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.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Race Report 22

Indoor Racing November 5, 2011

Tuesday (11-1-11) was All Saints Day and very mild for this time of the year with a slight breeze and sunshine. Aunt Mary took her last ride from the Ryan Funeral Home on North Sherman Avenue to Resurrection Cemetery on Madison’s west side by coming in Sherman Avenue right by the family homestead and then following the route she walked to work for 25 years. The graveside service was conducted by Monsignor Hughes as the sun glistened off the copper casket during a small intimate ceremony. Tuesday night the weather cooled off quickly as a thunderstorm moved through overnight bringing us back to normal November weather for the rest of the week. Saturday I took a break from the cleaning at Aunt Mary’s apartment to check out the grand opening of a new track in Versailles Ohio called BMI Indoor Speedway. The speedway is on
Main Street
in town and is in a big metal frame building with no support poles to worry about. The track is a high banked 1/10-mile dirt oval with chain link fencing on the outside with a hard rubber or fiberglass type of material bolted to the fencing with steel cables running through the fencing too. This leaves a smooth surface for the karts to hit if they do get into the wall and several did just that. The inside of the track is marked with the inverted metal plates or discs stuck into the track. They have good lights and adequate speakers and ventilation fans along the north wall. The spectator area has three aluminum 5-row bleachers along the straightaway and a 3-row bleacher in the 4th turn. The show today was divided into two sessions with 7 classes racing in each. The 10AM show had no countable class for trackchasing so I chose to arrive at 4:30PM a half-hour before the second session started. The bleachers were already mostly full to watch the evening session of 7 blue plates, 9 clone lights, 10 clone heavies, 11 senior mediums, 4 senior champs and 6 quarter midgets. One junior champ was in the pits but did not run so 6 classes raced in two sets of heats and the features. Practice started at 5PM with racing at 5:30PM and the show was completed by 8:10PM. The Burris #99 won both heats for the senior champs to earn the pole of the feature. He led the entire non-stop 15-lap feature but was disqualified in tech giving the win to Jared Bennett who started from outside the first row. Jeremy Franz came from 4th to finish second with A J Maxson capturing third. Most of the features had several yellows as multi-kart tangles were common as the drivers made aggressive moves all over the track. Jacob Miner made a last lap pass to take the quarter midget feature win. A beautiful new building and some good racing should help the winter go by fast for these Ohio racers. 

Virginia & North Carolina November 11 & 12, 2011

Thursday night I was ready for a break from the cleaning at Aunt Mary’s apartment so I headed out for the weekend. Friday I drove out east with the first stop being at Providence Raceway in Henry Virginia. This is the second year for this kart track in rural Virginia near Martinsville. The track is a 1/5-mile clay oval that sits on the lowest elevation of the property so viewing is good from any side of the track. There is a lot of run off area (most all of it uphill) before any fences and hay bales are placed in front of any posts such as the flag stand and stop lights. Traffic cones and metal plates mark the inside and the infield is clear. The lights are good and the speakers are OK but used only for announcing the next class to grid. They have a tech building and an office as the only permanent buildings as the concessions were out of a trailer and the toilets were port-a-potties. Tonight was a preliminary show for the fall brawl on Saturday and had racing in 6 classes. I arrived just before 6PM for the 7PM start of practice and the track looked wet and smooth on a cool evening. There were two rounds of practice before the heats and then features. The heats started two abreast but the features started in single file. This made for very few cautions in the feature races. The kart counts were not too high with 4 senior champs, 5 junior sportsmen blue, 5 box stocks, 6 junior unrestricted clones, 12 animal medium and 15 animal heavy. Jared Fountain won the senior champ heat and led the entire 20 lap feature from the pole but was disqualified in tech. Brian Hutcherson started in 4th and drove hard to finish second and thus claim the winners prize. Noah Doss took a non stop junior sportsmen race from the front as did Jessica Connell in box stocks. Amber Burchette took the junior unrestricted clones in a race with one yellow. Donnie Nall made some good passes from a third starting spot to win the animal medium race that had one yellow. The animal heavy feature closed out the night and after two yellows (one for the early leader blowing) it was Nall and Jeremy Mullis trading the lead each lap toward the end. Mullis started 5th and held off Nall on the last lap to capture the win in a close hard fought feature that ended at 11:05PM. Saturday I took a short drive south to check out the North Iredell Emergency Training Grounds outside Harmony North Carolina where there was a demo derby scheduled with some figure eight races. I arrived about 1PM for the 2PM start of the event and after paying $8 as I drove onto the grounds I immediately saw Brian’s truck and Guy and Brian talking in the parking area. The figure eight cars were on the track for some solo practice laps. The track was set in a low part of the open field and surrounded with some temporary concrete slabs and some huge logs and then some temporary fencing to keep the crowd well back from the track. There was no seating but most brought lawn chairs and some backed up pick up trucks behind the chairs and watched from their vehicles. The track was slightly below the level of the spectators so visibility was good with the track being marked with two stacks of three tires that were dirt filled. They had good speakers and some generators if lights were needed and there were several tents and trailers of food vendors lined up behind the spectator area. I stood behind Guy and Pam as we waited over an hour for the start of racing. The racing finally started about 3:20PM for a small field of 5 4-cylinder cars and 6 V-8’s. The track had dried out during the wait so there was another delay to water before the second heat. They ran a single 10-lap heat for the small cars and then two heats for the V-8 cars.  Next up was the 25-lap feature for the small cars and that went non-stop with the #4 apparently the winner. I don’t think the announcer (they had a nice speaker system) ever gave any names for this class although he did state some names for the V-8 cars. The heat races were started from a standing start with the cars in one wide line but the feature was started single file. I don’t think the announcer had ever seen one of these events as he was unaware when the race was over and never did give any finishes or explanation of what was going on. After the first feature I thought it was getting late and I should catch up with Guy and Pam at another track so I took off with the V-8 feature lining up and the demos yet to come. Saturday evening my stop was at the Cleveland County Speedway in Lawndale North Carolina. The track is a 4/10-mile high banked red clay oval and tonight was the season finale with racing in 5 classes: pure stocks (9 cars), front wheel drive (11), renegades (14), stock 4 (17) and limited sportsmen (8) plus a figure eight race, long jump and demo to end out the afternoon/evening event. Viewing is from a long concrete step grandstand (very few people) or from cars and lawn chairs along the top of the banking above the straightaway and the first and second turns. I found an open spot in the first turn just two cars down from Guy and Pam as I entered during the renegade feature won by Chris Stowe. Next was the stock 4’s feature that had a couple of spins but Kevin Cooper moved from 8th to claim the checkers over front row starter Tim Bristol. The limited sportsmen eliminated half the field in three yellows as pole sitter John Reynolds won this one. The attention then turned to the figure eight track which is in the unlighted infield of the big oval. It was a good sized graded out figure eight pattern with a small dirt pile inside and outside so you were racing in a rather narrow lane around the pattern with four big tires to mark the intersection and compact the “X” into a small area. Five of the 6 cars entered started the 20-lap figure eight feature and soon disappeared in the dust from the unwatered track. As a few cars dropped out and the powder blew off the track the final two cars running came back into view and Tracy Tapley took the victory over Mike Miller. Two motorcycles and a quad took two passes over a jump on the straightaway infield and Jason Kayler was the winner of the long jump. Four cars came out for the demo and Brandon Pruitt was listed as the winner as the show ended at 7:30PM and I headed west to Wisconsin.

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