Friday, June 18, 2010

Industry Speedway June 16, 2009

This Wednesday was the third night of racing at the Grand this season and the third time I tried leaving early to beat the afternoon traffic. I guess everybody else had the same idea and as soon as I got to the 5 freeway it halted. Well the freeway didn't actually halt but traveling on it did. Trying surface streets would only make sense if you were riding a bicycle and I wasn't on one plus I was towing a trailer with my lay-down on it. Taking the bike off the trailer and riding it in the car pool lane wouldn't get me very far with the small fuel tank and I don't think laying it down to avoid a stopped car would work either.
The bad traffic Wednesday afternoon wasn't a local mishap but seemed to be everywhere. The Butterfly Effect whereas small items can change the outcome at a great distance could be the problem but I like to think of it as the Snail Effect where one fender bender at Green River in the Santa Ana canyon backs up northbound  travel on the other side of the mountain.
Well, when I got to the track the place was still quite empty as the majority of riders were still on their way. The races are held in The Grand Arena which is in the Industry Hills Expo Center which is located in the City of Industry, California, a large commercial suburb in Los Angeles County. The city has very few residents and the last census listed only 777 living there but over 80,000 work there in the over 2,000 businesses.

Every week the track surface is new and different. The Expo Center has it own staff to prepare the surface and do not lack in the equipment department as there are several other horse arenas outdoors that surround the large stables there. They also have plenty of water and use it before the races start which makes the early races more of a mud slip and slide testing the riders in each corners. The program usually has a half-dozen races with the lower division riders racing before the riders introduction and the national anthem.

The program is printed in advance based on the previous week's sign up sheet and call ins and was set to have two races each in Division 2 and 3. But of course that was scrapped and seven riders were placed in a single race in each division putting two riders back on the ten yard line at the start. In my first race I was set on the ten yard line which has an advantage and a disadvantage. In the back I can watch everybody fall down in the slick muddy corner but I get coated by the mud flying off there tires but I have to still get around those who have managed to stay up.

I am not sure of the reasoning for putting be back. I often dwell on that, am I faster than the rest or do they just want be out of the way. The water seemed to be doing a good job of keeping the dust down and several riders too. After several races and the rider's parade was over the first division riders hit the slick track and I am there to testify that Flying Mike Faria was two wheeling in the snot in the corners. Then the ground crew came out worked on the track.
My second race was before the slime was removed and I was placed at the tapes instead of the rear. To every one's surprise I got the hole shot and led the race until the last foot where Kevin Johnson passed be at the finish. Someone said I had a half a lap lead at one time but I blew it. Each time I went into the turn between bends three and four I would go a little wider trying to stay up and kept losing ground to Kevin behind me.

In the main Johnson and I were placed back on the ten to play catch up and in my last two races it was no longer slick and the track was fast. Both Buck Blair and Charlie Venegas were dueling through out the night with Charlie getting the first turn in the main ahead of everyone else and staying there.
In reviewing the pictures on this blog most are easy to understand. The picture of Jeff and Hicks shows a new product Jeff is currently developing that is to be used as a personal flotation device for those riders that who can not swim.
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