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How else could one describe a thunderstorm other than controlled chaos?

Well, I’d like to ask a dog what they think about thunderstorms. Every time they hear a boom, they jump and look around at the walls. Then they start barking at the ceiling.

Have you had a dog like this? Our dog growing up in the Richie household was like this. Rocky, a retriever/chow mix, my friends insisted she was part-horse by the way she greeted people by jumping on them.

Thunderstorms are controlled chaos. When Rocky would do her zoomies (running back and forth in the living room like a crazy person) also falls into this category, but this week I’d like to discuss another form of controlled chaos – sprint car races.

Have you ever seen sprint car racing? If you haven’t look it up on YouTube (go ahead, I’ll wait).

Yeah, you’ve probably seen those funny-looking cars with the wings on top. My mom used to go to the races with her family growing up. They used to drive to Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, to Williams Grove Speedway.

Mechanicsburg is just south of Harrisburg and a reasonable drive from my Grandmother’s house in Gouglersville. (Keep track of these names, there will be a test at the end of the fiscal year.)

The company my grandfather founded, Schannauer Plumbing & Heating, has sponsored several different sprint cars. After my grandfather passed away, my uncle kept up the tradition and this season the 69K car of Lance DeWease is sponsored by Schannauer Plumbing & Heating.

When we would visit Grandma and Pop Schannauer over the summer, we would usually head to Williams Grove with the whole family.

My favorite thing about this place is a blue bridge that goes over the track.

The races are great – they’re loud and fast. The cars drift around the corners at breakneck speeds and then sprint down the straightaway.

And at the end of the night, there is this mystical/pleasant smell throughout the venue. It’s a strange mix of cigarette/cigar smoke mixed with dirt, engine oil and spent gasoline that creates almost a dirty vanilla smell that marks the end of the evening as everyone files out of the grandstand and we make our way back to grandma’s house.

My grandma can’t make it to the races every week, so she watches them from the comfort of her home. When I call her on Sunday, I often get a lovely recap.

“There’s nothing better than relaxing at night while watching the races on my iPad,” my grandma told me last week after telling her I started watching the races.

So, now I’ve got access to watch the races at home so we can enjoy them together when I call her on Sunday afternoons.

I’ll be back at Williams Grove Speedway eventually and will once again see that brilliant blue bridge.