Saturday, June 27, 2009

June 26 at Inland Motorsport Speedway

Friday night and the second race night for the new track at an old location. Another grand stand was added to accommodate those who were turned away last week. More speakers were added to the sound system plus more porta johns.

My drive to San Bernardino yesterday wasn't bad considering what it used to be around Riverside where additional lanes have been added. I had been warned earlier that there was going to be used car tent sale in the adjacent parking lot at the track so I took time before leaving to convert a dolly I use to move my sabots around to a kit and tool hauler to cut down the trips between the lot and the pits.

The red shirt gang had the entrance to the parking lot completely under control for unloading bikes and gear but an additional hike was required to the northern parking lot for parking. At 6:30 there was a line of spectators lined up to get in the track. Speedway here has no corporate sponsors, no colorful expensive eighteen wheelers, a few riders have mechanics to unload their equipment and set up the bikes but budgets here barely exist.

When I was in high school we drove to the drag races and stripped out the back seat and spare tire, removed the air cleaner and cooling fan and went racing with a shoe polish number written on the side window. I guess I could say things must be getting better now as I can leave the back seat in when I go racing.

The majority of riders have only one speedway motorcycle and one body so if one hits a wall and bends a frame or destroys a wheel (or body) there is no magical tooth fairy that will leave a new shiny replacement under the pillow or a pain free night of sleep so sometimes riders don't show up where they have previously signed up to race.

The printed program is made up several day earlier and is time consuming as Microsoft has not come up with a cut and paste program for speedway racing (at least I don't know of one).

In the past I have signed up riders, put together a program, printed them and at race night the changes from rider no-shows makes for a unnecessary rewrite at the last minute and what the folks in the stands see is not what the riders see which makes for great confusion. Last night Ryan Evans had to make more changes to the program that Michael Jackson had previously done to his face.

The racing format included both scratch and handicap racing with qualifying for each in progression towards the main event. Jason Ramirez #66 won the scratch main (I believe his first as a first division ride) and was on his way to winning the handicap main for a double when a restart put him back after he had been in the front when the red flag came out. After he won the main Buck Blair led a crew out to throw Jason high in the air in celebration (the picture is blurry as Jason was too fast all night for my camera's shutter). Jason's dad, Sam, didn't get to see Jason's fine performance last night as he has to run his lawn mower shop in Orange and can't always get to the track. As I said speedway lacks corporate sponsorship.

Sorry I am unable to post all the results here but they are available elsewhere on the net as that content will not cut and paste without losing the margins. Of course if I won something I would take the time to do that. Tonight is the last race at Costa Mesa as they are dark during all of July and I have not rode there for several years but maybe in August I will try again but for today my speedway bike can sit in the garage neglected.
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