August Happiness Challenge
09 August 2016
Welcome back, race fans. We are in day 9 of our August Happiness Challenge. We are at just a little over 29% of the challenge and we are still going strong.
We may have to pit soon and take on a little fuel and some right-side rubber, but overall, we think this has been a good race.
No, people, I am not a NASCAR enthusiast. In fact, if you read my post called Fish IHave Known, you may remember I get all my fishing done in the first five minutes. I get my race watching done even faster.
However, I am a little nostalgic about #2. No, not the kind of #2 most people think about when they think of that term.
The number 2 I am thinking of is race car number 2 on the dirt tracks back in the area where I grew up. Number 2 was the number and the name of the racecar our Western Auto Associate Store sponsored.
The car was built and raced by Alton Carnes of Carnes and Towns Garage in the major metropolis of Iva, South Carolina. The car was orange. But, not just any orange; it was a special orange.
Alton Carnes and his friends painted cars as part of their living. And they were very darn good at it, too. Well, when it came time to paint their racecar, they decided to custom mix a paint. So, they went into their paint shop and experimented with colors until they came up with Number Two Orange. This was a special paint with a secret formula.
They painted the race car with this special paint. And, they decided that to promote it, they would paint the Western Auto Store’s flagship vehicle with this special paint. The truck was soon given the name “Old Red.” Why a vehicle that is about as orange as one could get would be named Old Red, I have no idea.
Well, again it makes me happy to think of the races we went to see the car we sponsored, in part, race. Both tracks they raced on were dirt tracks in the middle of no freakin’ where.
Multiple races were run each weekend. Just before the start of the series of races, a water truck would go around and water down the dirt track. The first few races were as muddy as a pig pen. Cars would slip and slide in the mud and bump into one another.
After the first few races, the track began to dry out. By the main event, the track was very dry and dusty as it could be.
Then, the real fun started. Number Two and about twenty other cars would pull out onto the track and take warm up laps. By the time the second warm up lap was completed, the air was full of that bright red Georgia clay that so many people talk about. It was literally everywhere.
We would watch and cheer Number Two on to victory, or so we hoped. After the races, we would climb back in my mother’s car and ride the thirty or so miles back home. The next day, I would take two shop vacs, empty them out, and gang them together to make a suction force of about 50 horse power to try to get all that bright red clay out of the car.
To give you an idea of how strong this vacuum suction was, take your average size dog, and put him on a tile floor. Then, imagine enough force to pull that dog across the floor toward you. That is about half the power this combination of vacuums had. It took about two hours each week to get most, not all, of the red dust out of my mother’s car. This was a usual Saturday thing after going to the Friday night race.
Sometimes Number Two won, sometimes it lost. But, we had fun either way. Believe it or not, it was kind of fun eating hot dogs covered in red clay dust.
Remembering those times makes me happy.