Runoffs, Carnage, Runoffs=Carnage, But I digress. From what?
Let’s go back to August and start there. Another Saturday night trip to Boone Speedway. Forgot my ear plugs, had to buy a set for a buck. More rollovers in one night than I’ve seen on a road course in years. If your car is not moving when the yellow flies, to the pits bucko. If you hit someone, causing them to spin, to the pits bucko. At the halfway point the starter holds the crossed white and green flags. The green normally just hangs over the starter’s stand, with one lap to go, they get the white, but with two laps to go, the starter holds the green high over his head. Hmmmmmmm….... I told Shellee this at the Runoffs. Sounds like a good idea to me. Not everyone runs a radio in SCCA.
Next up, Reg/Nat at MAM. Worked last corner with Mike Trier. Good guy. Hot both days, nights very hot & mosquitoes were terrible at night. During small bore/SRF race heard a call we never want to hear. On lap two, “ Control, this is one standing yellow, worker down, send ambulance.” For the start of that group our flag chief Ron Shaw went down to one in anticipation of the lap one crash. And he got it. SRF’s 4 wide in to one, only one got turned left into the guard rail. As Ron was helping the driver out on the next lap a SRF clipped the brake marker debris and it nailed Ron in the chest. A trip in the meat wagon and 4 hours later Ron was back with no broken bones, no internal injuries. I asked Ron Sunday night what the doc said, and he responded, “It will hurt like hell for a couple of weeks”. Then I asked, how do you feel, “It hurts like hell!” He is a very lucky man.
The last weekend of August was MotoGP in Indy. Colorado had Dave Hegeman, Ed Kajko, Ed Shuler, and Christy Hopkins on corners. Ed Shuler had a not so hot station, but the rest were in good spots. I got to baby sit as a sector chief. Boy, we sure need more SCCA corner workers, as the scooter guys really struggle with flags and phones. The weather was dry with nice to hot temps. Not counting Sandy and Pat, there are only three of us who have worked all the F1 and Moto races at Indy.
On Saturday a young (aren’t they all) fellow at 1e asked me if I could get him some free Ducati stuff. I’ll try. Then I expanded the request, and Dale and I spent all our free time Saturday going to each vendor looking for corner worker stuff. And there were a bunch of vendors, like no other race I’ve been to. We ended up with hats, t-shirts, lanyards, stickers, bags, and posters. Bridgestone wanted to give us 500 posters, but we only took a 100. Then at the party on Saturday night we spread the stuff out and ran.
Every day for lunch the box contained a can of baked beans, and I love baked beans, but baked beans don’t like me. Usually it begins early the next morning. On Sunday morning I had a bit a free time so I went over the Honda display as they had all their bikes and cars out in the sun. I jumped in one nice shiny black Accord coupe to check out the seat, and then the new car smell suddenly went away. At that very moment I got a call on the radio to go somewhere and I quickly jumped out and slammed the door. As I was riding away I got the giggles thinking about the next poor sap that opened the door of that car! I love motor racing!
The following weekend was the first Labor Day weekend I had not been at a track in well over 25 years. We just stayed on the farm, went for some walks, read some, and napped. What a great couple of days.
But on the next Tuesday I was back at Boone for their Super Nationals. The Runoffs for IMCA stock and modified cars on dirt. For 10 bucks I sat in the stands and watched 70 races. It occurred to me that at all races everywhere the fast guys in the clean cars run up front and the slow guys in the dirty cars run in the back. Some of the slow cars were so beat up and dirty you couldn’t read the number or the sponsor. The next night I spent 20 bucks to get into the pits. The beer building was selling 16 oz. Buds for $3.00 and 12 oz. Bud Lites for $1.50 and it had a line. I see why fights happen. Not a lot of open trailers and more than a few semis. But these guys were racing for money.
When you sit down in the pit side grandstand (not grand) everyone asks, “ where you from?”. The lady next to me said Colorado. “Oh yea, where? Ft. Morgan, ever heard of it? Chuckle, chuckle. Yea, I have, do you have any kids in high school? She gave me an odd look (I see that a lot) and said yea, a senior and a freshman. Well, then they know my son, Zach Stream. “Zach is your son??” Nice folks and we had a great time together. He races at Ft. Morgan Speedway and had “heard” of HPR and driven by it once. By the end of the night he was ready to check it out. Small world.
Then the Runoffs. 4 days at home and I’m still recovering. I ain’t 22 anymore. The best place for results is my laps.com. I don’t remember any Coloradoan winning, but lots of them ran up front, including Jason Ott who led his class until the rear tires went away. Bad tires, bad tires!!! Jackie and I tried to get a photo of us together every day to send to Mom and after 3 days Mom was starting to say bad things to me. With today’s cell phones and Facebook it was pretty easy to stay up to date on all the crazy stuff. The weather was warm too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet, too dry. I even was down to just a t-shirt one day. But the last two were long under wear days. I also heard live T & S was a mess. Cell phones and computers are great when they work, but they don’t always work. Kyle Walkins suggested the Runoffs be in June when the weather might be better. Then run the Nationals from June to May.
On Thursday I worked the kink. The captain told us if a car hit the wall and ended up on the track the communicator was to call an alert….... I may just hold this until next month, Christine is waiting and I need to pack for a DReg at Hastings, in the last 6 weeks I’ve been at a track for 18 days. I need a life!
click any image to open a large photo gallery…
‘Soldiers in White’ is a monthly opinion column contributed by racer and corner worker Bob Stream. Opinions and views expressed here should not be construed to be those of the SCCA.