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.
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.
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.
Yes, those are police cars…
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.
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!
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.