When I moved to Beaver Dam in 2009 it was a move based on family and quality of life. Homes were at a price our family was comfortable with, we were getting the most square footage for our dollar, and taxes that were fairly reasonable. The amenities and services the city offered were a great fit for our lifestyle, and my wife’s family would always be close by. Little did I realize, as a race fan, I had just moved to the ideal location to continue my track chasing dreams. Beaver Dam is located about 30 minutes north of the “east” side of Madison, 60 minutes northwest of Milwaukee, and 90 minutes south west of Green Bay. If you draw a triangle between the big 3 cities you’ll find 43% of Wisconsin’s short tracks fall within this zone. With Dells Raceway Park (60 min), Tomah Sparta Raceway and Golden Sands Speedway (just under 2 hours) a reasonable drive away, that puts over half the short tracks in Wisconsin within reach each and every week. If you go to racingin.com, Beaver Dam is the only two track city on the map. The home base of all home bases, we picked a great location to give me the opportunity to support my local network of race tracks.
Of the 18 tracks located in the triangle network of race tracks I have only been to 7. Yes 7, not even half. Growing up on asphalt, I have not spent much time with the dirt boys. I quickly am realizing that there is something I am missing there. There is a reason dirt tracks out number asphalt tracks 2 or 3 to 1 in most parts of the country. They put on a consistent show every week, car counts at many tracks are high, and there is excitement in every race. It has always been a long term goal of mine to attend a race at every track in Wisconsin. In order to accomplish that however you sometimes need to do things a little different than before. I may need to miss a few shows I normally would not miss. Some tough decisions ahead, we’ll see if I can knock a few off that list this coming summer. With one scheduled event at Dodge County Fairgrounds on August 7th and 2 or 3 more on the watch list, 2015 may be a year of change.
MAY AS WELL BE THE MOON
Spending the first 25 years of my life in Milwaukee we did not venture too far from the city, but we did log some miles to go camping, vacationing, and of course go racing. When everyday conveniences are just a stones throw away, a drive outside of the city sometimes felt like it took 3 times longer than it really did. As a child, driving to and from Madison International Speedway was agonizing, and most nights on the way home I was sleeping before we got out of Madison. To this day I have family and friends that live in the city that Beaver Dam is the moon to them. I don't quite understand how driving 45 min to go 10 miles away, but driving 45 minutes to an hour to go 50 miles away is so difficult for city folk to fathom. Maybe this city boy is slowly turning into a country boy after all. I never thought it could happen, but I don't hate it. The greatest part for me, living in Beaver Dam, is that I have the best of both worlds. Just enough stores including a Walmart and the basics for restaurants, a quick 5-7 minute drive gets me anywhere in town I need to be. If you want to have a little fun, however, you have to log a few miles to get it. Now, those tracks like Tomah, Kaukauna, Oshkosh, Plymouth, and many more don’t seem so unattainable anymore.
We have 2 official meetup events coming in the next 2 weeks. Some of you may be asking yourself “what is a meetup event?”. Every race I attend is and will be posted on the Upcoming Events page of our website. This lets the other members know where I’ll be if they want to “meet up”. As the founder, webmaster, blogger, and social media guru for United Race Fans of Wisconsin, it is also an open invite for any race fan out there that would like to be part of our group to join and meet one of their fellow United Race Fans. Going forward I’d like all members to submit their upcoming events to the page, and as our group hopefully continues to grow this season we will look at changing the format of the page so we can all see who is going where. There are many ways to join this group, contact us via facebook, twitter, email, join page on the website, or attend one of many meetup events. There is only one qualifier to join, go support your local network of short tracks and attend a race. Seriously…attend a race and let us know via the many outlets just mentioned you attended and you’ll have a member number and be part of the group, its that easy! Then let the participation and comradery begin! Lets see how many events we can collectively attend in one season and keep the sport that we love growing. Our next events are at Beaver Dam Raceway Saturday April 25th and Madison International Speedway on Sunday May 3rd. We’ll see you at the races.
Rich Zimpel has been attending local race tracks for the past 30 years.