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Archive for November, 2004

Massengill Qualifies on the Pole, Caples Wins Sumter Speedway Super Late Model Event

Tuesday, November 30th, 2004

Eighteen-year-old Bodine Massengill of Jacksonville, Fla. was the fastest among 41 drivers who attempted to make the 24-car field and started the event from the pole position. Caples was a tick of the clock slower and started on the outside of the front row. At the start, Massengill took the lead, with Caples in hot pursuit, but going into the fourth turn on the second lap, he slipped high and Caples shot underneath and was never headed from there on.

Massengill stayed close for several laps, but found himself fighting for all his worth trying to hold off fifth place starter Gerald Mintz. Meanwhile, Mintz had his own battle with Jeff Smith, who made his way through the field to challenge Mintz for the third place, while Ed Basey, who started seventh was challenging Smith. WIth three laps remaining, Smith moved around Mintz to take third and Basey moved past as well on the same lap and crossed the finish line in fourth position. Mintz ended up in fifth position with Brandon Ifft finishing sixth after starting 10th.

Mo Gordy was the seventh place finisher with Deano Long taking eighth and Timmy Cox crossing the finish line in ninth. Travis Hair was the 10th place finisher after advancing his position by 12 places.

Massengill, whose cousin, Mike, finished 19th after experiencing mechanical problems said following his second place finish that he made a manual adjustment on his brakes on the second lap, which turned out to be a mistake. “I nearly lost it in the third turn three times, but thankfully, I was able to reel it in and hold on for second. I would loved to have won, but second place is not bad at Sumter,” the teenager added. Ironically, the winner of the last Super Late Model event at Sumter was 19-year-old Zack Cox. Cox was not so fortunate Sunday as his car lost a wheel in the second turn on lap five and he found himself upside down, causing him to retire for the night and ended up 22nd.

Jeff Smith was one driver who was satisfied with his third place finish. “We didn’t do well at all in qualifying and had to fight our way through the field and wound up third, which is not all that bad. There was some strong competition out there and we had to drive as hard as we could to get third,” Smith said. He won a Carolina Clash event at Sumter in April, but mechanical problems during hot laps caused him to have to borrow a car to make the field in another Clash event in May. He finished fourth in that race, but a lead weight dropped off the borrowed car and he was found to be 10 pounds light at the scales, which dropped him to 24th position. Smith suffered mechanical problems the rest of the Clash season, winning only once more and wound up finishing second to Ricky Weeks in the final Clash point standings.

“Mechanical problems cost us around $40,000 this season in races we had to drop out of, but except for my poor qualifying effort, everything went well, so maybe we have gone full circle and I feel good with a solid run to end the season,” he added.

The most excited person in the South at the end of his race was Thunder & Lightning driver Randy Hill. In the past three years, Hill has gone through three cars without a win and many times during the 2004 season, he was either leading or challenging for the lead, only to fall out with mechanical problems. He made a comment following a post race interview that he would be back for the Thanksgiving event and he would win it! “I stuck my neck out in September when I said over the PA system that I would be back and I WOULD win, so I was as good as my word,” Hill added.

Jody Truett was the winner of the first heat race and earned the pole position, while Hill won the second heat and started second in the 17-car field. It was Hill who took the lead on the first lap with Truett in hot pursuit for the first 11 laps, but Brandon Hodge moved up from his third place starting position to lead the challenge on lap 12, The two leaders swapped paint several times and in the final laps some sheet metal got crumpled on both cars.

Hodge crossed the finish line in second place, but his car weighed five pounds less than what the rules call for and was disqualified. The entire field moved up one position with Truett taking second place money and Kelly Moore finished third. Willy Milliken was the fourth driver to finish with Marty Dean finishing fifth. Rounding out the top 10 in order were Ronnie Crim, Billy Coursey, James Stephens, Tony Williams and Robert Pack.

Pure Stock track champion Brian Welch was the winner of the wreck-marred Pure Stock main event with Johnny Welch placing second. Fourteen-year-old Mark Horne made his first start in this class a good one with a third place finish while James Yost was fourth. Gregg Anderson collected fifth place money while Joey Ayers was sixth and Tim Landis, seventh. Mike Thompson was eighth as Derrick McLeod captured ninth and Bubba Jones was 10th.

Veteran Harry Pritchard, who has raced in five decades, showed that he can still handle a race car by picking up the win in the Mini Stock main event. Wayne Hodge was the second place finisher as Travis Greene, Jr was third and Tony Rabon was fourth. Banjo Duke captured fifth position as Russell Scott was sixth and David Hodge was seventh. Greg Brew finished eighth as Sissy Duke was ninth and Woody Barwick finished 10th.

The second happiest driver at the track following his main event was Pete McKenzie, who captured the Pure Street main event. McKenzie had to overcome a dead battery and a ruptured radiator before the race, but took the lead from nine-time winner Roger Horne on the third lap and went on to pick up the win. Horne’s car broke a rod and had to retire from the race in his final race in this class. Horne will have to move up one class in 2005.

David Geddings was the second place finisher with Mark Bartlette finishing third and Hank Hudson placing fourth. Marty Horne was fifth as Thomas Skinner was sixth with Roger Horne collecting seventh place money. Adam Hill was eighth and Eugene Vaughn was ninth.

Jennerstown to Cut Admission and Concession Prices in 2005

Tuesday, November 30th, 2004

The speedway, which features NASCAR-sanctioned racing events on Saturday evenings from May through September, has reduced the cost of its weekly adult spectator admission ticket from $9.00 to $7.00. Students (age 13-17) and seniors (age 65 and older) will be admitted for $5.00. Kids (age 6-12) will pay $2.00, while children under 6 years of age receive free admission.

“Research indicates that the average family in markets our size have approximately $20.00 to spend on entertainment,” said new speedway General Manager Larry Mattingly. “Our goal is to offer a live entertainment package for the same price as what it would cost a family to attend a movie in a first class theatre.

“We are also striving to increase the entertainment value of our programs. Every event on our schedule will have “value added entertainment” to enhance the standard racing programs. Jennerstown fans will be getting more, and spending less in 2005,” he said.

Additionally, the speedway will also feature five special theme-nights where spectators will be admitted for only $3.00.

Another area addressed in the new Jennerstown plan is the reduction of prices at the refreshment stand.

“We have challenged our concession managers to reduce prices across the board without reducing our product quality,” Mattingly said.

“We feel Jennerstown is on the cutting edge of changing the paradigm for the short-track racing industry. We are prepared to “walk the walk”. Changing the way we do business is a commitment … not a gimmick.”

Doc Lehman’s Dirt Late Model Notebook for November 30, 2004

Tuesday, November 30th, 2004

DIRT LATE MODEL NEWS & NOTES:

Congratulations to SANDRA & MATT MILLER, driver of the Doug Herbert Performance Parts, Stephen McCullough, Lo-Temp Brazing Rocket Chassis Pontiac #7 on the birth of their son, Nathan James Miller who raced into this world on November 22.

DAN SCHLIEPER’s tentative plans are to open up his 2005 season in Arizona in January at the “Early Thaw Series” at the Central Arizona Raceway in Coolidge, AZ. A complete schedule will be available at www.danschlieper.com

Fifteen year old JORDAN BLAND of Campbellsville, KY has garnered top Late Model rookie honors at Bluegrass Speedway in Bardstown, KY for the 2004 season. Bland won the Parkway Service Center/Lightning Graphics Late Model Rookie of the Year points chase in a C.J. Rayburn Race Cars, Cornett Race Engines powered entry.

DENNIS ERB is now a CJ Rayburn dealer.

JON HODGKISS and John Hodgkiss Motorsports have recently announced that they will be competing in the Late Model division for the 2005 racing season. The team is busy preparing two Hodgkiss/Rocket Chassis for their new venture. The team will once again be powered by Russel Baker Racing Engines. Nijel Auto Solutions, Lloyd’s Automotive and Hodgkiss Construction are also returning as team sponsors for the 2005 season.

Though the battle was short and sweet in 2004, DAVID SMITH of Inman SC prevailed as the 2004 champion of the Southern Xtreme DirtCar Series. Driving the High Bridge Automotive No. 11 David Smith Racing MasterSbilt Race Cars/Clements Racing Engines Ford Taurus Smith’s consistency paid off as he won the title despite no wins with the series.

After a 12-year separation, driver BRIAN LANE and KELCAR Motorsports owner Kelley Carlton have partnered together for the 2005 racing season. The team will field a GRT Race Car out of Charlie Lane’s Woodruff, SC race shop. The team is currently making schedule plans and securing additional sponsorship for 2005. The team will field a GRT Race Car with 602 and 604 GM Spec Engines. The team currently receives sponsor support from Bearden Oil Co, Godfrey’s Garage, Lonnie’s Towing, Main Drag Barbershop, D&L Tire Service, Hawk Racing and CSR Aluminum Fabrication.

TOMMY ROWE of Doniphan, Nebraska was crowned 2004 NCRA Late Model Rookie of the Year. Rowe earned nine top ten finishes, including two seconds, in the late model division and ended up third in season points.

MIKE LONAS of Mansfield, OH claimed the American Payroll Advance Steel Block Late Model crown at Lakeville Speedway with 2285 points and three feature wins and nine top five finishes in twelve races. Kristin Flory was second followed by Charlie Duncan, Jeremy Gerhart, Skip McKinney, Dave Bucher, Bill Clapp Sr., Benny Lester, Mark Uhler, and Jeremiah McMorrow.

The O’Reilly/NCRA Late Model 2004 season has come to a close and AL PURKEY has won his second straight series championship. Purkey won six events in 2004 on the way to his second title. The six wins moved Purkey to second on the all-time win list with 22. The late Larry Phillips leads the all-time win list with 24.

BRADY SMITH received top honors recently at the 2004 WORLD Dirt Racing League PolyDome Super Series Champion’s Banquet held at Adventureland Inn in Altoona, Iowa last weekend. The 26-year old Solon Springs, Wisconsin driver pocketed over $20,000 in cash and contingency awards at the festivities, as the 2004 WDRL series champion as well as the Seubert Calf Ranches Rookie-of-the-Year. During his championship season, Smith scored feature race wins at Freeport, Illinois, Arcadia, Wisconsin, and Kansas City, Kansas. In 26 series events, the driver of the Kapus-Erickson Chrysler/Big Red Motorsports entry raced to 16 top-5 finishes and an amazing 21 top-10 runs.

SANCTION NEWS & NOTES:

The Fastrak Champions Series announced that CTC Photos as the Official photographers for the 2005 season. www.ctcphotos.com

NARA DirtCar Series, ESPN2, and Cornerstone Multi-media Group have recently announced the airdates for the 2004 NARA DirtCar Series on ESPN2 by Lucas Oil Products. The August 7th race at the Bluegrass Speedway in Bardstown, KY will be aired on Sunday, December 12 at 6:00 P.M. (EDT). The KC 100 that was taped on September 25th at KC Raceway in Chillicothe, OH will be aired on Sunday, January 16th at 11:30 AM. The final event taped for ESPN2 in 2004 was Night 2 of the Dixie Shootout from Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA. This event will be aired on Sunday, January 23rd at 11:30 AM.

The awards banquet for the MS State Championship Challenge will be held on December 4 at the K of C Hall in Meridian. Tickets for the event are $20 per person and the last day to purchase these tickets will be November 29, 2004. For further information you may contact Jannie Thrash at 601-479-7099 anytime or 601-482-5251 evenings.

The Fastrak Champions Series as it starts its second Region in 2005 has announced a 2005 “Manufacturer’s Cup Championship”. The Championship is slated for all participating racing chassis manufacturers which will include the first place prize of $5000 to the winning manufacturer and also a Prestigious 6 foot trophy with the Manufacturers name engraved. Every year the trophy will be displayed at the manufacturer’s place of business only to be returned for the following years Championship Points Banquet.

Over $60,000 in cash and contingency awards was presented at the Polydone WORLD Dirt Racing League (WDRL) banquet.

WDLMA has found a home for the 2005 season at the Powercom Family of race tracks in Wisconsin. Seventeen events are scheduled with fourteen of them being “regular” shows and three “specials”. The Late Models will run a “Qualifying” (time trials) format for 2005. Although the exact “win” pay has not yet been determined the regular shows will pay at least $700 to win and $165 to start. 20 cars will start the “A” main.

The Fastrak Champions Series and DirtVision have agreed on four dates for the 2005 season. Dirt Vision is the premier webcast provide. All events will be one week tape delayed and available at anytime via their on demand service. The races scheduled for webcast: July 1st: $5000 to win, Volunteer Speedway, Bulls Gap TN; July 2nd: $5000 to win, Volunteer Speedway, Bulls Gap TN; Sept 10th: $5000 to in, Wythe Raceway, Rural Retreat VA and one open date to be announced.

Cherokee Casino and Resort in Tulsa will host the 2004 NCRA Awards banquet on January 8. Doors open at 11 am with lunch served promptly at 12 noon. Rooms must be booked by midnight December 5. Call 1-800-760-6700 for reservations. When making reservations ask for the room block titled “NCRA January 2005″ to receive a $69 rate for Thursday and $89 on Friday and Saturday. Cherokee Casino is located just 10 minutes from Expo Center on I-44 eastbound. Exit at 193rd East Ave (exit 240). To learn more check out their website at www.cherokeecasino.com Banquet tickets are $25 each and must be ordered by January 3. Any group of eight or more that would like a table reserved must notify us when ordering tickets. To order tickets contact the NCRA Racing Series office at 316-755-1781.

RACE TRACK NEWS & NOTES:

Cleveland Speedway will close out the season with the Lamar Lowery Memorial Toys for Tots 45 this Saturday, December 4. The 45-lap feature will pay $2,000 to win with a chance for the two fastest qualifiers to walk away with $5,400. The fastest qualifier will be able to go to the back and pick up $100 for every car he passes plus a $1,000 bonus if he wins the race. If the fast qualifier doesn’t take the challenge the second fastest has the option to take a shot at the bonus money. For more information contact the track at 423-479-8574 or visit us on the Internet at www.clevelandspeedway.com

The 2005 season will see some changes at Fiesta City Speedway when the new management team of Nurmi Racing Enterprises will take over the reigns at the western Minnesota racetrack. The two partners consisting of Kyle and Dave Nurmi will take over the management and promoting duties from Dennis Terning and Callie Terning-Sullivan at the beginning of the 2005 season. Nurmi Racing Enterprises are already in the planning stages for the 2005 season that will see very few changes to the familiar Friday night WISSOTA sanctioned track. More information will be released at the Fiesta City Speedway Awards Banquet on Saturday, January 22nd at Prairies Edge Casino in Granite Falls, MN. For more information visit www.fiestacityspeedway.com

A full six-nights of Late Model racing Feb. 7th-12th will be held at East Bay Raceway for the WINTERNATIONALS. Ending on the 12th with the Speed Channel taping of the annual UMP Stacker 2 Xtreme Series 2005 kickoff. Call 813-677-RACE for more info or to reserve tickets.

Delaware International Speedway will hold their banquet on January 22, 2004 at Dover Downs Hotel & Conference Center, Dover, DE . Cocktail hour starts at 5 PM, dinner at 6 PM awards presentation & dance following dinner. Tickets are $30 each and available by calling the Speedway Office at 302-875-1911. For more information on either the dragway or speedway news go to www.delawareracing.com

In 2005 at Lakeville Speedway the American Payroll Big 4 Series for the Super Late Models will be contested on Fridays May 13, July 1st, August 5th, and during the 10th Annual Ohio Dirt Blow-Out on Friday and Saturday September 23 & 24th. Each of those will pay $2,000 to win. The Steel Block Late Models will have a Triple Crown Series this will with $1,000 to win each feature and those dates are June 24th, August 12, and on the Blow-out week-end.

Cedar Lake Speedway’s 2005 season opener is set for Friday and Saturday, April 8th and 9th. Complete shows for the WISSOTA late models, modifieds, super stocks, street stocks, and midwest modifieds will be contested each night. The complete schedule for 2005 will be released at the annual banquet on March 12th at Grand Casino Hinckley.

INDUSTRY NEWS & NOTES:

The McDowell-Cook Driving School will be holding classes on December 12-13. For more info visit: http://www.dirtschool.com

One of Pennsylvania’s more popular racing related charity events will be staged on Saturday December 4, 2004 as the annual GIFTS FOR KIDS Autograph Session will be held at Thomas Chevrolet in Bedford, PA. The GIFTS FOR KIDS Autograph Session will run from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM. The event is based around an autograph session that features over 70 active and retired drivers from the south central Pennsylvania region as well as national drivers. Headlining the autograph session this year will be NASCAR drivers Jason Leffler, Mike Wallace, Todd Bodine and Justin Labonte. The public is asked to bring an unwrapped toy or $5.00 donation to enter the autograph line. Thomas Chevrolet is located at 4003 Business Rt. 220 North one mile south of Bedford Turnpike exit/interchange.

Dale McDowell crew chief Shane McDowell and Sara Cook were married Friday November 26, 2004.

6th Annual Racers for Tots Christmas Party
Saturday, December 11, 2004 from 4:00 p.m. to midnight
South Fayette Fire Hall, Cuddy , PA
Cash bar, food, dancing, laughs, several raffles, Chinese auction
Admission: a new, unwrapped toy or $10.00 (without a toy)
Entertainment: D.J. Rookie Rick, the Gunslingers & Buffo the Clown
Please, no children after 8:00 p.m.
Directions: 79 South, get off Bridgeville exit. Turn left at light Rt. 50
Turn right on Miller Run Road. Go 5 miles. South Fayette Fire Hall is on the left side.

2nd Annual MIDWEST SPEED EXPO to be held on January 22 and January 23, 2005 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois. The event takes place in the beautiful ultra-modern 39,000 square feet heated RICHARD ORR Building. Show hours are Saturday January 22, 2005 from 9:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. and Sunday, January 23, 2005 from 9:00 A.M. until 3:00 P.M. Admission is just $7.00 per day and if you have a valid U.M.P. membership card, you will recieve a $2.00 discount when you display your card at the time you purchase your admission ticket. Children under 10 are FREE! Booth space is available on a limited basis by calling Terry Young at (217) 522-1955 or (217) 553-1963 days or (217) 529-6205 in the evening, or you can visit our website for further information at www.MIDWEST-SPEED.com 10’X10” booth spaces are $65.00 and includes two 2 day vendor passes. Vendor set-up will be on Friday January 21, 2005 from 1:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. and the building will be available that day for vendors only with valid vendor passes.

RPMX Promotions is proud to announce the date for the 2nd Annual Dirt Racing Expo. Held at the Hooters of Charleston, WV for the second year in a row, this kickoff to the 2005 dirt track racing season has been set for Saturday, March 19th. Reservations for the 2nd Annual Dirt Racing Expo at Hooters of Charleston MUST be made through RPMX Promotions. For more information, to register your car, or to enter the 2005 Miss FASTRAK Pageant, please contact RPMX via email at rpmxceo90@yahoo.com. Serious phone inquiries can be made to either Robby Cline at (304)-552-1879 or Tony Harshbarger at (304)-687-7493.

MEDIA NEWS & NOTES:

MIDWEST DIRT TRACK FACTS has updated their drivers’ link page and lots of new reading material and photos can be found at: www.midwestdirttrackfacts.com

Dirt America Online presented by GottaRace.com is four years old on November 30.

Gifford, Estep Receive Honors at Championship Banquet

Sunday, November 28th, 2004

Ken Gifford of Cobb was recognized as the Pro-4 modified champion in only his second year in this popular four cylinder class. Gifford’s brother-in-law, Andy Leuzinger, also of Cobb received second place honors. 2003 Mini stock champion Shawn Shearer of Clearlake finished third and was credited with the “Rookie-of-the-year” title. Scott DeLeon of Lakeport finished fourth with Joe Sloan of Upper Lake fifth.

Other Pro-4 modified drivers receiving awards were sixth through tenth, Robbie Robinson, Chris Straka, Sarah Figueroa, Jake Tillman and Keven Barba. Participation plaques went to Bob Luck, Deloy Gibson, Ron Bertram, Carol Beigle, Gina Buschiazzo, Zak Gifford and Willie Leuzinger.

In the late model division it was Kevin Estep taking home championship honors, his second in this division. Estep was also the champ in 1999 under the Northern California Racing Association banner. Janice Buschiazzo of San Francisco finished second in points and Kelseyville’s Dale Preston placed third. Fourth through seventh were Marc Edrich, Kevin Waycik, Dave Stephens and Mike Swaney. Waycik received “Rookie-of-the-year” honors.

Plans are under way for a new late model series that will include events at both Lakeport Speedway and Ukiah. The late models will open their series at Lakeport Speedway on April 23 and the Pro-4 modified will be a part of the season opener at Lakeport on April 16.

Fontaine Dominates AACS Race, Holtorf Takes School Bus Figure 8

Sunday, November 28th, 2004

Steve Dorer jumped out to the early lead but it wasn’t long before B.J. McLeod made a move on the outside to take the top spot. Dave Pletcher who had fast time fell out on lap 2 to mechanical woes.

McLeod had his hands full when Chris Fontaine roared up on his back bumper. The handle appeared to go away on the 78 machine allowing Fontaine to get around and take command bringing with him Dwayne Dempsey.

Although Dempsey’s ride was fast it wasn’t enough to keep up with Fontaine as he dominated the rest of the race to take the win and then to thrill the fans to a smokey burn out on the front stretch.

Second went to Dempsey, third was Jeff Scofield, fourth B.J.McLeod and rounding out the top five was Brian Richardson.

Bus Figure 8

The school bus figure 8’s had the fans on their feet for most the 25 lap feature event. The bus’s were beating and banging swapping the lead back and fourth.

Everyone held their breath when there was a grinding collision in the X between Bob Longo and Scott Brown. Longo’s bus ended up on its side with the throttle stuck sending a plume of smoke into the Sunday skies.

When the smoke cleared it was Ray Holtorf taking the win, second was C.W. McLeod and third Brian Hayn.

Pure Stocks

Rob Taylor was able to hold off the charge of Rick Hurley to take home the Pure Stock trophy, second was Rick Hurley, third Chet Roberts.

Sportsman

It was Johnny Casady taking the checkers in the Sportsman class, second went to Bubba Thompson, third Mark Peterson.

Mini-Stock

Todd Freed Jr. roared across the stripe to take the mini-stock feature, second was Jessie Dutilly, in the third Jon Bailey.

Bombers

1.Don Justice
2.Bobby Fischer
3.Clint Snyder

Street Stocks

1. Robert Haygood
2. Brian Teeters
3. Butch Hall Jar