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Dirt Track Date by Ann Treacy
June 14, 2011, 2:14 am
Filed under: Minnesota

Last weekend the whole family packed up and went to the Raceway Park in Shakopee for NASCAR races. Only we actually went for the destruction night, which I think is more like demolition derby – although I must admit that the nomenclature sort of eludes me. But I can tell you it was good, loud fun.

We were drawn in with an Internet half-off coupon. We ended up going on a rainy cold night – so the events were delayed for a while until they could dry the track. I suspect that the experience is even better when it’s warm and on time. It’s fun to watch the races.

The night started with regular laps. So we each picked our favorite color and cheered. The races got a little more exciting when they held the flag pole race. That’s when they stick a flag pole in the middle of the track. The cars races up to it, then they have to drive around it and continue with their laps. The best part of course is when all of the cars are angling to be in the same place and then some cars are coming out of the turn just as other want to get in. The next race was the figure eight. It starts out much like the regular race but as the pack widens out you see the thrill of the cars have to pass each other at the crossroads in the center. There were some other events – but with the late start that’s what we saw.

Usually the winners drive up to get the trophy on their way off the track. One guy stopped, got out of his truck, ran up the into the stands and gave the trophy to a fan. I half expected the trophy to come with a proposal. Also Speed TV was there. I must admit I have never seen Speed TV – but it’s always exciting to have the TV cameras and interviewer walking around.

The other really great part of the car races is the people watching. A night at Raceway Park is pretty economical. A beer is $3 and they have candy for a quarter – compare that to Target Field! There were two young mothers in front of us with three kids easily under five and a preteen who had to be a sister to one of the moms. These women were clearly out for a night of fun (in a good way) and had decided that bringing the kids was cheaper and easier than a babysitter. Those kids got two bomb-pops each, several rounds of French fries, chicken drummies and two kinds of earplugs. While the moms got grown up treats. Many of the audience members had buckets of beer, which is an old Kemps ice cream bucket full of ice and some beer, like Bud Light.

I’m sure that I haven’t had a Bud Light since the turn of the century, but in the right atmosphere a Bud Light can be pretty darned good. (The girls did not get bomb-pops, but they did get Slow Pokes and KITS candy.)

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