ARDC Midgets – Memorial Day Weekend

On Memorial Day weekend the ARDC midgets were scheduled to run Penn Can Speedway and Five Mile Point Speedway. These two tracks are two of the closet tracks to my new job, so I decided to stay up north and watch them. First up was Penn Can on Friday night. I’ve been to Penn Can about 4 or 5 times before and always had a good time. This night was no exception. The show was run well, and the racing was good. The only downside to the night was a 10:00 PM rain shower during the ARDC midget feature that caused over an hour delay in the show. However, you can’t blame the track for that – there wasn’t even any rain in the forecast. After the rain delay the modifieds went on the track for there feature followed by the rest of the ARDC event. Scott Zipp won his first ARDC feature event ever. I was quite happy with my trip to Penn Can and plan to go back a few more times this year.

On Saturday night it was off to Five Mile Point for ARDC and I. I’ve been to the track once before for a sprint car show (I think it was ESS sanctioned show) so this was my second time at the track. The racing started off well and the track officials were doing a good job keeping everything going. The midget feature was the second feature and it was a really good race with Billy Pauch Jr. and Frank Polimeda battling most of the way for second right behind eventual race winner Andy Martin. I think Polimeda, who finished second, was just as strong as Martin, but he could catch him once he got past Pauch Jr. After the midget race, I think the track officials went to sleep or something as the night went down hill from there. First thing they did wrong was scheduling the modified feature last. With many people traveling long distances to see the Midgets, they should have also been able to see the modified event in a timely manner. Someone sitting next to me had a 4-hour ride home and was hoping to catch the modified feature but decided to leave when he heard it was last on the schedule. The next thing they did wrong was not moving the show along. I don’t know what caused the change (maybe they figured they needed to keep us there to 11:30 or we would feel gypped?). Finally, they had an over 30 minute delay between the end of the second to last feature and the start of the modified feature. To be fair, the delay was used to water/prepare the track to make for better racing and since the racing in the feature was good, it probably worked. However, they ended up not finishing to 11:23 PM, which is only 7 minutes before the curfew. That is cutting it close considering there was not many caution flags I the feature. Five Mile Point, like a number of other tracks, has been getting complaints from neighbors. Having such delays that cause the night to go on until just before curfew doesn’t help make good neighbors. If I ran Five Mile Point, I would have ran the modifieds early for a few reasons: 1) So that people who traveled far distances would be able to see them, 2) Families with young kids could see the main event and get their children to bed, 3) to stagger the amount of people leaving the track at one time, and 4) To be a better neighbor. By being a better neighbor, I mean that the modifieds are the loudest cars, and much louder then the 4 cylinders. The louder cars mean more things for the neighbors to complain about. I know that Five Mile Point is now the oldest weekly track in the Northeast, and that since they were there longer, the neighbors shouldn’t have a leg to stand on. However, even if that should be the case, we have seen at tracks around the country new neighbors causing trouble for tracks including having some shut down. Track operators really need to be cognizant about this and do everything they can to be good neighbors. This rant excluded, I liked the track and the racing was quite good and this may have been an anomaly so I plan on going to Five Mile Point again this year.

My yearly racing stats after Five Mile Point:

Races: 9
Tracks: 8 (2 new)
States: 5 (0 new)