The Hangover 150

@ Ransomville Speedway

BY: Matt Randall (1/30/2016)

After 2 cancellations due to "too much mud," the Hangover 150 race at Ransomville Speedway, about 20 miles north of Niagara Falls, NY, was finally held on January 16th, 2016. As you can tell by the PLC Racing Entry, driven by Matt Randall, there was still plenty of mud to go around. Turns out, the track owners weren't going to postpone it a 3rd time, so in true racer fashion, they said f**k it and ran it anyways. Matt entered his own car and, well, ill let him tell the story of his "Off Season training":

 

"The Hangover 150 race at Ransomville Speedway is somewhat infamous around here For me it's been almost mythical. I had heard the stories, I had seen pictures, I had friends of friends and relatives of coworkers who had done it, but I never did. Until this year.

 

The Hangover 150 is closer to a demolition derby than a true race, which I think is its main appeal. It takes place every year on New Years day (hence the hangover) and consists of three 50 lap races around Ransomville's dirt oval. Four cylinder, six cylinder, and eight cylinder cars are split up into their own races. Car prep consists of blowing out all the windows except the windshield, and showing up with a helmet. I love the simplicity.

 

The event is well known for the epic tailgating that takes place prior to the race. Massive bonfires, feasts of grilled foods, music blasting. Everything you could hope for. On this front, things went exactly as I had hoped. I showed up early with my friends, and we kept a roaring fire and snacks going while we got ready for the race. Well, we thought we were ready, but we weren't expecting the mud.

 

While the race is usually run on snow and ice, our winter hasn't really been cooperating. The race was actually postponed twice, until the owners of the track gave up and decided to run it anyway. The grass parking lot was slightly muddy, but the track was on an entirely different level. The entire track was thick, sticky mud. If you tried to walk across it, your boots would gain about two pounds of mud per step. If you stand still, you start to sink. The rear wheels on cars would get so packed in the mud, they stopped spinning and started dragging. But we raced anyway.

 

While the six cylinder cars were out trying to make laps, I was lining up in my beautiful 1998 ToyotaGeoChevy CorollaPrizm (there was some discrepancy over the actual make and model) along with over 100 other four cylinder cars. That by itself was a sight to see. The colors, the noise, the chaos. It was like nothing I've ever experienced before.

 

When it was finally our time, we drove out of the pit and into utter carnage. Most of the six cylinder cars were either stuck on the track, or shoved into the infield. I barely had time to comprehend my surroundings before my windshield was caked with enough mud to make the wipers useless. I leaned my helmet out the window and shockingly enough, that got covered in mud too. At that point I started to panic a bit, because I had gone about 20 feet, and the first corner was coming. I should mention that the thick mud made forward progress a bit slow. So now I'm slowly driving blind around a dirt oval I've never been on with 100 other cars that all have similar issues. I really wish my GoPro had worked properly, because the whole thing was laughable. I made it around the track by keeping the infield poles to my left, and flooring it until I hit someone stuck. Then I would back up, drive around them, and repeat. I made it about 5 laps like that before I hit something solid enough to kill the car. I consider it a win because I outlasted about a third of the other cars. I don't think anyone made it to 50 laps. I think they called the race around lap 20. All I know is, I can't wait for next year."

- Matt Randall  (01/30/2016)


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