Sunday, March 23, 2008
Spring Break 2008, Day One: Dirt Track Racin'
Roaring out of turn four. . .
Spring break for the kids--and for us adults--started last week, so rather than head out of town on a Friday night for Houston, we decided to head up to Boyd for an evening of Dirt Track stock car racing. Houston could wait til Saturday.
In the grand scheme of things, little Boyd Raceway and its 1/4-mile banked dirt oval is nothing spectacular--just a friendly, family-owned and operated local race track that is part of "the heart and soul of NASCAR," as those television ads on race day remind us.
Friday Night at Boyd: like a thousand other places across America. . .
A small track lets you get up-close and personal with the race cars. . .
Though I'm sure none of the racers we saw will ever move up to a sponsored ride in a NASCAR racing series, you certainly've got to have a passion for racing to hit the small-town track on a Friday night for a few hot laps. Either that, or perhaps there are just more stock-car drivers in Wise County. After all, the place is the Methamphetamine lab capitol of Texas, so perhaps, like the moonshine runners in North Carolina 50 years ago, there are just more, uh, career opportunities for young men with fast cars there than other places.
After a gourmet Dairy Queen dinner at Rhome, we arrived in time for the folksy commentary over the public address system, the cheesey Leeann Rimes recording of the National Anthem to play over the speakers, and for the racetrack lights to finally turn on. . .boy, that place is dark!
If you want to really see the races, go later in the year when the sun sets a bit later. But, we'll cut em some slack up there, as that night was the first race of the season. The place is family-friendly (we sat in the Family section, where alcohol was prohibited but Ass Antlers on the young moms in attendance were apparently a requirement) and a cheap place to spend a Friday night. The kids ran out of gas before the cars did, so we didn't stay to the end, but we saw a few wrecks and we had a blast picking favorites for each qualifying heat. I couldn't decide on a favorite--either the souped-up Pintor or the solid green late-model sedan sporting the duct-tape numbers on the side.
It doesn't matter to E. that it's not NASCAR--he'll cheer any race, any time. . .
On the way to Boyd, I stopped to photograph a Union Pacific coal train stopped behind a BNSF train on the Wichita Falls sub near Hicks Road. The engineer passed the time using a sling to toss rocks into a puddle of water. I'd never shot this angle before and with the DP power on the rear, it's not too bad a spot.
NEXT: Flatonia or Bust. . .
Slinging rocks at Hicks. . .