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Archive for March, 2004

Half Mountain Readies for 2004 Opener

Monday, March 29th, 2004

It’s been almost seven months since Half Mountain Speedway ran it last race of 2003, but now that the winter is behind us and warm weather is just about here to stay Jim Branham and the Crew at Half Mountain Speedway is ready to get the 2004 dirt racing season started and run for the entire 2004 season.

Even though Half Mountain Speedway only ran a abbreviated schedule in 2003 Half Mountain Speedway in the two months it was open really made a name for itself in the racing community, many drivers and fans say it is one of the best tracks in the state, drivers like the wide, smooth racing surface, race fans like the fast pace racing excitement the drivers provide and everyone liked the professional and smooth racing program that Half Mountain Speedway provides each and every weekend.

In 2004 expect even better racing competition and more excitement as Half Mountain Speedway will for the first in its history run a full season with a season long points battle for the drivers to compete for the first ever Half Mountain Speedway Track Champion.

Half Mountain Speedway will start the 2004 Dirt Racing season on April 18th with a Test and Tune, Media Day Practice. This practice will be for the drivers to get their car ready for the racing wars that will follow over the rest of the season, it will also serve as a race condition practice for the track officials before the Season Opening race on April 24th. The April18th practice will be important for many new drivers that are expected to race at HMS in 2004 this will be their first chance to learn some things about the track before the weekly battles begin on April 24th. This practice will also give the returning drivers a chance to try out some things they might have been working on over the long winter to make their racing program better for the 2004 season. This practice will also double as a Media Day for the track and the drivers, media outlets from all over the region will be contacted and invited to HMS to interview the drivers and track officials concerning the 2004 racing season and experience just how popular the sport of Dirt Racing is becoming in the area.

On April 24th Drivers and Race Fans from all over the region will travel to Half Mountain Speedway for the Season Opening Event at HMS. All seven divisions will be competing for bragging rights of being the first feature winner of the 2004 season at HMS.

The season long battle to become the 1st ever Half Mountain Speedway Track Champion will begin on May 8th and will continue throughout the summer months and will come to a conclusion sometime in September.

Half Mountain Speedway will begin the 2004 racing season with the same divisions it ended the 2003 season with; Super Late Model, Limited Late Model, Modified, Super Bomber, Bomber, 4-Cylinder, and Road Hog divisions will compete on a weekly basis. Super Late Models will compete for a $1,200 to win, the Limited Late Models will be competing for a $800 to win, Modifieds will be running for $650 to win, Super Bombers will be chasing $500 to win top prize, Bomber will be after $400 if they win the feature, 4-Cylinder and Road Hogs features will both be worth $200 to win. In all almost $13,000 will be up for grabs every weekend at Half Mountain Speedway.

One date that race fans needs to circle on their calender is on Friday Night July 2nd,

Other Special races will be announced as soon as dates are decided on approved by the owner Jim Branham.

A complete 2004 racing schedule is being finalized and will be announced in the coming weeks.

In 2003 Half Mountain Speedway’s goal was to lay a foundation of being a track racers and race fans can come to and be entertained from the start of the race until the final checkered flag was dropped on the night, by all accounts this goal was reached and in some ways passed, in 2004 Jim Branham’s goal is to continue this type of racing entertainment, but to also improve on it and make it even bigger and better moving HMS the ranks of not only one of the best tracks in the state but one of the best tracks in the country, it won’t be easy and it will take some time, but with the driver and the fan support Jim Branhams vision for the track is unlimited and by the end of the 2004 racing season Jim hopes to be a lot closer to reaching this goal.

Rule Changes Announced at Half Mountain

Monday, March 29th, 2004

Half Mountain Speedway will begin the 2004 racing season with the same divisions it ended the 2003 season with; Super Late Model, Limited Late Model, Modified, Super Bomber, Bomber, 4-Cylinder, and Road Hog divisions will compete on a weekly basis. Super Late Models will compete for a $1,200 to win, the Limited Late Models will be competing for a $800 to win, Modifieds will be running for $650 to win, Super Bombers will be chasing $500 to win top prize, Bomber will be after $400 if they win the feature, 4-Cylinder and Road Hogs features will both be worth $200 to win. In all almost $13,000 will be up for grabs every weekend at Half Mountain Speedway.

Over the winter they have been some changes to some of the rules at Half Mountain Speedway, Half Mountain Speedway has changed the rules for the Late Models and Modified divisions by deciding to run under NARA Dirt Car rules as it pertain to car specifications and weight, Super Late Model division will still have the open tire rule as it always has, but the Modified division will follow the Tire Rules set by the NARA Dirt Car Series.

Only one Bomber rule was added to the 2004 HMS rule book; Bomber in 2004 must weight 3200LB after the feature event, the top three Bombers will be weighted after the feature.

All other rules in all other divisions are the same as they were in 2003.

As of now one General rule has been amended from the 2003 season, last season HMS inverted the top four positions, but this season HMS is going to try to start the heat races straight up with no inverting. HMS officials realize that drivers and crews work hard all season to make their cars as fast as possible for the racing events at Half Mountain Speedway, by inverting the fastest cars from qualifying it seems as a penalty for all the hard work the drivers do make sure they are as fast as possible. Half Mountain Speedway does reserve the right to amend this rule after a few races and look at other options, because while HMS don’t want to penalize the drivers for the hard work they do during the week, HMS don’t want to take any of the entertainment from the show either and if the action on the track suffers in the opinion of the officials HMS official will have to look at other options to get the action back to the point it was, but also be fair to the drivers that work hard all week to make their cars as fast as possible.

Half Mountain Speedway will begin its 2004 dirt racing season on April 18th with a Test and Tune Media Day event for drivers to get ready for the weekly battles that will begin on April 24th. Season Points will begin on May 8th and will run all summer long and will end sometime in September.

Rogers, Murphy, Flynn winners at New Smyrna Speedway

Sunday, March 28th, 2004

Chad Carpenter had the pole for the Mini Stock feature and quickly jumped to
the lead over Ted “Mr Mini Stock” Vulpius, Brian Bellaw, Wayne Wells and Ben
Cutler Jr. Lap 1 brings out the first caution for Cutler and Wells as they get
alittle too close going into turns 3 and 4 spinning each other out. Both are
sent to the rear for the restart.

Vulpius is able to pass Carpenter on the restart and take over the lead with
Carpenter, Bellaw, Justin Kembro and Pug Puglisi in the top five. But it is a
short green as on lap 2, Puglisi and Cutler spin in turns 1 and 2.

The race goes back green but on lap 3, Kembro gets very squirrelly coming off
turn 4, tries to correct as he is going down the frontstretch and goes into
the frontstretch wall, driver’s side. The race goes red as Kembro is helped
out of his car with a hurt shoulder. Vulpius holds the lead on the restart with
Bellaw, Carpenter, Wells and Cutler in the top five.
On lap 8, Cutler spins one last time and is sent into the pits for the night
due to the rule of three spins and you are out.

Bellaw tries on the restart to take Vulpius but just does not have the power.
Vulpius holds and takes his first feature win for the 2004 season with Brian
Bellaw, Chad Carpenter, Wayne Wells, and Pug Puglisi in the top five.

Ted “Mr Mini Stock” Vulpius won the heat race.

Jim “Hoot” Flynn had a rough time in his first two races of the Penske Racing
Shocks United Pro Modified Series but Saturday night, Flynn proved that all
that bad luck was behind him.

Flynn sat on the pole for the feature event and lead every lap from green to
checkered in the cautionless feature. Following Flynn on the start was Glen
Bradley, Bobby Blake, Matt Wheeler, and Art Kunzeman. Blake puts the pedal
down and takes over second with Bradley going to third.

On lap 8, newly married Matt Wheeler makes his presence known to Bradley and
takes over third with Bradley slipping to fourth. Blake tries but cannot
catch Flynn as Flynn takes the checkered for his first feature win of 2004.
Following Flynn to the checkered was Bobby Blake, Matt Wheeler, Glen Bradley and
Art Kunzeman.

Jim “Hoot” Flynn won the heat race.

Paul Hudson had the pole for the Sportsman feature but it was Dale Clouser
who quickly took the point followed by Ken Lewton, Paul Hudson, Cory Kaiser, and
Chris Peludat.

Donnie Williams, who won the first feature of the new year, started in the
rear of the field but quickly made his way into third putting pressure on second
place Peludat. By lap 7, Williams had takes second and was in high gear
going for the lead.

On lap 12, Glen Castro made his first appearance in the top five passing Ken
Lewton but it was not to be Castro’s night as he dropped a cylinder and Lewton
was able to repass Castro for fifth. Castro ended up pulling off the track
on the last lap.

Williams tried but could not catch Clouser who took the checkered for his
first win of the
2004 season. Following Clouser to the checkered was Donnie Williams, Chris
Peludat, Cory Kaiser, and Ken Lewton.

Dale Clouser won the heat race.

David Froehlich had the pole for the Super Late Model feature and quickly
took the point on the green over Bruce Lawrence, Chet Morrison, Eric Black and
Bruce Lawrence Jr.

David Rogers, who started in the rear, quickly took over fifth from Lawrence
Jr. and was aiming towards the front. On lap 10, Lawrence and Froehlick are
going hard and heavy as Lawrence gets slightly loose touching Froehlick who
spins in turns 1 and 2. Both were told to go to the rear of the field but the
decision was made for only Froehlick to go back. A call that was not well
liked by the fans.

The race goes back green on lap 10 with Lawrence, Black, Rogers, Morrison,
and Lawrence Jr in the top five. On lap 12, Froehlich retires his new car to
the pits. Rogers passes Black and takes over second getting right on the back
of Lawrence.

By lap 15, Rogers has made his way to the front passing Lawrence for the
lead. Lap 21, Eric Black and Morgan Hoover get together in turns 3 and 4 as Black
spins and Hoover has no place to go hitting Black. Black retires to the pits
and Hoover is able to continue.

Rogers takes the checkered for his second win in 2004 followed by Bruce
Lawrence, Bruce Lawrence Jr., B.J. McLeod and Morgan Hoover.

B.J. McLeod and Bruce Lawrence Jr. took the heat wins.

Ron Whaley had the pole for the Super Stock feature and lead from green to
checkered. Another cautionless race. No one was able to catch Whaley who took
the checkered followed by Jack Lenzen, Jeff Colburn, Charlie Collins, and Pat

Ron Whaley took the heat win.

Josh Schmidt had the pole for the Late Model feature and took the lead over
Mike Murphy, Travis Wilson, Charlie Merz, and Mark Smith. Murphy puts the
pedal down and takes the lead from Schmidt. On lap 9, David Pletka takes over
fifth putting Smith sixth. Murphy holds the point and takes his first feature
win in 2004 followed by Josh Schmidt, Travis Wilson, Charlie Merz and David

Mike Murphy won the heat race.

Mike Dohm had the pole for the wild Strictly Stocks but in the end it was
Todd McCrary in the very pink Strictly Stock who lead the most important lap, the
last one. Following McCrary to the checkered was Kerry Payne, Mike Dohm,
Jose Rivera, and Keith Kempton.

Gordon Houck and Jeremy Hovencamp took the heat wins.

Next week, the Penske Racing Shocks United Pro Modified Series will run for
50 laps at New Smyrna Speedway.



1. #11 David Rogers
2. #16 Bruce Lawrence
3. #116 Bruce Lawrence Jr.
4. #78 B.J. McLeod
5. #39 Morgan Hoover
6. #86 Chet Morrison
7. #96 Dick Ruckh
8. #83 Joe Strehle
9. #10 Eric Black
10. #4 Rick Bates
11. #22 David Froehlick
12. #63 Joe Fitos DNS


1. #26 Mike Murphy
2. #119 Josh Schmidt
3. #62 Travis Wilson
4. #7 Charlie Merz
5. #23 David Pletka
6. #14 Troy Atkins
7. #48 Mark Smith
8. #52 Hank Baker
9. #38 Randy Cooke


1. #57 Jim “Hoot” Flynn
2. #75 Bobby Blake
3. #96 Matt Wheeler
4. #4 Glen Bradley
5. #09 Art Kunzeman
6. #88 Adam McMaster
7. #4 Ron “Blackie” Blackard


1. #30 Dale Clouser
2. #111 Donny Williams
3. #27 Chris Peludat
4. #48 Cory Kaiser
5. #18 Ken Lewton
6. #7c Glenn Castro
7. #08 Paul Hudson
8. #330 Joe Gerard
9. #6 Bruce McGonigal
10. #7 Tom Gamache


1. #71 Ted “Mr Mini Stock” Vulpius
2. #1 Brian Bellaw
3. #31 Chad Carpenter
4. #23 Wayne Wells
5. #11 Pug Puglisi
6. #6 Mark Broat
7. #83 Ben Cutler Jr.
8. #41 Justin Kembro
9. #61 Rick Gamache DNS


1. #2 Ron Whaley
2. #211 Jack Lenzen
3. #3 Jeff Colburn
4. #23 Charlie Collins
5. #34 Pat Buckley
6. #27 Barry Parks
7. #8x Ferris Crews
8. #74 Jason Dreyer
9. #15 Mark Cormick
10. #1 James Adams


1. #24q Todd McCrary
2. #11x Kerry Payne
3. #21 Mike Dohm
4. #73 Jose Rivera
5. #14 Keith Kempton
6. #39 Jeremy Hovencamp
7. #15 Mike Walford
8. #99 Gordon Houck
9. #18 Matt Crews
10. #26 Michelle Dyal
11. #126 Derrick Slade
12. #91 Travis Scott
13. #08 Matt Conway
14. #151 Rick Langdon
15. #x Richard Renzi

Naturally Fresh 250 USAR Hooter’s ProCup at New Smyrna

Wednesday, March 17th, 2004

“This year looks to be a great race with 37 entries already down on the
books,” said Don Nerone, Race Director at New Smyrna Speedway. “We have been busy
taking requests for reserved seating and it looks like that section will be
sold out on Saturday.”.

2004 marks the third year for the Hooter’s ProCup drivers to come to New
Smyrna Speedway. Bobby Gill has won both previous races at New Smyrna as Gill
knows New Smyrna quite well after spending a few years at the World Series of
Asphalt Stock Car Racing held every year in February.

In 2002 it was Mario Gosselin who set fast time for the first Hooter’s ProCup
race at New Smyrna and last year it was Jason Sarvis. This year Clay Rogers
leads the points going into race 2 of the 13 race series for the Southern
ProCup. But not far behind is none other than Bobby Gill who came from the rear
of the field at Lakeland to finish second.

In the Winner’s Circle at USA Speedway only a few short weeks ago, Bobby Gill
thanked race winner Clay Rogers for helping him not only get his car to
Lakeland but also for the part he needed that Rogers loaned him. Not often do you
see gratitude in Winner’s Circle from the second place car to the first place

Also in the field at New Smyrna will be Clay Rogers’s younger brother Brad
Rogers who put on new heck of a show in Lakeland for his first ProCup race. “I
am very proud of my brother, he did a great job for his first race and I guess
I will definitely have to watch out for him from now on,” said a very happy
Clay Rogers.

In the thirty seven pre-entries received so far for the New Smyrna Speedway
Hooter’s ProCup race are eight Floridians in the field. Joe Federico, D.J.
Hoelzle, Billy Bigley Jr., Billy Mowery, Luke Hill, Keith Roggen, Derrick
Kelley, and Steve Redditt.

Steve Redditt of Orlando did not make the field at Lakeland and Keith Roggen
was missinig in action due to his car not being ready. But both drivers are
ready now and are ready for the show.

Federico, Hoelzle, and Mowery all come from the Open Wheel Modified division
and are well known for their driving talents. Keith Roggen has seen a number
of races in his #94 Mini Stock and Steve Redditt was well known at New Smyrna
Speedway for his Sportsman and Late Model.

KRO Country 93.1 and 95.7 the HOG out of Daytona are the proud sponsors of
this year’s USAR Hooter ProCup race at New Smyrna Speedway who join official
Series sponsors Hooters, Naturally Fresh Dressings and Dips, Jackaroo Barbeque
Sauces, B.J. Goodrich Traction T/A Radial, Lucas Oil Products, Miller Lite,
Breg Environmental, Advance Auto Parts, Sunoco Race Fuels, Tucson Cigarettes,
Racing Electronics and Tri Star Racewear.

Saturday, March 20th, grandstands will open at 4 p.m. with qualifying at 5
p.m. There will be an on-track autograph session at 6:15 with pre-race
ceremonies at 6:55. Racing action is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. with 250 laps of
non-stop, side-by-side racing action.

General admission for the KRO Country 93.1 and 95.7 the HOG USAR Hooter’s
ProCup race is $15.00 senior citizens and students, $20.00 general admission,
$25.00 reserved seating and children 11 and under FREE. Pit admission will be

New Smyrna Speedway is located between SR 44 and SR 415 between I-4 and I-95
eight miles west of New Smyrna in beautiful Samsula, Florida.

Tri-City Motor Speedway Readies for the 2004 Season

Saturday, March 13th, 2004

The schedule is very aggressive to say the least. The track has already ran once in 2004 with the 1st annual Hangover Nationals on January 1 and the next event on the calendar for the Trick-Track is an all day test and tune and swap meet, which will be held on Sunday April 18 from Noon-7pm for any and all divisions. A second test and tune and swap meet is slated for the following Sunday April 25 also from Noon-7pm and that will be accompanied by a 200-lap Enduro that will follow the testing and tuning. Wednesday night test and tunes will begin on Opening Night eve, Wednesday April 28 from 4-9pm. The Wednesday night Test and Tunes will be every Wednesday night from 4/28-9/08. Opening night 2004 is set for Thursday April 29 with a full show of Super Late Models and Michigan Modifieds on the unique multi-turn ½-mile while the Street Stocks and Mini Stocks will take on the adjoining ¼-mile.

Amongst the many specials planned in 2004 include two appearances each by the ASA Late Models series (formally USPRO series) on June 27 and September 12. The Auto Value Super Sprints return to the Trick-Track for two shows on June 24 and August 29. The ARCA Lincoln Welders Trucks series will make two stops and run 100-lap feature both times on May 30 and July 22. The challenge series is set also for May 30 joining the ARCA Trucks, and have there own night to shine on August 12. The first ever appearances by the MCR Dwarf Cars to the Trick-Track are set for July 4 and August 29. Also a five race mini series within a series for the Michigan Legends series is set for May 27, June 27, July 18, August 12, and September 9. A four race mini series for the Auto Value Outlaw Winged Midgets is also on tap and those dates are May 27, July 4, August 29, and September 9. The USA Modifieds will be on hand for a huge show on July 4 in what’s being billed as the MMA VS USA Shootout. A big 50-lap feature will highlight the holiday weekend. The VROA Modifieds will make an appearance on June 27. The ARCA and Shorttrack trucks will be a part of a special truck night on Sunday May 30th. Five divisions of nothing but trucks! ARCA and Shorttrack, plus the Crystal/Merritt Speedway dirt trucks, the Auto City Speedway Thunder Trucks, AND a Four-Cylinders Trucks only division will all highlight the Memorial Day weekend card.

Perhaps the biggest race in the area will be on Sunday July 18th with the running of the 1st annual Pat Bourdow Memorial 100 for the Super Late Models. this race will honor the memory of the late Pat Bourdow whom we lost back in February 2003 to stomach cancer. The 2nd annual Tom Broderick Memorial is set for September 12 as the Street Stocks will take to the tricky 1/2 mile for 52 laps paying $1000 to win. Should bring in a ton of cars as we honor another former track champion who passed away back in September 2003. To close out the first full season under the Kamlay family ownership, the 1st annual Trick-Track Fall Nationals will commence over the weekend of September 24-26. The Super Late Models, Michigan Modifieds, Street Stocks, and Mini Stocks, as well as a Late Models Invitational on that Saturday night for the LM’s only appearance of 2004 on the Trick-Track, will end what should be a very anticipated 2004 season. A very aggressive 2004 schedule to say the least and with the addition of several Enduros including a few utilizing both tracks, or better known as the Double “O” Enduros. Also schedule to appear on May 20 will be Jeff Gordon’s NASCAR Nextel Cup #24 Dupont Chevrolet show car, which will be on hand during Media Night. The complete schedule can be found along-with the rules at the website.

As previously mentioned, the first of two test and tunes and all day swap meets will be held on Sunday April 18 and April 25. After the test and tune on the 25th, a 200-lap Enduro will conclude that days events. Opening Night 2004 is set for Thursday night, April 29 with a full show of Super Late Models and Michigan Modifieds on the ½ mile, while the Street Stocks and Mini Stocks will take to the adjoining 1/4 mile. Pit and Grandstand Gates will open at 3pm, qualifying is at 6pm and racing starts at 8pm. For more information please call (989) 662-7723 or (586) 615-3784. You can also visit us on the web at: So come out and watch all of Northeastern Michigan’s cars and stars every Thursday night at the Trick-Track of the World, the Tri-City Motor Speedway.