Track Night in America
The first Track Night In America event for the New England Region was held at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut last week. Track Night in America is a new program from the SCCA, because hanging out with car friends is fun and driving fast is fun. Why not do in a place that it’s legal? Drag strip track nights were created to curb illegal drag racing, not that there has been a problem with illegal road course racing. Why not have them for road courses? The real issue is that tossing a sports car that is capable of speeds worthy of insurance surcharges and jail time around back country roads isn’t ideal.
Track Nights are the affordable, safe alternative*. From the event I witnessed at Thompson Speedway, most folks drove at their comfort level and had a good time. It’s easy, sign up online, show up with a car that’s ready for hot laps and you are good to go. It’s not a race and the organizers reminded everyone at the drivers meeting that the only trophy you can go home with is an undamaged car.
I was jealous working the fences and shooting photos, because I had signed up to drive. Then what is almost always the case before a major event with a car, something went wrong. A month before the event I spend a week under the car replacing a steering rack. Other than the leaky rack, it was bone dry under the car. I currently have a mystery leak between the engine and transmission, so I decided not to chance it running on the track. Luckily the nice people at the SCCA were willing to work with me and I’m currently scheduled for the July 9th event.
*(safe is a relative term, your individual driving and good judgment make events safe)