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, January 2, 2012

Race Report 26

Year End Trip 2011

Monday I left for the south. The trip I thought would be neat would have me going to Daytona Beach for kart races then staying in Florida for 3 days and going across the Gulf Coast to New Orleans for New Years. That would allow me a nearly straight trip north with a stop at Lee’s house on the way home. Well those plans were spoiled when the new track set to open at the year end in New Orleans was not done and the races were postponed. I looked all over on the internet for a new track for New Years Day and found 7 tracks racing that I have been to but only one in New York that would be new. I will see how the weather holds and how the Florida races go before picking a return route. The drive on Monday evening went fine with a few intermittent showers and some snow flurries in Illinois. Tuesday was a driving day that started with snow flurries in Paducah Kentucky and continued with rain in Tennessee. By the time I was in Atlanta it was clearing off and the moon was out when I retired for the night in the Florida welcome center. Wednesday was the first afternoon of racing for the two-day WKA Daytona Dirt World Championships at the Daytona Flat Track. The track is just a few feet outside the first turn of the Daytona International Speedway and is a quarter mile flat track of hard packed limestone. I arrived at noon for the start of qualifying and the groove was already black with rubber. The track has big concrete walls around it but hay bales placed along and in front of the concrete. The inside was marked with orange cones and more hay bales. There were 4 nice 10-row bleachers for sitting but everyone needed a pit pass to enter the grounds. The pass you purchased was good for entry to the big track too where they were having karts on the road course. I stayed at the flat track where they had 166 karts in the 17 classes that were racing today. The races started at 2:45PM with 20-lap features for each class. There were two countable classes for track chasing purposes with 6 entries in senior champ mixed and 15 senior champ lite karts. The races were started two abreast and most went through with few if any yellows but passing was hard and had to be done on the inside. The highest kart count was 22 in stock heavy where Jerry Mullis started 2nd and won the race that saw 5 yellows for his second of 3 victories today. He also won stock lite from the pole and Raptor heavy from the pole. Jessica Bohatka started on the pole and pulled away from the field to take the senior champ mixed feature over Brittney Yates in a non-stop run. The senior champ lite feature had three early yellows before Mullis took the lead from the second starting position and looked like he would take another feature. On the last lap 5th starter Norman Hynes got underneath Mullis on the backstretch and took the lead to capture the trophy. Ty DeCaire took the junior champ mixed feature from the pole in a non-stop race. The races were done by 7PM and I headed out for some rest. Thursday I visited the New Smyrna Speedway in Samsula Florida but not to see racing on the half-mile that I have seen so many times instead to see the 9th Annual Little New Smyrna 500 for quarter midgets on the banked 1/10-mile asphalt oval in the infield. The track is very nice with plywood soft walls (a sheet of plywood bolted on both sides of old tires) around the outside and some plastic speed bumps anchored in the pavement to mark the inside of the corners. They had a good speaker system and good lights although the lights were not needed for today’s program.  There were eight 5-row bleachers that were nearly filled for the races that started at 10:30AM. The qualifying and heats were done yesterday to set the lineups for today’s features. The car count was not as high as I would expect for the event with 58 cars in the 10 classes. Three of the classes had only one car but 3 classes had double digits with 11 in the senior Honda and light 160 classes. None of the races went non stop although most had only one yellow. The quarter midgets started all races two abreast and the preferred line was to make a big circle out of the oval using the bottom of the tight turns and then out to the outside wall on the straights. Brady Johnson took the Junior Novice 30-lap feature that had three yellows and a red flag to slow the action for the 6 cars that included the one senior novice too. Most of the features went 40 laps. Jamie Evans won the junior Honda feature from the pole over 7 other quarter midgets in a race with only one yellow. Michael Torres started 5th and worked to the lead at the end to capture the senior Honda division in a tight race with only one yellow. Brennan Spencer started second and took the light 160 feature that saw a single caution. Carter Stokes captured the heavy 160 feature then came back and won the world formula feature too. Johnny Kraft won the junior animal feature and was the only entry in the light modified so he got two trophies too. The races were completed by 1PM and as they started the tech process I headed back to Daytona Beach. Thursday afternoon was final day of racing at the Daytona Flat Track and qualifying was under way when I arrived. The track looked the same as yesterday with the inside lane very black with rubber and a few bumps where some sand and gravel was being dug out by the karts. They blew the track off frequently during the day to keep the outside from getting too slippery. Today I took a break from the Flat Track and went through the tunnel into the infield of the super speedway where you could watch the karts take to the infield road course which includes the high banks of the 2½-mile super speedway. I watched from several of the big infield bleachers and wandered through the pit area to look at some of the more exotic long sleek specialty karts.  There were hundreds of entries for the races today here on the paved road course from all over the country as I even saw several Wisconsin karts in the pits. The races were all a half-hour in duration and most races were made up of several classes. I watched two of the races and then headed back to the dirt track for the completion of their show. Today at the Daytona Flat Track there were 178 entries in 15 classes. There were 26 entries in the Animal Heavy money class that I believe paid $1000 to win and Jerry Mullis took this one from third starting spot. Most of the races today went non-stop however there was a red flag in the Unlimited All Stars when a kart hit the hay and rolled several times down the backstretch without injury. Shay Chavous won that feature from the pole. Third starter Branson Dils captured the junior champ feature that had only three entries. There were 18 Senior Champ Mixed Heavy karts and after a first lap spin they restarted single file and third starter Jerry Mullis won the non-stop feature over Troy DeCaire from 2nd and Bradley Hauser from 9th.  Today the races were done at 6:40PM and I started to drive north. Friday was a sight seeing day as I stopped in Savannah Georgia and then Charleston South Carolina. Saturday was another driving day as I headed north. I called Ransomville Speedway in New York and got the recording that their New Years Day race was postponed so that made me change directions and head to Indiana for a visit to Anderson Speedway for the New Years program there. Sunday morning I got a call from Roger that Anderson had postponed too and at that point I just headed home. Sunday was a very windy day and with temperatures dropping into the twenties it would not have been enjoyable outdoors anywhere. I ran through some light snow and rain showers throughout Kentucky and Indiana before I ran into clear windy and cold weather in central Illinois.

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