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Boneman 11-16-2020 11:21 AM

Magnolia Motor Speedway!
 
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How many tracks do you visit that you would grade with a A+? I stopped at Magnolia Motor Speedway this weekend for their two day event called the Cotton Pickin' 100. It makes you re-think what a dirt track can do!

By the numbers: 212 cars in 7 classes, and a standing room crowd in the stands. I got the idea that even the track was surprised by the turn-out, but the mid-November weather was also ideal: 75 degrees all weekend and not a cloud in the sky.

Magnolia could handle a show of this size because the physical plant is excellent. The concessions worked quickly, and the whole place was neat and clean. Ok, so the bathrooms could expand a bit, but overall it was great.

And what racing! This is a 3/8 mile track with a "gumbo" surface. It was 98% dust free (somehow), and no dirt clods were thrown at the spectators. Even better, there were NO holes or bumps, even after 7 classes of racing. The surface turned black and shiney from the grass to the wall, so there were plenty of passing lanes. I used to think red clay was the way to go, but whatever gumbo is, I am a fan.

They also made a wise investment that will benefit them every race night: the lighting. It is bright, all operational, and it all comes from the spectators back, meaning there are no lights in the fans eyes. Well done!

Everyone likes to hear the downside, so here we go. The whole show on Saturday night was SIX HOURS LONG. Way too much, even for a hard-core fan like me. Friday night was a lot of qualifying, but they still time-trialed many classes, gave each one practice, hot lap sessions for the "locked in" cars and ran heats then B mains. I did not attempt to count the number of different sessions with cars on the track, but it must have been 35-40. Way too much.

I felt bad for the announcers. There were two of them and they were experts: funny, knowledgeable and they played off one and other. However, I could tell they were exhausted as the night went on. 6 hours....not good.

So if you are near Columbus, Mississippi in December, stop in a 3 day event called the Possom Town Grand Prix!

OldSchool+ 11-18-2020 02:35 PM

Boneman, am so glad you are getting to travel around and experience new racetracks.

Re: Long Show. I am pretty sure that is the norm in The Dirt World.

I had a similar experience at Volusia during Speedweeks a few years back. Even though the show was run off fairly well, it got to be midnight and they weren't close to running features.

Meanwhile, all the good old boys were settled in and no one was leaving.

But me. I had to go to work the next day.

zerofor 11-18-2020 08:58 PM

A few weeks ago when Citrus County Speedway ran the 99 lap Sportsman race it was also on the Halloween weekend.Between the candy & costume contests and segment race breaks when I got into my car it was 12:45 am.I walked out as soon as the final checker flag waved that night.And Citrus starts at 6:30 pm. so that made it over 6 hours there that night.But the following Saturday I was in the car by 10:30 pm following the 100 lap modified race.So maybe it isn't the norm.Citrus isn't usually a marathon affair but it turned into it that night.

Boneman 11-20-2020 12:27 PM

I was at Citrus that night too, and I enjoyed both long shows, BUT we are die-hards. It is hard to win fans to our sport when they have to wait so long to see the advertised main event.

zerofor 11-20-2020 02:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boneman (Post 179402)
I was at Citrus that night too, and I enjoyed both long shows, BUT we are die-hards. It is hard to win fans to our sport when they have to wait so long to see the advertised main event.

Indeed,many had already left that night by the time the second segment went green and by the time the last segment had started the stands looked pretty empty.Which is another thing entirely.Knowing that you plan on doing a long drawn out candy giveaway and follow it with costume contests,and have two different segment breaks which actually turn into separate intermissions,then you may reconsider placing the night's main event as the last race of the night.Many of the small children had fell asleep prompting their parents to exit long before the final green flag flew let alone the final checker flag.I don't know for sure about the mom's in attendance but I know of dad's that won't come back to a track that they're forced to leave from before the headline race actually runs.They could have pushed the mini stocks or anything else really behind the Sportsman that night.Hopefully in the future Citrus re thinks that nights scheduling.

driver50x 12-25-2020 09:19 PM

I was lucky enough to visit Magnolia Motor Speedway several years ago. To me it seemed like a downsized Eldora Speedway. Everything about that place seemed well done and first class.

Denman 12-28-2020 12:24 PM

Hey Boneman hope all is well. You brought back several memories of my dirt track visits with the long shows. Seems like dirt tracks are this way all over the country and as I have been told by many fans at these tracks, This is "Dirt Racing at its best". One visit I remember was that of a stop over in Fayeteville, North Carolina on our north bound trip a couple of years back. Starting time was approx 6 o'clock and they started on time, then the Time Trials for 17 divisions of cars which lasted about three hours, then heat races which numbered in the thirties, then the features. Fortunate they had the Carolina Clash late models first as we got to see the race we had planned for, and also part of the modified show. Finally we left at about 1:00 am, just couldn't watch any longer as our trip was to continue the following day. Spoke to desk clerk , who had a boyfriend racing in one of the divisions. she said the races ended about three thirty in the morning. So glad we left. Racing we saw was absolutely some of the best dirt racing we ever have seen. Show was just too dang long, concessions ran out of food way too early, and the concrete bleachers were very uncomfortable. All in all we still enjoyed the night. This has happened to me at tracks in Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia and others, all being dirt. Well Happy New Year to All and hopefully we will be able to get out and go to some races, other than Daytona, in 2021........


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