03rd Mar2020

Florida Man Buys Defunct Race Track, Makes Me Miss Our Defunct Track

by Michael Chandler

By now we’ve all seen that Cleetus Mcfarland bought himself a race track in Florida. And some of us are very happy that he has this facility where he and his friends, and other content creators, can go and do the stuff we love: make awesome videos and content. Videos and content that may or may not bogging deep, letting her eat, fogging like you mean it, epic burn outs, crazy drifts, or kei vans. While we’re happy, some of us are also left wanting something we remember fondly.

It was a place where we met new friends, hung out with old friends, and took part in the age old tradition of giving everyone shit. Money was won and lost, unofficially, and extra-curricular activities were planned for the hours after the gates would close. The place was Rocky Mountain Raceway, a place that was ours without us owning it.

8.8 second 1/4-mile Mustang

I was never much for drag racing, but most of the guys I came up with were. So pilgrimages to the Midnights were always in order. We’d hang out in the stands, watch the really fast guys go really fast, and talks shit to everyone who didn’t think a Honda couldn’t wreck an SN95, F-Body, or any other Domestic. Those were the days. We’d talk about getting a car on track, or how the project car was so close to being done. Those warm summer nights were some of the best.

I didn’t make it to a lot of Midnights after Miller Motorsports Park opened up. I had found something new and fun, and then I found another new, fun thing: drifting. Then it was more nights, and even some days, back at RMR with all my friends. We did the same stuff: talk about getting a car on track, how close our projects were, and give out some humility when it was necessary. We were in the midst of the halcyon days, and like everyone who is in them we didn’t know it.

That track was the place where I could just have fun. I didn’t feel obligated to shoot all the photos. I could go, shoot some photos, and hang out with my friends and sneak them down into the infield. We saw all the local legends up close, and we could just kick it. Those warm summer nights were some of the best.

There were always rumors that the track was going away, that it had been sold and was about to be bulldozed. But those rumors would die down, and everyone would get back to driving. Then one day the rumor didn’t die down, it didn’t go away. It became real.

As I write this, the pavement has been removed and the bleachers ripped out. Buildings have been razed, fences torn down, stairs removed. It lies in state. A great corpse, desiccated and rotten. It was ours, but then it was taken away. The memories we made there can never be taken, though. We have the memories, photos, and videos. In them, RMR exists as it was, or even better than it was. Our little spot is just as glorious in our minds as it ever was in reality.

I’m glad Cleetus has the Freedom Factory, that him and his friends have something we had. I can’t wait to see what they do with it. But on those warm, summer nights I wish we still had our track. What are your memories of RMR? Let us know, and we’ll share them on an upcoming CAMcast!

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