All of the cars were required to stop immediately where they were on the track until the track could be cleared. Then, the announcer called out, "...five, four, three, two, one, go!" and all of the cars resumed racing. I thought this was a very unique plan and I wondered if it was possible to enact for other classes.

There are advantages and disadvantages for the drivers with this plan. All of the cars are allowed to maintain their separation from the cars they are competing against, the racing action resumes much faster than if everyone continued to roll around the track, and it's much safer for the safety crews to not have cars driving past them while they work to clear a wreck.

The downside, if you will, is that we don't get to see close racing that results from bringing the field together for the restart. Anyone who did have trouble and might have had to go to the rear (if it could even be determined where the rear was) would be at a disadvantage in moving to the front.

Nonetheless, we did see lots of side-by-side racing which attests to the design of the track where multiple grooves enable equal speeds in the turns. We never like to see a one-groove track.

There were plenty of lady racers competing at Riverside and one whole class of girls raced in the Angels division, 13 in all. This was one of the most exciting races of the night. It's nice to see when a father or husband can race in one division and also help their daughter or wife race their own cars in another division. Talk about a family race team; it doesn't get better than that.

Looking back, I get a sense that racetracks like Riverside are a community gathering place where little else exists for that purpose. In many more rural settings, the racetrack is where families go to get out of the house, give the kids some entertainment and just plain have fun. The owners are aware of their responsibility to that cause and this track provided well for the many fans who support it.

Unity Raceway

After we relocated to the Wild Duck Campground in Scarborough, Maine, we had a great lobster dinner at a quaint diner located right on the coast, before heading up to the back woods of Maine to Unity and the local asphalt track.

The people here are the best. We were greeted like old friends and we could see this was a hot area for hot rods and race cars. It must be the long winters that have people up this far north so interested in cars.

Example: I visited with my friend, Jay Fogleman, at a shop down a dirt road and hidden from the paved road. Inside was a real, original Ford GT race car, like the ones that raced in the mid-'60's in the 24 Hours of Daytona and LeMans. It was being restored to take to England for a car show. There was also a collection of vintage engines, Offenhauser parts, transmissions, and so on all of which are becoming more valuable with the trend toward collecting and restoring vintage production and racing cars.

But I digress. Unity the racetrack was a unique collection of compact cars, fullsize stockers, four-cylinder Modifieds, Late Models, and vintage cars. The facilities are what you might expect of the area that is heavily involved in logging and other agricultural activities.

The teams had that family flavor I like so much. We saw Grandpa, Dad, and youngsters all working on the cars. The classes that run at Unity are the Mini Stock, Late Model, Wildcat, Super Street, Pro Four, Teen Thunder, Challenger, and Flyin' Four. On the night we visited, the Wicked Good Vintage Racing Association held its first race of the season. Vintage classes included Bombers, Early Modifieds, Early Late Models, and Outlaws.