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Old 10-06-2010, 08:38 AM   #1
backwoodsKLR OP
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The Search for Speed: Jackson International Raceway

A couple of fellow inmates and myself set out to grab a local tag back in early December of last year. I had an idea in my head on where I wanted to move it. And I just got copies of pictures taken on that trip last night... And looking through the info, I decided this might make an interesting RR (DeBandi style!) I am a big fan of DeBandi's RR and figured imitation is the purest form of flattery!!

---
It was rather chilly when we headed out on December 5, 2009. Fresh snow on ground and 3 cold riders...


Our first stop, was to pick up the current tag, which was located here:


So we left the cactus plantation in search of what was once the fastest track in the world, Jackson International Speedway.

Taken from an old 1973 race program found online:


As best I can remember, the track closed in the 1980's. I never saw a race there, but I remember hearing about it when I first moved to Jackson in 1988. I heard others say it was still out there, but getting to it was not always easy, as nature is slowly reclaiming it...

More research came up with approximate location, given on the cover of an old race program.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:43 AM   #2
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Could there really be something as cool as an old abandoned race track close by?



EDIT: Found this on You Tube


In my research, I found several well known NASCAR stars raced here:


It appears to have been a popular place.


Packed stands:


Fast cars




Banked turns... Can a KLR run on a track?



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Old 10-06-2010, 08:50 AM   #3
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This car is a super star in Mississippi racing history. It was driven by legendary drivers like Ival Cooper, Bobby Harrell and Armand Holley. The car was built by Bobby Harrell and owned by Charles, Nathan, and Emile Saik. It was sponsored by the Butcher Shop and Carpetland. The mechanics were Bobby Day, Billy Tucker, and Bobby Harrell. One race day in 1970, Ival Cooper was late getting to the track and missed time trials. Bobby Harrell stepped in and not only put the car on the pole, but set the new WORLD RECORD for a 1.2 mile track that stood for 7 years!! That day he made a lap around Jackson International Speedway in 16.78 seconds!





Found another YOU TUBE, from the 1970's at Jackson international Speedway:


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Old 10-06-2010, 08:53 AM   #4
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Continued research led to finding what looked like a oval shape on Google maps. But could we get to it?

I found more pics of it, from shortly after it was abandoned.




Would there be anything left? After neglect, local hooligans, etc?
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:03 AM   #5
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I had marked what was the approximate location on my GPS and as we were traveling down the frontage road of the Interstate highway, I neared the waypoint. I turned and saw a small dirt road with no marking leading off into the woods. Could this be it?

There was miscellaneous trash dumped along the trail... (I hate trashy people!) I see a concrete pad up ahead and hop up on the curb and continue on... All of a sudden I find myself on the edge of a concrete wall that drops several feet onto the track!! NO warning, no barrier, just a drop over the track wall. I manage to stop and signal the riders behind me. We look around to see if there is a way to actually get on the track. To the west of the track we get Jeep ruts. Someone has been in here!




I remember seeing a side trail to the east of the track, so I peal off and try the other side. I eventually make my way down other trails and end up on the track.

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Old 10-06-2010, 09:13 AM   #6
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Hey, we're on a racetrack? What's a ADV hooligan to do?


Why make a few hotlaps of course!


The front straight and turns were still in decent shape (for an adventure bike) but the back straight was crumbling asphalt and potholes. The trees were encroaching on the back straight. There were signs of parties, bonfires, trash, dumped washing machines, etc.

But we were there and wanted to race!!


Ready? Set? GO!








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Old 10-06-2010, 09:18 AM   #7
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Cool.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:24 AM   #8
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Coming out of turn 4:








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Old 10-06-2010, 09:26 AM   #9
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I would comment on the FASTER BLACK KLR, but they are both black!


Almost at the start / finish line:






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Old 10-06-2010, 09:29 AM   #10
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I got a little braver after a few warm ups:






but there was some serious braking before the troubled back straight...
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:34 AM   #11
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Very cool idea.. Like the old pics leading in to the ride on the old track!
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:35 AM   #12
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My friend EALP's has been nice enough to photograph us and I know he is waiting to take some laps, so we swap places and off he goes on the DrZ!







As I hear his exhaust note (he has a loud pipe) echo off the concrete retaining walls, and the roar of knobbies on asphalt, I try to imagine what it was like to have a string of 60's and 70's stock cars circling this track...










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Old 10-06-2010, 09:36 AM   #13
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As his laps get faster, I am wishing I had a mounted video camera to record a few laps...








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Old 10-06-2010, 09:38 AM   #14
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Very Cool...
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:38 AM   #15
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Going Full HOOLIGAN:








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