The first two races on our 2011 AMSOIL Great American CT Tour were dirt tracks and I can say we enjoyed both of them a lot. Now we have two asphalt tracks to visit that are within an hour or so of each other in and around Columbus, Ohio. Kil-Kare Speedway, located in Xenia, Ohio, is a Friday night track and Columbus Speedway runs its show on Saturday night. Both were interesting and provided some insight into subjects of interest on this Tour. And, they are both different in construction than most other tracks we see.

This year had very strange spring weather across the Midwest and into Ohio and Pennsylvania where we saw late snow and lots of rain with high winds. It was definitely not racing weather by any means.

So, each week we would study the weather for the area around the tracks where we would visit next. Most of the time it showed rain, but as the days grew closer, the patterns changed and miraculously it cleared just in time to allow the tracks to open, most of the time. We had already been forced to cancel our visit to Hagerstown Speedway because of rain.

For this weekend, Kil-Kare looked OK, but Columbus on Saturday night looked not so good. One funny thing that happened on the way to the race on Friday was when we stopped to get the bus washed. We pulled in to the Professional Truck Wash located off I-270 on the west side of Columbus to get rid of the mud and dirt we had accumulated and spent the next two and a half hours there. We were fourth in line behind three semi tractors, no trailers.

The team who hand-washed these trucks and our bus took almost 45 minutes on each tractor and nearly the same on our bus. That is a long time. I’ve never seen such attention to detail, going to excess at times, as we saw them brush the exhaust pipes three and four times. It was unbelievable. But we had set aside some time, luckily, and we came away with a very clean motorhome.

Kil-Kare Speedway
This track is a 1⁄3-mile asphalt NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racetrack that is a bit odd shaped. Looking at it from above, we see a configuration that doesn’t resemble an oval, but rather a shape that takes some getting used to by the drivers.

Coming here for the first time must feel very different. And, there is a Figure 8 track inside the "oval." We saw very good action with two- and three-wide racing, but the number of cars as well as the fan attendance was low. Some of this was due to the cold temperatures that were still hanging around.

Teams that reside in and around Columbus, about 60 miles away, can’t get here in time coming from work to race on a Friday night. So, this promoter loses the opportunity to draw from that large populated area.

The event was well organized and ran very smoothly. The classes run here are the Late Models (NASCAR rules), IMCA-type Modifieds, Sport Stocks, and Compacts. It’s nice to be able to run for national points under the NASCAR home tracks umbrella, but in places like this, with low car counts, which in itself provide points toward the national rankings, it’s hard to compete.

The facility was clean and well maintained and could be a money maker when the weather warms up, but in this economy, drawing better numbers of teams will be hard. One idea might be to offer the longer practice sessions needed when running on asphalt on Thursday night, allow teams to park the rigs at the track overnight, and then all the teams would need to do for Friday night is drive to the track in a transporter and be ready to run qualifiers and main events that night. That may attract more teams from Columbus and elsewhere.