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Friday, July 1 - For the last several years Bruce and I have always attended Pennsylvania Sprint Week during the 4th of July Weekend but last year we decided to do something different this year. Since both of us had to work on Friday the 1st, it narrowed down our search for somewhere to go. Bruce got out of work at 11:15 and I had to be there until 12:00. Till I got home and we were on the road it would be at least 1:30 so we had a six hour window to find our first stop of the weekend trip. Bruce came up with Ohio and although I am not a big fan of this state, the area he picked was one I liked. All of the tracks we would see would be a first time visit and a new track added to our list. Friday night it was the 250 Speedway in Cadiz, OH and they were starting at 8:00. This would give us 6 and 1/2 hours to get there and we figured with a full tank of gas we would not need to make any stops along the way. The Pennsylvania Turnpike can be a struggle during the holidays and it was full of cars. Several times we slowed but traffic in our direction never really stopped. We left the motorhome at home this weekend because the itinery called for some quick jaunts from one track to another and you cannot make a quick jaunt in a 31 foot motorhome. After the lot of crazy drivers we encountered on the turnpike I was glad we were in the car.
We made it to the track in plenty of time as we pulled into the 250 Speedway at 7:30. We drove by the track on a previous trip but this was our first visit. This track is located on Highway 250 and is nestled in between the mountains and rolling hills of the area. You are totally surrounded by green and it is very scenic picture. The track on the other hand is a bit primitive. You park in a field and walk down a dirt lane to get to the ticket booth of the 3/8 mile dirt oval. The walls of the track were made up of Jersey barriers and the surface looked very dry. The hill off the homestretch was terraced and the fans lined the terraces with their folding chairs. At the top of the terrace was a wooden bleacher section that could hold about 200 people if packed and this is where we sat. The were no real restroom facilities. Only a line of Job Johnnys when you entered and unfortunately they were not marked men and women. Girls, you know what I mean. The concession stand was a small trailer down in turn four and you had to be part mountain goat to navigate the terrace to get down to it. Of course I sent Bruce for the food and I must admit the nachos with bar-b-que and cheese were delicious. The announcer was in a small wooden shed type building with speakers standing outside of it like those of a band performing in the local tavern. Yes it was primitive but the place was packed with fans.
They were running make-up features from the previous week and they were scheduled to start at 8:00. Of course they never started until 8:30 and they ran all the make-up features in one night. There were 5 of them. I guess they never heard of perhaps running some one week and the others the next. But there was no chance of rain tonight so they had all night to get everything in and it probably took them all night to run them.
The modified 20 lap feature was first and the green dropped at 8:30. The first 10 laps of the race were competitve but once the second place runner dropped out it got strung out. DJ Cline picked up the win followed by Randy Gray and Rob Melzer. The 15 lap super sports were up next and they ran a non-stop event with Tony Gibbs taking the top honor. Rich Schweitzer took this win in a race that saw only one caution. The 4 cylinder feature had some problems and eventually Brandon Welker was in victory lane. After each event we had the victory lane celebration pictures and the interview. Now it was time for the final rained out event, the mini wedges. I never saw these cars before and do not care if I ever see them again on a regular sized race track. This division is made of of kids ages 6 through 14 and they look like topless late models. They are the size of a go-kart if not smaller and they are way too tiny to be run on a 3/8 mile track with ruts and bumps. They probably should have run them first when the track was smoother or if they really want to run them they should build a small inner oval especially for them. Some of the cars wuld hit the ruts and stall out. Not to mention they ran 10 laps which was about 6 laps too many. It took over 20 minutes to complete this event. It was their only event of the evening, thank goodness.
Now it is 10:00 and they started the complete show all over again. There would be heats for all 4 divisions and consolations. The three modified heats were first and we watched them before making the decision to head for the field. After a morning at work and the long ride out we were tired. Yes we are getting old. There seemed to be no need to hurry the show along because of the late hour and to tell you the truth the fans did not seem to mind that this show would probably go to 1:00 in the morning before it was complete. It was like 30 years ago back home, everyone was content and there for the duration. Now we are so spoiled that if the show is not over before 11:00 we are complaining of the late hour. Most shows in our area are over by 10:30. But this entire area seemed a bit more laid back then the northeast. Anyway on the way down the terraces in the dark I almost fell in the mud. Luckily it was just my sneaker that was totally engulfed in the mud hole which I could not see.
Tomorrow we would be getting up early to head into Holmes County and Amish country where I plan on doing some antigue shopping. It was an interesting night. By the way, “What Year is This?".
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