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by Duane Hancock
So far the April showers have been falling but still allowing some racing to get in the books. Lat weekend, the April showers hit some places and missed others, go it was a 2 race weekend for me. Friday, I made the trip to Plymouth Indiana as Plymouth Speedway hosted their first ever USAC Sprint car event. Saturday, it was down to Southern Ohio to the Atomic Speedway for the BOSS Sprints season opener.
Friday, the USAC Sprints made their first visit to the Plymouth Speedway. 27 cars and stars were ready to do battle. Chase Stockon set fast time of the night and the track record for USAC.
3 heats with the top 5 moving to the A. Heat 1, Stockon wasted no time shooting from 6th to 1st, and going on to win heat 1 over Brady Short, Justin Grant, Jarrett Andretti, and Chris Windom. Heat 2, Kyle Robbins spins as Tyler Hewitt has nowhere to go and clips Robbins. Chad Boespflug had the bottom groove a working and catfish to the win over Dave Darland, CJ Leary, Thomas Meseruall, and Josh Spencer who nipped Robbins to the line. Robbins was full contact racing off turn 4 and drove into Spencer a few times as Spencer crossed the line with a blown tire and bent front tire but survived to make the A. Robbins has had a few heats now end in contact this season. Heat 3, Kevin Thomas JR, held off a fast Tyler Courtney for the win. Shane Cottle, Issac Chapple, and Landon Simon moved to the A.
7 cars from the B transfer to the A. Stevie Sussex had things under control upfront as a torrid battle for the final transfer place was going on. 4 cars were fighting for the final 2 spots the last 5 laps. Coming to the white flag, Chad Wilson moved into the final transfer spot, then missed his mark in turn 2 a bit as Aaron Farney got back under him. Going into 3, Wilson hooked the cushion as Farney drove away in the final transfer spot. Sussex took the win over, Hewitt, Jon Stanbrough, up from 10th, Robbins, Colten Cottle, Aaron Pierce, and Farney.
Meseruall and Grant paced the field for the 30 lap A Main. It was T-Mez's first outing in his own 00 machine. Grant grabbed the lead as the green light flipped on. Opening up the lead quickly, Grant pulled to a straight away lead. Boespflug and Meseruall were battling in the top 3. Lap after lap, Grant was in command. By the halfway point, Boespflug started to run Grant down in traffic and was closing the gap. Meanwhile, the fans were cheering hard for home team driver Tyler Courtney as he was coming to the front after starting 18th. Just as Boespflug closes the gap within 2 car lengths, Grant slides through traffic perfect as Boespflug gets hung up. Courtney gets past Boespflug and tries to make a run at Grant. It was too late as Grant lead flag to flag. Courtney, up from 18th, Boespflug, T-Mez, and Sussex rounded out the top 5.
A good night of racing. Grant kinda stunk up the A Main but there was
plenty of action with Courtney charging from the back.
Saturday, after morning rains plagued the area, the moisture moved out of the region and Atomic Speedway was ready for the BOSS season opener. On a much cooler and still very overcast day, 24 BOSS Sprints were ready to hit the 3/8 mile banked oval.
It was determined that all cars would be put in the A. So 3 heats were ran with the top 3 earning redraw positions. Well, in BOSS the do run for $$$ and points in the heats too. BOSS pays the top 4 spots in the heat which is unusual now days but I like it and think ALL heats should pay a little bit. Heat 1, JJ Hughes is battling on the outside groove, fighting for 2nd when the pack gets together underneath JJ and makes contact. JJ hops a tire and takes a nasty tumble in turn 3, then skids on top of the wall a little. JJ was okay but the 76 ride was done for the night. It looked like the heat that would produce the winner of the night, the heat was stacked thanks to the pill draw line up format. Matt Westfall went on to win over Justin Owen, and Carman Perigo. Heat 2, Kirk Jeffries made his return to the BOSS series and jetted to the win over Cody Gardner, and Matt Cooley. Heat 3, BOSS rookie of the year contender, Paul Dues drove the high side of the track to a heat win over Aaron Middaugh, and Andy Feil.
Jeffries and Owen brought the field to the green in the 25 lap A Main. Owen out gassed the field as the green flag waved and took the lead. The Juice was running right up on the skinny cushion. As Owen lead, Jeffries, Dustin Smith, and Matt Westfall battled in the lead pack. By lap 10, eyes started turning to Michael Fichesser as he was flying through the pack. Lap 13, Ryan Meyers stops after tagging the wall in turn 3. Green, The Juice is upfront but teammate Fichesser now is there to battle. From 16th to 2nd, Fichesser is running wheel to wheel with Owen. Lap after the teammates thrill the crowd, racing just inches apart, almost making contact a handful of times. The last half of the A Main they battled tooth and nail. As they drew the much deserved attention, Dustin Smith was closing in to try and make it a 3 car battle. As those 3 battled and great battle for the top 5 was going on as well. Chad Wilson moved from 13th to the 5th, looking for more. Owen was just a tick better as he held on to take his 2nd career BOSS win. Fischesser, from 16th, Smith, from 10th, by inches at the line, Jeffries, and Wilson, from 13th, rounded out the top 5.
A great A Main. The battle between Owen and Fichesser was excellent and to know they were team cars and not giving each other an inch made it all the more interesting. Then, having 3 of the top 5 moving from 10th or farther back, Fichesser, Dustin Smith, and Chad Wilson, it made for a great A Main. Atomic Speedway seems to be an excellent fit for BOSS as each season it seems like Atomic is always the best battle all year, well the season kicked off that way at Atomic and there is still 2 more visits there this season.
Friday: WOO Plymouth IN, FAST Attica OH, OSCS Moler OH, Non Wing Doubler Lima OH
Saturday: WOO Haubstadt IN, FAST/OSCS Atomic OH, Non Wing Doubler Waynesfield OH
Sunday: MSCS Terre Haute IN, Non Wing Kokomo IN
Thanks for reading
The Attica Spring Nationals has had a rich history over the past 27 years it has taken place. Actually, some of that is even right here as I write this Tri-State Outlook column as it was during the Spring Nationals 15 years ago I met Allan Holland. Allan asked if I could write, I told him well not my strong suit, which you all can tell weekly, lol. So, I tried it and I guess it went well as now 15 years strong and I am still here. The HD Supply 28th annual Attica Spring Nationals was no exception on history making, matter of fact, it was just that, an historical event.
Friday, The 410 FAST Sprints kicked off there 2017 tour with 37 cars pit side. 26 305s were on hand as well. Cale Thomas started the weekend off in a bad way, flipping hard in hot laps. Thomas was okay but his Attica weekend was over.
On a smooth, fast track, the 410 heats were up next. Tim Shaffer shot from 3rd to the lead taking the win in heat 1 over Travis Philo. Dale Blaney slowed in heat 2 causing Chris Andrews to hop the right rear of the 11N and rolling onto his side off the top of turn 3. Dean Jacobs went on to win over Adam Kekich. Stuart Brubaker brought home the win in heat 3 over Byron Reed. Trevor Baker took a nasty ride off the top of turn 2 in heat 4. Baker was okay. Carson Macedo motored to the win over DJ Foos.
3 305 heats were on the agenda. Kyle Capodice crawled to the win over Ricky Peterson in heat 1. John Ivy took a wild ride off turn 4 in heat 2 and hung the 77 machine in the catch fence off the exit of turn 4. Ivy was alright. George Englert surprised the crowd by taking the win over 305 ace Nate Dussel. Bobby Clark climbed to the win in heat 3.
2 410 B Mains would take the top 2 to the A. Shawn Valenti took the win in B1 over Sam Ashworth. B2, Chris Andrews charged from last to 1st in a few laps and never looked back, taking the win. Chad Blonde held off a closing Dale Blaney to take home the final transfer spot, making for a rare occurrence of Blaney missing an Attica A Main.
In the 305 B, not to be out done but Andrews, John Ivy iced the field after charging from 11th, last, to take the win after his crew thrashed to get the 77i machine back together.
Duncan and Brubaker brought the field to green in the 30 lap 410 A Main. Duncan dipped into the lead on the start. Quickly, a battle upfront as Brubaker takes the lead on lap 2. Great racing through out the pack in the beginning laps. Lap 5, Jordan Ryan flips in turn 2. Restart, Thomas Meseraull blows off the top of turn 1. Green, things stay calm a few laps til Cody Gallogy spins. Green, the battle starts to heat up at the front as 8 time track champ Byron Reed closes in on Brubaker. Lap 14, Reed takes the lead. Brubaker says I don't think so and regains the lead on lap 15. They battle hard side by side the next few laps as Reed takes the lead again on lap 17. Reed starts to pull away as DJ Foos is making some noise towards the front now, up to 3rd. Lap 21, Dean Jacobs spins. Restart, Reed breaks away from the pack as Foos continues to run right on the cushion in 1 and 2 and huggy pole in 3 and 4. Lap after lap, Foos is doing what is very rare, reeling in Reed in the closing laps. Spencer Bayston has entered the top 3 as well, looking for more. Lap 26, Foos flings past Reed as the crowd lets out a roar. DJ Foos was the fastest car at the end and pulled away to take his first 410 win at Attica Raceway Park. It was also the first win for car owners Jay Kiser and Nicole Henry, making it all the more special for as they are great friends of mine. Plus, I jumped on board as a sponsor of the 23 team this season, so a great opener with some history made as well. Reed, Bayston, Duncan, and Macedo round out the top 5.
Peterson and Paul Weaver paced the 25 lap 305 A Main. Peterson pounced to the lead as the green light flashed on. Weaver quickly took over on lap 3. Peterson wasn't done yet as the next handful of laps was a battle royal. Peterson led lap 4, as Weaver took over again on lap 5. Peterson settled into 2nd, just off Weaver's tail tank. Lap 6, Dustin Rall flips. Green, Weaver opens up the gap. Lap 13, Landon LaLonde stops on the top of turn 4. Green, its all Weaver upfront. Lap 20, Jason Keckler gets off the top of 4 and into the wall. Green, its the Paul Weaver show as Paul whips to the win over Dussel, Jamie Miller, Peterson and Steve Rando who charged up from 15th.
Saturday, the Tony Stewart All Star Circuit Of Champion Sprints were in town to close out the HD Supply Spring Nationals. 47 All Stars and 26 305s were ready to roll and a gorgeous day. All Star Rookie Of The Year contender, Tyler Esh set fast time of the night in qualifying.
4 loaded All Star heats were up next. I believe with that many cars, 5 heats should have been ran but, i don't make the rules. With an invert of 4, you are pretty much screwed if you time in bad and the invert. I do like that you are just up against your own heat race guys in time trails but still 12 car heats is pretty deep. Shawn Dancer tangoed to the win in heat 1 over Brian Lay. Spencer Bayston beat Chad Kemenah for the win in heat 2. After Jordan Harble flew off the track twice, Jordan Ryan took his 1st career All Star heat win over Tim Shaffer in heat 3. Chris Andrews looked super fast in heat 4 using the high side to shot from 4th to the lead by turn 3. Andrews took the win over All Star ROY contender Brandon Spithauler.
Once again 3, 305 heats. Nate Dussel dusted them in heat 1 taking the win over Jamie Miller. John Ivy keep all 4s down in the heat on this night and took the win over Kevin Mingus in heat 2. Paul Weaver kept a rolling in heat 3 taking the win over Landon LaLonde.
Kory Crabtree took the All Star C Main win over Dan McCarron.
The All Stars run 2 Dashes now, the first one determines the inside 5 rows of the A. Dash 2, the outside 5 rows of the A. I have ever told you I think all Dash events are dumb. Cole Duncan took Dash 1. Carson Macedo took Dash 2.
After starting the season off on a hot streak, Caleb Helms got things a rolling in the B Main, taking the win.
Thomas Schinderle took the 305 B Main win over Jimmy McGrath.
Duncan and Macedo paced the 40 lap All Star A Main. Duncan dances to the lead on the start. Lap 1, Jac Haudenschild spins in the middle of turn 4, Lee Jacobs can't squeeze through the hole and tags the Wild Child's car, damaging both rides. Green, Duncan looks good upfront. Last night's winner Foos pulls to the infield with a broken u-joint. Lap 3, Reed clips Spithauler's front end coming off turn 2 as they battle around 7th, breaking Brandon's front end causing him to spin to the infield. Spithauler has no racing luck at all. I've seen him the last few years have great runs and gremlins always seems to bite him. Green, Duncan leads as Macedo closes in. Lap 8, Macedo takes the lead. Lap 11, Dancer spins while having a great run in 5th. Green, Macedo leads as Bayston moves into 2nd. Lap 14, Macedo breaks, rolling to a stop. Bayston now has the lead. Green, Bayston has the Kevin and Jordan Swindell 39 ride a rolling. In only his 15th ever sprint car start, Bayston is looking like a seasoned veteran. Lap after lap, Bayston is smooth and keeps pulling away. As they enter traffic, Bayston don't hesitate a bit, breezing through traffic. Lap 32, Jordan Ryan goes off the track in 5th. Green, its all Spencer Bayston. After moving from 7th to dominating upfront, Bayston takes his first ever career and gives car owner Kevin Swindell his first win as an owner. Duncan, Shaffer, Blaney, up from 14th, and Kemenah round out the top 5. A great celebration as one of the sports rising stars can't believe he just won. Plus, what a sight to see Kevin Swindell standing in victory lane.
Nate Dussel took over the lead on lap 10 of the 305 A Main and never looked back. Dussel took a convincing win over Bobby Clark, Steve Rando, Ricky Peterson, and Jamie Miller.
A great weekend with a lot of history made. Foos getting a career 410 win, JKR getting its first car owner win, Bayston getting a career 410 win, Swindell getting a car owner win, Ryan getting first All Star heat win, and a history making 3 first time winners in the first 3 ARP 410 A Mains of the season. You can asked for much better racing and weekend. The Attica Spring Nationals as always never disappoints.
Friday: USAC Sprint Plymouth IN, GLSS/NRA Lima OH
Saturday: FAST Fremont OH, All Stars Wayne CO OH, USAC Sprints Montpelier IN, BOSS Atomic OH, Waynesfield OH opens
Thanks for reading Duane
An event that always seems to have weather issues, the Kokomo Grand Prix, got delayed a day last weekend but the action was well worth the wait. Showcasing the USAC Midgets, the 2 day event has the non wing sprints as the support class. Always one of my favorite events on the calendar. Originally slated for Friday and Saturday, mid week rains moved the event back to Saturday and Sunday. I give huge props to the Kokomo staff for keeping at it and moving the program back a day so both days got in the books.
Saturday 35 Midgets and 19 Sprints kicked off Day 1 of the Kokomo Grand Prix. With all cars making the Sprint car A Main, 2 heats was first up. Even thought they was just ran for starting position, the sprint heats had some good racing. Matt Westfall and Dave Darland took the wins.
The 4 midgets heats showed exactly why this event is always one of my favorites. 3, 4, and 5 wide racing in the heats, with multi racing grooves, the heat race action were excellent. Spencer Bayston, Tyler Thomas, Justin Grant, and Tyler Courtney took the wins.
With such a talented field of entries, some good drivers were set for the Midget B. With the top 6 moving to the A, another great battle was on in the B Main. When the dust cleared, Holly Shelton took the win over Alex Bright, Gage Walker, Tanner Carrick, Tyler Nelson, and Ryan Greth.
Westfall and Darland brought the 25 lap Sprint car A main to the green. Darland dips into the lead. Lap 1, Josh Spencer stops after spinning. Green, its Darland as the battle gets 3 wide for top 5 positions. Lap 5, Cole Ketchum blows up the 41 machine and slows to a stop. Green, Darland leads as some tight racing erupts behind him. As the leaders start to bunch up and battle into lapped traffic, Travis Hery spins on lap 15, slowing the action. Green, a great battle Justin Grant and Brady Bacon pressure Darland. As the laps wind down, the top 3 are right there sliding in and out of traffic. Grant closes and Darland and takes the lead on lap 22. Bacon follows suit and gives a shot at Grant for the win. Justin Grant can't be denied and takes the win over Bacon, Chris Windom, Darland, and Kevin Thomas JR.
Chad Boat and Ryan Robinson paced the 30 USAC Midget A Main. Bacon blast to the lead from his 2nd row starting spot with an excellent move. Top, bottom, middle, the action is all over the place as Bacon holds a narrow lead. Courtney is on the move, towards the leader. Lap 9, Nelson spins in turn 4. Under yellow, Darland gets a flat right rear, giving up his 6th place spot. Restart, Courtney dives low into 1, hooks a rut and flips hard, landing on top of his teammate Grant. Grant returns as Courtney's 7 ride is junk. Green, Bacon leads as Bayston applies heavy pressure. Lap 13, Bayston bounces past for the lead. Bacon is right in his tires tracks the first few laps before Spencer pulls away. Lap 18, Davy Ray slows to a stop. Restart, Bayston leads as Bacon mounts another charge. Tanner Thorson starts to make some noise as well. At they battle up front, Grant is gliding through the field. Lap 24, Bacon retakes the lead. Bayston makes a counter move but, Bacon is sizzling out front. Bacon seals the deal and takes home the win over Bayston, Thorson, Kevin Thomas Jr, and Jerry Coons Jr.
Sunday with temps in the high 70s, it was perfect for day 2 of the Kokomo Grand Prix. 30 Midgets and 22 Sprints were sitting in the pits for Sunday's action. The action got wild soon after the cars took to the track. In the Sprint car hot laps/ group qualifying, Travis Hery biked the car in turn 3 and went for a nasty tumble. After winning the World Of Outlaws Sprint Car race in Arizona Saturday night, Rico Abreu landed in Kokomo for Sunday. Rico took a tumble on lap 1 of his qualifying effort.
Not getting a Sprint car upside down on Saturday, something was in the air Sunday. 3 Sprint heats, once again all car moved to the A Main. Heat 1, Kyle Robbins has something break on the 17R ride as they checkered flag flies. Robbins shoots off into turn 1, slamming Matt Goodnight as Robbins tumbles hard. Max McGhee flips hard in heat 2, landing on Landon Simon, ending both of their nights. CJ Leary, Brady Bacon, and Aaron Farney take the wild heat race wins.
With 4 Midget heats up next, the action once again was excellent. Midgets at Kokomo is like hot fudge on ice cream, it leaves an awesome taste. Rico was the class of the heats, charging from last to just missing the heat race win by a few feet at the finish line. Alex Bright, Jake Neuman, Tanner Carrick, and Tyler Thomas take the wins.
If you thought Saturday's B was stacked, Sunday's was fully loaded. Tucker Klaasmeyer flipped on the start of the B. Anton Julian took a tumble in the B as well. Kevin Thomas Jr took the win over Dave Darland, Chris Windom, Jerry Coons Jr, Chase Jones, and Tyler Nelson.
Thomas Meseraull and Farney brought the 25 lap Sprint car A Main to the start. Tyler Hewitt spins and Josh Spencer gets collected as well. Complete restart, T Mez gassed it up to the lead. Once again, wide 3 racing grooves, the action was great. Justin Grant quickly battled to the front and took the lead on lap 9. Grant, T Mez, Bacon, Thomas Jr, and Shane Cottle all battle upfront. 10 to go, Bacon is on the move and closing quickly. Bacon gets inches off Grant's rear bumper, lap after lap they battle. Bacon trying to set a move up right when on lap 21, Meseraull slows in 3rd. 4 lap shootout, Grant gets a great restart and rides off under the moonlight. Sweeping the weekend, Grant takes the win over Bacon, Cottle, Thomas Jr, and Farney.
Boat and Courtney set the pace in the 30 lap Midget finale. Boat floated to the lead on the start. A great battle for the lead right away as Thorson tries to take the lead. Side by side they battle. Lap 7, Thorson nips Boat for the lead at the line. Boat makes a move 3/4 of a lap latter for the lead just as the yellow waves for Grant's spin. Green, Thorson leads as the action slows on lap 10 for a Bayston spin. Green, lap 12 Windom and Jones collide. Restart, Carrick and Neuman collide at the restart cone. Rico is halfway though the pack as the crowd cheers him on. Green, Bacon gets fired up and makes a move to the lead on lap 13. Bacon goes low now, holding a slight lead. Lap 17, Boat slows. Green, Bacon and Thorson battle as Rico races to the top 5 and has the fans in the stands waving their arms, cheering him towards the front. Thorson tries all he can but Bacon shuts the Kunz Racing mega team down and sweeps the weekend. Bacon wins over, Thorson, Courtney, Rico, up from 22nd, and Kevin Thomas Jr.
Weekend sweeps by Bacon in the Midgets and Grant in the Sprints but both drove their butts off to the wins.... KTJ had an impressive weekend with top 5s in all 4 A Mains....Rico put on a show Sunday but I personally think the cars not transferring via the heats to the A, starting before the guys that did transfer via the heats sucks. Just like Rico, has no time from his qualifying flip, races from last to 2nd in the heat and still has to start last due to all drivers getting their times back. To me, if a driver races their ass off in the heat, especially after bad luck, he earns a right to start before the B Main cars...,.3 USAC Nationals points races so far and no wins for the Kunz mega team so far. Everyone talks about all the $$$ and advantage Kunz has had for years but looks like some other teams have brought their A game this season as well.
Friday; FAST Attica OH, NRA Lima OH, USAC Sprints Bloomington IN
Saturday: All Stars Attica OH, USAC Sprints Haubstadt IN
Thanks for reading
It was no April Fools, the USAC Sprints and Lawrenceburg Speedway beat the odds last Saturday night and kicked off The Burg's season. 35 USAC Sprints along with a stellar crowd was ready for action. With a fast track, action was abundant. Cooper Clouse biked on the cushion during qualifying and took a hard tumble, ending his night. So far, Clouse's season has started off with 2 big flips in 2 shows. Justin Grant set quick time of the night.
4 heats with the top 4 moving to the A Main. Heat 1, Travis Hery stopped slowing the action. With the track still real tacky, a few guys were cowboy up, fighting the cushion, which was fast, if you could stay on it. Nick Bilbee held off Jarett Andretti, Chad Boespflug, and Shawn Westerfeld for the win. A tight heat 2 seen Chase Stockon take the lead late in the race and go on to win over Max McGhee, Hunter Schuerenberg, and Kody Swanson. Heat 3, Jeff Bland Jr took control and the win over Jon Stanbrough, Josh Hodges, and with a last lap cowboy up on the cushion pass, Dallas Hewitt. Heat 4, using the low line, Shane Cottle was on the throttle and took the win over Carson Short, Chris Windom, and Dave Darland.
The USAC Sprints B Main takes the top 6 to the A. A wild start in the B seen a huge pile up in turn 2. Matt Goodnight and Riley VanHise got upside down, collecting Hery as well. CJ Leary and Michael Fischesser had contact and Fish all but flipped. Once things finally settled down, a great mid pack battle for the final transfer spot was unfolding as car raced 3 wide. Just as the white flag was waving, Josh Moffatt slowed as his engine went up in smoke. Tyler Courtney held on the final restart and took the win over Grant, Kevin Thomas Jr, Corey Smith, Tyler Thomas, and Landon Simon.
Boespflug and Windom paced the field for the 30 lap A Main. As the green waved, the field raced hard into turns 1 and 2. When the pack entered the middle of 1 and 2, the 3rd row starters, Darland and Stockon bumped, both flipping wildly. Both drivers were okay. Restart, Windom whipped into the lead. Running just a groove off the bottom, The Bear was looking to take the $5000 honey pot. Windom is in control out front as Schuerenberg is the man on the move. Lap 8, Short stops. Restart, Schuerenberg takes over 2nd, up from 10th. Running right up on the cushion, lap 9, the cushion bites Hunter as he flips hard in turn 1 and 2. Schuerenberg walked away okay. Green, Boespflug can get beside Windom but, once they get a lap in, Windom opens the gap. Its all Windom, opening up a half a straight away lead. Lap after lap, Windom is in total control. Lap 25, Cottle spins as the yellow flag comes out. This will tighten up the pack for a 5 lap shootout. Green, Boespflug gives it a shot but falls way short as Windom whistles off turn 2. Taking home his first ever Lawrenceburg win, Windom gets the win. Boespflug, Grant, Stanbrough, and Simon round out the top 5.
The heat races were great with Windom kinda stinking up the A just a bit. It was a great night was racing and as usual, The Burg don't disappoint. Glad to see all the drivers walk away from some big time crashes.
With the Mansfield Motor Speedway getting delayed til Sunday, it was off to mid central Ohio Sunday morning. With rains early in the week and not much sun to dry, the track was still super moist when everyone got there Sunday. After 3 hours of trying after the gates open, it was decided the track would not come around into a safe racing condition without hours more of prep. The show maybe made up at a later date. Hopefully it will be as a great field of cars was pit side.
The All Star show for Atomic Speedway originally scheduled for this Saturday has been pushed back to Sunday the 9th due to wet grounds and temps.
Friday USAC Midgets Kokomo IN
Saturday: USAC Midgets Kokomo IN, MSCS Lincoln Park IN, Triple Crown Mansfield OH
Sunday: All Stars Atomic OH
Thanks for reading
As the month of March closes out, the traditional Ohio sprint car season opener took place at Attica Raceway Park. Friday, temps in the low 70s greeted fans as they was ready for some racing. Saturday, the newly configured Mansfield Motor Speedway kicked off its 3 race Triple Crown Series returning to a dirt speedway.
Gorgeous weather blessed Attica Raceway Park Friday as ARP kicked off it weekly program. A great field of 37 410 sprints and 23 305 sprints were ready for action. Dylan Kingan started his season off bad, flipping in the 410 sprints group qualifying.
The massive crowd was ready as 4 410 heats with the top 4 moving to the A were in the staging area. Heat 1, Cale Thomas slowed the action with issues in his 91 machine. Once things restarted, Byron Reed took home the win in a close one over Tim Shaffer, Caleb Helms, and Cole Duncan who charged from the tail to a transfer spot. Heat 2, Stuart Brubaker spins to slow the race. Jordan Harble spins and tips over on his side as he slipped off the top of turn 2. Chris Andrews looked like a rocket ship and fly to the win over Brandon Matus, Brubaker, who made an awesome charge from the tail after the early spin, and John Garvin. Heat 3, Max Stambaugh stood on the go pedal and took home the win over Travis Philo, Iowa invader Lynton Jefferey, and DJ Foos. Heat 4, TJ Michael mashed the throttle and took home the win over Duane Zablocki, Phil Gressman, and Caleb Armstrong.
3 305 heats with the top 5 moving on to the A. Brad Keckler spins, slowing the heat. Green, its all Jamie Miller. Miller took an easy win over Thomas Schinderle, Chase Dunham, Kyle Peters, and Jason Keckler. Heat 2, Jordan Ryan roared to the win over Ricky Peterson, Paul Weaver, Kevin Mingus, and Seth Schneider. Heat 3, Kyle Capodice too the win over John Ivy, Cody Bova, Steve Rando, and Bobby Clark
2 410 B Mains were set with the top 2 moving to the A. B1, a great battle upfront as Ryan Ruhl and Lee Jacobs swap the lead a handful of times. Jacobs finally takes over the lead and goes on to win over Ruhl. B2, a great battle upfront instantly turns into a grinding crash. Jody Keegan got a bit sideways off turn 2 as the pile stacked up, Jess Stiger had no place to go and flips hard. Keegan flopped on to his side. All were okay. Adam Cruea had a great run, taking the win over Joe Swanson. It was great to see these 2nd year winged 410 drivers both put it in the show.
The top 5 from the 305 B moved to the A. Jeremy Duposki took the win over Landon LaLonde, Tyler Street, Matt Lucius, and Jeremy Kornbau
The 30 410 sprint A main kicked it off as Shaffer and Andrews paced the field. As the pack takes the green, Shaffer and Andrews battle side by side into turns 1 and 2. Shaffer pushes high off 2 and slides Andrews off the edge of the banking. Andrews never lifts and shoot back on the track in 5th. Lap 2, Brubaker spins in turn 3. Green, Shaffer leads as there is a great battle behind him. Lap after lap, Shaffer lead as the pack was slowly catching him. Helms breaks free and is right on Shaffer's tail tank. Keeping a smooth calm line, Helms electrified the crowd as he took the lead on lap 22. Shaffer stayed right there as Reed and Andrews joined the mix. A tight 4 car battle upfront in the closing laps. Helms made some great moves in traffic the final few laps and took home a very popular first career sprint car A Main win. Shaffer, Reed, Andrews, and Stambaugh round out the top 5. It was very awesome to see Caleb finally get his first career win. He has paid his dues and has really came into his own lately. The team switched the number to 17 this year to change things up, looks like they did right out of the box.
Peterson and Ryan brought the 25 lap A Main to the green. Peterson pounced into the lead. Lap 2, John Ivy took over the top spot. Ryan brings the yellow after the leader crossed the line to complete lap 2. Bobby Clark spins on the restart. Ivy leads as the race resumes as Miller and Peterson follow. Weaver starts to make a move to the front. Lap 17, Weaver takes the lead. Lap 18, Schneider off the top of 2 but kept going. At the same time, Lalonde spins off 4 and Duposki gets collected and flips. Its all Weaver on the restart, racing to the win after starting 10th. Miller, Ivy, Peterson, and Bova round out the top 5.
A great night of racing on Attica's opener. This week, if Attica rains out Friday, their rain date is posted for Saturday.
Saturday it was time to make a trip to Mansfield Motor Speedway for their reopening. I've been to the place with the old dirt, the pavement, and now the reworked track that is once again dirt. One of the nicest facilities in the region, the crew kicked off leg 1 of their 3 week Triple Crown Series. $5000 to win in each division. A huge crowd flooded the gates as the fans made a statement, they wanna see the track be a hit.
28 winged 410 sprints and 25 traditional non wing sprint cars were pit side and ready to roll out on the new dirt surface. During hot laps, bad dust was flowing. The track crew scrambled and instantly got to working on the track. After a few hours of work, the track was ready for cars once again. Qualifying was eliminated and the pill draw was used for heat line ups.
3 winged heats. With the track a lot better dust wise, some ruts started to develop. A good battle in heat 1 seen Danny Mumaw take the win over Brian Lay and DJ Foos. Heat 2, Cole Duncan was fast but spun, sending him to the tail. An excellent battle upfront seen Travis Philo hold off Jac Haudenschild and Ryan Meyers for the win. Heat 3, Shawn Valenti rode to the win over Ryan Grubaugh and Lee Jacobs.
3 non wing heats. Jac Haudenschild was doing double duty and showed he still lives up to the Wild Child nickname and he runs the right rear inches off the fence in the non wing car. Haud goes on to win over Chris Windom. Heat 2, Shane Cottle gets on the throttle and makes an amazing move a handful of laps into the heat, sliding from 3rd to 1st entering turn 3. Cottle went on to win over Dallas Hewitt. Landon Simon dominated heat 3.
No B Mains were ran as it was determined all cars would go to the A due to the time it took to get the track in shape and to reward all that came to support the show. There was some hiccups but I don't know of 1 person who was going that didn't expect there not to be any.
Lay and Haudenschild brought the 30 winged A Main to the green. A bad start sent Lay back a row. Green, the Wild Child crawled to the lead. Jac was on the top side, in and out of the holes, putting on a show. Haudenschild opened up a straight away lead as a 4 car battle was going on from 2nd to 5th. Lap after lap, its all Haudenschild as the battle for 2nd is super tight. Foos gets a huge run as the laps wind down, looking like the fastest car on the track. Foos takes, 4th, now 3rd, battling for 2nd just as the leader Haudenschild blows a tire. The Wild Child stops and now the lead is handed to Helms with 3 to go. Foos was just making a move on Helms, which would have now been a lead pass as the yellow light flipped on. Green, Helms gets a great start. After waiting several years to score his first career win the night before, Caleb Helms sweeps the weekend, taking home the $5000 win. Foos, Mumaw, Tim Shaffer, and Lay rounded out the top 5.
Just like the a non wing A Main would look like in the days past, Haudenschild and Hewitt pace the field for the 30 lap A. Just this time its Dallas Hewitt and not Jack. Green, Haudenschild hustles to the lead. This time he can't break free from the pack. Cottle didn't drive from Kokomo Indiana for nothing as The Throttle wheels to the lead on lap 2. Lap 4, Dustin Stroup spins off 4. Green, Aaron Middaugh hits the cones and is sent to the tail. Green, Cottle leads as Haud and Windom battle behind him. Lap 6, Cottle coast to a stop, handing Haud the lead. Green, an epic battle is about to unfold. The Wild Child and The Bear are having an all out war for the lead. Through the holes, high, low, in and out of traffic, wheel to wheel, Haud and Windom exchange the lead, turn for turn the next handful of laps. The goes on the next 24 laps. Haudenschild had the first A slip away is doing all he can to not let this one slip past him. Many times almost making contact, neither driver is giving an inch as the large crowd is going nuts. Lap 25 Windom leads, lap 28 Haud retakes the lead. White flag in hand, Windom leads. Haud makes one last ditch effort to make another pass, Windom says no way and races to a hard fought win. Haudenschild and Simon round out the podium. An absolute epic non wing A Main.
All in all it was very good opening night for Mansfield. There was many growing pains but if you didn't except that, then you are not race savvy at all. They worked to get a good track and make the racers happy and the fans. An overflow crowd was great but put a bigger glitch in the opening night learning curve as well for the new track staff. Once things get ironed out, Mansfield is going to be a premiere stop on any racing tour's schedule.
Great crowds and great racing kicked off the Ohio racing season. It was awesome to see Caleb Helms finally shake the monkey off his back and take home his first career win. Then back it up with another the next night. With Andy Potter on the wrenches and Caleb knowing he can win now, this just added some greatness to the All Star tour this season.
Dave Steele passed away Saturday night from injuries suffered in a sprint car crash in Florida. Dave was an icon in pavement and a 2 time USAC Silvercrown champ. Another huge lost in our racing family. RIP Dave
Friday: Attica OH
Saturday: USAC Lawrenceburg IN, OSCS Atomic OH, Triple Crown Mansfield OH
Sunday: USAC Silvercrown Terre Haute IN
Thanks for reading
With the calendar flipping to March, that means one thing, racing season is upon us. With Winter never really hitting this year in the Ohio region, I am hoping mother nature plays nice here in a few weeks when the gates start kicking open at some of the tracks. Many changes as always with drivers and teams over the off season. Plus, don't forget the Mall Shows as they allow fans to get a sneak peak at some of the new combinations and paint schemes for the season, and allow fans and kid to interact with the drivers at the shows.
There is a ton of news heading into the 2017 season so let's get to it:
The All Star Circuit Of Champions kick off their Northern season April 8th at Atomic. A record number of 18 full time regulars are schedule to hit the 2017 tour, with 11 guys going for the rookie of year hardware. 2016 champ Chad Kemenah returns with series regulars Kraig Kinser, Caleb Armstrong, TJ Michael, Caleb Helms, and Bradley Howard. 2015 regular Ryan Smith rejoins the tour along with the 11 drivers: Max Stambaugh, Roger Campbell, Brandon Matus, Brent Matus, John Garvin, Ryan Linder, Brandon Spithauler, Tyler Esh, John Hunter Mackison, Jordan Mackison, and Dane Lorenc, vying for ROY honors. It will be VERY interesting to see if all the teams can stay on the tour and which series rookie rises to the top. From what I have seen last season, I would say look for young Dane Lorenc out of New York to surprise some people this season.
The World Of Outlaws left Florida with Donny Schatz on a hot streak. The series kicks back off this weekend in Texas. A excellent field of 15 full time drivers are slated to complete the 2017 tour with the addition of a stout ROY battle as Ohio's own Sheldon Haudenschild and PA's Brent Marks join the series. Both drivers have been strong the last few seasons.
USAC Sprints kick off their Northern schedule April 1st at the Lawrenceburg Speedway. 9 drivers are slated to run the entire series for points, while a handful of others will hit a good part of the tour. With the Brady Bacon, 2 titles in the last 3 years 2014 and 2016, running more winged races, and Robert Ballou, 2015 champ, still sidelined with injures from last September, the battle for the championship is wide open. Chad Boespflug is probably the favorite with the switch to Hoffman Racing backing but don't count out Chase Stockon, Dave Darland, Justin Grant, Chris Windom, CJ Leary, Thomas Meseraull, Tyler Courtney, and Isaac Chapple. 8 of those 9 could easily be title contenders.
Just as big as the huge list of drivers running series, some top tier drivers still seem to be looking for a ride in 2017. Sammy Swindell, Craig Dollansky, Randy Hannagan, and Danny Lasoski all have no concrete plans for 2017. Lasoski is said to have cars and a trailer but no engines. It will be interesting to see how quick one of these guys land in a seat that pops open.
Mansfield Motor Speedway is going back to dirt!!! What was once a dirt track, then converted to a pavement oval that hosted big events such as the NASCAR Truck series, to sitting idle the last several seasons, now has new life. The pavement has been removed from the track and clay hauled in the last few weeks. Running just a limited Big Show schedule, its great to have not just another track open but, a great racing facility open to showcase the sport. Mansfield has the potential to bring the region another special events track that can host huge crowds and huge pay days for the teams. With its NASCAR style of layout, paved walkways, roof over the stands, premier bathroom and concession areas, and amazing suite areas, this could be huge for racing in Ohio. I hope they get the track prep down with quickly as they are putting the bucks out on the line from day 1. The gates kick open March 25th with a huge 3 week Triple Crown Spring Series for the local teams. March 25th, April 1st, and April 8th will see $5000 to win A Mains each week for Traditional Non Wing Sprints, 410 Winged Sprints, and Late Models. Plus, a $10,000 Triple Crown Bonus at the end of the 3 week series. All non sanctioned shows. I can't wait to see how this unfolds.
The HoserVille Ohio 14th annual benefit auction has moved locations after 10 years. With the previous location changing ownership and not knowing how loyal race fans are and not wanting a show, the Woodland Mall in Bowling Green Ohio is the new venue. March 11th from 3 PM to 5 PM the annual auction will take place. The mall will host a car show all that weekend, March 10th to the 12th. Be sure to support this great event and support a mall that see the benefit of racing and its fans and drivers.
Limaland Motorsports Park had added some traditional non wing sprint car races to their 2017 slate. April 28th and July 21st will showcase open non wing sprints shows. The BOSS series hits the 1/4 mile June 9th along with the USSA Midgets June 2nd. I love seeing more traditional sprint car racing at Limaland. Hopefully, the fans will show the support.
Kokomo Speedway in Indiana keeps raising the bar when it comes to traditional sprint car racing. How can Kokomo get better, you ask? 5 of their sprint car shows will now have midgets as a support class as well. One of the nights is during the Smackdown. Add the Grand Prix, Midget Week, and the Kokomo Klash, that is 9 midget and sprint car show combinations! That is music to my ears!
Other News: Piqua Mall will once again host their racing mall show the weekend of March 17th to the 19th. A full slate of events each days makes this mall show a great one as well...Tim's Pit Party, a spin off of Tim's Racing Expo, will host their event this year March 25th at the Howard Johnson's Motel in Lima Ohio. The event will host simulator races, a DJ, 50/50 raffle, benefit auction, Knoxville 101 with Larry Boos as guest speaker, door prizes, discounted motel rooms, and much much more...
Track News: Attica Raceway Park opens March 24th with their regular weekly program...Atomic Speedway opens March 17th with the Lucas Oil Late Models...Brownstown Speedway in Indiana opens March 11th with their regular program...Lawrenceburg Speedway in Indiana opens April 1st...Limaland opens April 14th for their 2017 season...Eldora Speedway opens April 15th with ALMS Late Models...Fremont Speedway opens April 22nd...Butler Motor Speedway in Michigan opens April 29th.
Driver News: Stevie Smith hung up his helmet a few weeks ago and retired from the sport...NASCAR Xfinity regular the past few seasons, Cale Conley returns to sprint cars full time in the Jessup 7k...Rico Abreu also returns to sprints and midgets full time after running 1 season in the NASCAR Truck series. I wish Rico would run for the WOO title...Tony Stewart and Hoffman Racing announced Smoke would race the 69 machine in this year's Little 500 at Anderson Speedway Memorial Day weekend...Dale Blaney has took the Zemco ride in PA for the season. Dale will race around 20 races in Ohio as well for Ed Neumeister...Danny Smith will turn 60 this year and would love to find a Chili Bowl ride for the 32nd annual event next January and run for rookie of the nationals at 60 years old. Lets make this happen!!! Anyone wanting to help Danny get to the Chili Bowl, please contact Danny or send me a message and I can get it in the proper hands.
Remember to tune in weekly for my On The Throttle radio show. We go on live every Monday just after the 12 Noon News. The program is streamed live at the WQCT The 96.5 website, WQCT 1520 AM website, or mobile devices use the Tune In app. It is approaching 1 year already for the show and we have some big things happening soon. Podcast archives, live video, the shows own website, and much more is adding to the already successful show.
Thanks for reading Duane
Millstream Speedway in Findlay Ohio ended the season with a bang last Saturday during the Trick Or Treat 30's. A $5000 to win show for winged 410 sprints, $5000 to win for the non wing traditional sprints, and $1000 to win for the 305s. Not only did it pay good $$ upfront, it was almost a $40,000 purse.
On a perfect day weather wise, the track was in superb shape. 31 winged, 34 non wing, and 24 305 sprints were ready to roll.
With almost 40 stock pit side as well, the track stayed in amazing shape all night long for the 100 plus cars pit side. This show reminded me of the old school days at Millstream as the track was fast and the cushion close to the fence. Plenty of passing and just great racing. The heats and B Mains were great.
The 305 A was first up as John Ivy and Nate Dussel paced the field for the 20 lap A. Contact as the cars race into turn 1 and 2 with Matt Lucius and Ricky Peterson making contact, Peterson spins. A load of cars get collected including Bobby Clark, Brad Keckler, Chad Dunham, Luke Daughtery, and Gary Benjamin who flipped. Green, Dussel dove to the lead. Lap 2, Landon LaLonde spins as Kyle Capodice stops as well. Green,Its Dussel upfront as Ivy chases. Lap 4, Tony Beaber stops for a yellow. Still the same upfront as Jeremy Duposki spins. Green, the race is on as Ivy closes in and Paul Weaver charges towards the front. Lap 16, Jim Taddeo stops. Restart, Weaver gets a run on the high side and takes the lead. Dussel tries the low side but Weaver powers off 2. Weaver seals the deal after starting 10th and takes the win. Dussel, Ivy, Matt Foos, up from 21st in a Clark 8 ride, and Cody Bova round out the top 5.
Kody Swanson and Michael Fischesser brought the 30 lap non wing sprint A to the green. Fischesser flew to the lead on the start. The BOSS regular was looking good after he finished the BOSS very strong. Fischesser started to feel the pressure from Shane Cottle. The duo battled side by side a few laps before Cottle took control on lap 9. Lap 11, Travis Berryhill stops with a broken front end after charging through the pack. Green, Cottle leads as the race comes to a grinding halt on lap 12. Matt Goodnight, Todd Keen, and Kyle Simon collide off turn as Keen and Goodnight flip down the back stretch on top of each other. Goodnight was taken by the EMS to the hospital and thankfully was released with just bumps and bruises. Green again for a lap as Dean Jacobs flips the Baumgardner 38 ride hard in turn 2. Green, Sheldon Haudenschild started to move and looked like a boss running the non wing car right above the cushion, 4 in the fluff in 1 and 2 with the left rear lifting a bit as he entered the turn. That people is how you drive a non wing car bad ass fast! Lap 16, the crowd roars as Sheldon takes the lead. Haudenschild instantly pulls to a 10 car length lead as he reminds me of some of the old school USAC guys like Pancho Carter and Rich Vogler, balls deep in the cushion and not letting off. Totally was worth the drive and price of admission just to watch Sheldon in the non wing car. As Haudenschild enters lapped traffic he starts to have a few issues. Lap 26, Haudenschild gets in the cushion entering 3 too hard and gets up on the right front wheel only, saves it but shoots up in the wall, ending his night. Cottle regained the lead. Cottle held off a late race charge to take the win over Mat Westfall, Dustin Smith, up from 16th, Brady Short, and Fischesser. Great runs from Smith and Fischesser. A great race.
Stuart Brubaker and Chad Kemenah lead the pack for the 30 lap winged A Main. Kemenah grabbed the lead on the start. With the track still in fantastic shape, the wing cars were flying about the track and they were battling. Lap 6, Danny Mumaw stops with a flat. Green, an amazing battle upfront as Brubaker makes a move at the lead. As they battle for the lead, the crowd is going nuts as Jac Haudenschild is charging from 18th to the battle in the top 5 in 9 laps!! Its so crowded on the back stretch as they battle, Travis Philo and Sheldon Haudenschild touched and gathered it back in as 4 cars were glued together. This one is a barn burner and for those who are non wing fans that say wings suck, I hope you stayed for this one! It was better than the non wing A, which was something itself. Lap 11, Brubaker takes the lead. As Kemenah and Brubaker battle, here comes Kraig Kinser on the low side. Lap 13, Kinser takes the lead. 3 cars glued together for the lead, with another 3 cars not far behind. The Wild Child starts to close on the lead pack as the crowd loves this one. Lap 24, a huge disappointment strikes the crowd as The Wild Child slows with a flat as he was ready to take on the lead pack. Green, Sheldon Haudenschild quickly brings the crowd back alive as he charges on the high side to battle Kinser for the lead. Sheldon reels him in and takes a shot but Kraig Kinser holds on for a much needed win after a dismal season. Sheldon, Kemenah, Cole Duncan, and Brubaker round out the top 5. An excellent race.
Friday and Saturday Atomic Speedway OHIO Host the $20,000 to win season final for the All Stars. See you there!
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Eldora Speedway closed their 2016 season last weekend with has quickly become another must see Eldora race. The Sprint Spectacular seen 40 All Star Sprints, 30 NRA 360 Sprints, and 49 BOSS traditional sprints invade The House Earl Built on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
The All Stars kicked the evening off with 4 heats, taking the top 5 to the A. Heat 1, Shawn Dancer held off a charging Sheldon Haudenschild for the win. Bill Balog, Dustin Daggett, and TJ Michael raced their way into the A. Heat 2, Ian Madsen marched from 4th to 1st and went on to take the win over Travis Philo, Lee Jacobs, Caleb Armstrong, and Brock Zearfoss with a late race pass. Heat 3, Rico Abreu rim rode from 4th to 1st and never looked back taking the win over Dale Blaney, Sammy Swindell, Cole Duncan, and Cap Henry. Heat 4, Chad Kemenah used the low line to climb from 3rd to 1st and went on to win over Brandon Matus, Kraig Kinser, Danny Smith, and Dallas Hewitt.
3 NRA 360 heats were next up with the top 5 moving on to the A. Heat 1, Coleman Gullick made the trip from New York after he just recently returned to sprint car racing. Coleman came to a stop in heat 1. Randy Hannagan hustled his way to the win over Butch Schroeder, Jared Horstman, Devin Dobie, and Brad Lamerson. Heat 2, Dustin Daggett drove from outside row 1 to the lead and never looked back. Daggett held off Kyle Sauder, Aaron Reutzel, Jim Huppunen, and Tim Allison for the win. Heat 3, Max Stambaugh lead flag to flag for the win over Mitch Brown, Ron Blair, Ed Neumeister, and Cory Turner.
6 BOSS traditional sprint heats were up next with the top 3 moving to the A. Heat 1, Bill Rose took the lead from the pole as 7th place starter Chad Wilson charged into 2nd by lap 2. Rose held off Wilson and Justin Grant for the win. Heat 2, CJ Leary leaped from 5th to 1st taking the win in a close one over Shane Cottle and Matt Cooley. Heat 3, Cooper Clouse slowed the action with a spin. Matt Westfall wheeled it from 8th to the front, taking the win over Luke Hall and Michael Fichesser with a last lap pass for the final transfer spot. Heat 4, Chris Windom whipped to the lead on the start and held off 8th place starter Shawn Westerfeld and Kyle Simon for the win. Heat 5, Thomas Meseraull made a last lap pass going into turn 3 to take the win over Dallas Hewitt and Nick Bilbee. Heat 6, Dustin Smith steam rolled to the win over Logan Hupp and Zach Morrow.
All Star B took the top 4 to the A. Aaron Reutzel got some laps under his belt doing double duty and laid down a great run in the B. The National 360 racer drove from 5th to the win in the Seeling 97 ride. Tyler Courtney, Danny Holtgraver, and Jac Haudenschild raced into the A.
All Star Dash Chad Kemenah was looking to close his great Eldora season off with a A Main win and set himself up for the pole of the A by taking the Dash win.
360 B, top 5 to the A. First time Eldora visitor, Jack Dover made the trip from Nebraska and got the handle of the Big E during the B. Dover drove to the win over Jordan Thomas The Tuna Andy Tuenessen, Jeff Williams, and Alex Hill. Joe Swanson tagged the Eldora wall as the 360 B came to an end.
With the large field of non wing sprints, there was 2 BOSS B Mains with the top 3 moving to the A. B1, A big pile up as Justin Owen spun as things got backed up and chain reaction. As he spun, he got slammed and Rick Holley went flipping. All were okay. Brandon Whited went on to win over Chris Phillips and Cooper Clouse. B2, the battle of the Drew's seen Drew Able get past Drew Rader for the win. Derek Hastings raced into the A.
Kemenah and Sheldon Haudenschild brought the 30 lap All Star A Main to the green. Abreu roared from 3rd to 1st on the start and took the lead. Running right up on the fence, Rico was putting on a show as always at the Big E. As the leader entered heavy traffic the battle was on. Blaney drove side by side with Abreu a handful of times as Rico would get an awesome run off 2 and stay upfront. Kemenah made it a 3 car battle at times as the top 3 were within a car length of each other. No one had any for Abreu as Rico raced to the popular win. Blaney, Kemenah, Henry, up from 19th, and Duncan rounded out the top 5.
Daggett and Schroeder paced the 25 lap NRA 360 A Main. Daggett dove to the lead as the field raced off into turn 1. Lap 2, Hannagan gets pinched in turn 3 and goes for a nasty tumble. After having to remove some of the pieces off the car to free Hannagan, The Hurricane climbed from the mangled 22 machine. Restart, Reutzel looked like an Eldora vet as he threw a huge slider on Daggett to take the lead on lap 3. Lap 5, the yellow flew as debris was in turn 3. Reutzel rode the Eldora wall like a champ and showed off some of his nature talent, calming the Big E on his first visit to the speed plant. Reutzel took the win over Schroeder who nipped Daggett at the line. Allison and and Dobie rounded out the top 5.
Closing the night was the 25 lap BOSS A Main. Smith and Hewitt lead the pack to the green. Hewitt lived up to the legendary name at Eldora and took the lead. Smith quickly battled as the track was slide job city up from. As they battled it out, Windom made it a 3 car battle. Sliding top to bottom, back and forth, the fans were on the edge of their seats. The lead pack grew to 4 cars as T-Mez worked to the front as well. Hewitt was looking to hold off the higher financed USAC drivers and take one home for the locals. The last 10 laps was anyone's race as the top 4 were glued together. 5 to go, you knew Windom and T-Mez wasn't going to be happy just riding there. 2 to go, Windom slides past Hewitt as Meseraull follows. T-Mez has one shot to slide Windom. The Bear is too big on this night and takes the win. Meseraull, Hewitt, Smith, and Westfall rounded out the top 5.
All in all an awesome night of racing at Eldora. 119 cars starting hot laps at 4:30 made for a dry slick track all night long. The didn't keep the drivers from putting on a great show. The track crew didn't touch the track much until the 360 A, redoing the top a little. It is a no win deal as just a few weeks before the Eldora had a similar track condition due to an early start time and elected to rework the entire track before the heats. Which I really liked but a lot of people bitched. So on this night, no rework and people still bitched. Guess what, its dirt track racing! The track changes minute to minute. Either way, the racing was good both ways and its hard to believe it will be 6 months before we get back to seeing cars at Eldora.
Friday: Kokomo Klash, non wing sprints, midgets, and 600 mini sprints at Kokomo IN
Saturday: Millstream Speedway Findlay OH Trick Or Treat 30's 410 winged sprints $5000 to $400 to start, non wing sprints $5000 to win $300 to start, winged 305 sprints $1000 to win. Live music from 3 to 6, kids trick or treating at 4:30.
Thanks for reading,
Each September now around the 15th, means one thing in Northern Ohio sprint car racing, the Jim Ford Classic at Fremont Speedway. Each year its an event, not just a race. From the racing, to the bands after the races, to the kick ball fund raiser, an auction fund raiser, the Queen's contest, to the partying with friends in the campgrounds, it is a true happening. Once again the weekend featured big $$ but was spread out through the field and on down to the 305s as well. With the All Star Sprints rule where they can't race shows like this, it put $$ on the line for the locals and a few outsiders. By the way, I think that rule sucks ass! I get they have to protect their brand but, those guys race for a living and when there is shows in the heart of their region and they have to sit out, is just ruining the sport and hurting the car owners and drivers. WOO have a similar rule for years which I think sucks ass too, just for the record.
Friday kicked off the Jim Ford Classic, plus the final championship night for the FAST series. 32 410 sprints and 29 305s were ready for action.
4 FAST heats with the top 4 to the A. Heat 1, Dylan Kingan spins to slow the heat. Jess Stiger finds the wall to slow the action. Kody Kinser takes the win over Shawn Valenti, DJ Foos, and Travis Philo. Heat 2, Jody Keegan slowed the action with a spin. Bryan Sebetto sped to the win over Brandon Matus, Byron Reed, and Broc Martin. Heat 3, Cale Thomas spins. Stuart Brubaker blasted to the win over Cole Duncan, Bryan Nuckles, and Todd Heller. Heat 4, Tyler Gunn shot to the win over Dean Jacobs, Carson Macedo, and Danny Smith.
4 305 heats, same dance, top 4 to the A. Heat 1, Nate Dussel drove to the win over Alvin Roepke, Chris Andrews, and Jamie Miller. Heat 2, Jordan Ryan stops with issues. Ryan French takes a nasty ride in turn 2 once things got back under way. French was okay after the wild tumble. Cody Bova joined the spin club. Finally, Kyle Peters took the win over Dan McCarron, Bova, who made an excellent charge after his spin, and Thomas Shinderle. Heat 3, Kevin Mingus spins. Yet again he spins. Dustin Dinan takes a nasty ride off turn 2 and down the back stretch bringing out the red. Dinan was transported to the hospital and later released. John Ivy out race daughter Kelsey Ivy for the win as the father daughter combo swept the top 2 spots. Dustin Rail and Matt Foos, which happens to be Kelsey's bf, rounded out the top 4. A lot Ivy connection in this one. Heat 4, Steve Rando roared to the win over Jason Keckler, Paul Weaver, and Ricky Peterson.
410 B seen the top 4 move to the A. Mad Max Stambaugh held off a fast Chris Andrews for the win. Craig Mintz and Duane Zablocki took home the final A Main starting spots.
305 B seen the top 4 as well move to the A. Brandon Moore lead flag to flag, taking the win over Dan Hennig, Seth Schneider, and Landon LaLonde.
Moving the program along very nicely, the A Main was ready to roll at 9PM. The crate late model A ran first and was very wild and took almost an hour to run. Up next the 410 A.
Reed and Heller brought the field to green in the 30 lap 410 A. Reed ripped to the lead. Lap 1, Zablocki climbs the right of Andrews, who got out of shape and corrected it right about the time Zablocki entered that space, sending Zablocki for a tumble. Duane was transported to the hospital and later released. Restart, Nuckles spins. Green, Reed opens up the lead. Lap 9, Brubaker spins. Restart, Matus make contact with a car and stops and he breaks his front end. Green, its Reed in total control. Lap 12, Sebetto makes heavy contact with Mintz entering turn 1. A chain reaction sends Andrews on a wild tumble and he tried to avoid the mess. Green, some laps finally get in and Martin and Philo close in a bit on Reed. Reed is still in control as Martin and Philo gain a little more ground. Lap 22, Philo spins in turn 1, hammers it, drives around the infield tire, back on the track, almost hitting 3 cars in the process. Luckly, no one slammed him and caused a mess or got injured. After that, its all Reed. Byron sealed up the FAST title as well as the $5000 A Main win. Martin, Macedo, Foos, and Duncan rounded out the top 5. Almost another hour to get this one in.
Keckler and Rail paced the field in the 305 25 lap A Main. Keckler takes the lead on the start. Lap 1, Moore stops for a yellow. Green, its Keckler as the caution flew again on lap 4 as Bova spins. Lap 5, Hennig spins. Green, Keckler leads as John Ivy makes a move for the lead. Lap 8, Ivy hears a huge roar from the crowd as he takes the lead. Lap 8, Kelsey Ivy spins. Restart, Roepke spins as does Andrews. Lap 9, K Ivy spins again. Restart, Peters spins in turn 2, LaLonde slams him and they both go for a flip. Restart, the rope on the yellow restart cone breaks, so another yellow comes out. Yes, another hour long race and just frustrating night. It was the track, it had a cushion but was good, just a lot of full contact driving all night all night long. The track didn't cause 1 crash. Green, another terrible looking flip as Schneider tried to enter a hole in turn 1 that wasn't there and flipped hard collecting Bova, and Roepke. Green, John Ivy made the wait worth it was he took home the popular win over Weaver, Dussel, up from 12th, Foos, up from 15th, and Keckler.
A long long night that happens off and on. Full moon, extra $$, and the end of the season I think made a lot drive a little over their heads.
Breaking 4 Crown News. Saturday there is a $100,000 bonus for 1 driver to win all 4 A Mains. $25,000 bonus if they win 3 of the 4. Who will race all 4, I know Brady Bacon is, who else will take on the 100G challenge?
WED WOO Hartford MI
FRI WOO Eldora OH
SAT Allstars, USAC Sprints, Midgets, Silvercrown Eldora OH, BOSS Atomic OH
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The weather was absolutely perfect for a huge weekend of racing last weekend. I kept it all within the home state and got out to Attica Raceway Park Friday for the $5000 to win FAST Sprints show, Saturday back to Attica Raceway Park for the $10,000 to win All Star Sprints Kasey Kahne Foundation show, and Sunday to Wayne County Speedway for the All Star Sprints Pete Jacobs Memorial and its $10,000 to win paycheck.
Friday, Attica Raceway Park kicked off a huge paying weekend for the 410 sprints as they hosted the FAST Sprints for a $5000 to win show. 26 410 sprints were ready for action. All the All Star teams were grounded for the night as a series wants to protect its brand by not automatically letting its drivers race on non race nights. I get the protect the brand but it screws the teams that want to race and need to make $$$ for a living, the fans, and the tracks. With the track in excellent shape, the times were fast. The Lucas Oil Late Models lowered the late model track record by over 2 tenths of a second, it was a nice one.
Cole Duncan flipped the 9x ride in heat 1. With some good heat race action, Dean Jacobs, Broc Martin, and Stuart Brubaker took heat wins. With the track staying moist and having a nice cushion, the B Main was a good race as well. Jody Keegan took home the win.
A pair of Wooster Ohio natives, Jacobs and Martin brought the field to the green in the 35 lap A Main. Yes, unique for Attica a 35 lap event. Brandon Spithauler spins on the start collecting Duane Zablocki, Dan McCarron, in his 410 debut at Attica, Brubaker, and Shawn Valenti who took a tumble off the top of turn 2 after jumping Zablocki's right rear. Restart, Jacobs get the 38 Ferris ride a rolling and jumps to the lead. Martin quickly battled for the lead as a great race was unfolding from the start. Martin made a move and took the lead on lap 7. A good race as Craig Mintz started to move towards the leader. As this was going on, Byron Reed started to make his way into the top 5 from mid pack. Mintz seemed to get faster and faster each lap as he races to the lead on lap 16. Lap 20, the yellow waves as Tyler Gunn stops. Green, a few laps pass and another yellow. This time Jordan Ryan spins on lap 23. Green, the battle is on. A awesome 4 car battle for the lead as Reed as caught Mintz. Tim Shaffer and Travis Philo are also right there as they all 4 battle for the top spot. In and out of traffic, with 5 to go, the top 4 are nose to tail, all having a shot to win. Reed makes a move but Mintz powers right back around him as Philo goes low and Shaffer in the middle. Reed get another run off 4 to the white flag. Reed takes the lead at the flag stand, just before the red flies for Spithauler as the Prosser 19 car is on fire off the top of turn 4. The laps counts as 3 cars were past the stand, giving Reed the lead on a green/white start and a 1 lap shoot out. Green, its all Reed. With a great start, the barn burner finish that would have been, turned to a good start and Reed holding on for the win after charging up from 10th. Mintz, Philo, Shaffer, and Parker Price Miller rounded out the top 5. A great race.
Saturday, Tony Stewart's All Star Sprints were in the house to close the Attica Raceway Park season with a $10,000 to win show. It was also part of the Kasey Kahne Foundation events that could earn a driver a golden ticket to the $20,000 to win event at Lincoln Speedway Sept 24.
35 All Stars and 27 305 sprints were pit side. The All Star heats were up first. With the track a bit drier than Friday, it was still very racy and had multi grooves. The heats were not as exciting as Friday's but alright heats as Stuart Brubaker, Dale Blaney, Tim Shaffer, and Broc Martin took home the wins. The only incident was a TJ Michael spin. Caleb Armstrong was back behind the wheel as well after a few months off due to injury.
The 305 heats provided some real good action as Jordan Ryan, Matt Foos, and Dustin Dinan earned heat race wins. A Seth Schneider spin was the only incident.
Next was the All Star Dash and B Main. Blaney took the Dash win over a fast Byron Reed who was looking to sweep the ARP weekend. Caleb Helms held off Cole Duncan in a good battle for the B Main win.
Chase Dunham flew off the backstretch and hit the outside wall barrier in the 305 B. A great late race battle since Jim Taddeo hold on for the win. Nice to see Taddeo take a win as he don't get to victory lane too often.
Blaney and Reed paced the field for the 40 lap 10 grand to win A Main. A bad start seen Reed get booted back a row, which is super rare. This put Sheldon Haudenschild on the outside of row 1 now. Green, a crash in turn 1 and 2 collects Brubaker, Zablocki, Brian Lay, and Lee Jacobs. Restart, 3 time is a charm as Haudenschild hustled to the lead on the cushion. Lap 1, DJ Foos stops as he has issues. Duncan stops as well. Green, Haudenschild leads as another yellow flies on lap 3 and Chris Andrews stops. Green, Sheldon pulls away as is a rocket ship as the crowd cheers him on. Lap 9, Haudenschild get loose in turn 4, does a 360, drops to 3rd, keeps a rolling, as the green light stays on and Blaney is now the leader. As Haudenschild regathers his mojo, Reed is battling Blaney for the lead. Lap 13, Reed gets the locals loud as he takes the lead. Lap 16, yellow as Martin spins. A great 3 car race as the top 3 are the class of the field right now. Green, Reed lead as Haudenschild slams the cushion and lets it eat. Lap 20, Haudenschild ignites the crowd as he regains the lead. Lap 22, Andrews is off the top of 3 for a yellow. Restart, Cap Henry drives right over Tim Shaffer battling for 4th and flips. With all the yellows, it would be a perfect time for an open red and fuel but, that don't happen. Restart, Haudenschild breaks away and opens up a huge lead. As they enter heavy traffic, some of the lappers are tough to pass and the lead gap shrinks. Lap 31, Haudenschild pulls a bad slider trying to lap Martin and slams Martin hard into the turn 4 outer wall and Martin flips. Now they open the red for fuel which we all knew was going to happen. Green, its all Sheldon Haudenschild taking a popular win. Reed, Blaney, Brent Marks, and Mintz rounded out the top 5.
Ricky Peterson and Trevor Baker brought the field to green in the 25 lap 305 A. Baker blew to the lead as the rookie was looking very good. Lap 4, Kyle Capodice stops as Landon LaLonde spins as well. Green, Baker is still out front looking to pull the upset win. Lap after lap Matt Foos was moving closer and closer to the lead. Lap 10, Foos takes the lead. Lap 12, Dinan stops for a yellow. Green, its all Foos. After earning his first career 305 win just a few weeks ago, Foos takes another over Peterson, Steve Rando, Jamie Miller, and Jordan Ryan.
Sunday, a long tradition at Wayne County Speedway is the Jacobs family as they honor Pete Jacobs on this night with the All Stars and a $10,000 to win purse. 31 cars were ready to roll on the track surface that looked the best I have seen there in many years.
Some decent heat races seen Caleb Armstrong, Brad Haudenschild, and Cap Henry take the wins. Brad Haudenschild's win made the entire crowd roar as it was his first race back after several months off which very scary health issues. Great to see Armstrong take a win too after being laid up a few months as well.
Moving the program along at a swift pace, the Dash and B main was ready to rock. Cap Henry was running strong after a mistake the night before and nipped Blaney for the Dash win. DJ Foos got to rolling the top well in the B and opened up a straight away lead. Foos has been fast this year, just hasn't had great luck. Foos crushed the field, taking the win by almost a half track.
With it just after 9 PM, the All Star A Main is pushed off. Henry and Blaney bring the 35 lap A Main to the green. Sheldon Haudenschild brings the crowd to its feet as he moves from 3rd to 1st on the opening lap. Being a pro Haudenschild crowd as its his home track, Sheldon was putting on a show, right up on the guardrail, sometimes giving a bit of a love tap. With the dust a flying so bad, it was hard to see the turns, now we have the typical Wayne County, Haudenschild about gave it away a few times, from lack of vision and brushes with the wall. With the main going non stop, Haudenschild was putting on a clinic to the delight of the hometown crowd. The real battle was for 2nd, which got 3rd wide several times. 35 laps and 35 good ones for the 93 car as Sheldon Haudenschild brings the crowd to its feet as he crosses the finish line, sweeping the All Star weekend and taking home another much needed $10,000. Cole Duncan, Blaney, Chad Kemenah, and Henry round out the top 5. An awesome year for the All Star as Blaney, Kemenah, and Haudenschild are within 46 points with 5 events left on the 2016 tour. Sheldon is the hot guy on the tour right now with the littlest team. He is gaining ground, but only 6 or 8 points a night as the wily veterans of Blaney and Kemenah are hard to catch as they are just 8 points apart for the title. I will see the final 3 events of the season and can't wait to see how it unfolds.
SATURDAY: BOSS Montpelier I
SUNDAY: BOSS Findlay OH
Thanks for reading
After the Knoxville Nationals are over, it seems like the season quickly comes to an end. I still have races planned until the end of October, so its a while yet before its over. Maybe, its just because it dwindles down to just 1 or 2 races a weekend in the next few weeks.
Last weekend, it was off to Attica Raceway Park Friday for the FAST Sprints. 20 410 and 31 305 sprints were on hand. The track was in beautiful shape on a perfect night for racing.
All the 410 drivers transferred via the heats. Heat 1, Jared Horstman, fresh off some 360 wins, held off Byron Reed and DJ Foos for the win in a close one. Heat 2, Jess Stiger slowed the action as he came to a stop. Craig Mintz took the win over Caleb Griffith and Trey Jacobs. Heat 3, Dean Jacobs and Stuart Brubaker run out of racing room coming off turn 4, Jacobs on the low side, Brubaker on the high side, and collide with Jacobs flipping. A good battle on the restart seen Travis Philo take the win over Broc Martin and Brian Lay.
The top 4 in the 305 heats would move to the A. Seth Schneider slowed the action as he stops on the track. Jake Peters pulled to the win over Tyler Street, Luke Griffith, and Kyle Capodice. Heat 2, Ryan French went flying off the top of turn 2. Green, it was all Matt Foos. Foos took the win over Nate Dussel, Dan McCarron, and Paul Weaver nipping Ricky Peterson for the last transfer spot. Heat 3, Dustin Dinan lead flag to flag over Jin Taddeo, Matt Lucius, and Alvin Roepke for the win. Heat 4, Cody Bova blew to the win over John Ivy, Trevor Baker, and Brandon Moore.
2 305 B Mains were ran, taking the top 3. There was only 6 cars in each B after some scratches after the heats. B1, Ricky Peterson drove away with the win over Schneider and Steve Rando. B2, Landon LaLonde held off Jason Keckler and Kelsey Ivy for the win.
Reed and Griffith paced the field in the 30 lap 410 A. Reed rips to the lead on the start. With racing grooves all over the place, cars were running 3 wide as Reed opened up a huge gap on the field. With the laps clicking off quickly, the only thing slowing Reed was a few lapped cars. Chris Andrews was running on the cushion, putting on a show charging from last. Philo was making a move from mid pack into the top 5. Lap 20, Horstman hit the wall at the top of turn 4. Green, Reed roars away from the pack once again. Lap 24, debris is a cause for a caution and Tyler Gunn falls off the top of turn 4 at the same time. Restart, no one has anything for Reed as the rest of the top 5 a great battle is on. Reed goes wire to wire for the win over Martin, Philo, up from 10th, Griffith, and Andrews, up from 20th. Andrews was by far the show in this one.
Bova and Taddeo would lead the field in the 305 25 lap A Main. Green, Bova bounced to the lead. A great battle to start off as Dinan drove to the lead on lap 2. Dinan was looking strong as the yellow flew on lap 6. Green, Dinan leads as Foos tries to make a move on the high side. Lap after lap, Foos was there. Lap 12, Foos took the lead. McCarron and Dussel were closing in as the laps started to wind down. Foos kept right up on the cushion and raced to his first career 305 win. Dussel, McCarron , up from 12th, Dinan, and Roepke, up from 15th, rounded out the top 5.
Sunday, it was off to Kalamazoo Speedway in Michigan for a rare Sunday afternoon open wheel triple header. The Must See winged sprints, MTS non wing sprint, and midgets were on the card. It was my first visit to The Zoo as the locals call it, making it my 142 tracks now on my list. 20 Winged, 13 Non wing, and 8 midgets were on hand. It brought back some memories of when I was younger and watched USAC sprints and midgets on pavement the same day.
The non wing 20 lap A started was first. Long time Michigan racer, Mike Astrauskas took the lead on the start. A great battle the first half of the race as Doug Dietsch raced side by side with the leader until he took over on lap 8. Bobby Santos was stalking Dietsch and fly past for the lead on lap 8. Once Santos got out front, he was on a Sunday night cruise, opening up a straight away lead. Santos sailed to the win over Dietsch and Nick Landon.
After a 30 minute rain delay, the Must See Sprints were next for their 30 lapper. Chris Neuenschwander and Santos paced the field for the A. Neuenschwander took the lead on the start. Lap 4, Christian Kohler found the inside wall in turn 3. Green, the cars where moving as the leaders was clicking off high 10 second laps on the 3/8 mile paved oval. Neuenschwander was on a rail and was untouchable. The New Haven Nightmare spanked the field, taking the win over Jason Blonde and Santos.
The first 4 laps was the midget A Main was awesome. 3 wide and 2 leaders as they raced side by side. Once things settled down, Patrick Bruns took the lead and destroyed the field. Bruns was in a different zip code, taking the win by almost a half track.
Wed USAC KOKOMO IN
Thur USAC Kokomo IN
Friday USAC Kokomo IN, MTS Tri City MI
Saturday USAC Kokomo IN, All Stars Brownstown IN, BOSS Atomic OH, MTS Silver Bullet MI, FAST Butler MI
Sunday All Stars Findlay OH
Thanks for reading Duane
The first weekend of August has seemed to become a staple for excellent non wing sprint car races in the region. Last weekend, Saturday it was the Jack Hewitt Classic at Waynesfield Raceway Park. Sunday, it was over to Kokomo Speedway for the Bob Darland Memorial.
Saturday, the 8th annual Jack Hewitt Classic brought 30 cars to Waynefield Raceway Park. Dallas Hewitt hit the cushion in turn 1 and flipped hard in hot laps. Corbin Loggins took a tumble as well in hot laps. Both were done for the night.
After much confusion with how the line up was going to be set, it differed from driver's meeting to after group hot laps/qualifying was over. 4 heats, top 4 to the A. Heat 1, Kevin Myers slowed the pace with a spin. Kyle Simon slipped to the lead and took the win over Mike Miller, Steve Little, and Toby Alfrey. Good to see Toby back after a nasty tumble the week before at The Burg. Heat 2, Thomas Meseraull jumped on the cushion and drifted to the win over Landon Simon, Chris Windom, and Kody Swanson. Heat 3, Matt Cooley spun slowing the heat. Scotty Weir stomped his way to the win over Matt Goodnight, Dustin Ingle, and Steve Irwin. Heat 4, Lee Underwood got into the wall hard for a yellow. Dustin Stroup shed the win and looked good without the crutch and took the win over Luke Hall, Cooper Clouse, and Drew Radar.
A dash was ran between the top 8 cars, top 2 in each heat, to determine the first 4 starting rows of the A. Meseraull once again was the class of the field.
B Main, top 4 to the A. Pole sitter, Todd Keen spins in front of the field before a lap is complete. Keen collected Chad Wilson, who keep rolling but got put on the tail as well. Keen spins again after another start and is done for the night. Cooley kept struggling and spun for another yellow. A 5 wide battle for the transfer spot almost all race long gets wild. Wilson is on a mission as well, willing the 14 car through the pack, racing into a transfer spot. A huge mess on the last lap for transfer spots, seen a boat load of contact in turn 3 resulting in Jim Dues flipping hard. Jim was later found to have a broken back and a hurt lung, so please wish Jim a speedy recovery. Paul Dues took the win after the race is called official, Wilson, from the tail, Myers, and Matt Westfall transfer.
Meseraull and Goodnight brought the field to green in the 30 lap A. Green, T-Mez found the cushion and took off. As quick as T-Mez sped away, Goodnight dropped like an anchor. Stroup slid to 2nd. Meseraull was putting on a clinic, leading by over a straight away. A good battle for position. Westfall found something as he was charging through the pack. Green to checkered, T-Mez made this one a snoozer was he won by a half a track. Stroup, Kyle Simon, Westfall, up from 20th, and Swanson, up from 14th, rounded out the top 5.
Sunday, it was off to Kokomo Speedway for another nice payout for the weekend and, the Bob Darland Memorial. On a gorgeous day, 21 cars is all that passed through the gate. Sometimes I don't get it. The best purse of the year, besides a USAC show and only 21 cars show up. Of course 21 cars at Kokomo is usually like 45 at other places, you know its going to be good. All cars make the A.
Heat 1, Logan Jarrett slows battling for the lead with issues. A great battle up to that point. Restart, it was all Robert Ballou taking the win over Matt Goodnight, Colten Cottle, Tyler Hewitt, Mike Gass, and Steve Thomas. Heat 2, Thomas Meseraull was in the 17RW car and was on a hot streak, sweeping the show at Waynesfield the night before. T-Mez was at it again, holding on to win over Jarrett Andertti, Max McGhee, Jerry Coons Jr, Tyler Thomas, Kyle Robbins, and Billy Gibbs. Very nice to see Andretti back after a very nasty crash the weekend before. Heat 3, Kevin Thomas Jr held off a fast Dave Darland for the win. Chris Windom, CJ Leary, Shane Cottle, Josh Spencer, and Joe Bares rounded out the field.
Andretti and Meseraull paced the field for the 30 lap A. Green, Meseraull mashed the go peddle and took the lead. T-Mez set a fast pace as the battle was for 2nd. Lap after lap, it was all Meseraull upfront. Andretti started to close the gap as the laps clicked off. Lap 22, Leary slows for a yellow. Green, Meseraull still holds on strong upfront. Andretti tries to make a late ditch effort but the yellow with 1 to go for a Shane Cottle spin. The Throttle was battling 3 wide for 3rd and 4th at that point. So a green, checkered finish. T-Mez gets the jump as Ballou tries a huge slider from 3rd but gets into a rut and bounces on the low side of 1. Andretti mounts a charge off 2 and into 3. T-Mez high, Andretti low, Meseraull beats Andretti to the line by 10 feet. Ballou, McGhee, and Thomas Jr rounded out the top 5. Not your typical Kokomo barn burner through out, but a decent race and a great battle to the line in the 1 lap shootout. Huge props as the A main was over about 8:15.
Last weekend, we lost a true gentleman, a true hero in the sport, an amazing driver but yet a better person than a driver. A driver, that drivers older than him or even his own age looked up too. A driver that had some of the most natural talent this generation will ever see. A driver who's smile would light up even the darkest days. A driver who could of had millions of dollars racing on a bigger front but wouldn't be happy with that because he was a racer and had a passion to race hard and fast every time he buckled into a seat. At the age of 27, Bryan Clauson was exactly what this sport of sprint car racing was about, a low keyed true life common man who loved his family, loved what he did, loved going to work daily, the work it took to do it, helping others, and the fans and kids that filled the seats in the grandstands. Bryan was at the top of the game, leading the nation in wins this season. Plus, leading 3 laps at the Indy 500 this year. BC was on the top of the mountain, living a dream season of attempting 200 races in a year and was kicking ass doing it. BC was on top again Saturday night, leading the Belleville Nationals, looking to take home the $12,500 win, more than likely would have posted "parked it" on facebook in about another 10 minutes, when the unthinkable happened. God called BC home, way too early for all of us, but in true BC style, Bryan kept giving as he was an organ donor and saved 5 lives before he said goodbye. God Speed BC, until we meet again.
Saturday BOSS Wayne CO OH, SOD Butler MI, Must See Anderson IN, MSCS Habstadt IN, USAC Silvercrown Salem IN
Sunday MSCS Terre Haute IN
Thanks for reading Duane
It is hard to believe it is already August and some tracks only have a few races left on their 2016 schedules. Last weekend, I attempted the BOSS double header in Southern Indiana. Friday, Twin Cities Raceway Park kicked the weekend off as 40 stout cars were pit side. After a forever event of putting heat in the motors, mother nature ruined the night.
Saturday, it was off to The Burg, Lawrenceburg Speedway for the Jason Soudrette Memorial. An excellent field of 40 cars on a gorgeous day was ready to attack The Burg.
Using the pill draw system for the line ups, 5 heat would take the top 4 to the A. Heat 1, a great battle upfront between Landon Simon and Chad Wilson. Simon lead from the start but Wilson was making a move under Simon for the lead when the red flew for a scary looking incident. Toby Alfrey and Lee Underwood tangled, both flipping. Both drivers were okay. Simon took Wilson's path on the restart and cruised to the win. Wilson, Travis Hery, and Steve Little with a nice late race move transfer to the A. Heat 2, a great race with a lot of passing. Josh Hodges hustled from 6th to the win over Dustin Smith, Logan Jarrett, up from 8th, and Logan Hupp. Heat 3, Jarrett Andretti took the lead from Kody Swanson and went on to win. Ted Hines and Mike Miller moved into the A. Heat 4, CJ Leary took over the Amati 66 ride and looked fast right away. CJ took the win over Garrett Abrams, Tyler Hewitt, and Justin Owen, from the tail. Heat 5, a little action between Joe Liguori and Cody Gardner upset Liguori. The man to beat the last 2 season in BOSS, Shawn Westerfeld whipped from 6th to the win. Josh Moffatt, Gardner, and Dallas Hewitt raced into the A.
As Dave Rudisell and crew kept the show a rolling, the BOSS sprints ran 2 B mains taking the top 2 to the A, making a 24 car starting field.
B1, Todd Keen took the win over Cooper Clouse, who about gave it away with a few laps to go.
B2, the sentimental favorite driving the Soudrette 44 entry, Dickie Gaines struggled at the start but brought a huge roar from the crowd as he charged from 8th to take the lead on the last lap for the win. Steve Thomas held on for 2nd.
Leary and Moffatt brought the field to the green in the 25 lap A Main. Leary leaps to the lead but as the pack raced into turn 2, Leary spun in front of the pack. CJ jumped from the car as fuel was leaking on him. Abrams now had to pole for the restart. Moffatt put the right rear on the fence and motored to the lead. Lap 4, Hodges made his move to the lead. An amazing battle upfront as the top 8 cars are on the fence and battling for the lead. Hodges and Moffatt start exchange slide jobs as they put on an amazing show. Lap 5, Moffatt leads, lap 9 Hodges takes back over. The Burg is not disappointing on this night as the lead pack are nose to tail, all inches from the fence in 3 and 4. 8 cars in the lead pack as Clouse is drawing major attention, blasting through the pack. Lap 15, Little slows to a stop. Restart, the battle rages on until 4th place Simon stops on lap 18. Green, Andretti is making his move to the front, looking to be the fastest car. Jarrett gets to 2nd and is closing. Lap 21, Andretti hits the opening in the wall in turn 4 and destroys his new 18 car. One of the nastiest rides at The Burg I've seen in a while. Thankfully, Andretti walked away. Moffatt tries to make a move on the restart but Hodges is too stout. Hodges seals the deal and takes the win. Moffatt holds on for 2nd over Jarrett, up from 12th, Westerfeld, and Clouse, up from 23rd. A great race with loads of passing, a great night all night long race wise. The track was in excellent shape for a awesome race. You have to give a shout out to all the drivers all they was balls deep on the cushion, inches away from the fence in 3 and 4, all 25 laps.
Friday: MTS Hartford MI, NRA Lima OH
Saturday: Hewitt Classic Waynesfield OH, MSCS Lincoln Park IN, OSCS Atomic OH, Must See Owosso MI
Sunday: Darland Memorial Kokomo IN
I plan to be at Waynesfield and Kokomo for sure, don't be afraid to say hi. Also, thanks to the thousands of you that tune in every Monday to 1520 WQCT AM at 12 noon for On The Throttle or live stream it. Mobile devices can use the Tune In app as well in case you have not tuned in yet. We have had some awesome weekly guest and some great insight behind the scenes of racing.
Thanks for reading
King's Royal week still gets the fire a burning inside, even after all of these years and not missing a one yet. With this year's purse increase, a new race added, and the Brad Doty Classic getting a renewed interest, the hype was huge going into the week. It all kicked off Tuesday at the Attica Raceway Park for the 28th annual Brad Doty Classic before switching to Eldora Thursday through Saturday.
After switching to Limaland for 10 years, the 28th annual Brad Doty Classic moved back to its original home last Tuesday night at Attica Raceway Park. The highest car count to date for the year and thousands of fans flooded the ARP gates. 54 cars passed through the gates with 53 passing inspection to race.
The WOO at Attica is usually action packed. Caleb Helms started some action, not the way anyone wants too, flipping hard in time trials. With the huge car count, split time trails was ran, were cars in group 1 qualified for heats 1, 2, and 3. Group 2 cars qualified for heats 4,5, and 6. Giving cars and equal chance as the track slows down typically from car 1 to 53. The top 3 from each heat would move to the A, with the top 2 from heat 1-3 going to Dash 1 and top 2 from heats 4-6 going to Dash 2.
With the track crew at ARP doing a great job at keeping the oval in great shape for the night, a coat of water of thrown down before the heats. Lining up for heat 1, the track was a bit slick yet in turn 1 as Dean Jacobs flew off the track, flipping. Cap Henry flew off too after the Jacobs incident but somehow got his starting spot back. After a Gary Taylor spin, Travis Philo ran a great race holding off Cap Henry and Rob Chaney for the win. Heat 2, the locals was jacked up and ready for the WOOs as Brian Lay had a great battle with Joey Saldana. Saldana got the advantage, taking the win as Lay, and Donny Schatz moved into the A. Heat 3, Caleb Griffith made the local fans cheer as he held off James McFadden and Kerry Madsen to win the heat. Heat 4, looking super fast and impressive after some struggles this season, Jacob Allen took the win over Dale Blaney and Paul McMahan. Heat 5, the action got super intense upfront. Surprise entry, Willie Croft was looking great in the lead as Sheldon Haudenschild ran him down. With a lap and a half to go, Haudenschild dove hard into turn 1 on the low side, got into Croft, spinning Croft as Sheldon drove off. Both was in a Dash spot but Croft had to go to the tail. Sheldon held on to win over Randy Hannagan and Josh Baughman. Heat 6, Parker Price Miller has been hitting a wide variety of a schedule and landed in victory lane in heat 6 over Danny Holtgraver and Ian Madsen. Some good heat race action.
With many WOO teams getting spanked so far on the night, the D and C mains were loaded with WOO drivers. D Main, with the top 2 moving to the C, some good cars would be on the trailer early. Byron Reed took the win over Shane Stewart in the D, yep I said D.
C Main, another 2 drivers would move on to the B. A tangle between Gary Taylor, Stuart Brubaker, and Duane Zablocki slowed the race. TJ Michael held off a charging Brad Sweet for the win. After the C, 6 WOO regulars, The Wild Child, Reed, and Tim Shaffer to name a few were already done for the night, well unless they took a provisional. BTW I like the new WOO rule because provisionals sucks.
The Dash had all kind of drama. First off, only 2 WOO regulars seen Dash starting spots. Then, 4 of the 12 Dash cars had major issues, not allowing them to make the call. Hannagan and Haudenschild both wouldn't fire off. Henry had a fuel leak. Philo had a flat tire that he didn't get allowed to change. McFadden took the win in Dash 1. Dash 2, Holtgraver to win over Allen who continued to look impressive. By far the fastest WOO driver all night up to that point.
The B Main would take the top 6 to the A. A rough one for a few locals as Andrew Palker stopped for a caution as well as Chris Andrews. Kraig Kinser spun, for a 3rd yellow. After getting hosed out of a Dash spot and a possible heat win, Willie Croft made his Attica debut good, taking the win over Jason Sides, Jason Johnson, Shawn Dancer, Chad Kemenah, and after charging from 14th, Sweet.
Pittman and Reed took provisionals. McFadden and Holtgraver paced the field for the 40 lap A. As the field takes the green, Hannagan slows for a yellow. Restart, McFadden marches to the lead. Lap 2, after looking good all night and running upfront, Allen gets into turn 1 too hard and spins. Green, its McFadden as the crowd starts to cheer Haudenschild as he runs the high side. Lap 6, Sheldon gets past McFadden but Dancer spins for a yellow, saving McFadden. Green, McFadden leads and Haudenschild applies pressure and the crowd goes wild. A great battle. Lap 14, Sheldon takes the lead. Looking to add his name next to his father's in the WOO record book, Sheldon opened up the lead as the race reached the half way point. Schatz was making a charge and so was Pittman. Lap 28, McFadden spins while running 2nd. This put a very fast Schatz beside Haudenschild on the restart. Green, Schatz, as expected, sailed past Haudenschild to lead lap 29. As Schatz pulled away, Blaney was making a charge as well. In heavy traffic, Schatz struggled a bit but didn't allow anyone to close too much on him. It looked like a huge break for Blaney on lap 38 as 2 cars were spinning and doing 360s in turn 2 and another getting crossed up to avoid the spinners but, the green light somehow stayed on as the cars all gathered it in eventually and raced away. After charging looking like a WOO regular wouldn't take the win on this night, Schatz raced from 15th to the win. Blaney, up from 10th, Pittman, up from his provisional 25th spot, Haudenschild, and Holtgraver rounded out the top 5. Good racing all night long. Would of loved to seen a 2 lap shootout between the top 3 but it wasn't in the cards. Great seeing the BDC having huge success on this night.
King' Royal 33 weekend started a day early with a new event added Thursday night, The Joker's Wild. A complete WOO full paying show. 46 teams were ready to open the weekend.
Back to the regular WOO format for this night, not sure who or how they determine it since there was only 7 less cars than Tuesday but a total different format with 2 less heats and the standard WOO 4 heat format.
Heat 1, Donny Schatz shot to the lead and ran away with the win over Kerry Madsen, Daryn Pittman, Logan Schuchart, and Tim Shaffer. Heat 2, Christopher Bell jumped in the new TSR 14 car and blasted to the win over Rico Abreu, Kraig Kinser, Chad Kemenah, and Danny Lasoski. Heat 3, David Gravel grabbed the lead and gassed it to the win over Brian Brown, Jason Johnson, Bryan Clauson, in his 100th race of the year, and Brad Sweet. Heat 4, Ian Madsen showed the out West boys came to Eldora loaded as he took the win over Joey Saldana, Shane Stewart, Dale Blaney, and Brent Marks.
Moving the program nicely along once it started, the C Main was ready to roll. Dane Lorenc spun in his Eldora debut. Dominic Scelzi took a nasty tumble in turn 2 once things restarted, collecting Paul May. Tasker Phillips was leading until he got loose and spun, collecting Caleb Griffith and then flips. Tough break for the lower budget Knoxville regular that was awesome to see make the Eldora trip. Green, finally things calm down as the Wild Child takes the lead. Jac Haudenschild takes the win over Ryan Smith.
Dash, a good battle as Gravel takes the win over Brown
B Main would take the top 4 to the A. After a dismal heat race, Sammy Swindell speed to the lead and never looked back. Sammy took a convincing win over Randy Hannagan, Sheldon Haudenschild, and Greg Wilson.
Gravel and Brown paced the field to green in the 30 lap A. Gravel got the advantage on the start and pulled to the lead. Gravel set a quick pace on the racy surface that featured a few racing grooves. As Gravel, cruised out front, Schatz was making his move, closing in lap after lap. Lap 12, Schatz takes the lead but Shaffer blows up for a yellow, and saving grace for Gravel. Restart, Gravel leads as the yellow flew again on lap 15 for Sheldon stopping. A great 4 car battle upfront. Bell looked to be the fastest car, but brushed the at the back stretch gate, ending his night after he took over 2nd. Gravel, Schatz, Madsen, and Abreu battle in and out of traffic, the top 3, side by side almost at times. The last half was very close and a great battle. Schatz gave Gravel a run on the last lap but, Gravel was too stout and took the win. Schatz, Abreu, Kerry Madsen,and Schuchart, up from 13th, rounded out the top 5.
The Knight Before the King's Royal seen 49 cars pit side Friday. Now, it was back to the 2 flights, 2 Dash, and 6 heat race format. One thing the WOO's do this year is keep you confused. With 3 more cars, now its 6 heats. Caleb Helms got in the wall hard to start the night. Kerry Madsen took a nasty tumble in time trials, ending his night. DJ Foos was another time trial flip victim, ending his night as well. The track was pretty hard slick and getting harder each lap.
Heat 1, The Brownsburg Bullet, Joey Saldana has always been solid at Eldora and is once again, sailing to the win over David Gravel and Christopher Bell. Heat 2, Donny Schatz speed to the win over Rico Abreu and Ian Madsen. Heat 3, Dale Blaney blazed to the win over Bryan Clauson and Jac Haudenschild. Heat 4, Kraig Kinser cruised to the win over Shane Stewart and Danny Holtgraver. Heat 5, Brian Brown hit the wall hard entering turn 1 on the start, ending his night. Daryn Pittman powered to the win over Tim Shaffer and Chad Kemenah. Clyde Knipp got in the wall in turn 3 as Pittman took the checkered. Heat 6, James McFadden marched to the win over a very looking Trey Starks and Sheldon Haudsenschild.
D Main, Tasker Phillips was upfront again and made it work this time, taking the win over TJ Michael.
C Main, Brent Marks beat Greg Wilson for the win. Wilson held off a charge from Ryan Smith who charged up from 8th to battle for the final transfer spot.
Dash 1, Saldana was looking very strong and took a popular win over Schatz.
Dash 2, Pittman pounced to the lead and the win over Stewart.
The B would take the top 6 to the A. Logan Schuchart, fresh off his first WOO win the prior weekend, shot to the lead. Schuchart sealed the deal taking the win over Brad Sweet, Jacob Allen, Jason Sides, Sammy Swindell, and Marks, who charged from the C, 13th in the B, to taking the final transfer spot to the A.
Saldana and Pittman lead the field to the green. On a super slick surface, drivers were struggling to get good grip. Pittman pounced to the lead. Pittman opened up a huge advantage. With the main going non stop and the track tricky, the best battle on the track was for 3rd. Rico and Kinser where to guys making the most progressive through the pack. Pittman made it look easy, taking the win over Schatz, Abreu, up from 9th, Kinser, up from 10th, and Gravel.
With the purse increased largely, the 33rd annual King's Royal kicked the gates open with one of the most excellent weather in years for the Royal. With the track crew working all day long, the track looked in prime shape for a great KR. A record tying 60 cars were pit side for the annual event. Danny Holtgraver lost a tire and got in the wall in time trials.
6 heats, top 5 inverted, top 3 to the A. I still like inverted heats, why because you make them race and there was actually a lot of passing. Some of the best King's Royal heats in a handful of years. Heat 1, Brad Sweet slide to the lead and held off a fast Joey Saldana for the win. Tim Shaffer raced into the KR A as well. Heat 2, Greg Wilson got the low line to work on the start and whipped to the lead. Wilson survived a late race charges from Rico Abreu and Christopher Bell to win. Wilson had one of the best heat race win interviews in years. That right there is the passion and love for the King's Royal that still makes it special for a lot of us. Someone even made a video off his interview already of the Royal. Heat 3, Sammy Swindell looked back to form Saturday as he sailed on the high side at the start and took the lead. The Slammer never looked back, taking the win over Jason Johnson and Danny Lasoski. Heat 4, Donny Schatz shot from 5th to 1st, taking the win and putting him as the man to beat on the night. Paul McMahan and Bryan Clauson punched their ticket to the $50,000 to win A main. Heat 5, Blackjack, Brian Brown rebounded from his Friday accident and blew to the win over Ian Madsen and Chad Kemenah. It was Ian's first time making the KR main. Heat 6, Jamie Veal put the Aussie fans on their feet as he took the win over Brent Marks and Randy Hannagan. This gave Veal the pole for the KR main. Kerry Madsen and David Gravel earned A Main starting spots 19th and 20th via the 2 quickest qualifiers to not transfer via the heats.
With the increase purse, the C Main paid $350 to start, which is more than any weekly regular show A Main pays to start in the Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin region. The top 6 from the C moved to the B. Shawn Dancer spun for a yellow. Bob Tucker slowed the C when he stopped his 45 machine in turn 3. The action was excellent as some heavy hitters, charging right on the fence through the pack. Logan Schuchart took the win over Bill Rose, Jac Haudenschild, up from 16th, Danny Holtgraver, up from 14th, Caleb Helms, and Dane Lorenc in his 3rd night now at The Big E and in a 410. I think Dane did an excellent job for being just 16 and improved a ton from Thursday to Saturday.
As the field gets tougher, so does the transfer spots as the top 4 from the B would be the final 4 cars earning at least $3000 to start the A. Another good race with, cars charging all over the place. The B paid a stellar $600 to start which once again is higher than any A Main starting weekly show in the region, plus more than the All Stars, SOD, BOSS, USAC, FAST, IRA, or any other divisions in the region pay, except the WOO when they come to town. The track was perfect for 3 wide racing and we seen a lot of that in the B. Plus, the top, bottom, and middle was all decent racing grooves. Some drivers put on some excellent charges, that fell just short of the A. A lot of cars got damaged as well, as they was going all out to make the show. Sheldon Haudenschild and Ryan Smith got bottled up and crashed off turn 2, both flipping at the same time after some contact. Dominic Scelzi. Shane Stewart made a last last pass off turn 4 to take the win over Dale Blaney, Daryn Pittman, and Jason Sides. Sides was part of the pack that tried to charge up from deeper in the field, he started 8th. A good bunch was right there in the battle. Cole Duncan fell short 11th to 6th, Schuchart from the C to the B, then 19th to 7th, Holtgraver, 14th in the C to the B, then 22nd to 8th. A good bunch of racing right there in that pack.
Veal and Brown paced the field for the 40 lap A. Brown used the high side to bounce into the lead on the start. Bounce he did, as the entry to turn 1 had some character to it and a bit of a bump. I love tracks with character in them. Brown was looking to pull the mild upset as he opened a little gap. Swindell had the bottom side a working excellent and looked the best he had all year at the Big E. Lap 10, Sammy set off some cheers as he took the lead. Sweet was using the high and battled Sammy instantly in traffic. Lap 13, Sweet took the lead as the battle upfront has been awesome the first third of the race. Sweet lead as Sammy held strong on the bottom. Schatz takes over on lap 20. Lap 20 Clauson had a tire blew as he came to a stop. Restart, Sammy makes a run on the bottom again as Bell gets a great run and is charging at Schatz too. The crowd is on its feet as Bell is on Schatz tail tank. Lap 26, Bell gets too hard into turn 4 and clips the cable in the fence and flips hard. A open red as the teams try to fine tune their drivers to catch Donny. Green, Schatz leads as Rico charges ad Sammy drops like a boat anchor was tied to the car. Lap after lap Rico closes as its 5 to go. In and out of traffic, Rico looks like the quicker car. 2 to go, Rico in bumper to bumper with Schatz. Coming to the white, Schatz, gets bottled up in 4 by a lapped car, the crowd rises to their feet as Rico shoots down low and is side by side at the line with Schatz. Donny gets the edge entering turn 1, as Rico slides up the bank. This is just what Schatz needed to open just enough of a gap Rico can't make a move. Schatz wins again in a tight one. Rico, Sweet, Wilson, and Brown round out the top 5. A great race.
Another awesome King's Royal week. Really great racing at Attica and for the Royal Saturday. Thursday's Joker's Wild was a good show as Friday's was a snoozer. All in all another awesome week. Great to see some flare back in the Royal as the purse increase brought some cars to town. Nice to see, Brown, Ian Madsen, Lasoski, and Tasker Phillips from the Knoxville region. Huge props to Tasker for being the local budget guy from there to make the town. Disappointing that Brent Marks and Ryan Smith were the only Posse. Marks made his mark running well most nights as Smith had a some bad luck when he was running well. Ohio guys you just never know. Nice to see a few locals out there but disappointing with the huge purse increase a lot of locals stayed away. I realize Eldora can be tough but hard to lobby for larger purses in the state when local don't support the by far biggest paying event of the season now. Hopefully, with the Doty and now 3 days at Eldora, Smoke can turn it into a mini Knoxville Nationals for Ohio over time.
Plymouth Speedway in Indiana has cancelled their Hump Day Wednesday midget shows for the rest of the season. With 2 events left and low car counts and small crowds, the track tried but lost a lot of $$, goes back to a track trying and no support ending it....Attica Raceway Park has changed their date on the Dirt Classic event. It has moved from Wednesday August 3rd to Saturday September 3rd. The event is now a $10,000 to win All Star event as well.
Thursday: USAC Silvercrown Lucas Oil Speedway IN
Friday: NRA Lima OH, FAST Attica OH, All Stars Kokomo IN
Saturday: BOSS Portsmouth OH, MSCS Montpelier IN, GLSS Butler MI, NRA Waynesfield OH, All Stars Kokomo IN
Thanks for reading Duane
I am not on a pace like Bryan Clauson is but, I feel like it the past few weeks. With a mid-week race not too far away, Ohio Sprint Speedweek coming to a close, and a Sunday race near by, at the end of the weekend, I finished by hitting 19 races in the last 28 days.
A race I was looking forward too all season, the Tony Elliott Tribute race took place at Plymouth Speedway last Tuesday. Non wing sprint and the crate sprints on a Tuesday night paying good $$ and a tribute to an amazing person, I thought the pits would be packed. 14 Non wing sprints and 11 Crate sprints were ready to roll. of course, I expected more cars and was sadly disappointed as much as an ambassador to the sport Tony was, not more guys showed up to support this event. Plus, it was taped for MavTV. Some teams got some great exposure.
All cars went to the A. 2 heats for each sprint car class. Tyler Courtney took the win in heat 1 in a close one over Dave Darland and Logan Jarrett. CJ Leary looked very strong in heat 2 taking the win over Shane Cottle and Kevin Thomas JR. The Pro Source winged crate engine sprints were next. A guy I used to see race a lot but haven't for years, Kevin Atkins took a convincing win over Bill Hartman and Eli Laken. Heat 2, a guy I have seen a lot lately and glad to see running as many different dirt sprints as he can, Joe Swanson took the win in heat 2 over Zane DeVault and Garrett Saunders.
Cottle and Courtney brought the field to the green in the 30 lap traditional sprint A Main. Cottle climbed to the lead on the start. With the fast way around right up on the cushion and a nice lip on the cushion, things were exciting and slide jobs was a plenty. Lap 3, Corey Smith spins. Green, Courtney nails the lip on the cushion and gets on 2 wheels but lands it and keeps a rolling. Leary is making a moving, throwing some nice sliders. Lap 6, Stuart Hanft spins. Green, Cottle tries to hold on as Leary loves the cushion. Lap 8, Leary throws a huge slider that sticks for the lead. A good battle up front as guys are throwing sliders all over the place. Courtney is jumping the cushion many times and all but flipping. Lap 17, Jarrett Andretti spins. Green, Leary leads as a few guys try to get the bottom to working. Lap 21, Hanft spins again. Green, Leary leads as Courtney has the bottom working and moving back up after falling to 8th. Leary is a beast on the top side and is just too strong, pulling to the win. Cottle, Courtney, Darland, and Thomas Jr round out the top 5. For a low car count, the race was pretty good. 9 cars was in the lead pack all race long and it was exciting watching several slide jobs all race long.
Hartman and Laken paced the field for the 20 lap crate sprint car A. DeVault drove from row 2 to the lead on lap 1. Lap 3, Laken leaped to the lead. Lap 7, red flag as Scott Hull pulled to the infield on fire as he quickly exited the car. Scott was alright and was another driver I haven't seen race in a while. Green, Atkins got to rolling and took the lead on lap 8. Trying to top Courtney's run in the non wings, Swanson slammed the cushion many times, all but flipping and it caught up with him on lap 12 as he spun. Green, it was all Atkins. Kevin cruised to the win over DeVault, Hartman, and charging from the tail, Eric Saunders.
Friday, it was time to get back on the Ohio Sprint Speedweek trail as they headed to Limaland Motorsports Park for leg 7. Another beautiful day and another great car count as 47 cars were ready to hit the quarter mile oval.
Heat 1, a great battle as Travis Philo flew to the win over Sheldon Haudenschild, DJ Foos, Cole Duncan, and Gary Taylor. Heat 2, Joe Swanson slammed the wall hard, all but flipping. Another good heat race as there was 3 racing grooves. Lee Jacobs nipped Chad Kemenah, Byron Reed, Danny Holtgraver, and Taylor Malsam. Heat 3, Shawn Dancer takes a nasty ride, flipping hard in turn 1, scraping the 49 ride for the night. Dean Jacobs ran the rim and took the win over Cap Henry, Randy Hannagan, Tim Shaffer, and James McFadden. A wild heat 4. Jess Stiger spins in turn 2. Jacob Wilson spins to slow the heat. A great battle for 3rd turns bad as Tyler Courtney makes hard contact with Parker Price Miller, sliding up into him off turn 4. Miller hit the wall hard with a side impact. PPM was taken to the hospital for a check up and was released. Jamie Veal took the win over Dale Blaney, Bryan Sebetto, TJ Michael, and Stuart Williams.
C Main with the top 2 going to the B. Jacob Wilson was up on the cushion, pulling to about a 5 car length lead. The former pavement standout was looking good until he seen the white flag. Wilson climbed the wall in turn 2 and flipped hard, ending his night. Shawn Valenti took over on the restart and held off Ron Blair for the win.
A good battle in the Dash seen Veal take the win over Philo.
A stacked B main seen Tyler Courtney rebound from the heat race and put the right rear on the cushion and let it eat. Sunshine held on to win over Cale Thomas, Kraig Kinser, and Dave Blaney.
Veal and Philo paced the 40 lap A Main. Veal volts to the lead as the green light flips on. Lap 1, Henry spins. Green, Veal looks good and opens a short gap. Lap 6, Dave Blaney's struggles on the night continue as he brushes the wall and slows. Green, Veal keeps hitting his marks as he holds the lead. Lap 11, trouble strikes another Blaney as Dale spins after contact with the front stretch wall. Green, a good battle upfront as Sheldon is right up on the fence, getting a great drive in 3 and 4, Kemenah is running the low line trying to make a move, and Philo stands strong trying to put a move on Veal. Lap 20, Thomas sees his great week suddenly turn bad as he flips hard in turn 3. Green, Veal still lead as Hannagan starts to hear some cheers as he is entering the top 5 after starting 12th. Lap 27, Kemenah blows a left rear tire as he stops. Green, Veal still stands strong as Sheldon tries to get the high side a working and Hannagan applies heavy pressure on the bottom. Lap 31, Sheldon tags the wall hard running in 3rd, coming to a stop. Green, a few quick laps as Helms does a tommy tip over on lap 33. Helms and Blaney got together and spun and Dale keep moving and it pushed Caleb's car on to its side. Green, Veal lead as Hannagan ignites the crowd as there is a 3 car battle upfront. Finally, no yellows as Hannagan's bid for the lead turns into a battle. Lap 38, Hannagan hustled past for the lead. Off 4 one last time, Hannagan gets a huge cheer from the crowd as he takes home the win. Veal, Philo, Dean Jacobs, and Duncan round out the top 5.
Saturday, it down to the house Earl built as Eldora Speedway host the $10,000 to win Speedweek Final. Another gorgeous day and great car count as 36 All Stars are ready to fight for 10 grand.
Heat 1, Jamie Veal looked stout again as he vaulted to the win over Tim Shaffer, Dale Blaney, Dallas Hewitt, and James McFadden. Heat 2, Josh Baughman surprised some people dropping off the ASCS National tour and hitting speedweek in the middle. Baughman looked good, taking the win over Sheldon Haudenschild, Cole Duncan, Dominic Scelzi, in his first Eldora start, and Kraig Kinser. Heat 3, when Eldora gets right up on the wall, you better look out as the Wild Child runs right up on the fence. Jac took the heat win over Chad Kemenah, Randy Hannagan, Cap Henry, and Cale Thomas. Heat 4, Downtown Danny Holtgraver got his week to finish well taking the win over Dean Jacobs, Travis Philo, Tyler Courtney, and TJ Michael.
A decent Dash Kemenah held off a fast looking Shaffer for the win.
B Main, top 4 to the A. A bad start slowed the field on the first attempt. Green, Dave Blaney jumped up on the narrow cushion and showed why he is still one of the fastest at Eldora when its old school Eldora style. The Buckeye Bullet was blasting through the field. Blaney was in a different zip code, just getting ready to lap 5th place when he seen the checkered flag. As Blaney seen the checkered, 3rd place Lee Jacobs was entering turn 1 and blew a tire, sending Lee in the wall and knocking him out of a transfer spot. Blaney had such a huge lead, he had already seen the checkered flag coming off 4 and the transfer cars were in turn 1. Blaney destroyed the field for the win over Danny Smith, who had a great start, Danial Harding, in his first Eldora start, and Caleb Helms, who just about was lapped right before Blaney hit the finish line.
Dale Blaney spins as the field gets on the gas to get into line for the 30 lap A. Blaney goes pit side but returns before the green. Kemenah and Shaffer brought the field to the green. Kemenah crawls to the lead on the start. With the track, what I will call just right for a great winged sprint car show at Eldora, there was a low side, a middle, and right up on the fence, as slide job city was about to open its doors. Kemenah pulled to a 8 car length lead the next few laps but was quickly in traffic and the battle was on. Lap 12, Sheldon Haudenschild stops while running 5th with a flat. Green, Kemenah, Shaffer, and Jac battle. In and out of traffic, high, low, and in the middle, a awesome 3 car battle. Lap 17, The Wild Child see CK struggling behind a lapped car, shooting down low, slides past Kemenah and throws a huge slider to enter turn 1 as Kemenah tries to get back past. Jac has the right rear planted about 4 inches all the fence and pulls away. Shaffer pressures Kemenah as they now battle side by side about 8 feet off Jac's rear bumper. Sliding in and out of heavy traffic, the top 3 car are glues together. Haud high, Kemenah middle, Shaffer high and middle. A great battle. Jac makes the move he needs coming to the white, sticking Kemenah and Shaffer behind a lapper. As he comes off turn 4, the crowd goes wild as The Wild Child takes the win. Shaffer, Kemenah, Hannagan, and Holtgraver round out the top 5. A great race.
I love Eldora when its like that and you got to fight to win and not just power to it. It was a huge dog fight. Sad to say it was Chad Schmitmeyer's last race at Eldora doing the track prep. Chad is Earl's grandson who was right by Earl's side for years and took over the duties several years ago and now is leaving. Tracks like Saturday night at Eldora is what makes Eldora special! Was there some dust, hell yeah its dirt track racing but listen to the last word, racing. A super wet non dust free Eldora means a follow the leader parade or power around instead of racing, which is what I go to see, racing! I know track prep is the most thankless job at a track especially now days when every one bitches just to bitch no matter what. All I got to say is Chad did one hell of a job and had it EXACTLY how it needed to be for a great race Saturday. I understand after talking to Chad Saturday why its time to leave but, as a life long Eldora supporter, it sucks to see him go. I know nothing last forever and I hope who ever takes over, especially since its King's Royal in a few weeks, leaves a little of Earl in the track still, just like Chad always did!!
Sunday, it was off to Baer Field Speedway in Fort Wayne Indiana for the King Of The Wings invasion. 14 cars was ready to hit the half mile pavement oval. After time trials were complete, a huge rain storm came in and whipped out the program.
Speedweek Observations: for the first time in many years, the weather was amazing. Hot but amazing with no rain issues.... Car counts were fabulous.... I think Tony has got the All Stars right where they should have been the last 10 years and its doing it right and its paying off... Hopefully, the Speedweek points fund will continue to grow and payback farther and make it even bigger yet...Excellent races....Packed grandstands....Serious talented fields. How amazing was Kyle Larson but look at Shaffer, Kemenah, and Sheldon. Oh don't forget Travis Philo and Cale Thomas had great weeks and what about TJ Michael quietly having a great year chasing the all stars. Oh Yeah, Jac, Hannagan, and Dale won too and what about Veal and Duncan being upfront a lot. Who wrote off Dean Jacobs, not Dean and he showed it this week running towards the front all week and tying for 3rd in the points for the week. Oh yeah, that Clauson guy stopping for a few shows and taking his first ever All Star win. Who happens to be the leading the nation in wins this season and should be a shoe in for driver of the year. I don't care if he don't win the WOO title and 20 WOO races, he leads the nation and has won in winged 410, winged 360, non wing, and midgets, which is a hell of a lot harder to do than run 1 series all year and win 20 races in it...a great week with excellent racing, bring on the 35th annual speedweek already would you!!
Saturday: All Stars, MTS, GLSS Hartford MI, MSCS Lincoln Park IN, OSCS Wayne CO OH, Must See Sprints Owosso MI
Sunday: NRA Waynesfield OH, OVSCA Raceway 35 OH, All Stars I-96 MI, MSCS Haubstadt IN
Monday: Non wing sprints Chandler IN
Thanks for reading
The 34th annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek kicked off last weekend, which means plenty of racing in the area. I took in the 1st 3 days of Speedweek, Attica Friday, Waynesfield Saturday, and Millstream Sunday.
As the past several years, Attica Raceway Park opened up the 34th annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek last Friday night. With beautiful weather, a nice looking track surface, and a large crowd, 47 sprints were ready for night 1. Jordan Ryan started the week the worse possible way, flipping in time trials.
4 heat races would see the top 5 move to the A Main. Some very good heat race action. Heat race winners were Lee Jacobs, Chad Kemenah with a pass over Cale Thomas coming to the white flag, Stuart Brubaker in a barn burner that seen he top 5 all right there, and Danny Holtgraver. Tim Shaffer, Cole Duncan, Caleb Helms, Jamie Veal, Cale Thomas, Cap Henry, Kasey Kahne, Bryan Sebetto, Byron Reed, Caleb Griffith, Kyle Larson, Duane Zablocki, Dean Jacobs, Travis Philo, Dale Blaney, and Kory Crabtree all raced into the A via the heats.
With the usual stacked fields during speedweek, the C main was next with some good drivers pushing off for the C. Of course, that is usually the case at speedweek. Andrew Palker took the win over Tyler Gunn.
Caleb Helms has stepped up him game big time this season and now with Rick Ferkel turning the wrenches, he is consistently towards the front. Helms took home the Dash win.
With the top 4 moving to the A from the B, some good cars would be sitting on the trailer early. Chris Andrews held off a very fast Trey Jacobs for the win. Sheldon Haudenschild and TJ Michael transferred to the A. Trey has looked very stout on the bottom lately at Attica. He may just land a huge win there soon, you heard it here first folks.
Helms and Reed brought the field to the green in the 40 lap A Main. Helms hustled to the lead as the field raced into turn 1 and off turn 2. Reed quickly ran Helms down and took over on lap 2. Lap 4, Michael spins. Restart, Larson got a great run and took the lead on lap 5. Reed battle Larson tough for a few laps. Lap 8, Michael spins again. TJ has been having a great season, so you knew something was a mist on the 8M ride. Green, Larson leads as Reed and Kemenah try to use their Attica experience to challenge the NASCAR star. Lap 17, Holtgraver spins. Green, Larson keeps Reed and Kemenah close but soon, Yung Money gets his groove on and starts to leave them in his dust. Lap after lap, Larson can't be touched as he cruises off into the night, making it look easy, taking the win, much to the large crowds delight. Reed, Kemenah, Thomas with a great run, and Brubaker round out the top 5. A decent show but not your typical Attica 40 lapper where it comes down to the wire. Larson ran away and hid.
Saturday. it was down to Waynesfield Motorsport Park for night 2 of speedweek. Another gorgeous day, a over flow crowd, and 47 cars once again ready to battle. 22 NRA 360 were pit side as well. It was my first trip to The Field all year and it was a blast. It was awesome walking around and catching up with several people I have not seen most of the year. The most talked about show for the week, quickly lived up to all the hype.
The 3 NRA 360 heats started the night. Kyle Sauder slide to the win in heat 1. Randy Hannagan hurried to the win in heat 2. Devin Dobie dominated heat 3. Max Stambaugh, Phil Gressman, Shawn Dancer, Jared Horstman, Tim Allison, Butch Schroeder, JR Stewart, Jared DeLong, Ed Neumeister, Jeff Williams, Kevin Roberts, and Cory Turner made the A via the heat races.
4 All Star heats as the action was great. Heat winners were Kyle Larson with a last lap pass, Tim Shaffer, Dean Jacobs in a wild one that about trashed a handful of cars as it was full contact heat 3, and Byron Reed. Caleb Helms, Jac Haudenschild, DJ Foos, Hunter Scherenberg, Stuart Brubaker, Jamie Veal, Lee Jacobs, Kasey Kahne, Kraig Kinser, Travis Philo, TJ Michael, Cale Thomas, Sheldon Haudenschild, Chad Kemenah, Randy Hannagan, and Cap Henry all punched their A Main card through the heats. Great heats and some drivers knocked out after heavy contact battling upfront.
C Main, a pair of Aussie drivers were battling it out as Danial Harding bested Stuart Williams for the win.
The Dash was worth the price of admission alone!! As one person told my friend that was in from California for his first speedweek visit, watching the All Stars at WMP is like watching a non wing race. At non wing shows, many times, you jump or cringe or ahhhh or what because they run so tight and close and just about crash, well that is how the All Stars are at WMP. The Dash made you do that just about every corner. Jac and Sheldon put on a slide job battle that just about took the father and son combo out. They were inches, if an inch apart lap after lap, sliding each other up the cushion. Add Larson in the mix and the record crowd seen the most amazing Dash in years. Larson took the w.
Speaking of loaded B Mains, this one had drivers who have seen victory lane several times this season, fighting to stay a racing on this night. Dale Blaney took a hard fought win over Danny Dietrich, Danny Holtgraver, and Jacob Wilson.
NRA 360 20 lap A Main was up first. Hannagan and Sauder paced the field to the green. Hannagan hurried to the lead as the green light flashed on. Lap 1, Roberts flips hard in turn 1. Green, the Hurricane blows to a huge lead. Hannagan continues his assault in the 360 ranks and can't be touched. The closing laps, the pack caught up a little but Hannagan hands down had them covered, taking the win. Schroeder, Stambaugh, Sauder, and Stewart rounded out the top 5.
40 lap A Main for the All Stars as Larson and The Wild Child brought them to the green. Jac jumps on the cushion and into the lead on the start. The laps click off so fast at WMP, and the top 5 are glued together. Lap 8, Larson leaps to the lead. With cars, right on the top edge, cars low, and cars in the middle, the racing was excellent. Thanks to Tony Stewart for making the track crew rip up the track surface and lay some water down as the track started to take rubber in the 360 A and Smoke was having none of that. The water truck driver may of gotten pissed but, several thousand people over flowed the joint and seen a race they will never forget. For some that was there chasing NASCAR racer, seen their first real race and probably went home shaking from seeing racing they never could imagine. Lap 12, Sheldon Haudenschild squeezed past Larson for the lead. Lap 21, Blaney crashes in turn 3. Lap 22, Foos spins. Green, the last part of the race, had race fans of all on the edge of their seats. Larson, Sheldon, and Shaffer were 3 wide, in and out of traffic, with the top 7 at one time in the lead pack, oh yeah bumping and making contact with each other and lapped cars to get through the jam. Larson gave Sheldon all he had. Shaffer, was fast but couldn't get past. Larson and Shaffer actually made hard contact coming to the white flag. Sheldon Haudenschild seen the crowd go wild as he nipped Larson for the win. Larson, Shaffer, Kemenah, and Kinser rounded out the top 5. For sure, the hype was real and no wonder there was not any more room for fans. Another thing I thought was super cool. I introduced my friend Sam from CA to track promoter Danny Kelly before hand and said it was Sam's first trip to Ohio Speedweek and to WMP. After, Danny made sure to run Sam down and ask if he enjoyed what WMP had to offer and wish him well on his Speedweek journey. Class act.
After several years of being the Sunday night stop on Ohio Speedweek, Millstream Speedway was at home Sunday as the 3rd leg rolled into town. Another excellent day, a great crowd, and you guessed it 47 cars pit side.
On a track a bit slicker than the first 2 nights, it was wide open in the heats with some good action as some guys ran right on the fence, flirting with disaster lap after lap. Heat race winners were Cap Henry, Stuart Brubaker, Chris Andrews, ad Dean Jacobs. Caleb Helms, Andrew Palker, Travis Philo, Kory Crabtree, Tyler Courtney, Tim Shaffer, Sheldon Haudenschild, Kraig Kinser, Chad Kemenah, Dale Blaney, Kasey Kahne, Jac Haudenschild, Kyle Larson, Lee Jacobs, Danny Holtgraver, and Cale Thomas raced into the A.
Danny Dietrich isn't having the speedweek trip he hoped for and took home the C Main win. He still wins coolest t-shirt of the week tho.
Sheldon Haudenschild looked stout again taking home the Dash win.
A good battle in the B seen Carson Macedo take the win over Randy Hannagan, Jamie Veal, and Byron Reed.
Sheldon and Kemenah brought the 30 lap A main to the green. Sheldon slide to the lead. A great battle upfront as Kemenah as closing. Lap 9, Kemenah took the lead. Henry was getting the very bottom side to hook up and was heading to the front. Lap 11, Sheldon gets a flat running in 2nd. Green, Henry gets a great run. Lap 12, Henry charged off turn 2, to the outside of Kemenah was side by side with Chad as they made contact, sending Henry into the wall after the right rear of Kemenah drove over the left front of Henry. Green, Kemenah leads but Blaney has had enough of his not so good start of the week and is charging up from 13th to the top 3. Lap 21, Blaney blast to the lead. Kemenah gives chase. Lap 27, Reed stops. Kemenah has one last shot on the restart. Blaney gets a great start and seals the deal for his 132nd All Star win. Kemenah, Larson, Philo, and Kinser round out the top 5.
A great speedweek so far as the week ends with 2 more shows, Friday at Limaland and Saturday at Eldora for the big $10,000 to win prize.
Other shows this weekend: King of the wings Toledo Friday, GLSS Tri City MI Friday, King of the Wings Winchester IN Saturday, MSCS Sprints Daughtery IN Saturday, GLSS Crystal MI Saturday, King of the Wings Baer Field IN Sunday.
Thanks for reading Duane
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