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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2012 Race Report 8

North to More Ice Racing February 25 & 26, 2012

Friday I was ready to start the weekend so after the granddaughter’s basketball game it was time to jump in the car and head north to Lake Superior. This week I was complaining to my manager Mr. Erdmann to find more new tracks or his retainer would be cut in half again. He suggested that I look back to some of the old associations that have websites. “But I have already seen racing on those lakes” I said. “They may have moved” Jack countered. So it was as I looked at the Hardwater Ice-Racing Association site in Minnesota they had moved to a new lake! (Good thing I still employ Jack.) The issue was that this week they scheduled a road trip to Garrison where I have already been. (Post race note: I heard the ice was bad so they raced in Merrifield Minnesota after all.) While searching for a Minnesota race I came across a new ice racing organization: Superior Ice Racing Association. This group started this year and had only run 3 races so far this season. Thanks to the hard work and good organizational skills of Darin Meierotto the club seems to be off and running on Saturday noon on Allouez Bay in Superior Wisconsin. Saturday morning about 11:30AM as I drove onto Superior I spotted the big new sign out for the Superior Ice racing Association.  I followed the directional signs out on Allouez Bay where several cars were already on the ice. There were signs up marking the pits and spectator parking but as I pulled into the front row another clown pulled right up behind me instead of taking an open parking spot. I looked and saw Randy Lewis behind the camera in the rental car so I tagged along behind Randy for the afternoon. He had been in contact with Darin and I got the low down on the new Club. The track was a half-mile oval on the ice with orange cones and old tires marking the inside and outside of the track. They drew 11 rear wheel drive cars for the races today and run with studded tires on the front only. The cars were divided into two 7-lap heats by the luck of the draw and then went through a series of 10 heats total with the field arranged by draws and points earned in earlier heats. The 11th race of the day was the feature for all 11 cars and started the top point earners in the front. All races were started three abreast. The track had some light snow from the week so there was good traction for the first races but the track got slicker as they threw the snow off during the heats. The 15-lap feature went non-stop with front row starters Meierotto and Rick Przybylski exchanging the lead a couple of times as they lapped some of the slower cars with Meierotto taking the close win. After the races Randy offered me a ride out of the Country if I wanted so off I went. Sunday morning I was the passenger as Randy Lewis took me on my first racing adventure into Canada. We were up early and started driving as a bad winter storm was approaching the arrowhead of Minnesota and being intensified by strong easterly winds off Lake Superior. The swells and white caps were huge as the open water slammed the shoreline and we drove north into the intensifying snowfall. We crossed the boarder quickly and arrived in Thunder Bay Ontario just before noon as the drivers meeting was being completed after some practice sessions. Visibility was a great issue for the drivers and spectators. The locals explained that this is Lake Superior but because it is protected by a large breakwater and only a small opening goes out to the lake and the water is not too deep it has frozen well in spite of the mild winter. The races are very well organized and the spectators have a long viewing area many feet above the lake surface where they can watch from their cars or use some picnic tables for seating. They have an announcer and you can listen on your car radio. There is a concession stand on the spectator hill too. Randy had been in contact with some club members and we were one of the two cars allowed on the ice for the #38 team as monitored by the Harbor Patrol who control the area. The course had to be rebuilt ( moved slightly) from last week as the ice was too rough but it was a road course outlined with snow banks and marked with some orange cones and orange flags. At the driver’s meeting it was decided that visibility was too poor so they would start the races single file today. There were two front-wheel drive classes racing with rubber to ice (12 cars) and studded (10 cars) appearing today. The program would normally be three heats and a feature for each class but they wanted to cut out some heats and try and finish before the weather got worse. Glen Brown won the non-stop rubber division race from the pole with Brook Mado taking second from 4th. The Shawn Allen/ Jon Nelson car took the studded race from the pole with second starter Don Hupe finishing second in a race with three cautions and another driver’s meeting was called. They decided visibility was too poor for safe racing and ended the day at this point. Randy had a plane to catch in Minneapolis so we needed to leave quickly but all exiting of the ice was delayed when one of the trailers taking a race car up the ramp got stuck and slid back and jackknifed. We got back on the road after a slight delay and then encountered another delay of about half an hour when the U.S. Boarder Patrol said all rental cars were being inspected so we could take a seat in the station while they checked us out. The roads were snow covered and slippery back to Duluth but then the heavy snow ended.

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