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VRG Mid–Atlantic Motorsports 10th Annual Turkey Bowl 2006
at Summit Point Motorsports Park
2006 10th Annual Turkey Bowl

Sandwiched between cold nights, The 10th Annual Turkey Bowl enjoyed three wonderful days of great weather that even had some wearing shorts around the paddock throughout the weekend. Co–chaired by event founder, Joe Blacker of Mid–Atlantic Motorsports, and Mark Palmer of Vintage Racing Group (VRG) on board for its first year (Mark has previously presided over this event numerous times under the Vintage Sports Car Club of America (VSCCA) banner), nearly 80 entries opted to skip cold turkey leftovers or a little “Black Friday” shopping, and headed to Summit Point Motorsports Complex, West Virginia, for probably their last asphalt dance of the year this past November 24–26.

Racers were loosely divided into five racing groups, Group 1–Vintage Production A, Group 2–Vintage Big–Bore, Group 3–Vintage Production B, Group 4–Vintage Open–Wheel and Blacker’s gang of invited Modern Sports/GT battlewagons making up Group 6. And while these casual groupings did produce some apparent mismatches, the potpourri of machines slugging it out on the blacktop did indeed create a countless array of interesting battles among the various breeds. Unfortunately, while the weekend’s lineup has routinely included the spunky gang of Legends (Group 5) racecars over the past years, they chose another gig elsewhere. Of course, the void only added even more to the event’s already abundant track time.

With Friday’s initial contact with Summit’s blacktop ribbon just the beginning of the tiring of man and machine, Saturday’s formal schedule added to the wear and tear with eight lap sprint races in the morning and protracted 16 lappers to conclude the day. Nobody was complaining though as the extended seat time is just one of the Turkey’s bonuses that makes this venue so appealing.

With some deciding to spend Saturday evening at their temporary paddock encampment, others did follow a Turkey Bowl tradition and headed to the Wayside Inn for a formal sit down dinner party. Dubbed “the oldest continuous operating inn in America,” we all enjoyed the Wayside’s historic ambiance with a great evening of food, drinks, laughs and loads of camaraderie. The evening was capped off by an interesting look back via DVD of the late 50s, early 60s sportscar racing scene at the now defunct, Marlboro Raceway. We thank vintage racer, Sam Smith, and Regional Historian, Washington, DC Region, Steve Lloyd, for showing us the roots of the sport we all love.

Sunday began with another warm and sunny performance by Mother Nature and a full chorus of 15 lap shootouts putting a period for most, to another year of vintage auto racing, and for me, a lasting visual of Tivvy’s Jag dueling with a newer 914, GT350, Camaro, a Ford powered Devin, and Udo Horn’s Lister Jaguar and Robban Andersson’s GT40.

Add the menu of MGBs battling the late, Bruce Jenning’s 911, and a full course of Lotus 7s, Elva sports racers, MGAs, Healeys, Fiats, numerous open–wheelers, a rare Jabro MkI, Kurtis KK coupe, pair of Mallocks, 1938 Morgan, Pete McManus’ Ardent Alligator and even Group 6’s Corvair, Pinto and SCCA tweaked machinery taking on spec Miatas and many, many more, there’s no doubt, this benchmark edition of the Turkey Bowl was once again, no Turkey, but a wonderful conclusion to the racing year that continuously has become the perfect alternative to Thanksgiving leftovers year after year. I hope to see you in 2007.

Editor’s Note: Pushing his 1957 MGA Coupe for probably the last time this weekend, friend and vintage racer, Ed Crane, has decided to retire from vintage racing. No, he won’t be watching the grass grow, but letting the mighty wind power his next watery endeavor, sailing. And yes, Ed’s car is for sale–––check out the classified section to see its particulars.....Walter Pietrowicz