131 racecars, grandstands full, children having fun drawing with chalk on the sidewalk, the ice cream man dishing out ice cream, passes out of turn 4 coming to the checkered flag, grandsons in attendance, friends from other tracks, simply a night of fun, what else can be said? Yes week 11 saw 131 cars in the pits competing in the eight various classes, this is a challenge for any staff, but the I-35 Speedway staff handled it beautifully, with races starting right on time.
It was a full night of racing with the Non Wing Sprint Car makeup feature first on the night. Nineteen heat races were run immediately afterwards, followed by two B Features for the B Mods, and then eight feature events. There was excitement in every race, challenges for the lead in every race, and great racing in every race. We saw all facets of the great team that makes up I-35 Speedway. The first team member we want to thank is Mother Nature, she once again allowed us a night of racing, in fact one fan made the comment after the races, “yippee we got a complete show in the books”.
The other team members were the officials, the ambulance crew, the safety crew, the concession workers, the gate workers, the beer lady, the Trackside Bar and Grill staff, and Bridgeman’s Tow service. We could not have the events without their great work and in particular the great teamwork.
Due to a vacation for Competition Director Bobby Lopez, I got to climb back into the saddle and work as race director. While I was a little nervous at first I found it to be just like riding a bicycle, speaking of which we were able to give away two bicycles during our short intermission. Right off the bat the officials let me know I was on the wrong radio as I announced to the drivers, “Coming to green, side by side nose to tail at the red cone in turn 4”. I explained to them I had deliberately depressed the transmit button on both radios (Raceiver and track radio) so the track crew would know what the drivers were being told. Communication is a great tool, a great form of teamwork, and a great way to ensure everyone knows what is going on and when.
Due to an unfortunate roll over of a sprint car the ambulance crew sped into action. The officials, the ambulance crew, the cleanup crew, worked diligently to ensure the drivers safety and then after all is completed they jumped into track preparation mode. The ambulance crew applauded the officials for their work via the radio.
Not to be left out of the teamwork, the concession staff has to monitor the races in preparation for intermission. With this many cars we desire a nice short intermission. The concession staff was ready. The beer lady was selling the beer, the concession staff was helping as many as they could at the time, the ice cream man, Mike Johnson, was doling out his ice cream, and the gate people were checking for the correct tickets or armbands, all of this while greeting everyone with a smile!
It is a blessing to work with great professionals at I-35 Speedway. That includes the outstanding competitors each and every week that grace us with their talents on the tracks. This is a give and take sport and there was lots of giving and taking last week. Keep it up drivers!