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, October 30, 2011

Race Report 21

Ohio and Indiana October 22 & 23, 2011

Friday after another week of helping Aunt Mary I got to see granddaughter Haley play in her 6th grade basketball game where she scored 2 points and Monona Grove beat Sun Prairie. Saturday I was on the road to visit a new location in Ohio at the Hocking County Fairgrounds. They have constructed a 1/5-mile dirt track in the infield of the old horse track at the fairgrounds and have some Jersey barriers for outer walls in the turns and plowed up some dirt walls for the remainder of the rectangular track. The track has two long straights and two short chutes with four 90 degree turns and each of the four straights have a small jump built across to make the autocross track. They did announce that this was the third race of the year. It is unusual that they race clockwise around the track. There is a nice 16-row concrete grandstand with aluminum bench seats and some good temporary speakers and they have added some lights to make adequate lighting on the oval. The grounds are nice with paved drives and a big new restroom building complete with several showers. I arrived at 4PM and was told there would be a lawnmower demo derby at 5PM before the races at 6PM.  The 13 mowers were divided into two heats with the last 4 running transferring to the feature. I saw a bob-tail semi enter the grounds and spotted Brian Hickey and we joined the small crowd in the grandstands. At about 6:15 they had a drivers meeting for the 8 big cars and 4 small cars that came out for the autocross races. Then at 6:30PM they qualified the 12 cars to set the lineups for the races. The big cars ran 20 laps with Dustin Hatfield winning from the pole but it was not easy as midway through the race a lapped car spun him dropping him to third. Hatfield worked back to the lead and won the race. Tom McDaniel won the small car 15-lap race from a 3rd starting spot. Then after a short intermission 7 of the 12 cars entered the mad dash for cash for 10 laps. McDaniel took off from 4th and stayed ahead of the big cars and won this race to close out the night at the Hocking County Fairgrounds. Sunday I took a drive across Indiana in some light rain as I headed toward Vincennes. The rain had ended as I arrived just north of Vincennes on Highway 41 at the Fast Track Raceway in rural Bruceville Indiana. The track is a banked 1/5-mile asphalt oval with long straight-aways and grass runoff areas before the hay and plastic barrels and some chain link fencing. The inside of the oval is not marked just a small drop from the asphalt to the grass. The bright lights are off several poles in the infield and there are several stop lights around the track as well as good speakers. They have a wooden 8-row bleacher in the first turn and viewing along the front straight-away fence. The facility was well maintained with the grass cut and paved driveways and paved pit roads. There is a big permanent building for a cafĂ© and restrooms. I arrived there just after noon but the qualifying did not start until 4:30PM and racing at 6:45PM in spite of some postings that said they would race earlier. They drew 61 karts over the 9 classes including 13 senior champs. The big race today was the 200 lap feature for the 360 clones. The racing started with the 100-lap feature for the ten 330 clones and Cody Johnson took off from the pole and built up a huge lead until a light sprinkle stopped the event past the half-way point. After about 15 minutes to let the track dry they completed the race with just one yellow for a spin and Johnson the winner over Kevin Phelps and Lisa Raines. The other classes all ran 25-lap features over the fast track with the (3) junior 2 flatheads, the (4) junior 2 sportsmen champs and the (4) junior 2 clone blue plate champs all completing non-stop features. The senior champs took to the track for the feature with a spin on the 4th lap and then a red on the 8th lap when Mike McGill tipped over in the 4th turn. There was one more spin on the 14th lap then they raced to the checkers. Jason Petelle started third but led most of the race and on the last lap pole sitter Brian Martin was in second and touched the leader enough to cause Petelle to spin but the checkers flew with Martin first over Cody Johnson and Chris Harder. However the results show Johnson the winner and Martin in last presumably being disqualified for rough driving. There were 4 more features including the 13 karts in the 200-lap feature but it was 9PM already and I was showing my age and ready to call it a night. I left for the trip home during the senior flathead feature very happy to have finally seen my 100th different track in Indiana.

Saturday October 29, 2011 – No Race – Aunt Mary Passes

Saturday I was all set to head out to meet Roger Ferrell in Indiana for another fair race but I got the call about 3AM that Aunt Mary had passed away. Mary Elizabeth Esser, age 91, a lifelong Madison resident died peacefully in her sleep early Saturday morning. Mary had not even attended her first race yet so she will not be on the list of track chasers but she had completed hundreds of crossword puzzles in her retirement years. She does have a record that is quite unusual in that she had never driven a car and walked to work all 50 years of her employment. She held each of her two jobs for 25 years apiece as a secretary for Gisholt Machine Corp. and then a secretary for Doctors Tormey and Benish. The family thanks Karmenta Center for the loving care over the last five months. While her passing was not a shock it came a little faster than expected and left the family with some loose ends to tie up in the next few weeks. She leaves us with lots of good memories and a wealth of funny stories to tell over and over in her memory. Rest in peace, Aunt Mary.

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