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, February 8, 2012

2012 Race Report 5

Eastern Trip February 4 & 5, 2012

Thursday night I left home before the predicted fog set in and drove through Chicago before stopping. Friday morning there was still some limited visibility but no heavy fog as I headed east and eventually ran into sunny weather by the time I got to Ohio. I have wanted to see races in Atlantic City for many years but this year the weather was clear and roads were dry so it seemed like a perfect year to make the trip. Then Bruce and Pat Eckel offered me a bed for Saturday night and a ride with them from Easton Pennsylvania to Atlantic City New Jersey and that cemented the deal. I drove through most of Pennsylvania Friday night and pulled into the Eckel’s driveway at noon on Saturday. Saturday afternoon I rode along with the Eckels to Atlantic City New Jersey for a visit to Boardwalk Hall, no not to see the Miss America pageant or basketball but rather races on the concrete floor of the auditorium. Some steady light rain made walking outside uncomfortable but after a quick dinner we settled into the comfortable seats of the Hall for the 7PM start of racing for 4 classes of cars tonight. The track is about 1/10-mile concrete oval with Jersey barriers outside and few big tractor tires to mark the inside of the turns and some Coke syrup to make the track good and sticky. I was very pleased with the many good side by side battles on the track tonight with lots of passing in every class. We chose seats in the fourth turn (opposite the stage area) where the view was very good except when a car would go out to the wall right below us which was not very often. Racing started with 4 heats for the TQ midgets (55 cars) transferring the top 4 finishers of each heat to the feature. Jon Gambuti, Pat Bealer, Erick Rudolph and Stewart Friesen won the heats and then joined the top 4 from Friday’s preliminary feature to draw for the first 8 positions in tonight’s 40-lap feature. The next race was the micro feature with 24 cars going 20 laps and front row starters Matt Janisch and Lou Cicconi going side by side most of the way. There were 6 yellows and Janisch tangled with a lapped car putting him to the rear but Erick Rudolph took up the chase of Cicconi and on the last lap snuck by the leader taking the trophy. Ryan Greth and Billy Pauch won the two TQ semis with the top 2 finishers transferring to the feature. Next up was a 25-lap feature for the 24 slingshots and this turned out to be another good race but with some aggressive driving sending several front runners to the back. There were 4 early yellows then 3 more on each try to complete the last lap. Simon Egan came from 6th on the last restart and captured the lead in the last few yards of the race in a photo finish over Matt Carman who started the race in 14th position. The 25-lap champ kart feature was next with 27 starters and 7 yellows before Chris Daley who started 14th took home the checkers with Justin Bonsignore second. The 40-lap TQ feature rounded out the night with 26 starters going for the big prize. Friesen and Rudolph started from the front and waged a torrid battle with several restarts (there were 10 yellows) getting the two side by side again and again. Rudolph got by and pulled away but a Friesen spin gave Ryan Smith a chance to try for the lead. Rudolph held off Smith and Gambuti at the end and we were on our way home before 11PM. Sunday I was on the road early for a drive north to see some ice racing that Guy Smith had alerted me to. This would be my first adventure to see some eastern ice racing as I left Pennsylvania and headed to the Adirondack region of New York to watch the AMEC (Adirondack Motor Enthusiast Club) race on Caroga Lake. I saw no snow and little if any ice on any body of water as I drove north until less than half an hour from Caroga Lake when I was climbing in elevation and now there was snow in the woods and on the roadsides. I arrived at noon and found some spectator cars along the lakeshore road where they could see the races but elected to drive down the access ramp onto the lake and park close to the course. The course is a road course on the ice of about one mile in length and outlined with many orange cones. There appears to be a stop and go penalty for hitting the cones during a race. The races were timed events of 20 minutes each and moved quickly today to get everyone (except me) home for the Super Bowl. The event drew a decent field of cars with 21 racing in the first group of street legal cars that were divided into two classes: SL (2 wheel drive) 13 cars and SL4 (4 wheel drive) 8 cars. These cars ran on studless Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires and raced in three heats of 20 minutes each. Michael Waterhouse won the SL first heat and ran second in the next two races while Jon Bronk and Ivan Hinkle picked up wins. Alan Bellavance won all 3 races for the SL4 class. The second group to race ran Menard studded tires and had 4 classes racing. There was one (SLM) stock sportsmen, 9 (MM) modified stocks, 3 (SMC) heavily modified closed wheel cars and 6 (SMO) exotic tube frame super modifieds. They ran two 20-minute heats and a 20-minute feature. The super modifieds were very creative with wings and sail panels some with a sprint car body and some home made super modifieds. They were very fast and threw up a fine ice mist that the wind carried over the pits. Dave Burnham won the first SMO heat and Matt DeLorenzo was leading the second but dropped out giving the win to Dan Schultz with DeLorenzo coming back to win the finale. Joe Lyons won the MM class with fourth in the feature after Pat Stringer had won the first heat and come from 7th to win the second heat. Ed Tucker took the SMC class win. The races were done before 3PM and I was off on the long trip home all done on dry highways again.      

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