First of all, I hope you, your family,
friends and loved ones are safe. My thoughts are with the friends, families
and heroes who have been touched by our nations tragedy.
The Steve-0 Photo and Video tour took
some much needed time off from racing and work for a relaxing Oregon fishing
trip. The first day of this weeklong adventure landed us in Gold Beach
on the southern coast of Oregon. HammerDown! readers know food is a priority
and the Port Hole Cafe is must for lunch or dinner when visiting Gold
Beach. This place has a big menu selection and everything was excellent.
Fish & Chips with a huge salad the hot ticket for lunch. The Rogue River
at the north end of town was the first waters to lure the fishermen. This
place was a blast to fish and just hang out.
The next two days provided the ultimate
outdoor adventure as we camped right on the river in a tipi. These were
the best nights of sleep I've had in years. The fishing was beyond my
expectations as I enjoyed the battles the salmon and rainbow trout gave
me. I was grinning ear to ear all weekend and wanted to stay, but there
was more places to see. The tour hit the road for the Umpqua River where
we stumbled upon the secluded Susan Creek campground. A nice little falls
with a fishing hole made for more superb casting. On the second toss of
the line I hooked into a big one, was reeling it in (to within 15 feet),
when to my suprise the fish jumped out of the water and spit the hook
back at me with mighty force. I was humbled for sure as this lunker fish
had just showed me his idea of catch 'n' release.
Diamond Lake was a bit of a disappointment
as the water was green from an algae uprising. No fishing, but our party
at camp made up for the lack of water activity. Crater Lake was an incredible
sight to see as we were in awe of the deep, dark, blue water of this place.
The altitude can be a bit much for some people as you are at 8000 feet
in most places around the lake. Intense views all around make Crater a
must see for all. On the way home we made a stop at the McCloud River
in Shasta and then the awesome Burney Falls. This was cool as I had never
been up close to such a powerful waterfall. A great way to finish up the
Once back home the race tour resumed
with a Civil War show at the Antioch dustbowl. The August races seem to
be the worst as the surface refuses to hold any moisture when it's any
warmer than 70 degrees, or when the tide is out I guess. It's no good
when you spend more time wiping your eyes or keeping them closed rather
than watching the action on track. The remaking of the "Gong Show" was
a 15 lap curfew shortened feature that went to David Robinson Jr. who
looked strong enough to win whatever distance it was. Johnny Rodriguez
and Roger Crockett joined Robinson on the podium. This win made Robinson
a winner in three decades in which I was in attendance. In the 80's at
Baylands Quarter Midget Assn. race in Sunnyvale California. The 90's 360
sprints at Placerville and now the Antioch win.
The WoO tour came to Watsonville looking
to repeat the incredible show put on by the boys last year. It was not
to be as the track surface was wet,but hard packed bigtime. It made for
a drying track with a tricky slick surface.The first 10 laps of the feature
were great as two wide battles were hot and heavy. It all came to an end
after a yellow as everyone paraded around the bottom the final 20 laps.
10 laps short of the advertised 40 lap distance. The tires never would
have survived. Andy Hillenburg continued his terrific year with a seemly
easy drive to victory.
The Labor day weekend left a tough choice
of venues to attend. The annual Calistoga Outlaws race or two nights of
SCRA non-wing at Ventura and Perris. I made the right choice as I viewed
a sweet race on the extra racy little bullring at the coast on Saturday
and saw history as Cory Kruseman tied Rip Williams for the most wins in
one season at 13. On Sunday, I witnessed what many were calling the best
sprint car race they had ever seen and I would absolutely agree. The race
for the front ten positions was heated and very intense for the first
30 laps of the 50 lapper. Slide jobs, wheelstands, rim riding banzai passes,
you name it this race had it. Tony Jones was on a mission as he charged
thru the ten pack up to the front using his famous turn three flyers (slidejobs
you have to see to believe) only to have it all end just a few laps short
of victory with mechanical woes. That enabled the fantastic finish as
Rip lead the 'Gasman' Richard Griffin and Jarrett Chaney by the white
flag to set up the three wide run to the checkered flag with Griffin just
edging out the 'Ripper' and the upstart Chaney.
Thanks to Bob Brazelton for the great
view from his truck inside of turn three. It was a most memorable trip
once again as these guys always put on the best show. Special thanks to
my friend Dean Mills for a place to stay and a ride everwhere.
The civil war series made their return
to Petaluma Speedway and the homoginized chicken crap black gumbo clay.
It is always a good time had by all at watching the cars hustle around
this neat track. This place ranks right up top with my all-time favorite
tracks. The action was fast and furious as oldtimer Mike Monahan out ran
the field to claim an upset win.
The month of September concluded with
a USAC Western States sprint and midget doubleheader at Madera. The sprints
had Kevin Kierce claim his first USAC feature with an impressive run from
deep in the pack, followed by point leader Tony Hunt and Bryan Bullard.
The man of the night was Floyd Alvis as he claimed his first USAC midget
win in some 15 years. The salty San Carlos shoe took the lead on a lap
9 restart from future star Chuck Gurney Jr. and held off the repeated
challenges of Tony Hunt to score the popular victory. Floyd my friend,
you are truly amazing. I'm glad to have been able to celebrate so many
of your wins over the years. Marc DeBeaumont set up the car (which he
used to drive) to perfection and Floyd took it to victory.
Last months trivia question was a stumper
to say the least....How many California dirt tracks has Brent Kaeding
raced at and never won a feature? What are the tracks? With the help of
BF, Brent, and Kevin Urton, we found the number to be three....West Capital,
Sacramento Mile, and the Perris Auto Speedway....With the Oval Nationals
at the PAS in two weeks and twin twenty lap mains on prelim. nights, BK
could cut the list down to 2.......This months trivia question: How many
career feature wins does Kevin Urton have in a sprint car? The answer
will suprise a lot of people as this guy has won in every series and at
most tracks he has run on. A versatile driver who has pulled off wins
on dirt and pavement. Until next time, Keep Your Elbows Up. United We
Stand, Together They Will Fall.