So I took a quick break from the office this weekend and headed up to Estes to visit Rainbow Curve Raceway (named after the curved stretch of road that it is on). The weather was a perfect sunny 69 degrees with snow within the peaks of the mountains and the elk out everywhere. If the scenery of the trip is not enough to excite you, then that fact that the track is housed within the lower level of an ark should do it. Want even more excitement? A mere 1.5 miles down the road you can stay at the Stanley Hotel where the movie "The Shining" was filmed and it is still rumored to be haunted. Understand that Estes Park is a tourist town where craft stores, homemade fudge, salt water taffy, and cotton candy are everywhere. The bread and butter of the ark is Teddy Bears, crafts, and gifts of all natures; the race track was just an added bonus.
I was greeted by Penny and Brian, the new owners since August, and right away could sense very kind individuals. I was lead downstairs to the race track and immediately felt as if I was stepping into a Parma time capsule. Things that Parma has been out of for five to eight years they have and have in bunches. I am still im awe as to how many bodies the previous owner ordered. Ready to run kits, yep, they got them, ready to run cars loaded with Deathstars, yep, they have them by the cases.
Brian set me up with some time and I ran some laps. The lack of glue and a freshly-cleaned surface made for some interesting initial laps, but after putting in some time and massaging the tires with some Trinity yellow I was finally hooked up fairly well. The track is a beautiful Gerding 100 foot corner climb with six lanes. There is a track call button at every drivers panel and a couple more spread out around the marshal points. It was very well thought-out when ordered by the prior owner. The track is a great club, rental and birthday party track that drives really well.
Brian and Penny's son Jesse showed up and I must say for a young man only a few months into this he not only is slowly figuring out the track ownership end of this, but he is also a fast study of driving. I am really hoping we can get him racing with us on a regular basis as he is very good. I had the most fun driving my NASCAR 16Ds there. The Retros were fun, but the flexis ran a little better. Hopefully we can help him get a regular race program going and mix some old with new.
I was there for two hours and he had a steady rate of rentals going as well as spectators. They have seen as many as 50 rentals in a day this summer and I am confident Jesse will do a good job of keeping that going.
There has been a longtime urban legend about this track. What appears to be the truth is that the prior owners were not kid-friendly and made the track off limits after only a season of having it open. Eventually they told others they sold the track to stop them from asking, all while it was neatly tucked away within the basement the whole time.
I encourage anyone and everyone if they are in the area to stop by and put in some laps, you will not meet nicer people. Attached are some pictures from the trip.