Saturday night found Motor Man and me at Langley Speedway, our local short track, in Hampton, Va. When we arrived, it was a beautiful evening with practically no chance of rain.
This was to be the biggest race of the season. There are, on average, 15-18 cars entered in the Late Model division on race night at Langley. There were 37 there Saturday night, with many out-of-town drivers signed up for this special race, called the Hampton Heat. Late Model races are usually either 100 laps, or,sometimes, two 75 lap races during the night’s racing program. The Hampton Heat is 200 laps.
Before race time, Motor Man and I went “in the pits” to visit with our engine customers and racing friends. Everyone was watching the sky, but at that time, it appeared that the rain would move to our east.
Shortly before the 7:00 pre-race activities were to begin, it started to rain. It wasn’t a particularly long shower, and, once it stopped, the track-drying process began. If you are a race fan, you’re probably familiar with the jet-dryers at the large tracks. Langley doesn’t have those. There are a couple of small walk-behind dryers, but the main method used to dry the track is a tried and true one: old tires chained to the back of several tow trucks at the track. The trucks make lap after lap after lap around the track, and the tires create friction, which dries the track. When the tires begin to smoke, you know you’re getting close.
Before the races could begin, however, another rain shower came…this one much more intense than the first. This was the view through the windshield of our truck.
At least, after this storm passed, we were treated to a rainbow.
But it took much longer to dry the track the second time. Thankfully, Motor Man and I have trackside parking, so we were dry and cozy in our truck.
The Late Model race began around 11:15, and it was around 1:40 when the checkered flag waved.
After the race, the top seven finishers were required to go to “tech”: post race inspection at a building in the infield. And Motor Man had customers who finished second and sixth. So, down to the tech building we went. Teams were required to remove parts of the engines to be inspected. (Inspection showed that everyone was “legal”.)
Motor Man and I left the track at 3:20. A.M. As in morning. It was just about 4:00 when we got home.
We stopped and picked up our Sunday paper as we drove in the driveway.
~These Days Of Mine~