The old adage says, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Well, I’m here to tell you that I’m not in Rome, I’m in Louisiana. So……
Yeah, northern Louisiana Saturday night shenanigans begin with a trip to Chatham Speedway in – you guessed it – Chatham, Louisiana, population 623.
What is the Chatham Speedway, you ask? It’s dirt track racing at its finest. I didn’t know what this was until a few weeks ago when Norm said, “Hey, Stace. Bubba posted a video of himself racing in Chatham.”
“There’s a racetrack in Chatham?”
“Yeah, a dirt track. Looks like Bubba’s having a blast.”
I watched the video and must confess that, indeed, it looked like so much fun. I’m not an adrenaline junkie, but if I were, I would be a dirt track racer!
I had forgotten all about the dirt track when a couple of weeks ago, Norm said, “Hey, Stace. Bubba’s racing this weekend. We can get pit passes and hang out with him before the race. Would you like to go?”
Would I like to go? Silly question. I may be a very quiet, introverted, writer-type most of the time, but there are two distinct exceptions: loud rock music and loud hot rods.
“Sign me up!”
First thing we did when we arrived at the track was to go to “pit row” to visit with Bubba. He races in the compact category, one of several different classes. See how the rear window is open? Just before the races begin, drivers are asked to make a few rounds on the track in order to smooth the dirt. Family, friends, and fans are allowed to ride in the cars at this time, and Bubba asked Norm and me, “Y’all want to ride with me?” That was one of those moments when the skies part and the angels sing, “Aaaahhhh!” Y’all want to ride? What is it with men and their silly questions? For about fifteen minutes, I was a dirt track racer!
We went back to pit row after the ride to poke around some more before the races began. I was particularly enamored of the Superman car, not only because of its “stock” category (or maybe it was the “Limited” class?), but because of one of the sponsors. Do you see that “Russell Moore Lumber” advertisement on the rear fender? That’s Norm’s cousin Randy’s business, and Randy is a class act. A true Southern gentleman.
Friends, I’m sorry to say that Bubba didn’t finish his race. He blew the right rear tire when he hit the wall as he rounded a corner. His car took a beating, but he’ll do what these racers do – he’ll repair it and get right back in the next race. Sponsors are a big help in offsetting the high cost of racing!
What a night! This love affair has not ended yet, my friends. Nope! I will back in Chatham on a Saturday night in the near future to cheer Bubba on again!
I have lots of great memories of Saturday nights at the Danville dirt track when I was growing up. Thanks for the reminder. Glad to know they’re still out there!
It was a serendipitous discovery, indeed! ❤
Haha, you got a very unexpected adventure coming your way here!
So sorry that Bubba could not complete the race… Bad luck.
I have a 2nd cousin (female!) who’s quite good at racing but no dirt race tracks.
Husband Pieter and I have only once attended such a race here locally when Pieter’s former student who also immigrated to the USA with us, did race.
That’s it for us…
Glad you had this experience.
Happy 4th of July to you both!
Have a safe and fun holiday, Mariette! ❤