was 8th starter Moyer who was fastest and won over Cory Talaska from 9th. Kale Peterman started 7th and won the 30-lap hobby stock feature over Steven Sauer from 9th in a race slowed by only 2 yellows. The late models had a 50-lap feature and although there were 4 yellows in the first half they ran clean the last half with pole sitter Scott Patrick making no mistake and holding off the tight field. Nick Nolden from the front row was second with third going to Luke Hoffman from 9th. The back-up cars ran 8 laps in reverse with John Von Allmen taking the win. Then they ran another 15-lap special winner take all race with some sponsors putting up the money and Matt Wachuta was the winner with a last lap pass of Dustin Von Allmen. The races ran late with the final checkers at 12:50AM but it was only a short trip home tonight. Saturday I left at noon for a trip to Charles City Iowa and a look at a new track they built at the Floyd County Fairgrounds. The fairgrounds are way out of town and are being renovated with some new buildings and there is now a high-banked dirt track carved into the land. They cut down the earth to make the track and it looks like a big rectangular bowl with big tires that line the top of the turns and some Armco fencing in front of the pits. There is a wide flat area (used for tractor pulls) between the long 10-row aluminum bleachers and the track so you view from a long way back. The infield at each end of the track that forms the figure eight is the dirt that was not cut down when they made the track. Thus there is about a 6 foot high dirt berm that has a flagman, a generator and lights and about a dozen big tires lining the perimeter at each end of the track. I arrived almost 2 hours before the 7:30PM starting time and the people were already arriving. They drew a big crowd and good car counts of 11 open, 9 pro stocks, 23 stocks, 15 compact stocks and 4 cruisers. As I have noticed at these Iowa figure eight tracks they have been including some oval races and that was the case here with the cruisers running the track in a regular oval pattern. All classes ran heats with Jason McDonald rolling on his side in the small cars for the only roll in the preliminary action that included two semis. Also during the warm ups there was one accident at the very wide “X” that eliminated two cars for the night. Ten cars earned their way into the small car feature and Derek DeZarn won that 12-lap race from the third starting spot. The cruisers ran a 12-lap feature with Luke Lott and Jeff Wedeking taking the non-stop win. The stock cars went 15 laps for 9 starters and Levi Chipp came from 4th to claim the trophy. The pro stocks had a red flag on the third of their 15 laps when leader Lance Bergmann hit the berm hard and rolled. Pat Zimmerman started 4th and was the winner over Jesse Brown. The fast open class ran the final 15-lap feature of the night and Ty Mennenga came from 3rd to capture the checkers ahead of Ken Boge from 4th. The races were done at 9:50PM and I was off to catch some rest. Sunday was another beautiful fall day in Iowa and I decided to visit Barnes City with the hope that the Barnes City Figure Eight Track would race the cruisers on the oval. Barnes City is a small town with the track right in town and entry by way of going through the Ruriton building. You sit high above the track on several small bleachers or on the grass in chairs or on blankets. There are several shade trees which were useful today. The track is banked black clay with big Armco fencing in front of the stands and some tires at the “X” but no walls close to the track. Again the eight shape is made by having a large area of raised dirt and grass at each end but here the raised “infields” are clear. They have big lights off the pit side but they were not used today. The speakers were good. I arrived right at the 1PM starting time but racing actually got under way at 1:30PM for the 9 open stocks, 11 pro stocks, 16 stock cars and 5 cruisers. The track was well watered and they ran through all the heats without touching the track and there was very little dust even thought it was a bright sunny day. After a short break they ran the consies then another break was short before the features were posted. The 15-lap stock feature was first and it took three starts before the field completed the first turn and got the race underway. Then they ran 11 laps before a red for a crash at the “X”. Jerrod Gann was the winner when they finished the last 4 laps. The pro stocks went non-stop for their 15 laps as third starter Wayne Wiebert took the trophy. They watered the track and the cruiser feature was held around the track in an oval race. The pole car of A J Helms and Brad Craig spun on the first try at a start then they ran smooth for the 12 laps and won the feature. The open feature offered a special challenge for any of the first four starters as $500 was offered if you won from the back. After both cars on the front row declined Nathan Watts took the challenge and moved to the back to start 9th in the 15 lap race. The race went non-stop as one by one Watts moved up through the field. Just past the half-way point Watts took over from pole sitter Joe Icenbice and Watts ran hard but carefully to claim the win and bonus money. The races were done at 4:30PM and I made a quick exit to the highways to try for an evening race too. Sunday night was my third week in a row to be in Iowa and stop at the Dubuque Fairgrounds Speedway. Tonight was not a points race but rather a special “Race for the Lights” event put on by the Fair Association to raise money for some new lights for the track. I arrived at 7:30PM and found the parking lots jammed with a big crowd out on a beautiful night. The high banked 3/8-mile dirt track was quite dry with some rubber appearing on the lower grooves and some light dust. The B-mods were already on the track starting their feature when I sat down. There were 3 early yellows then Josh Sherbon took off and won the 12-lap feature. The hobby stocks started 10 cars for a 12-lap feature and after 2 early yellows Brannon Bechen pulled away to an apparent win. He did not pass tech so the second finisher Jeremy Campbell got the win. The stock cars started 15 cars for 15 laps and had 6 spins as they had a hard time with the slick track. Tim Current started 8th and took the win over Terry Ritmer. Matt Crist started 6th in the 20-lap modified feature that was slowed by only 2 yellows for the 15 cars and Crist won over J D Auringer from the back. The sport compact cars had a special memorial race and an increased purse as they raced for $1000 to win. The 18-lap feature started 19 cars and ran 10 laps before the first of 5 yellows appeared. Jacob Ellithorpe started on the pole and came home with the big prize. The late models rounded out the night with a 35-lap feature on this successful night. There were 4 early yellow then they ran 20 green laps as Tyler Breuning came from 8th to pick up the win over Luke Goedert, Dan Shelliam and Greg Kastli. The races were done before 10PM and I was able to get home before I needed some shut eye.

Illinois and Indiana September 16 – 18, 2011

Friday I took a drive south to visit the Jacksonville Speedway in Jacksonville Illinois where a good open wheel special drew 41 POWRi midgets, 23 micros and 19 MOWA winged sprints. I arrived at 5:45PM and they were packing down the banked quarter mile dirt oval that is surrounded by cement block walls that are held in place with earth behind. The inside used to be marked with a row of buried tires but now they just use the big tires laying on the infield to keep the cars on the track. I found a spot in the top row of the 20-row covered grandstand at the Morgan County Fairgrounds and hot laps started at 6:40PM. The track has good lighting and a good speaker system. There was no qualifying and the racing got underway at 7:20PM.The micros ran three quick heats then the midgets ran 5 heats to earn points for the feature placement. Chris Bell spun and tipped on his cage during the first heat but was able to restart. Tyler Thomas, Derek King, Austin Brown, Bryan Clauson and Brad Kuhn won the midget heats. After the two sprint heats they came back with two midget semis and a dash for the sprints then moved to the feature races. Daniel Robinson and Daniel Adler won the semis and John Campbell rolled over in the second semi. Jimmy Hurley won the sprint dash to take pole position in the feature. The micro feature was restarted after Paul Nienhiser hit the wall and turned over on the first lap. A spin slowed the race on the third lap then a red was displayed after a bad crash on the 4th lap. The crash apparently unfolded as Andrew Felker lost a wheel and Jeremy Camp hit the wall and rolled and as Ryan Guyett who was passing cars on the outside came up on the scene he spun into the wall bounced off and rolled. Guyett flipped onto Camp as he was still rolling and both cars tumbled a couple of more times on top of one another. Both drivers walked away from the wild crash. There were two more spins in the 20-lap feature but Joe B Miller kept the lead. Miller was in front as he approached lapped traffic with just 2 laps left in the race and Aaron Andruskevitch took the opportunity to move low and lap a couple of cars and sneak by Miller for the lead and the win. The 30-lap feature for the midgets was next with a red on the first lap as three cars tangled with Bell again upside down but the front axle torn apart this time. Clauson took off from the front row and kept the lead through 6 cautions as Brad Loyet worked up from a 13th starting spot to take second. Loyet showed his nose to Clauson but could not get by and Clauson captured another feature. The sprints ran over half of their feature before a yellow and then on the restart Jordan Goldesberry rolled one time off the backstretch wall for a red flag. There was one more yellow for a spin but J C Bland led all 25 laps from the front row to take the close win over Robbie Standridge and Hurley. Saturday I drove east to Indiana for a visit to the Grant County Fairgrounds in Marion where the evening program of demo derby included an “autocross” race. The area in front of the long 15-row bleachers was set up with a demo rectangle that was outlined with concrete slabs. The auto cross would race around this area and had 4 small dirt jumps in place with concrete slabs and telephone poles on the ground to make the outside walls. I met Roger Ferrell and we went in early as the bleachers were filling up fast for the 6PM start. There were good speakers and the lights looked fine. The autocross would be first with racing actually getting under way at 6:45PM for the 3 youth drivers racing 10 laps around the off road oval. John Shrout JR was the only one to be still running at the end. The adult autocross was next with 6 cars starting and Gerald Owens coming from 5th to take the 10-lap feature over Storm Hays. It was 7:10PM and the racing appeared to be done as they took a short break to move a couple of the poles to close the end of the demo area and start the different demo categories. There was a big car count for the demo and the stands were packed as Roger and I exited to take in a Saturday night race. Roger headed to Montpelier while I headed up to Akron to see some kart races. I drove by the speedway and the lights were out and no sign of any racing so I continued west to US 24 Speedway in Logansport Indiana. There was a pit full of micros when I arrived at US 24 Speedway and a feature race was being completed. It was a big night of racing as some rained out features were first then the complete night of racing as this was the Tom Corcoran Memorial. The track is a slightly banked 1/8-mile clay oval with good lights and an Armco outside wall with some tires to mark the inside. By this time of the night the track was dried out and had rubber on the inside and middle and the pole was the fast way around. The spectator parking lot was nearly full but I saw seats in the nice raised 10-row bleacher section as well as in the smaller bleachers. The restrictor feature had 17 cars running and they went non-stop to the end with Justin Weir taking the win. The 600cc winged feature started 15 cars and had two early spins then another around lap 11 of the 30-lap feature. Trent Wilson won from the pole but Justin Peck was right behind and Collin Erwin took third. Sunday morning I was further west in Indiana for a visit to the Badlands Off Road Park in Attica Indiana. The Mid-America Off Road Association (MAORA) was here for the weekend with the short course races set for 11AM today. The facility has sand dunes and off road courses for cycles, quads and trucks and today they set up a road course for the buggies of MAORA. The course had great elevation changes with a big down hill run leading to some sweeping switch back curves. Then the run up hill to the part of the track visible for the spectators that had a nice wide turn leading to the table top jump and a small curve under the scoring tower before going back down the hill. This made about 20 percent of the course (which could be just over a mile long) visible from high spots around the pit area or from the cycle trail above the pit area. The day started slowly with inspections and then a parade lap around the track to learn the turns and then two practice laps for the 13 buggies that were here today. Racing got underway at 1PM with the first of 6 10-lap races. The buggies raced in two groups with 7 in group one and 5 in group two and one buggy not making the start. The starts were land rush starts from a gravel area of the pits to the turn before the table top where they entered the course. Mike Lucas made a fast start and led the entire first race to take the checkers. The second group had a red flag on the 3rd lap when Buddy Richardson rolled. Pat Welsh held the lead in this group and won the race. The second round of races saw a couple of disabled vehicles from round one unable to start. Again Lucas was fastest to the course and was leading when the axle broke ending his day. Kevin Hall won this race for group one and Welsh won the second group again. The third round of races saw even fewer vehicles able to run with 4 in group one and 3 in group two. Hall won the third round too and Brandon Souder got by Welsh to win the final race of the day. 

No comments:

Post a Comment