Hallett Motor Racing Circuit

June 5, 2017

Today was a travel day as I’d say goodbye to Oklahoma City and drive about 2 1/2 hours northeast to the town of Bartlesville.  I could have taken the dreaded interstate and gone through Tulsa but saw on my map a road racing course I have heard of and decided to take some smaller roads and check it out.  I was in for a pleasant and totally unexpected surprise.

My GPS actually took me on a series of small roads right to the track, out in the boonies.  I saw a police car coming towards me from the other direction as I was approaching the entrance and it turned in towards the track as well.  I thought perhaps there had been a burglary or something as it was a Monday and I wouldn’t have expected there to be any racing taking place.  In fact I wasn’t even sure if the facility was still in use or be open.

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Well, not only was it open but I almost drove across a “Hot” (in use) track….

The gate on the small entrance road was open and just before I would have crossed the racing surface to get into the infield two cars came screaming by, on the track!  I backed off to a safe place and got out of my car to observe.

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If you look closely at the photo above you’ll see a white car on the left and a dark blue car in the center of the picture, just to the left of the open white gate.

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Yes, those are police cars…

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Lots of police cars….

After a while someone who works at the track drove out in a golf cart to see what I was up to.  He said it was perfectly fine for me to stay where I was and watch.  I suggested that they close the gate, or at least put a sign up advising people to stop before crossing the track.  Understandably since the track is so remote they really don’t get many “drop-ins”.

He explained that what I was seeing was official, high-speed training for Tulsa police officers.  They use this facility periodically to simulate high-speed pursuits in all conditions (day and night, in rain and snow and dry conditions).  I wasn’t in any particular hurry so I hung out for a while to watch.  At times they actually pursued a blue chase car, driven by a professional race instructor.  Sometimes the police cars turned on their lights and sirens to simulate the actual conditions for which they were training.

When I finally decided I had seen enough I caught this scene as I approached a bridge which passes over the highway the police were using to get to the facility.

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All of those are Tulsa police cars (and more to the left of my road, getting off the exit ramp).  I guess maybe today would be a good day to rob a bank in Tulsa!

I didn’t.

If you had asked me before I left Oklahoma City this morning what I would have been seeing today, this wouldn’t have been on the list.

 

 

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