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Tri-State Outlook

by Duane Hancock 

Jim Ford played a vital role in keeping local racing going at Fremont Speedway years ago when the track was on the verg of closing it's gates forever. In Jim's honor, the Jim Ford Classic was established 7 years ago, featuring 2 days of sprint car racing. The event, which it truly is an event with live bands, charity kick ball games, an auction, a queens pageant, an autograph session, and much more keeps growing and growing to try an attract large crowds to the Ohio oval. This past weekend, the All Star Sprints was the main draw for the 7th annual Jim Ford Classic.

Friday night 32 All Stars and 26 305 sprints towed through the pit gates of Fremont Speedway. With cloudy skies all day, the track was fairly tacky with some ruts throughout the surface. Dale Blaney has been destroying the competition on the All Star tour this season and he starts the big weekend off with quick time on the night.

4 All Star heats with the top 5 moving into the A Main. Brian Lay leaped into the lead of heat 1 and never looks back. On the tricky track, the action was all over the place. Lay lead flag to flag for the win over Byron Reed, Blaney, DJ Foos, and Brandon Spithauler. Chris Andrews went from being 2nd quick to burying himself for the night, spinning early in heat 2. Caleb Griffith took the win in heat 2 over Derek Hager, aboard the 9w Destiny Motorsports ride, Craig Mintz, Brandon Wimmer, and Taylor Ferns. A lot of action in heat 3. Bryan Sebetto got loose in turn battling for position, Cap Henry was right there and spun keeping for flipping both rides. Rob Chaney slowed the action stopping on the track. As Jac Haudenschild had the Miller 6 car a rolling out front, his son Sheldon was in a physical battle for the final transfer spot. Sheldon and Caleb Armstrong are sliding and bumping each other, as Sheldon gets into Caleb entering turn 4, Armstrong goes for a tumble into the turn 4 fence. Jac Haudenschild went on to win heat 3 over TJ Michael, Sebetto, Gary Taylor, and Henry. In heat 4, Cale Thomas and Carl Bowsher make contact entering turn 2, battling for position, Bowsher ends up in the soft walls. Jody Keegan took win over Dean Jacobs, Brandon Matus, Thomas, and Lee Jacobs.

26 305 sprints were lined up for 3 heat races, taking the top 5 to the A. Trey Jacobs spins, slowing heat 1. Seth Schneider took the win in heat 1 over Jason Keckler, Dan McCarron, Dean Jacobs, and Ricky Peterson. Tyler Gunn looks fast in heat 2 taking the win over John Ivy, Nate Dussel, Steve Rando, and Dan Hammond. Bobby Clark crushed the field in heat 3 over Dustin Dinan, TJ Michael, Brandon Moore, and Jordan Ryan.

Moving the program right along, the All Star Dash was next up. Sebetto took the Farmer 29, that was just assembled on Thursday, to the win, earning the pole of the A Main.

The All Star B Main was up next, taking the top 4 to the A. Chris Andrews showed he was fast after a heat race mistake, dominating the B Main. Andrews took the win over Stuart Brubaker, Chaney, and Sheldon Haudenschild, up from 11th.

The top 5 from the 305 B would transfer to the A. Paul Weaver took control of the B and went on to the win. Kyle Capodice, Dan Hennig, Alvin Roepke, and Caleb Griffith rounded out the top 5 and was headed to the A.

TJ Michael had to go to his back up car for the A, which happened to be his 305 car, as he has issues with his 410 after the heat. This is clearly stated in the All Star rule book that this is allowed. Sebetto and Wimmer brought the field to green in the 30 lap All Star A Main. As the field roared into turn 1, Ferns spins off the top of 1. Complete restart, Sebetto sails to the lead. Lap 2, Taylor flips in turn 3. Restart, Keegan not only hits the cone but, splits it into pieces for a yellow. Sebetto gets a rolling when the green waves once again. As the ruts got bigger throughout the night, 3 and 4 was different than 1 and 2, as a big rut was present in 4. Hitting the spots just right, Sebetto opens a 5 car length lead. Bryan gets caught behind Ferns on lap 9 as he tries to lap her. Wimmer whips past to gain the lead. Lap 13, Henry stops running in 3rd. Restart, the battle is on. Sebetto regains the lead on lap 14 but Wimmer fights back. The next several laps, the battle for the lead in excellent. Near getting more than a car length apart, Sebetto and Wimmer battle side by side, nose to tail, all but hitting on many occasions. Lap 21, Wimmer leads, lap 22 Sebetto. As they battle in out of traffic, Blaney is now on their tail tanks, lurking towards the front. Lap 27, Blaney takes the lead. Sebetto tries to stay in Blaney's tire tracks. White flag, Sebetto spins in turn 2 running 2nd. A green, white, checkered restart gives Wimmer one chance to make a move. Blaney has destroyed the All Stars all year and this night is no different as Dale holds on to win. Wimmer, Dean Jacobs, Mintz, and Reed round of the top 5. A great mid race battle between Sebetto and Wimmer made this one very worthwhile to watch.

Ivy and McCarron paced the field in the 25 lap 305 A Main. Ivy inched into the lead as the pack raced into turn 1. Lap 4, Hennig takes a wild tumble at the end of the front stretch, off turn 1. Restart, its all Ivy out front. Lap 6, coming off 4, something breaks in Ivy's car and snaps him hard into the front stretch wall. A huge hit that rattles Ivy for a minute. Ivy gathers himself and walks away. Clark inherits the lead on the restart. Lap 7, Weaver bounces off 3 into the soft wall but restarts. Clark crushes the field once the green light flashes back on. Lap 18, debris is on the track as Capodice's car has the arm guard and other pieces knocked off of it. Lap 20, Griffith spins. Lap 21, Weaver spins. Its all Clark is this one taking the win over Dussel, Gunn, up from 11th, Rando, and Dinan, up from 12th.

Saturday, the sun was out and a little chilly with a bit of a wind brings 39 All Stars and 33 305 sprints to a smooth Fremont Speedway for day 2 of the Jim Ford Classic. The action started quickly in time trials. Jody Keegan and Byron Reed both found the wall qualifying. Caleb Helms flipped qualifying. Once again, Dale Blaney sets quick time of the night.

Same deal as day 1, 4 All Star heats with top 5 moving to the A. Brian Smith snuck to the lead on the start of heat 1 and pulled away from the pack. Smith opened the gap lap after lap, taking the win by a straight away. Brandon Spithauler, Blaney, Mintz, and Thomas move on to the A. Some wild action in heat 2. Dan Kuriger cruised out front as the battle was for 5th. Henry stops for a yellow. The battle resumes once the green light flashes on as the father and son Haudenschild duel rages for 5th. The Haudenschid gang gets crossed up, about taking each other out as Henry has a run on them in turn 2. Henry can't avoid Jac as he slowed getting crossed up,Henry runs into him, spinning to the infield. Kuriger leads wire to wire for the win over Lee Jacobs, Andrew Palker, Foos, and Keegan. Danny Mumaw gasses it hard battling for position in heat 3 and gets upside down. Chris Andrews looks super stout, charging from 6th to 1st. Andrews takes the win over Chad Kemenah, Wimmer, Dean Jacobs, and Sebetto. Greg Wilson missed the A on Friday but wasn't letting that slow his spirits in heat 4 on Saturday. Wilson whipped the field in heat 4, taking the win over Tim Shaffer, Chaney, Broc Martin, and Griffith.

With the largest 305 field of the season, 4 305 heats with the top 4 moving to the A. In heat 1, Clark held off a fast Dinan for to take the win. Dinan dashed from 8th to 2nd over Jamie Miller, in the Weaver 1w ride, and Gunn. Jason Keckler jolted from 6th to 1st in heat 2. Keckler held off Jordan Ryan for the win as Ryan ripped from 8th to 2nd. Josh Harrison and first time Fremont visitor, Clay Riney moved to the A. An excellent heat 3. The top 4 cars were glued together the last 2 laps, almost pushing each other across the line. Dan Hammond took a huge win holding off Nate Dussel, Dan McCarron, and Dale Blaney, yes Dale made his first 305 start. Ryan French crashes in heat 4. Luke Griffith takes the win over Steve Rando, Trey Jacobs, and Mark Pinski.

All Star Dash was up next as Blaney starts on the pole. Andrews looks awesome, flying from 4th to 1st in the Dash. Andrews has his hands full as Chaney looks fast as well. Andrews holds on for the win.

With a 19 car B Main and the top 4 moving to the big $10,000 to win A Main, the drivers were racing hard in the B. Henry has the lead as the spin cycle starts throughout the pack. Brubaker spins for a yellow. Jac Haudenschild spins for a yellow. Travis Philo and Brandon Matus spin together in turn 2. Finally, Roger Campbell is the last spinner. Henry feels some pressure from Caleb Armstrong from about half way on. Henry holds on for the win over Armstrong, Brian Lay, and Todd Heller.

Same deal in the 305 B, top 4 to the A. Jeremy Duposki flips in turn 4 early in the B. Cody Bova held off Ricky Peterson, Alvin Roepke, and John Ivy, aboard the Merrill 39m, move on to the A.

Andrews and Chaney set the pace for the 50 lap $10,000 to win All Star A Main. Andrews looked super strong all night and shoots to the lead on the start. Lap 4, Henry spins. Restart, Andrews leads as Blaney closes in. The battle is on as Andrews blocks Blaney's moves lap after lap. Lap 8, Mintz spins into the infield off turn 4, just as Blaney passed Andrews for the lead. Andrews regains the lead since a lap wasn't complete. Lap 9, Thomas stops in turn 4. Restart, Andrews and Blaney battles nose to tail, cutting each other off, up front. Several times, they come within a few inches of touching. Lap 18, in traffic Andrews kinda hesitates going into 3 next to a lapped car. Blaney threads the needle and forces his way into the spot and the lead. Lap 24, Palker spins and Foos drives into the soft walls in turn 2. During the yellow, the red light turns on for a fuel stop. Restart, it's all Blaney. Lap 27, Lay spins. Lap 28, Henry squeezes between a lapped car and the wall off 4 and runs out of room, not letting off the throttle and flips. Blaney pulls away on the restart as Lee Jacobs is now trying to make a run at The Low Rider. Blaney is just doing what he's done all year, dominate the All Stars. Lap after lap, Dale stretches his lead. Lap 41, Jacobs bust his front end entering turn 1. Blaney is too strong on the restart and goes for a Saturday night drive, taking the win. Chaney, Andrews, Wilson, up from 17th, and Sebetto round out the top 5. A great battle with Andrews and Blaney for several laps at the beginning but once Blaney got the lead is was pretty much a snoozer.

Griffith and Ryan lead the 305 A Main to the green. Riney spins on the start. Restart, Ryan roars to the lead. Ryan looks excellent and quickly stretches his lead. The only thing slowing Ryan, is another Riney spin on lap 12. Ryan made the 305 a snoozer, doing his Dale Blaney impression, running away from the pack. Miller tried to make a late race charge but, Ryan can't be caught and takes the win. Miller, Dussel, Dinan, and Clark rounded out the top 5.

A decent weekend of racing for the 7th annual Jim Ford Classic. Both shows were ran quickly. Saturday some of the old All Stars were on hand for the big $$$$. This off season things will get interesting as it seems 2 sets of drivers fight for sprint car dates in Ohio and the surrounding area. Hopefully, the dust settles and the big shows such as the Jim Ford Classic keeps drawing all the best Ohio has to offer.

A huge late season mini Speedweek starts in Indiana tomorrow. With a few rain outs and one show originally scheduled now you can hit 3 nights in a row before the 4 Crown this weekend. Jack Hewitt makes his Eldora return in the Silver Crown cars Saturday.

Upcoming

Tuesday Woo Kokomo IN

Wednesday Woo Terre Haute IN

Thursday USAC Sprints Terre Haute IN

Friday Woo Eldora OH, OVSCA Brushcreek OH

Saturday USAC Sprints, Midgets, Silver Crown Eldora OH, All Stars Brushcreek OH

Thanks for reading, Duane

 

 

 

There are many big paying late model racing each season anymore but, when the beginning of September rooks around the most prestigious of them all takes place at Eldora Speedway. As many in the late model circle call it, "The World", the World 100 set the showcase for it's 44th time last week at Eldora. Changing the format just a few years back, the event is now a 3 day show that features twin 25's on Thursday and Friday. Full programs with qualifying, heats, B's, and A Mains. None of the racing on Thursday or Friday effects Saturday's show except qualifying. Your best time between Thursday and Friday in time trials is used to set your Saturday heat race line up. This differs from the old format of 2 qualifying sessions on Friday, using the best time to line up your Saturday heat race. Now drivers can earn 2 extra pay days and not just qualify. Each purse is over $53,000 on

Thursday and Friday, drawing 118 cars the first day and 119 the second.

Thursday with 118 cars, the teams were places into odd and even heats via their qualifying time. 6 odd heats with the top 3 to the odd A Main, 6 even heats with top 3 moving to the even A Main. Both odd and even groups have 2 B Mains each with the top 3 moving into their respective A Main. That's right, 12 heats, 4 B's, and 2 A Mains each night leading up to Saturday's big show. An excellent change I think in many people's opinion as a great crowd was on hand Thursday as things kicked off.

118 cars are lined up for the heats after Brad Neat set quick time of the night. Neat spun a 2 for the invert, putting the quick qualifier on the outside front row of each heat. Neat nestled to the lead in heat 1 and held Tyler Reddick, and Curtis Roberts for the win. Scott James got loose in turn 4 in heat 2, collecting Chad Ruhlman as Ruhlman slams James spinning car. Both drivers were okay. John Blankenship blasted to the lead and held off a fast Earl Pearson Jr for the win. Chris Simpson held on to the final transfer spot. Scott Bloomquist blew to the lead from 3rd in heat 3. Bloomquist had things well under control as Jason Feger and Randy Weaver fight for 2nd. With the white flag waving, Bloomquist slows and pulls to the low side of the track, ending his run. Feger holds off Weaver for the win. Devin Moran took 3rd after starting 7th. T-Mac, Tim McCreadie out dueled Shane Clanton for the win in heat 4. Jimmy Owens made it a great 3 car battle taking the last transfer position. Darrell Lanigan lead as Eric Wells whistled through the pack. Lanigan held off a super fast Wells for the win after Wells went from last to 2nd. Cody Mahoney took the final transfer spot. An awesome battle in heat 6 as Kent Robinson nipped Brian Shirley and Mason Zeigler for the win. Jimmy Mars mastered heat 7 taking the win over Brandon Sheppard and Chris Brown. It was the young guns fighting the veteran in heat 8. Bobby Pierce pulled out the win over Steve Francis and Brandon Overton. Dale McDowell had his hands full out front of heat 9. Jonathan Davenport drove from 6th to McDowell's rear bumper. McDowell took the win over Davenport and Mike Marlar for the win. Using his years of Eldora experience, Jeff Babcock brought a roar from the crowd taking the win over Eddie Carrier Jr and Dennis Erb Jr in heat 10. Greg Satterlee and Brian Birkhofer battled upfront all 8 laps in heat 11. Satterlee slide to the win over Birkhofer and Rusty Schlenk who took 3rd by about 6 inches at the line. Chris Smokey Madden slipped to the lead of heat 12 and never looked back. Frank Heckenast Jr and Doug Drown moved on to the A.

Moving the show quickly along, the 4 B Mains was in the staging area. Terry Phillips and Ryan Gustin had a excellent battle in B1. Phillips took the win over Gustin and Matt Miller. At the start of B2, Randy Korte spun on the start and tagged the wall but kept going as Scott Bowersock hits the wall and stops. Korte got his spot back for the complete restart. Restart, Korte cruised to the lead and held off Jason Hughes and Dustin Linville for the win. B3, Chase Junghans held off Wendall Wallace and Austin Hubbard for the win. Another Eldora regular, Jerry Bowersock took another seasoned win for the locals over Greg Johnson and Billy Moyer Jr for the win in B4. Moyer Jr held off father Billy Moyer for the final A Main spot.

Satterlee and McDowell brought the field to the green in the first 25 lap A Main. McDowell got the advantage when the pack raced into turn 1 as Satterlee and Mars follows. McDowell is very smooth on very well prepared Eldora Speedway. Weaver is quickly moving up to the top 3. Lap after McDowell leads as Weaver starts to apply pressure. Mars starts to slip some as Birkhofer enters the top 5 after starting deeper in the field. Weaver and McDowell race the last third of the race almost nose to tail. In the end, it was all McDowell, leading flag to flag for the win. Weaver, up from 8th, Satterlee, Birkhofer, up from 12th, and Mars round out the top 5. Even tho McDowell lead wire to wire, it was a good close race upfront for the majority of the A.

Madden and Babcock paced the pack in the second twin 25 A Main. Madden gets the jump on the start but, Linville spins in turn 2. Complete restart, Babcock blast to the lead, running right up against the wall. Babcock looks fast as Madden regroups and starts to close in. Lap 6, Madden makes his move and takes the lead. McCreadie joins the battle upfront as Owens is flying through the field. Babcock slips backwards as Owens and Heckenast Jr work into the lead pack. Owens is closing on Madden as the half way point. Lap 15, Owens makes is look easy, taking the lead. Robinson follows Owens, trying to repeat his win just 4 days earlier. Owens is just too strong and holds on to win after charging up from 14th. Robinson, McCreadie, Madden, and Heckenast Jr, up from 12th, round out the top 5. A very good race with plenty of passing and 3 different leaders. All that racing and it was just 11:32 when the final checkered flag flew. Excellent job by the Big E staff to keep the show a rolling on a week night.

119 cars were ready for night 2 as Jackie Boggs was the new entry. Jeff Babcock set quick time of the night, which happened to be the fastest time of the weekend. Jeff spun a 4 for the Friday night heat invert. Same format as Thursday, 12 heats, 4 B's, and 2 A Mains.

Bloomquist and Birkhofer battled upfront in heat 1. Bloomquist looked stout and took the win over Birkhofer and Babcock. A great battle in heat 2. 2nd quick qualifier Brandon Overton moved from 4th to the lead, holding on to win over Satterlee and Tyler Reddick. Madden kept looking strong in heat 3. Smokey took the win over Moyer and Weaver. Darrell Lanigan showed some strength in heat 4, moving from 4th to 1st. Lanigan held on to win over Wells and Wallace. Heat 5 seen Erb Jr take the win over Simpson and Mars. Another driver looking good so far all week, McCreadie took the win on heat 6. Drown and Clanton move into the A. Davenport brought some cheers from the large crowd on heat 7, taking the win over Moyer Jr and Neat. A great race in heat 8. RJ Conley held off Earl Pearson Jr and Robinson at the line for the win as the top 3 were glued together off 4 on the last lap. Gustin nipped McDowell to take the win in heat 9. Moran moved to the A after racing up from 6th. The top 3 shuffled spots a few times in heat 10 as Korte took the win over Blankenship and Chad Ruhlman. Carrier Jr held off a fast Zeigler, up from 9th, to take the win. Zeigler and Brian Shirley move to the A. Matt Miller took the win in heat 12 over Sheppard and Feger. Some great heat races. With the 4 invert, there was loads of passing in the heats. Thursday heats were close but not a ton of passing with the top 2 fastest starting on the front row. Friday's heats featured much more passing.

B1, a stacked field as Pierce held off Jeep VanWormer and Owens for the win. One thing about big fields, a bunch of good drivers are working through the B's. B2, Shannon Babb held off Heckenast Jr and Insane Duane Chamberlin for the win. Terry Phillips handled business in B3 over Chris Brown and Nick Natham. Mike Spatola held off a fast Mark McCarter, up from 7th, to win B4. Rodney Melvin raced into the A.

Carrier Jr and Gustin brought the field to green in the first twin 25 A Main, as the weather was moving in. Davenport made a huge move on the start, slipping from 3rd to 1st. Running the high side, Davenport quickly pulled to a huge lead. Bloomquist started to roll at the half way mark and was cutting down Davenport's lead. As the caution waved on lap 19, for Shirley stopping in turn 1, this put Bloomer side by side with Davenport on the restart. Green, Davenport runs the famous Eldora cushion and shows his strength. Davenport opened the lead up once again and ran off the lightening in the sky to take the win. Bloomquist, Birkhofer, Moyer, and Madden rounded out the top 5.

With storms and rain surrounding Eldora Speedway, the rain was holding off as the second twin 25 was on the track. Excellent job once again by the Eldora staff, pushing the program to beat the storm. Miller and Korte paced the field in A2. Korte used the high side to race to the lead on the start. King Kong Korte looked good running the famous Eldora cushion. With the laps clicking off quickly, Miller was closing back in on the leader. As the crossed flags were displayed for the half way mark, Miller charged under Korte, taking the lead. Miller and Korte race pretty much nose to tail the next half of the A. With 5 to go, some rain started to fall. Just light rain as the final 5 laps get in the books. Miller holds on for the win over Korte, McCreadie, Conley, and Lanigan. Minutes after the checkered flag flew, the sky let loose and the heavier rains fell. Fantastic job by the entire Big E crew to get the races in, plus a little luck, just in time as the storm hit. Plus, it was just before 11. How many places you go that run that many races and click them off in less than 3 hours as it was 8ish when the first heat hit the track. A great 2 days of racing.

Thanks for reading Duane

 

 

When the 2014 BOSS schedule was released early in the year, I circled September 6th on my calendar for their invasion of the Montpelier Speedway in Indiana. Always being a fan of the place, even announced a few sprint car shows there, I haven't been there since the new ownership took over and made several improvements to the facility.

Pulling into the track, everything looked pretty much the same except for the addition of a building between the concession stands and grandstand. Once walking in, a bunch of major changes were very visible. A wall down past turn 1 and 2, the wall around the middle of turn 3 and 4 gone, a wider track, new restrooms, and a fence down towards turn 1. Many many excellent improvements for a small town track. I've always seen great racing there and was stoked for this one.

41 cars were pit side and ready to roll. 5 heats, top 3 moving to the A, 2 B Mains, top 3 moving to the A, and a 25 lap A Main was on tap for the traditional BOSS sprint cars.

Some very good racing in the heats. Heat 1, Matt Goodnight slowed the heat, stopping in turn 3. Michael Fischesser and Jarrett Andretti had a great battle upfront for the lead as 3 car battle was going on for 3rd. Andretti took the lead late over Fischesser, taking the win. A torrid battle into turn 4 for the final transfer spot, as Fischesser followed Andretti across the line, Joe Bares forces his way into 3rd, running over Tyler Hewitt who was starting to spin. Bares flips hard,collecting Hewitt as the red flys before the rest of the field gets to the flag stand. Travis Berryhill had charged from 9th to 5th got a early Christmas present as he was awarded 3rd after the accident. Making his 1st BOSS start, the Bro Show, Jon Stanbrough took command of heat 2 from the pole. In another good race, that was slowed by Logan Jarrett having car issues, stopping twice and Adam Miller spinning, Stanbrough held off a great charge from Josh Spencer. In what most thought would be a run away, Stanbrough won by 3 car lengths over Spencer and Aaron Middaugh. Robert Ballou took command of heat 3 and never looked back taking the win over Dustin Smith and Cooper Clouse. Clouse had an excellent run holding strong in a 3 wide battle for the last transfer spot. Former Montpelier Speedway track champion Scotty Weir whipped the field in heat 4 as the pack behind him, battle hard for position. Weir took the win over Todd Keen and Joe Butera. Another great battle in heat 5 as Brandon Spithauler and Joe Liguori battle upfront. As fight for the top spot, Matt Westfall is charging from the back row. Spithauler holds over for the win over Liguori and Westfall who made a late pass for 3rd, up from 7th. Very good heats with 3 wide battles, a lot of passing, and good battles for the lead. Just a quick reminder why I like sprint cars there and with the new configuration, it just made it better yet.

2 B Mains, top 3 moving on. Joss Moffat takes the early lead in B1 as a intention battle for 2nd irrupts. The irruption boiled over as Dallas Hewitt, Adam Miller, and Jamie Fredrickson collide in turn 4, battling for 2nd and 3rd. Restart, Moffatt and Tyler Hewitt duel for the lead. The battle for 3rd heats up as Adam Byrkett and Steve Irwin fight for the final transfer spot. Moffatt motored to the win over Hewitt and Irwin. Just when you thought there was passing in the heats, B Main 2 was on the track. Derek Hastings hustled to the lead on the start as some drivers with heat race troubles were deep in the pack. Tony Main is chasing Hastings for the lead as cars are batting 3 wide from 4th on back. Logan Jarrett got his issues cured and has a hot rod, passing cars left and right, flying through the pack. As Jarrett uses the top of the track, Mike Miller is using the bottom to work through the pack. Miller takes the lead as Jarrett dives into 2nd. Miller holds on to win after moving up from 8th, Jarrett races into the A, charging up from 11th, as Hastings nips Main for the final transfer spot. More great racing.

Fischesser and Keen brought the field to the green in the 25 lap A Main. Keen climbed to the lead as the green light flashed on. Quickly under attack, Keen had Spithauler and Stanbrough on his tail tank as the 3 cars fight upfront. Lap 3, Keen and Spithauler cross the line side by side. Lap 4, Spithauler slides around the high side and takes the lead. Lap 5, Spithauler hooks the cushion in turn 1 and goes for a nasty tumble. As Spithauler exits the car and it gets flipped back upright, the hot oil and fuel ignite. Spithauler tries to knock the flames out on his own as the fire crew seemed to be in slow motion getting to the scene. Finally, the crew gets the fire out. If there was one down fall of the night, it was that moment. A track safety crew needs to be on the spot not matter what wreck but especially sprint cars when you can't see the fuel burn. Thank god it was not worse and hopefully the crew learnt not to piss around when a sprint car gets upside down. Stanbrough inherits the lead followed by Keen and Spencer on the restart. Restart, Spencer runs into Keen going into 1, batting for 2nd. Spencer and Keen both flip. Westfall, Liguori, Moffatt, and Miller were collected in the accident as well. Keen lands on all 4 after a few rolls and coast away. Keen is shook up at first but then tries to confront Spencer. Keen was later found to have a concussion. It was just a both guys going for same spot on a quarter mile track deal. Restart, Stanbrough leads as Weir gives his a challenge at first but each lap, Stanbrough opens the gap. Leading is not the place to be in this as on lap 12, Stanbrough gets into Hastings as he was lapping him, spinning out. Weir is the new leader on the restart. Ballou has just been back there lurking as the guys upfront were crashing. Lap 15, Weir and Ballou are side by side for the lead. Weir holds on as Ballou is fast off 4. Lap 20, Ballou blast around Weir and takes the top spot. After working his way up from 9th, Ballou opens just a slight gap with 2 to go. Weir tried to get another run but, Ballou was on a rail and sailed to the win. Weir, Andretti, up from 10th, Jarrett, up from 19th, and Berryhill, up from 11th, rounded out the top 5. Excellent race and battles all race long. Hopefully, Montpelier will add some more sprint car shows next year.

Upcoming

FRIDAY All-Stars Fremont OH

SATURDAY All-Stars Fremont OH, MTS Crystal MI, USAC Sprints Haubstadt IN

Thanks for reading, Duane

 

 

Kicking off the big holiday weekend, Friday night it was off to Attica Raceway Park for the opening night of the Attica Ambush. I really enjoy this night as the All Star Sprints and Lucas Oil Late Model series share the card on this night. With great weather, a nice crowd was on hand along with 30 All Star Sprints. Being opening night of a 2 day show for the All Stars, it was a $3000 to win show. Lee Jacobs set quick time of the night.

4 heats with the top 5 moving into the A Main. Sheldon Haudenschild spun collecting Duane Zablocki as they collide at the beginning of heat 1. Both drivers restart, Sheldon has top wing damage. Once things get to rolling, Dave Blaney takes a hard tumble in turn 3. The action was very good upfront once racing resumed as Byron Reed battled a fast Gary Taylor who charged up from the last row. Taylor fell just short as Reed took the win. Taylor, Jacobs, Haudenschild, and Zablocki transfer to the A. Danny Smith charged from 3rd to pass Brandon Martin to take the win in heat 2. Danny Holtgraver, Jac Haudenschild, and Dean Jacobs punched their entry to the A main. Randy Hannagan has had the Neumeister Napa 11N car a rolling lately and started on the pole of heat 3. The Hurricane blew away from the pack and cruised to the win. Cap Henry looked strong coming home 2nd over Brandon Wimmer, Max Stambaugh, and Rob Chaney. Stambaugh a NRA 360 regular had a great run in just a handful of 410 starts. Jody Keegan slowed heat 4 with a spin. Dale Blaney took command of heat 4 as Caleb Armstrong was looking very good, trying to give Blaney a run. Blaney pulled away in the late stages, taking the win. Improving each winged race, it just a handful of starts, Armstrong took 2nd over Brian Lay, Chris Andrews, and Caleb Griffith.

The 6 car All Star Dash determines the 1st 3 rows of the A main via their Dash finish. Chaney got the advantage on the start over Holtgraver as they battle for the top spot. Just a 6 quick laps, Chaney took the win over Holtgraver and Henry.

Only 8 of the 10 eligible cars for the B Main are ready to go with the top 4 moving into the A. Tim Shaffer was having a less than stellar night as he rolled off for the B. Shaffer got things a going in the B, charging from 6th to the lead, passing Cole Duncan for the lead. Shaffer gets the win over Duncan, Stuart Brubaker, and Jody Keegan.

Chaney and Holtgraver paced the field in the 30 lap A Main. As the pack took the green and raced into turn 1, Lee Jacobs losses the handle on the 81 machine and spins in front of the pack from his 4th place starting spot. Armstrong gets stuck in the middle and collides with Jacobs. Complete restart, Holtgraver hops on the throttle and races into the lead. Chaney and Henry give chase to Danny. Lap 7, Keegan hooks the cushion in turn 3 and flips off the top of 3. Jody's car remarkable only has just slight top wing damage after rolling 3 times and fires back off. Restart, Holtgraver gets a good run and pulls away from the pack. Lap 10, Lay spins for a caution. Lap 11, Brubaker spins. Holtgraver takes off again opens up a 5 car length lead. Reed, Chaney, and Griffith battle hard for 2nd through 5th as Holtgraver has things under control up front. Lap after lap, Holtgraver hits his marks and no one has anything for him. Danny leads flag to flag and takes the win. Griffith, up from 8th, Reed, up from 11th, Chaney, and Zablocki round out the top 5. An alright race. Holtgraver was never really challenged but some good racing from 2nd to 6th.

After hitting a late model show on Saturday and hitting the US Nationals at Indy Sunday during the day, I blasted from Indy to Kokomo Sunday night for the Vince Osman Memorial. Getting my timing down just right on these Kokomo trips, I pulled in just as the first hot lap session was on the track. Max McGhee had issues in hot laps as I walked up to the ticket window. By the time I got inside the cars were pushed back off. I'm not sure what happen but Max had heavy damage and was done for the night. 24 cars were pit side, including McGhee.

3 heats with the top 5 moving into the A Main. All Bryan Clauson has to do is transfer to the A Main to clinch his 1st ever Kokomo track championship. Lee Dakas goes for a wild ride in heat 1, all but flipping, Lee slams the wall in turn 1, ending his night. An excellent battle as race long in heat 1. 2014 Kokomo rookie of the year, Garrett Miller narrowly holds off Justin Grant for the win. Tyler Hewitt, Scotty Weir, and Dustin Smith transfer to the A. Joe Liguori held off John Andretti to win heat 2. Adam Byrkett, Jamie Fredrickson, and Travis Hery round out the top 5. Another excellent heat race during heat 3. Shane Cottle reunited with the Edison 10e machine holding off Bryan Clauson for the win. Josh Spencer, Logan Jarrett, and Brent Beauchamp race their way into the A. Clauson clinched the track title over Grant with his heat race run.

The top 5 from the B Main would transfer into the A. Another great race as Chad Boespflug runs down leader Chris Gurley in the late stages of the B, taking the lead and the win. Gurley, Connor Donelson, Cooper Clouse, and Payton Pierce punch their ticket into the A.

Grant and Miller brought the field to green in the 25 lap A Main. Grant gases it up on the high side and grabs the lead on the start. Lap 1, Clouse spins for a yellow. The battle is on, Grant high, Cottle low, as Shane takes the lead on lap 2. An excellent 3 car battle upfront as Grant is running up above the cushion as the others run low. Lap 5, Boespflug and Hewitt collide for a yellow in turn 2. Restart, the battle rages as Grant and Cottle fight it out for the lead. Gurley is making a charge from the back entering the top 10, running the high side. Grant blast past Cottle for the lead on lap 10, just as he does, Spencer stops in turn 4. Cottle is placed back into the lead. Restart, the shootout continues but the action quickly slows as Miller spins in turn 4 collecting Byrkett. Gurley pulls pit side with a flat tire after moving from 17th to batting for 9th. Gurley makes it back out after a quick tire change. Restart, Cottle runs higher taking Grant's line away as they still battle tooth and nail. Lap 13, Cottle makes a rare mistake running the top of 2, jumping the cushion and hitting the wall. As they pull the 10e off on the hook, Grant inherits the lead. Grant leads as Clauson closes in and a tremendous battle emerges 3 and 4 wide for 3rd on back. Gurley is moving through the pack once again, looking very fast. Lap 17, Jarrett spins batting for 5th with Andretti. Restart, the battle is on as Clauson pressures Grant. Gurley enters the top 7. Liguori is in a huge battle for 3rd. 5 to go, Grant right up against the fence in 1, Clauson on the bottom race inches apart for the lead. Off 4, Grant slams the door as Clauson drifts up. In and out of traffic, they battle each lap like this as Gurley enters the top 5. White flag, the duo battle side by side into 1, off 2 Clauson gets a slight edge. Into 3, Grant slings the dirt high in the air as he slams the right rear on the cushion and Clauson dives low. Off 4, Clauson edges ahead and just before the flag stand, the red light flashes on even as the checkered flag waves. Liguori took a nasty tumble and the red flag was on even tho the flagman waved the checkered, he couldn't grab the red quick enough since the race was all but over. Since the red was on and just a few cars passed the flag stand before stopping, it was determined to go back to lap 24 and do a green white start for a 1 lap shoot out. Restart, Grant and Clauson battle hard into 1 and off 2. Clauson is side by side with Grant down the back stretch. Into 3, Grant gets a better run, Clauson tries to make a move, Grant holds on to take the win. Clauson, Weir, Gurley, from the tail on lap 11, and Andretti round out the top 5. An excellent race at Kokomo once again. A little mix up at the end that pretty much got blown off because no one really knew what to do at first but excellent racing as usually at Kokomo. Probably why I've been there 9 times already this season.

As Labor Day has past by, the season starts to wind down little by little each week. With a few huge key figures retiring, Sammy Swindell immediately and Steve Kinser, at from full time racing, at the end of the season. Tracks closing it's gates for good or at least until new people take over. Plus, a battle in the Ohio region for sprint divisions, the sport seems to be going through some major changes the last half of this season and the start of next year. Fans need to get out and support the tracks still racing, take a friend, a neighbor, a relative, or someone new to the track and help this transition period of the sport so we can keep this region strong as always.

Upcoming

Saturday FAST Fremont OH, BOSS Montpelier IN, OVSC Atomic OH

Thanks for reading Duane

 

 

 

Last weekend, mother nature tried to rain on the Kokomo Speedway's parade as it hosted the USAC Sprints for the 3rd annual Sprint Car Smackdown. A HUGE thanks to THE ENTIRE Kokomo staff as they went above and beyond, despite mother nature being a pain in the ass, to make this event happen. The Smackdown is somewhat like a Knoxville Nationals type of an event for non wing racing in Indiana. A 3 day event that pays extra $$$ and has a boat load, I mean a ton, someone has done an amazing job, of extra added bonuses. 70, YES 70 EXTRA awards PLUS, oh yeah there is a plus, lap money for every lap of all 3 A Mains split with the top 5 cars each lap!!! That's 100 more bonuses! Well 500, if you count the top 5 times 100 laps! You tell me an event that pays 570 different bonuses, simply amazing and they are not chump change bonuses! How about right rear tires, GoPro camera, $500 cash, $150 cash, Simpson shoes, a USAC membership, team shirts, and so much more. In today's market and how tough it is to get any extras, a true excellent job done for this event, because it is an event, not just a race, to give back all they could to the racers. Most people on the outside looking in might not realize how much some of these bonus awards could help a team. This event is just in it's 3rd year and if they keep adding bonus deals like this and more $$$$, this could truly grow into the Knoxville Nationals of traditional sprint car racing. To me, I know the quality was great and I have no issues with the car count but I can't believe when drivers and team owners talk non stop about the lack of $$$ in non wing racing, why the biggest car count of the 3 days was 36 cars. A track or division bust it's butt to add a 170 bonus awards, some very excellent, and there is no more cars than a regular show, just don't make sense why at least a dozen or more guys I can think of wouldn't be there, that have been a lot at times would opt out of this one. Guess why I'm the guy typing this and not the guy figuring out where to race and where not too.

Making my 1st ever Smackdown event, the gates opened Thursday as the weather was moving all around the Kokomo Speedway. With the track receiving rain earlier in the day, the track crew was working hard to get the wet service ready to start on time. 36 cars were pit side and ready to roll for opening night. Starting hot laps an hour late due to all the rain earlier in the day, I pulled in the driveway just as the 1st group was called to the push off area for hot laps, working a full day, I was smiling I didn't miss a thing. The track was fast once qualifying started as Dave Darland set the pace with quick time at 12.791.

With a huge storm getting closer and closer to the 1/4 mile oval, the 4 heats were trying to get set. A USAC officials meeting took almost 25 minutes to get the program figured out, as the 24th fastest car scratched before the heats, shuffling the line ups since the heat invert is 24. Once things got figured out properly,the top 4 in the heats would move into the A Main. Heat 1 hit the track as lightening was flashing through the sky just North of the speedway. The action was excellent in heat 1 as CJ Leary raced from 5th to the lead. Leary had his hand full in the closing laps as Darland was looking to make a move. Leary held on to win a close one over Darland, Chris Windom, and Chris Gurley. Another exciting heat in heat 2 as Chase Stockon held off Kevin Thomas JR, Justin Grant, and Robert Ballou in a tight one. As heat 2 was heading off the track, the sky let loose as a huge down pour with flash floods hit the area, ending the program of night 1. The remaining part of Thursday's program was pushed to Saturday afternoon at 2 PM.

Friday, night 2 of Smackdown was set to roll as mother nature was trying to play havoic on the event once again. 34 cars were sitting pit side for night number 2. After several hours of work from early morning on, the Kokomo staff got things ready to roll just about the same identical time as the night before, making me happy once as again as I pulled in as the first hot lap session was on the track. Dave Darland once again set quick time of the night taking home another $150 and another case of oil with a time of 12.712.

Same format for the 2nd qualifying night, 4 heats with the top 4 moving to the A. The track was super tacky and heavy with all the moisture. Heat 1, Kevin Thomas Jr throttled into the lead as the top 4 cars were pretty much glued together all heat race long. Thomas lead flag to flag for the win over Justin Grant, Tyler Courtney, and Brady Short. Heat 2 seen more of a typical Kokomo heat with plenty of passing. Chris Windom started upfront and took the win as Brady Bacon, Jon Stanbrough, and Jerry Coons Jr raced into transfer positions. Tracy Hines had to work to take home the win in heat 3 over a fast Shane Cottle. Casey Shuman and Bryan Clauson raced into the A. A battle of good friends took place in heat 4 as Brandon Mattox and Chase Stockon dukes it out for the win. Mattox held on just enough to take the w over Stockon, Max McGhee, and Kyle Cummins.

With the track fast and heavy, the B Main was stacked with many of the top qualifiers. The top 6 from the B moved on to the A. Darland darted from the pole and had a great battle with Robert Ballou upfront in this one. Darland held strong and took the win over Ballou, Chad Boespflug, Logan Jarrett, CJ Leary, and Scotty Weir.

Clauson and Grant brought the field to green in the 30 lap A Main. Clauson climbed into the lead as the field raced into turn 1. Lap 2, Shuman spins. Restart, the battle is tight amongst the top 5. Lap 4, Cottle lays some heavy contact on Darland coming off turn 4, breaking Darland's front end battling for 3rd. Clauson leads the restart as soon the action slows on lap 5 for a Hines spin. Another restart, Stanbrough and Cottle try to pressure Clauson for the top spot. Lap 8, Brian Karraker took a provisional to get in the A but, his decision didn't go so well as he flipped hard. Cottle has some issues with the rear end of his 2E machine and pulls pit side while running 3rd. Restart, Clauson leads as Stanbrough follows in his tire tracks. The duo battle closely upfront. As they battle for the top spot, a great battle through out the top 5 is going on as it's almost a 5 car battle for the lead. Lap 19, Weir stops calming the battle down. Clauson gets the advantage on the restart as Stanbrough holds tight in 2nd. Stockon works into a top 5 battle. Lap after lap, Clauson and Stanbrough are just right there battling, waiting for the other to make the slightest hiccup. Bouncing right against the huge cushion, Clauson seems to be unbeatable on this night with 3 to go. Coming to the white flag, Clauson just hooks the edge of the cushion, slowing his car as Stanbrough fills the gap quickly and takes the lead off 4 as the white flag is displayed. Clauson battles back, makes a move but falls just short at the line as Stanbrough takes the win. Both drivers are still on the throttle racing hard on the cool down lap. As they pull to the front stretch, both drivers stop, neither one seeing the white flag, thinking the other one won. Stanbrough went from pissed to happy as he found out he won over Clauson, Ballou, Cummins, and Bacon.

Bright sunny skies greeted us Saturday morning as we woke up. With 2 shows on the agenda Thursday nights on Saturday afternoon and Saturday's Saturday night, the sun was a welcome sign. With just a few quick hot laps and heading right into the 3rd heat, the track crew had the track in fantastic shape. Actually the program started just a bit late due to the heavy moisture.

Thursday's heat 3, on Saturday now, was ready to roll. Some great heat race action as Brandon Mattox took the win holding off Brady Bacon, Brady Short, and Bryan Clauson for the top spot. Another good battle in heat 4 as the mud was still flying. Logan Jarrett took the win over Jerry Coons Jr, Josh Spencer, and Shane Cottle. The track is excellent for a hot sunny day time show.

Another fairly stout B Main would once again take the top 6 on to the A. Moving the show quickly along, the B was on the track. Stanbrough slide to the lead on the start as the red quickly flew before a lap was in the books. Thomas Meseraull had the rear axle snap entering turn 4, sending his car a flipping high into the air and hard in the fence. An open red as T-Mez took about 20 feet of fence down that the track crew quickly fixed. Restart, coming off 4 once again trying to get a lap in, things get bottled up as Landon Simon gets loose in 4. Jarrett Andretti hits Simon and flips over. Finally, things restart and Stanbrough leads again but this time completes a lap. The only thing slowing the Bro Show was midget ace now turned sprint car driver Trevor Kobylarz finds the wall off 4 breaking his front end. In a decent race, Stanbrough went on to win over Cummins, McGhee, Hines, Shuman, and Boespflug.

Grant and Leary paced the field for the 30 lap A Main. With the track still in excellent shape, Leary gets a great start but it's quickly called back as a bad start. Restart, Clauson and Leary get bottled up behind Grant in turn 2, resulting in contact and Clauson needing repairs. Green, Grant gets the break he needs finally and gains the lead. A great battle upfront as the top 5 cars are together. Lap 6, a yellow flies for debris on the track. Lap 7, Shuman brings the caution out after stopping on the track. Lap 8, Karraker spins after taking another provisional to get into the A. Green, the battle is on. Grant, Ballou, and Darland are battling upfront. Some excellent racing action and by far the best track conditions and day time show I've witnessed. Darland starts to pressure Grant for the top spot as they battle inches apart. Ballou lurks behind them as Stanbrough pokes his nose in the mix as well. Darland is trying to make a move as the crowd is waving, cheering, and pumping their fist rooting The People's Champ on. Darland is there, lap 24 Dave makes his move and takes the lead as the crowd highly approves. Cummins stops bringing out the yellow. The lead pack is all bunched together now, looking for the restart. Darland gets a good start as Grant, Ballou, and Stanbrough chase Double D. Coming right down to the wire, Darland holds strong and takes the win, tying Tom Bigelow's all time USAC Sprint win total. Grant, Ballou, Windom, up from 12th, and Stanbrough round out the top 5. Great racing action.

As the victory lane gathering gets pushed along and the grandstand cleared to prepare for Saturday night's program, a huge storm is moving in the area. Just after the gates opens for the night show, the clouds let loose and a monster storm dumps loads of water down. After rain and more rain and no sight of clearing in the next few hours, the races were postponed until Sunday afternoon at 4.

Sunday brought sunshine to the Kokomo Speedway to finally try and get the 3rd annual Sprint Car Smackdown in the books. The format for Saturday's show which is now Sunday, is where the unique part of the event occurs. The top 8 in points for the first 2 shows are locked into the A Main. To determine the first 4 rows of starting spots, the 8 cars are paired up in king of the hill match races. The winner moves on, the loser, highest points first, gets a 3rd or 4th row starting spot. 3 qualifier races with the top 3 moving on to join the top 8 in points in the A. A B Main will add 5 more starters to the 40 lap $10,000 to win finale.

With beautiful skies, the track crew grooms the track as it's still wet and heavy. The qualifier races are lined up by points, highest car on points on the pole. The winner of qualifier 1 starts 9th in the A and the other starting spots are determined by your finishing spot as well. Example 2nd in qualifier 1 starts 12th. After starting a little behind time, the program was ready to roll. Grant grabbed the lead from the pole and never looked back. In some more typical Kokomo tight racing action, Grant takes the win over Leary and Jarrett. Max McGhee is batting for a transfer spot in Q2 and takes a tumble in turn 4 after jumping the cushion. Max walks away. Kevin Thomas Jr holds off all challenges from Brady Short to take the win. Shuman secures the finally transfer spot. Jerry Cooooooooooooons Jr crawled to the lead on the bottom in Q3 and held off Cummins and Hines to take the win.

With hot temps and a bit of a breeze, the king of the hill events were next, 2 cars, 2 laps winner moves on. High points man Ballou takes on the low points guy Stockon in race 1. I've never been big on king of the hill type races, usually a waste of time, that is until I seen them at Kokomo. Stockon and Ballou battle, swapping back and forth as Chase gets the final advantage off turn 2 on lap 2 and hangs on to win. Darland and Clauson battle in race 2 and Darland takes the win. Bacon gets the best of Windom is race 3. Stanbrough shuts the door on Cottle in race 4 moving on to the win. In the semi finals, Stockon gave Darland an excellent battle but falls short at the finish line. Bacon and Stanbrough have the best king of the hill race I've seen. Battling tooth and nail both laps, off 4 to the checkered flag, they both shoot for the win making contact, Bacon takes the as Stanbrough spins and the have contact shooting Bacon all but over just past the finish line. In the final, Bacon and Darland race hard in a showdown. Bacon slides in front of Darland off 4, taking the upset win and the pole for the A, along with some great awards.

The final shot to get in the huge A main seen the top 5 cars move on from the B. On lap 1, a gaggle of cars get bunched up in turn 4, coming to complete lap 1 4 wide, contact all over cars every which way, all get straightened out except Josh Spencer has to spin to avoid a huge collision. Tyler Courtney leads upfront as Boespflug charges from the rear of the pack towards the leader. Mattox hooks the cushion in turn 1 and flips. Not to be out done, Jarrett Andretti goes for a wild ride a few laps later in turn 4. The battle for the final transfer spot heats up as Boespflug charges into the lead. Heavy contact going for 5th, Kobylarz slams Karraker, as Karraker is done for the B. Boespflug holds on for the win over Courtney, Landon Simon, McGhee, and Spencer on a late race move for the final transfer spot.

As the track crew did it's final prep, the crews brought the cars to the track and the drivers were introduced to the crowd. What was different with this driver intros that I thought many tracks could learn from to draw more excitement to the event and keep fans on their feet, the PA blasted some music as the drivers was brought out one by one in front of the crowd as their name was announced. Kinda like a basketball intro or football game intro plus the drivers were throwing shirts, hats, can koozies, and other items into the crowd. Little kids, big kids, adults, or all the above were giving high 5s to the drivers, just kinda a rock star like approach that seemed to really pump up the fans. Oh btw, if you got the winning drivers T-shirt that was autographed, you won $100, a victory lane photo, and a ticket to next year's event.

Bacon and Darland brought the field to green in the 40 lap finale. Bacon sizzles into the lead as the field races into 1 and 2. Darland quickly applies pressure and is inches away. Lap 6, Darland brings the crowd in an uproar as he takes the lead, looking to become the all time leader in USAC Sprint car feature wins. Lap 8, Windom stops. Restart, Bacon tries a move as Stanbrough and Clauson are all right there. Darland quickly breaks away from the pack, looking to run away and hide. Green light stays on as lap after lap quickly passes by. Leary is making a huge charge into the top 3 from 12th. Darland seems to being getting slower as Leary and Ballou are quickly closing in. Leary starts to battle Darland as Ballou is the fastest car and seems to be waiting to make a move. Lap 26, Shuman stops bringing out the yellow. Restart, the battle is on as Darland holds strong. The top 5 are all right there in typical excellent Kokomo style racing. 5 to go, it's still tight up front. Lap 37, Leary blows a right rear sending him into the turn 3 wall. This gives Ballou and Clauson one more shot at Double D. Restart, Darland leads as Ballou and Clauson battle. White flag, all 3 cars are glued together. The crowd rises as Darland shoots off turn 2 in the lead. Clauson dives low, Ballou high, it's all for not as Darland leads off 4. The crowd erupts as Darland takes the checkered flag and becomes the all time leader in USAC Sprint wins. Ballou nips Clauson for 2nd, Bacon, and Stanbrough round out the top 5.

Excellent racing all 3 nights and a unbelievable effort by the entire Kokomo staff to make this event happen on it's given weekend. It was tough and took an extra day and a lot of shuffling around races but any other event except the Knoxville Nationals, the track would of pushed to a different time. Not many crews will work with 10 inches of rain in 3 days and spend countless hours working the track, pumping water, and making the show happen. Job well beyond excellent Kokomo!!!

The last big long holiday racing weekend of the year for the season. With all the tracks closing or struggling or for sales, here's is a chance to get out on the long weekend and take a friend of the family and enjoy a true American tradition, a trip to the races.

UPCOMING

FRIDAY
All Stars Attica OH, USAC Sprints Terre Haute IN, SOD Hartford MI

Saturday
All Stars Attica OH, SOD Crystal MI, Must See Anderson IN, MSCS Brownstown IN

Sunday
AVSS Angola IN, All Stars Wayne Co OH, MSCS Habstadt IN

Thanks for reading,
Duane

 

 

 

After traveling some far distances this season, last weekend I got back on to the regional scene at headed up to the Butler Motor Speedway in Quincy Michigan Friday for the opening night of the 1st annual All Star Sprints Butler Bash. This was the first race on the schedule since some of the All Star regular drivers split from chasing the series and started the new Renegade Sprint Series. There has been much talk of how things will proceed but it was business as usual for the All Stars on day 1 of the event. 19 cars were pit side and ready to battle at the bash.

Dale Blaney has been on rampage in the All Star series and once again serviced early notice as he set fast time of the night in qualifying.

All cars were set to transfer to the A main from the 3 heat races, you couldn't tell though as the heats were pretty wild for pretty much meaning less heats in reality. Stuart Brubaker blasted to the lead in heat 1 and rode the high side of the 3/8th mile oval. Blaney and Jac Haudenschild chased Stewie but couldn't make a move as Brubaker held on to take the win. Blaney and the Wild Child rounded out the top 3. In heat 2, young Quentin Blonde was trying to extend the Blonde family speed in the next generation by blowing into the lead on the start. Blonde is in his early teens and in his 2nd year of sprints looking to carry the Blonde 5B car to a bright future. Blonde held off a late race charge from Lee Jacobs to take the win. Heat 3 was Butler's version of survivor. As the green flag waved, Brian Lay had a great run on the high side as Chad Blonde quickly trying forcing his way up the track to reach the high side. With heavy contact, Lay's machine hit the wall just past the flag stand as he flipped wildly down to turn 1. Emerging from his junk 45L machine, Lay wasn't too happy with Blonde's aggressive move in a meaning less heat race. Restart, Matt Merrill gets into turn 1 on the bottom and drives it in deep, sliding up the track and making heavy contact with Ken Mackey, sending Mackey flipping over the steep bank in turn 2. Mackey as well wasn't happy with Merrill's move on the start. Under the yellow, Ryan Kirkendall encounters a right front flat, ending his heat. As it looks like a 2 car heat now, Merrill rejoins the field with heavy wing damage. Chad Blonde bangs into the lead on the next restart with just 3 cars in heat. Blonde makes the already bad enough heat into a joke as he destroyed the field, lapping the 3rd place car, almost twice and just about lapped the 2nd place car in an 8 lap heat. Blonde wins over Merrill and Rocky LaPresto.

Brubaker and Blaney made up the front row in the 6 lap Dash that determined the top 3 rows of the A main by the finishing order. Blaney showed he's not messing around and shot to the lead on the start. Leading wire to wire, Blaney took the win and the pole for the A. As the teams got ready to line up for the A, the action was delayed a minute as Lay and Blonde exchanged Thanksgiving invites as the boys in blue made sure the invites were delivered properly. They didn't use to call the place " the battlegrounds" for just it's racing and this is the Bash. You can always count on Butler being entertaining, on and off the track.

17 cars made the call for the 30 lap A Main. Blaney and Brubaker paced the field to the green. In a huge shock to everyone, okay not really, Blaney quickly raced into the lead. Lap 2, Quentin Blonde flew over the banking in turn 4 for a yellow. Restart, Blaney leads as Brubaker and Jacobs battle for 2nd. Lap 5, Robert Bulloch spins in 2. It's all Blaney once the green light flashes on once again. Brubaker bobbles in 4 as Jacobs sneak past for 2nd, looking to run down Blaney. Jacobs closes in and is within 2 car lengths of Blaney. Lap 13, Cale Thomas does a 360 in turn 2 running 5th, keeps going as Mike Burns hits him and barely flops on his side. As the red waves, Blaney stops in 2. Sitting on the track for the red, LaPresto didn't see or hear or slow for the red any too quick and slams Blaney's stopped car, knocking LaPresto out for a moment. Once the cars refire, Blaney pushes off with a badly bent chassis in the back but, Dale is going to try and limp the car home with a bent chassis on just the 2nd race it's seen on a track. Green, Jacobs gets a run a tries a move but, Blaney defends the move and races off 2 in the lead. Dale opens up a 6 car length lead as Lee tries to recover and make another run at Blaney. Lap 22, Quentin Blonde spins again. Restart, it's all Blaney. Blaney seals the deal, leading flag to flag for the win. Jacobs, Brubaker, Doug Zimmerman, and Roger Campbell round out the top 5. A alright race. Jacobs made it interesting for a handful of laps, not handing the race to Blaney real easy. A quick program as the sprints were done by 10.

Butler did the 2 day show upright with a great band and free hog roast after the Friday night show. A large crowd enjoyed the extra activities as the band rocked out. It was announced to look for the event to take place next year as they try to establish a annual event with the same Friday style of events after the races as well. You gotta give them credit for trying to make it an event and not just a race in today's tough battle where several tracks are struggling and a handful closing the doors.

With the recent closure of Baer Field Speedway and Gas City I-69 Speedway in Indiana, let it be a serious warning to support your local tracks and even if the races weren't perfect that night or up to your standards, give them a break because we all know every once and a while a track will have a bad night. If they do, don't blast them non stop as we seen now a track as popular as Gas City can't make it happen under the new promotion team after many weeks of being bashed because of this and that and so on. Yes you pay good $$ to race or to watch but be happy you have a place to go local and don't bite the hand that feeds you too much because you look week after week another track is shutting it's doors due to low car counts and small crowds. Of course some don't get you need to promote and add just the simplest of things here and there to keep the fans walking through the gates because with all the options there is today in entertainment sometimes just the racing isn't enough to wow them.

Upcoming

Thursday USAC sprints Kokomo IN

Friday USAC sprints Kokomo IN, MTS Cherry MI

Saturday USAC sprints Kokomo IN, Renegade sprints Atomic OH, Must See Berlin MI

Thanks for reading Duane

 

 

 

It's been a whirlwind of a racing season for me so far this year. If mother nature would of cooperated this past weekend, I would of surpassed my entire 2013 race total for the year already in July. Trying to catch up and hopefully get back on a quicker columns, I'm sorry I'm about a week behind. After King's Royal weekend, I hit Lernerville for the Don Martin Classic on Tuesday, Bridgeport Speedway for the night of wings on Wednesday, Lincoln Speedway for the World of Outlaws on Thursday, Fonda Speedway Saturday, Utica Rome Speedway on Sunday, Eldora's NASCAR Truck race on Wednesday, Gas City on Friday, a Wayne County rain out Saturday after getting to the track, and a early rain out at Kokomo on Sunday where I had not left the house yet. Plus worked 7 days in that stretch too, I know it's the I've gone crazy tour this year. So I'm just going to highlight some of the events as it was my first visit to a few of the tracks.

The annual Don Martin race I thought brought a big crowd to Lernerville. I got there about 7:30 and was amazed how crowded the place seemed to be. With double WOO A mains, I was surprised at just over 30 cars on hand. With the finish of the first A main totally inverted, lead lap cars only, the 2nd A Main interesting to see who can race through the pack. A pretty good battle most of the race in the 1st A with Donny Schatz and Kerry Madsen. Dale Blaney made a late race charge towards the front after starting 17th in the A. Danny Holtgraver flipped with 2 to go. Under the red, Jack Sodeman Jr was attended to as a huge clump of mud came through the side of his car, breaking his leg. Schatz held on for the win in the 1st A.

17 cars was on the lead lap, so Cdy Darrah and Danny Dietrich was upfront in the 2nd A. Usually a better A, this year, the 2nd A wasnt as good as the first. Dietrich and Darrah battled a while but Darrah pretty much controlled the entire A that didn't see a lot of charging through the pack as the first A. Darrah took home a must needed win tho and made the PA natives happy. A decent show with just WOO that was over by 11 with 2 A's.

I made my first visit to New Jersey's Bridgeport Speedway on Tuesday after picking up the famous Jersey Sprint Nut and friend Tom and Zach. My first impression of Bridgeport was a huge place but nice facility. Now a 360 show in it's 3rd annual event, a nice field of 360s was on hand with a few 305s mixed in. The 305 s were so much slower on the huge 5/8th mile oval that it could have been dangerous at times. The heat races were pretty decent. Greg Hodnett drew the pole for the A and you put a big track professional on the pole, look out. Hodnett dominated the race, leading by about 8 seconds at times, Hodnett took an easy win. It was not a bad race, some good battles for 2nd to 5th and back farther in the pack. It wasn't a barn burner by any means but it was an alright show and I would return for sure.

My long awaited visit to PA's Lincoln Speedway finally happened for a Thursday night WOO visit with 39 cars in hand. I really liked Lincoln. With a tunnel to the infield you can stand real close to the inside guardrail and see the drivers work the wheel. The track was in excellent shape, fast and tacky. Some good heat race action and action all night long. In the A Main. Former Posse member Daryn Pittman had a great battle with Alan Krimes and Brian Montieth. The Edge, drove from 15th to dive under Pittman for the lead with about 10 to go. If Montieth waited to where he was so much faster in 1 and 2 on the high side to make a move, he would of flew past Pittman. Daryn was on the bottom and quickly changed his line to the high side, knowing The Edge was up there, taking his line away. Pittman drove away as Montieth battled with Krimes for 2nd once he fell back. Pittman took the win as Montieth and Krimes brought the local Posse home 2nd and 3rd. Lincoln is a must see in PA.

The trip to New York was for big block mods as I got to witness races in New York now, making it my 19th state to see races in. A ride along with friend Kevin, is there's a town just up the road journey but a fun one for sure. Going to watch and hang with Stewart Friesen made the trip well worth the visit. I was very shocked at Fonda and Utica that the fence was no bigger than there are for the few sprint car shows they have a season, way too low in my book. Fonda was the 2nd dustiest track I've seen, nothing compared to Hilltop a few years ago but Fonda is VERY close to it. A great time though and Fonda was a very good race. Utica was decent too. I like the lay out of Fonda old fairgrounds, covered grandstand, and right off the bridge where traffic going past can see the races. Utica was a nice show on a Sunday with quick program over before dark.

The truck race at Eldora was the Kyle Larson show. Just pay Larson 25 grand to show each year and the race will be great. If you wasn't a Larson fan before that race,you should be after if you like pure talent drivers. When a guy car launch a 3400 pound truck 6 inches in the air off turn 4 several times and then do slide jobs, bounce off the wall over 100 laps and still be the fastest truck in a truck that only had the roof not bent on it, he's got some skills.

Gas City beat mother natural and had their regular show Friday night. A very thin crowd and low car count was a surprise. 19 sprints and 17 midgets were on hand. The heats were okay but 6 car heats with all making the A, don't get too carried away in action. With that said, it was a tacky Gas City so of course there was some very good action.

Jerry Coons Jr and Robert Ballou had a great battle in the early stages of the sprint car A. Ballou took over as Coons never faded much. Ballou brought home his first 2014 Gas City win.

A exciting Midget A took a while to run with a few reds and many yellows. The track developed a rut in turn 1 and 2 that the midgets struggled with. A great A Main. Chett Gehrke lead as Ross Rankin and Lindsey Liguori gave Chett their all. Lindsey looked to have a faster car at times as Chett held off all her challenges for the lead. Ross Rankin got up on the wheel the final 5 laps and took 2nd away from Liguori late in the race.Gehrke took the win.

Thanks for reading
Duane

 

 

When the World of Outlaws are scheduled to hit Ohio 3 nights in one week, it means one of my most favorite weeks of the year, King's Royal week. The action kicked off Wednesday at the Limaland Motorsports Park for the prestigious Brad Doty Classic. Friday and Saturday the focus of the sprint car world moves to New Weston Ohio's Eldora Speedway for the Knight Before the King's Royal and the King's Royal.

Wednesday one of the most prestigious events on a WOO drivers calendar takes place as the annual Brad Doty Classic brings the WOO sprints to the 1/4 mile oval. 43 sprints are pit side for the popular event. With a late morning rain shower, the skies cleared and Mean Gene Frankert took to the track, drove the track in, then waterd it more, making it a super racing surface when the cars hit the oval. 19 of the the 43 cars on hand broke the track record in qualifying. David Gravel finally was the man that kept the record with quick time of the night.

The 4 heats seen the top 5 move to the A Main. In heat 1, the locals struck early as Dallas Hewitt darted into the at the wave of the green and held off several heavy hitters to take the win. Ian Madsen, Daryn Pittman, Gravel, and Brad Sweet moved into the A. Shane Stewart took the Larson Marks entry to victory lane in heat 2 over Paul McMahan, James McFadden, Kraig Kinser, and Cody Darrah who charged from dead last into the final transfer spot. An all Swindell front row in heat 3 seen father Sammy slam into the lead as he got the jump on his son Kevin in the through back 28D machine he was driving in honor of Doty. Sammy held on to win over Kevin, Joey Saldana, Rico Abreu, and Jason Sides. Looking good since hitting the ovals in Ohio, Aussie Jamie Veal took the win in heat 4 over Brandon Wimmer, Danny Holtgraver, Kerry Madsen, and Jac Haudsenschild.

Keeping the WOO only program a moving, the LMP crew took just a short break before the C Main hit the track. Trying to dig his way out of a deep hole, Tim Kaeding took the C Main win over Stuart Williams.

A young fan drew the number 8 for the invert of the Dash putting Veal and Sammy Swindell on the front row. Swindell looked super fast all night long in a brand new car he just put together that morning. Veal blew a engine trying to battle Swindell. Sammy slide to the win over Stewart and Madsen.

When you have a great field of cars, especially on a smaller track, the B Main is stacked as it is on this night. Dale Blaney has dominated the Ohio scene lately but found himself in the B. Dale made the most of it by holding off Randy Hannagan for the win. Bryan Sebetto aboard the Seeling 97 and with a great effort in a torrid battle, Brady Bacon raced into the final transfer spot. This kept Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser on the outside looking in until they quickly took a provisional. BTW to me provisionals suck!!! Plain and simple if you ain't good enough to work into the A that night, you should pack your car and watch like the others. To me the WOO championship is a joke. They only pay show up points for regular events, no special format shows, aka King's Royal, Knoxville, Gold Cup, Don Martin Classic, so it's the champ of the regular WOO shows which ranks the Doty in my book as the most prestigious regular points race of the year.

As the A was pushed off, Veal's team worked super hard and fast and got the 35 machine back on the track and ready for the A. With no time to adjust the car, the team had a shock issue as all the other cars were still pushing off so Veal pulled in the field as the crew changed a rear shock. Quickly the announcer was on it and the officials were quickly scrambling to make a decision since Veal was outside the work area that was still having cars pushed out of it. The WOO's, nothing on Limaland's part, WOO's solo, made a terrible ruling and DQ Veal from the A, not just sent to tail, total DQ allowing Sheldon Haudenschild to be added to the A in Veal's place, so Veal gets no A Main $$$ either after clearly being one of the best cars all night. I guess next time drivers should just park it sideways in the work area, which still was the push off area ad delay the show, which will probably get you DQ too. Wonder if it was a TSR or KKR car what the call would have been? Swindell and Stewart brought the field to the green in the 40 lap A Main. Sammy looked stout and ran to the high side, right up on the cushion and into the lead. Lap 2, Sheldon Haudsenschild rolls on his side after clipping a spinning Kevin Swindell. Restart, Sammy slams right up on the cushion all away around as others tries high, low, and all around. The battle heats up as McMahan closes on Swindell. Madsen enters the mix, as the 3 drivers battle, almost 3 wide at times in and out of traffic. Lap 12, McMahan leads, 13, Sammy leads as they battle back and forth. Just after lap 13 was complete, Darrah takes a nasty tumble off the exit of turn 4 after contact with Wimmer and Hewitt, collecting all 3. Darrah was up to 9th from 24th. Restart, the battle is back on as Sammy just stays 3 car lengths ahead of the pack. Lap 20, Holtgraver and Ian Madsen collied for a yellow. Double file restart again as Sammy picks the bottom. Green, Swindell gets another great bite off the bottom but quickly sticks the right rear up on the cushion it turn 1, running a few feet off the fence. Swindell seems to be struggling on entry as the race winds down and quickly it's a 3 car battle for the lead once again. Lap 31, McMahan takes the lead as Swindell quickly moves off the cushion searching for a bite down low. Sammy totally misses the bottom groove and drops back to 4th as Madsen chases McMahan. Schatz is screaming through the pack on the bottom now in the top 5. McMahan holds tight and takes the win over Madsen, Pittman, Schatz, up from 25th, and McFadden, up from 14th. Great race and great racing all night. Plus, just after 10 and we was out the gates and headed home.

Friday 49 WOO Sprints and 34 NRA sprints tow to the Eldora Speedway for the Knight Before the King's Royal. Joey Saldana set the pace with quick time in the WOO sprints and Tim Hunter in the NRA 360s.

A 5 heat format for the WOOs with the top 4 moving to the A, made for some guys trying what they could to get to the front. The Wild Child thrilled the large crowd by taking heat 1 over Cody Darrah, Tim Shaffer, and Joey Saldana. David Gravel kinda got a gift handed to him in heat 2 after pole sitter Danny Holtgraver got called for a jumped start. Gravel took over the pole position and grabbed the lead. Paul McMahan blew an engine running a strong 2nd. Gravel took the win over Holtgraver, Logan Schuchart, and Kraig Kinser. The only thing slowing Steve Kinser in heat 3 was 2 Jason Sides spins. Kinser took the win over Shane Stewart, Kerry Madsen, and Greg Wilson in a great battle for 4th with Tim Kaeding. Daryn Pittman took the win in heat 4 over Brandon Wimmer, Caleb Helms, who got docked a row for jumping a start, and Cole Duncan. Chad Kemenah took a great win after some struggles this season in heat 5 over Brad Sweet, Donny Schatz, and Sammy Swindell.

With just a handful of cars making the C Main call Austen Wheatley took the win over Jacob Allen.

Tim Shaffer and Sammy Swindell battled in the Dash with Shaffer passing Swindell at he half way point, cruising on to the win over Swindell, Madsen, and Saldana.

Shaffer and Swindell paced the field to green in the 30 lap A Main. Shaffer slide to the lead as was looking good. Swindell ran right up on the skinny cushion, just inches off the fence and quickly ran Shaffer down. A great battle as Shaffer and Swindell go at it, the top 5 are almost nose to tail, battling in and out of traffic. Swindell works on Shaffer but is fending off Saldana, Madsen, and Stewart as well. Lap 14, Swindell takes the lead. Lap 16, 3rd Saldana slows with a flat rear tire. Swindell gets a good restart but slows again for a lap 18 caution for Duncan. Restart, Swindell sweeps into the lead again as the pack races tightly together. Madsen runs into Gravel, sending Gravel a spinning, who collect Wilson in the incident. Next restart, Wimmer gets high in 4 and junks the 24H Hammer ride with a nasty flip. It was so hard it knocked the engine out of the car, side lining the 24H for the weekend. Restart, Swindell once again gets a splendid start and actually breaks away from the pack a little. Shaffer and Madsen hold solid as Swindell clicks the laps off. As the laps wind down, Shaffer, Madsen, and Stewart gain on Sammy. Getting closer and closer the gap is very narrow as Swindell run flawless on the cushion. Swindell stays strong and takes the win. Shaffer in a solid run, Madsen, Stewart, and Pittman round out the top 5. This was Sammy's 36th Eldora win and gives him 106 top 5s in 171 career Eldora starts.

Saturday 47 cars entered the gates of the famous Eldora Speedway for the 31st annual King's Royal. Making my 31st one as well, I really like the special format. 6 heats, top 3 move to A, invert 4, winner of heat 1, fastest heat, starts 6th in A, winner of heat 2, starts 5th, and so on. Then 2nd in heat 1 starts 7th, 2nd in heat 2 starts 8th and so on. The after the heats, the fastest 2 cars that wasn't transferred to A yet starts 19th and 20th. Then last 4 spots are filled from the B main. Makes each spot worth a ton.

Starting the night off with a crowd pleaser, The King, Steve Kinser took a popular win in heat 1 over Kerry Madsen and Rico Abreu. Adding some local flavor into the mix, Greg Wilson held off some heavy hitters taking the win in heat 2 over Kevin Swindell and Brian Brown. Rocking the place like a hurricane, Randy Hannagan took the win in heat 3 over Sammy Swindell and Brad Sweet. Shane Stewart looked stellar in heat 4 taking the win over Daryn Pittman and Jason Meyers. Donny Schatz spoiled a great run from PA Posse member Brent Marks by passing Marks and taking the win. Dale Blaney worked his way into the A with a 3rd place run in heat 5. David Gravel was a quick winner at Eldora after landing the Roth ride early in the season and kept it a rolling in heat 6 taking the win. Paul McMahan and Jason Sides raced into the A. Some decent heats with cars making the A starting in the 3rd row and winners coming from the 2nd row, more passing at times than normal WOO heats usually produce.

Travis Philo holds off a surprise C Main entrant The Wild Child, Jac Haudenschild for the win. Big shows always have some big hitters struggling and putting them into the lower mains to try and run through them to the big show.

Logan Schuchart took control of the B Main as a wild battle unfolded for the 4th and final transfer spot. Schuchart takes the win as Christopher Bell, Kraig Kinser, and a wild 3 car battle on the last lap seen Tim Kaeding make heavy contact with James McFadden in the battle, with Joey Saldana close by, putting McFadden in the wall TK raced on to the final transfer spot. Saldana got the latest previous winner provisional spot to not make the A via the regular program, 25th starting position.

Gravel and Schatz paced the field to the starting line in he chase for royalty. Gravel grabs the massive crowds attention as he races into the lead. Gravel looks great as Schatz gets to rolling and they battle the first handful of laps very closely. Lap 9, Donny slips past and takes the lead. Lap 10, Schuchart spins. Gravel and Schatz resume battle and Gravel grabs the lead again on lap 11 but Madsen is in beast mode. Charging from 6th to 1st from the restart to lap 13, the Madman is flying on the high side. Madsen quickly pulls away and is just hammer down. Kevin Swindell looks like he's making charge at times, hitting a groove in 1&2 that no one seems to be as fast as him in. As the laps wind down, Schatz and Gravel close in a bit. Lap 33, Sweet stops and Hannagan's ride has major flames from the engine region. Restart, the battle is on as Schatz tries to make a move but the Madman is on a rail. Lap 38, Stewart stops and the red flys for a fuel stop. Restart, Madsen seals the deal and the newly documented American citizen took the win. It was still huge for a lifelong Aussie, up to a few weeks ago, to win a major event in the US. Madsen had an amazing interview as showed how much the win meant to him, what sprint car racing means to him, and just how much effort and commitment this sport takes. If you wasn't a Madsen fan before, you can't help but be a little after his speech. Schatz, Gravel, Kevin Swindell, and McMahan rounded out the top 5.

 


 

As the 4th of July weekend approached, we have reached the midway point of the racing season, with some tracks already in their later stages of the season. With the 4th of July on a Friday, many tracks ran special events over the long holiday weekend. Taking a rare break from hitting all the races I could in a weekend, I still managed to hit Waynesfield Motorsports Park Thursday for their huge Bob Reynolds Memorial race and Attica Raceway Park on Friday. With just two races in the books for the weekend, I took the rest of the weekend off to hit the Motley Cre concert in Indy and a day of R&R before going full tilt here again the next few weeks.

Thursday, growing bigger and bigger each year so far, the 3rd annual Bob Reynolds Memorial race promoted by Ron Hammond boasted a $7500 paycheck with $700 being paid just to start the A. 40 360 sprint cars made the trip to Waynesfield for the event. A stacked field of talented too boot. The pill draw system was used to line up the heats.

4 10 car heats with the top 4 moving into the A Main. Young Chase Ridenour slowed heat 1 as he coasted to a stop after running in a transfer spot. Christopher Bell looked super strong on the Marshall 33, taking the win ove teammate of the night Sheldon Haudenschild in the other Marshall 33, Brandon Wimmer, up from dead last, and Ryan Ruhl holding on to the final transfer spot. A decent heat race. Bryan Sebetto picked up a new ride a week ago and slide the Seeling 97 car to the lead in heat 2. Florida's Kyle Pitts spun as Parker Price Miller brushed Pitts as he sat stopped in turn 4. Restart, it was all Sebetto upfront, running away with the win. Jared Horstman, Derek Hager, from the last row, and Gary Taylor raced their way into the A. Coming off a trip to the hospital the week before, Dustin Stroup slipped into the lead of heat 3. Paul Dues slows the pace with a spin. Under the yellow, Aussie hot shoe James McFadden had worked from 8th to 4th in just a few laps but would pull pit side with a flat rear tire. Restart, Stroup gave it his all in a close one beating another Aussie gasser Jamie Veal, JR Stewart, and with a late race move, Greg Wilson, from the back row. Randy Hannagan is always one of the top cars to beat in the 360 ranks as he shows it once again in heat 4 by running away and spanking the field. Hannagan wins over Kyle Sauder, Dustin Daggett, and Max Stambaugh. The heats were pretty good races with 3 of the 4 showcasing drivers racing up from the back row into transfer spots.

2 Dashes were ran with the 16 drivers won transferred into the A Main. Each dash has 8 cars with the finishing order of Dash 1 making up in the inside row on the A Main and Dash 2 finishing order making up the outside starting row of the A. Bell tried to battle teammate Haudenschild in the 1st dash but spins out, falling to the tail. Haudenschild lead flag to flag to take the win and earn the pole position for the A. Hannagan and Taylor battled hard in the 2nd dash with Taylor scoring somewhat of an upset win over Hannagan, earning the outside row 1 A Main starting position.

2 B Mains with the top 2 tagging the back rows of the A. After suffering back luck in his heat, McFadden was on a mission in B1, charging from 8th to the lead. The only thing slowing him was a Roberts and a Sneed spin. McFadden takes the win over Nate Dussel in the 3rd Ron Hammond car making the A Main. Butch Schroeder blasted to the lead in B2. A spin by Dancer and one by Pitts slowed the action. Schroeder cruised out front and took the win over a Devin Dobie who thrilled the packed house with a last lap pass for the final transfer spot.

Haudenschild and Taylor brought the field to green in the 40 lap A Main. Haudenschild hugged the bottom and took the lead. Lap 3, Daggett slowed to a stop. Restart, Haudenschild maintains the lead but the battle us quickly on as Wilson and Hannagan close in on the leader. An epic 3 car battle, 3 wide at several points, brought the crowd to the edge of their seats. As the lead triplets worked in and out of traffic they stayed glued together from lap 11 to 19 before Haudenschild broke free by just a car length. Wilson regains his groove a few laps later and makes a move for the lead. Lap 23, Wilson whips into the lead. Haudenschild slips up just a bit and Wilson opens the gap. Working traffic like a boss, Wilson stretches the lead lap after lap. Hager now battles Haudenschild for 2nd and quickly works past Sheldon, looking for Wilson. Hager gains sone serious ground on Wilson the final 6 laps but Wilson can't be denied and takes home a much needed win. Hager, Haudenschild, Veal, and Hannagan round out the top 5. A good race and very good night of racing.

After catching up on some much needed rest Friday, I decided I couldn't just stay home and headed to Attica Raceway Park late Friday afternoon for the FAST 410s and 305 sprints. It was $10 night for a 4 division show. Pulling into Attica just before hot laps, a excellent crowd was on hand along with a very nice field of cars. 26 410 and 23 305 sprints were ready to fire it up on Independence Day.

All kinds of issues in hot laps as Dean Jacobs pops an engine as Todd Heller, Rodney Hurst, and Travis Philo all have car issues in hot laps.

3 heats for the 410 sprints, top 5 to the A. Caleb Griffith slows to a stop in heat 1. Restart, a great heat race unfolds as race long leader Byron Reed gets ran down and passed on the last lap by Caleb Helms. Helms takes the win in the thriller over Reed, Brandon Martin, Cap Henry, and Duane Zablocki. The only thing slowing Cole Duncan in heat 2 was a Taylor Ferns spin. Duncan ran away from the pack in this one leading flag to flag for the win. Jamie Veal, Brian Lay, Jody Keegan, and Dain Naida transfer to the A. Travis Philo rebounded from early issues and held off a closing Bryan Sebetto for the win. Chris Andrews, Stuart Brubaker, and Jim Nier, with a late pass, transfer. Paul Dues slowed the heat with a spin.

Same deal as the 410s, 3 305 heats with the top 5 moving to the A. Dan Hennig brought out the caution in heat 1 with a spin. To repeat heat 1 of the 410s, Nate Dussel ran down race long leader Dustin Dinan and made a last lap pass to take the win. Dinan, Bobby Clark, Tyler Gunn, and Ricky Peterson move into the A. Steve Rando roared into the lead of heat 2 and never looked back, taking the win over Jason Keckler, Seth Schneider, Dan McCarron, and Trey Jacobs. Kurt Huber spins in heat 3 for a caution. Restart, a great battle all race long as Jordan Ryan nips John Ivy for the win. TJ Michael, Kyle Capodice, and Luke Griffith race into the A.

With a few scratches, half the B Main, top 5, transfer to the A for the 410s. Dues couldn't get the handle of Attica and spins in the B after all but spinning a handful of times before he finally did. Griffith didn't let a bad heat race slow him down as he ran away with the win in this one. Stuart Williams, Cale Thomas, Heller, and Ferns transfer into the A.

After 1 car scratched in the 305 division, the ARP staff stepped up and added 2 cars to the A, canceling the B Main.

Lay and Veil paced the field in the 30 lap 410 A. Lay leaps into the lead as the field takes the green. Before lap 1 is complete, young Thomas spins. With a complete restart, Lay lights it up again and takes the lead. Lay had been super stout all year and quickly opens up a 4 car length lead. Lay quickly enters traffic as Andrews races into 2nd. Lap 9, Thomas looked very well early, spins again and is pushed pit side being parked for the night after his 2nd spin. Lay gets a good restart as Andrews starts to make some noise. Lap 13, Andrews takes over the lead with ease. Philo finds the wall in turn 4 for a yellow. Andrews gets an awesome restart and pulls away. Lap after lap, Andrews is all alone upfront. Helms takes over 2nd and tries to run down Andrews. Lap 25, Martin stops for a yellow. 5 to go, it's all Andrews on the restart. Lay and Helms battle for 2nd. Andrews pads his FAST points lead and takes the win. Lay, Helms, Reed, and Sebetto round out the top 5. An alright race.

Capodice and Clark brought the field to green in the 25 lap 305 A. Capodice cruises to the lead as the green light kicks on. Looking good upfront, the rookie leads the first few laps until Clark takes over on lap 3. Clark pulls away just a few car lengths as Capodice and Dinan follow. Lap 12, Dussel spins in turn 4 as the caution light flashes on. Restart, Clark maintains and pulls away once again. Lap 15, Schneider slips off the top of 4 into the wall by the push off lane. Restart, it's still Clark as the rest of the field settles in. 8 laps to go, Ryan starts to reel Clark in inch by inch. 5 to go, the gap is tighter. 3 to go, Ryan is looking to make a move. White flag a waving as they cross the line nose to tail. Into 1, Ryan dives in low super deep, pulls side by side with Clark in the middle of 1 and 2, they slightly bumps wheels as Ryan races off 2 in the lead. Clark tries to make a run into 3. Ryan excites the large crowd taking the win with a last lap pass. Clark, Rando, Dinan, and Michael round out the top 5. A very good race.

Many people, me included, have been seeing this Cale Thomas name popping up here and there this season a handful of times. So I had to investigate just who this was after hearing he was new to sprint cars and had made an All Star A Main at Atomic and looked decent in his first Attica trip, well until the A when he struggled a bit. Cale is a young 16 year old racer who was in just his 7th sprint car race ever. Cale raced micro sprints a handful of times in 2011 before running full seasons in 2012 and 2013. He also has 2 Silvercrown starts this season with a 7th place finish his best to date. Looks like another young gun to keep on your radar with looking that good in just a few races behind a wheel of a sprint car.

Upcoming

Wednesday WOO Lima OH Brad Doty Classic

Friday WOO Eldora, USAC Sprints Gas City IN, MTS Cherry MI

Saturday WOO Eldora (King's Royal) USAC Sprints Kokomo IN, AVSS New Paris IN, MTS Merritt MI, Must See Sprints Berlin MI

Sunday USAC Sprints Lawrenceburg IN

One of my favorite weeks! Royal week!! See u at Lima and Eldora Thanks for reading Duane

 

 

 

The 32nd annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek opened up last weekend for 9 straight nights of racing. Hitting 8 different venues in 9 nights, Speedweek always seems to draw a good amount of cars and a few surprise visitors.

Friday, the All Stars were set to open Ohio Speedweek at the Attica Raceway Park. After avoiding the rain from late morning on, the ARP crew worked to get the track in shape and wasn't letting the program be lost. Just as the pit gates were set to open, a huge down pour that flooded pit lane and soaked an already wet track, pit area, and parking lot, the show had to be cancelled as it was now too far gone to get race ready for the night.

Saturday, it was off to the BOSS show at Pittsburgh Motor Speedway. After a morning call to the track and saying the track was good to go and then post at noon by the track saying the track is set for the gates to open at 4. Then bam at 3PM, the event gets cancelled for a wet infield from the early morning rain. A huge waste of money for a low budget traveling group that had 97% of it's regulars on the road already for 3 to 6 hours. Just to make the show that was said to be in good shape. Hopefully tracks that could carless about racers such as this one will disappear off the BOSS schedule or only get a date if they pay $500 to start to make up for a phantom rain out. There's no shame in calling off early if you are unsure but don't tell teams for 6 hours you are racing and then decide oh it's too wet when teams already have $300 to $500 invested in fuel and toll road fees that is now just a total waste on a bright sunny day that hadn't seen rain since early morning.

Sunday, after getting their Speedweek show in at Eldora Speedway, the sun was out at Waynesfield Motorsports Park for the All Stars next leg of Speedweek. A great field of 45 sprints were putting heat in their engines getting ready for the program. Andrew Palker got in the fence hard and flipped in hot laps, ending his night. Stuart Brubaker stayed upright after tagging the wall in hot laps. With Dave Blaney unofficially turning the fastest timed lap in WMP history, the track was looking good. In qualifying, it was the younger of the Blaney brothers, Dale Blaney setting quick time of the night. Caleb Armstrong was struggling all during hot laps with cutting the turns way short and finally tagged a infield tire in qualifying, breaking his front end.

4 heats with the top 5 moving into the A Main. Kevin Swindell swooped into the lead on the start of heat but as he went blasting into turn 3, the Bulldog got up in the loose cushion and tagged the guardrail and flipped wildly. Restart, Cole Duncan and Brandon Wimmer battle upfront for the lead. Wimmer finally wrestles away the lead. James McFadden is charging through the pack, gaining on the leaders after moving into 4th. Armstrong has more issues in turn 3 spinning, as he stopped on the track, McFadden slams into Armstrong. Wimmer holds on for the lead to take the win over Duncan, Dale Blaney, Cap Henry, and Travis Philo. Chad Kemenah held off a super fast Danny Dietrich to take the win in heat 2. Following Dietrich, who charged up from 6th, Greg Wilson, Danny Holtgraver, and Brubaker transfer to the A. Taylor Ferns slowed heat 3 after brushing the wall and coming to a stop. After a good battle with Lee Jacobs, The Wild Child, Jac Haudenschild thrilled the crowd with a late race pass to take the lead. Haud raced to the win over Jacobs, Shane Stewart, Darren Mollenoyux, and Stevie Smith. After a bad start, pole sitter Paul May was sent back a row for the restart. Caleb Helms hammered the throttle and took the lead on the restart. The only thing slowing Helms was a Dallas Hewitt spin. Helms took the win over Jamie Veal, Gary Taylor, Tim Shaffer, and Byron Reed. Some good heat races on a tricky track that was super slick in 3 and 4 and had a big cushion in 1 and 2.

With a large field of cars, the C Main was up next with the top 2 moving into the B. Cole Ketcham rolled to a stop for a caution in the C. Local 360 racer Max Stambaugh stomped the C taking the win over Jack Fee.

PA Posse invader Danny Dietrich dominated the Dash, taking the win and earning the pole for the A. Cap Henry held off Dave Blaney for 2nd at the line.

Christopher Bell blasted by Ron Blair on the start of the B to take the lead. As Bell cruised out front, Derek Hagar was hurrying through the pack from deep in the field. A decent battle in the B as Bell went on to win over Sheldon Haudenschild, Hager, up from 13th, and Blair.

Deitrich and Henry paced the 24 car field to the green in the 40 lap A Main. Dietrich darted into the lead as the pack raced into turn 1. Lee Jacobs gets airborne off the top of turn 2 and all but flips slowing the pace on lap 3. Restart, Dietrich looks excellent and pulls away with the leas as Reed and Blaney battle for 2nd behind the leader. Dietrich has 3 wins in the stout Central PA region so far this season and was looking to add a Ohio victory to that total as he stretched his lead. Reed starts to find his groove and starts to close on Dietrich as 12 laps are in the books. Lap 15, Henry spins in turn 2 on his own while running in the 4th spot. As the car were rolling down the backstretch on the restart, Taylor coast to a stop. Reed gets an excellent start and battles Dietrich for the lead. This is the first real pressure Dietrich has felt for the lead as he battles side by side with Reed. Just as Reed takes the lead, Bell spins on lap 17, collecting Wimmer, bringing a yellow out. Green, the battle is on again as Reed quickly goes after Dietrich. An excellent race is unfolding as the duo battles side by side, for the next several laps, Dietrich right on the high side slim cushion in 3 and 4 and Reed in the middle to bottom of the track. Reed gets a slider to stick on Dietrich, takes the lead, sticking in on the high side going into 3 as Dietrich tries a cross over move to regain the lead, Henry spins directly in front of Reed collecting Byron and taking him out of the battle as Reed slams into Henry. Reed quickly exits the car and tells Cap how much he appreciates his 3rd spin of the night. A red for a fuel stop is thrown under this caution. Just before the car are to re-fire, Stevie Smith who had worked up to 3rd with no brakes, was told he had to go to the tail for holding up the restart as his crew finished putting brake fluid in the car and was told they had to be the first car pushed off. I never knew a certain car was labeled the first car to be fired and if it wasn't they had to go to the tail. I've seen several cars get pushed from at random every restart so not sure why Smith got screwed on this one. Restart, Dietrich looks stout still and races away into the lead and the crowd sees Stewart move into the top 10 after starting on the last row. Blaney starts to get his mojo a rolling and lurks behind Dietrich. As the laps quickly pass by, Blaney is there, applying pressure to Dietrich as Veal is turning some heads charging into the top 5. Blaney inches his nose under the lead as the come off 4 to complete lap 34. Dietrich makes a super aggressive move entering 1 to block Blaney but he pitches his car too hard into the turn, spinning the car and handing Blaney the lead. Restart, it's all Blaney as The Wild Child and Veal now battle for 2nd. As they battle, Blaney is on cruise control and races off into the night. Blaney takes the win as Veal takes 2nd, up from 15th, Haudenschild, Stewart, up from 23rd, and Philo round out the top 5. A good night of racing. Good heats and an epic 7 lap battle in the A until a lapped car ruined that one. All in all another excellent Speedweek stop at The Field.

Upcoming

Wednesday MTS Plymouth IN, All Stars Atomic OH

Thursday All Stars Fremont OH

Friday All Stars Lima OH, AVSS Dixie MI,

Saturday All Stars Fremont OH, SOD Merritt MI, MSCS Haubstadt IN, King Of The Wings Berlin MI, Buckeye 305s Sandusky OH

Thanks for reading Duan

 

 

Last week one of my favorite weeks of the year was upon us as I checked the weather very often to make sure all was good. Indiana USAC Midget Week is 5 nights at 5 different tracks with traditional sprints as the support division each night. Midget week seems to get bigger and bigger each year and all you gotta do is attend any of it's events and you can see why. I would love to see someone put up a bonus program for Midget Week. Adding to the fun of Midget Week, there was 7 people in our group chasing the week, 4 of which have never been to any races in Indiana, Jersey Sprint Nut headed to Indiana for the week along with friends from Kansas that I meet at the Chili Bowl and sold Midget Week to them all week and some of Jersey's friends from Colorado.

The 10th annual USAC Midget Week was set to kick off Wednesday at the Gas City I-69 Speedway. With rain all around the area and hitting the track off and on, mother nature finally ruined opening night by dumping too much moisture on the speedway.

Thursday, Indiana's USAC Midget Week kicked off at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville. 44 USAC Midgets and 23 traditional sprints were unloaded and ready to roll. After starting almost an hour late, due to the track being watered super heavy and just not getting it to pack in right away, the cars finally hit the track. Justin Peck flipped hard in turn 2 during hot laps. Peck's week was over as Justin received a concussion. With the track building a big thick heavy cushion about 2/3rd up the track in 1 and 2 and just half way up in 3 and 4, Rico Abreu made his return to racing after suffering a broken collar bone that required surgery just 3 weeks ago. Abreu picked up where he left off setting quick time of the night.

The 3 sprint car heats, taking the top 5 were ran first, trying to get the track ran in more and widen the track as the cushion wasn't very far up the track. Some very good racing in the sprint heats seen a last lap pass for a win, drivers coming from the last row into a transfer spot, and tight close action through the heats. Chad Boespflug won heat 1 over Max McGhee, Brian Karraker, Shane Cottle, and Logan Jarrett. Heat 2 seen Christopher Bell win over Jerry Coons Jr, Dave Darland, Chris Gurley, and Shelby Vangilder. Kent Christian took a popular win in heat 3 holding off Jon Stanbrough, Casey Shuman, Brady Short, and Aaron Farney for the win.

The 4 midget heats featured some real good racing on a track with a thick heavy cushion and a bit rough on the edge of it. With just the top 4 finishers heading to the A, drivers were trying what all they could to earn a transfer spot. Several tight battles, with a lot of passing and some drivers pushing the edge. Brock Maskovich got on his lid in heat 1. Christopher Bell took a nasty tumble in heat 1 trying to slingshot the field on the cushion as it bit him and threw him for a nasty tumble, ending his night as he was shaken up. James Eden flipped in heat 2. Heat 1 Rico Abreu took the lead late in the race to win over Tanner Thorson, Domain Ramsey, and Thomas Meseruall up from 9th. Heat 2, Bryan Clauson lead flag to flag over Steve Buckwalter, Michael Pickens, and Tracy Hines. Heat 3, Colten Cottle took the win over Brady Bacon, Dave Darland, and Brenden Bright. The other Bright brother took heat 4 as Alex took the win over Tyler Courtney, Parker Price-Miller, and Chris Windom. 3 of the 4 heat seen drivers past the top 6 invert move into the A.

The B Mains were up next. 5 of the 7 sprint cars would transfer to the A. On a week night program that started an hour late you would think the promoter would just add the 2 extra cars to the B and scrap it but no such luck as I've seen other tracks do this. I guess a track that pays the same from 9th to 20th already in the A Main couldn't afford the extra few $$$. In a non eventful sprint B, Domain Ramsey took the win over Kody Kinser, Daylen Chambers, Ethan Fleetwood, and Mark Gass.

A 25 car midget B seen the top 6 move to the A. With everyone trying to get all the spots they could on the start, this one took a while with several incidents. Austin Brown and Jaimie McKinlay both flipped in separate incidents. When it was all said and done, AJ Felker took the win over Damion Gardner, Garrett Aitken, Justin Grant, Ronnie Gardner, and Nathan Smee.

Buckwalter and Thorson brought the field to green in the 30 lap midget A Main. Thorson throws it into turn 2 too hard and hit the rough stuff and spins collecting Bacon and Alex Bright. Complete restart, Grant and Brenden Bright tangle in turn 2. Not a good night for the Bright family. Finally, green and no wrecks. Darland dives into the lead. Darland sets a quick pace running just below the cushion as the field looks for the fast line. Pickens uses his bounce off the cushion style to make a move towards the front from mid pack. Clauson is on the move as well. A great battle upfront as Darland, Abreu, and Hines battle. Rico looks faster and tries the cushion but can't keep car on the rough stuff with his injury. After giving him every shot he had, Rico settles for running in 2nd as Hines starts to battle him and Darland. In a tight one upfront, Darland holds on to win over Hines, Abreu, Clauson, up from 18th, and Pickens, up from 12th round out the top 5.

With rain everywhere in the area but at the track, the 25 lap sprint car A Main hits the surface. Tyler Courtney subbed for the shaken Bell and was moved to the tail of the A. Boespflug and Christian paced the field as they reached the starting line. Boespflug blasted to the lead, running right on the cushion. Chad started to quickly pull away from the pack as Cottle worked the low line. As most drivers made it a one lane huggy pole race due to the rough cushion that bit several all night, Boespflug was running on the ragged edge, bouncing around the cushion, at times all but losing control. This one was all Boespflug leading flag to flag in the nonstop event with not one challenge for the lead. Boespflug wins over Cottle, up from 9th, Shuman, Coons, and Stanbrough rounded out the top 5.

As the sun was bright and beautiful it was Friday the 13th as Midget Week moved to the Bloomington Speedway for night 2. The red clay was ready for the 39 midgets and 31 sprint cars that towed through the gate. Keeping the Kunz team at the top of the speed charts, Tanner Thorson set quick time of the night in midget qualifying.

Same of night 1, the 4 midget heats were stacked, taking just the top 4 to the A. Some great heat race action in the midgets once again seen plenty of passing and close tight battles, even some contact here and there. Seemed like a few drivers forced the issue a bit harder on this night, knocking some guys in their way off the track. Jaimie McKinley got upside down in heat 2, flipping for the 2nd night in a row. On a much smooth track than night 1, a little more action with less incidents, just a few as drivers battled hard and made contact. Zach Daum took heat 1 over Chris Windom, Bryan Clauson, and Thorson. Dave Darland narrowly held off Christopher Bell, back from being shaken up on night 1, for the win as Steve Buckwalter, and Parker Price- Miller transfer in heat 2. Tracy Hines hustled to the win in heat 3 over Kevin Thomas Jr, AJ Felker, and Alex Bright. Rico Abreu took heat 4 over Nathan Smee, Trey Marcham, and Damion Gardner.

The sprints drew for their starting spots in their 4 heat races. The top 4 moved into the A. Shane Cottle had a good battle with Chase Briscoe to win heat 1 as Jordan Kinser, from last, and Seth Parker made the transfer. Brady Short ran away with the win in heat 2 over Tyler Courtney, Carson Short, and Logan Jarrett. An excellent heat 3 seen Jeff Bland make a late race pass on the high side to take the win over Jon Stanbrough, Casey Shuman, and Chris Babcock, both from the last row. Dave Darland cruised to the win in heat 4 over Aaron Farney, Bud Cummins, and Eric Edwards.

Another big field in the midget B moved the top 6 once again to the A. The action continued as the drivers battled to earn an A Main spot, some trying not to make it 2 nights in a row that they load up early. Midget week is just awesome as the talent runs deep in the field with many travelers hitting the week as well. Michael Pickens held off Brady Bacon, Seth Mosinger, Tyler Courtney, Justin Grant, and Brock Maskovich for the win.

4 drivers would move from the sprint B to the A. A decent B main seen some good battles, especially for the final transfer position. Nick Bilbee took the win over Kent Christian, Ethan Barrow, and Domain Ramsey barely taking the final transfer position.

Damion Gardner and Windom paced the field in the 30 lap midget A. As the field raced past the flag stand on the start, Gardner grabbed the lead racing into turn 1. Lap 4, Thorson slide off the top of turn 2 for a yellow. Bell quickly pressured Gardner on the restart as they battled side by side. Bell took the lead on lap 5. Bell opened up the lead a bit as Windom held tough upfront and Rico and Clauson worked towards the leader. Lap 11, Felker halts the action with a flip. Restart, Bell leads as Abreu and Clauson now close in. Rico tries the high side again but can't make it work. Trying high and low, Rico just can't get close enough to make a bid for the lead. Lap 27, Alex Bright spins after a bolt falls out of his front end, collapsing the front of his 77 machine. Lap 28, Courtney spins. A 2 lap shootout but it's all Bell. Bell rebounded from a ugly flip Thursday to win night 2 over Abreu, Clauson, Windom, and Thorson who made a great charge after a lap 4 incident.

Darland and Bland brought the 20 car sprint A Main field to the green. Darland darted into the lead as Short quickly was in his tire tracks. From lap 2 to 10, these 2 drivers ran side by side, Darland high, Short low, lap for lap, as they fought for the lead. They raced just feet apart at times, never making contact. Lap 10, Short finally got the bottom to come in and charged into the lead. Darland held tight the next few laps as Short started to pull away. Short showed his Bloomington strength as he opened a huge lead, running away from the pack. No one had a thing for Brady as he sailed to the win over Darland, Briscoe, Cottle, and Bland. A great race the first 10 laps, a snoozer after that point on.

After part of our group decided to head to Paragon and opt out of night 3 of Midget Week, I loaded team Kansas in the car and headed to The Burg for night number 3 of Indiana Midget Week. Another great field as 35 midgets and 27 sprints were set to attack the huge 3/8th oval. With the track super smooth, the cars were flying around the surface. You could tell, we were on for a treat. After the 1st hot lap session, the Kansas crew looked at me and said holy shit are you kidding me, this place is awesome. Being use to big track back home, they was amazed at the speed at Lawrenceburg. Kevin Thomas Jr took a wild tumble on lap 2 of his qualifying effort. For the 2nd night in a row, Tanner Thorson set quick time of the night for the midgets.

As the previous nights, 4 midgets heat with the top 4 moving to the A. With the track smooth and just right, wet but not too wet, slicked up just enough, and the cushion wayyyyyyyyyy up the bank, the midget heats were excellent. Slide jobs, fast close tight racing, that just kept you into each heat. Great racing!! Dave Darland took heat 1 over Christopher Bell, Chris Windom, and Thorson. Issac Chapple flipped in heat 2. Rico Abreu won in a barn burner over Shane Cottle, AJ Felker, and Tracy Hines. Zach Daum and Bryan Clauson had a great battle as Alex Bright was in the hunt as well in heat 3. Daum took the w over Clauson, Bright, and Domain Ramsey. Brady Bacon had the only run away win in heat 4 over Michael Pickens, Tyler Thomas, and Jaimie McKinlay who finally kept it upright.

Not to be out done by the midgets, the 3 sprint car heats were featured excellent racing as well. With the top 5 moving on to the A, the action was all over the place. Great sprint car heats, just adding to an amazing night of racing so far. Kevin Thomas Jr took heat 1 over Chris Windom, Chad Boespflug, Ted Hines, and Josh Moffett. Robert Ballou held off a charging CJ Leary to win heat 2 as Kody Kinser, Shawn Westerfield, and Justin Grant transfer. Dave Darland drove from the last row to make a late race pass on Landon Simon to take the win in heat 4. Eric Semple, Travis Hery, and David Applegate raced into transfer positions.

The racing kept being great as the midget B Main was a good one. More great battles as the pack fought it out for the top 6 spots. Trey Marcham muscled out the win over Alex Shutte, Brock Maskovich, Kevin Thomas Jr, regrouping after his hard flip earlier, Ronnie Gardner, and Brenden Bright.

Track promotor Dave Rudisell once again showed why he's one of the top promotors in the business as he decided to forgo the Sprint car B and put all the cars in the A. Even after a few scratches, that's a 25 car A Main. Excellent move by Dave to try and help keep the weekly car counts strong at The Burg.

Alex Bright and Hines lead the field to green in the 30 lap midget A Main. Pickens quickly pulled his 3 machine up on the cushion, just a foot off the fence, and shoot to the lead from 4th on the start. Being a track of high speed and right up against the fence for a cushion, you had to be up on the wheel in this one. A great battle upfront as Pickens leads and Bright races just a few car lengths behind. Abreu looks strong once again as he and Hines battle upfront as well. Looking to change his luck on the week Bright is inches away from Pickens as they battle in and out of traffic, slide jobs here and there the a great race was unfolding. The fast cars where pulling huge sliders from just off the bottom of the track, high up to just a foot off the wall. Bright gets a run into 1, throws a huge slider on Pickens sticks in it in 2 , right against Pickens as Michael is balls deep in the cushion trying to hold on as Bright pinches him, contact and Pickens is in the fence as Bright pulls away. Bright is the new leader as Pickens in done. Restart, Bright runs the top as Abreu and Hines give chase to Bright. As they battle Bacon is putting on a show, sizzling through the field from the back. Lap 21, Shutte stops for a yellow. Restart, the battle is on Bright leads but Abreu wants it as the battle rages once again for lead. Rico gets a huge run, almost identical spot as Bright did just a handful of laps earlier, throws a huge slider all away across the track top to bottom, coming up just at the edge of Bright's front end as Rico's rear bumper and Bright's front bumper make contact, Bright gets sideways but collects in and races away in 2nd as Rico takes the lead on lap 27. Hard hard racing upfront in an excellent race. Bright tries to mount a charge back toward Abreu as Hines and Bell now battle Bright. Rico races to the win as Bright breaks in turn 4, hitting the wall as Hines, Bell, Clauson, and Bacon, up from 18th, race past the stopped Bright for a top 5 finish. What looked like a potential win, then a solid 2nd place for Bright ended on the hook and with a DNF 1 turn from the finish line. A vocal round of boos greeted Abreu in victory lane. Bright walked over and shook hands with Rico after they talked over the exchange for the lead. To me, it was just plain hard ass racing!! Excellent racing where 3 guys, including the Pickens ordeal was racing hard, none wanting to lose or lift, had contact and battle with all their might to win. Bright's slider on Pickens was far more forceful than Rico's on Alex but it didn't stop the large crowd from showing displeasure to Rico for making the move.

Wait, there is more as 25 sprint cars push off for their 25 lap A. Just when you thought the racing couldn't get any better, no way, you've seen an excellent program all night long, the sprint cars take the green as you set there and watch in amazement as they are battling harder than the midgets. As Windom and Thomas races side by side for the lead, Mike Webber spins. Complete restart, Thomas throttles into the lead. Running right up on the fence like the midget the battle rages right away. Lap 1, Leary was looking to make a move for the lead as he jumped the cushion in turn 3, taking a wild tumble. CJ was ok but done for the night. Windom shadows Thomas on the restart as the battle upfront. Just as the battle heats up, Thomas pulls to the infield as heavy smoke flows from his 9k machine. Windom inherits the lead as the race continues on. As Windom leads, Ballou is lurking a few car lengths behind looking to set up a move. As they race in and out of traffic, a great battle is on with Darland and Boespflug right there as well. Lap 17, Hery tags the turn 1 wall and flips violently into turn 2, rolling at least 6 times. Restart, Ballou tries a move but the pack slows on Lap 18, debris on the track for a yellow. Just as things heat up again, Moffett spins on lap 19 for a yellow. The next 6 laps is just pure amazing! Windom is like a sitting duck, everyone is throwing a slider, taking a shot, trying to shot the Bear down but did they bring a big enough gun? Lap 20, Ballou throws a major slider in 3, gets the lead for about 2 seconds and hooks the cushion and flips over. Restart, Grant takes a shot, yellow on lap 21 for debris. Slide job, slide job, slide job time after time after again after another restart for debris on lap 22. I think the parts are jumping off the cars from being scared from all the close racing inches apart. Lap 23, Boespflug tags the wall fighting for a spot racing in the top 5. One more shot, by Darland, can't make the slider stick, Windom drives back around for the lead. Windom had slide jobs thrown on him several times, all passed him and he made a crossover move to drive right back past and race to the win as the crowd was on the edge of their seat sitting in amazement of how fabulous the race they just seen really was. Darland, Grant, Kinser, and Simon rounded out the top 5. Windom brought a knife to a gun fight, everyone took a shot but in the end, the Bear roared and crawled away with the win. Best overall night of racing I've seen in an event in years!!

Sunday the Kokomo Speedway closed out the annual Midget Week with 36 midgets and 30 sprint cars pit side. Rico Abreu made it a clean sweep for the Kunz team setting quick time of the night. Kendall Leyton tagged the wall in 4 during qualifying and tumbled hard. Kendall was initially knocked out but quickly woke up and walked away. Jaimie McKinlay made it 3 flips in 4 nights, flipping once again as his was qualifying.

Once again the 4 midget heats featured some decent racing action. Brady Bacon ran away with heat 1 over Michael Pickens, Abreu, and Brenden Bright. Ronnie Gardner held on in a good battle with Zac Daum to win heat 2. Garrett Aitken and Dave Darland transfer. Christopher Bell won a close one in heat 3 over Issac Chapple, Steve Buckwalter, and AJ Felker. Tanner Thorson battled to the win in heat 4 over Kevin Thomas Jr, Bryan Clauson, and Tracy Hines.

Things heated up in the sprint car heats with some great action in all 3 heats. Bryan Clauson squeezed out a win in heat 1 over Robert Ballou, Tyler Courtney, CJ Leary, and Logan Jarrett. Jerry Coons Jr made a last race move to win heat 2 over Justin Grant, Dave Darland, Kevin Thomas Jr, and Thomas Meseruall. Chad Boespflug kept his strong week a going with a heat race win in the 3rd heat over Scotty Weir, Kyle Robbins, Chris Windom, and Travis Hery.

Plenty of action in the Midget B with some drivers racing from mid pack into a transfer spot. Chris Windom took the win over Shane Cottle, Tyler Thomas, Tyler Courtney, Thomas Meseruall, and Justin Grant.

The sprint car B Main came down to the last turn on the last lap to solidly set the field for the A. Good battles for the transfer spots as the 5th and final one wasn't locked in until the last 200 feet to the finish line. Kody Kinser took a hard tumble in the B. Delten Gabbard took the win in the B over Chris Gurley, Josh Spencer, Brian Karraker, and Jarrett Andretti

Daum and Pickens paced the field in the 30 lap Midget A. Chapple spins before the pack makes it through turn 1 for a yellow. Restart, Daum dives into the lead as the track is right up against the fence but has a middle groove with the bottom not too racy. Daum leads as Abreu quickly wants the lead. The battle is on already as they fight for the lead. Lap 4, Bell stops on the track. Restart, Daum is good but Rico is fast. Lap 6, Abreu takes the lead but Daum fights back. Lap 8, Daum regains the lead. Just as that lap is complete, Chapple flips hard in turn 1. Issac is okay. Restart, they battle again. Lap 10, Abreu takes his turn again at leading. Rico opens the gap as Clauson starts to draw some attention after climbing to the front of the pack from row 4. Lap 16, Gardner spins. This put Clauson within striking distance. Restart, Abreu leads but Clauson and Hines are there. Lap 19, Clauson takes the lead. Rico and Hines battle for 2nd. Clauson holds on strong and finishes the week by taking the win on his birthday. Hines, Abreu, Darland, and Daum round out the top 5.

Grant and Ballou brought the sprint car A main to the green. With the track one groove and right up to the fence, Grant won the drag race to the cushion and took the lead. In pretty much a follow the leader race, Grant lead Ballou and Boespflug. Lap 16, things bottle up in turn 1 and Gurley flops on his side. Restart, Ballou tries a move but Grant is strong. Clauson makes his way closer to the leaders but it's all Grant. Grant leads flag to flag for the win in the most uneventful sprint car A Main Ive seen at Kokomo in years. It happens especially with high winds all day and the bottom unusual not coming in well all night. Ballou, Boespflug, Clauson, and Coons round out the top 5.

Once again midget week didn't disappoint. Excellent car counts all week and very good racing all week long. Not one event you could call a downer. By far Lawrenceburg stole the week with just and all out excellent racing program all night. That was one for the ages there. The only hiccup was Lincoln Park taking forever to get the night started with rain forecast for that night later. Thank god it missed the track as it passed just a few miles from the track. Excellent week of racing with some great friends. Midget week rocks!!

UPCOMING

BIG WEEK as Ohio Sprint Speedweek starts

Friday AllStars Attica OH NRA Lima OH MOWA Bloomington IN

Saturday AllStars Eldora MOWA Habstadt IN OVSC Ohio Valley Must See Owosso MI

Sunday All Stars Waynefield OH

Monday AllStars Wayne Co OH

Tuesday AllStars Hartford OH

Thanks For Reading Duane

 

 

 

While thinking most of the week I was going to do a lite one race weekend before hitting it hard here starting this week, who was I fooling, it turned into a Friday night trip to Limaland Motorsports Park for the NRA Sprints and then on to Fremont Speedway for Legends night.

Making my first journey of the year to Limaland Friday, I was thinking it always seems to be enjoyable each time visit the 1/4 mile oval. As I entered the pit gate and walked down and seen the board with 20 cars entered, the night already started to be enjoyable. As I take my usual stroll through the pits, I forgot how many drivers there I've known for years, that always make time to chat and just making it truly a nice visit. Of course, I always gotta make sure I sneak a few minute chat in with Mean Gene Frankert as well. Mean Gene had the track looking good as the 3 heats were ready to roll.

All the cars in the heats would transfer to the A but, they were racing for invert positions and points. Devon Dobie darted into the lead of heat 1 and never looked back. Dobie ran away, taking the win over Greg Wilson, Randy Hannagan, and Dustin Stroup. In heat 2, a good heat race as Jared Horstman took the lead late, hustling to the win over Kevin Roberts, Nic Roberts, and Kyle Sauder. A very good heat 3 as teammates Max Stambaugh and JR Stewart battled side by side all race long. Stambaugh nipped Stewart for the win as Tim Allison and Todd Heuerman chased them across the finish line.

Moving the program quickly along, just after 9PM and the sprint car 25 lap A Main was on the track. Wilson and Stambaugh would bring the field to the green. Wilson whipped into the lead as the field raced into turn 1. Horstman quickly races into 2nd and is pressuring Wilson. Horstmsn hounds Wilson the first 7 laps as Wilson starts to get a rolling a little better and pulls away. Hannagan starts to move in on Wilson by the halfway point but, smoking is starting to roll from his 22H machine. Hannagan pulls to the infield, giving Wilson a huge lead as he works the heavy traffic very smoothly. As Wilson whistles along upfront Butch Schroeder is charging through the pack from deeper in the field. Horstman starts to close in just a bit as the laps wind down. Lap 19, Nic Roberts spins into the infield in turn 4 for a yellow. This erases Wilson nice lead with 6 to go. Wilson gets a good restart but Horstman tries to lay down another charge at Wilson. Horstman tho is sooner under attack from Stewart, trying to add another win to his 2014 season. Wilson is just too strong and races to the win. Horstman, Stewart, Schroeder, up from 14th, Stambaugh round out the top 5. A decent race with Wilson holding strong all race long.

Saturday, another beautiful day, it was time to head East to the Fremont Speedway as Jersey Sprint Nut was coming West early and meeting up at Fremont for the 410s and special Legends night with 21 sprint car retired Fremont sprint car Legends were racing a full program with the local 305 cars. A very special night was planned with this Legends race that paid $1000 to win, this wasn't an exhibition race, this was a race race. A handful of the 305s had special throw back schemes representing the Legends old rides. 22 410s were on hand with the 21 305s. Rob Chaney set fast time of the night in the 410s with a time of 12.579. Kenny The Mouse Jacobs set fast time in the 305s with a lap of 13.554. The top 9 305s were in the 13 second bracket, showing these guys were not here just for show.

3 410 heats, all cars to the A Main. Kevin Lee and Mark Imler tangled at the start of heat 1. Restart, Duane Zablocki zoomed into the lead and never looked back. Duane ran away from the pack took the win by a huge margin over Chris Andrews, Byron Reed, and Chaney. In heat 2, Brian Lay lunged into the lead as the green flag waved at the field. Lay lead flag to flag taking the win over Jody Keegan, Cole Duncan, and Caleb Griffith. Todd Heller hurried to the lead as heat 3 raced into turn 1. Heller had things under control, racing to the win over Stuart Brubaker, DJ Foos, and Craig Mintz.

3 305 Legend heats up next with all cars moving to the A Main. Heat 1, things get hot and heavy as soon as the field sees the green. Kenny Clark Jr. climbs into the as the battle goes 3 wide behind Clark. In turn 3, Clay Kiem and Kenny Jacobs make contact as Jacobs splits the middle of the pack. Jacobs takes a nasty tumble as the huge crowd instantly goes silent. The Mouse crawls out of the battered machine. Restart, the battle rages on as Clark and Bobby Distel fight for the lead upfront. As they fight it out up front, Kiem is charging back through the pack. Clark thrills the huge crowd as he takes charge in the late stages of the heat, racing to the win over Kiem and Distel. Rodney Duncan ripped from 4th to 1st in heat 2 as another good battle is emerging. Duncan soon takes full command and opens the gap and roars to the win over Mark Keegan and Brian Neeb. Another good heat in heat 3. Joe Keegan took the early lead as the pack battles in this one. Ed Haudenschild spins trying to charge to the front. Restart, Keegan still leads as George Dussel spins into the soft walls in turn 2 for a yellow. Restart, the battle is on as Eric Rankin closes in on Keegan. Rankin makes a late race move, taking the lead as racing away, taking the win. Keegan and Kelly Kinser round out the top 3. Some very good heat races and don't be fooled one bit, these drivers were there to race, not just showcase and make laps.

The 410 Dash was next up. Craig Mintz mashed the throttle hard on the start of the Dash and fly to the lead. Mintz quickly opened up a huge lead, taking the win over Keegan and Griffith.

With the front row of Mintz and Keegan getting offered the Baumann Auto Group $5000 bonus to go to the back, Keegan receives a huge cheer from the crowd as he accepts the challenge after Mintz rejects it. Mintz and Duncan brought the field to green in the 30 lap 410 A Main. Mintz muscles to the lead as the field races through turns 1 and 2. Lap 2, the start cone got tangled up in a passing car and brought the yellow out as is sat in the middle of the front stretch. Restart, it's all Mintz upfront looking to stink this one up by racing to a 10 car length lead. As Mintz races in and out of traffic, Duncan starts to reel Mintz just before the half way point. Lap 14, Kody Kinser spins in turn 4 bringing the caution out. This is just what Duncan was needing to be on Mintz's tail tank. Restart, Mintz leads as Duncan is right in Mintz's tire tracks. Lap 17, Duncan leads as Mintz gets up on the wheel a spectacular battle emerges. Racing side by side, inches apart, the duo battle, neither one giving an inch. Lap 19, Mintz takes the lead. Duncan leads lap 20. Lap 21, Mintz motors past Duncan as Duncan slips back just a little. Duncan tries to make another move for the lead as Mintz holds strong now up front. Chaney starts to enter the picture as he's making the bottom groove work. Chaney is beside Duncan as Mintz gets some breathing room upfront. The top 3 are within 2 car lengths of each other with 5 to go. Duncan tries to make another move to the lead as Chaney looks for a opening as well. Mintz holds solid the last few laps and charges to his 2nd win of the season at Fremont. Duncan, Chaney, Reed, and Griffith round out the top 5. A great race.

Clay Kiem and Kelly Kinser are up for the $5000 bonus challenge. Kiem turns it down but Kinser stated he's use to starting in the back and will take accept as the crowd roars their approval. As the legend drivers get ready for the A, the Fremont staff is keeping the huge crowd entertained as they introduce the drivers. Then after driver intros, they pumped some tunes through the PA system and just got the already vocal crowd more into it. I personally seen and heard fans from the age of 6 ish to mid 70s singing, dancing just enjoying life at the track. Promotors, track owners, whoever is in charge, this is what it's about. Fremont Speedway did a fabulous job at keeping the fan base entertained and into the program. Yes, people the same Fremont that gets major heat at times for this and that just hit a huge grand slam home run, 2nd to none on this one.

Kiem and Charlie Fisher paced the field in the 25 lap A Main. Green, the pack races into 1 and things bottle up in the middle as Jim Linder gets upside down hard. Linder has a sore ankle but walks away. Restart, Fisher learns from the first start and uses the high side to race into the lead. Mark Keegan doesn't waste anytime getting to the front and takes the point on lap 2. Lap 5, Dussel tries to exit the track in turn 2 and slams the entrance to the pits for a yellow. As the field slows for the yellow, Clark Jr is late on the brakes and climbs a tire, flipping hard just past the flag stand. After everyone walks away okay, the cars are ready to roll. Restart, Keegan gets the X car a rolling, quickly pulling away from the pack. As Keegan runs away and hides, Rankin makes a move towards the front as Kinser charges into the top 10. After the crew thrashed hard, Kenny Jacobs was battling in the top 5 once again. Keegan just absolutely destroyed the field, just lapping car after car. It was all Keegan in this one, bringing many of the huge crowd to their feet as he raced past the checkered flags, taking the win on his 54th birthday. Rankin, Duncan, Jacobs, Fisher, Distel, and from the tail, Kinser round out the top 7. A great showcase of an event and race. Believe these guys were there to race, ask the pit crews that are repairing all the mangled parts this week. I mean seriously the crowd as I walked out excited still, happy, smiling, laughing, just enjoying life at the track like it should be!! An hour and a half later as the band Late Model, yeah nice band name for a sprint car race, was finishing up, still several hundred fans were pit side at 12:45 talking, hanging out and just having a great time. It was truly one of the most enjoyable nights I've had as a fan in years. No bitching, no loud mouths, no know it alls, no wanna a be NASCAR converted to dirt fans standing in front of people, just real fans enjoying a night at the track.

Upcoming

Wednesday USAC Midgets Gas City IN

Thursday USAC Midgets Lincoln Park IN

Friday USAC Midgets Bloomington IN, AVSS Toledo OH, OVSC Midway OH

Saturday USAC Midgets Lawenceburg IN, AVSS M-40 MI, SOD vs NRA Quincy MI

Sunday USAC Kokomo IN

Thanks for reading, see you at Midget Week!! Duane

 

 

 

It was finally a weekend with temps above 70 and the rain nowhere near the tracks in the Tri-State Outlook region. After having the majority of their visits rained out the last 7 years at Attica Raceway Park, the World Of Outlaws finally receive excellent weather last Friday for their visit to ARP. Saturday with beautiful skies, I stayed closer to home and headed to Indiana's Angola Speedway for the Auto Value Super Sprints season opener.

One date I always look forward too year after year after year on the racing schedule is the World Of Outlaws visit to Attica Raceway Park the last Friday of May. Tho the last 7 years mostly that date had resulted in a downer with 5 of the last 7 visits by the WOO rained out and no rain date, this year as I started looking ahead at the weather, it looked picture perfect. Finally, it was just that an absolutely beautiful day with a pretty good size of a breeze. As Attica Raceway Park kicked the gates open for the Steve Kinser farewell tour, flood of people and an excellent field of 46 WOO Sprints were present. With the track containing some good moisture, the action was fast as the cars hot lapped. A huge cushion in 3 and 4 with a good 12 to 15 brim was shadowed by a skinny cushion just a few inches off the top lip of the track in 1 and 2 made for the most exciting and interesting qualifying I've witnessed all season. Being the man to beat at Attica when his rig passes through the pit gate this season, Dale Blaney threw the gauntlet down early by posting quick time of the night among the 46 entrants. 7 ARP regulars, plus frequent visitors Blaney and Greg Wilson made up 16 inversion spots, putting many of the WOO big dogs deep in the heats.

Once the ARP track crew knocked the huge cushion down to make for safe racing, the heats were ready to roll. 4 stacked heat races with the top 5 moving on to the A Main. In heat 1, Shane Stewart was trying to make a charge from 9th to a transfer position and spun causing the yellow. Once the action resumed, a good battle upfront as WOO regular Cody Darrah had all he could handle as locals Craig Mintz and Travis Philo was battling Darrah upfront. In a close one, Darrah held on to win over Mintz, Philo, Blaney, and Donny Schatz who worked up to a transfer spot from a 4th row starting spot, something you don't see at many WOO shows and what makes Attica special for to take in a WOO show. Dean Jacobs showed he still has what it takes to run strong in heat 2. Deano drove to the lead when the green flag dropped and drove off into the sunlight. Jacobs took the win in a ran away over David Gravel, Cap Henry in a said 1 race stint in the Genzman 53, Greg Wilson, and Wayne Johnson. After getting a terrible start and heavy contact, The King Steve Kinser looped it going into turn 3, taking Dallas Hewitt off the top side of 3 trying to avoid Kinser. Kinser's crew had to quickly change a left front flat as Kinser went to the work area. Pushing back off, all eyes were on Kinser as he was rolling off 11th now. Once the race got restarted, Brian Lay was laying down a butt whipping upfront, leading by a straight away. As Lay dominated upfront, the crowd was cheering Kinser on as he raced into 6th with 2 to go. White flag in the air, Lay has things handled in this one as Kinser is still on the outside looking in, Lay crosses the line taking the win as Brad Sweet, Daryn Pittman, Paul McMahan, and James McFadden follow but wait! McFadden loses a tire entering turn 4 as the first 2 car have crossed the finish line, slowing to a stop, Kinser slipped past, stealing the 5th and final transfer spot as the crowd cheers loudly. Sometimes you gotta rely on some luck to get where you need to be and Kinser did just that since he is out of provisional starts until July 2nd. Kerry Madsen gets called for jumping that start of heat 4 and was sent back to the 2nd row for the restart. Green, the battle was on. Just when you didn't think the heat races could get any better, heat 4 was a great one. A 3 car battle upfront seen Joey Saldana, Madsen, and Rob Chaney duking it out 3 wide for the lead. With a late race move, Madsen rebounded from the jumped start and raced into the lead, moving on to take the win over Saldana, Chaney, Sammy Swindell, and Lee Jacobs who had a raging battle with Jac Haudenschild for the final transfer spot which seen some contact a few different times. Excellent heat races.

Keeping the show a rolling, the C Main was on the track. Dallas Hewitt's tough night continued as he brings the yellow out spinning in the C. A few laps later, Hewitt slips off the top between turns 1 and 2 as Caleb Helms follows his tires tracks and slips off as well. Once things got settled down, Brandon Wimmer held off a charging Chris Andrews for the win. Both drivers moved on to the B. The C put guys like Byron Reed, Tim Shaffer, Jacob Allen, and Danny Smith on the trailer. Who said Attica isn't tough better come try it them selves as this night is loaded with competition. I counted at least 35 drivers that on any given night could win at Attica or has won.

Looking to pull what some would consider an upset, Dean Jacobs jolted from the pole of the Dash and all out ran away from the pack in the 6 lap event. Jacobs took the win and the pole of the A over Saldana, Darrah, and Sweet.

Only the top 4 would transfer to the A Main in the heavily stacked B Main. As locals, Brandon Martin and Duane Zablocki run upfront in the B, Cole Duncan and Sheldon Haudenschild get together for a yellow. Green, and the battle is on for the transfer spots. Zablocki starts to slip back as Martin has things under control upfront now. The big battle is for the 4th and final transfer spot as Caleb Griffith and Brady Bacon for fighting it out for 4th. Martin takes the win as Chad Kemenah raced into 2nd, James Mc Fadden, and Griffith earn transfer positions.

As the field gets back into formation from it's world famous WOO 4 abreast salute, Jacobs and Saldana pace the field for the 40 lap $10,000 to win A Main. Anyone who knows anything about Attica can tell you a 40 lap A there has a history of the leader on lap 30 not being the leader at the end of lap 40. Jacobs jolts into the lead as the field roars into the turn 1. As the pack races into 3 and 4, Philo pinches in off low as the field jams up in front of him, spins collecting Henry who flips, and Griffith and Steve Kinser goes up and over bank of turn 3 to avoid the mess. Complete restart, Saldana gets a better start and battles Jacobs but Dean is too strong and races off turn 2 in the lead and pulls away by a car length before lap 1 is in the books. Dean looks great and opens the lead gap each lap. Lap 6, Griffith spins. Restart, Jacobs thrills the local crowd as he once again races into the lead. Dean stretches his lead, looking like the man to beat in this one. As Dean is all alone upfront continuing to stretch his lead, Mintz starts to move in the top 5 from 13th and Schatz is making a charge into the top 10 from 23rd. As the field races in and out of lapped traffic at the half way point, Blaney has made his way into 2nd and starts to reel in Jacobs. Lap 24, Blaney is within striking distance of Jacobs. A few laps later Mintz is there now too making it a 3 car battle for the lead. An excellent show as all 3 Ohio locals battle for the lead. Lap 29, Blaney takes the lead as Mintz battles Jacobs for 2nd. Lap 30, Madsen spins for a yellow. Another double file restart, Blaney leads as Mintz races side by side with Jacobs, just a few feet behind Blaney. Darrah flips wildly in turn 3 collecting Lay in the incident. Since a lap wasn't complete and there was contact, it's a single file restart now. Blaney gets a great start as Jacobs and Mintz battle for 2nd once again. As they battle, Schatz is up to 7th, looking for more. Blaney opens up his lead as Mintz and Jacobs battle hard for 2nd. Just when it looks like Blaney has things under wrap, Saldana spins for a caution. With under 5 laps to go, the WOO rules call for single file restarts only. Blaney blast into the restart with 3 to go and Mintz works past Jacobs. Mintz starts to run down Blaney with 2 to go. White flag, Mintz is closing in as Schatz breaks into the top 5. Blaney beats Mintz to the finish line by 3 car lengths as Jacobs completes the all Ohio podium. Sweet and Schatz round out the top 5. A great A Main with plenty of passing and battles all race long. This is why the WOO's at Attica is a must see. If you missed this one, you missed a dandy all night long.

Saturday I decided to stay closer to home and head to the Angola Motor Speedway in Fremont Indiana for some pavement sprint racing as the Auto Value Super Sprints open their 2014 season. Having a sprint car race within 35 minutes from home is nice after weeks and weeks of traveling several hundred miles and hard to pass up. 17 sprints were on hand as the weather was perfect for racing as it was Hank Lower night. Hank, an Angola resident, retired from his 52 year racing career over the winter. A true legend in the region, Hank won over 200 features and several championships. Ryan Gillenwater set quick time of the night.

With all the cars moving into the A, 3 heats were ran awarding points for the championship. For heats that didn't mean anything, heat 1 started off with a bang. A great battle all race long seen Kevin Feeney narrowly hold off Gillenwater for the win. The 3/8th banked oval was fast all night long. Heat 2 showed another decent heat as Brian Gerster held off Jacob Wilson for the win. Davey Hamilton Jr drove from 3rd to 1st quickly taking the lead in heat 3. Hamilton ran away from the pack, taking the win by a huge margin in this one. Jimmy McCune crossed the line in 2nd.

Moving the program along very nicely, the 30 lap sprint car A Main was pushing off just as the sun set. McCune and Jason Blonde lead the field to the green flag. Blonde blasted into the lead as the pack raced into 1 and 2. Blonde is always fast in the Dowker 42 and once again looks good. Lap 4, Gillenwater spins in turn 2 after batting for 4th. Restart, Blonde gets a good start again as McCune follows. The leaders quickly enter lapped traffic as McCune starts to get faster. Lap 9, McCune slips under Blonde off turn 2 and takes the lead. Blonde closely follows the next few laps. With the track clean and green, McCune stretches the lead. Blonde starts to feel pressure as Joe Swanson as him race side by side. McCune gets held up in traffic a bit but still holds a 5 car length lead. McCune has always been strong at Angola and once again shows his strength. McCune held on for the win over Blonde, Swanson, Chris Neuenschwander , and Jacob Wilson rounding out the top 5. A good night of racing for a small field of cars. The heats were very good for meaningless heats really and the A Main was pretty good too. It was a nice program and very nice to see a 5 division program and be home at 11PM. So that's what it's like to have a race track near your house and explains why a lot of other fans I know have time for this and that, I don't seem to find time for some weeks because they can leave at 5 and be home by 11, that was pretty cool.

Upcoming

Friday FAST Attica OH, SOD Hartford MI, NRA Lima OH, OVSC Southern Ohio Speedway

Saturday AllStars Quincy MI, NRA Montpellier IN, AVSS Kalamazoo MI, Must See Auto City MI, BOSS Lawrenceburg IN, OVSC Skyline OH

Thanks for reading, Duane

 

 

With an extra long holiday weekend, there was many races on the agenda to pick from. Trying to make it a 4 race weekend, I fell one short. Friday it was off to Raceway 7 in Conneaut Ohio for the BOSS Sprints, Saturday I still stayed on the BOSS tour hitting PA's Mercer Raceway Park, and ended the weekend Sunday in Fremont Ohio for the $10,000 to win All Star Sprints show. With sunny skies and mid 70 temps in Northwest Ohio Friday afternoon, the skies got super cloudy and the temps almost 20 degrees cooler by the time I stepped out of the Wilson racing hauler on pit lane at Raceway 7. With heavy cloud cover and a cool breeze, 22 BOSS Sprints were unloaded and ready to heat up the night. 3 heat races would transfer all cars to the A with the top 2 finishers getting to re-draw for the top 6 starting spots in the A Main. On a tacky surface, with a few ruts here and there, the 3 were in the push off area. In heat 1, Chuck Wilson dropped from 1st to 3rd on the start as Gary Rankin lead. Wilson got things a rolling a few laps later and made a charge back to the front. Taking the lead just after half way, Wilson went on to win over Rankin and Bob McMillin. Michael Fischesser held off Tony Beaber and Dustin Smith to take in the win in heat 2. Mike Miller made heat 3 exciting with a last lap pass, taking the win over Brandon Spithaler, and Derek Hastins.

As the A Main pushed off, the track was still on good shape, moisture still in many spots with a few ruts here and there. Tony Beaber and Gary Rankin brought the field to the green in the 25 lap A Main. Beaber bounced into the lead as the field raced into turn 1 on the opening lap. Miller quickly chased Beaber as the duo raced nose to tail. Lap 4, Miller made hos move into the lead. Miller started to distance himself from the field once he took the point. Running the high side ride up on the cushion, Andre Layfield brought the race to a halt as he flipped over the turn 1 fence into the parking lot. Layfield was battling for 9th and biked the car, going for a huge ride. Andre was alright and had one of the best quotes ever saying I knew it was bad when I stopped flipping and looked up and seen a Toyota Camery. Restart, Miller wasted no time opening up his lead. Beaber tried to stay within striking distance as he started to battle with Fischeeser and Spithaler for position. Miller had things under control as the battle for 2nd was the one to watch. Miller marched on to the win as Fischesser nipped Beaber for 2nd in the closing laps. Spithaler, Dustin Smith, and Chuck Wilson rounded out the top 6.

As the BOSS teams loaded up and took the short trip Southeast to Mercer Raceway Park, the weather was beautiful in Pennsylvania. After a visit to the local Mercer car wash, it was time to hit MRP and join the 8 other teams there to do maintenance on the cars. It looked like a racing campground with the teams unloaded working on the cars and some playing baseball with a makeshift bat and ball. Once the gates kicked open, 29 BOSS Sprints were ready for action.

4 heats with the top 4 moving on to the A Main. On a dusty kinda loose marbley track, the heat 1 was on the track. Francis Sesco slipped off the top of turn 2 on the opening lap and tagged the guardrail over the bank if the exit of 2. Brandon Cornelius brought the next caution out, spinning off the top of turn 3. Once things got heated up, a great battle in heat 1 seen Arnie Kent hold off a hard charging Mike Miller for the win. Miller charged from last. Gale Ruth Jr and Bob McMillin raced into transfer positions. Brandon Spithaler speed from the pole of heat 2 and never looked back. Spithaler ran away from the field, taking the win by a straight away over Jack Sodeman Jr, Johnny Beaber, and Adam Miller. Brandon Matus used his Mercer experience to blast from the pole into the lead. Tony Beaber quickly passes Matus and raced off into the distance. Beaber went on to take the win by a large margin over Matus, Chad Wilson, and Fischeeser. Aaron Middaugh held off a fast 6th place starting Dustin Smith to take the win in heat 4. Derek Hastins and Scott Hardman earned transfer spots.

With the track still pretty loose and not with much grip and big ruts developing in a few spots the B Main pushed off, taking the top 4 to the A. Andy Feil got his car hooked up in the B and spanked the field. Feil lead flag to flag taking the win over Gary Rankin, Chuck Wilson, and Gale Ruth SR. All 4 transfer drivers started in the top 4.

Kent and Smith paced the field in the 25 lap A Main. As the dust cloud rolled into the sky, the field took the green. Before a lap was complete, McMillin spun for a yellow and a complete restart. Smith slides to the lead as the field seen the green on the restart. Smith was smooth out front, pulling away from the pack. Lap 7, Rankin broke bringing the yellow out. Restart, Smith was using the bottom line around the track and entering low enough in 3 to miss the big rut. Spithaler closed in about the half way point but quickly backed up as his brakes failed on the 57b machine as Kent took over 2nd. Smith is untouched out font now as the field just follows a long, clicking laps off. Spithaler decides to cowboy up without brakes with 6 to go and runs through the rough stuff in 3, launching his car a few feet off the ground at times in the rough stuff. Spithaler closes in lap after lap the final 5, making the finish interesting. Giving it all he had, Spithaler fell just a car length behind at the finish line as Smith lead wire to wire for the win. Spithaler, Kent, Mike Miller, and Sodeman rounded out the top 5.

After getting back home earlier Sunday morning, it was time for a few hours of sleep before getting up and ready for the All Stars $10,000 show back in my home state at Fremont Speedway. Another beautiful day and it was down route 6 to Fremont. 44 All Star Sprints and 26 305s were on hand for night number 2 at Fremont. The Wild Child, Jac Haudenschid set quick time of the night.

The 305s kicked the action off 1st all night long. 3 305 heats with the top 5 to the A. Kyle Capodice crawled to the lead and the dry slick track in heat 1. Capodice held on, leading flag to flag for the win over Dustin Dinan, Jimmy Colvin, Steve Rando, and Seth Schneider. Josh Harrison jumped into the lead of heat 2 and ran a great race. Harrison hustled to the run away over Tyler Gunn, Dan McCarron, Brian Smith, and Ricky Peterson. Luke Griffith grabbed the lead from his pole starting spot like the other 2 heats race winners and drove off into the evening sun. Griffith lead wire to wire for the win over Ryan French, Roger Shammo, Brad Keckler, and Paul Weaver.

4 All Star heats were up next with the top 5 moving into the A Main. Former All Star champ Chad Kemenah crushed the throttle on the cushion on raced into the lead as heat 1 took the green. Kemenah would lead wire to wire taking the win over Brian Lay, Dale Blaney, Haudenschild, and by a car length Mike Linder wrapped up the final transfer spot over Shane Stewart. Rob Chaney charged from the outside of row 1 to the lead at the start of heat 2. With excellent throttle control on the dry slick surface, you could hear Chaney feathering the throttle even on the straights, Chaney ran away by a huge margin, taking the win over Danny Holtgraver, Wayne Johnson, Brady Bacon, and Trey Gustin. Lee Jacobs was called back twice for called jump starts at the beginning of the heat, putting the hard charger from the night before in the B. Chris Andrews took the lead from the pole on the start of heat 3. Jody Keegan stops as the yellow flys in heat 3. Restart, it was all Andrews taking the win over Brad Bowman, Greg Wilson, Tim Shaffer, from 9th, and Dain Naida having a good run to make the big event. Cole Duncan darted into the lead when the green flag dropped on heat 4 and never looked back. Duncan lead flag to flag over Dean Jacobs, Brandon Wimmer, James McFadden, and Broc Martin.

305 B Main would see the top 5 fill the final starting spots in the A Main. A loaded B for the 305s, looked like an A line up on most nights, Bobby Clark held off a fast Jordan Ryan for the win. Alvin Roepke, Nate Dussel, and Trey Jacobs rounded out the top 5, moving to the A. In a very rare occurrence, teammates John Ivy and TJ Michael failed to make the A Main.

In the All Star Dash, Haudenschild has a scary moment, spinning off turn 2 as McFadden through his 3G mount sideways, spinning to just narrowly miss the Wild Child. Wayne Johnson had issues adapting to the slick surface on night 1 but got it hooked up for the 2nd night taking the Dash win over Blaney and McFadden who raced back to 3rd.

A pretty stacked All Star B Main would transfer the top 4 to the A. Gary Taylor picked up the Fausey 1 ride just a few weeks ago and throttled to the lead as the field raced under the green flag. DJ Foos would spin for a caution. Restart, Taylor looks strong on the dusty oval and races off with the lead once again. Taylor would lead start to finish taking the win over Caleb Griffith, Shane Stewart, and a charging Craig Mintz who battled hard with Lee Jacobs for the final transfer spot. Mintz charged from 12th to 4th as Jacobs moved up from 11th to battle Mintz for 4th.

Kicking off the A Mains, the 305s took to the track first for their 30 lap $1000 to win event. The front row of McCarron and Griffith turned down a shot of a $5000 bonus to tag the tail earn the bonus if they would win. Griffith glided to the lead as the field took the green. Before the race would get a going, Harrison stopped for a yellow and a complete restart. Restart, a bad start was called. Next restart was a charm as Griffith got the lead once again. With most guys just mashing the go peddle and lighting their tires up, Griffith babied the gas peddle, opening up a nice lead. Lap after lap, the younger Griffith looked good and in total control. Rando started to make a move with 10 to go, catching the lead pack. Lap 17, Roepke spins as Jacobs climbs a inside tractor tire barrier trying to avoid Roepke. Both drivers stopped on the track, Jacobs pushed the tire to the top of the exit of turn 4. Grffith gets a good restart but Rando is on the move. Lap 20, Rando roared into the lead. Lap 21, Harrison slipped off of turn 3 for a yellow. Restart, Rando leads as Dinan puts together a run towards the front of the pack. Lap 25, Weaver stops as the caution light flashed on. Restart, it's all Rando. Rando takes the win over Griffith, Dinan, up from 12th, Ryan, up from 17th, and Colvin rounded out the top 5.

Closing the night out was the big 50 lap $10,000 to win All Star A Main. Johnson and Blaney both get offered the $5000 race from the back challenge as well but both turn in down thinking passing will not allow for it on this night. As the brought the field to the green, the pack races into 1 with Blaney getting the advantage before the caution would fly for Linder and Holtgraver spinning in 3. Complete restart, Johnson gets called for a bad start and sent a row back. I'm not sure how the leader don't set the pace and gets sent back for jumping especially when it wasn't a huge jump, just a normal leader hitting throttle first, but it happened. Next restart, Blaney once again gets the advantage and takes the lead. Blaney's lead quickly went by the waste side as McFadden takes over the lead on lap 2. As the cars slide around the slick surface the dust is flying as McFadden looks super stout in just his first weekend ever at Fremont Speedway. Most of the cars are just playing follow the leader lap after lap after lap. The only car really making any type of charge is Stewart moving up from 13th. McFadden works traffic excellent as he continues his lead. Lap 33, Johnson stops at the top of turn 4 causing a yellow. With Blaney getting a chance to close the gap on the restart, McFadden looks like a Fremont pro, motoring off to the lead once again. Stewart continues his move towards the front, entering the top 7 as Jacobs is making a run through the pack now too. Lap 42, Bacon stops on the track for a yellow while running 5th. Lap 43, Martin spins for a yellow as the red is displayed for a fuel stop. Giving Blaney another chance after winning all the $10,000 to win shows last season at Fremont, McFadden don't let anything phase him and races away once again. Never looking back after lap 2, McFadden does what many still can't do, concur Fremont Speedway in just a handful of laps. McFadden took the huge win over Blaney, Wilson, Stewart, and Jacobs, up from 18th, round out the top 5. A pretty dull A on one of the dustiest Fremont tracks I've seen in a long time. The track crew worked the surface all day just, sun, wind, 2nd day on track, and many cars takes it toll on certain tracks.

As requested by the group I was sitting with I am giving Jason Curlis a guest paragraph in this week's column. With this being a family column I had to censor it some but here was Curlis's paragraph. The racing beep beep beep beep beep beep beep. I'm glad I came out and beep beep beep beep beep beep race. I can't wait for more, beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep. I'm ready to hit the campground and drink beep beer now and have more beep beep fun. Hope you all enjoyed Jason's guest paragraph. Hey you gotta laugh and have fun at times, hope this made everyone chuckle a little if you Curlis it will :)

Friday WOO Attica OH, Power I Midgets Bloomington IN

Saturday

Hoss/AVSS Angola IN, WOO I-96 MI, Power I Brownstown IN, All Stars Wayne CO OH, Buckeye Super Sprints Sandusky OH, KISS Paragon IN

Thanks for reading, be safe and live life to the fullest because you never know what tomorrow will bring, Duane

 

 

 

After hitting the road fairly heavy so far this season, last weekend I stayed a bit closer to home. Friday, on a cloudy cold windy day where many tracks canceled their events, Attica Raceway Park bit the bullet as the show went on for the Eric Phillips Classic. With a fast heavy track, a great field of 33 410 and 27 305 sprints filled the pits. Dale Blaney set quick time in the 410s and Bobby Clark in the 305s.

4 heats for the 410s with the top 4 cars moving to the A. With top 4 inverted, the heats rolled on to the speedway. Sheldon Haudenschild hurried to the lead as heat 1 took the green. On the fast track, Blaney quickly chased Haudenschild. Jordan Harble slipped off the top of turn 1 whiling running 4th. Restart, Brian Nuckles slid off the track in almost the identical spot as Harble for another yellow. As Haudenschild raced away on the restart, Blaney and Chad Kemenah followed just a few car lengths behind the 93 car. In a pretty close one, Haudenschild took the lead over Blaney, Kemenah, and Travis Philo. Rob Chaney and Craig Mintz had good battle in heat 2. Chaney took the 9x machine to the win over Mintz, Christopher Bell in the Kunz 67, and Brandon Martin. Even with the track super fast and heavy the heats produced sone good racing. Heat 3 was another good one with Chris Andrews holding off Tim Shaffer, Byron Reed, and Caleb Griffith for the win. Mitchell Harble hugged the cushion on the start to grabbed the lead. Harble never looked back and lead flag to flag for the win over Caleb Helms, Cole Duncan, and Stuart Williams.

3 305 sprint heats with the top 5 moving on to the A. By far the best heat of the night, a great battle in heat 1. John Ivy held Dustin Dinan, Paul Weaver, and Steve Rando off for the win in a 4 car battle. Trey Jacobs took home the final transfer spot. Jordan Ryan ripped from 3rd to 1st taking the lead in heat 2. Nate Dussel tried to run Ryan down from his 5th starting spot but Ryan was too strong. Ryan took the win over Dussel, Jason Keckler, Jimmy Colvin, and Jeremy Duposki. Troy Kingan coasted to a stop for a yellow in heat 3. Once the action restarted, Ricky Peterson ran away from the pack taking the win by a straight away over Tyler Gunn, Clark, Seth Schneider, and Dan Hammond.

With the track keeping it's moisture in it and the ARP crew pushing the program for the handful of fans that braved the weather, the 1st of 2 410 B Mains were already pushed on the track. The top 2 from each B transferred into the $3000 to win A Main. Brian Lay leaped into the lead in B1. DJ Foos flew into 2nd from 4th, looking to run down Lay. Lay lead flag to flag taking the in over Foos. Brady Bacon sizzled to the lead in B2 and ran away from the pack. Bacon took the win by a huge margin over Todd Heller to transfer to the A.

With the 305 B Main rolling on to the track, the guys were looking to finish in the top 5 to move into the A. TJ Michael took the lead as the field took the green. Dan Hennig brushed the wall slowing the race. Michael made the best of the B he could, taking the win over Luke Griffith, Dan McCarron, Alvin Roepke, and Jim Taddeo.

With the clock about to hit 9PM, the 410 30 lap A Main was on the track. Harble and Andrews brought the field to the start line as the green flag waved from the flag stand. Harble hit his marks and races to the lead lap 1. Just after lap 1 was complete, Shaffer spins in turn 2 collecting Philo and Helms. Restart, Blaney was no time and blast to the lead. With an open track, Blaney pulls to a 10 car length lead. As the field nears the 1/3rd mark, Mintz quickly closes the gap as Blaney works traffic. Lap after lap, Mintz reels Blaney is, now right on his tail tank. Trying to make a move for the lead, Mintz is right there battling Blaney in and out of traffic. Lap 15, Bacon hooks the cushion in turn 3 and flips off the top of the track. Restart, Blaney has open air and one track and opens pulls away from the field. Mintz tries to run Blaney down as Blaney seems to get stronger as the laps click off. Bell maybe the faster car on the track, charging into 3rd from 10th. 5 to go, Mintz starts to get a run and closes the gap a bit. Each lap, Mintz moves closer and closer to the leader. Blaney had to big of a lead though as he seals the deal, taking the win. Mintz holds off a fast Bell for 2nd as Andrews and Haudenschild round out the top 5.

Gunn and Keckler paced the field in the 25 lap 305 A Main. Gunn gassed it up and took the lead as the pack raced into turn 1. Gunn has been looking good all season, especially when he been taking the wing off. Gunn opens a nice lead as Keckler and Peterson race for 2nd. Lap after lap Gunn hit his marks, staying at least 6 car lengths ahead of the pack. Running the high line as the rest of the pack runs low, Gunn is looking in total control of this one. Lap 16, the yellow flys for an apparent debris on the track. Gunn gets a good restart as Keckler stays closely behind. Gunn opens up a 4 car length lead in 2 laps. With 5 to go, Keckler jumps up on the high side, quickly gaining on Gunn. Running the same groove, the battle is on. 2 to go, Keckler is in Gunn's tire tracks. White flag, Gunn leads and looks to have enough momentum to hold on for the win. Gunn leads off 2 and down the back stretch as Keckler drops lower and applies the pressure. Gunn totally misses his marks entering 3 and gets above the cushion. Trying to keep hammer down in the lead, Gunn slips off the top off 4, slamming the front stretch wall at the exit of 4 as Keckler glides past for the lead and the win. Peterson, Dinan, Rando, up from 10th, and Weaver round out the top 5. Gunn has been looking excellent without a wing the past few weeks and has been close to winning with a wing. What looked to be a sure win ended in heartbreak as Gunn gave it all he had until hitting the wall.

A great field of cars, great track conditions, and the entire racing program was complete by 10PM. Excellent job by the ARP crew to get this one in. Too bad they lost their butts with a very slim crowd.

Saturday it was off to the Eldora Speedway for the best bargain of the year, the BOSS sprints on Family Fun Night and an $8 general admission. With driving in light rain the last 25 miles, I was getting worried as I was a mile from the track and rain drops kept falling. Just as I crested the hill by the campground of the Big E, the Eldora vortex was in effect as the rain drops stopped falling. With cloudy skies, a steady wind, and cool temps, the track was in excellent shape as a very stout field of 42 BOSS sprints were put side. There is something about BOSS and Eldora that just makes it a must see for any traditional sprint car fan.

With the track on excellent shape, 5 sprint car heats were ready to roll using the pill draw system for the starting line ups. With the high car count, it was determined 4 cars would be added to the A Main so the top 4 from the heats would transfer to the A. Adam Cruea had some issues before things got to going and stalled ending his heat before heat 1 got under way. Once the green flag flew, a great battle was on. As Todd Keen and Mike Miller battled upfront, Chase Stockon was making a charge from the tail behind the wheel of the Gentry 2x. As the laps passed by, Stockon rode the cushion to the lead with just and lap and a half remaining. Stockon wins from the tail over Keen, Miller, and Johnny Beaber. Heat 2 featured another great battle for the lead. Justin Grant held off Nick Bilble for the win. Brian Hayden and Logan Hupp would transfer. Robert Ballou blasted to the high side when the green flag dropped on heat 3. Running inches off the wall, Ballou charged from 5th to 1st in just a few laps. Ballou ran away and hide from the pack in this one. Ballou took the w over Brandon Whited, Derek Hastins, Chuck Wilson. With the track having multi racing groove and in great shape, the heat continued to produce some good racing. Brandon Spithaler and Scotty Weir battled upfront in heat 4. Brady Bacon got sone air brushing the front stretch wall but keep the throttle down, trying to earn a transfer spot. Weir made a late race move to take the lead and race off with the win. Spithaler, Thomas Meseraull, from the tail, and Bacon with a last lap, off turn 4 pass, moved into the A from the last row as well. After getting all jumbled up on the start, Tony Beaber brought the yellow out with 2 laps in during heat 5. Dallas Hewitt took the Simon 22s from 5th to 1st and ride rode to huge lead. No one even came near Hewitt as he cruised to the win over Delton Gabbard, Dustin Smith, and David Applegate.

2 B Main events would transfer the top 2 from each event to the A. Moving the show quickly along, the B Mains were up next. A great battle in B1 amongst the top 6 cars. Matt Goodnight was leading the way when Cruea took a wild tumble in turn 4, trying to move towards the front. Adam was alright but his bad night ended with a torn up car. Adam Miller made a late race charge to battle Goodnight for the lead. Goodnight held on for the win as Miller took home the transfer spot. Not to sound like a broken record but another great race in B2. It just seems to go hand in hand, BOSS + Eldora = great racing. Aaron Middaugh made a late charge to battle race long leader Michael Fischesser for the win. Middaugh took the lead with with 2 to go after moving up from the 4th row. Fischesser held on for the final transfer position.

Spithaler and Stockon paced the field in the 25 lap A Main. Stockon slide the right rear on the cushion, just a mere few inches off the wall, on the start and speed to the lead. As Stockon rode the wall upfront, a heated battle was unfolding for 3rd to 6th. Ballou gets a huge run on lap 7 going into turn 1, pulls a gigantic slider diving way down low on entry of 1, sliding up the middle of 1 and 2, taking 3rd as Gabbard makes contact and slams into the wall flipping. Hewitt has no place to go and gets collected in the mess too. Gabbard galloped over to Ballou during the red to discuss the incident. Looking very solid all night long, Stockon slide up on the cushion again on the restart and was hoping to finally get that Eldora win he's been chasing the past few seasons. A great battle through out the pack as Chase maintains the lead. Lap 12, Bacon spins in turn 2 battling for 6th from his 19th starting spot. Stockon gets a good restart as Ballou and Grant start to show they could have something for Stockon. Lap after lap, Ballou right up against the fence like Stockon gains on the leader. Chase starts to get a bit looser in turn 3, brushing the wall with his right rear several times as Robert just blows the dust up on the thin patch of track between his right rear and the big white Eldora wall. Ballou catches Stockon and the battle is on. Slide job for slide job, the battle for the lead. Ballou gets past with 6 to but Stockon uses the cross over moves and charges right back under him to regain the lead. Ballou gets past a few more times but never officially leads a lap but they swapped as the swapped the lead back and forth. Coming to the white flag they encounter a lapped car entering turn 3, Stockon gets past super easy Ballou burps the throttle ever so slightly to not make contact. White flag Stockon is on the edge, putting it all on the line for the win as Ballou tries to mount after run on the leader. Into 3, Stockon is smooth but tags the wall the hardest he has all race long in the middle off 3 and 4, bobbling a bit. Ballou gets a run but Chase recovers and crosses the finish line with the win. It was Stockon's 1st Eldora win. Ballou, up from 8th, Grant, Whited, and Mike Miller, up from 11th, round out the top 5. The stats don't do this race justice at all!! It reads Stockon lead all 25 laps but this was a shootout. Ballou and Stockon put on an excellent show the last half of the race swapping the lead back and forth. Both put on an old school Eldora balls to the wall rim riding bounce the right rear off the fence at 130MPH show. You that have seen Eldora know what I mean, where you see just inches of track between the cushion and the wall and the right rear kicks the dirt up on the wall it's so close when the slide through the turns. Great show and anyone who missed this for just an $8 price tag, you messed up. The Eldora crew had the track in A1 condition and pushed the program along with the less than desirable weather.

A huge week of racing on tap as we enter the first major holiday weekend during racing season. It may seem like March yet weather wise but Memorial Day weekend is upon us. So far it looks like a nice week weather wise so hopefully you can make your way out to a track this weekend. This weather so far has some tracks really taken a beaten at the front and back gate and losing major $$ week in and week out. Hopefully every track makes up for alot of it this week.

Upcoming

Wednesday USAC Sprints Terre Haute IN, Must See Anderson IN

Thursday USAC Silvercrown Indy Fairground

Friday BOSS Raceway 7 OH, NRA-SOD Lima OH, MSCS Bloomington IN

Saturday ALLSTARS Fremont OH, NRA Waynesfield OH, USAC Midgets Lucas Oil Speedway IN, Little 500 Anderson IN, MSCS Lincoln Park IN, MTS Merritt MI

Sunday ALLSTARS Fremont OH, MTS Crystal MI, MSCS Haubstadt IN, NRA Eldora

Monday WOO Lawrenceburg IN

Have a awesome holiday and be safe, Duane

 

 

With having a decent amount of vacation days I gotta use up this year and being to a point where it's pretty much just me I'm accountable for now, I'm just flying by the seat of my pants at times this racing season. When I first seen the World Of Outlaws schedule, the May 9th date at Wilmot Wisconsin peaked my interest. Checking the weather Thursday and always wanting to hit Wilmot, plus a race in Wisconsin to expand my states of seeing a race in, it was off to Wilmot Friday for the WOO visit. Saturday, making the journey back to Ohio, it was over to Wayne County Speedway for the BOSS traditional sprints.

Driving in rain the first 2 and a half hours out of my driveway, I was really doubting the weatherman was correct and the storms wasnt going to move north to Wisconsin. I keep driving like all us crazy race fans do, even tho it was a 4 hour drive and the rain was down pouring. Once I got near Chicago, the clouds broke and then it was traffic battles. Once I pulled off route 94 on county road C, it was all worth it seeing the Wisconsin country side and the sun shinning brightly. Entering the small town of Wilmot, I was instantly happy I made the trip. Almost pulling into the school lot, right next door to the track, I found my way into the raceway. After checking it out, it was a sight seeing tour around town and a stop at a local establishment for nice lunch. With huge windy and sunny skies, I was impressed with the size of the grandstand and the banking of the track. 32 World Of Outlaw Sprints were pit side and ready to attack the very wet 3/8th oval. Cody Darrah set quick time of the night.

With the track super heavy, narrow, and fast the 4 WOO heats were ready to push off in front of the massive crowd that made their way to the track. 4 heats, top 5 to the A. Kraig Kinser kicked it from the pole to the lead when heat 1 took the green. Running pretty much single file, hammer down, Kinser lead flag to flag for the win over Steve Kinser, Darrah, Wayne Johnson, and Craig Dollansky in his 2014 WOO debut. Heat 2, Daryn Pittman pulled to the lead on the start and never looked back. Pittman took the win over Kerry Madsen, Donny Schatz, Brad Sweet, and Greg Wilson. As heat 3 was lining up, pole sitter Paul Nienaiser stopped on the track, sending him to the tail and moving Bill Balog to the pole. David Gravel grabbed the lead from outside row 1 as the field raced into turns 1 and 2. Looking super stout since his recent take over of the Roth 83, Gravel ran away with the win over Balog, Joey Saldana, Jacob Allen, and Joey Moughan. Double down Jason Sides was hammer down Jason Sides in heat 4. With the track still super heavy and the cushion about a car length and a half off the bottom, Sides lead wire to wire for the win. Paul McMahan, Sammy Swindell, Ian Madsen, and Jeremy Schultz transfer to the A.

With the track crew doing some track maintenance, the surface was getting wider and wider as the Dash pushed on to the track. Liking the fast track, Gravel gassed it up as the green waved in the Dash. David held off another heavy track beast Saldana, McMahan, and Kraig Kinser for the win. A good close Dash as you can run the cushion is you are daring and the bottom.

Recovering from his heat race issues, Paul Nienaiser nestled into the lead as the B Main went green. With cars pulling wheelies off turn 2 and 4, they raced side by side fighting for transfer spots in the B. As Nienaiser led, Logan Schuchart was running him down upfront. As they battled, Danny Smith was on the outside looking in, trying to make a move into 4th. In a decent race, Nienaiser took the win over Schuchart, Phillip Mock, and Blake Nimee by a car length over Smith for the final transfer position.

Gravel and Saldana paced the field in the 30 lap A Main. As the field raced past the flag stand, Saldana slammed up on the cushion and cowboy upped to the lead. With the track having 2 racing grooves, things were about to get interesting. Saldana was quickly in traffic as Gravel tried to close the gap. Lap 7, Mock spins for a caution. With the top line seeming to work well for Joey, he picks the high side for the restart. Gravel drives it hard into 1, throws a huge slider up to the cushion and takes the lead off 2. Gravel pulls to a few car length lead. Lap 12, a few cars get together off 2 and spin, keep going, but the yellow light flashes on. Gravel sticks with the bottom where he's been stout and proves he was right, leading on the restart. Gravel pulls away again as Saldana, Sweet, and McMahan crash him. Gravel is looking great, hitting his marks and gliding through lapped traffic. 10 to go, the traffic gets tighter as the pack closes in on David. 6 to go, the top 4 are glued together, racing side by side, in and out of traffic. An epic battle as Saldana pulls even with Gravel on several occasions and Sweet and McMahan just a few feet behind. 2 to go, McMahan manhandled the cushion and makes it close to 3 wide off turn 2 for the lead. White flag, Gravel middle, Saldana low, McMahan high line, and Sweet just a few feet behind. Off 2, Joey pulls inside of David and inches part him going into 3. Gravel slams in it 3 hard and it sticks, all with traffic scattered all around them, Gravel and Saldana are almost even off 4. Gravel nips Saldana to the line, taking the win. McMahan, Sweet, and Kraig Kinser round out the top 5. An excellent race.

Gravel has been on fire winning 2 of the last 3 WOO wins since taking over the Roth ride. This combo seems to be a dream connection instantly gelling. The team has always been stout with an aggressive TK behind but TK was on the edge of out of control aggressive where Gravel is aggressive but a lot more controlled aggression, making for an instant winner and a team to recon with for the remainder of the season. With Eastern Wisconsin not getting much WOO action, a huge crowd was on hand, supporting the WOO teams t-shirt trailers very heavily. A few teams seemed to think it was the best sales night to date for the year. Just getting to track early and observing that and how when the WOO's hit certain areas like just once every handful of years, it like the circus or rock star hit town. The massive crowd comes out to see the professional traveling band of racers who unload their cars and swag for the night. Soon there are done and pack up and hit the road for their next gig several miles away while the people rave they just seen Kinser, Swindell, Saldana, Gravel, McMahan, Schatz, and the teams hit their town. It puts into prospective how lucky we are to be in a region like ours where we can see these drivers around 15 times a year with a 3 hour drive or less. A very fun trip for my first race in Wisconsin, making it the 17th different state now I've seen a race in.

After making the journey back from Wisconsin early Saturday morning, it was a few hours of sleep and off to Wayne County Speedway Saturday for the BOSS traditional sprints. With rain showers on the area, the racing gods were nice to WCS as all systems were go. 26 sprints were ready for action. The track was fairly wet and very smooth.

A pill draw system was used for heat line ups. 3 heats, top 5 move to the A, top 3 redraw for the top 9 A Main starting spots, with the rest of the A Main lined up by heat finishing order. With the track in the best shape I've seen at Wayne County, the 1st heat was pushing onto the track. Pole sitter Andre Layfield spun while lining up and was sent to the tail due to the BOSS rule of only one push start or you go to the tail. A rule clearly stated at the drivers meeting and a rule I've seen several places. Mike Miller motored to the lead as the field raced past the start line. Miller was on a rail and ran away from the field. Miller took the win by a straight away over Johnny Beaber, Tyler Gunn, Chuck Wilson, and Logan Hupp. Brandon Spithaler speed to the lead in heat 2 and never looked back. Running away from the pack, Brandon took the win over Tony Beaber, Michael Fischesser, Aaron Middale, and Mike Burkin. In a good heat 3, Dustin Smith held off a charging Kory Crabtree for the win. Adam Miller, Jeremy Shambaugh, and Chad Wilson transfer to the A. Smith has engine woes from the time he unloaded as the crew thrashed on the 77 car after the long drive from Kokomo IN. Minutes before the heats, the Smith crew found a loose fuel pump and got Smith track side in time for heat 3.

Moving the program along nicely, the B Main was ready to roll with the top 5 moving into the A. Recovering from his earlier mistake, Layfield leaped into the lead and raced off into the darkness. Never being challenged, Layfield took an easy win over Chris Plaslak, Derek Hastins, Bob McMillian, and Mike Moore.

Adam Miller and Gunn brought the field to the green in the 25 lap A Main. Miller marched into the lead as the pack raced into turns 1 and 2. Gunn was looking excellent all night long in his 305 and just his 2nd non wing show, that was until lap 1 when he brushed the wall, blowing his right rear tire for a yellow. The crew didn't get the repair complete in the 1 minute time limit, ending his night. Miller gets a good restart as he leads once again. As the laps past by, a it was Miller time upfront as Mike Miller caught Adam Miller as they engaged into a great battle at the halfway point. Lap 17, Adam gets super high in turn 2 and brushes the guardrail as Mike makes his move into the lead. What was a 2 car battle, quickly turns into 5 car battle for the lead. Nose to tail, side by side, just a few feet apart the top 5 battle to the finish. Anyone's race, Mike Miller leads as Adam Miller slips back and Layfield charges up from 16th. White flag, Miller leads as Layfield lays it up on the cushion and let's er eat. Side by side down the back stretch, they race into 3 inches apart. Off 4 Miller leads but Layfield has a great run and nips Miller at the line for the win. Fischesser, Spithaler, and Crabtree round out the top 5. A great race all race long. There was not just the lead pack together the last part of the A, 6th to 12th was all grouped into a close pack, all glued right there just a few feet apart as well. A good show without question with good track conditions all night long.

I am very blessed so far this season witnessing some great races and finishes. 2 nights, 2 tracks, 7 hours apart, 2 totally different styles of sprint cars, same results, the A Main won on the last lap by just a few feet, just amazing.

Fremont Speedway just made a HUGE announcement not only for the 410 sprints but 305 sprints and trucks as well. Starting this weekend through the first weekend in July thanks to the Baumann Auto Group if the pole sitter of the A Main in ALL the divisions elects to go to the tail and charges through the pack and takes the win, they receive a $5000 BONUS!! This is each week now through the first weekend in July, including the All Star races. If the pole sitter turns this offer down, the outside front row starter has the same offer. If someone takes the challenge but fails to win, their A Main finishing position $$$ doubles. HELLO this just heated things up and will make for some guys trying to charge from the back. I think Baumann will be paying some extra $$$ because points suck anyways, put it on the line for the $$$$ boys and girls and wait til the guy charging from the back is in 2nd with 1 to go and can reach the leader, I thinking sparks will fly....Attica Raceway Park has added many bonuses for the locals during the upcoming WOO visit May 30th. Anyone in the top 20 in Attica points on through May 17th will get their WOO membership paid for if they dont have one. Plus, $2500 bonus if a top 20 points guy wins the A and a $500 bonus to the top finisher in the top 20 in points. Several manufacturer bonuses for the locals as well....Eldora Speedway has the best bargain in sprint car racing this Saturday!! $8 admission for the BOSS traditional sprints, mods, stocks, and family fun night. All EXCELLENT promotions!!

Thanks for reading, be safe, Duane

 

 

The calendar turns to May as the racing season is starting to kick into full swing now. Not having an extremely nice weekend yet in the region, this past weekend was as close as we've had so far, even with the brisk winds and cool temps. I hit my first 3 race weekend passing through the gates at Eldora Speedway Friday and Saturday for the World Of Outlaws spring visit. Sunday it was off to Indiana's Kokomo Speedway for round 2 of the KISS sprints.

With cool temps and a chilly wind, the WOO sprints pulled into the world famous Eldora Speedway Friday for their 1st of 5 visits of the 2014 season. 35 teams were ready for action on a fast smooth Eldora surface. Being one of the fastest drivers consistently the last few seasons at the Big E, Kerry Madsen continued to circle the 1/2 mile oval hammer down and set quick time of the night in qualifying.

With the track in great shape, the 4 heat races will transfer the top 5 finishers to the A. The heat race winners and the fastest 4 drivers who transfer to the A will set the field for the Dash. This is just a slightly different format than the last few WOO seasons. Heat 1 started with Dallas Hewitt spinning early in the heat. Once things got to rolling, Shane Stewart shot from outside row 1 and set sail at the front of the pack. With the brand new Larson-Marks team just making their 2nd start in the history of the sport, Stewart lead flag to flag to take the win. Madsen, Cody Darrah, Randy Hannagan, and Donny Schatz raced home in transfer positions. Dale Blaney blasted into the lead of heat 2. Caleb Helms quickly chased Blaney until shattering the engine in 40 car. Blaney raced away with the win over David Gravel, Paul McMahan, Daryn Pittman, and Trey Starks. Kraig Kinser kicked the go pedal down from the pole of heat 3 and never looked back. Kinser cruised to the win over Brandon Wimmer, Danny Holtgraver, Joey Saldana, and Jason Sides. Taking page out of Kinser's playbook, Chad Kemenah crushed the throttle when the green flag waved in heat 4, leading wire to wire for the win. Brad Sweet settled for 2nd after a few attempts to take the lead. Steve Kinser, Lucas Wolfe, and Jac Haudenschild.

With the track still smooth, fast, and very little dust, the Dash was up next. The finishing order of the Dash makes up the 1st 4 rows of the A Main. A decent race as Kraig Kinser continues to look super strong, taking the win. Stewart, Saldana, and Blaney cross the line in the top 4.

As Helms, Paul May, Jacob Allen, and Logan Schuchart all scratch from the B Main, the field pushes on to the track, taking the top 4 to the A. Sammy Swindell slams into the lead from the pole of the B, opening up a huge lead. Hewitt brings the caution flag out, stopping on the track. Swindell slid to the win, as Travis Philo, Trey Gustin, and Christopher Bell earn A Main bids.

Kraig Kinser and Stewart brought the field to the green in the 30 lap A Main. Stewart speed to the lead, running the high line as the pack raced into turn 1. In just the teams 2nd race, Stewart is making them look like a seasoned team. Opening up a 6 car length lead, Stewart is in lapped traffic by lap 5. Blaney, Gravel, and Saldana close on the leader as they dip and dive through traffic. Blaney tries to make a run at Stewart but quickly fades after closing within a car length. Saldana is right on Stewart's tail tank, in and out of traffic. Lap 17, Gravel loses power going into turn 4, slowing to a stop while running in the top 5. Saldana makes a run on the restart and is putting some heavy pressure on Stewart. Stewart makes a huge move in traffic entering 3, diving down low and putting a slide job on 3 cars entering turn 3, planting Joey in lapped traffic. This proves to be the winning move as Shane pulls away and races to the win. Saldana, McMahan, Madsen, and Blaney round of the top 5. A great run for Stewart in just the team's 2nd race ever.

Saturday with sunny skies and another brisk wind, 34 WOO sprints return to Eldora for night number 2. With the track super smooth again and just a bit drier, the cars were ready to roll. Trey Gustin found the wall entering turn 3 in qualifying. Repeating Friday night's effort, Kerry Madsen set quick time of the night.

Once again 4 heats, top 5 to the A. Daryn Pittman has a good running going until blowing a left rear tire bringing out the yellow. Brian Paulus tags the wall on the exit of turn 2 after the race resumes and flips, ending his night. A good battle upfront all heat long sees Madsen marching to the win over Donny Schatz, Shane Stewart, Travis Philo, and Pittman with a late race charge from the tail. With the track a bit slicker, a lot of passing as Madsen and Schatz came from the 2nd and 3rd rows where all the winners in Friday's heats came from the front row. Heat 2, the best heat of the weekend with 3 cars battling for the lead. Paul McMahan took the win over Chad Kemanah, a charging Jac Haudenschild, David Gravel, and Danny Holtgraver. The Hurricane, Randy Hannagan blew into the lead at the start of heat 3 and stormed away to a huge lead. Hannagan lead flag to flag taking the win over Steve Kinser, Lucas Wolfe, Brad Sweet, and Logan Schuchart. Dallas Hewitt spun on the start of heat 4 forcing a complete restart. Sammy Swindell slid from the inside to the high line on the restart and speed into the lead. Hewitt's Eldora struggles continue as he spins again a few laps later. Swindell gets a great restart and holds on to take the win over Dale Blaney, Joey Saldana, Christopher Bell, and Jason Sides. Some of the best WOO heats at Eldora in a while, the track is in perfect shape for great WOO racing. Yes it's a little drier and slicker but this is pure 100% proof at tracks like Eldora fast and tacky like Friday equals lock down cars and little passing. Tracks just a bit slicked up, but not too slick, there is a very fine line between perfect slick and too slick, makes for less lock down cars, putting it more into the drivers hands, making for racing and passing.

The 8 car Dash seen a decent race as Gravel held off Pittman, Saldana, and Madsen for the win.

Brandon Wimmer and Paulus scratch from the B which takes the top 4 on to the A. Cody Darrah and Caleb Helms battle upfront in the B until Helms has major issues strike from the 2nd night in a row while looking stout in the B, slowing and pulling into the infield. Darrah drives away from the pack and opens up a huge lead. Looking very strong, Darrah takes the win over Kraig Kinser, Wayne Johnson, and Jacob Allen.

Gravel and Pittman paced the field for the 30 lap A Main. As the field crosses the chalk line and takes the green, Pittman pounced into the lead as the pack raced into turn 1. Saldana, Gravel, and Madsen quickly chase Daryn. Pittman looks strong and opens just a slight lead. The pack bunches up in traffic as the top 4 are all racing right together. Madsen slows on lap 11 with a blown right rear, bringing the caution flag out. Restart, the battle rages on. Pittman leads as Gravel quickly hounds him. The duo battle tooth and nail as Gravel grabs the lead on lap 19. Just when you thought it couldn't get any tighter of a battle, the last 10 laps was excellent. As Gravel and Pittman exchanged slide jobs and battled within inches at times, all but touching, Hannagan was a beast on the bottom driving in it in deep into the turns pulling even with Gravel at times. Pittman, Gravel, and Hannagan were glued together, all trying to lead. Pittman and Hannagan exchanged 2nd and 3rd a handful of times as Gravel barely holds the lead. 2 to go, Hannagan fades just a bit, maybe heating the right rear up from running the bottom like a boss. Pittman gives it one more shot but falls short as Gravel takes the win. Pittman, Hannagan, McMahan, and Blaney, up from 18th, round out the top 5. The stat book don't do this race justice. Yes, Gravel started on the pole but he quickly dropped back to 3rd and raced back to the win. All while 2nd and 3rd raced up from row 4 and Blaney super deep in the pack. One of the best WOO A Mains through out the entire race in years at Eldora. The track was perfect to produce such a race. The Eldora track crew has taken a lot of heat the past few years but people better give some praise because they have had it great this season. Yes there was some dust but it's dirt track racing and as proven between Friday and Saturday, the track needs to be a bit drier to produce excellent races like this, all night long, even in most of the heats.

Both winners of the weekend was in just their 2nd night with their teams. Stewart in the newly formed Larson-Marks team spearheaded by NASCAR rookie Kyle Larson and Gravel for the Roth Motorsports team that he just took over the driver duties Friday night.

Sunday, waking up in Celina to sunny skies I decided it was time to head to Indiana to the Kokomo Speedway for the King of Indiana Sprint Series (KISS) show. A stop in Montpelier Indiana on the way let me scope out the improvements to their facility over the past few years. The place looks very different than my visit 3 years ago. As I entered Kokomo a few dark clouds and rain drops were present but the rain quickly stopped. Getting to town 5 and a half hours before hot laps, I got a chance to support one of the local sprint car teams, Josh Spencer's sponsor the Half Moon Restaurant and Brewery. With the NASCAR race on tv, excellent food at the table, and of course you gotta sample some of the homemade brew, it was an excellent visit before the race. I highly recommend a stop at the Half Moon on your next visit to Kokomo.

With another strong brisk winds and mostly cloudy skies, 33 sprint cars were pit side. With the track super wet and tacky, the 1st hot lap session was throwing rooster tails of mud from their right and left rears several feet in the air. With the pill draw system used for the lines ups, the heats were ready to roll on a very tacky surface.

4 heats with the top 4 moving on to the A Main. Garrett Miller quickly slowed heat 1 as he stalled just a few laps into the heat. Daron Clayton destroyed the field in heat 1, running away with the win over Scotty Weir, Kevin Thomas Jr, and Jon Stanbrough from deep in the pack. Good battle 2nd to 5th. Bryan Clauson blasted from the pole to the lead and looked to run away and hide from the pack. CJ Leary had different ideas as he charged from 7th to 2nd. As the laps wound down, Leary closed in on Clauson. Clauson held on though for the win over Leary, Gary Taylor, and Chad Boespflug. Some great 3 wide racing. A great heat 3 brought the crowd to their feet. Hometown hero Josh Spencer lead from the start but was under heavy pressure from Jerry Coons Jr. As they battled side by side, Brady Short caught the lead duo. Coming off turn 4 on the last lap, almost 3 wide, Spencer brought the locals to their feet, holding on for the win. Coons Jr, Short, and Kyle Robbins transfer to the A. Logan Jarrett hooked the cushion in turn 1 and goes for a tumble in heat 4 in a new car he just got together at week's end from his crash the weekend before. As Jeff Bland lead from the pole, the Throttle Shane Cottle gassed it up from 6th to battle Bland. In another great battle, Cottle took the lead and another popular win in heat 4. Bland, Parker Price-Miller, and Chris Gurley moved on to the A.

The B Main transferred the top 4 to the A. Tyler Hewitt goes for a ride, flipping in the B. A good battle upfront between Justin Grant and Dave Darland. Miller spins bringing out the yellow. Darland takes over the lead as Robert Ballou races towards the front. Darland holds on for the win over Ballou, Grant, and Dalten Gabbard.

Leary and Weir lead the field to green in the 30 lap A Main. Weir wrestled into the lead as the field ran 3 wide into turn 1. With the track still fast and tacky and a big cushion, plenty of 3 and 4 wide racing. Leary hooks the cushion in 2, a huge bicycle, somehow saves it and races on. Excellent battles all over the track. Clauson starts to move towards the leaders as he works up from 6th. Weir and Clauson battle as Bryan takes the lead on lap 10. Clauson starts to pull away, looking like he is going to run away from the pack. Following Clauson's moves, Clayton charged up from 7th and started to close in on Clauson. Lap after lap, Clayton closed the gap, trying to get to Clauson. Bryan made some excellent moves in traffic, keeping Daron just far enough away from him to make a bid for the lead. As they battle upfront, Cottle, Short, Weir, and Thomas are poised in a great battle. With the white flag a waving, it looks like Clauson in on his way to the win. Just as Clauson enters 3, Leary spins at the exit of turn 4, Clauson dodges Leary and races to the flag stand, as the yellow light flashes on before Bryan reaches the finish line. No flag was waved because the flagman looked confused on what to do. He had the white and checkered in hand but pulled them back, flashing the yellow light on, as he picked up the yellow flag off the floor and waved it once the leaders had already past by but the yellow light was clearly on before the leaders got to the finish line. Green and white together restart, the leaders are nose to tail and all hell breaks loose. Clauson enters 1 low, Clayton goes in hot, tags Clauson in the left rear, Clauson's tire explodes as he spins and keeps going, Clayton spins and stops, Stanbrough gets bottled up and climbs a wheel and flips. Cottle who had no shot at all now inherits the lead with Short on his tail tank for the restart once the track gets cleaned up. Restart, Cottle gets a great run and pulls ahead of Short. Cottle holds on and races to the win. Coons Jr nips Short to the line, taking 2nd, Thomas Jr and Weir rounded out the top 5. Another great Kokomo show with a lot of extra drama at the end of this one. Clauson handled it very professional. BC did walk over to Clayton's car under the red but calmly asked what Daron was thinking and let him speak his story before just casually walking away.

A great weekend of racing. I hope this year keeps a going this way as I've been lucky enough to witness some great racing so far this season. I hope everyone gets a chance to get to many races this season and see some of this great racing.

Thanks for reading, Duane

UPCOMING

FRIDAY NRA Lima OH, KISS Gas City IN, Must See Sprints Lucas Oil Speedway Indy

SATURDAY BOSS Wayne County OH, WOO Haubstadt IN, OVSC Brushcreek OH, Buckeye Super Sprints Columbus OH

 

 

With sketchy weather out East and some other changes in my week, my original plans to head to Pennslyvania got put on hold for a few weeks as I headed to the Gas City I-69 Speedway Friday and the Fremont Speedway Saturday.

Once the rainy weather past through the region many tracks cancelled their Friday night program but with the USAC Sprints on the card and clearing skies, the Gas City I-69 Speedway kicked the gates open as normal. With a heavy track, the 32 cars on hand were ready to hit the 1/4mile oval. A huge cushion was forming during hot laps as mud sprayed the entire outskirts of the track. Brady Bacon threw down fast time of the night in qualifying. Landon Simon hooked the cushion between turns 1and 2, going for a big tumble in qualifying.

4 heats with the top 4 moving into the A Main. The track was very racey with the cushion about 2/3rds of the way up the track but a tricky wicked heavy deep cushion. A traditional sprint car fans dream of a track where it's cowboy up on the ragged edge if you wanna ride the rim. Heat 1 came to a grinding hault when Robert Ballou got into the front stretch guardrail and demolished his machine in a nasty tumble. The Mad Man walked away but the car was broken into pieces. Bacon was loving the fast surface and charged to the front, batting Chad Boespflug and Bryan Clauson wheel to wheel. A great battle in this one seen Bacon win over Clauson, Boespflug, and Aaron Farney. Farney has looked very impressive at times in the early part of the season. A wild heat 2 with some good racing. Chase Stockon tries a big move on the start as Jarett Andretti gets sideways, driving Stockon into the infield after contact. As Kevin Thomas Jr and Thomas Meseruall try to charge to the front, Andretti gets loose again, bottles up the pack as, Thomas and T Mez bang and spin. Once the racing resumes, leader Logan Jarrett has issues and coast to a stop. CJ Leary takes over the lead as Andretti struggles to stay straight, holding the rest of the pack behind him. Leary takes the win over Andretti, Stockon, and Nathan Moore. The low budget team of Moore entered the track in an very small open trailer with just a very limited amounts of spare parts. Moore hails from Tyler Texas and is living in the Wade Racing shop for 6 months to live the dream. Moore plans to hit all the USAC shows and can now add an A Main start to his resume. Kyle Robbins stops early in heat 3, slowing the action. Jon Stanbrough jumped out front from the start and ran away with a flag to flag victory. DalTen Gabbard, Jerry Coons Jr, and Shane Cottle earn transfer positions. After a bad start in heat 4, Gary Taylor throttled to the lead and ran away from the pack. Leading green to checkered, Taylor took the win over Hunter Schurenberg, Dave Darland, and Josh Spencer.

With the track widening out a bit more, about 3/4rds up the track now but with a huge deep cushion, 8 to 10 inches, the B Main was rolling with the top 6 moving into the A. As the race went green, mud was still flying to the top row of the grandstand, very racy still and all the more tricky. Logan Jarrett's bad night continues as he flips big time in the B, hooking the cushion. Making up for his bad heat race, Thomas Jr tore into the lead from the start. Thomas made it look easy taking the win over Tracy Hines, Scotty Weir, Chris Windom, Justin Grant, and Meseruall in a tight battle for the final transfer spot. Hines qualified for his 999th USAC A Main event.

Andretti and Clauson paced the field in the 30 lap A Main. As the green flag drops, Cottle makes a crowd pleasing move from 3rd to 1st by turn 2 as Taylor spins in turn 2, bringing the yellow out before a lap was complete. Complete restart, Clauson takes advantage of this start and climbs into the lead. The battle is instantly on as Cottle crawls within a car length of the leader. Lap 3, Cottle takes the lead. A great race and 3 racing grooves, with a tricky track. Bacon starts to sizzle like he has all night long, bouncing to the front of the pack, taking the lead on lap 8. Riding the rim, was the preferred way around but took skill, luck, and courage to stay fast. Lap 12, Andretti spins. Lap 13, Grant stops with a flat. Restart, a ton of slamming and banging at the as the field bottles up at the cone, pitching a bumper on the track. Bacon is living on the edge as the race restarts. Lap 14, Bacon enters 3 hot as Clauson was applying pressure, gets up in the cushion, pitches sideways and can't gather it back in and spins in front of the field. Cottle is handed the lead for the restart. A great battle as Clauson, Stanbrough, and Darland try to work to the lead. Lap 17, Darland stuffs it high in the cushion in turn 3, trying to make a move. Darland's car stalls as his front end has damage from busting into the cushion, ending his night. Restart, Cottle runs the middle to top as Stanbrough, Clauson, and Weir, coming into the picture as just a few car lengths behind. A great battle upfront. With a tricky cushion and the bottom dried up and blowed off by this point, Hines starts to use his 999 USAC races experience and huggy poles around the bottom, driving it in straight but slow, passing cars like they had anchors tied to them. Lap after lap, the rest of the pack high, Hines uses the bottom is an awkward entry on the bottom, it's working as he closes in on Cottle. As he passes Weir, Stomp n Steer drops to the bottom as well and follows Hines. Lap 25, Hines powers off turn 4 into the lead. Stanbrough works on Cottle, charging into the cushion, cowboy up, looking to make a move. Lap 27, Stanbrough hooks the cushion wrong in 4 and flips. It wasn't a bad ride as Jon pushes back off once the field re-fires. Restart, Hines runs the bottom and the top 4 follow him, Clauson had slipped back to 5th but throws it up on the cushion to try and make a run. Clauson is cowboy up, bouncing all over but passing cars. Hines holds off all challenges taking the win. Clauson charges into 2nd at the finish as Weir, Cottle, and Windom round out the top 5. A great race with very racy track conditions all night long. Yes there was alot of cars upside down but it was a wild tricky track that made for exciting racing.

Patrick Burns dominated the HPD midget A Main, making it 3 for 3 this season. Austin Nemire took the heat race win.

Saturday with a strong breezy and sunny temps it was off to Fremont Speedway for the FAST 410 Sprints with the 305s on the card as well. 21 410 and 22 305 sprints were unloaded and ready for battle. With qualifying in all the divisions, Craig Mintz (410) and Alvin Roepke (305) set fast times of the night.

3 410 heats, all cars to the A Main, must finish in top 5 to get your time back to be in the Dash. The Dash is new to the weekly 410 program were the top 6 fastest cars that make it through their heats enter the Dash which sets the top 3 rows of the A Main by the Dash finish. With the track pretty smooth from just a car length off the bottom up to the cushion, the track was in good shape. The very bottom was rough going into 1 and 2. Stuart Brubaker blasted from the pole of heat 1 and never looked back. Brubaker lead flag to flag for the win over Caleb Griffith, Bryan Sebetto, Craig Mintz, and Mike Linder. Max Stambaugh and Brian Smith have a shootout in heat 2. Running side by side, lap after lap, almost touching they were so close, they fought for the lead. Smith took the lead late in the heat to take the win. Stambaugh, Chris Andrews, Brandon Wimmer, and Jody Keegan round out the top 5. A decent heat 3 seen Brian Lay take the win over Todd Heller, Brad Bowman, Byron Reed, and Duane Zablocki. Travis Philo and Dean Jacobs both missed the top 5 and will roll off 11th and 12th now in the A Main.

Same senecio as the 410s, 3 heats, top 5 get times back for the A, all cars transfer to the A. Nate Dussel dusted the field in heat 1, after taking the lead from outside row 1 and opening up a straight away lead. Dussel wins over Tyler Gunn, Jordan Ryan, Roepke, and Josh Harrison. An exciting heat 2 was Jason Keckler ran down race long leader, Ryan French, on the final lap. Keckler threw down a last lap, turn 4 pass to take the win over French, John Ivy, Seth Schneider, and Tony Beaber. Heat 3 seen the yellow fly when Trey Jacobs spun off the top of turn 1 by himself a straight away behind the pack. Once things got to rolling once again, Dustin Dinan took the win over Bobby Clark, Paul Weaver, Steve Rando, and Luke Griffith.

With the sun going down and the stiff breeze dropping the temps rapidly, the Fremont Speedway staff pushed the program along to accommodate the fans. At 8:25 the 410 A Main was on the track and lining up for their 30 lap event. Griffith and Wimmer bring the field to the green. Griffith grabs the lead as they race off turn 2 on lap 1. Wimmer holds strong as Mintz quickly closes in. Mintz and Griffith battle inches apart the next handful of laps as Mintz takes over the lead on lap 6. Caleb drops back just a little as the laps click off. Lap 12, DJ Foos spins. Mintz, Griffith, and Wimmer all race together upfront on the restart as the caution waves on lap 17 for a Matt Merrill spin. Restart, Mintz runs the top to the middle as Griffith finds some traction on the bottom and challenges Mintz once again. Lap 21, Griffith regains the lead. A tight battle for 5th to about 8th sees Zablocki hit the rough stuff in 2, shoot up the track, hits Jacobs, sending Dean a flipping. Keegan gets collected in the mess as well. Restart, Griffith holds off a move by Mintz to keep the lead. Andrews and Reed quickly run Mintz down and get past Craig as he starts to drop back. 5 to go, Reed cuts Griffith's lead to 2 car lengths with Andrews a few feet off Reed's push bar. Griffith don't budge and holds on for a very popular win. Reed, Andrews, Mintz, and Lay round out the top 5. A very good A Main.

Beaber and Gunn paced the field in the 25 lap 305 A Main. Gunn fires into the lead up on the high side as the field raced into turn 1. Before a lap was complete, French slide off turn 3 and into the wall for a caution. Using his years of experience, Beaber don't let the complete restart slip by him and bounces into the lead on the low side. Ivy instantly pressures Beaber and takes over the lead on lap 2. Lap 3, Dan Hammond spins. Restart, Ivy pulls away as Dussel starts to move through the pack. Lap 7, Beaber flips in turn 2 as Roepke spins trying to avoid the accident. Ivy looks very good as the green waves again. Lap 12, Brandon Moore spins. Restart, Jordan Ryan finds his groove and battles Ivy. Making it look a lot easier than I expected, Ryan rips into the lead on lap 16. As Ryan leads, Dussel starts to gain on the top 2. With 3 to go, Ivy and Dussel are on Ryan's fuel cell. Ryan seals the deal and takes the win. By inches Ivy takes 2nd, Dussel, up from 13th, Dinan, up from 12th, and Clark round out the top 5. Another good race. Fremont Speedway put on a good show and the complete show, truck A Main included was over by 10.

With it just the end of April, I've seen some great races so far and some drivers looking very tough. Dave Darland and Rico Abreu have been super strong so far. Mintz looks strong on the local scene as Reed looks to be as well. Hopefully mother nature starts cooperating a little more and things just continue to heat up.

Upcoming:

Friday
WOO Eldora, SOD I-96 MI, pavement sprints Spartan MI

Saturday
WOO Eldora, BOSS Fremont OH, OVSCA Skyline OH, Top Speed Sprints Angola IN, Buckeye Super Sprints Sandusky OH

Sunday
KISS Kokomo IN

Thanks for reading,
Duane

 

 

 

With excellent weather last weekend, the road took me to the Gas City I-69 Speedway in Gas City Indiana Friday for their opening night under new leadership and then to Eldora Speedway Saturday for the USAC Sprints 1st visit of the season.

With new leadership at the Gas City I-69 Speedway, some new changes for the 2014 season are in store. Some of the big changes are midgets have been added to the weekly program at Gas City. The sprint car purse has seen a nice much needed increase to the weekly program. Delaware double file restarts for all divisions. Qualifying for weekly shows. 32 sprint cars and 8 midgets kicked off the new era last Friday. With no dry runs, opening is live and real and a few of the new ideas seen some glitches on opening night. With timing light issues, the pill draw was used and qualifying was scraped for opening night.

4 sprint car heats with the top 4 moving to the A main. With a super dry hard slick track, the drivers were having issues finding grip in the heat races. Huggy pole catfish bottom feeding was the way to roll on the heats. CJ Leary lead the parade in heat 1 flag to flag from the pole, taking the win over Logan Jarrett, Chris Gurley, and Robert Ballou. Heat 2 was pretty much a mirror image of heat 1 with Kyle Robbins leading wire to wire from the pole in this one for the win. Rookie Cole Ketcham, Todd Keen, and Shane Cottle move into the A. AJ Hopkins got a run off the outside of row 1 in heat 3 to take the lead. Hopkins raced to the win. Jarett Andretti made a great run from 6th to 2nd in this one with Aaron Farney and Shane Cockrum transferring to the A. Debuting his family owned 7 machine, Bryan Clauson made it look easy in heat 4, peddling to the win. Chad Boespflug, John Stanbrough, and Thomas Meseruall slide into the A.

Issac Chappel held off a late race charge from Chett Gehrke to take the win in the midget heat race.

Sprint car B with the top 4 moving into the A Main. After a 45 minute break for track prep, Jerry Coons Jr and Justin Grant battled upfront for the lead. A few cautions, as the drivers and track crew struggled on getting the Delaware double file restarts lined up. I can see this adding excitement to the program but you can't spend 8, 10, 12 laps getting it lined up. Granted it's first night of trying it but it didn't reward any extra excitement really in any of the events for the amount of time it took to get the cars in line. Maybe the 2 track workers trying to line it up could use some dry erase boards because just the raceceivers are not quick or clear enough to get it handled in a timely manner. I think could be an exciting addition if things get worked out on it. Coons won the battle as Grant, Dave Darland, and Scotty Weir transfer in a great battle for the final
transfer spot. Parker Price- Miller made a charge from 10th fall just short at the line.

First off was the 20 lap Midget A Main. Chappel and Gehrke lead the pack to the green. Chappel took over where he left off in the heat, taking the lead. Gary Gipson brought out an early caution, stopping off turn 4. Restart, Chappel opened up a 4 car length lead as Gehrke ran a smooth line, trying to close in on Chappel. As the raced for the lead, Meseruall was moved into the top 3. At the half way point, Gehrke took the lead and was on a rail in the Don Moore 10 machine. Meseruall was trying to make a run towards the leader as Gehrke pulled away. Never challenged after he took the lead, Gehrke cruised to the win over Chappel, Meseruall, and Lyndsey Liguori.

Ketcham and Andretti lead the field to green in the 25 lap sprint car A Main. Ketcham caught everyone by surprise and raced into the lead as they raced into turn 1. Ballou flips big in turn 3. Hopkins takes over the lead just a few laps later. With a tricky rut on the edge of the cushion in the middle of 3 and 4 things got tricky at times. Leary caught the rut wrong and flipped hard off the top of turn 4. The action heated up as Stanbrough took the lead after charging up from mid pack. As Stanbrough races off in the lead, Cottle, Cockrum, and Darland are working their way towards the front from the back half of the pack. With the track having a few grooves for the A, a lot of passing was going on. Early leader, Ketcham has issues in turn 2, ending his night with 15 laps in. Under the caution, Meseruall doesn't slow down a half lap later and junks his ride as climbs a right rear and flips hard in turn 3. Restart, and the battle is on. Stanbrough and Cottle race side by side, slide job for slide job, swapping the lead back and forth. As they battle, Darland closes in and Cockrum is there too for a 4 car battle. As the intense battle heats up, the laps wind down, exciting the crowd. Cottle secures the lead with 3 to go as Stanbrough has Darland and Cockrum to fend off. Cottle, up from 14th, holds on for a tight win over Stanbrough, up from 12th, side by side at the line for 3rd, it's determined Cockrum, up from 15th, nipped Darland, up from 19th, as Boespflug rounds out the top 5. A great race the last 10 laps with the top 4 drivers starting from 12th or farther back in the pack. A few opening night jitters will hopefully be soon gone as Gas City showcased a great A Main.

Saturday with beautiful sunny skies, Eldora Speedway hosted the USAC Sprints for their first visit of the season. 31 cars were ready to attack the Big E. Despite the sunny skies and 17 mph winds when the cars took to the track, it was in great shape with a nice cushion and moisture. The track crew did great keeping the track in good shape. The Macho Man, Brady Bacon set quick of the night.

4 heats with the top 4 moving into the A Main. Heat 1 was a great race as the top 5 cars were glued together in this one. With the track being the legendary Eldora style, the cushion was just a foot from the wall. Keeping the Andretti family roots strong at the Big E, young Jarett Andretti under heavy pressure took the win over Chris Windom, Justin Grant, and Jerry Coons Jr. Bill Rose lead early in heat 2 as Scotty Weir and Bryan Clauson chase him. Rose held his own while the top 3 drivers battled just a car length apart for the lead. Weir whipped by for the lead in the late stages of the racing, taking the win. Clauson, Rose, and Brandon Whited. Tracy Hines hustled from 6th to the lead in heat 3 and put a whipping on the field. Hines in a run away over Jon Stanbrough, Kody Swanson, and Dallas Hewitt. Dave Darland darted from 6th to the lead in just a few laps, opening up a huge lead. Darland took the win over Hunter Schuerenberg, Daron Clayton, and Chase Stockon.

With the track still looking good, the B Main was up next with the top 6 transferring into the A. Rebounding from a not so great of a heat race run, quick qualifier Brady Bacon took command of the B in the early stages. With everyone settling in place and just clicking the laps off on the high side, Bacon breezed to the win over Robert Ballou, Aaron Farney, CJ Leary, Shane Cockrum, and Wes McIntyre.

Stockon and Hewitt brought the 22 car field to the green in the 30 lap A Main. Stockon slipped into the lead as the pack raced off into turns 1 and 2. With the high side being the preferred line, some guys were just inches off the wall trying to move forward. With the track a bit drier and a rut developing on the cushion in turn 1, the drivers really had to be smooth as possible to run to the front. Lap 5, Hewitt took a huge tumble in turn 4. Turn 4 has not been good to Dallas the past few years at Eldora. Restart, Darland takes the lead just before the flag stand as he battles with Stockon. Not intimidated one ounce, Chase throws a huge slider on the people's champ in the middle of turn 1, regaining the lead off 2. Darland settles in and just rides a few car lengths behind Stockon. Lap 9, Andretti gets bit by the turn 1 wall and trashes the Superior Auto entry as fuel cell flies off the 18 car as he tumbles. Jarett quickly exits the car and walks away. Restart, Stockon holds on but Darland just looks good. Lap 12, Darland drives past to lead once again. This time Chase has no counter move and Darland pulls away. Lap 15, Farney did the Eldora wall tap in turn 3, bouncing off of it 3 or 4 times but didn't let it eat him up and kept the car upright. Regardless, his night was over. Darland gets a great restart as Stockon and Hines follow, trying to keep up. In and out of traffic and lap after lap, Darland is the class of the field and takes the popular win. Stockon, Hines, Coons Jr, and Bacon round out the top 5. A good battle the first quarter of the A Main until Darland finally took over cruised to the win. I can tell you one thing, with my recent travels to many traditional sprint car and midget races, Dave Darland looks the best he has in probably the last 5 years. No matter if you call him Double D, the People's Champ, or Dave Darland if he keeps driving like he has in the early season many nights this season his name will be winner.

Upcoming

Friday USAC Sprints Gas City IN, FAST Attica OH

Saturday FAST Fremont OH, USAC Sprints Haubstadt IN, SOD Crystal MI

Sunday MSCS & KISS Terre Haute IN, USSA sprints Anderson IN

Thanks for reading! I'm heading out East to PA this weekend, hope to see some of the readers from Posse land this weekend,
Duane

 

 

After being a total washout last season, the USAC/Power I Midget combined event called the Kokomo Grand Prix kicked off it's inaugural event last Friday at the Kokomo Speedway in Indiana. A race I looked very forward too, a big paying stand alone midget show in our region. With mid-day temps in the mid 60s, a great field of 46 midgets were ready for action on night 1. Dave Darland went out 35th to qualify and set quick time of the night, taking home a $100 bonus.

4 heats with the top 4 moving to the A Main. The fastest 16 not making the A via the heats move to the B Main, with the rest going to the C Main. The top 4 from the C moved to the B, the top 8 in the B moved into the A. A new format for USAC but one they plan to use all year on big car count shows. There won't be any non qualifier races unless the car count goes over 48 as 48 car will now be eligible to
run in the 4 heats. I know some USAC traditionalist don't like the idea but I do!!! This as stated by Jason McCord in the drivers meeting will allow more drivers a chance in the heat races which it's about time!! We have all seen the dog days of summer where there is a great car count like Indiana Sprint Week and due to a late pill draw drivers are handicapped by a track that has dried out and slowed down by a second or more in speed. So this will for sure give everyone a fair chance to run a heat, well at least the top 48 cars which will cover the majority of the fields, even the big shows. This is a great move allowing 48 cars now instead of 32 and should grow the car count now since most drivers earn a heat race bid now. No USAC isn't the WOO or AllStars but it is the big leagues of professional traditional sprint car racing and should give a fair shot to the drivers like the rest of the professional sprint car divisions touring the country.

With the track drier than the typical Kokomo from the moderate winds all day, the 4 heats were ready to roll. Heat 1, a good battle upfront Kevin Thomas Jr, Chris Windom, and Darland, running 3 wide at times as Taylor Ferns batted upfront as well. As they race in transfer spots, Darren Hagen suffered engine woes all night long up to starting dead last in heat 1, making a charge to the front. Hagen catches the top 4 with 2 to go. Windom pulls off the win over Thomas Jr, Darland, and holding on to 4th by a car length over Hagen is Ferns. Heat 2 was q great heat race. As Kokomo veteran, Shane Cottle lead from the start, Christopher Bell charged from 6th to Cottle's tail tank. Running the cushion, just a foot off the wall, Cottle and Bell were bumper to bumper, less than 2 inches apart at times. Brady Bacon enters the mix with 3 to go. Bell was all but pushing Cottle as Bacon followed. The Throttle took a popular hometown win over Bell, Bacon,
and
making impressive charge from 8th, young Justin Peck takes home the final transfer spot. After a bad start, heat 3 was rolling along good until Jake Neuman lost a left rear tire bringing out a yellow. Colten Cottle had things under control in this one from the start taking the win just like his uncle Shane did in the previous heat race. Tyler Courtney, Rico Aberu, and Shane Hollingsworth transfer to the A. Heat 4 was a shootout. As Davey Ray and Bryan Clauson fought for the lead, Tracy Hines snuck into the battle making it a 3 car shootout. Just as that action heated up, Zach Daum joined the mix as well. Driving for with all he had Ray took the win over Clauson, Hines, and Daum. Some great heats.

Some heavy hitters had to run the car C Main with the top 4 moving on. Jason Grosz started the C with a spin in turn 2 that turned into a small flip once he whipped around. Green, the Hagen and Andrew Felker were charging from the last row
to the front of the field. Trying to run the table, Hagen hurried to the win over Felker, starting 13th and 14th respectfully, Seth Motsinger, and Kyle Lick.

A loaded B Main took the top 8 to the A. An eventful B seen many yellows and a few reds. Young and upcoming, Parker Price-Miller would fire off with car woes pushing off for the B. By the way, Parker is a young gun on my must pay attention to list. I can see him getting on the same path as Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell here with some more time under his belt. Steve Buckwalter was battling upfront and took a wild ride, flipping hard in turn 3. Restart, a bottleneck at the restart done seen Lick and Motsinger tangle. Once things got to rolling a hell of a battle was going on 3 and 4 wide about 6th to 11th fighting for a spot in the A. Racing for the last transfer spot, Justin Grant and Michael Pickens tangle, both spinning. Grant is done, Pickens restarted. As Hagen, Felker, and
Motsinger race through the pack from the C, Pickens is putting on a show, running HIGH on the track and hammer down. Pickens pulls into a transfer position but won't back down. Turn 2, Pickens flips wildly ending his night. With a hugh rut on the low side entering 1, many cars would hit it lap after lap Restart, more transfer cars tangle as Tyler Thomas, Lick, Nick Wean, and Spencer Bayston collide when the got bottled up in the rut in 1. Next restart, guys in 4th on back hit the rut in 1, bog down and collide, once again 2 of the 3 cars were in transfer spots. Caleb Armstrong, Issac Chapple, and Bayston collided in this one. Felker had worked up to 4th n pulled in during this yellow. After things got to going again, Chapple stopped with issues a few laps later. Finally, this one gets in the books with Tanner Thorson, Alex Bright, Jerry Coons Jr, Austin Brown, Hagen,
Daniel Robinson, Motsinger, and Tyler Thomas transfer. Great runs from the tail
by Hagen and Motsinger.

Windom and Daum lead the field to green in the 30 lap A Main. Aberu abruptly shot to the cushion as the pack entered turn 1! Rico raced from 4th to 1st by the exit of turn 2, taking the lead with a spectular move. Lap 1, Hagen and Felker spin. Rico roars to the lead on the restart as the action slows on lap 4 for Brown stopping on the track. Restart, Rico leads as Bell and Darland chase him down. Lap 10, Brown spins. Rico leads as the action heats up a little with Bell looking fast and Darland right there too. Lap 18, C. Cottle spins. Lap 22, Hagen spins. 23, T. Thomas spins. Restart, Hagen spins again. Hagen had a rough night but was a rocket too charging from the tail of the C to the B, tail of B to the A, and tail of A to top 10 at one time in the A with several issues in between those charges. Rico was laying down a stellar run as Darland makes a late race challenge towards the leader. Rico holds strong as Bell pressures Darland. Rico wins, Darland beats Bell to the line by a foot for 2nd, Windom and Hines around out the top 5.

Day 2, 45 cars were ready for the $6000 to win show. For the 2nd night in a row, Dave Darland goes out as one of the last qualifiers and sets fast time of the night, earning a $100 bonus.

4 heats, top 4 to the A once again. Steve Buckwalter ran away with heat 1, leading flag to flag over Windom, Darland, and Parker Price-Miller. A great battle in heat 2 seen Spencer Bayston hold off Clauson, Thorson, and Bright for the win. Jake Blackhurst went unchallenged in heat 3 to take the win over Pickens, Brown, and Aberu. A decent race in heat 4 seen Colten Cottle take the w over Bacon, Hinesm and Tyler Courtney.

Issac Chapple takes a nasty tumble in turn 1 at the beginning of the C. After a few minutes, Issac emerges out of his car and walks away. Jake Neuman leads wire to wire in the C, taking the win over Chett Gehrke, Justin Peck, and Robinson.

Top 8 from the B move into the A. Peck does a easy flip in turn 4 for a red. Justin restarts as the pack restarts. Peck takes a nasty tumble on the restart, less than a foot from the same spot he just flipped in. I've seen the same guy flip twice in one night but don't recall same guy within 5 minutes apart in same spot on the track, guess saying he has issues with that part of the track is a understatement. Ferns stops late in the race after fall back quickly the past few laps after things got back in motion. Bell takes the win over Brown, Hagen, Armstrong, Tyler Thomas, Daum, Felker, and with a last lap pass, Hollingsworth.

Pickens and Clauson brought the field to green in the 40 lap A Main. Courtney surprised the stout front row and cruised to the lead on the start from 3rd. Lap 1, Bayston flips. Lap 3, Armstrong stops. Courtney leads as Kevin Thomas Jr is on his tail tank. Lap 5, Thomas takes the lead. Bell looks great and starts charging to the front from 9th. Lap 9, Bell takes the lead as Clauson makes his presents felt. Clauson and Bell battle nose to tail, side by side in a shootout. Lap 13, Bell hops around in the rough stuff, bogging down and Clauson has no place to go and makes contact, Bell stops, Clauson keeps going as Brown stops too. Under yellow, Thomas now in 3rd pulls in the pits. Clauson will lead the restart. Restart, Rico finally looks strong and hammers down racing into the lead on lap 14. Rico starts to pull away, making some daring wide open moves in traffic. Lap 27, Buckwalter stops. Restart, Rico roars as the pack follows. Lap 29, Bright loses a front tire entering turn 1 putting him in the wall. Restart, Rico leads as a torrid battle is raging right behind him. Lap 30, Clauson gets crossed up in the rough stuff on the cushion in turn 1, Pickens has nowhere to go, slams Clauson and collect Hagen, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th sits there in a pile. Restart the only thing slowing Rico is Courtney stopping on lap 37. Taking the sweep, Rico runs rampant on Kokomo taking the win.Teammates Thorson and Bell finish 2nd and 3rd, with Hines and Tyler Thomas rounding out the top 5.

Thanks for reading
Duane.

 

 

 

 

In the Southeastern part of Indiana, laying just miles from the Ohio and Kentucky state lines, the Lawrenceburg Speedway showcases it's premier racing facility. Last Saturday, with sunny beautiful skies, Dave Rudisell and crew kicked the gates open with the USAC Sprints. 42 cars strong, the thunder and lightening division lived up to it's name as the track was wicked fast after The Burg crew worked hard getting the racing surface ready from all the rains during the week. With cars lifting the left rears 8 to 10 inches off the ground entering turn 3 and cowboy up during hot laps, it was time to qualify. With cars pulling wheel stands, bicycling, and just wicked fast on the edge pure raw traditional sprint car racing wide open, Jon Stanbrough set quick time of the night with a time of 13.727. Stanbrough was the 2nd to last car out, as the track held it's moisture very well.

With the track wild and fast, the 4 heats were ready to roll with the top 4 moving on to the A Main. Kody Swanson worked into the lead of heat 1 as the top 4 was glued together all race long. Swanson looked to have the win in the bag when a little bobble on the last lap seen Bryan Clauson breeze past Swanson to take the win. Thomas Meseruall, Swanson, and Stanbrough round out the top 4. In heat 2, Robert Ballou blasted his car on the cushion in turn 1 and rode to the lead. With the cushion about mid track high, it was cowboy up on the cushion and didn't slow down much in the bottom grooves, making the track pretty equal throughout it. Ballou lead flag to flag over Chris Windom, Tracy Hines, and Scotty Weir. With cars running all out side by side, sometimes with 2 wheels off the ground, heat 3 was no different. Justin Grant out battled Hunter Schuerenberg for the win. Jerry Cooooooooons Jr and Dave Darland transfer to the A. Heat 4, Chase Stockon showcased why he has been one of the top non wing drivers the part few seasons, shooting from 4th to the lead on lap 1. As Chase had things under control upfront, the battle ragged for the transfer spots. Leading flag to flag, Stockon took the win over Jared Andretti, Travis Hery, and CJ Leary.

The track crew did just a quick minute of maintenance to make for 3 to 4 grooves now as the 24 car B Main pushed off. The track never lost much moisture at all with the sun down, the track was pretty heavy all night long. The top 6 from the B moved into the A. Brady Bacon and Kevin Thomas Jr fought for the lead on the start as Chris Gurley made it a 3 car battle. Landon Simon stopped a few laps in, restarting and tagging the tail. As the top 3 battled side by side and nose to tail, the cars 4th to 9th on the track was fighting hard for a transfer position. Lap 6, Ted Hines was right in the mix of the transfer battle as he entered turn 1 very hot on the bottom and clipped an infield tire barrier, flipping hard into 1. Ted walked away after some violent hits. Just as the battled heated up again, Wes McIntyre stops on the track. This was a break for Simon, closing the pack up once again as Landon was using every inch of the track high and low to work back through the field. Restart, Bacon low, Thomas in the middle, and Gurley the highest car on the track, just gutting it out on the wild side still fight for the top spot and the transfer spot still is a 6 car battle. In a tight battle all race long, Bacon takes the win. Thomas Jr, Gurley, Shane Cockrum, Parker Price-Miller, and by less than a car length, Logan Jarrett, up from 14th, transfer to the A. Simon made a valiant charge through the pack just falling short by a car length at the finish line for the final transfer spot.

Darland and Meseruall brought the field to green in the 30 lap A Main. Battling hard into turn 1, Darland dodges into the lead as the battle is on. T-Mez never slips more than a car length away, with Windom right there as well and Stanbrough inches away in a 4 car battle. Lap 5, Andretti and Hery spin for a yellow. Under the caution, Meseruall pulls in as the brake pad falls out of the rear of the 41 car and Windom follows him in. Unbelievable both the 2nd and 3rd place cars are done for the night. Restart, Stanbrough stalks Darland. Lap 6, debris on the track draws a yellow. Restart, Darland and Stanbrough resume their battle as things heat up deeper in the top 10. The track is super wide and at least 5 grooves can be raced on. Some braving the high line, wild and on the go peddle. Lap 7, Clauson gets major air bouncing low in turn 3. With the cars battling tightly, Gurley slams Clauson and breaks his front end, slipping down the track giving Thomas nowhere to go but over Gurley and flipping into turn 4. It was just a product of close tight racing on a wild cowboy up track. Clauson never did stop and raced away before the red flew. Green, Darland dances in the lead as Stanbrough runs right on his tail tank. Lap 10, Stanbrough slides past, taking the lead. Once out front, Stanbrough starts to open a huge lead after 7 laps pass. Coons and Bacon start to challenge Darland as Grant is putting on a show charging up from 11th. Stanbrough is all alone as all eyes force on the 4 car battle for 2nd. 5 to go, Grant raced around the group and is trying to close the huge gap between him and Stanbrough. Lap 27, Leary hits the turn 1 wall coming to a stop resting against the wall with a broken race car. Just the break the much faster Grant needed. Justin was turning laps 4 tenths of a second faster than Stanbrough before the caution. Restart, going into 1, Stanbrough enters a bit higher, Darland low, side by side, bouncing through the stuff as Grant splits the middle and charges into the lead entering turn 2, bringing a huge roar from the excellent crowd on hand. Grant looked like a rocket ship ready for flight, running on the edge about as far on it as you could run without crashing. Stanbrough's bobble cost him more as he drops farther back in the top 5. Grant seals the deal, taking the win over Darland, Coons, Bacon, and Stanbrough. Great wild balls out racing all A Main long with Grant showing his cowboy hat must be bigger after starting 11th. The track stayed heavy all night long making for some great racing. The track, drivers, and crews all deserve an A+ on this one providing a great entertaining show all night long. Well worth the trip to The Burg!

Upcoming

Friday
USAC N Power I Midgets Kokomo IN, OVSCA Midway OH

Saturday
USAC N Power I Midgets Kokomo IN, Fremont OH opens

See you at Kokomo as I start my Racing World gig the weekend bringing a traveling on the road segment to the program throughout the season this year.

Thanks for reading,
Duane

 

 

 

After mother nature looked like she was raising her ugliness on the weekend of racing, the Brownstown Speedway refused to give in to her and moved the 6th annual No Way Out 40 to Sunday afternoon. Just the initial idea of a track actually trying to not give in and do all they could to get a special show, drew my attention and I knew I was going to support the event if they took the risk to run it the next day. Waking up to a beautiful sunny day, it was off to Brownstown as the Chad Wilson Motorsports hauler swung through past and gave me a ride to Southern Indiana to the 1/4 mile oval. As we pulled through the gates, a whopping 51 sprint cars were pit side for the Salute to Jesse Hockett No Way Out 40.

Pairing the cars up, via the pill draw, into 4 groups for the heat races, each car timed in 1 lap but was only timing against the other cars in their heat race, somewhat of a group qualifying but one at a time. The top 4 from each heat moved on the A with the non transfer cars from heat 1 and 3 moving into B1 and the non transfer cars from heat 2 and 4 moving to B2. Each B took the top 2 finishers to the A. Heats were lined up, straight up, with the fastest on the pole. The winner of heat 1 would start on pole of the A winner of heat 2 would start 2nd and so on. With 2nd in heat 1 starting 5th in the and 2nd in heat 2 starting 6th in the A and so on.

Bryan Clauson cruised into the lead in heat 1 as the battle raged behind him. Jeff Bland threw it into turn 1 deep, trying to get past CJ Leary for 2nd as the two made contact, Bland spun to a stop. Clauson regained the lead as Leary tried to challenge BC. A heated battle for 4th seen Dakota Jackson punt Chris Gurley out of the spot, spinning Gurley in turn 3. Jackson broke under yellow as Gurley restarted and tagged the tail at the half way point. Gurley gave Jackson his thoughts as he passed by Jackson's car getting put on the hook. On the restart, Thomas Meseruall spin coming off 2 collecting Gurley and Brandon Mattox. Clauson and Leary battled upfront for the lead as Chris Windom made it a 3 car battle. As those 3 battling it out for the win, Gurley was on a mission to get a transfer spot. Clauson holds on for the win over Leary, Windom, and Gurley with a late race charge into the final transfer spot. Heat 2 seen Brady Short shot from the pole into the lead. Justin Grant filed in line as Daron Clayton followed Grant from outside row 2. Short quickly pulled away as the field settled in and clicked the laps off. Casey Shuman moved into 4th in the late stages of the heat. Short lead flag to flag for the win as Grant, Clayton, and Shuman transfer. With the track getting slicked off and the cushion ride on the top ridge of the track and some holes developing in turn 1 and 3, the bottom was coming around and it was becoming a tricky track. With the heavy hitting teammates of Jon Stanbrough and Kevin Thomas JR making up the front row of heat 3, no one would imagine anyone outside of the front row a shot at winning. Brady Bacon had other ideas as he raced past the teammates into the lead, looking very stout. Bacon blasted the field and took the win. Stanbrough, Thomas JR, and Shane Cottle transferred into the A. Pole sitter Dave Darland suffered engine woes as the field pushed off for heat 4, sending Dave to the pits. Robert Ballou blew into the lead as the green flag flew. Aaron Farney spun a lap later. As the bottom line quickly came in, Devin Gilpin from 11th and Chad Wilson from 10th race into the top 4. Jared Fox spins. As the laps pass, Farney gets it under control and races up to 2nd. Gilpin and Wilson are holding on as Chase Stockon closes. Fox spins again. The top 4 remains the same with 2 to go, Matt Brannin spins. Restart, Stockon battles Wilson as Wilson gets held up on the bottom by a slower Gilpin but can't get around him. Stockon slips past Wilson, knocking him out of a transfer spot. Ballou has this one in hand, taking the win over Farney with a great recovery from an early spin, Gilpin who was making just his 2nd ever sprint car start, and Stockon.

After some quick track watering and some support class heats, the very decent sized crowed seen the sprint car B Mains push off as the sun was still bright in the sky. With just the top 2 moving to the A, the starts of the B's looked like a 4 wide traffic jam. B1, Hunter Schuerenberg hustled into the lead as the deep pack guys pushed, shoved, and made their cars very wide, trying to move forward. Chase Briscoe got forced off the top of the back stretch off the exit of turn 2, stopping for a yellow. As Schuerenberg raced into a secure lead, Jordan Kinser used enough of the middle to motor around the outside of a car, then shoot down low to take the position, working from 6th to 2nd. With the low line being the way around, Schuerenberg took the win over Kinser. In B2, Chad Wilson shot out of a cannon on the start, moving from 4th to 1st into turn 1 but hit the hole in turn 1 just enough wrong to collapse his front end when he landed from the bounce, forcing him into the tractor tire on the bottom of 2, slowing his car to a stop, ending his night. With the bottom being the line, the inside row of Bradley Sterrett and Tyler Courtney huggy pole into the top 2 positions. The duo was never tested too hard and both raced into the A with Sterrett taking the win.

Clauson and Short paced the field to the green in the 40 lap A Main just after sunset. Clauson crawled into the lead as the field peddled it into turn 1. Running the extreme bottom and rolling smoothly through the holes, Clauson was finesse on the throttle peddle and only driving as hard as he needed to. As many of other drivers are spinning their tires and running the edge of the cushion, Clauson was poetry in motion, being the smoothest on and off the throttle, not abusing any ounce of his car. Stanbrough was hard in the holes, bouncing so high at times in turn 3, you could see light under all 4 corners of the car. Lap 21, Shuman stops bringing the caution out. Lap 12, Stockon spins. Restart, it's all Clauson. After seeing BC hard on the throttle several times and being the fastest car to win many races, it was pretty cool seeing just how balanced of a driver he is, just peddling the car, where by any means a fast car is not the best on this night. It's a drivers track, where you gotta be smooth, straight, and precise not to crash in the holes. In what seemed to be a long long long race, the caution waved on lap 23 when Schuerenberg spun in turn 3. Restart, Clauson leads as the crowd starts to notice Courtney and Kinser charge on the bottom from 19th and 20th into the top 6. As the laps wind down, Clauson stretches the lead as Courtney races into 4th. In a finesse style, flag to flag, Clauson takes the $7500 paycheck for the win. Stanbrough, Short, Courtney, up from 20th, and Kinser, up from 19th round out the top 5.

Yeah the track became huggy pole and not a wide open battle royal A Main but, it was decent racing and a awarding effort by the entire Brownstown staff to even get this race in. I guarantee most places would have pulled the plug and not worked as hard as this crew needed to for this event to happen. Was it perfect, no but it was a success and everyone did what they had to from the crews, to the drivers, to the fans, to get this one in the books. What a way to open my first outdoor race, 51 cars decent racing.

Coming up

Friday: ALLSTARS Attica OH

Saturday: ALLSTARS Attica OH, USAC Sprints Lawrenceburg IN, MSCS Lincoln Park IN

Sunday: USAC Silvercrown Terre Haute IN

Hoping mother nature starts letting us get this season a rolling!! Thanks for reading,
Duane

 

 

 

 

 

With the winter chills and racing blahs set in by year's end, the Rumble at The Expo in Fort Wayne Indiana always cures the racing bug as the year ends. For the 16th time, Tony Barhorst and his Classic Motorsports crew presented the Fort Wayne Rumble in The Expo. Always more than just a race, a true event takes place at the Rumble. A jam packed card of racing, from early afternoon on, displays from different racing businesses, Tim's Simulators, to catching up with your racing family in the off season, it's all going down at the Rumble. Not to mention, a chance to see up and coming stars run either in a go kart, quarter midget, mini sprint, or full size midget.

Making Saturday's show, 39 midgets, 18 winged mini sprints, and 29 non wing mini sprints were on hand, plus several quarter midgets and go karts.

5 midget heats with just the top 2 moving to the A, seen some tight racing action. The drivers were not afraid to use some contact to hold their spot of gain a position making for some good ole indoor racing. Patrick Wilda took the win over the 3rd generation of the Nemire family racers, Austin Nemire. Making a name for himself in the Rumble series last year, Justin Peck takes heat 2 over Dave Darland in a under powered Kenyon midget. Darland truly had a great run in a car that was under powered for a regular midget show. In a very tight nose to tail finish amongst the top 4, Grant Galloway took the win in heat 3 over Lynsey Liguori. Rex Norris III made his return to the Rumble and took the win in heat 4 over local fan favorite Mike Fedorcak. Russ Gamester took his 1977 King midget to the win in heat 5 over Billy Hulbert. Some good heat race action with no clear run aways.

In the fast winged mini sprints, all cars in the 3 heat races made the A. Howard McCormack held off a fast Erick Rudolph in heat 1. One of the winning est drivers in Rumble history, John Ivy took the win in heat 2 over AJ Lesiecki. Coming the past 5 years from the East coast, Matt Janisch took the win in heat 3 over Chase Ridenour. Chase is moving to the 360 sprint car ranks in 2014 following the SOD series.

New to the Rumble this season, splitting the mini sprints up, was the non wing division consisting of dirt only cars. More and more specialty indoor only cars for the concrete tracks has shown up year after year, giving them a huge advantage over the normal outdoor dirt cars ran by many Indiana hobbyist racers. This new division helps give everyone a fair shack at running with alike cars. The non wings guys had many incidents getting used to the surface and their heats were pretty spread out. Daniel Robison took heat 1 over Tim Nye. In a good heat, Richard Smith took the win in heat 2 over Clay Sanders. Austin Creamer took the win over Mike Fedorcak in heat 3. In kinda a scrambled up heat, Darek Snyder took the win in heat 4 over Joe Barker.

3 midget B Mains with the top 2 moving to the A. Some loaded B Mains with many past Rumble winners in the B's. Fast qualifier Brandon Knupp made his way to the front of B1 and cruised to the win. Past winner Derek Bischak transferred to the A with a running up finish. In a close one, B2 seen Cooper Clouse take the win over Joe Liguori. With Joe's wife Lynsey making the A main via her heat, the Luguori's became the first husband and wife combo to make the A main together. With the B Mains loaded, past winner Bobby Santos took the win in B3 to transfer to the A. Another guy living on Fort Wayne home cooking, Cory Setser took the final A main spot with a runner up finishing the B. Past winner and Rumble vet, Billy Wease missed the A for the first time in 5 years Saturday.

Another up and coming star in the midget ranks, Spencer Bayston raced to the win in the non wing mini sprint B Main. The winged mini sprints didn't have a B.

As the 50 lap midget A Main pushed off, Nemire had issues and had to scratch from the A. Issac Chapple was added to the tale of the A. This moved Lynsey Liguori to the pole position and Justin Peck to the outside of the front row, pacing the field to the green. Peck pounced into the lead as the field raced past the flag stand, taking the green. Peck started to open a nice little gap all alone upfront. Some good battles in the pack of Knupp was flying past cars along with Santos. The Liguori family battled ended badly as Joe and Lynsey got caught up in a accident off turn 2, ending both of their nights. Peck takes charge as the top 5 cars are racing pretty closely together. After working his way to 3rd and looking like the car to beat, Knupp breaks. Santos is the other car racing from the back to the top 5. Just as Santos worked up to 4th, his car breaks as well. Peck holds a slight advantage with 10 to go as Gamester makes his move to sweep the weekend. Nose to tail, Gamester puts the pressure on the young Peck. Peck misses his mark in turn 2, slipping wide, opening the gap Gamester was looking as Russ shot to the inside and took the lead on lap 43. Peck didn't go away and was in Gamester's tire tracks. Actually closing the gap, right on Russ's bumper with 3 to go, Justin was looking for more. 2 to go, Peck is there. Peck takes the lead on lap 49 as the top 5 are bunched together. As Peck leads, Gamester starts to sputter and bottles the pack up. Peck races into turn 4, Gamester blows an engine, pulling inside the track as the field scrambles behind him. Peck wins. Fedorchak, Galloway, Hulbert, and Bischak round out the top 5. A great finish and a good show all night long.

In the winged mini sprint A, John Ivy took command of the A just a handful of laps into the main. Ivy was putting a whipping on the field as Rudolph and Janisch battle behind him. Janisch is in 2nd, looking for a break to catch Ivy. With 6 to go, Ivy breaks pulling off the track. Janisch inherits the lead as a fast Rudolph in on his bumper the last 6 laps. A great nose to tail battle with no contact, just tight racing. Janisch holds his own and after 5 years of trying, takes home his first A Main win. Rudolph, McCormack, Lesiecke, and Bill Dunham round out the top 5.

After several incidents in the non wing mini sprint A, Blaine Culp took the win over Spencer Bayston.

Another Rumble in the books and another good race. Next year's Rumble event expands to 3 days, December 26th-28th. If you've never been to a Rumble event or haven't been for a while, you need to get there next year. Its a great way to spend a day or 3 during the off season.

Some other off season news: Wayne County OH Speedway is switching to Saturday nights for 2014. I-96 Speedway in Michigan in switching to Friday nights, racing sprint cars as a weekly division. Ohio's Bryan Nuckles is moving into the 410 sprint car ranks for 2014. Chad Kemenah is returning to the All Star Sprints for the 2014 season. Christopher Bell has taken over the Call/Holbrook 83 entry in 2014. Danny Holtgraver has teamed with Rob Hunter for the season. Gene Frankfort takes over as competition director of Limaland Speedway. Look for some changes in the racing program at LMP. The best bargain in ages hits Eldora Speedway May 17th when the BOSS traditional sprints hit the high banks once again with a full program of mods and stocks, plus family fun night for $8!!! YESSSS $8!!!! I would like to see us die hard fans that talk to all of our friends, neighbors, co-workers, whoever about the sport we chase and bring along some people who have never witnessed the sport we live for that night for a mere $8 admission. That's cheaper than a movie and a great chance to showcase our sport.

Stay warm, be safe, and hope 2014 is excellent to all, Duane

 

 

 

When there is a sprint car race in Ohio the last weekend of October, I plan to walk through the gate and support those who take that risk of racing late in the season, especially on a all but desirable day weather wise. Making my first visit to Atomic Speedway of the season, and first in 6 years, I was very impressed with the fact the track looked in great shape and the staff was determined to get the show in. Moving the start time up to 3PM was a great idea as chilly as the 20 MPH winds made it out. A decent crowd of hardcore fans made their way out to the track before the action began.

22 sprint cars were on hand for the closer to the sprint car season in Ohio. Nate Reeser scratched for the night before taking to the track in hot laps. With times in the high 11 second bracket during hot laps, the track was staying in good shape. Ryan Broughton took a nasty tumble in turn 4 during qualifying after he got in the loose stuff above the cushion. Ryan walked away with a junk race car. Danny Smith set fast time of the time of the night with a 11.83 lap.

3 heats with all cars moving into the A main. In heat 1, Cole Duncan ducked to the inside and dashed into the lead. Duncan quickly ran up on the cushion, which was thin and tricky in 3 and 4, and pulled away from the pack. Duncan took the win by almost a straight away over Smith, and Trey Gustin. Tate Martz slowed heat 2 with a spin in turn 1 as he pinched it off too tight in the slick stuff on the bottom on the track. Jac Haudenschild lead flag to flag in this one holding off Jimmy Stinson and Jim Nier for the win. Rob Blair moved from 4th to 1st in heat 3, blasting away from the field. Blair took the win by over a straight away. Sam Ashworth and Ryan Meyers rounded out the top 3.

Moving the program quickly along, it was just about 7:15 when the 25 lap sprint car A main took to the speedway. As the field took shape, the guys starting in row 2 on back had their work cut out for them with Danny Smith and Jac Haudenschild leading the field to the green. The Wild Child Jac Haudenschild hustled from outside row 1 and quickly set sail. Duncan closed in by lap 3 and was trying to give Jac a challenge as they quickly entered traffic. By the half way point, Duncan faded as Haudenschild used in years of experience to get through the much slower traffic as Duncan struggled a bit. As Haudenschild opened up an untouchable lead, Smith pressured Duncan for 2nd. Leading wire to wire, The Wild Child dominated the race by taking the win by over a half track, lapping up to 5th. Duncan, Smith, Stinson, and Blair rounded out the top 5.

The track stayed decent all night as the Atomic staff kept the show a rolling, getting the fans in and out as quick as possible on chilly night. Things are looking up for Atomic Speedway as the new ownership is proving they will do what it takes to get the races in the books, put on good a show for the fans, and be fan friendly. With a price tag of just $12 for general admission, I think Atomic Speedway will quickly become a must visit track for race fans. They have already booked the Wednesday All Star Sprint Speedweek show in late June and the night the Stars come out with the All Star Sprints and a TBA late model group for $5000 to win main events on July 3rd.

The annual Turn 2 party takes place just outside turn 2 of Attica Speedway November 9th. With a starting time of 5, there will be a bonfire, music, corn hole, hillbilly golf, 50/50 drawing, and a silent auction. All $$$ raised goes into the injured drivers fund. Campers, tents, and over night stays are welcome. It's a byob party and just a great time for a great cause.

As the off season is just a week into it, things have been changing already in the Ohio sprint car scene. Stay tune for more details as they are officially announced.

Thanks for reading Duane

 

 

 

For 7 years now Kokomo Speedway has took the 3rd weekend of October and created another big event to their schedule. Friday night has became open wheel night of the Klash. Just as luck would have it, mother nature has always messed with this event either with rain or cool temps. Last Friday, with it just 58 degrees outside for the high, 32 traditional non wing sprints and 14 midgets passed through the gates of Kokomo Speedway. TQ midgets and mini sprints complete the open wheel portion of the Klash. Group qualifying was used for the sprint and midget lines.

Sprint cars were 1st on the agenda with 4 heats, transferring the top 4 to the A Main on the fairly heavy tacky track. CJ Leary leaped to the lead in heat 1 and left the field in his dust. Leary ran away to take the win by a straight away over Gary Taylor, Chris Windom, and Braylon Fitzpatrick. Chris Gurley slowed heat 2 when he got up in the thick cushion and spun, battling for a transfer spot. A good battle in this super stacked heat lived up to the standard Kokomo racing. In a good tight race, Wes McIntyre lead flag to flag over Jerry Coons Jr, Dave Darland, and Shane Cottle from the tail. A battle for 3rd in heat 3 seen Jamie Fredrickson run into Justin Grant causing Grant to shoot down the track off turn 4 with a broken front end. Aaron Farney had no place to go and got clipped by Grant, ending Farney's heat race as well. With just 5 cars left a pretty boring run away heat as Scotty Weir whipped to the lead and rode off in the moonlight. Weir won by a huge margin over Josh Spencer, Adam Byrkett, and Travis Hery. Put Jon Stanbrough on the front row of any race and it's more often than not,the battle will be for 2nd. Stanbrough slipped from outside row 1 into the lead. Brady Short made it a respectable heat by trailing Stanbrough by about 3 cars lengths most of the heat. Stanbrough takes the win over Short, Blake Fitzpatrick, and Robert Ballou. All in all not the typical Kokomo style of heat races one has come to expect while attending the 1/4rd mile oval. See I think Kokomo is usually so good on a regular basis that when you don't get the normal 3 and 4 wide battles and 3 car battles for the lead in 3 of the 4 heats you wonder what the heck is wrong.

2 midget heats using passing points to set the A Main line up. The driver with the most points at the end of the heats will start on the pole of the A. The only thing slowing Parker Price Miller in heat 1 was a Michael Koontz spin in turn 2. Price-Miller massacred the field from the pole, winning by a huge margin over Billy Wease who charged from the tail. Repeating the feat of Price-Miller, Shane Cottle cruised from the pole to a huge lead. Issac Chapple spun in turn 2, slowing the heat. Cottle ran away and crushed the field for the win over Shane Hollingsworth who charged from the tail. Pretty much identical heats, just with different players and the midget heats were like a enduro. Some cars where 2 and a half laps down in a 8 lap event.

2 traditional sprint car B Mains with the top 2 moving on to the A. Kyle Robbins ran away from the pack from outside row 1 in B1. Garrett Miller spun in the famous spin turn of the night, turn 2. As Robbins runs away from the pack a good 2 car battle for the final transfer spot between Gurley, Jarrett Andretti, and Logan Jarrett. Putting on the best battle of the night, all 3 cars are glued together, almost making contact several times. Andretti sticks his car in 2nd with a few laps to go. On last lap in turn 2 running the cushion, Andretti slips up and Gurley had all the chance in the world to use him up. Instead, Gurley let Andretti gather it in and battle him cleanly for the spot. Robbins wins as Andretti nips Gurley and Jarrett to the line.

B2 had a lot of confusion before the green flag even waved. Nevil Algieo wasn't on the track as the field was going to take the green but quickly the yellow light was back on before the green was thrown. Algieo was then pushed on the track and tried to take his spot when one track official showed him to get off and the flagman to the tail. Algieo then exited the track and after a few minutes of discussions the field was shown the furrow flag to start on the next lap. Once things got to rolling, Mike Terry Jr took the lead from outside row 1. Justin Grant recovered from his heat race owes and raced a few car lengths behind Terry. Terry took the win over Grant as they both punched their ticket to the A.

After a brief awards banquet for the top 5 in points in Kokomo's weekly competition, the track crew was done with widening the track some, knocking the cushion down. As the temps got cooler and cooler, the show was pushed on, trying to keep the fans settled on a cold night.

Taylor and Coons Jr brought the field to the green in the 25 lap sprint car A Main. As the field takes the green and races into 1 and 2, Byrkett spins in turn 2 for a yellow. Complete restart, Coons maneuvers to the lead as the field race past the flag stand. Taylor trails Coons the first handful of laps until Jerry starts to open the gap. Lap 6, Byrkett spins off turn 4, ending his night with the 2 spin rule. Coons gets a good restart and pulls away. McIntyre spins as a gaggle of cars make contact in turn 2. Restart, Coons pulls ahead and quickly opens a straight away lead. Stanbrough moves into 2nd as Darland and Windom work their way up from the 5th row. Coons was in full command upfront as he entered heavy lapped traffic with 10 to go. Lap after lap Darland got closer and closer. Just as it looked like Coons was going to cake walk into victory lane, with 3 to go Darland and Stanbrough are in his tire tracks. Coons is stout tho and all it really resulted in was for show because they caught Jerry but, couldn't do anything him with once they did. Coons leads flag to flag in this one for the win. Darland, up from 10th, Stanbrough, Windom, up from 9th, and Taylor round out the top 5. Coons was in total command in this one and really was never challenged for the lead. Yes he got caught in the final few laps but no one was strong enough to make was move on him. The Edison 10E seen yet another Komomo win.

After earning the most points via the heat races, Wease and Hollingsworth paced the field in the 25 lap midget A Main. Almost a repeat of the start of the sprint car A, Spencer Bayston spins in turn 2 on the opening lap. Complete restart, Wease wraps up the lead once the field races down the backstretch. Lap 2, Tate Martz spins. During the yellow, Hollingsworth stops on the track while running 2nd and just making a move for the lead as the yellow flew. Restart, Wease leads as Shane Cottle quickly applies pressure on the leader. Just as Cottle takes the lead, Price-Miller stops on the track for a yellow, reverting back to lap 3, giving Wease the lead. Wease holds his ground on the restart as Cottle is just setting up his move with a much strong mount. Lap 5, Cottle makes his move into the lead. After that, it was a crushing as Cottle pulled quickly into the lead. With sow of the cars several seconds off the pace and Cottle heads above the pack, it was a mess to keep up with as all but a few cars were a lap down by the half way mark, a handful of them many laps down. Cottle takes a convincing win by over 2/3rds of a track lead to the nearest challenger. Kurt Mayhew, Chett Gherke, Bayston, and Martz round out the top 5. I love midgets and Kokomo but this was by far the worse midget A Main I've witnessed as far as competition wise. It looked like a WOO car against a few 360s and a handful of 305s there was that big of difference in the packs of cars in the A. Not downing anyone because I would hit midget races every night of I could, just reporting the facts and sometimes they are ugly. That's why they run the race so to speak and the next night the slate is wiped cleaned because as we all know there is never 2 of the exact same nights of racing. As the night got colder it was just about 11 when the midget A was done, making road trip home time for me.

Upcoming:

Atomic Speedway has the rescheduled 410 sprint car show this Saturday. The old KC Raceway in southern Ohio is now Atomic Speedway and kicks hot laps off at 3 PM due to the cooler weather.

Thanks for reading, have a safe one
Duane

 

 

 


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