You never know what you're going to encounter at the IMCA Super Nationals in Boone, Iowa.
One thing you quickly realize, though, is the event is different than anything else Kansas has to offer.
In Iowa, there are hundreds of cars, thousands of fans and black dirt that has an attitude all its own.
The weather also is different. On my first trip to the track last year, the opening night of the event had temperatures dropping down far enough to grab a stocking cap and warmer attire. Then, things warmed up during the rest of the week.
This year on the first day, the event saw something else rarely seen in Kansas -- rain.
Wouldn't you know it, rain earlier in the day made for a late start -- if you call four and a half hours late.
Hot laps initially were in session approximately two hours later than expected because of the wet stuff. And just as the first few hot-lap groups in the sport mod class got started, track officials motioned the rest of the cars back to their pit stalls due to another shower moving through the area.
The fans scattered back to shielded ground, and drivers and crew headed back into enclosed trailers or to anywhere dry.
Normally at Boone, rain wouldn't be much of a problem. The track has a jet dryer to help dry the dirt surface. Only problem was, according to eyewitness reports, the dryer malfunctioned earlier in the day as officials tried to use it after the first rain washed through.
It's funny how we pray for rain in Kansas when we so desperately need it, but when you come to Iowa to watch a week's worth of racing, you don't want to see any of the wet stuff delay anything.
It's just too bad the rain wasn't back home instead of up here.
Nick Schwien is a copy editor at The Hays Daily News and covers dirt-track racing in northwest Kansas.