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Archive for October, 2006

Synder Dominates Hornet Mash

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Kenny Synder started inside 2nd row behind Gilbert and was first to cross the line on the first lap. Gilbert crashed on lap 3 bringing out the first red flag of the afternoon. Dusty Christenson took the lead on the restart as Snyder was shuffled back to 6th place. Synder was up to 3rd on the 5th lap and back in the lead on lap 6.

Synder was on a rail the rest of the race he steadily increased his lead over the rest of the field. By lap 100 only 4 cars remained on the lead lap had he had an 8 second lead over Louis Lopez in 2nd. Jerry Davis and John Shultz were just barely on the lead lap seconds just in front of Synder. Over the next 32 laps Synder would pass both driver but they did not give up easily and fought their way back on the lead lap several times before Synder and Lopez were the only two drivers on the lead lap.

Lopez running second about 10 seconds behind Synder tagged the wall on the front stretch on lap 160 bringing out the red flag. He drove off the wall and continued the race. Within 1 lap after the restart Synder passed him and placed him down a lap. Several laps later Lopez pitted for a quick repair and was back on the track 2 laps later pulled out of the pits and was in 4th place. Synder was now on easy street he had a 2 lap lead over Davis.

Synder stayed clear of a couple more incidents and went on to win by 3 laps. Forty-six cars started the race with twenty-two still running at the drop of the checkered flag. The race took 2 hours 5 minis and 16 seconds to complete with 16 red flag stoppages that lasted 49 minutes and 48 seconds. There were 2 leaders with 2 lead changes. Synder lead 248 laps and took home the check for $2000.00.

After the races several business set up on the track and all the kids were invited on the track for the trunk or treat. This race concluded the 2006-racing season at Meridian Speedway. The Management of the Speedway would like to thank all the drivers and crews that participated in this season. A special thanks goes out to the fans and look forward to providing you exciting racing action in 2007.

Local Drivers Head to Vegas For Fall Classic

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Local veteran driver Darvin Akerland a former champion at Meridian Speedway, and his son Tony lead a group of standout drivers in the local Grand American division to Vegas to compete against the best Grand American drivers in the country. Veterans Rus Ward and Terry Lawerence join the Ackerlands with 2005 and 2006 Grand American Modifieds Rookie of the Year winners Gentry Pisca and Chris Fenton. Last but not least sophomore driver Shelby Stroebel rounds out the final driver representing the Grand Americans. All these drivers have won main events at Meridian Speedway and are fierce competitors and should do well against the field converging in Vegas.

D. Ackerland, winner of the 2004 Spring Classic at Vegas, said, “Only the top 18 qualifiers are locked into the feature event on Saturday Night… everyone else will battle for 8 transfer spots in consolation main events” The drivers will be able to practice Thursday and Friday afternoon with qualifying Friday night. The actual race will take place Saturday night.

Ward described the Bullring this way, “The track is very fast… it’s a major horsepower track compared to Meridian being a set-up/driver track, but our drivers should do well.” Ward has competed at 3 previous Fall Classics making the Feature event twice, once through qualifying and the other time through the B-main. He finished just outside the top 10 both times. His other attempt at the Fall Classic, in 2004, ended after just 10 practice laps when he lost an engine.

This will be Fenton’s first trip to the Bullring and is very excited to be traveling with the group and looks forward to gaining more experience. He will be driving the car Dan Buckley drove to win the 2005 Meridian Speedway Championship. Buckley drove this same car at the classic last year and did very well. Fenton said, “I need to thank Scott Durbin and Darvin Ackerland for all their help this season and getting ready for Vegas.”

Dan Lowther is the lone Super Stock driver from the area. Dan finished the season 3rd in the local Super Stock division. He won 2 main events and competed against a tough Super Stock field. He will run his super stock in the Las Vegas Fall Classic Late Model 100. Lowther stated that the Las Vegas Late Model division closely resembles Meridian Speedway’s Super Stocks. This will be Dan’s first trip to the Bullring and he hope to accomplish a Top 10 finish. He said, “This trip would not be possible if it were not for Wallace Construction, Frank Wallace put together a package and solicited several local business to finance the trip.” He also stated, I need to thank Charlie Ham and Dennis Wurtz Sr. for help preparing the car and John Wood, Scott Walker for donating two tires.” Lowther also wanted to thank his wife Rhonda.

Meridian Speedway wishes all these drivers the best of luck at the Bullring. Meridian Speedway co-promoter John Wood commented, “We hope they stay safe, do well, are able to drive it in the trailer at the end of the show, but most importantly we hope they have fun make new friends and enjoy the racing”.

Double Down Moved to November 4th

Monday, October 30th, 2006

“We made every effort throughout the evening and all night long but, in the interest of safety, there is no way we can run,” said Speedbowl General Manager Bill Roth. “We really believe in the Double Down idea and will run it Nov. 4.”

The Double Down Shoot Out agenda includes twin 25-lap features for the SK-Modifieds and Late Models and twin 15 lappers for the Sportsman and Mini Stocks in addition to the Legends and Northeastern Midget Association.

Citrus Fall Fiasco a Tremendous Success

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Kicking off the very competitive night of racing the Open Wheel Modifieds picked up with 13 of the original 25 car field that lost out on their second half of their 35 lap special in September. They went at it like it was the final race of the season in one of the most exciting races of the year. Doug Miller locked onto the lead from the green flag followed by John Godwin, Buddy Kessler, Butch Bassett, Robbie Cooper and Teddy Nelson setting up the early single file front runners. Buddy Kessler tangled with John Godwin bringing out the first caution flag in the tight run for the front. On the restart Robbie Cooper developed engine problems and fell out of the running. Meanwhile Teddy Nelson used the outside groove working his way from his 6th starting spot to the point and set the pace for the final 15 laps with 10th starter Curtis Neumann right on his rear bumper. In the final 8 laps it was side by side racing for the two front runners with Nelson able to hold the inside line all the way to the checkers with Neumann having to settle for second followed by Doug Miller, John Godwin and Kyle Bookmiller rounding out the top five. Neumann took the $100 Hard Charger bonus. Kyle Bookmiller holds the point lead by 17 points over Teddy Nelson going into their final shootout on November 11th.

In the wildest Figure 8 action of the season Bobby Towe took the green flag from the pole position with outside pole sitter Robbie Hage falling in behind him with a 24 car field in tow. Towe led the Figure 8 50 for the first 40 laps with perfect timing through a very busy intersection that had the crowd on their feet on every pass before his motor gave out on him on one of several restarts. Robbie Hage moved into the lead with 10th starter Wayne Calkins in hot pursuit. When the checkers flew Hage took the win over Calkins, 5th starter Clifford Rousseau third, 19th starter Curtis Youmans 4th and 12th starter John Thomas locking into the top five. Seth Nistok spent the whole night threading the needle in the intersection and finished seventh from his 14th starting spot for his show stopping run. Only half the field finished the 50 lapper.

Thirty five racers took the green flag for the Enduro 150 in hopes of taking home the $5,000 win purse. Herb Neumann Jr. picked up the lead after passing pole sitter Philip Kessler early in the race. Robert Ray worked his way from 21st to third when Ricky Heath took out leader Neumann putting both cars over the turn one wall ending the night for both of them. On the restart Robert Ray picked up the point threaded his way through traffic putting the entire field down 2 laps before lap 98 when the red flag came out for a restart that had the drivers using the chicane for the next 20 laps. Ray missed the chicane on the 99th lap and that put him back one lap. The red flag came out again in lap 120 and the racers reversed their direction in the run for the flag for the final 30 laps. Robert weaved his way through slower traffic to take the $5,000 check to the bank and lapping the entire field 3 times just like his dad predicted before the race in the ride Rick Ray said his son took away from him. Mr. Enduro, Robert Ray has almost made a living running and winning Enduro races all over the state of Florida. Top five had Mike Gamache in 2nd followed by Kathy Ray, Carmine Castoria and Stacy Wright.

Superintendent of Citrus County Schools, Sandra Sam Himmel gave the 8 Pro Figure 8 School Bus racers the green flag for their 20 lap adventure through the intersection and the fans just loved all the action. Chris Hooker led from start to finish collecting the $1,000 win purse. He was followed by a controversial second place finish between Dino Swing and Brent Fults. After all was said and done it was declared a dead heat for second and the two drivers shared second and third money. Danny Cretty and Larry Triana picked up 4th and 5th respectively. Dave Ross took the flag to flag win in the 15 lap Rookie Figure 8 School Bus race followed by Jason Ayers who put on several runs at the leader but had to settle for second. Mike “Chopper” Nadeau took third over Dora Thorne and Tom Carroll.

Seven Boat Trailer racers took on the chicane route in what turned out to be a wild one. They went for 15 laps and it didn’t take long for many to lose their boats and then the trailers with just one car still towing his trailer upside down when the checkers flew and it was Larry Triana outlasting Curtis Youmans for the $500 dollar win. Larry Welter Sr. finished third over Victor Stanley and Chad Fairbanks in a race that had the crowd laughing and yelling all the way.

Wrapping up the evening was a 14 car Demo Derby with Jason White being the most aggressive driver of the bunch and truly earning his $500 win purse taking out car after car in the 25 minute malay. It took him 5 minutes to get in the blows on Roy Bare who picked up the $200 for second and Stephen Riblett holding on for the $100 third place money. Jason was the only car able to drive his rig back to the pits.

Only two weeks left in the regular point’s season and next Saturday night will see Herb Neumann Jr. and Scott Grossenbacher in the final Late Model shootout with only 4 points separating them in the race for the 2006 crown. Jim Altobelli and Edward Allen are tied for the Limited Sportsmen lead with Tom Posavec just six points off the pace and Ernie Reed still in the hunt with their final two races on the schedule. Next week will be the final run for the 4 Cylinder Bombers with Justin Durbin sporting 14 wins on the season and a lock on the crown. The Mini Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Thunder Stocks still have two more races to wrap up their season and decide the top ten. November 11th will close out the regular season with the TBARA Winged Sprints and the final Open Wheel Modified shootout with Kyle Bookmiller, Teddy Nelson and Billy Bechtelheimer in the mix for the crown.

Ed Barber Tops 50 Lap Super Stock at New Smyrna Speedway

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Twenty two Super Stocks qualified for the 50 lap special event of the night with Johnny Brown setting fast time. But Brown drew the number 3 pill putting Sean Bass on the pole for the 50 lap event. Bass was quick to take the point on the green but George Spears took little time to pass Bass and take over the point with Bass second, Johnny Brown, Jeff Colburn and Ed Barber in the top five. As these guys race hard and heavy, the first caution comes out on lap 7 for Mike Hendrix who has spun in turns 3 and 4 against the wall. Hendrix is fine but is done for the night.

In the meantime, Bass has problems with his car and is forced behind the pit wall, done for the night. On the restart Spears finds a very hard charging Johnny Brown right on his door as Brown powers around Spears and takes over the point followed by Spears, Barber, Colburn, and James Frisbie.

On lap 18, while leading the race, Brown slows and is also forced to retire for the night in the pits. It is beginning to look like being on the point is bad luck for some. With Brown behind the pit wall, once again Spears takes the lead followed by Barber, Colburn, Frisbie and Jason Foster. Foster finds his hands full with hard charging Bobby Holley behind him. Foster tries to protect his position but Holley is too strong and takes over fifth with Foster sliding into sixth.

Mike Amato brings out the caution as he spins at the bottom of turn 4. Cars are realigned for the restart as Spears leads the way over Barber, Colburn, Holley and Frisbie. But before the cars are going good, Amato spins in turn 2 bringing out the yellow once again. There is just enough time on the restart for Barber to pass Spears and takes over the pont.

The race goes back again to another caution for Mike Wofford who spun in turn 4 with Amato spinning but only to avoid Wofford. With Barber now at the head of the pack, it is Barber, Spears, Colburn, Holley and Frisbie in the top five followed by Foster, Vince Keeler, Robert Ward, and Bobby Simcox.

But the yellow is shown again for debris on the track. With three more cautions before the checkered flag is thrown, Ed Barber hangs on to take the checkered flag for his first 50 lap feature win. Following Barber to the checkered was Jeff Colburn, James Frisbie, George Spears, and Jason Foster.

The rain-out Modified race saw Gary Fountain Jr. on the pole but it was point leader Alan Bruns who took the lead and never looked back. With only one caution in the 15 lap event, Bruns lead the way over Matt Wheeler, Jimmy Winks, Art Kunzeman and Bobby Blake.

Joe Gerard had the pole for the Mini Stock feature but it was Jared Allison leading the most laps. Allison was passed for the point by Jonathan Camp who took the checkered only to be disqualified in tech giving Allison the win over Dick Laszlo, Jamie Dixson, Joe Gerard, and Steven Simpson.

Mike Pletka had the pole for the Sportsman feature but it was Donny Williams who was on a mission for the win. Williams slowly worked his way up taking over the top spot in spite of a very hard changing Travis Towell on his tail. Williams was followed by Travis Towell, Timmy Todd Jr., Mike Pletka, and John Nusbaum. In Victory Circle, Williams dedicated his win to his lost friend Sheriff Chris Daniel.

Late Model action saw David Gibbs on the pole but it was Alan Bruns who slowly took the lead away from Gibbs for the checkered. With only one caution for Johnny Brown, driving his brand new Late Model, it was the catch Alan show. Crossing the checkered behind Bruns was Darren Brown, Rich Clouser, David Gibbs, and John Ridley.

It was young Chad Akins who took the Pro Truck win after a few cautions and restarts. Akins was on the ball as he crossed the checkered followed by Dennis Gardner, Bill Stacy, A.J. Factor and Tim Bagnall.

It was Matt Wheeler who took the feature win for the Modified feature for October 28. Wheeler took no time taking over the point from Art Kunzeman. A number of modifieds were in the field for Saturday night’s Ed Meridith Memorial 100 lap event at New Smyrna. Orlando racer Shain Held did a great job working his way thru the field to take second behind Wheeler. Completing the top five were Jim “Hoot” Flynn, Bobby Blake and Jimmy Winks. If you love modified racing, you will love Saturday night.

After quite awhile in tech, Paul Kitner was found legal in the Strictly Stock class and declared the winner. Kitner was protested after the race and was torn completely down. Other results for the class were still unofficial when I left the track.