I grew up in Iowa loving dirt track racing on Wednesday nights during the summer. It was a different time back then. There were no races on TV. Heck, there were hardly any TV’s, those were for the rich. NASCAR was some big shot racing thing down South that I didn’t know anything about. My buddies and I knew all the drivers at the local track and had our favorite.
The cars were all old modified junk yard dogs from the 30’s and 40’s. The guys who were really fast and had winning cars were running cars from the 50’s! As time past and the USAC races came to town the hot dogs were running brand new cars with factory paint. They weren’t even painted in fancy colors or covered with ads and decals. This was in the 60’s and those stock cars were the coolest thing I had ever seen.
Those are fond memories but nearly impossible to duplicate today. However, my wife and I recently tried. We began the first day of a recent vacation to the east coast with a 500 mile drive. It was Saturday and Saturday night is race night at American short tracks. Upon arrival of our first night of vacation we headed over to a local dirt track.
We obviously did not fit in since it appeared everyone else there were locals. We had actually visited this track a few years earlier on another trip and enjoyed it immensely. It was a real through back. Unfortunately, this visit was not so rewarding. Qualifying started at 5:30 but due to very poor management of the track they had to keep re-qualifying cars. The first race started at 9:30! The racing was fair at best and the track management only got worse.
We did enjoy talking to some locals and eating some fried baloney sandwiches. Seeing race cars slide and fight their way around a slippery dirt track is great even when it isn’t that good! If you have a dirt track near you go try it out!