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by Duane Hancock
When a few rained out races got rescheduled around other shows in mid-September, a nice WOO/USAC mini speedweek was set. I like late season races where you just never know who will show up. Tuesday the week kicked off at Kokomo Speedway with the World of Outlaws. Wednesday the Outlaws traveled to Terre Haute for gig at the Action Track. The action stated at the Action Track as USAC invaded Terre Haute on Thursday. Friday and Saturday the action moved to the Eldora Speedway for the 33rd annual 4 Crown Nationals. Woo took to the track on Friday as USAC 3 national divisions were on tap Saturday.
World of Outlaw races on 1/4 mile tracks are always some of my favorite WOO shows. Kokomo Speedway brought the winged warriors back last Tuesday after their original appearance in June got rained out. Even heavy rains the previous night couldn't stop this event. A stout 38 cars were ready to hit the very tacky 1/4 mile oval. 7 of the top A Main winners in the US was in the pits. Coty Darrah started the night off on the super fast track with quick time. Quentin Blonde flipped in time trials ending his night.
4 heats with the top 5 moving into the A Main. Kerry Madsen marched into the lead in heat 1. With the track only a few car lengths wide from the heavy moisture, the Madman was on the rail on the bottom. Madsen never broke away from the pack as the field is fairly tight upfront. A huge battle between Christopher Bell and Steve Kinser ends when Kinser drives over Bell's front end battling off 4. Madsen takes the win over Darrah, Lucas Wolfe, Daryn Pittman, and Kinser. Heat 2, Dale Blaney blasted from outside the front row into the lead. Blaney went on to take the win over newly crowned Kokomo track champion Bryan Clauson, Shane Stewart, Joey Saldana, and Paul McMahan. David Gravel grabbed the lead in heat 3 and held off a fast Tim Kaeding for he win. Kaeding used his California tacky short experience to charge from 2nd to 5th, as Jac Haudenschild, Brad Sweet, and Cale Thomas. A wild heat 4 as the lead pack races 4 wide off turn 2 battling for the lead. Contact all over the place as no one would give in. Finally, Ian Madsen comes out on the bad end after contact broke his 18 ride. Donny Schatz scored the win after racing up from 4th. Sheldon Haudenschild, Gary Taylor, Rico Abreu, and Jason Sides raced into the A.
After a few scratches, a 6 car C Main was ran taking the top 2 cars to the B. When you only have a 12 car B Main already, I'm not sure why such a silly ass rule is in effect for WOO shows. A 18 car B is very within reason to run. Parker Price Miller out battled Greg Wilson to take the win in the C.
As the track is still narrow and fast, Madsen motors to the lead in the Dash. Gravel gave the Madman a good run but, Madsen took the win.
The top 4 from the B Main punched their ticket to the A. Brady Bacon went from 3rd to take the lead in the B. Bacon seemed to have things under control until Christopher Bell got to rolling. Bell made a late lap charge off turn 4 to nip Bacon at the line for the win. Ian Madsen and Dave Blaney raced into the A.
Kerry Madsen and Gravel brought the field to the green in the 40 lap A Main. The Mad Man shot to the lead as the green flag waved. Lap 2, brother Ian spun for a yellow. Restart, Thomas spins. Gravel battles Madsen as the green light flashes on. Lap 3, Gravel grabs the lead. Lap 4, Bacon slows with a flat. Green, once again the action slows on lap 5 when Dave Blaney stops. Restart, Schatz gets a sailing and slides to the lead on lap 6. With the track still narrow, the cars are battling pretty much from the middle of the track down to the bottom. Schatz stays out front as the field slows on lap 12 for Wolfe stopping. Schatz maintains the lead on the restart as Sheldon Haudenschild is on the move. Lap 16, Sheldon spins battling for 6th after charging up from 14th. Restart, dad Jac climbs the wall in turn 2 and the cable in the fence catches his car as he comes to an abrupt hault. While they did the Wild Child out of the fence, it's an open red. Restart, Schatz leads as Sweet starts to run the cushion in turn 1 where no one is and is quickly running the leaders down. Lap 24, Sweet dives low in turn 3 and spins all on his own. Schatz leads with 10 to go as Stewart and Blaney start to reel in Schatz. 5 to go, the top 3 are glued together. Blaney is running high and tries a slider with 2 to go. Blaney can't make the move as Stewart slips past him. Stewart tries to make a last lap move but, Schatz is too stout and takes the win. Stewart, up from 9th, Blaney, Gravel, and Kerry Madsen round out the top 5. A okay race. The track was so fast and heavy and hammer down not your typical amount of Kokomo passing was going on. The closing laps was very good with 2 drivers trying to make of move with what seemed to be faster cars but just couldn't make the move.
Wednesday the World of Outlaws traveled just over 2 hours southwest to the Action Track in Terre Haute for their first visit in many years. A nice field of 34 cars were pit side. With heavy rains a few nights before and not much drainage, the track was wet and fast. Jimmy Light had something break in hot laps coming off turn 4, pitching him into the wall. Jimmy destroyed his 23 ride flipping after contact with the wall. Joey Saldana set fast time of the night. Bryan Clauson scratched for the night with engine woes.
Same as always, the top 5 of the 4 heat races move to the A Main. Gravel jumped to the lead of heat 1 and never looked back. Gravel ran away from the pack taking the win over Abreu, Saldana, Stewart, and Derek Hager. Danny Lasoski made the trip to Terre Haute and jumped the start of heat 2 from the front row. Now pole sitter, Kerry Madsen takes advantage of his new starting spot and takes the lead. On the super narrow track, that has some ruts just out of the one groove there is at the bottom of the track is making passing tough. Madsen motored to the win over Pittman, Schatz, Lasoski, and Wolfe. Blackjack Brian Brown also made the trip to Terre Haute. Brown blistered into the lead on the start. Brown ran away from the pack on took the win over Sweet, Bell, Steve Kinser, and Paul May. Heat 4 took a few tries to get a rolling. First start, debris was on the track for a yellow. The next start was a bad start. Finally, a good start as McMahan marched into the lead on the start. Following suit of the other heats, it was follow the leader as Paul leads flag to flag over Darrah, Kraig Kinser, Sides, and Ian Madsen.
The track crew tried to widen the track with the grader but a few laps later, it went back to a narrow one groove track. So narrow, the WOO officials determined there would be no double restarts. With a 0 invert in the Dash, Schatz would dragged Saldana on the start, taking the lead. Schatz lead wire to wire over Saldana and Sweet.
The B Main was up next with the top 4 moving into the A. Logan Schuchart slid to the lead on the start. Schuchart controlled the B, taking the win over Kaeding, Danny Smith, who passed a few cars, and Greg Wilson.
Schatz and Saldana paced the field in the 30 lap A Main. As the field raced into 1, Sweet spins in turn 2, collecting McMahan. Complete Restart, Schatz stole the lead from Saldana racing into turn 1. Schatz and Saldana was just a few car lengths apart until Schatz stretched the lead. Lap after lap Schatz pulled away from the pack. Lap 14, Darrah stopped running in 3rd. As they attend to Darrah, Gravel pulls off running in 4th. Restart, Schatz pulls away. Lap 17, Lasoski stops. With the curfew quickly approaching, the A Main is cut to 25 laps. Schatz has things under control all race long and takes the win over Saldana, Brown, Pittman, and Kerry Madsen rounding out the top 5. Pretty much a snoozer all night long with rarely a pass all night long. The track was narrow and fast which doesn't bid well for a winged show on a big track.
Thursday the action stayed at Terre Haute as the USAC Sprints hit the 1/2 oval for the rescheduled Jim Hurtubise Classic. A small field of 22 cars were pit side. With the track in great shape, wide, fast, and smooth, Jon Stanbrough set quick time of the night.
All drivers transfer from the 3 heats to the A. For a driver to make the invert, he must finish in the top 5. When the green flag waved in heat 1, the action heated up quickly as there was more passing in one lap than the entire night on Wednesday. Robert Ballou blasted from 4th the lead as Stanbrough chases him down. Ballou and Stanbrough battled it out for the win. Ballou takes the win over Stanbrough, Leary, and Windom. Bryan Clauson climbed to the lead in heat 2. Bacon and Tracy Hines are charging after Clauson. Clauson holds off all challengers to take the win over Bacon, Hines, Dave Darland, and Brandon Maddox. An excellent race in heat 3. Jerry Coons Jr. charged from 6th to 1st as Shane Cottle races him side by side. Cottle just drove the 10e ride a few weeks ago and is now in heavy battle for the lead with it's regular driver Coons. Coons takes the win over Cottle, Hunter Schuerenberg, Chase Stockon, and Brady Short. Some great heat races with loads of passing and 4 wide racing at times. The track was spot on for great racing.
With the low car count, it was directly into the A Main. Ballou and Stockon brought the field to the green in the 30 lap event. Ballou blasted to the lead and quickly pulled away. With several racing grooves, cars were running all over the track, battling for position. Bacon was glued to Ballou as lap after lap they battle upfront. Ballou cant shake Bacon as Bacon tries high, tries low, and tries to do all he can to pass Ballou. As they battle, Short is moving through the field towards the front. In a non stop event, the laps click off quickly. An awesome battle for the lead as Ballou and Bacon never get over a few car lengths apart. Bacon tries to make a move for the lead with 10 to go but can't take it, dropping back about 4 car lengths. Bacon gathers himself and makes one last charge at Ballou. 5 to go, Bacon closes in. 3 to go, they are nose to tail. Coming to the white, Bacon has about 10 feet to slide in front of Ballou and fits the 69 machine into the hole, taking the lead setting up for turn 1. Bacon thrills the crowd as he holds on for the win with the last lap pass. Ballou, Short, up from 11th, Cottle, up from 12th, and Stockon round out the top 5. A great night of racing. It doesn't matter if there was just enough cars for a complete field as the racing was great. The program was ran very well as the final checkered flag waved at 9:36. Hitting Terre Haute those 2 days really made me miss the US Dirt Nationals held there years ago. I really like tracks with the city in the background and really wish the US Dirt Nationals would return to the Action Track.
Friday the World of Outlaws traveled to the Eldora Speedway for the opening night of the 33rd annual 4 Crown Nationals. A great field of 36 cars were ready to attach the Big E. Rico Abreu set fast time of the night with an average speed of just over 141 MPH.
4 heats, top 5 to the A. Schatz shot from the outside row 1 into the lead as heat 1 went green. Schatz lead flag to flag for the win over Schuchart, Steve Kinser, Stewart, and Abreu. In heat 2, early leader Gravel had to hold off a charging Kerry Madsen. Gravel held strong and took the win over Madsen, Wolfe, Tim Shaffer, and Bell. Darrah took the lead from Wilson on the start of heat 3 and never looked back. Darrah lead green to checkered to take the win over Wilson, Dale Blaney, McMahan, and Randy Hannagan. A wild heat 4. Craig Dollansky darted from 3rd to 1st, taking the lead. Pittman ran hard chasing Dollansky as they began to battle. Off 4, fighting side by side for the lead, Pittman on the bottom and Dollansky on the top side collide, blowing Dollansky's tire sending him for a spin. Pittman inherited the lead for the restart. Pittman went on to win the heat over Danny Holtgraver, Saldana, Jac Haudenschild, and Kraig Kinser.
Pulling a 4 for the Dash invert, Saldana jumped to the lead on the start from the pole. The Mad Man worked the high side but had to chase Saldana. Joey took the win over Kerry and Donny.
After regrouping for the heat race incident, Dollansky was on a mission in the B. The Crowd Pleaser quickly opened the lead from his pole position. The only thing slowing Dollansky was Travis Philo stopping on the track for a yellow. Dollansky dominated the B over Kaeding, Clauson, and Sweet.
Saldana and Madsen lead the field to the green in the 30 lap $10,000 to win A Main. Saldana slithered to the lead as the field hit the chalk line. Joey was on a rail, running the high side. In and out of traffic, Joey holds strong as the pack starts to catch him. Just as the battle starts upfront, the yellow flys on lap 12 as Sweet stops. In clean air, Joey once again opens the lead. Sweet is moving now from the tail, passing several cars in the first few laps. Madsen, Schatz, and Blaney all are closing on Saldana in traffic. Once again, the pack catches Joey and the red flys as Sweet stuffs it in the fence all alone in turn 1, flipping after charging back into the top 10. Joey gets a good restart, choicing the bottom but then shooting high. Lap 22, Rico flips in turn 3 as Wolfe spins to not hit Rico as his car lays bottom exposied in the track. Restart, Joey leads as Blaney and Schatz battle for 2nd. It's all Saldana. Joey holds on to take the win over Schatz, Blaney, Madsen, and Gravel. An okay race. One of those that just when things heat up each time, the yellow or red waved, ruining the battle.
Saturday it was USAC's turn to hit the high banks of Eldora for their part of the 4 Crown Nationals. All 3 of USAC national open wheel divisions are on the card, just like the other previous 32 events. Having attended all prior 4 Crown events, it's still one of my favorite of the year. 18 midgets, 20 Silver Crown, and 40 sprint cars fill the pits of Eldora Speedway. With individual qualifying, the track was holding in there in good shape. Rico Abreu set quick time in the midgets. The action started off quickly Luke Hall all but flipped climbing the wall in sprint car qualifying. Bryan Clauson set quick time in the sprints. Dave Darland usually looked forward to the 4 Crown as he is a threat to carry away a large payday from the Big E. Darland would love to forget this 4 Crown so far. After blowing the engine in midget hot laps, breaking an rear axle in sprint car qualifying, Darland flips his Silver Crown ride in hot laps, parking it for the weekend. Jerry Coons Jr comes out with quick time.
Pushing the program along due to the threat of rain later on, the Eldora staff actually has the show ready to roll 20 minutes ahead of time, so the show rolls on. 2 midgets whets with all cars moving to the A. I get Eldora is a big motor track but 18 midgets for a double the regular winner's share it's kinda sad. The action was excellent in midget heat 1 as Rico runs the cushion and rips from 6th to 1st on the start. Rico shows the way, leading flag to flag for the win over Clauson and Zach Daum. Another good heat race in heat 2 as Chris Windom held off a super fast Bell for the win.
One USAC rule I truly love and complained about for years that they fixed a few years back, all 40 cars make up the 4 heats with the top 4 moving to the A. Some excellent heat race action. Heat 1, Clauson crawls from 6th to eventually the lead. Clauson goes on to win over Dallas Hewitt, Kevin Thomas Jr, and CJ Leary. Cody Swanson had his hands full on heat 2. Swanson lead from the start as Ballou and Hines chase him down from deeper in the pack. As they battle, Darland is charging from 10th to the top 5. Swanson takes the win over Ballou, Hines, and Darland who went from worst to in the show. Some tight racing in heat 3 see Mitch Wissmiller make a huge slide job battling for a transfer spot as he jumps the cushion in turn 2 and goes for a nasty tumble Mitch was okay. Windom held off a late charge from Bacon to take the win. Bacon, Stanbrough, and Chad Boespflug move into the A. Schuerenberg makes a huge move in heat 4 battling from 5th to the lead. Jarertt Andretti slows the pace with a spin. Hunter and Coons battle upfront as Andretti brings the heat to a grinding hault with a huge flip in turn 4, splitting his car into 2 pieces. Andretti was okay. Schuerenberg takes the win over Coons, Landon Simon, and Stockon.
With the storms moving in sooner than expected, the sprint cars were the only one with a B Main ad the top 8 moved to the A. With Steve Irwin spinning with 1 lap complete, the skies let loose and the rains hit. After rains off and on and getting the track all but ready a few times before another rain hit, finally 3 and a half hours later the show was moved to Sunday at noon. This made for 6 days straight now for me on the road after 2 and a half inches of rain fell.
Beautiful bright sunny skies greeted Eldora Speedway Sunday morning to complete the 4 Crown Nationals. Bringing back old school style, the first several 4 Crown Nationals featured Sunday afternoon main events.
Kicking things off quickly, the rest of the sprint B was ran. A flashback to a drivers Eldora, dry slick track with a cushion right up on the fence. Slide job city for those brave enough to flirt with the Eldora walls. I've seen many amazing feats during the years on Eldora Sunday dry slick tracks. Justin Grant leads the pack as the real battle is from 5th to 9th. Beau Stewart rides the wall for a yellow. One little slip on the cushion and you face plant in the fence like Beau did. Grant holds on to win over Maddox, Shane Cockrum, Scott Hampton, Matt Westfall, Logan Hupp, Brandon Whited, and Irwin with a last lap pass on Mike Miller for the final spot in the A.
First up, the 25 lap midget A Main. Only 13 cars make the call for the A. If you even been to an Eldora early years 4 Crown you know a few things, you need to be patient, the wall is the fast way but can spit you out and chew you up in a split second, and even on a dry slick surface, the racing is usually good. Clauson crawls to the lead on the start. Abreu is quickly running the cushion making it 4 wide. Lap 2, Rico tries a huge slider in between turns 1 and 2, gets in too hard, tags the wall and goes for a tumble. Bacon and Tanner Thorson bounce off Rico and flip as well. Bell, Hines, and Windom all get collected as well. I think Rico is an amazing talent and is one of my favs but I called that before the race even lined up from knowing patience is vital on a day race at the Big E. Rico is down but Bell and other restart at the tail. Clauson leads on the restart as all eyes shift to Bell by the halfway point Bell is in the top 5, moving in on Clauson. Clauson is using the peddle the car approach as Bell is balls deep on the slim cushion, dipping and diving in and out of traffic right up to the fence. As the laps wind down Bell moves to 2nd, trying to reel BC in. Clauson had too big of a lead and goes on to his first Eldora midget win, lapping up to 5th. Bell, Darren Hagen, Daum, and Cockrum round out the top 5. A decent race for just 13 cars and 5 getting involved in a lap 2 incident.
As the sprint car A Main lines up, it's announced a storm warning is in effect. The Eldora crew quickly moved the show along because another rain would just kill the crowd decent left over from the huge Saturday crowd.
Stanbrough and Ballou brought the 30 lap sprint car A Main to the green. As they pack approached the start line, the front row bumps and Stanbrough flops in the air and stalls. Coons now moves to the pole. Complete restart, green, racing into 1 and 2, Westfall gets loose starts to spin as Hupp and Darland bunch up and collide avoiding Westfall. Restart 3, Ballou uses the rim to ride into the lead. Lap 1, a huge mess entering turn 1 as car stack up, Whited, Thomas, and Stanbrough all 3 flip at the same time. Simon and Darland get collected in the mess. This is why the drivers wanted to race Saturday night even if it was 4 am but mother nature was being a pain and wouldn't allow it. Restart, Ballou rides the walls as Clauson, Bacon, and Grant are right there. Stockon is making moves working into the top 5 from 11th. Lap 11, Stockon tries a big slider in turn 1 and 2 and gets in the cushion too hard and goes for a bad tumble. As Balllou, Bacon, and Clauson battle, Thomas makes a charge from last to 9th after flipping. Lap 19, Thomas flips again in turn 2. This one ends his day. Lap 21, Maddox finds the wall. Restart, a great battle for the lead. As rubber starts to lay down, Bacon and Clauson are on Ballou's tail tank. Lap 27, Ballou slips up in between 1 and 2, Bacon cleanly gets past for the lead. As Ballou moves back into the rubber, Clauson has his car filling the hole at the same time entering turn 2. Heavy contact sends Ballou in the fence and a flipping. Restart, Bacon holds on to take his first Eldora sprint car win. Bacon makes it back to back wins on the week which helps his points lead. Clauson, Grant, Hines, and Schuerenberg round out the top 5. A real good race but a long one on a typical daytime track. Too many cars tore up and thus folks is why Eldora changed it to a night race years ago. You can't help this one with mother nature but now you see why a few years back the show went to 7 am because if you can get it in under dark hours, it's better on the teams. It was good racing, just a lot of carnage because of track conditions.
The 50 lap Silver Crown main was next as 17 cars made the call. Coons and Swanson paced the field. Coons creeps into the lead on the start. A great nose to tail battle the first fifth of this one. Swanson was glued to Coons tail like a blue tic hound. Lap 13, Swanson takes the lead as heavy rubber is now down on the surface. Lap 14. Coons gets back by for the lead. Swanson would back down and is 6 feet off behind. Lap 20, Swanson slips past again for the lead. Lap 22, Davy Ray stops with a busted rear axle. Lap 24, Bell finds the wall. Armstrong comes in and changes a flat. Lap 28, Windom slows with a flat. Swanson and Coons battle upfront as Armstrong and Cockrum are moving up. Lap after lap the top 5 cars are bunching up. Lap 43, Jacob Wilson slows with a flat. Restart, Clauson slows with a flat. Lap 44, Patrick Lawson flips in turn 1. Lap 45, Leary gets a flat. During the red Leary seen it was going to blow but USAC has a rule of the tire isnt flat all the way onto the rim, you get a lap penalty if you change it, even if you see it will blow a lap later. Restart, Armstrong tries the high side as the others run the rubber groove in the middle. Armstrong shoots from 7th to 1st, taking the lead on lap 47. Caleb out smarted them all and takes the win over Coons, Windom, Hines, and Cockrum. After a post race protest from a few teams, it was determined Armstrong changed both rear tires because the left was low on air, not flat, therefore getting that 1 lap penalty earlier mentioned, handing the win to Coons. Some good racing all day, just a lot of junked cars.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for reading,
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.
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
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 Crüe 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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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
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