If tonight is your first time to Ventura Raceway, you are not alone. I have friends coming up from San Diego to be here tonight to see their first dirt track race. Hi Brandon and Xander. Hi Candise and Richard. I am so glad you are here. In honor of the newbies I thought I would talk about some of the things that happen at the track that may go on during a racing night.
First of all there are restrooms to the right and the left of the grandstands. Food concession and the beer stand are behind the grandstands along with the track souvenir trailer. The track announcer, track promoter, water truck and tractor driver is Jim Naylor. If you want to know anything about this race track, he is The Man to ask. While announcing he sits in his “box” between the green and blue sections. The flagman is directly in front of him in the flag stand.
The flagman has a number of different flags he can use during an event. The most commonly used are the following:
· Green – indicates the start or restart of a race.
· Yellow – indicates the driver to slow their pace and use caution; usually for a wreck or debris on the track.
· White – indicates the last lap of a race.
· Checkered – indicates the finish of the race.
· Blue with a yellow stripe – indicates to a driver that they are about to be lapped by the leader and to hold
their racing line
· Red – indicates the drivers to come to an immediate stop on the track. Usually used when a car has flipped
over or that the track is blocked.
The track has lights set up around the outer edge of the racing surface with green, yellow and red lights on them, which will coincide with the flags that the flagman is displaying. The drivers can see these lights as well as hear the race director in their one way radios they wear while racing. The race director will call out the line up (the order in which they need to be in to start and restart the race) as well as letting them know when there is a caution or red flag to react to.
Our racing night schedule is in the front of the program and lets you know what is planned for the night and how many laps each race should be. Our night begins with warm ups, where the cars do laps to heat up their motors and after a few laps with run about 3-5 green laps, at which time they will be timed to determine how they are to line up for the heat race for their class. We run 8 or 10 lap heat races, depending upon class, and how the drivers finish those heats, plus an invert (the amount of cars to invert is randomly chosen) will determine the position they start their main event in.
You will see two different sprint cars classes tonight. These are the cars that have to be push started by the tow trucks. The only difference between the cars is that the Senior Sprint car driver must be 45 years or older to race in that class. Depending upon car counts these two classes may run their main event simultaneously, but scored for their own class. It is exciting to be able to cheer on two leaders at the same time.
Part way through the night there will be an intermission period. During this time is a great opportunity to stretch your legs and get a snack or drink or visit with friends sitting in other sections. The area behind the grandstands offers a view of the pit area where you can watch some of the teams getting ready for their main events. You can also watch how Jim Naylor preps the track surface with the tractor and water truck. Because the racing surface is dirt it changes throughout the night and after so many heat races the track tends to get rutted and dry. Jim uses his vast experience to prepare the track to create the most excitement during the main events. This is usually when there is a candy toss for the kids, most race nights.
After each of the main events, Kris Kornder will interview the winner so you get to show your appreciation of their effort right away. With the demolition derby we will have a special ending to our night’s events. These are cars built specifically to crash into each other and try to do enough damage so the others cars do not continue to move, but keeping your car running long enough to win. The derby rules do not allow you to intentionally hit a driver side door; state that you must make a hit within 2 minutes; and that you must not push cars out of the designated derby area.
The pits will be opened to fans as soon as the derby is over and you are allowed to visit the drivers and crews and see the race cars up close. Please be respectful to the teams and their equipment and be cautious of moving vehicles while out there. The drivers love to see the fans but we want you to be safe.
I hope you enjoyed your evening. I truly believe this is a wonderful place to be on a Saturday evening and I thank you for being here tonight. I hope to see you again soon.
~*~ Sheri Clawson Meredith ~*~SheriBeriBeBop@hotmail.com