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Old 11-23-2009, 08:49 PM   #1
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What race tracks have you run on?

Ok, this is for bragging and information.
You can talk about 1, 3 or more....


- What race tracks have you run on? Racing, track days, track rides, .......

- Give your review of a race track and things involved with it (track condition, flow, camping, showers, food, hotels, shopping centers,......)

- What is your favorite?



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Old 11-23-2009, 09:44 PM   #2
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Back in the late 50's it was Cedar Creek in Louisville. 1/4 mile dirt (yes dirt-oiled dirt to be exact). After about 2 years they did asphalt the launching pad. Occasional trips to the Hwy. 60 1/8 mile track in Hardinsburg, Ky. After Ohio Valley (Louisville) opened it's 1/8 mile thru the late 70's it was the one with side trips to Bluegrass 1/4 mile in Lexington, Ky. Ohio Valley and Hwy. 60 were the best. Both are still open. Hwy. 60 used to have really big name drivers (Hubert Platt's Georgia Shaker 427 Falcon, Mr. 5 and 50 Dodge, etc.) and Southern Style Match Races (3 runs with burnouts on resin). Bluegrass had Ohio George Montgomery's 427 SOHC Ford Cammer Anglia gasser once and also Connie Kallita's AA/Fuel 427 SOHC Ford Cammer dragster-first track run over 200 MPH. Great times!
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:52 PM   #3
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This is a really good thread.

Just to keep it simple:

- Summit Point ("Home Track")

Summit Point Main is pretty much a yawn fest for the focus. At least until you get to the turn 3-7 complex that starts with "The Chute". Downhill - off camber turn that can get really exciting with throttle lift. Spin, Spin, Spin...hello wall.

Summit Point Shenandoah is a giant autocross with a couple of "gotchas" thrown in. It is a 2.3 mile course with 23 turns. It is VERY easy for smaller wheelbase cars to run down high horsepower monsters and overtake. It is a great "training track", but I would not want to race there as the surface is very narrow and there is minimal run off room.

- Virginia International Raceway (VIR)

The most beautiful track I've ever been to. There really is a "country club" atmosphere and that applies if you drive a focus or a Ferrari. Unfortunately, in stock trim, our cars do not perform very well here. LOOOOOONG straights favor the ultra high horsepower cars and there are not many tight portions (FULL course) that allow us to catch up and exercise an advantage. Still, everyone should run this track if given the chance.

- Road Atlanta

LOVE this track! The tight portions combined with the elevation changes make it a really amazing experience to drive. Key thing to remember is small steering corrections. If you get too crazy, you are bouncing and that is bad juju ... Much like VIR, the long straights favor the HP club, but there is ample opportunity to earn some respect.

- Mid-Ohio

Personally, I find the track to be one of the LEAST technical tracks out there. It flows very well and with the exception of surface changes (and knowing where they are) it is pretty straight-forward and easy to drive. A lot of people do not like the "Madness" complex, but cars like ours seem to really make up ground there.

- Watkins Glen

One of the few tracks that scare me. Not because of the technical nature of the course, but rather the legacy, history, and nostalgia. To think that I- a lowly focus schmuck, ran over the same surface as Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Mario Andretti, and just about any other motorsports pioneer you can name, is a bit intimidating. Add to that if you take out any gaurdrail or ARMCO material, you pay for it. Really tough pill to swallow - especially after you total your car.

- Roebling Road

Fun track, but after 2 sessions, it became VERY boring. It is completely flat. So much so that I found it distracting because I could see other cars 3 complexes in front of me and my mirrors would also show cars 2-3 complexes behind me. I wish I could say that I am just that fast, but....not so much

- Daytona

Call it Jerusalem, Mecca, the Vatican or Everest, it is an amazing place. Interestingly enough, not that difficult to drive fast - once you get over the fear. The banking plays with your head a little bit in the sense that you have to hammer down or you will feel like you will fall over. At the exit of the banking, the transition to level pavement is not "subtle" :-) The down side is the expense of running the course. Depending on the club, it can be BIG dollars to run there.

- Limerock

Gorgeous track. When he was still living , Paul Newman was a frequent participant and just a "regular guy" in the paddock. Great experience to be on track with him. For me, the only tricky part of the track is the downhill run that leads onto the main straight. Truthfully, that has less to do with talent and more to do with..."BIG brass ones". Flat out downhill into a 90 degree right hander is enough to make you pucker.

- New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP)

Been there once on the Thunderbolt course. Very easy to drive fast. Turn 1-2 can be a little interesting, but navigating it is all about throttle management. I know it is the same ownership as VIR, but I think NJMP has the potential to be more successful.

Keep the SHINY side up!!

I hope to get out West next year to experience how the other half lives...
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:55 PM   #4
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been doing track days since 2007, started racing this year.

I think I've logged over 2000 miles on track to date. running with EMRA, NASA and now racing mostly with SCCA

Track list:
  • Watkins Glen NY,
    Long course 4 track days, one race,
    Short course one race. (current Finger Lakes Region SCCA track record holder on short course for STU but probably not for long.....)
  • Lime Rock Park CT-
    4 track days, one 41 lap race & Instructed there once.
  • NJ Motorsports park.
    Thunderbolt, 2 track days. & crewed for a friend
    Lightning 3.5 track days, SCCA race school, one race, instructed there once, flagged there once.
  • Summit Pt WV.
    Main course - 1 track day, 1 race
  • Pocono PA
    East Course 2.5 track days, first course I ever ran and the beginning of this addiction.
    North course 5 track days, popped my D20 engine there, crewed for a friend.
    South Course - 1 track day.

A good range of my videos are up on you tube here....
http://www.youtube.com/user/fsp505
Favorite tracks - well since a bad day on track is always better than a good day at work, I find something I like at every track, but if I had to choose one, it would be Watkins Glen since it's got the history behind it and actually being there the first time for me was quasi religious experience. Having raced there now if only once means I can die in peace.

Here's my pros & cons list.
  • Watkins Glen NY,
    PROS- Awesome track, lots of challenges and just an exciting venue. Plenty of garage and paved paddock space, good EMT and medical services on site. GReat place to bring the family, since there is plenty to do around town etc after the racing is done. I always plan to hang around there an extra day.
    CONS - track fees are higher, and NASCAR owners like to throw full course yellow if someone gets a hangnail which can easily cut into track time excessively. Getting out of shape in the wrong places can get expensive, even if it;s just the fees for having guardrail replaced. (like $350 for each section damaged!)
  • Lime Rock Park CT-
    PROS - Another classic track, good place to learn how to develop a "rhythm" and I like trail braking into turn one. The recently resurfaced track is sweeeeet! The uphill turn and big bend offer good "white knuckle" and "pucker factor" elements.
    CONS - very expensive now, no garages, limited paddock space you have to drive down into town about 5-7 miles to access anything like food, lodging or reasonably priced gasoline.
  • NJ Motorsports park.
    PROS - overall a great new facility at reasonable prices. Each track has different challenges. Both seem to be very safe but very exciting at the same time. I have to run the Thuderbolt course again to decide which one I like better. They have rooms for rent on site, but not sure what the pricing has gone up too, and YOU HAVE TO BOOK EARLY!
    CONS - When it rains, there can be major flooding, when it's dry, its a dustbowl. Thuderbolt has more facilities, but the paddock is cut in half by the garages, and if not set-up well, it can turn into a maze with pit exit or entrance having to go directly past the main garage area.

    There are good attractions in town if you want dinner and drinks, but not much for kids to do unless you want to pay to have them run on the karting track while you run on the big one. I don't think they have showers there yet.
  • Summit Pt WV.
    Main course -
    PROS it's a very cool track to drive, good technical parts a fast downhill main straight. The facilities are OK, but nothing has been updated in a while. PRICES are usually the best bang for the buck! the food is decent and they have showers. Not much nearby, plan on camping and BBQ is your best bet.
    CONS - the track was resurfaced in 07, and has been tearing apart in spots so its already being patched and a bit bumpy in places. the paddock is mostly grass/gravel but otherwise OK. some parts of the track have a steep drop-off, and the grass is not level with the track. If you drop a wheel off you can scrape the suspension/chassis and getting all 4 wheels back on the pavement quickly can be challenging
  • Pocono PA
    I run here alot cause it's close to home and typically inexpesive.
    PROS price, location, plenty of garage space and paddock space. weather is typically good. the facilities are great. I think my favorite of the 3 here is the south course, it's a twisted mess and has sort of a triple apex turn in off the main straight. Easy ride in off of I-80 with some local attractions. It's mainly a ski resort area, not much going on in the off season though.
    CONS well, these are "infield" courses taken off the main tri-oval that NASCAR runs. the transitions tend to be bumpy, there are no runoffs or gravel traps, and most of the infield is NOT graded so it can get REAL bumpy in some spots if you go off track. Since it;s all flat on the infield, there is little character to the tracks, no blind uphill turns, or significant elevation changes. but the superspeedway sections are liked by the big bore guys. It's like racing in Kansas minus the cornfields.
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:31 PM   #5
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I kind of get around…

Autobahn North & South 2 Days Average at best.
Buttonwillow Park 5 Days A dusty old cottonfield that isn’t bad.
Calabogie 1 Day This is a fun track in Canada ehh?
Charlotte Motor Speedway: 4 Days Not bad for a roval.
Gingerman: 3 Days Not my cup of tea, but friends seem to like it. Get ice cream at Shermans.
Hallett (Both Directions): 2 Days A dirty old girl that doesn’t give you an inch of help, a real challenging course to drive well.
Heartland Park: 2 Days There are two kinds of weather here, hot and windy and cold and windy. The KC BMW Club has an event there called "Surface of the Sun".
Laguna Seca: 8 Days Very challenging but doesn’t seem to flow well for me.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway: 2 Days Infield road course, nothing special.
Mid America (MAM): 2 Days Been there done that, didn’t buy a T shirt.
Mid Ohio: 4 Days A difficult course in the dry and treacherous when wet. A V6 rental Mustang will carry the left front over Madness.
Miller East & Long Course 3 Days God it is long and flat.
Mosport: 2 Days You have to screw up your courage to go fast. Fairly easy to drive but if you make a mistake it will hurt badly,very badly.
New Jersey Thunderbolt 1 Day A surprisingly fun track that has elements of VIR(the esses before the bridge), Calabogie and Gingerman.
Putnam Park 2 Days Okay, but nothing special.
Pikes Peak 2 Days An okay roval, but small.
Road America 11 Days See below.
Road Atlanta 2 Days I haven’t driven it since the improvements but the esses are a blast. It is just out of my top five.
Sears Point 9 Days See below.
Sebring 10 Days See below.
Summit Point Main, Jefferson & Shenandoah 19 Days A lot of variety depending on the circuit. My first track day was on Summit Point Main.
Texas World Speedway (both directions) 8 Days This is a fun track. It is old, decrepit and fast. I like it better clockwise. Great BBQ in College Station.
Thunderhill Park 6 Days A dusty old rice/sunflower field that isn’t bad.
VIR 1 Day See below.
Watkins Glen 18 Days See below.
Willow Springs 2 Days A fast, good old fashioned natural terrain course, did I mention it is FAST. I can still see Ken Miles man handling a GT 350 around there.

The top five are:

Road America; you can’t beat the Brats and RFG potatoes. There is nothing else like the Kink through Kettle Bottoms coming into Canada Corner at speed.
Watkins Glen; if you don’t get wood coming up through the esses while flat out you are not alive, even women… Also diving into the Bus Stop then getting back on the gas for the Carousel then down into the Boot, what a ride. They charge for repairing and repainting the Armco so mind your manners. Have to stay at the "rustic" Seneca Lodge. Free WiFi but no telephones???
Sebring; old, flat, rough and fast. Looking up above the garage stalls and reading off the manufactures that have won the 12 Hours is inspiring. From turn 5 to 16 is an absolute blast and as fast as any of the straights.
Sears Point; a natural terrain course that flows well and is challenging. It used to look like someone dropped asphalt on the side of a hill exactly where it needed to go before they started “improving” it for NASCAR.
VIR; long, fast and simply beautiful. From turn 3 to the Oak Tree, it just doesn’t get any better than this.
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:35 PM   #6
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Anyone ran Grattan?

That's the only road course I've ever ran a car on. Kind of rough pavement, can easily upset your car mid-turn. The back hairpin is a lot of fun, before the long uphill sweeping straight. I can't believe some of you guys haven't been there with all the tracks you've run.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:05 PM   #7
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WOW!! Great replies already!!
I'm really jealous of shlbygt! 25 tracks!!!
WeeAsp and I have raced some of the same asphalt; 6 tracks in common!

So here's my list:
New Hampshire Motor Speedway (north chican south oval and north chican south chicane)
Lime Rock Park
Watkins Glen (short and long)
Road Atlanta
Virginia International Raceway
Mid Ohio
Nelson Ledges
Roebling Road
New Jersey Motor Sports Park, Lightning

I'll give my review and rankings later. Too damn much typing and not enough time.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WIZARD Racing View Post
I'm really jealous of shlbygt! 25 tracks!!!
Yeah, holy cr*p Batman!
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:45 AM   #9
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Shelby is a track WHORE!

I just wish that I had more time to devote. Can't wait to see you back at Summit Point next year.

Wizard and TB -

I am sure that we will see each other at events on the East Coast.

Look here frequently for track day announcements. The events that I run at VIR and Summit are "race car friendly" and we put you in the advanced groups. They are GREAT opportunities for "test and tune" days before race weekends.

See you at the track!
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeeAsp View Post
Shelby is a track WHORE!

I just wish that I had more time to devote. Can't wait to see you back at Summit Point next year.
MMM, Barbeque. Have you tried Short Sugars in Danville?

If the stars align correctly around Memorial Day we'll be doing Sebring 5/22-23with Track Guys, VIR 5/28-30 with SCMC and the Glen 5/31-6/1 with Joe Quaranto/PhoenixCMR.
I'll be looking for filler tracks like Roebling Road, Road Atlanta, Carolina Motorsports Park, etc between Sebring and VIR on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday to complete another Track Dawgs tour.
We're looking at a Canadian tour in late August with an evening at ICAR (http://www.circuiticar.com), Mt. Tremblant with a Porsche/Audi group, Calabogie with 3ballsracing and on to Mosport after the ALMS race. We were able to do Calabogie and Mosport this year but didn't have time for the other two.
I was able to pick up four new tracks on the east coast this year (VIR, NJMP, Calabogie & Mosport) and I have a 04 PWSC SVT wintering in Myrtle Beach for next year's events.
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