Tom Dash Memorial Speedway:
by Jim Kayser
The Tom Dash Memorial Speedway is a one-half-mile, ten-turn course that combines the best of both of racing's aspects -- speed and technical difficulty.
Drivers tear down the long front straightaway at speeds exceding 90 MPH in the upper classes. They barely break as they fly through turn 1, a 90-degree, high-banked left-handed turn that feeds them down a short straight to the big daddy -- The Sweeper.
The Sweeper is another high-banked turn, but this one takes drivers on a complete 180-degree turn. Drivers then angle to the right before heading into the one major right-handed turn on the track -- and also the slowest portion -- the Kayser Hairpin.
This turn angles drivers 120 degrees to the right, feeding into the zig-zagging DeCerboEsses. Another 90-degree left-handed turn, the Keeler Korner, awaits drivers after they exit the DeCerbo Esses.
When the drivers go through Keeler Korner, they are really going DOWN Keeler Korner as it feeds them downhill and back up to a high rate of speed. But it doesn't get any easier, as just when they've reached the bottom of the incline, they must hang on for dear life to make it through the Silveira Chicane.
The drivers are actually accelerating through this tricky back-and-forth sweep, and they must, because a hard, 90-degree left-handed turn feeds them back on to the main straightaway and back to the start-finish line.
The track, barely a year old, has already been proclaimed as one of the best in the West by thosewho should know -- the drivers. It combines high speeds with demanding turns. You don't win at the Tom Dash Memorial Speedway just on sheer horsepower alone, but you can't win without it, either.
Then again, if you don't have the right amount of finesse, you'll find yourself off in the hay bales.
The bottom line for the drivers is, is that the course is just plain fun!