The Racing Went On In Phoenixville, PA On Wednesday
After Fugitive Was Apprehended Nearby Earlier In Day
By STEVE BARRICK
Racing went on as usual on Wednesday, September 13 at the Montgomery County Quarter Midget Racing Association track in Phoenixville, PA after an escaped convict was captured nearby after a manhunt that lasted nearly two weeks.
The apprehension avoided a potentially difficult situation facing the organization’s officials about whether or not to conduct its weekly Wednesday night racing events.
Montgomery County Quarter Midget Racing Association (MCQMRA) Secretary Michele Pinder would have been one of those making the determination.
“He had been apprehended before race night. I think we would have raced, we would have been monitoring where he had been last seen and he was quite a few miles away from us. But at one point, he had been pretty close,” Pinder said.
There was clearly an abiding concern among the group’s officials regarding the nationally known story.
“Absolutely we were concerned. We have a walking trail that leads to the track that has a gate that is locked. We knew the possibility of not racing existed, we had decided we would discuss it Wednesday morning. A little after eight that morning, he was captured,” Pinder clarified.
When the murderer-on-the-loose was pinned down, he was an estimated 20 to 25 minutes away, on foot, from the Phoenixville track.
“At one point he had been cited in the general area of the track but that was Saturday evening. Not at the track, but in the vicinity,” Pinder shared.
Phoenixville did race the previous Wednesday when the fugitive was at large after escaping a Chester County Prison, about 25 miles from Phoenixville.
“At that point, he was nowhere near the area of the track, and that didn’t come out to the public until the Sunday between our races,” Pinder revealed.
Danelo Cavalcante, a convicted murderer, was captured Wednesday, September 13 inmorning after authorities tracked him down using thermal heat technology from an aircraft before a Border Patrol tactical unit dog ultimately discovered him and pinned him down, authorities said.
Police had set up an 8- to 10-square-mile perimeter in northern Chester County. He was eventually taken into custody in a wooded area off Route 100.
Cavalcante, 34, broke out of prison Aug. 31. During his flight, he had stolen a rifle and a .22 caliber firearm. He was clad in a Philadelphia Eagles shirt when he was captured.
He was then transported in a convoy to the Avondale, PA State Police barracks.
Danger averted, MCQMRC returned to business for its Wednesday night show, the latest in a successful season of racing.
“We are averaging 100 cars a night. There was one week we cancelled for weather, but raced the following night as a rain date. We did lose one race earlier this year, at the beginning of June, because of the wild fire smoke,” Pinder shared.
“Wednesday is our normal race night. Thursday is our raindate, Saturday is an optional race night, run select races, usually once a month. We have four more races two in September, two in October then we run an Indoor show in the Harrisburg Farm Show Complex November 18th and 19th,” Pinder related.
Pinder, who has been involved with for 31 years, is pleasantly surprised by the number of participants.
“Out of the 16 races we have run so far, there have only been three or four where the number of teams racing was below 90,” she said with pride.