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So this past Friday night my girlfriend and I decided it was time we saw first hand what all the hype was about at the Williams Grove Speedway. It’s funny that I’ve been living less than 5 miles away for the past 5 years and I’ve never once given the place consideration for weekend entertainment (apparently the raceway has been there since 1939). Personally, racing has never interested me, it seems more of a country sport, is it a sport? (If you’re a racing fan don’t be offended by my racing naivety) Anyhow, just recently the Williams Grove Speedway has been sort of eeirily brought to my attention. I first started noticing a lot of locals around Mechanicsburg have sprint car stickers on their cars, which seemed strange but I gave it little thought. Soon after I started noticing the car stickers, I couldn’t help but notice one of my neighbors actually had a sprint car sitting in their driveway, rather weird eh? But the final “sign” that told me to go to the speedway was that my chiropractor (Mechanicsburg Chiropractic is awesome) actually sponsors a sprint car that belongs to the massage therapist’s boyfriend – whoa! So I told my girlfriend we were destined for a Friday night adventure and we set off in the sound of roaring engines (you can hear them for miles).

We didn’t make it for the very start of the races, so we had to park a little ways walk from the stadium in a grass field. The first thing I noticed was that the track was huge, and there was certainly a lot of excitement going on – there was easily a few thousand people there! I had no idea the races were so popular! We strode up a muddy road around the side of the track to a ticket window where we tried to use our college ID’s to get discounted $9 tickets. The old man inside the booth just looked at us like we had spoken to him in a different language. Apparently, people attending college are not considered “students” at the raceway, rather odd. Anyway we ended up paying $15 a piece to get in which in my opinion was a little steep, but there was no way we could leave now! After reluctantly paying the old man we stepped inside the stadium immediately into a different world. Like I said there were thousands of people crowding about, some standing, some sitting up in the stands, but everyone looking quite country and enjoying their favorite case of bud light (cans only allowed in the stadium FYI).  I’ll admit this was a little bit of a culture shock for the both of us at first, and it was apparent we had an immediate disadvantage at fitting in as neither of us had remembered to pack blue jeans, a cut off racing t-shirt, camouflage racing hat, or 30 rack of cheap beer!

The adventure continued as we attempted to find a place to sit in the stands. There appeared to be a good amount of seats open in a nearby section that was located near the turn of the dirt raceway so we headed over. I immediately noticed large pellets of dirt all over the stands but didn’t really think much of it, but after curiously surveying those sitting around me it became apparent that they were all wearing an array of protective eye gear; glasses, work goggles, and even ski googles. How strange. Well, before I could ask my girlfriend what she thought about everyone wearing such stylish glasses the sprint cars (they look like go-carts with roof racks to me) came roaring around the track and wouldn’t you know they threw so much dirt and pellets at  us up in the stands we could barely see! So they weren’t just wearing the ski goggles to be trendy! We quickly relocated to a different set of bleachers closer to the center of the track to avoid the dust and dirt pellets.

This section was noticeably more enjoyable to sit in, especially when we noticed a gentleman entering the speedway with a pink polo on and slicked back hair. Bad choice my friend for a day at the raceway. Needless to say, he received a host of unruly comments from those already seated in the stands as he walked by in search of a seat, nervously looking around for whoever invited him to come to the races and neglected to tell him the normal pink popped collar polo might not be a wise choice of evening attire. Pure entertainment.

The races were in fact entertaining, and there were quite a few crashes on the track which really got the crowd on their feet in a hurry. The place was loud, the crowd a bit rough, and the evening altogether extremely entertaining. I do plan on a return visit, but next time I’ll be sure to enter the park dressed in character and armed with a case of beer.

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2 Comments

  1. Hey, you have a great blog here! I’m definitely going to bookmark you!

    it is amazing and GREATE post here ..

    Thanks & REgards
    Salem

  2. Great post. The track has a great history and people travel from all over the US and the world to see the Grove.


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  1. By the grove speedway on 22 Jul 2008 at 2:10 am

    […] it was time we saw first hand what all the hype was about at the Williams grove Speedway. …https://midstatemantra.wordpress.com/2008/06/10/sprint-car-racing-at-the-williams-grove-speedway-an-e…Lincoln Speedway :: View topic – Outlaws The […]

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