Dayton, OH (6/2) - Weather is a major factor when it comes to racing and last weekend was a loss for some area tracks as once again Ma Nature decided to water the corn fields and drown out racing, at some tracks that is.
Friday night we decided to take the night off and spend some time with the family but fortunately Limaland, Moler, and Union County were all able to get their shows in. As for Saturday night it was touch and go with rain drops threatening forcing Waynesfield Raceway Park to postpone their events but some 30 miles away Shady Bowl Speedway gambled and won. It wasn't easy as the weather and graduation party's kept the crowd and car count low. With dark clouds overhead they speeded up the program and ran the prelims off rather quickly, no intermission and right into feature racing.
Only seven late models started the feature with Jesse Gade and Mark Parker leading them to the green with Parker taking the lead. Parker continued to lead as defending track champ Josh Smith was on the move from his fifth place starting slot. Just as Smith took the lead the caution flew as Shawn Stroble spun on turn four. No sooner had the event restarted Brian Reeser spun as Stroble. Back underway one lap and Buck Purtee looped it on turn four. Track officials examined the cars and determined it was Reeser leaking fluid and was sent to the pits. Not only did he oil turn four but all the way around the track which caused a delay as the track crew cleaned the track.
After starter Charlie Gifford waved the green flag Smith set sail and really pulled away from the remaining cars but his luck ran out as he blew his engine giving the lead to Parker. Parker looked like a sure winner but it wasn't to be as he broke his driveshaft and was out. Finally when the checker waved it was veteran John Stroble taking the win with Purtee second followed by Shawn Stroble and Jesse Gade the only cars still running. Smith was fast timer with Purtee winning the dash and Gade the heat.
The street stocks were up next, 15 cars strong for their feature which was red flagged right away as Ma Nature opened up with a sudden downpour which resulted with some cars crashing on turn four. After drying the track it was heat winner Josh Sage claiming the feature over dash winner Shawn Stansell, fast timer Jacob Muncy, Chad Brandyberry, and Chris Abbott.
Mike Carroll picked up his first modified feature win of the season followed by Brad Yelton, Brad Williams, Logan McPherson, and heat winner Chris Parker. Jamie Sites with no practice laps set fast time while the heat was a heart breaker for veteran Carl Stapleton who led all but the last two laps giving the win to Parker. Another veteran driver, Steve Snapp first time in a modified won the dash.
Rodney Roush continued to dominate the tuners racking up another feature win.with Justin Pope runner-up trailed by dash winner Austin Eaton, Eddie Kemp, and Terry Eaton Jr. Scott Marquis took the heat win.
The compacts saw Nicholas Meade claim the feature, Ryan Barrett the dash, and Alex George the heat.
I applaud the Shady Bowl management and staff for fighting the adverse weather to get a full program in for the fans that did brave the weather. This Saturday night is a Relay For Life event with proceeds to benefit the American Cancer Society. Modifieds, Street Stocks, Tuners, Compacts, and Pure Stocks are on the card with gates opening at 4 and racing at 7.
Some tracks were lucky Saturday as they seemed to fall below the band of rain as Columbus Motor Speedway, Atomic, 35 Raceway Park, and Florence all ran full shows.
Eldora Speedway's camping area will look like a small city as the campers are rolling in for the Dream $100,000 to win Saturday night late model show. Action starts Thursday night with qualifying, heats, 2 B-features, and a $2500 to win 24 car feature. Friday night will see will be a repeat with $5,000 going to the winner. Saturday night is the big event, Dream, there will be six 15 lap heats, 2 B-features of 20 laps followed by the 100 lap $100,000 to win Dream.
Waynesfield Raceway Park on Saturday night will have meet the drivers night with the USAC Midgets, Non Wing Mini Sprints, Non Wing Sprints, UMP Modifieds, Compacts, and a 28 lap Tuff Truck feature in honor of last years rookie driver Larry Fox who passed away this week. 28 was his truck's number and it will pay $280 to win. Gates open at 5 and racing at 7. By the way it will be regular admission, $12 adults, $10 seniors, and 11-16 $5, 10 and under free.
Kil-Kare Speedway will be back in action Friday night and Saturday too but not the kind of action we are accustomed to, monster trucks take over the third-mile oval. Show starts at 7 both nights
Columbus Motor Speedway will play host to the Robbie Dean 94 lap late model feature which is held annually in honor of the late driver and several time track champion. Modifieds, Sport Stocks, and Crazy Compacts also with gates opening at 5 and racing at 7 preceded by a pit party 4 to 6 pm both nights. I am not a follower of the trucks but scheduled to appear is Samson, Virginia Night, Giant War Wagon, Holman's Beast, and Bad News Travels Fast plus a car eating transformer and exhibition jet vehicle.
35 Raceway Park will have their usual regular program plus it will be Shriners night and kids bicycle races and an enduro. Gates open at 3:30 and racing at 7.
Atomic Speedway will be closed this Saturday with racing resuming the following week.
Moler Raceway Park has a two day show, Friday and Saturday this weekend. Friday it will be a $1500 to win late model feature along with the UMP Modifieds, Crazy Compacts, Sport Mods, and Freedom 4's followed by a country concert. Saturday it will be a Worlds Best Wrestling event at 5:30, UMP Modifieds $750 to win, $500 to win Crazy Compacts plus Sport Mods, Freedom 4's, and Crate Late Models. Visit www.molerracewaypark.com for all the details.
Florence Speedway is off this week, back in action next week.
Lawrenceburg Speedway has DARF night Saturday with all DARF members admitted free of charge to the grandstands to witness the BOSS Sprint Cars, UMP Modifieds, Pure Stocks, and Hornets with gates opening at 5 and racing at 7.
Former Lawrenceburg Speedway promoter Tom Wieck recently spent some time in the hospital and we wish him the best for a speedy recovery.
Former driver Jim "Briar" Brandenburg has been under the weather and we also wish him a speedy recovery.
A couple of asphalt drivers that have been around for what seems like forever are still winning at Columbus Motor Speedway. Burgess White won his late model heat and Terry Humphrey did likewise in the modifieds.
Thirteen year old former quarter midget stand out driver Ryan Barr is in his first year of racing mini sprints at Waynesfield Raceway Park. With Waynesfield rained out his team headed for the non wing mini sprint event at 35 Raceway Park. The rookie driver was second in his heat and then placed a very respectful 5th out of an 18 car starting field. Congrats.
Remember the #75 late model Gary Estes drove, always a fast car. Well reportedly it has been sold and will be making an appearance back on the track soon.
Our condolences go out to former Eldora Speedway stock car champ Barney Craig on the loss of his mother last weekend.