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I was late on the ball getting to the track. We scheduled a college tour with my oldest son at U of W Eau Claire Friday morning. Once that was over I kept driving east to my destination Road America. I was late getting to the track to receive my media credential so I decided to keep driving till I hit Lake Michigan. Onward to Sheboygan.
In almost 20 years of coming to Road America I have never passed the Fleet Farm in Plymouth just outside of Elkhart Lake. I drove around town by the water trying to find a place I would like to eat. Once I saw the English pub I was sold!! The Duke of Devon Pub About is what I needed.
When you walk in there isn’t an inch to spare on the wall, it’s almost too cluttered with pictures, quotes, flags…and anything else you can think of. I took my seat at the bar with a cloudy view of the canal that leads to the lake. The windows had pond scum on them and have not been cleaned in months but the fabulous Fish and Chips with a Belhaven Brew made up for it!!! After dinner and beer it was back to Elkhart Lake to crash for the night.
Saturday at the gate at 7am, driving towards Jakes Cup of Joe at the Sargento Bridge. Always a good conversation with the young man and his dad before I hit the paddock. I usually park on top with the teams going to the paddock area but……no cars there??? I see a gate in front of the drive and another a little farther, what’s the deal? I finished up my Joe and walked to the first gate and showed the gentleman my Trans-Am Credentials and he mentioned it was his 2nd week working. I mentioned to him that I always go through this gate, he said “ok” and on I went to the 2nd gate. I showed that gentleman my credentials and he said if you don’t have NASCAR you don’t get entry in this area. OK, I moved on and walked down towards the Tech Barn. I usually try to get the cars coming out of the pit. Not happening. Then I see it, an 8’ft fence all the way around the paddock with no access unless you have the old NASCAR pass. WHAT THE HELL!!! I’ve heard all about NASCAR is losing fans, well this doesn’t help. And these guys are really not the true real deal. Don’t Know and I Don’t Get IT!! They must have some good reason to push the cars out at T13 to get on the track except the NASCAR drivers. Yes, pit road was closed to the Trans-Am drivers. They were stuck at pre-grid for hot pits…nice hill!! It was like running a race at Road America without the Kink, it doesn’t make sense…none of this makes any sense!!
In short the Trans-Am racing was great to say the very least!! Ernie Francis Jr gets out in front and never looked back at the Rooster tails behind him from the pouring rain. Cliff Ebben’s runs out of track on the Carousel for a pass and keeps on the gas to get back on the track only to do it again a few laps later…but his Ford Mustang stuck it this time and was free and clear on the pass around Allegretta’s Corvette. Viper-Porsche-Viper on the podium for the TA#3…..TA4 was a Mustang sandwich with the Camaro being the meat. Mustang..Camaro..Mustang. Now the TA2 race…hold on, what a battle!!! Cameron Lawrence placed 4th, he drove the wheels off the car in the pouring rain. He did get a penalty and put the car off in the beach 2 times and rally car the Class Auto Center Camaro out of the beaches…did I say in the pouring rain? Cameron, I know you could take Tanner Foust spot on the Rally Car Circuit!! Gar and Shane from Pura Vida Tequila was in the hunt but just did not have it in this race. Nobody in this race could match Sheldon Creed in his Speedlogix Dodge Challenger from Stevens-Miller Racing. He was so dialed in he even passed 2 cars in the kink and 1 on the entrance while dancing in the rain. Sheldon you must have a couple of big ones…that was one hell of a race in the rain!! Next up was NASCAR Xfinity Series……. well time to get home. Can’t thank you enough for all your time. Yup, I left 3 hrs before the NASCAR Race. NASCAR has a place, it’s just not with me. I would rather watch some other Spec Racing.
BTW, I was kicked out of one of the Trans-AM teams paddock area for taking pictures of the tech bleeding brakes…can you guess by who??
See you at the track….CHEERS!!
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