General Info About Track Descriptions
[Editor's note: this note describes the format for track descriptions
contributed by Mark Shumaker. All track descriptions contributed by
Mark will contain pointers to this page. Richard Welty]
The text descriptions I have written for various U. S. tracks (those tracks
which include references to this note) will include, wherever possible:
- A short note about the history and background of the track and its
- The name and telephone number of the track owner or manager, or the
telephone number of the track office, for information about track or garage
rental or for other information.
If the track office is in a different location from the track itself, I have
tried to obtain telephone numbers for both locations; if I have only one number
it is generally at the track.
- The shipping address of the track, where you would have Federal Express
deliver the replacement for the left-handed frammis you broke while testing
Some tracks (such as Pueblo) apparently have no street address and are unknown
to delivery truck drivers; in such cases I have attempted to provide an
alternate contact for shipping purposes.
- A track map, sometimes.
I have found that track maps are very often inaccurate, sometimes misleadingly
so, and I have tried to select the best ones I can get.
I try to work from surveys when I can get them (rarely); when I have only a
a published map, I will try to edit it or at least point out its flaws.
- The location of the track.
When the road from which the track is entered is not found on conventional AAA,
Rand-McNally, or oil-company road maps, or where there are several routes to
the track from nearby major towns or highway intersections, or just whenever I
feel like adding one, there is also a description of how to reach the track
from the nearest town, Interstate interchange, or major highway intersection.
And sometimes more than one.
Within this part of the description, roadways are referred to in these
- Interstate highways are in the form 'I-999';
- U. S. highways are in the form 'US-999';
- State highways are identified in the form 'Route 999';
- All other roads are named as they appear on local road signs (e.g.:
'County J', 'Hunter Road', 'County Road 550').
Whenever a road is locally known by more than one name, I have tried to
include all of its names once and refer to it elsewhere by one of the names.
- A general description of the competitors' facilities: paddocks and
garages, and if you must cross the track to reach them; availability of air,
fuel, water, spare parts, and electricity; tire concessions; and any other
special provisions (like a pressure washing station).
- A general description of the amenities at the track: toilet type and
quality, showers, food concessions, special provisions (like an RV holding
tank dump station), and things of that nature.
- A general description of the track: length and number of turns and/or flag
stations, elevation changes, width, smoothness, hazardous areas (this is
admittedly subjective), and approximate maximum and minimum speeds reached by
mid-pack CSR cars -- the only type I am closely familiar with -- for initial
gear selection purposes.
- For tracks where I have competed recently enough to have a clear
recollection, I include a more detailed description of the track itself, with
no speeds or gears or shift points specified.
Sometimes I am able to locate and include a hot-lap description; I do not
generally write these because I've never found speed and shift point
information to be of any use except for the particular type of car which they
- Sometimes I include a map of the general area, which occasionally will
include callouts to various accomodations.
- A listing of accomodations at or near the track: if camping is permitted,
whether there is a charge for it and what is provided (RV hookups, for
example); a reasonably detailed listing of motels and hotels in the vicinity
of the track, with directions and approximate distances; and related shopping
(restaurants, groceries, hardware stores, racing and street gas, etc.).
The date when the accomodations listing was last updated will also be shown
in that section, it may differ from the date on which the rest of the contents
of the description were last updated.
Tracks where I have raced will have more detailed information; such tracks
should be obvious from context.
Tracks where I have planned to race but have not as yet done so, also obvious
from context, will have less detailed information; for these tracks I have
tried to obtain at least accurate track locations, contact telephone number and
shipping address, some general descriptions, and accomodation information --
in general, the things I want to know about the track for my first visit.
I would welcome updated or expanded information about these tracks (and others,
Tracks change shape, management, and policies; their surfaces get bumps,
patches, and (occasionally) repaved.
Tire and fuel suppliers go out of business.
Roads are relocated, renamed, and abandoned; and new ones built.
Motels and restaurants change ownership, telephone numbers, names, policies,
and service quality; and go out of business; and new ones are built.
All of the accomodation and track information is only accurate as of the dates
specified in that description, and may not be 100% accurate as of then
(although I have sincerely tried).
I have not stayed at all of the motels listed nor eaten at all of the
restaurants; I do not specifically recommend (nor warn against) any of them.
I'm not responsible for changes in prices, policies, or facilities, nor for
poor service, nor for your leaving the pavement or blowing your engine at any
of the hotels, motels, restaurants, or tracks listed here; nor for your getting
lost finding them.
Of course, I will welcome information about recommended changes to any of my
descriptions so that I may update the listings.
Track speeds, where given, represent the maximum speed which a mid-pack CSR car
would expect to reach in top gear at that track, and the slowest speed for
which it must be in the power band in the lowest driving gear.
They must be adjusted for other types of cars; they're probably pretty close
for DSR and S2000 cars at moderate-speed tracks but will be low for FA and FC
cars at such tracks; large GT cars will tend to reach higher top speeds on
most courses but have lower cornering speeds; and other types of cars will
generally have lower top speeds and cornering speeds.
In any case, these speeds are only offered to help you with initial selection
of an axle ratio or gearsets for your first time at a new track.
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