Saturday, August 4 – Around 20 years ago Bruce and I were driving in South Carolina and we decided to turn off Interstate 95 to look at a defunct race track. It was in Dillon, South Carolina and it was a dirt track that had been closed for years. You could still see exactly where it was and we commented that it was a shame we never saw a race there, you should never say never. The Dillon Motor Speedway reopened a few years ago, albeit asphalt now and we got to see racing here on the final day of our Southern vacation. It was another very hot day and we did not have a whole lot to do in the area. We were not going to South of the Border and I do not care what Pedro says. We decided after running out of things to do that we would pull into the parking lot and try to find some shade and do some reading until it was race time. Race time was 7:30 but practice started at 4:00. I could never understand why when running dirt you have warm-ups and you have a few laps in which to dial in your car. On asphalt it is called practice and it takes multiple sessions to do the same thing. I realize you could not run that many laps on dirt or it would certainly take its toll on the surface. What I do not understand is why you need all the practice on asphalt. It seems you are spending a lot of money on fuel unnecessarily.
We ventured into the stands around 7:00 and the crowd was sparse. The top several rows of the grandstand, which was built on the side of the hill, had chair seats and the bottom rows were simple cement. There was a minor incident with some ants crawling all around the area we were sitting in and at 7:40 the first event was on the track. Time trials were run earlier and only features and a trophy dash were on the card. It started with a 5 lap trophy dash for the mini cup cars and it was won by female driver, Jessica Poland.
The first feature was for the 7 street stocks and they ran 25 laps with only 1 caution. AJ Hyatt took the win followed by Tommy Poole. Next feature was the mini cups and they had 9 cars participate in the 25 lap event. This was a competitive event with eventual winner Chris Conner passing Bill Willis on lap 19 to go on to win. Willis hung on for second. The chargers were 8 cars strong and this race was the most competitive of the night. For the majority of the non-stop race you could have thrown a table cloth over the front 4 runners. The lead changed hands several times during the final laps with Mike Watts coming home the victor over Brian Owens.
It was 8:45 and intermission time. They ran some Redneck Olympics games on the homestretch with the fans participating and by 9:00 the main event was on the track. At 9:05 the main division, late models, took the green on their 50 lap event and there were 10 cars in competition. Like many times the main division has the most cautions and there were 4 during the event. On lap 40 Justin Hicks, who was involved in a lap one incident, took the lead and held on for the win over Archie Adams Jr. and Jason Clark. There was one more event for the Ucars but we chose to hit the road. This event did have 6 cars and was won by Mark Dean.
All and all it was a very nice track that was kept very neat. Bruce indicated the men’s room was immaculate. We each had a fried bologna sandwich that was much thicker than Bowman Gray and cost $2 less. Unfortunately like many tracks in the south the car counts were low, although I did not hear any of the fans that were there complain about the number of cars in each division. Sometimes I think we are really spoiled here in the Northeast. The total car count for the five divisions was 40. That is less cars then competes in the small block modified division at Grandview Speedway every Saturday night. We do not consider it a full field unless there are 24 cars in competition in one division. Yes, sometimes we do not realize how lucky we are.