Occasionally, someone will crash and spill coolant or gasoline on the track, which ruins the racing surface. A quick fix requires that the damaged area be covered in powdered sugar, after which racing resumes. When you do a face-plant in the stuff (and I have), you get up looking, and presumably tasting, like a powdered doughnut.
Indoor shorttrack racing was once described to me as a knife fight with motorcycles. Having spent a fair number of winters racing indoor shorttrack, I’d say that’s a pretty fair description. The action is fast and furious, with a good amount of physical contact, which makes it a big hit with spectators. The tracks are so short—a 100-foot straightaway is considered long—and the turns so tight that there isn’t much room for faster bikes to pass. Successful riders learn to “bump and run,” which entails shoving the other rider out of the way with your bike or body to get by. The kids on their 50cc bikes are cute, but the fast guys on the 450s are the real show. AMA pros mix it up with the local hot shoes at these events and don’t always come out on top. As for me, well my racing days are just about over, so don’t look for my #9z ATK at this year’s Middletown, New York, Thunderdome series. But if you see a guy in a watch cap leaning on the pit wall, smoking a cheap cigar and drinking a beer, come on over and say hello.