RICK @ the RACES (8/9 May)

Date: 5/9/2010 10:45:35 PM

RICK @ the RACES (8/9 May)

8 May            Five Mile Point Speedway (NY)

This coming weekend (14/15/16 May) the remainder of my local tracks will have their season openers. On Friday it will be Autodrome Edelweiss ( Cantley, Quebec), Saturday the Brockville Ontario Speedway and on Sunday the Cornwall Motor Speedway. I can never make definite plans where I'll be on Fridays, but as normal I plan to be at Brockville and Cornwall.

Before I get set into my weekly routine I wanted to visit some different places and this past Mothers Day weekend was my last chance. The fact that it's Mothers Day, scares some tracks from operating but there were still a handful of possibilities.

Leading up to the weekend , my choices for Sunday were the openers at either the Bristol Speedway at Timmins, Ontario or Big Daddy's Speedbowl in New Hampshire. Both would have been new tracks for me. With the Airborne Speedway at Plattsburgh (NY)  running on Saturday night, it made logistical sense for me to go there, sleep over night in my HHR, and do Big Daddy's on Sunday.

As the weekend arrived, my Friday night bonus track of the Mohawk International Raceway was lost as expected due to a late finish at work. I missed seeing Dale Planck take the Modified Feature and Chris Raabe win the inaugural Sportsman event.

Saturday came, and on 'her special weekend' Mother Nature was about to deal us a harmful blow. It had rained continuously from late Friday night and was still doing so on Saturday morning . The forecast for much of the North East for Sunday was much the same and many of the Saturday night tracks had already canceled including my destination of Airborne.

I had to think again as to where I could go. By lunch time on Saturday I had made a short list of what hadn't been canceled. The weather south of Syracuse and towards Binghamton NY looked most favorable. The Saturday races at the Five Mile Point, Skyline and Woodhull Speedways were still on so I made a hasty departure in that direction. My new plan was to stay overnight down there and then visit the Utica Rome Speedway for the Sunday night staging of the Victoria 200. I had considered driving down to the South Buxton Speedway near Chatham , Ontario for the Saturday night show and then driving to Timmins on Sunday , but by now it was too late in the day.

As I left Cornwall , Ontario at 1-30 pm it was pouring with rain and that's how it was for most of the journey down. The nearest of the three possible Saturday tracks was the Skyline Speedway near Cortland NY and as I pulled off exit 10 of Interstate 81 at about 5-15pm I saw the one thing that I always dread. A race car hauler heading in the opposite direction ! Once I'd verified that Skyline had been canceled I quickly phoned Five Mile Point. I got a real person on the other end, ( not an answering machine) who gave me those wonderful words “yes we are racing”

Five Mile point was over 30 miles away, so I had to get moving !

I got there just after 6-00pm just as the 4 cylinder heats were taking place and within a few minutes I was taking some pictures. I opted not to shoot from the middle and try taking some from the pit bend turn. There were black clouds surrounding the area but miraculously it wasn't raining and the pits were full. It was a bitterly cold night with a heavy wind but apart from just a few spots of rain the show went along unhindered.

The Fulton Speedway NY was one of the early cancellations so it was no surprise to see Larry Wight in the pits. Another familiar Modified driver in attendance was fellow Canadian Stuart Friesen from Niagara on the Lake Ontario. “What are you doing down here? ” a surprised Stuart said when he spotted me walking around. This Southern NY track he's called his home for the past couple of years and he commented on how he enjoys the easy going atmosphere. He does very well there too, and not only won the tracks opener a week previously, but also the 2009 season finale which I attended last November. Come feature time he dominated once again after taking the lead within the first five laps.

With the threatening weather being a major factor, the management sensibly kept the show rolling and there were no Victory Lane presentations until all the nights racing was concluded. Following the Modified Feature there were still two more features to run, but I'd decided to make my move, so had to miss out on any Victory shots.

When I left home, my plan had been to stay out, but the night had been cold and I appeared to be going down with flu like symptoms. By the time the Modified feature had finished I'd already decided I was going to head straight back to Cornwall . My decision to give Sunday's Utica Rome Speedway a miss was reinforced even more as I traveled back up Interstate 81 in a snow storm. From Binghamton to the Canadian border at 1000 Islands it snowed continuously and I could not see much chance of the next days Victoria 200 taking place.

I arrived back home in the early hours and after a good lay in on Sunday morning was not surprised after checking their web site and seeing that my Utica Rome cancelation prediction was correct. I was feeling very tired and below par, so preferred not to gamble with a trip to Big Daddy's.


PIC 1 and 2   Busy pit scene at Five Mile Point

PIC 3                IMCA Modified action

PIC 4               600 cc Modified action

PIC  5             A rainbow over Five Mile Point

PIC  6 to 10    Modified action at Five Mile Point

PIC  11            Stuart Friesen lines up prior to winning the nights Feature

PIC  12           Steven Planck #77 uses one of his Dad's cars in the SPORTSMAN division


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