Estherville Daily News from Estherville, Iowa on January 12, 1973 · Page 12
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Estherville Daily News from Estherville, Iowa · Page 12

Estherville, Iowa
Issue Date:
Friday, January 12, 1973
Page 12
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Page 12 article text (OCR)

stock car racing by Bill Thomas T he Joe Granatellis, the A. J. Foyts, the Mario Andrettis, the Jim Clarks are missing from this race. It is strictly an amateur effort, but the novelty of racing on ice is, some feel, even more demanding, more dramatic and challenging in many ways than the Indianapolis 500. The scene is any of a dozen meets held annually in the Midwest that leaves drivers and spectators tense with excitement. And yet there are some that feel the concept leaves something to be desired. Too many factors are beyond the driver's control, indeed beyond the capability of driver and automobile. And you'll see more than one expensive sports car crash into the snowbanks, careen out of control. And there's the unmistakable sickening sound of crushed fenders, of buckled hoods and caved-in doors. Seldom are there injuries in this spectacle of speed, mainly because the snowbanks allow enough cushioning effect to protect the driver, but not to avoid damage to the vehicle. No chains are allowed at most of these races — in fact, studded tires are often frowned upon and run in classes by themselves. The real challenge lies in the use of conventional sports and stock models with conventional tires totally unconditioned for winter driving. One driver at a Michigan race who had raced the dry tracks in warm weather was somewhat indignant. "It's just a big mess," he said "Nobody who has put a lot of time into his car, jazzing it up or rebuilding it, is going to run it on the ice." That was just after he'd cracked up his $5,000 Corvette in a snowbank. One of the largest such races is held at Lake City, Mich., each January with others scheduled at Muskegon, Holland and Big Crooked Lake. The Furrin Group Sports Car Club at Grand Rapids is the sponsoring club of most of the meets in Michigan. A few other meets are held in Wisconsin and Minnesota, as well as upper New York State. The majority of the races are run on the ice, although some are run on packed snowy roads. Most of the courses are laid out roughly over a two-mile oval stretch, although some are twisted into a figure 8 just to provide an additional bit of challenge. On some turns, the slope is away from the inside, rather than banked toward it, thus forcing the driver to slow to a near crawl to successfully negotiate it. Although the majority of the races are timed events, with only one car on the track, others feature wheel-to-wheel combat raging down the strip. The Lake City event features both, and in addition, a Powder Puff Derby for the gals. It's indeed a novelty — this sports car racing on ice — and probably will remain so for many a year, but there are those who dare to break records against the clock, who risk the additional hazards which are an integral part of this relatively new sport in the snowbelt states. It's the kind of race they run by the seat of their pants, and the drivers put their cars through the paces the same way, skidding them around 90-degree turns, hopefully without landing in a snowbank off the side. A lot of the little foreign makes enter the race annually and for years they've placed in the first three spots. It was a different story when the 1969 meet came off. Many of the races are typical of the old Midwest Sports Car Races held at Grayling, Mich., a one-lap race, but at least one and usually two trial runs were allowed all drivers on Sunday morning before the afternoon competition. The drivers were given all day Saturday to practice on the track, too, but the hours of additional practice were usually direly needed. The Midwest Sports Car Race is traditionally held on the frozen surface of Lake Margrethe, a sprawling body of water some three miles from the town of Grayling. The first one was held there in 1968, and the following year it had to be moved to an adjacent makeshift track on the Camp Grayling Military Reservation. An unseasonable thaw in late January had made the ice on Lake Margrethe unsafe for racing. Consequently snowplows were moved in a figure 8 track laid out and and the snow was plowed and packed. Water was added to make it even more slippery, paralleling as much as possible the conditions of racing on ice. It was hoped this would provide as tough a course — as much a challenge — as the one on the lake. It didn't. But it still was chock full of thrills. By the time the all-day practice session was finished on Saturday afternoon (incidentally, spectators may enjoy the practice sessions almost as much as the race itself), the ground was beginning to show through at some places near the corners where drivers were hugging the same course. And by the time the first race contestants had burned down the raceway on Sunday afternoon, the mud was beginning to splash. Nonetheless, the contestants considered it a fit challenge and so did the spectators, who numbered a couple of thousand at one point during the afternoon. The skies were sunny and the temperatures climbing. But the snow didn't seem to melt except in protected places and that was mostly on the track. Spectators mostly stood along the race course, their protection against skidding cars being snowbanks piled shoulder high. Some climbed the snowbanks for a better view. And some sat on the rows of bleachers provided alongside the track near the start and finish line. brush teeth, IIS. on ice The excitement of this race was not at the finish line, however. Instead it was at the turns and this is where most of the younger spectators—the thrill-seekers sought to be. It was a greater thrill for the drivers, but some tense moments arose on many occasions. It was a race against the clock most of the day and then, in the last heat, the volunteers were allowed to race against one another. But it was also a race for judgment. Anyone not accustomed to driving in the snow, perhaps spending most of his life doing so, need not attempt to win any heat here. "You just can't judge it right here," one driver said. "If you wait 10 seconds too late to apply your brakes, you've just lost control and you may not only lose the race, but your automobile. Just 10 seconds or even five can mean that much difference . . . and you have to be more expert at judging those little things here, the little seemingly insignificant details, than you would be on another course under other conditions." "It takes nerves of steel," said another driver, who had built his stock car from the ground up using parts of other automobiles. "You have to love to race, but more than that, it helps if you have a few nuts in your head to enter one on the ice," he chuckled. By 11 a.m., the crowd had arrived. Parking areas are provided nearby and paths cleared of snow to the bleachers, which seat only a few hundred people. Others stand. And, of course, few stay for the entire race. People are coming and going constantly. Some bring heaters and blankets and their lunches. Particularly the families with small children. Portable refreshment stands, some of them inside small heated trailers, serve refreshments including barrels of coffee and hot chocolate. Hot sandwiches are available, too. The larger percentage of the spectators are from around the state of Michigan, but a few drive from Chicago or Toledo or northern Indiana. More and more, the race is becoming a popular event... and it's free of admission. The events draw from 30 to 50 contestants, most of them from Michigan but a few entries from other nearby states and from Canada. It's surprising so much interest is generated, for few money prizes are awarded, sometimes only trophies. But apparently, this is enough. The starts are under a flagman's signal and once the driver has gotten his car into position on the straightaway, he has little trouble keeping it pointed in the same direction while he amasses speed. Some cars hit speeds of 85 miles per hour, thought to be the top one of the day. But it's not the speeds on the straightaways that necessarily count here. It's how fast you can make the turns and with a figure 8 track, there are plenty of them, some of them nearly 90 degrees. By swinging wide, braking in staccato fashion and never applying much pressure, then cutting short across the most critical part of the curve, then swinging wide again after passing it, most drivers soon had the knack of it. Those that didn't usually ended up in a snowbank. And some of those that did occasionally misjudged or had their vehicles thrown off balance just enough to send the car into a careening skid culminating usually in a deep thud into the snowbank. The biggest trick to controlling a car on the ice, of course, lies in two factors — braking and steering the car in the direction of the skid once you get into one. Braking must be done in a series of fast jabs and releases on the brake pedal. Don't ever apply lengthy pressure or hard pressure. If you do, then it's just enough to throw the vehicle out of control in many instances. Some drivers in this sport like to place their cars in limited and controlled skids on the corners to enable them to get around better. But they are expert drivers in the snow, too, and know exactly what to do to get them straightened out again and on their way without crashing. Besides the thrills of speed and the occasional moments of excitement during a crash, (seldom does any driver even sustain more than a light bruise or perhaps a small scratch during these races), spectators actually are witnessing an excellent display of winter driving. And possibly they may learn something from it which will help in handling their own automobiles in on-the-road conditions. It is indeed a race of suspense, of drama, of bone- chilling excitement even though all but one of the heats are against the clock instead of against one another in neck-to-neck competition. Perhaps the greatest moments of truth are experienced beyond the sight of the spectators (this is particularly true when the race course had to be moved to the reservation rather than the lake) but they are felt by virtually everyone. We're not saying you can 't do a good job with a hand- powered toothbrush. You can. And according to the experts, there's more than one way to brush Here's one way: starting at your gums, brush down on your upper teeth, up on your lower teeth, on the front, back and chewing surfaces, brushing each area at least ten times, making sure to take at least several minutes Of course, tilis isn't the only good choice you've got. Here's another Arid this one was specifically, scientifically engineered to brush teeth correctly. Broxodent. 120 Strokes-per-second. That's how fast the precision brush-head of Broxodent moves. And that's fast. It adds up to 7200 cleaning, polishing strokes a minute. (And that's, awfully nice when you're rushing for a morning train or an evening appointment.) Since' Broxodent runs on regular house current, the brush-head gets constant, steady power. There are no batteries to recharge or replace. And of course Broxodent carries the Underwriters' Laboratory Seal. Clean teeth, fresh breath, a healthy mouth. Clinical studies have shown the value of Broxodent in removing harmful food deposits {or plaque), while maintaining healthy gums. And if you noticed in the picture that the brush head of Broxodent looks small.that's be Cause it was designed small Small to reach hard-to-get at places, like the barks of your teeth The thin bustles help get decay-causing particles from between teeth, too So vou end up with clean, bright teeth. Predictably enough, you aisn end up with clean, fresh breath. An answer to the "getting- your-kids-to-brush" problem. Vou know what a chore it is getting kids to brush. But watching a kid brush witl else. Kids likesnappmgtheirowrt color-coded brush onto the Broxodent. They like the "tingty" feel of Broxodent. Luckily, this also applies to kids of thirty -five. Ask your dentist By all means, ask your dentist what he thinks of Broxodent. He's the man who knows. And more dentists surveyed recommended Broxodent than all other electric toothbrushes combined. Broxodent. Picking one up might be the smartest thing your hand ever did for you Trtr 'IHOOnf:.! ''COVERED TuOIHBRUGh '.S Ai.Cfcr-!AB! E A^ AN EFFECTIVE ClEAN- -ju DEVICE -C;R UCC AS PART Of A PRO- CRAM I 'J> Ci,>'<D '.JfML HYGIENE TO SUP- F'lEMEM THE REGULAR PRC 1 ' LS&ONAl CARE RC'LlRED! C •! ','RAL HtAl TH COUNCIL ON DENTAL MATERIALS ANO DEVICES, AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION Broxodent 1 The electric toothbrush more dentists surveyed recommended. SQUIBB

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