Last Thursday, I took Madeline and Luke to the Red River Co-op Speedway near St. Adolphe:
An evening of dust, exhaust fumes and mosquito repellent. It was possibly the loudest, noisiest thing I have ever witnessed. Here’s a video clip of the modified superstocks rounding the corner just as the green flag is about to be dropped (followed by a couple of laps):
Turn your volume WAY up, otherwise the video doesn’t do justice to the volume of the actual event. The modifieds were the fastest and the loudest cars on the track.
We sat second row from the track, but it seems in the racing world the stands fill from the top down, rather than the bottom up. I expect that this is because being higher in the stands affords a better view of the track. I didn’t think of this and I thought perhaps the kids would like to be closer to the action and I thought it was great (but odd) that the first 3 rows or so from the front were free. When I watch racing on TV, I always secretly hope to see a big accident, but sitting right next to the track with two of my kids my feelings were the opposite.
I’ve never been at any sort of motorsport event and I had no idea what to expect. Unexpectedly, the whole event was kicked off by everyone standing for a word of prayer (background accompaniment: AC/DC, “Back in Black). And it wasn’t just any prayer, it was a typical evangelical prayer–lots of “and Lord”s, prayer for safety on the track, wisdom for “those who govern the race”, etc.* Is this normal in the racing world? Or is this just a southern Manitoba thing? Prayer was followed by the U.S. and Canadian national anthems and then we were off to the races, as they say.
Luke was ready to go home about 10 minutes into the event. We went mostly for Luke, who we thought would be very excited about this Cars-like event. And he was excited on the way to the event and was even hopping around in excitement as we approached the track, rumbling, roaring cars and all. But once we were in the venue, it was just too loud for him. This is a picture of the kids taken later on in the evening:
Luke sat like that for our entire time there (about 2.5 hours), other than the break an hour in. Actually, he sat in all sorts of positions (he was quite fidgety), but always with his ears covered.
I have no idea about anything relating to these events. I guess tonight it was super-stock racing, with 3 or 4 classes of cars racing: superstock, modified, supertrucks and possibly another kind. For the first hour they had short, 8-lap qualifying heats, then a break, then a couple of 15 lap races and, lastly, a 30 lap race. At the break, I bought Luke and Madeline some french fries and a Pepsi to share and, in the spirit of the event, I bought myself a Miller Genuine Draft (they had no Budweiser). Neither the Pepsi or the Miller were much good. The fries were ok.
As the evening progressed, it seemed the cars got louder and louder, but I think this is because the modified cars were the loudest and always the last in the sequence of races. Near the end of the evening when the track was dry, bits of dry mud would get kicked up into our faces as the cars raced past.
I was planning on leaving halfway through the 30 lap race to beat the traffic. 2 laps in there was a yellow flag, then another 2 more laps in. 5 laps in there was a 10 car pileup, but–and I can say this because I know everyone was ok–unfortunately we didn’t see it happen. After watching them pry apart the vehicles, Madeline asked if we could go home. And so we did.
It was a good evening.
More pictures and video in this Flickr set
*that’s not meant in mockery–simply that I didn’t expect to hear any prayer at all, least of all a prayer that sounded “normal” to someone with my evangelical upbringing.