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Old 10-19-2009, 03:17 PM   #1
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Wildlife Day = Behind The Scenes At The CMRA Races At TWS (Texas World Speedway)

With about 40 minutes to go in Saturday's endurance race, a call from the corner workers in T8 came in over the radio saying there was a big snake trying to cross the track. The corner workers were concerned for the safety of the riders and, to a slightly lesser degree, the snake. Barry Nichols was tied up, but I was free, so I rode out there on the Ruckus to see what all the, er ruckus was about. When I got there, the three corner workers pointed out a big rat snake, probably about 6 feet in length, hiding in the grass. He had been very adamant about crossing the track. He would hide in the grass in the shallow ditch at the edge of the track, poking his head up once in a while to have a look around, and then, when he thought the coast was clear, he'd slither onto the track surface. Motorcycles, though, were seldom more than a few seconds apart, so when a bike would steam up hill to T8, the snake would sense it and would quickly turn around and slither back into the grass. Many times the snake tried, but was denied. I feared that on one of his attempts, he'd get too far into the track to turn around safely. If that happened, it could be a problem for the riders, too, if he turned into a pile of goo in the already tricky corner.

So I headed the snake off with a broom and got him back into the tires. He was none to happy with that, and would stick his head out once in a while to let me know he was still planning on heading to the other side of the track. I would walk towards him when he did this and scare him back into the tires. Eventually the race was done and the snake lived to slither across the track.

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On the way back to the pits after the race was over, I was taking a few pix at the top of NASCAR T4 when I heard a call on the radio: "Can someone come down to T8A and get this snake out of the track?" I thought, "No! That can't be my snake! The race was over!" I headed over there on the Ruckus and found a rattlesnake, about a 4-1/2 footer, in his death throes. His diamond-shaped head was flatter thanks to some race bike's tire. (Ottis Lance told me later that he ran him over about two laps from the end of the race. I can't confirm this, but it's plausible.) No other marks on him. After he was done squirming, I put him on the floorboard of the Ruckus and rode him back to the pits. Lots of people wanted to see him, of course. In the end, he was dressed out by Trista Peters, and skin went to Reid (Britt's boyfriend) whose dad makes belts and hat bands and such from them. I kept the rattle. Trista told me she was going to pan fry him on Sunday, but I never got a piece.

A smushed red-eared slider in T1, a deer running loose near T10, and a couple of snakes trying to get from point A to point B via T8 and T8A all in the same race. Man, we're just an antelope, scorpion, sceloporus, tarantula away from a drive through wildlife park!
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(Note Autumn Walker squeezing me after someone scared her while she was looking at the snake up close.)
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:27 PM   #2
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:27 PM   #3
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Nice. Saturday was wildlife day...also had a turtle on the track...and a deer sighting outside of t12 somewhere.
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:34 PM   #4
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That is just crazy. Once again my reccommendation stands: Writte a book Linz.
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:40 PM   #5
naaaaaw i sayin
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lol another good story linz
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:02 AM   #6
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The turtle was determined to cross the track in turn 1 right in the middle of the transition from the banking during the first hour of endurance. I hit it like a hockey puck and he would shoot up the banking out of the race line and then he would slowly make his way back to the middle before someone else sent him to the top again. It was interesting trying to find him while going that fast coming off the banking. I would start trying to spot him coming down the front straight so I could avoid him! Unfortunately for him someone finally center punched him and turned him into a greasy spot. Can't believe whoever hit him didn't end up out on the bowl!
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:22 PM   #7
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i guess TWS (Texas World Speedway) could start doing Tx safaris b/n trackdays and races
Wishing I hadn't sold my bike
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