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Monday, June 09, 2008

These guys are Good!

OK, I know this is not specifically about taveling - unless you want to call traveling 20 miles from home to the Lancaster Motor Speedway traveling - but I wanted to share these bits of video our son shot when we visited the speedway this past Saturday night. The speedway hosted the Carolina Clash, a regional Late Model Dirt touring series.

My brother in law, Tim, his son Tanner aged 13 (and one of the most avid dirt track fans you'll find anywhere,) my son Tristan, and I spent Saturday evening at the track - watching the people, watching the cars, eating french fries, and drinking Gatorade. It's a really nice way to spend a summer evening.

The Clash drivers spend their spring and summer traveling to various dirt tracks across the Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia putting on a real show. They race weekly, sometimes two races per week. They may race a double header at one track or they may race Friday night at one track, and another for the Saturday night show. Either way, this has to be a tough schedule for these drivers and their crews

At Lancaster Speedway, a 1/2 mile dirt track, they take just a little over 19 seconds to get around the track. That translates to averaging about 95 miles per hour around this tight circuit, with the actual speed much faster than that on the straights. The first video below is of the 1st turn at Lancaster during 2 of the drivers 2 lap qualifying runs. As you can see, they blast down the front straightaway, then throw the cars into the turn in a controlled slide. As they go through the turn they feather the throttle to keep the car in a controlled slide, gunning it as they are pointed down the back stretch.

(If you let the video play to the end, you can select from 5 or 6 more videos from Lancaster.)

If you think the single car qualifying for the race is exciting, wait until you see all 20 of them on the short track at the same time.

This past Saturday, Randall Chupp won a very hotly contested battle with Clash series leader Dennis "Rambo" Franklin. The 40 lap event saw Chupp jump to a lead with Rambo doing everything he could to get around him. What a show these two put on.

Other than the Clash touring series, Lancaster hosted it's normal weekly card, with several classes ranging from the "Young Guns" (young drivers working to gain some experience), to Late Model Crate (higher powered cars with experienced drivers) and several other classes in between.

If you get a chance to see these drivers at a dirt track near you, by all means go. It is an opportunity to see an exciting event the way racing USED to be, and still is at these local weekend dirt tracks.

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