'Head'ing to the Races?

        ROCKY'S ROAD            


 ‘HEAD’ING TO THE RACES?…..Better bring a fresh change of clothes.

In the early ’80’s, SIR was converted to a walk-up type race facility. As a spectator, you would park outside, then purchase your tickets and enter through some turn style-type gates. The Washington Liquor Control Board pressured Seattle International Raceway to accomplish this type of a system to better control alcohol use in and around the track. It was a big change and it did work well over time.

New slatted fencing, turn styles, and a large walk-up ticket booth were all part of this new look. The days of sitting in your car, watching the races with the front bumper leaning against the guardrail at SIR were over . . . and thank goodness for that!                                    

The entry point for ticket holders was just about a quarter-mile from the starting line, which required a lengthy walk to most of the seating.  When the spectators checked in through the turn styles they walked in groups towards the pit area. During the NHRA Nationals that walkway included manufacturers and vendors on both sides, allowing the race fans to be entertained as they walked along.

I often watched the race fans enter SIR to get a prelude of what social problems might be thrust upon me during the event day.  I took notice of a big, hulkish guy and a woman entering,  somewhat together. She seemed really disjointed about something that had taken place the evening piror and it seemed to include another woman. (eeekk!)

As they walked by me, her voice was at a similar decibel level as that of an average nitro-fueled drag racing vehicle. She was irate, to say the least, over this issue and everyone in the whole area was hearing about it.  As he walked in with her he was all slouched over, his hands stuffed into his pockets of his blue jeans, cowboy hat sort of pulled down over his eyes.  He was looking down at his feet and shrugging his shoulders.  He seemed a tad bit distant, possibly with good reason.

Because of the females loud discussion everyone in the gathering crowd kinda knew about the evening prior, so it seemed, except for the guy she was talking to. Obviously, he wanted to hide, but she was allowing nearly everyone in the area know all about it.

As her voice continued to grow louder, the less he responded.  And, the less he responded, the louder she got. What a dilemma!

They walked together for several hundred feet as more people took notice.  (Just another one of those SIR soap operas). The guy probably didn’t know about the crowd because he was pretty nonchalant about this whole thing. He looked like he just wanted her to go away. (Which probably meant there possibly was another woman the night before!)

And then the plot thickens! 


Welcome to behind-the-scenes at the races folks! Just about anything can happen at the drag races at any given time.

Approaching a lengthy wall of sani-cans, (portable rest rooms) this guy was able to pick one out from underneath that cowboy hat and then he made a fast turn and headed for the “john” -- which allowed him some relief from the ongoing noise. A little dust cloud arose as he accelerated speedily toward his temporary hideaway.  Inside he went and she set up camp at the door and not missing a beat in her one-sided conversation.  About 10 minutes went by before she finally figured out that he wasn’t going to surface anytime soon. He might have wanted to just outlast her....but that scheme just didn't work.

Those watching her noticed she was counting down to the end of the row to know which sani-can he was in. (Sounds like his number is might be up!) Then she disappeared, making the crowd wonder if she was finally through with her ongoing tirade.

As it turned out she certainly wasn’t.

All of a sudden, sani-can #21 tipped over near where the crowd was still standing, causing a massive deluge. You see, the woman with the strong voice also had some muscles to match. She had pushed over the portable restroom that had been housing her “conversation partner” and that huge sloshing crash was heard throughout the area.  The really bad part for him was that it landed on the door, making it inoperable for that poor sole inside. (How sweet is that?) 

The scorned woman had finished her deed, apparently with some satisfaction. Now, all that was left was some gurgling and gasping from the guy inside. It's hard to imagine exactly what was going on with this guy inside of that smelly, rancid out house facility.  

Meanwhile, the guys in the area immediately jumped in to help out their gender pal by lifting this “soaked” unit upright again, allowing a less than happy guy to come out for some…ahh, fresh air.

Embarrassed, oh yeah, but the female causing this rather interesting – at least to those watching this scene-had exited the area, allowing the guy to “head” to the nearest sink for a wash up. (He wasn’t about to find a new lady friend . . . not exactly dressed for that!)                            

The whole thing was very entertaining to those looking on.  It’s not often that fans get to see a man and woman resolve a disagreement at the drag races. I guess you could say that they seemingly got everything worked out.

I don’t know who was the goofiest one in this crazy story.  Her or him? 

Maybe me, because I was the track operator who was exposed to 30 years of this stuff!!


Coming next:  High School Drag Racing---a huge success.