There are many types of car racing. From go-karts and bomber cars in the local area to Indy Cars and NASCAR in the professional arena. Racing is done on dirt tracts, paved tracks and drag strips. Dozens of ‘specialty’ races heightens the enjoyment provided to the fans. A local race track has what they call “Night of Destruction.” It includes Race Car Bowling where 55-gallon drums are set up as ‘pins’ and the car has to skid sideways to knock the pins down, a Rollover Contest, School Bus Figure 8, and many others. I have seen an Australian Elimination race when any car is passed, they are eliminated.
There are several race tracks in my local area – mostly dirt tracks but there is a paved circle track as well as a couple of drag strips fairly close. Michigan International Speedway is only about 75 miles away. If I had to choose, I believe the dirt tracks would be my favorite. There is just something about the rooster tails of dirt as the race car slides sideways around the turn. Open cans and exposed food must be covered during a race or they will be covered in dust. It is awesome.
There are two races that stand out as the best races I have ever seen. The first one was, of course, at my local dirt track. It was a 25-lap A Main race with 15 cars. My favorite driver, Alvin Ruptke who drove the Mt. Dew 410 Sprint car, was somewhere towards the back of the line-up. I don’t remember who got the pole, actually I don’t remember any of the other drivers in the race. The race begins, the dirt is flying, and that Mt Dew is slowly but surely making his way to the front. Lap after lap he created the rooster tails, inching his way past the driver in front on him. It was the last lap and Alvin was in second place. The driver on the pole still maintained the prized position. On the last turn of the last lap, Alvin drove his car under the leader and only led the race for one-quarter of a lap. But it was the most important quarter of a lap as he reigned victorious for this race. I did feel bad the the pole sitter because he led the race for 24-3/4 laps. It was spectacular.
The other race that is engraved in my memory was a NASCAR race at Watkins Glen. I don’t remember what year it was. Jeff Gordon was on the pole. I am not a Jeff Gordon fan so I was not particularly happy but what can you do. The race begins and Jeff is spun out by Robby Gordon resulting in Jeff ending up at the back of the pack. Jeff kept his mind on the goal for the day working his way through the pack. Low and behold, guess who makes to the front of the pack. Yep, it was Jeff. He eventually took back the lead. It is the last lap and it looks like Jeff will win the race when he is spun out again and this time he is also wrecked. He cannot even limp the car across the finish line and ends up with a DNF (Did Not Finish). This is the one and only race where I felt bad for Jeff Gordon. I gained a little respect for Jeff that day. It was awful, for him, but it definetely was memorable.
What kind of cars do watch? What tracks are your favorites?