Minnesota Mile…No “Louisville Slider”
September 15, 1997
First off, let me say I’ll be back to the Minnesota Mile next year – God willing. To say Canterbury Park is an outstanding facility is not giving it due credit.
But, while not trying to sound like a “whiner,” I must say this. The race held there on September 13 was both enjoyable and frustrating to me and those seated around me. Let me tell you about frustration…
How on earth can two graders spend two-and-a-half hours scraping off two-and-a-half inches of dirt? By simply timing them, it became obvious that each grader made over twenty round trips from the start of turn one to the end of turn two. That equals forty one-way passes times two graders. My goodness. Eighty passes over one spot. It became clear that the promoters were deliberately trying to delay the program.
After they try to explain eighty grader passes on one end of the track, they could humor me with an explanation of why turns one and two needed all this attention while three and four got none. I’ve been around race tracks longer than most of you reading this have been alive, and I know that most (if not all) tracks are made of equal materials all the way around. In other words, you don’t have loose pea-gravel in turns one and two while three and four have clay-sand mix or whatever. That track prep delay was a joke!
The announcer tried hard to pass the time with interviews with racers, but when two racers in a row indicated they had no problem with the track “as is” he took a break.
Gone are the days when you went to Louisville, KY to watch them race on loose stuff. It was called the “Louisville Slider,” and if guys like Scott Parker complained, that was “tuff.” If you went to Indianapolis, you got a groove. If Scott Parker didn’t like it, “tuff.” Etc.
The graders were frustrating to watch, but the music they played was close to torture. If I hadn’t driven seven hours to get there, I’d have gone home. The two reserved tickets at $25.00 each had something to say about that, too.
The promoters/race officials tried again to withhold the action late in the evening when some light fog drifted into turns three and four. Anyone with an IQ equal to his shoe size knows that fog usually gets worse as the evening goes on. Instead of the first hint of fog being an indication to get their “ass in gear,” they took it as a signal to hold back.Where do these people come from?
And so it goes on and on. Now, we have breaks to slow them down. We have tracks that are too loose, too hard, too wet, too dry, too rough and too dusty. If flat track racing is to become totally safe, make an AMA rule stating no racer may go over ten miles an hour. That’ll cover it all in one stroke. It will also make it easier on the spectator. No delays!
In the meantime, we can just sit there patiently and wonder why Class C racing is fading away. Guys like Al Burke know what I’m talking about.
P.S. To those who worked hard to have the event, my deepest thanks.