Thursday, September 10, 2009

Beating in Progress: Home Made Dirt Track

What do a bunch of bored high schoolers in Raleigh, NC do after school? Build a home made dirt track at your buddy's house, of course.

With friends who have access to 360 acres, a Kubota with a bush-hog, and several old beaters, weekday afternoons no longer involve watching re-runs of Blossom and Dukes of Hazzard.

The track consisted of two opposing left hand turns (it was North Carolina), one of a tight radius and one of a larger radius transitioning to off-camber mid corner, a front straight with a chicane, and a back stretch with fairly damaging elevation change, all on a tacky dirt surface. This is the small portion you can see here... There was also close to two miles of winding private gravel roads that looped around the house, returned over a causeway, around a barn, and a fast stretch along power lines that returned to the main course via a two foot deep mud hole, for the most beat of the beaters.

These photos were taken following a snow day school cancellation (no joke, Michiganders), requiring us to give up our conventional studies for some practical dirt track learnin'. Luckily, two BMW's were on hand to lend their on-board computer stop watches for timing and scoring, and my parents were kind enough to provide a white board with dry erase markers to keep tally. All racers pushed their well-weathered, AVS Intermediate wearing cars far beyond their designed capabilities all day until the red E28 finally smashed a hole in the oil pan on a frozen berm of red clay. Dad even came out to "show these little shits a thing or two" and take a second off the previously posted fastest time in his Mud+Snow bias-ply equipped '64 F-250 before taking a valve-floating reverse victory lap, while honking and shooting rooster tails in the direction of our 'furrin' cars.

Unfortunately, this site was later developed into a private school grounds, where children are currently haunted by the sounds and smells of over-revved engines and lopped off, mud baked exhausts of beaters past.

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