The Riff-Raff.....

If it were up to me…and it seldom is…I wouldn’t let any fans, racers or ANYBODY sit along the outside of the turns to a race track. Sorry, Jerry, but there had to be something, SOMEDAY that we would not agree upon…lol.

I just can see, from a safety standpoint anyways, how you could let someone stand or sit so close to an area where 90 mph race cars could come into violent contact with an immovable, concrete wall.

So let’s say, for fun, that that sprint car or late model DIDN’T come careening over the wall, tearing down the flimsy, insurance-mandated, catch fence.
Say that it DIDN’T land directly on top of that family of four who were busy grilling there Walmart steaks on their hibachi fold-up grill.

Imagine that it DIDN’T rupture the 31 gallon fuel cell and burn to death the 15 people who got trapped beneath the wreckage along with their cornhole game.

Then imagine something worse. Maybe a loose wheel into the crowd. Maybe some drunk feels like he needs to get into the action and throw a bottle over or thru the fence at their driver’s “enemy”,

Is there anything worse than that?
A racecar in the stands with the spectators?

There just can’t be anything good about that at all.

Soooo…I’m against letting people park and watch from there. It’s also a distraction for the drivers during a race. I know I wouldn’t want to see some kids arm coming thru the fenceThey don’t really need an excuse to climb the wall and start tearing stuff, do they?

On a happier note: I visited I-55 Speedway (Federated Auto) outside of St. Louis today. Man, what a great looking race track! So wish I could’ve stayed to catch a race there…beautiful racetrack!

OJ… you STILL didn’t find something we disagree on. Ive seen what can happen when things go terribly wrong.

As a kid of about 8 years old, I saw a car flip wildly out of control, landing in the pit grandstand outside of turns 3-4. These stands were filled with crew members and such (thankfully NO KIDS, as they are smart enough not to allow it), and 4 of them didn’t survive it. Another 18 were injured enough to be hospitalized, and countless scrapes, bumps and bruises. The scene that night was just horrific, and still plain as day in my mind.

Anything could happen at anytime at any racetrack, but the corners are a higher risk than straightaways.

I guess the folks at Showtime haven’t seen what ‘could’ happen, because they let dozens of people line the turns 1-2 without so much as chicken wire between them and the racing surface.

There is no such thing as a “safe” place to watch a race from, but the dangers in the corners are multiplied from what the straights are.


I dont see how anyone could disagree with either of you! Have seen some really close calls!

I just dont agree with buying Walmart steaks, or for that matter anything from Walmart. Support smaller corporations or mom and pop local stores, before they are all gone!!


So where were ya’ll talking about parking at Sunshine, then? I thought ya’ll were wanting to pull the car right up to the fence and watch the races? I must be confused (which is nothing new…haha…beat ya to it, Rex)

Carol, ever the master of arguing both sides of an argument that you are…what do you think happens at Punta Gorda every weekend? People…and that includes a bunch of little kids, sit and stand close enough to the turn walls to get pelted with the oil dry from the last blown motor. Do they still have the launching pads…I mean, tires strung together…up in the middle of the turns? Or the two piece, lego block, outside walls?

PGS won’t have to worry about the economy taking a toll on it’s business plan. One of these days the odds will catch them and a race car, or parts from one, will wind up giving some fan the up close and personal encounter he or she was seeking. Then, of course, the next races will be who can file a lawsuit quickest. There are plenty of tracks with that particular “end game scenario” to learn from…Golden Gate comes to my mind, for instance. Don, do you remember the night that the figure eight car’s hood just about cut thru the back straightaway fence at Desoto? Looked like a freakin’ frisbee.

Gotta go but you all get my drift.

Well, maybe not all of you…:engel016:

PS…any comments about I-55 Speedway, Jerry? It looked like an awesome place to race.


I am not talking about any track in particular. I am agreeing with you. ANY track … I have heard our announcer many many times telling people to get away from the fence. IF they move they come right back. And the whole truth is that no matter what the rules are people will disregard them and until a horrible tragedy happens…well you know better than anyone what its like…
I never ever said things were “perfect” at PGS. They cant be at any race track. the unpredictable can happen in the blink of an eye. It is a dangerous sport. I agree fences should be in top condition and NO ONE should be standing close to one. Not having a fence is INSANE!
I hope you dont find an argument in my post as there isnt one! Have a nice day.
Carol Wicks

Put up an adequate fence and let the people watch from anywhere on the track. The pits at Hialeah were on the outside of turn 1 and 2. The fence was right on top of the wall, so a car that hit the concrete would be right at your feet. Over the years, there were thousands of cars that nailed the wall directly in fron of us. The only problem was the dust and oil dry that blew up in your eyes, otherwise we had a super view of the action.

Catch fences for the most part are a joke any way there agin like carol I am not speaking of any track. I have seen and have most on video of near tragity. One I can think of right off was when 2 late models got together coming out of 4 and Burrows was catapulted up on the wall. The fence was torn down but the catch wire did its job. There was some injuries from flying debris. I remember the Cowboy caddy at PG that got upon the fence all the way down the front straight and the fence held. As I remember Matt the tires you speak of catapulted Buttrum upon the wall. It was a bad idea and they were removed that week. I remember the hood at Desoto, I have it on video some where.

" Audio follows the video"

Now that you mention it

Since you said Golden Gate , if my memory serves me , the night that the tire/wheel came off a car and went into the pit stands and killed a spectator it cleared the catch fence by at least 3 times the height of the fence . It was sailin’ !!! So no catch fence anywhere would have stopped it. Just like the movie “Final Destination” when it’s your time , it’s your time. It doesn’t matter if you are sitting on the toilet in a thunder storm , if the lightning wants you, you’re toast. The problem is “LAWYERS” . Say it again “LAWYERS”
. There just doesn’t appear to be such thing as an accident anymore. It’s ALWAYS got to be someone’s fault. Someone has to be sued . What about an act of god ? Hurricane blows your house down , sue the weatherman because he didn’t warn you in time . Or better yet , (Katrina) let them tell you for a week to get the hell outa town and you just sit there and get flooded. Then biotch about how long it’s taking to get free crap !
And how come there’s no such thing as a Bum, Tramp , Hobo , or Wino anymore ? Where did they go ?
And what about … Oh sorry . too long . Never mind the rest. :mad:

OJ… as for I-55, I once drove from Nashville to St. Louis with plans to hit Pevely for a Wednesday night show. Called the track for last minute directions only to find out the rain that hit them the night before had flooded the track and had rained out (sun was shining as I was on the phone).

I tried, but Ma Nature beat me to Pevely,Mo.

As for the parking at Showtime, the drive-in spots are along the back stretch, not really the turns, although it does have a little wrap-around turn 2. Volusia’s drive-in is entirely in the turns.

Another thing that concerned me at Showtime, is that the fencing along the back is mounted the wrong way. I was told the DOT had put up the fence, which was designed to keep people OUT, not racecars IN. The fencing is strung and attached on the back side of the posts, not the front side. The only thing keeping cars/wheels/parts from coming through are the little wire tie-wraps that hold the chain link to the posts. The strength of the fence is useless, as it’s the tie-wraps holding anything back. Once they snap, you’ve got nothing. They need to move the fence INSIDE the pole line, not outside it.

golden gate

fyi, I was in the grand stand at goldengate that night too…and the problem there was the catch fence was 20-30 feet away from the race track…the tire and wheel went down into a small grassey ditch area and was shot out of the ditch as if it were a ramp, into the stands…catch fences work great, IF they are installed right. When they are right you will see 3-4 rows of huge cable behind them, which is ancored by big steel posts. And to be safe at that point people should be kept 3-4 feet off of that, because if a car were to get into it, and it holds, it will still stretch 2-3 feet…when it comes to safty at local tracks, give it up, the track owners will not spend the money, untill a few people get hurt bad…dont get me started…no fire trucks, no ambulances, no safty check on race cars…sometimes you just have to be happy to have a place to go race or watch…us smart ones wont stand to close to the fence, and will make sure our cars are safe…

Like I said

I was stretching the memory a bit there . I was just a wee lad . But the sight of that tire flying through the air stayed in there at least . That makes sense about the dirt though. They had dirt hills or berms around the outside and it must have came off and rolled full speed at the dirt ramp like Evel Knievel. :sprachlos020:

A catch fence alone isn’t enough. There must be cables to keep the cars on the track. Without the cables, the cars will get into the fencing and, possibly go through it or the fencing will wrap around the car. Think of the fence wrapped around a car that’s on fire and the driver can’t get out. Ideally, you have a wall that keeps the cars on track and doesn’t launch them. A catch fence/cable system (installed correctly) next to the wall and another fence a distance back to keep spectator away from the catch fence.
I’m quite use to seeing tracks with no walls, except on the main straight. This can prevent wrecks, cautions, and damage to cars. One track in NY has this and decided to put a parking area in turns one and two for camping, drive in spectating. They kept the area quite a ways back from the track and installed fencing in front of the parking area. I never watched a race from there and really didn’t think it would be all that great but they use to get a lot of people using it.