Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Jamaicans Race at Dover

JUST OUTSIDE OF BROWN’S TOWN, Jamaica — Anyone who’s crammed into a tour bus and dared the roads of Jamaica knows that driving is no joke down there. Overtaking is allowed wherever a driver deems safe — in the oncoming lane to the right, on the shoulder to the left or simply in the gravel. Side view mirrors sometimes graze pedestrians’ ears while chickens, goats and wild dogs scramble for cover.

So it comes as no surprise that they race cars in Jamaica, and the island nation holds one race track called Dover Speedway. It’s nothing like the high-banked, concrete oval stuck in the middle of Delaware, but a 1.6-mile road course halfway into the hills.

With Bull Rider sitting shotgun with bus driver Paul Garvey, we took a trip up from the coast, and Dover Speedway was our first stop. Expecting a rinky-dink track where they ride pedal bikes, Dover Speedway was pretty impressive.

We navigated nasty roads to get there, and upon entrance, there was a sign saying “No Infield Parking.” Weeds and grass grew up in parking lots, and the gate was wide open. Nobody was there because the most recent race was last October.

The racing surface was decent. Sometimes smooth, sometimes choppy, sometimes gravel, sometimes dirt. The safety was abysmal. Seems like Jamaicans sacrifice health for speed around the road course. There were tire barriers, nearly 20 turns, elevation changes and an upward corkscrew. There were two crossover walkways — one sporting a Toyota banner. There was a garage, much like the average Saturday night short track.

Jamaicans part of the JRDC (Jamaican Race Drivers Club) battle in souped-up cars from Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, among the many other foreign automakers. They race hard, too.

For a race lap, click here. For an all-alone lap, do the same.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great looking course. I like the mix of road-surface. It looks fun to race on.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Nascar should race in Dover Jamaica not Delaware. They'd get more fans in Jamaica!

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Jason in PA said...

With AJ getting completely boned by all things NASCAR, is it possible for Red Bulls prodigal son to come back to his #84 and run 3 bulls next season....

Ummm please???

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only AJ took the 1 year extension deal from Red Bull he would have a full time ride now. I'm guessing AJ is running in the #10 part time due to lack of sponsors, even with the car locked in the top 35. But at least he has a ride.

I'm hoping that Reed Sorenson runs horrible in the #43 and then GEM puts AJ in to replace him. :)

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Jason in PA said...

I agree, I still tihnk if he took the one year deal, he'd be on the chopping block on a week to week basis.

I just wish RBRT would have realized they have 3 young marketable talents, and found a way to make a 3-car team.

I will always root for RBRT, they are different, edgy, fun. But I am a 'dinger fan first, just hurts to have BV and SS as my #2 and 3 favs and watch AJ go through all of this.
I swear if the kid ever got good news the earth would stop turning...

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Jason in PA said...

Also, I was meaning to ask you red bull experts something else-

At the end of last season when AJ was let go from his driving duties, he said that he still has a "personal services" contract with red bull. Wat exactly does that mean? He is still required to promote Red Bull or can they possibly give him some partial sponsorship?

In his current situation, that could go a long way lol!

10:53 AM  
Anonymous 83fanatic said...

Dude, I am so tired of this played out topic...AJ is a big boy and made his own decision to leave, I just don't think he anticipated the Nascar economy tanking...If they COULD have, don't you think RB would have started a 3rd team!!??? They knew what they had! Can this be the end? Please? I am begging you!

12:33 PM  
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