According to Allan #4
This segment was supposed to be about my experiences at the SCCA Trans-Am race at Brainerd Int’l Raceway, but instead of heading to Minnesota, it was off to Ann Arbor, Michigan and the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center for my first round of Chemotherapy. Oh well, when life throws you a curve, you have to be ready to duck.
I was really looking forward to Brainerd as it is one of the last road courses on my hit list. Add in Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, and you can see my hit list of road courses I’d still like to see races at is quite small. My hit list of oval tracks and dragstrips are equally as small. With North Wilkesboro Speedway (NC) topping my list of oval tracks, with Cornwall Speedway (ON) running a close second. In fact I had planned on going to Cornwall in late August, but I had to scrap that trip as my doctor advised against taking any trips for the time being. Then on the dragstrip side of the sport I have just two tracks left on my wish list. Pomona Raceway (CA) tops the list with Bandimere Raceway (CO) a close second. I had penciled in going to Bandimere for a Lucas Oil Series event in June until my mother-in-law became extremely sick. As it turns out her funeral was that weekend.
That makes three of the six remaining tracks on my bucket list I had planned on visiting this year but circumstances beyond my control made me scrap each trip. I still have hope that I’ll be able make the USARacing Pro Cup Championship Series race at North Wilkesboro on October 3rd. It all depends if the doctor will allow me to travel that far.
Over the years I’ve been blest to have seen racing at over 1,000 race tracks (1,183 to exact, but who’s counting). That breaks down to 1,020 oval tracks, 105 dragstrips, and 58 road courses. All total I’ve visited over 2,200 tracks. Many of them to get better directions for our books.
I never dreamed when I started helping Larry Yard with his Midwest Auto Racing Guide in December of 1972 that I would ever get to so many tracks. I had been to about 100 tracks when I met Larry for the first time at Avilla Motor Speedway (IN) the summer of ’72. We immediately became friends and I ran into him again at Berlin (MI) and then Rockford (IL) later than summer. His girlfriend Pat (who he’d met at Berlin) called me and asked if I would like to help with his new edition, and I said sure, but since he lived in Peoria, IL and lived near Grand Rapids, MI it was going to be kind of tough, until she said he was moving to Grand Rapids to be with her. I then became his sidekick for the next three editions, until it was time for him to move on to try something different. He moved to Florida and has sold advertising for a campground directory ever since.
With Larry’s blessing I continued the National Speedway Directory. I asked my friends Ross and Nanette Ferguson to become my partners and the three of us produced eight more editions before they too decided it was time to try something different. Ross has kept involved with racing and is the manager at Thunderbird Raceway (MI).
My wife Nancy then became my partner with the books in 1990, as she quit her job in customer service at a major insurance company. She will tell you it was one of the best decisions she ever made as the two of us have cross-crossed this country many time going at races and seeing sights across the land that most people can only dream about. We’ve traveled close to a million miles together.
Last summer, Tim Frost and I started talking about possibly selling the Directory to him. He had approached me years before about purchasing the book, but I wasn’t ready to sell at that time. I’m sure we caught a lot of people by surprise when Tim bought the Directory from Nancy and I. It was time for me to retire, as much as I love the sport, the long hours were starting to wear on me.
I had decided a few years ago that when I turned 62, it was time to slow down. After going to 111 events in 2009, I figured if I cut it in half I’d still be content. As of this writing I’ve only been to 30 races, as I’ve become a fair weather race
fan. If it looks like rain, I stay home. I have a few more races penciled in for the rest of the year, but most of them (other than North Wilkesboro) will be close to home.
Well so much for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to report about North Wilkesboro in my next segment.