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Nicholson Speedway, 10/28
So, the weather did not cooperate with the VKA play day that had been planned for Nicholson Speedway on 10/27. Those of us who were planning to make the trip Saturday found out Friday afternoon that the event was officially "rained out".

What do you do when all your gear is packed and you're ready to go 'racin'? In this case, Paul Hunter contacted the track president, Joe Weissner, and inquired about whether or not we would be welcome to attend their Sunday club races the next day. We were happy to learn that Joe was all about inviting us to join in the fun! As it turned out, Paul, Ginny, Natalie, and I were the only "vintage" guests on Sunday, with Paul and I being the only "vintage" drivers. It was a last minute effort to salvage the weekend, but I'm going to come right out and say that anyone who could have joined us and didn't, really missed a great day at the track. Props to Paul for making the phone call and spearheading this backup plan!

So... Sunday morning, Paul and Ginny drove northeast from their Maryland homestead while Natalie and I headed southeast from the Harrisburg PA area, and we arrived at Nicholson Speedway in Chestertown at 9:00 AM. The track was hosting three small groups on Sunday, trying to make up for Saturday's weather. They had two classes of modern four-cycle club races, as well as hosting Paul and me, and a group of about six drivers and crew who organize and race in the Elkton (MD) Mini Grand Prix.

The Elkton Mini Grand Prix, we learned, is a charity fundraiser for cancer patients at Union Hospital, providing assistance with transportation, lodging, even wigs... helping with the stuff that gets expensive for cancer patients and their families besides the cost of the actual treatment. The Grand Prix folks were genuinely interested in our vintage karts. They are interested in including vintage karts in their event next October, on the streets of Elkton. It is a charity event, and, as such, the registration fee is not inexpensive, but it's a charitable donation. Besides, most trips to out of town tracks become pricey, so... if you can afford it, and you want to participate in a street race, you might consider contacting them to learn more about it.

Anyway... Test & Tune on the track was available between 10am and noon. It was divided into sessions, by class. With four classes, including vintage, our time on the track came around relatively quickly. Paul had brought three karts and I brought two. Paul had his Mc6 Blitz, his dual saw-engined Rupp, and his piped, clutched, Mc91B Clark. I brought my Rupp Grand Prix with a Mc91B, and the '61 Dart with Mc5 that I acquired in September. I had some problems with the untested BDC-16 carburetor that I'd intended to experiment with on my Grand Prix, and Paul had ignition problems with the Mc6 on his Blitz, so we ended up dividing our time between the karts that actually wanted to get out on the track and play.

At the driver's meeting that followed test and tune time, we were offered the option of participating in our own heats and feature race. Paul and I opted to use the time, instead, as additional open sessions of practice. It was fun to notice the modern karters spending their down time leaning on the fence, watching the smokey, loud, vintage karts do their thing!

Paul and I spent time on the track together, trading positions on the track, alternating between driving our own and each other's machines. At times, we'd go out solo while the other watched and listened, and we'd get together at the grid entrance and make adjustments to the carb mixture or make suggestions about matters of technique.

We all had a great time. The staff at Nicholson Speedway is sooooo friendly and enthusiastic. They really aim to please and, just like in May, really made us feel welcome. The club racers and grand prix drivers were very positive and interested in our vintage equipment. There was a number of parents and grandparents present, reminiscing about karts they had in their younger years.

In closing, the staff and regular participants at Nicholson Speedway have made it pretty clear that they are interested in accommodating vintage karting whenever they can. They invited Paul and me back for their Turkey Race on 11/11. I know that the timing of that might interfere, for some, with the Cherry Valley play day that's scheduled on 11/10. If you just can't make the trip north to Lafayette on 11/10, maybe you can make a day trip to Chestertown on 11/11. As I understand it, the Turkey Race registration fee for practice is $25.00. Registration to race is $50.00, and, if you let Heather know in advance that you'll be racing, you get to take home a frozen turkey. It will be an individual decision: Race in the vintage heat and feature, or opt for open practice between the other heats. Paul and I are watching the weather and strongly considering taking the opportunity to push the limits of the 2018 karting season, by getting another day on a track. Chime in here if you feel the need for speed on 11/11.

It's been a great first year in vintage karting for me.



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OK. My apologies, but I was slightly mistaken about the registration fee. Per the staff at Nicholson Speedway, for vintage drivers there is the option to either race or practice. Drivers who want to "practice" pay $25.00, but do not get a turkey. Drivers who want to "race" will pay $50.00 and will receive a turkey. Heather at Nicholson just needs to know in advance who will be "racing" so she can have enough turkeys on hand.

I edited the original post to update this information.


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