We raced! How many of us got up Saturday morning thinking we would race? Not many, including myself. But Mother Nature has this crazy sense of humor. All week long she brought on typhoon season to the point the track crew never even touched a mowing machine. Then Friday night some of the most wicked storms all year arrived dumping 4.5 inches of rain on the racetrack, according to the rain gauge. In fact, the rain moved out of the area early Saturday morning. Then remember Mother Nature and her sense of humor, she brings on full sunshine, full drying sunshine.
Now if you are the track owner, your hair is turning whiter and maybe falling out more, because the question becomes is Mother Nature working with you or playing with you? This is where the track team comes in, we start arriving early, Diana and I at a little past 11, and we can see the track is drying, no mud on my tires as I pull down to the concession. Mother Nature is telling us be patient!
While the decision was not 100% we were racing at that point, we were listening to Mother Nature. Probably the best point to this time is the most impatient person had to go home and get the race cars. This allowed time to dig a couple of trenches and allow ponding water to drain. It allowed time to fuel all the equipment we would need to work the track once it had dried enough. It allowed us time to complete the weekly chores we had not been able to complete during the week.
At 3:00 the track team and officials began working the track, making laps, making laps, making laps, packing the track, packing the track, and packing the track, to the point before we could race we had to sprinkle a bit of moisture on the track. By race time the track was ready the 80 race teams were in the pits and the races started at 7:00 P.M. and finished at 10:00 P.M.
Let’s not forget the office staff and how great a job they were doing answering all the phone calls that Mother Nature created. Then when Mother Nature threatened again and the decision was made to speed up the show the office staff stepped up again and had everything ready for the end of the night festivities. This is a great team to be a part of at I-35 Speedway. It starts at the top with the hardest working owners in Mike and Kyle Johnson and continues to each and every employee on the staff. This team of workers goes above and beyond for the racers and fans who make up the I-35 Speedway family.
Was there race teams that stayed home because they expected something else, we are sure of it. Were there race teams who went to other tracks because they don’t realize how hard people work to support the I-35 Speedway family, we are sure of that also. What you must know though and appreciate how hard the staff of I-35 Speedway works every week to enjoy the success and fun of the I-35 Speedway family
Want proof, none better than this statement from Bud Wilson on social media – “Congrats on the win tonight Doug Keller. Track was in a lot better shape than I thought it would be, rough but they did a hell of job with all the rain.” I will even add in Jason Estes making a similar statement as he checked out the track early in the afternoon, “We think you are crazy for even trying but if you race we will be here, no one tries harder to make it happen than Mike Johnson”.
That sums up week 20 at I-35 Speedway. We made it happen, we thank Mother Nature for her drying abilities, we thank the I-35 Speedway team for making it happen, and we thank the I-35 Speedway family for supporting us each week.