Tag: speedway

California Speedway: The Five

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I’ve driven by the Iowa Speedway, just outside Newton, Iowa, a number of times. Always thought it would be cool to take my Outback on it and drive around real fast; that is, if I was the only one on the track. Never have done it, though, and probably never will.

However, I HAVE driven on the California Speedway! Just last week, as a matter of fact. The official name of the Speedway is Interstate 5; known to the locals as “The Five.”

My first drivers license was a California license, way back in 1972. I had driven our car from West Virginia to Iowa, to Colorado, and on to California WITHOUT a license. (that was before I was a law abiding citizen, and I was only 17 – not old enough to get one without driver’s education. And when you don’t stay in school long enough… well, you get the idea.)

Anyway, back to the Speedway Story.

I really didn’t know if California drivers were rude or courteous; it all happened so fast! I mean, there are speed limit signs posted every 5 miles or so, but it doesn’t matter. No one pays any attention to them. I think they’re going too fast to focus on something as small as a sign.

My wife and I rented a car so we could drive from San Clemente, where our kids are, up to Hanford, which is around 300 miles away, to visit friends. Early in the morning, probably about 8:15 or so, we started out.

Now, mind you, ALL traffic in sunny, Southern California is fast! No one gets behind the wheel just to dawdle along. I didn’t see one Sunday driver during our 9 day visit! Everyone is in a hurry, it seems, to get to the next traffic jam.

Alright, we headed to “The Five”, and the first thing I saw was a traffic signal on the entrance ramp. Two lanes on the ramp, narrowing to one before blasting onto the Speedway. The signal reminded me of the signals used at the drag races up in Humboldt, Iowa.

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