After 7 races in the books, John Allen, has had a great run. He is the only driver to win 3 features on the year and he also has 3 runner-up finishes to his credit. Watching Allen in victory lane last week, it looked like he removed the monkey from his back that plagued him for the last couple of seasons.
Allen has been a front runner at Lakeside, but many opportunities for wins were lost for many different reasons. Three consecutive NCRA Modified Championships helped make Allen a household name in modified racing. He won and finished a lot of races. Since coming to Lakeside, he hadn’t enjoyed that same kind of success. Until now! The start to this season is one Allen would like to continue on as the season goes on.
Terry Bruner also had a strong run last week. This year Bruner is running a chassis built by fellow competitor, Nick Newton. Bruner made his way through the field last week and mounted a serious run at Allen for the lead, only to see it fade with a couple of laps to go. This 2nd place finish was one of Bruner’s top finishes ever at Lakeside Speedway.
Finishing in 3rd spot was Gene Claxton. For yet another week, Claxton battled his race car lap after lap. As the laps wound down, Claxton placed his mod on the high side of Lakeside and let it eat. On the last couple of laps he gained about 3 spots to finish 3rd.
A couple of newcomers to the top 5 were Kevin Sloan in 4th and Mark Schafman in 5th. Sloan has been putting some good laps together and on this night he stayed up front all night long. Sloan, like Bruner, had his best career finish at Lakeside. Mark Schafman, on the other hand, would have liked to finish where he ran a majority of the race at, up front. In the early going he led some laps before finishing in the 5th position.
Driver To Watch This Week: Justin Boney
Boney returned to Lakeside Speedway last Friday night after a little hiatus. Boney is looking to rekindle the fire that put him into the front of the competition. A new ride is on the horizon for Boney and will it put him up front? I would say that if he can get things going in the right direction, look out. Watch Boney this week and see where he finishes up at the end of the night.
Last Friday night’s Grand National race was outstanding. It may not have looked like it to the crowd in attendance, but it sure was one of the best of ’07.
Cody Owens capped off a great night by winning his 2nd Grand National feature in ’07. He led from start to finish. Another strong performance from this youngster on the verge of breaking out.
Mike Busby, a rookie in the Grand Nationals, showed everyone how fast he was by
finishing in 2nd place. Busby has been one of those drivers that showed a ton of speed, but hadn’t yet put together a good run for the full 20 laps of the feature. Fans can now say they have seen him put together 20 good laps as he had his career best finish.
Finishing 3rd last week was Nic Bidinger. Bidinger could have been the fastest racer on the track. Early in the race, he spun bringing out the yellow. For bringing out the yellow, he got to restart at the rear of the field. Bidinger put together his concentration and focus and began clipping off cars at an alarming rate. By the end of the night, he would find himself in the 3rd spot.
A couple of Grand National veterans Tim Billings and Scotty Martin would finish 4th and 5th respectively.
Driver To Watch This Week: Jimmy Winkler
Winkler has done very well over the last few weeks considering the circumstances. It was just a couple of weeks ago he lost his mother. It would be a tough situation for anyone to handle, but Winkler has embraced his time behind the wheel and he has made the best of it. Each week he races a little harder towards the front. Don’t be suprised to see him there this weekend.
For the 2nd straight week we have another new face in victory lane, Jake Newman. Newman just missed out on his first win the week before, but he got the job done last week, but not after a hard charge from Tyler Schmidt.
Joe Smith Jr. and Jim Baker started on the front row. Smith would lead a majority of the event, until giving way to Tim Shields. Shields was trailed by Newman, who took his shot at the lead as soon as Shields moved into the top spot.
Newman would get by Shields and probably thought that he was sailing off to his 1st win of the season. Tyler Schmidt would bring the crowd to its’ feet as he began to inch closer and closer to Newman. Working the low line. Schmidt pulled even with Newman going into three. Exiting turn four, the two racers drag raced there way to the flagstand. When the dust settled, Newman had inched out Schmidt by a few feet.
The previous week’s winner, Jay Kelly, finished 3rd on the night, Will Whisler gave a hard fought effort for 4th and Buzz Kaster landed yet another top 5 on the race season.
Driver To Watch This Week: Johhny Wishbone
This driver is an enigma, wrapped up in a riddle…. Just who is Johnny Wishbone. He looks a little like a guy that used to race modifieds, but you never know looks can be decieving. Watch this driver this week, because as he gets more time behind the wheel the faster he gets.
As always the gates open at 5:00 p.m., hot laps are at 6:30 and racing gets underway at 7:30 p.m.
Next week Lakeside Speedway will host a double header. Friday night will be the
regular weekly series; Modifieds, Grand Nationals & Factory Stocks. Saturday night it’s the O’Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour. Make your plans today…..