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TOPIC: Weekend at the Races

Weekend at the Races 09 Jun 2018 08:35 #41

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Most of these Pro events play out through the afternoon and into the evening. Practice and qualifying normally begins around 2:00pm and the main event occurs around 10:00pm. With average lap times of about 30-40 seconds on a mile track, a 25-lap main event takes only about fifteen minutes to run. Track prep usually involves applying lots of water all through the week prior to the race so the moisture runs deep into the soil. Cars and trucks drive around for many laps to pack the soil down. On race day, the track will be watered in the morning and occasionally through the afternoon. The idea is to keep the surface tacky and not too dusty. Calcium chloride may be applied to help the soil retain moisture. As darkness falls and ambient air temperature falls, the moisture in the soil will rise slowly to the surface, keeping the racing line grippy, with fewer water truck visits needed between races. That's how it's supposed to work, anyhow.

The Arizona Mile on May 12 was challenging. Because the Turf Paradise horse track in Phoenix has no lights, the entire event had to be prosecuted in daylight hours. Although it was not as hot as when I was there a year ago, temps were still in the 90s all day and the track baked in the sunshine. There were frequent breaks to sweep off the dust and add water. For reasons I'm unsure of, the organizers were not allowed to apply calcium chloride. This put the whole event far off schedule and it finished just after sunset. The main event was shortened by five laps. Some riders complained that a lack of visibility caused by clouds of dust and growing darkness made it too unsafe. But people were careful, there were no bad crashes and everyone was happy just to get through the day.















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Weekend at the Races 09 Jun 2018 19:23 #42

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I didn't realize they put calcium chloride on dirt tracks until you mentioned it, read a little about it, great for holding moisture. It is nice to see dirt track racing on smaller local tracks, a lot more popular these days. I still wish there was a local weekly 1/2 track near me, I'm east of Sacramento.

Enjoying you photos. Yay2

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Thanks Mark
Roseville, Ca.

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Weekend at the Races 14 Jun 2018 08:28 #43

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The Sacramento Mile ran just one week after Phoenix, and it was everything that the Arizona race was not. The weather was perfect, the track was very well prepared and the racing was close and exciting. In the top class for twin cylinder bikes, the margin of victory in the 25-lap main event was only 0.018 seconds. One of the corner flaggers had a neat Yamaha Mini Enduro pit bike with an open expansion chamber. There was a halftime race for vintage machines. Years ago the bikes had no rear suspension and no brakes. The riders had to rely on throttle control and engine braking to set up for the turns. There was an old Indian (6) that especially caught my eye. I always like to get some race face photos in the pre-grid area. Oliver Brindley (24) sure had his face on. You have to look close through his face shield and a stack of tear-offs to see the gunfighter eyes staring back at you. Brindley comes all the way from England to race this series. Here are some photos.

















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Weekend at the Races 14 Jun 2018 08:55 #44

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Very nice

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Thanks Mark
Roseville, Ca.

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'06 GL1800
07 DL650
74 DT360
75 Norton
73 CB500K
63 C200
87 PW50
64 McClane Edger

Weekend at the Races 04 Jul 2018 20:57 #45

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Last weekend I traveled to Ohio for the Lima Half-Mile race. This is one of my favorites. The "cushion" racing surface is loose and deep. The pea gravel material is not unlike the stuff on the bottom of your aquarium. The bikes sort of swim around in it. There are multiple lines and lots of passing opportunities, unlike the single-line "blue groove" tracks such as Springfield and Sacramento. If you're not out front at Lima you get blasted with gravel and mud. The gravel leaves riders bruised on their arms and chest.

Current champ Jared Mees (1) gave the Indian brand it's first Twins class win here in their second year of trying. This wasn't especially surprising. He has won eight of the ten races so far the season. Mees led the 25-lap main event from flag to flag and has a huge lead in season championship points. The entire 6-wide front row of the starting grid was filled with Indians.

Shayna Texter (52) made history, becoming the first woman to win the Singles class at Lima, and it was the first win for Husqvarna in this sport. It was also her first win of the season. Shayna sits third overall in season points.

The stands at the Allen County Fairgrounds were full of enthusiastic Ohio fans. It's always nice to see a large crowd turn out. A neat feature of this track is that fans line the fence outside the turns. You don't get to do that at most tracks. After a few clouds in the morning the sun really came out. Temps were in the nineties and it was humid. I though that I was going to melt.

The series movs to New York this weekend, then on to South Dakota in early August. I'll skip those meets, and join back in at the Peoria TT on August 18. In the meantime I'll cover some local events.

Here are some pics from Lima.

















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Last Edit: by Tom S..

Weekend at the Races 04 Jul 2018 21:05 #46

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Thanks Tom... I really enjoy your posts... great photos!
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1963 YG1-T, 1965 MG1-T, Allstate 250, 1970 CT1b, 1971 R5, 1973 AT3MX, 1974 TS400L, 1975 RD350, 1976 DT175C, 1976 Husqvarna 250CR, 1981 DT175G, 1988 DT50, 1990 "Super" DT50, 1991 RT180, 2017 XT250

Weekend at the Races 04 Jul 2018 22:49 #47

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I alway like to find some other things to see on my trips to the races.

In Dayton, Ohio, last weekend I visited America's Packard Museum. This was a fine place to spend the afternoon.

The museum is housed in an actual Packard dealership building that looks tired on the outside but is very nice inside. The single docent present explained to me that the business closed in 1938, and the original flooring, lighting fixtures, and wooden wall coverings remain unchanged and preserved from that time, right down to the plumbing fixtures in the restrooms.

Thirty-eight cars were on display at the time of my visit. The docent said the full collection numbers around seventy vehicles. He said that all are drivable or could be with little effort. Some are restored and some are in original condition. Five or six cars sit in the dealership's paneled showroom. Pre-war cars can be viewed in the service bay area and an equal number of postwar cars are housed in an adjacent building. Some of the cars are on loan from their owners and some belong to the foundation which operates the museum. There are also many period artifacts scattered about and a display of Packard marine and aircraft engines.

One or two of the cars are horseless carriages from the Brass Era. Others from the Roaring Twenties could have been gangster cars. Some are quite sporty, including one that set a land speed record on a Florida beach in 1904. There is a dump truck from 1919, fitted with hard rubber tires. Some of the cars feature custom coachwork from companies such as LeBaron and Murphy. Several more are bloated '50s whales, produced near the end of Packard's run. Nearly all have the same iconic grille shape.

Each car has a plaque that describes its technical details and provenance. I mentioned my appreciation of this to the docent, explaining that the descriptions are much more thorough than those in another museum I visited a couple of weeks ago. He was pleased to hear this and said they are a recent addition, researched and written by volunteers and printed using equipment recently acquired by the local public library.











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Weekend at the Races 04 Jul 2018 23:12 #48

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Dayton, Ohio, has no shortage of neat things to see.

Last Friday I visited the National Museum of the United States Air Force. What a place this is. It's huge and filled with displays of military aircraft from the beginning of aviation through present time, arranged in chronological order. By moving quickly I was able to see the whole thing in one day, but to go slowly and absorb it all would take quite a bit longer.

The displays of early aircraft, including a replica Wright Flyer w/original engine and hardware, was especially interesting to me because my wife and I listened to David McCullough's biography of the Wright Brothers when we drove to California last fall and we've been talking about it ever since.

The new Memphis Bell exhibit is very nicely done. I was moved by the experience of boarding Air Force One and standing in the spot where LBJ was sworn in as president in 1963 after Kennedy's assassination. It was also an emotional experience to walk through the C141 "Hanoi Taxi" that brought home the first POWs from Vietnam in 1973.

















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Weekend at the Races 05 Jul 2018 12:05 #49

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National Museum of the United States Air Force, just added to my bucket list.
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Thanks Mark
Roseville, Ca.

'76 Bultaco 143 Frontera
'06 GL1800
07 DL650
74 DT360
75 Norton
73 CB500K
63 C200
87 PW50
64 McClane Edger

Weekend at the Races 10 Jul 2018 19:41 #50

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Last weekend's race was in New York and I chose to skip it. That was a mistake because one of our Pacific Northwest racers won it. Dang.

Anyway, the responsible thing would have been to stay home and work on my DT400. Instead of being responsible, my buddy and I rode our street bikes (he on a '78 Suzuki GS1000, me on an '06 Ducati GT1000) to see some neat Volkswagens (and one really nice '64 Buick) at the local Krispie Kreme. We were just looking for something a little different to do and I saw the event listed on FB. This was a VW club meet-up. I think the Buick belonged to someone who was just getting donuts. I have never owned a VW, but I like old cars and that old car smell. I wonder if anyone on this site is into VWs? After looking at the cars for awhile we hopped back on our motorcycles and rode about 50 miles to another town for some BBQ lunch. It was a good day.

I took these photos with my phone instead of the big camera that I use at the races. I think it works pretty well.





















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