Saturday, October 11 - The alarm clock rang early at 4:15 AM on Saturday morning as we had a plane flight to catch. We were leaving on a jet plane from Newark, NJ to Phoenix, AZ where we would be spenting the next nine days. It was vacation time and on the two weekends we would also be looking to pick up four new race tracks in Arizona. We landed in the Valley of the Sun around 11:15 AM and headed over to the rental car terminal to pick up our Hyundai Sonata. From there it was off to the races due north on I-17 to Prescott. Our destination was the 1/3 mile semi-banked clay oval named the Prescott Valley located on the grounds of the Yavapai County Fairgrounds located 5400 feet above sea level. That is why it was about 20 degrees cooler than it was down in the valley.
When we arrived at 2:15 it was in the 50’s, sunny and very windy. This combination does not make for good conditions for a dirt race track. It was quite dusty as we walked in as the IMCA modified race of champions was completing. We positioned ourselves in one section of the aluminum bleachers sitting a on a small hill above the racing surface. The walls around the entire track were made up of concrete sections that we refer to as Jersey barriers. The pit area was located outside of turns one and two making the infield totally clear and not blocking any sight lines. A young man walked through the stands several times giving out free track t-shirts of various sizes to the patrons on hand as this was their last race of the season. It was a nice gesture on the track’s part. Up next was the 6 car hobby stock race of champions event with Jeff Tarro winning as the stiff wind blew dust quickly by us and off turn four. The 11 car pure stock race of champions was next and this was probably the best race of the day with Mike Colclasure winning. We both liked the fact that if a car spun they righted themselves and continued on not bringing out the caution as has become so previant in the northeast. The 5 car mini stock race of champions followed with point champion, Kent Ewart, scoring the victory.
Next was the tire race. This was an event with about 20 kids bringing a racing tire with rim inside onto the track and pushing it down the entire length of the homestretch. Brandon Conley rolled across first in this one. This day was billed as fun races and they continued with each of the above mentioned divisions running mechanic’s races for the guys who labor on the cars all year long. After seeing these races some of these guys should be regularly driving the cars and not the supposed drivers. A short ten minute intermission was taken in which time I bought a bag of popcorn to munch on before the next series of races began. Last up for the day were races billed as five dollar races (don’t know why this name was used) but what it was is that drivers switched cars within their division and the announcer had no idea who was in what car. They were 8 laps in distance and some of the division cars did not take part in these events. We watched the IMCA modifieds, pure stocks and mini stocks before leaving the premises at 4:06. It was a fun day of racing and a new track for both of us on our first day of our vacation in Arizona.