Safety was evident too. This...
Safety was evident too. This is a Street Stock car and is well equipped with the interior looking like a new Late Model. This seat is above average for these types of cars.
Another thing I noticed was a couple of Street Stock cars that were very updated and well equipped for safety with some of the best racing seats money can buy. I'm really happy when racers understand the importance of investing in quality safety parts.
The weather was cold, but the stands were anything but empty. There was a good crowd that braved the mid-30s temperatures including Karen (my wife) and me. For some reason, I didn't feel cold until I arrived back at the motorhome after the races had ended.
Maybe it was the layering of clothes, a process I learned from my enduring two winters in Alaska a few lifetimes ago, but I suspect it was mostly due to the smooth running of the program and the great competition that kept my mind off the weather. Nonetheless, we had a great time and were ready for more.
The next day we were off to Ohio, initially via Prestonsburg, Virginia. I chose a route called Highway 50 that basically went west from Winchester, Virginia, to near West Virginia Motor Speedway where the promoters are doing a complete remake of the track. They are converting it from a long 1⁄2-mile length to a 3⁄8-mile configuration that is shaped to provide better competition and action.
The track preparation at Potomac...
The track preparation at Potomac was done using a pig’s foot roller that punches holes deep into the dirt to allow the water to penetrate much deeper. When the layer of wet dirt is thicker, the track stays tight longer and there is less dust and debris kicked up.
We were assured that this was a "good" highway for our 40-foot motorhome, but soon discovered that it was in fact a switchback road suited more for sports cars or road racing bikes. After doing about two hours of that, we bailed and resorted to an interstate that took us to our destination near Granville, Ohio. Oh well, WVMS was probably still covered in snow anyhow.
We arrived at the Lazy River RV Park a day early due to a rain-out of our intended next race stop at Hagerstown Speedway. By Wednesday it was snowing where we were, just outside of Granville. We left 75-degree weather in Ormond Beach, Florida, just a week before and were now in winter conditions.
The next race on our schedule was Attica Raceway Park, north of us by about 70 miles. The track is only 25 miles south of Lake Erie. This is what we Floridians always referred to as "up north."
Attica Raceway Park
The Late Models were in force...
The Late Models were in force at Attica and put on a great show. The heats and feature provided plenty of action. This track configuration allowed side by side racing all night long.
This Friday night race takes place at the Attica Fairgrounds and the actual track is situated inside a much larger horse track. So, the grandstands are some distance away from the racetrack. Nonetheless, the viewing was excellent and the dirt and dust was removed from the fans.
That night we would be treated to races including 305 and 410 Sprint Cars as well as Super Late Models. Track manager Rex LeJeune put our motorhome right next to the grandstands where we got lots of looks. Unfortunately, later on we would be reminded that a very busy train track was just 50 yards away and I never knew rail transportation was so popular in northern Ohio. We heard a train blow its horn every half hour throughout the night.
We were pleased to see the...
We were pleased to see the 305 and 410 Sprints that run at Attica Raceway Park. The number of competitors was high. A total of 30 of the 305s and 49 of the 410s have run at this track so far this year. There were 39 different Late Model teams running here also. That’s 118 teams competing in all. Nice numbers.
We usually arrive at most tracks at around 2 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon and at dirt tracks the track preparation is well under way around that time. It was no different at Attica and I immediately noticed something that had also caught my eye at Cherokee Raceway last year.
The water truck was an agriculture tanker that had large, wide tires. This type of tire is used so that there is less pressure put on the ground under the tire. On fields, farmers don't want to pack the dirt the crops grow in too tightly or the irrigation water won't seep into the ground.
These trucks have the same usefulness on dirt tracks. When watering, the tires won't pack the material and that way the water soaks much deeper into the soil and the track stays wetter longer. As the night went on, there was little dust and what was thrown up was blown away from the stands by a strong wind coming from behind us.