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Official Review by Chris Green, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Middle-America is chock full of short tracks. Sandusky Speedway is one of those that is nestled in the middle of a midwestern town. While Sandusky isn’t exactly a small town, it isn’t a thriving metropolis. It does have small-town aspects, and one of those is having a local short track. Unlike some short tracks, Sandusky is home to a half-mile paved track, not dirt.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Sandusky has a bar and concession stand located under the grandstands, featuring some cold beer and good old fashioned burger-and-fries type of stadium food for a respectable price. There is also a TV down there that is usually tuned to sports of some kind. The food is freshly cooked and not frozen, which makes the taste so much better than some stadium fare. If you grab a bite to eat on the right night, you can get yourself some fresh-picked, local-grown corn on the cob. Not much is better. Expect to pay just a few bucks for a soda, and no more than $6 for a burger.
Short track racing is good fun, and Sandusky delivers on the entertainment. Compared to other short tracks (like dirt tracks), however, the racing can be a little follow-the-leader-esque with certain races. Even if that is the case, there is a good battle for the lead all but guaranteed. The drivers on track are either local legends or young guns with dreams of breaking onto the big-time tracks around America. That drive makes them seem to drive with even more urgency. Most of the fans in the stands also know the drivers, making the cheering that much more fervent.
Sandusky Speedway is situated on the southwest portion of Sandusky, which has a mix of quaint homes across the street from some worn down strip shops that have seen better days. Even so, the area around the track isn't a bad one, but just needs a new coat of paint. Compared to other parts of Sandusky, the track could be in much worse places. It is down a road on its own parcel of property surrounded by a pseudo-industrial look to the area. There aren't any hotels immediately next to the track, but a few minutes' drive down the road can take you to the highway, where there are plenty of places to stay. You're also not far from downtown Sandusky, home to several bed and breakfasts. The same can be said for eateries.
Local short track fans are some of the best in sports, especially racing. They know everything there is to know about the races and teams on track, and they cheer loudly for their favorites on the track. They're also generally kind and family friendly. As anywhere, you may get your unruly fan here and there, but for the most part, the track is very family friendly.
Sandusky Speedway is kind of like Disneyland. It was build in the middle of an industrial neighborhood with businesses all around, forcing the track to battle for sign space along the main road. Because of this, you're liable to drive past the track if you aren't sure where it is. The sign looks no different than the ones next to it for gas stations, fast food joints, and car part stores. Additionally, the parking situation is plentiful, but not exactly ideal. Parking is on a grassy field that can get muddy during a rain. The main road Sandusky Speedway is located on is also off the beaten path, so it is a little bit of a drive from the main highway. A GPS app on your phone certainly won't hurt, in this case. If you come on a busy night, getting out after the race can take a lot of time.
For a meager investment in ticket price (rarely do tickets go over $15), you can get your daily dose of quality racing action on a flat short track featuring street sticks, modifieds, trucks, and sprint cars. This track is so good, nearby NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team ThorSport Racing has used it for a test track at times. So you will get some good fun out of your ticket price, and rarely do fans go home disappointed in the quality of the on-track action.
Sandusky Speedway features a track-championship, meaning that every weekend where there is a race, the points pile up to see who is the best driver at the track every year in their respective class. That makes what seems like an everyday short track race on the weekend an important sports event.
You can also follow along with live timing and scoring as well as results for the races with an app on your phone.
There is also the ability for you to purchase a pit pass for $30, allowing you to get up close to the cars, drivers, and teams.
Before the races begin, all the cars are brought on to the front straight and the fans are welcomed down onto the track to take photos next to the cars and to meet the drivers, get autographs, and take photos.
If you want some good quality racing on a local short track, you should visit Sandusky Speedway. Ohio is a hot bed for good racers who are looking to make it big on the racing scene, so you will have no trouble looking for young talent while in the grandstands. The ticket prices are low, the food is cheap, and the action is top notch. What more could you ask for?
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