DSM history buffs - Des Moines Speedway?

okeefe4prez

Well-Known Member
Interesting stuff indeed. I luv racing history. My father and uncle dirt track raced in the mid to lat 60's and 70's for my uncle. My best friends father raced dirt back in the late 70's and in the 80's.

I might go to one of the dirt Bristol races next year. I skipped it this year because I wanted to see it on TV first. I won't do the 500 lapper, but maybe the truck or Busch Grand National race will be on my agenda for next year. Taking my boy down to Darlington again in 2 weeks. He's stoked. Darlington is one of the greatest tracks in the world.
 

Luftgekuehlt67

Well-Known Member
Great to see some race fans on HN!

As far as street courses go, I find for me it's kind of a hot/cold thing. The ones I like, I really like.

Monaco I think might be near the top of my must see races list every year. I watch every F1 race anyways, but Monaco just has something extra special about it. There seems to be a growing cacophony of complaints about the lack of passing but, for me it's one of those tracks that it's really the driver vs the track much more so than the driver vs the other drivers. And then of course you have the spectacle and tradition on top of that, pretty cool.

A couple in the 'States that I have always really enjoyed are Long Beach and Belle Isle (Detroit - Indy has run a Sat/Sun double header here for a number of years). Very interesting layouts and, while I don't think either is nearly at the Monaco level of a challenge, both have plenty of places where the difference between a fast lap and a wrecked car is a question of inches.

Probably more examples of street courses that just don't seem to quite work, now that I think of it. It's very easy for them to just feel a little shoehorned into the space without much visual spectacle or flow to the layout. I think Singapore, for me, is a good example. A lot of F1 fans hold that track in high regard, but I find it extremely dull and the corners to be all a bit same-y.

I have never actually attended a street race in person, but my understanding is the in person experience is generally pretty poor. Obviously, with Monaco, I think it would just be a thrill to be there soaking it all in even if you only can see a postage stamp size piece of the track. Belle Isle, as a counter example, might be better enjoyed from the couch. I don't know that for sure, but I'd certainly want to do some research on the in person experience before I book a flight to Dee-troit City.

I'm probably rambling more than a bit off topic, but I'll add as an aside that, if you ever get the chance to hit up an IndyCar race...do it. We went out to Laguna Seca a couple years back and I think I had almost as much fun as I do when I'm at a track to actually drive. We were going to either do Indy @ Laguna Seca or the USGP @ Austin and I left it entirely up to my son. I was secretly leaning USGP, but he said "Indy" immediately. For the price of a single day GA USGP pass, we got a weekend all-access pass for the Indy race and, wow, what an experience. I went assuming "all access" was mostly marketing speak but they weren't kidding. Close enough to touch the cars in a lot of cases, drivers walking right past you, etc. Hell, I met Mario Andretti! It was very cool. Race day itself was also awesome. We basically slow walked around the entire course and watched the action from every angle imaginable and then watched the last few laps from the top of the grandstands. Obviously, the experience may vary from track to track but, at Laguna Seca at least, it was 10/10.
 

okeefe4prez

Well-Known Member
Great to see some race fans on HN!

As far as street courses go, I find for me it's kind of a hot/cold thing. The ones I like, I really like.

Monaco I think might be near the top of my must see races list every year. I watch every F1 race anyways, but Monaco just has something extra special about it. There seems to be a growing cacophony of complaints about the lack of passing but, for me it's one of those tracks that it's really the driver vs the track much more so than the driver vs the other drivers. And then of course you have the spectacle and tradition on top of that, pretty cool.

A couple in the 'States that I have always really enjoyed are Long Beach and Belle Isle (Detroit - Indy has run a Sat/Sun double header here for a number of years). Very interesting layouts and, while I don't think either is nearly at the Monaco level of a challenge, both have plenty of places where the difference between a fast lap and a wrecked car is a question of inches.

Probably more examples of street courses that just don't seem to quite work, now that I think of it. It's very easy for them to just feel a little shoehorned into the space without much visual spectacle or flow to the layout. I think Singapore, for me, is a good example. A lot of F1 fans hold that track in high regard, but I find it extremely dull and the corners to be all a bit same-y.

I have never actually attended a street race in person, but my understanding is the in person experience is generally pretty poor. Obviously, with Monaco, I think it would just be a thrill to be there soaking it all in even if you only can see a postage stamp size piece of the track. Belle Isle, as a counter example, might be better enjoyed from the couch. I don't know that for sure, but I'd certainly want to do some research on the in person experience before I book a flight to Dee-troit City.

I'm probably rambling more than a bit off topic, but I'll add as an aside that, if you ever get the chance to hit up an IndyCar race...do it. We went out to Laguna Seca a couple years back and I think I had almost as much fun as I do when I'm at a track to actually drive. We were going to either do Indy @ Laguna Seca or the USGP @ Austin and I left it entirely up to my son. I was secretly leaning USGP, but he said "Indy" immediately. For the price of a single day GA USGP pass, we got a weekend all-access pass for the Indy race and, wow, what an experience. I went assuming "all access" was mostly marketing speak but they weren't kidding. Close enough to touch the cars in a lot of cases, drivers walking right past you, etc. Hell, I met Mario Andretti! It was very cool. Race day itself was also awesome. We basically slow walked around the entire course and watched the action from every angle imaginable and then watched the last few laps from the top of the grandstands. Obviously, the experience may vary from track to track but, at Laguna Seca at least, it was 10/10.

Monaco is the one race I really want to go see in person before I die. I pretty much quit watching NASCAR for the time being (got tickets off a credit) but if my son is really into it we'll do a few per year. It's easy because I'm within about 4 hours of all the great tracks: Dega, Darlington, Bristol and Martinsville plus Charlotte and ATL, both of which I find to be "meh."

But Monaco, man I love that race. I started watching F1 in the late '80's when I had a paper route. A lot of the races were on live when I would finish on Sunday morning. Watching Senna at Monaco was a treasure. I don't care how many races or titles Lewis Hamilton wins while wheeling the best car out there, Ayrton Senna is and will forever be the GOAT. Memorial Day Sunday I spend the whole day watching racing. Monaco, Indy, World 600. But I have found the 600 to have gotten pretty boring. It used to be an endurance race, but now it's just point and punch the throttle. I think the last one I watched Martin Truex led 396 out of 400 laps. Absolute snoozefest.

Though not as high on the bucket list, I do want to go to Suzuka with my son when he is old enough to fully translate to make sure we don't get lost. Last time I was in Tokyo it was during the F1 race in 2019 and I met a bunch of dudes who uniformly said "YOU HAVE TO GO TO AT LEAST ONE F1 RACE BEFORE YOU DIE." Suzuka is another classic track.
 

Luftgekuehlt67

Well-Known Member
Yeah, Suzuka is awesome - such an awesome track. I believe it was developed as a test track for Honda, and you can kind of tell from the layout - it's got a little of everything. That could easily feel very contrived and artificial, but the way it all comes together at Suzuka feels really smooth. A lot of fun and some classic moments!

If you ever make it, you have to post about the experience. I doubt I ever make it, but I've heard it's un-freaking-believable. The fans are crazy enthusiastic, but in a very unique Japanese sort of way - the crazy hats, costumes, etc. I love it, so unique! I don't know if this is still the case, but I know at one point thousands of people would stick around the circuit well after the race was over to watch a replay of the race on the big screens. Might be even nuttier this year with Tsunoda racing.
 

uihawk82

Well-Known Member
We went a few times. I liked getting to see the cars and stuff, but talk about a dud of a spectator event. First off, it was hotter than balls. Second, you could see the exit of one corner, the straightaway and the entry into another corner. After the first lap, there was a solid 1 second gap between pretty much everyone. Other than Monaco, there's just no need for city street GPs anymore.

It's unfortunate they couldn't have built the track at Newton with bigger stands so they could get a Winston Cup race, but prying a date off the calendar would have been tough. NASCAR built a shitload of cookie cutter 1.5 mile tracks that are Charlotte clones all over the country and Newton would have been a fantastic change of pace. Joliet (Chicagoland) is one of those cookie cutter tracks and they lost their race this year. NASCAR completely screwed the pooch by not getting a Cup race in Iowa and one in Ohio. IMHO, building unique tracks there would have served their brand much better than putting cookie cutter tracks on the outskirts of big cities, but the blow dried college boys who made the decisions of where to put tracks in the late '90's convinced themselves that the cities would be the way to go.

Yeah, Indy Car city type road course races just do not have the passing that their oval races do. It is hard to top ground effect Indy cars going 4 abreast at the Indy 500.
 

MelroseHawkins

Well-Known Member
Great to see some race fans on HN!

As far as street courses go, I find for me it's kind of a hot/cold thing. The ones I like, I really like.

Monaco I think might be near the top of my must see races list every year. I watch every F1 race anyways, but Monaco just has something extra special about it. There seems to be a growing cacophony of complaints about the lack of passing but, for me it's one of those tracks that it's really the driver vs the track much more so than the driver vs the other drivers. And then of course you have the spectacle and tradition on top of that, pretty cool.

A couple in the 'States that I have always really enjoyed are Long Beach and Belle Isle (Detroit - Indy has run a Sat/Sun double header here for a number of years). Very interesting layouts and, while I don't think either is nearly at the Monaco level of a challenge, both have plenty of places where the difference between a fast lap and a wrecked car is a question of inches.

Probably more examples of street courses that just don't seem to quite work, now that I think of it. It's very easy for them to just feel a little shoehorned into the space without much visual spectacle or flow to the layout. I think Singapore, for me, is a good example. A lot of F1 fans hold that track in high regard, but I find it extremely dull and the corners to be all a bit same-y.

I have never actually attended a street race in person, but my understanding is the in person experience is generally pretty poor. Obviously, with Monaco, I think it would just be a thrill to be there soaking it all in even if you only can see a postage stamp size piece of the track. Belle Isle, as a counter example, might be better enjoyed from the couch. I don't know that for sure, but I'd certainly want to do some research on the in person experience before I book a flight to Dee-troit City.

I'm probably rambling more than a bit off topic, but I'll add as an aside that, if you ever get the chance to hit up an IndyCar race...do it. We went out to Laguna Seca a couple years back and I think I had almost as much fun as I do when I'm at a track to actually drive. We were going to either do Indy @ Laguna Seca or the USGP @ Austin and I left it entirely up to my son. I was secretly leaning USGP, but he said "Indy" immediately. For the price of a single day GA USGP pass, we got a weekend all-access pass for the Indy race and, wow, what an experience. I went assuming "all access" was mostly marketing speak but they weren't kidding. Close enough to touch the cars in a lot of cases, drivers walking right past you, etc. Hell, I met Mario Andretti! It was very cool. Race day itself was also awesome. We basically slow walked around the entire course and watched the action from every angle imaginable and then watched the last few laps from the top of the grandstands. Obviously, the experience may vary from track to track but, at Laguna Seca at least, it was 10/10.

I don't do road courses. Never got into them. For local Fri-Sun night racing watch, I prefer dirt over asphalt. I live 15 minutes from the Cedar Rapids track and have no desire to go there. Asphalt does nothing for me. I like the dirt, sliding, and challenge for the drivers. To me, asphalt is just watching cars go round and round.

Dirt is it for local racing, man.
 

MelroseHawkins

Well-Known Member
Yeah, Indy Car city type road course races just do not have the passing that their oval races do. It is hard to top ground effect Indy cars going 4 abreast at the Indy 500.

Yes. I went to Indy in 1995 and there is nothing to match that sound on the very first lap when they come rumbling down into turn 1. The sound is amazing. I do enjoy that as those cars are different.
 

Luftgekuehlt67

Well-Known Member
Since this thread kind of morphed into am HN motorsports catch-all...

Anyone watch the 500 today? Great race, a lot of fun! Tremndous energy in the grandstands, green almost the whole way (I think only 2 cautions?) and ended with a surprise winner (of sorts).

Also, some great casual live TV f-bombs in the post race celebration, really funny!
 
Top