RICK @ the RACES ( 24 April)

Date: 4/28/2010 5:17:06 PM

RICK @ the RACES ( 24 April)

24 April       Thunder Alley Speed Park (Paved)                Evans Mills NY

Instead of watching my NHL favorites, the Ottawa Senators in a vital Stanley Cup game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, I was back down in New York State this past weekend ( 24 April) for a rare visit to the Thunder Alley Speed Park at Evans Mills. When I first moved to Canada in the mid 1990's it was known as the Evans Mills Speedway, but about six years ago following a change in promoters the new title became the Thunder Alley Speed Park.

I remember back in 1995 driving past the place on one of my first road trips south of the border, soon after getting my Canadian truck drivers license. Me and another guy had delivered a load in Plattsburgh and as we drove down route 11 towards Watertown we passed two race tracks, the Malone and the Evans Mills Speedways.

It wasn't just the Evans Mills name that altered over the years, in 2004 the surface got changed from a paved track to dirt. I made my first visit that year for the staging of the Big Block Modified SUPER DIRT SERIES and remember how bumpy the track was that night. If my memory is correct, Tim McCreadie was the winner on that occasion. I also recall that I was joined on that special night by fellow TRACKCHASERS , Will White and Randy Lewis. This was Randy's 700 th lifetime track.

Things have now turned a full circle and for this season the dirt has been removed and it's now gone back to asphalt. I never got to see any racing there during it's paved days so took advantage of this early season opener to go and take a look.

The bill of fare at Thunder Alley consisted of a mixture of four and eight cylinder stock cars as well as trucks and enduro cars. I joined my friend and track photographer, Rebecca Eisele on the center for the evening to snap the action. As well as taking photo's she also kept me up to date on the Ottawa Senators game with her hand held gizmo, ( I think it was a Blackberry, but I'm so out of touch with these new fangled gadgets, I can't tell the difference between a blackberry and a strawberry ! )

When visiting this particular track, there is one thing that always gets me thinking of days gone by. It's the Evans Mills water tower that stands next to the track. Many years ago my first taste of stock car racing was at the Foxhall Stadium in Ipswich (UK) and any British race fan that's been around for a while will tell you of the water tower that used to stand beside the track on Foxhall Heath.

I guess the main event of the night was for the 'Super Stocks' which are a cross between Late Models and your typical 8 cylinder division. This was won by Mike Ramos and the winners of the other divisions consisted of Greg Rose (Mens Trucks), Nichole Rombough ( Ladies Trucks ) Jeff Trapp (Thunder Cars)  and Zak Petrie (Enduros)

I got out of the track just after 9-00pm and was able to listen to the last part of the hockey game on my car radio. I was just passing the Morrisburg exit on Hwy 401 when the 'Penguins' scored the winning overtime goal that ended any Stanley Cup hopes of the Sens. Well, at least they got further than the 'Maple Leafs'

As strange as it might sound, Thunder Alley became another addition to my TRACKCHASING totals. According to the TRACKCHASER rules if a track changes from dirt to paved ( or vicaverca) it becomes another track.


PIC 1 Yours Truly at Thunder Alley

PIC 2 to 8 Action from Thunder Alley

PIC 9 Nichole Rombough the Ladies Truck winner

PIC 10 Greg Rose Mens Truck winner

PIC 11 Jeff Trapp Thunder Car winner

PIC 12 Mike Ramos Super Stocks winner

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