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Archive for September, 2012

Championship Night @ I-35 Speedway

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Winston, Mo -Championship usually leads to great racing because everybody is at the top their game to prove they belong at the top. This year was no different.

The IMCA Stock Cars had first shot at entertaining the crowd. Jon Boller Jr and Dean Wray started on the front row. Since the track opened in 1994 Wray has been nearly impossible to beat when he starts on the front row. Tonight proved the same outcome. Boller stayed right with Wray and even challenged for a handful of laps, but Wray got away. Boller had to fend off challenges from behind, but only had one strong challenge from Joe Zadina, who came from the final starting spot. Zadina flew into third by the mid point of the feature. Contact in turns one and two sent Boller through the infield and back to fifth. Zadina proceeded to run down Wray. “Crewser” John Crews had picked his way to battle for third. Zadina just couldn’t run down Wray, who added another win to his tally for the season. Zadina finished second. Crews has been coming on strong late in the season and finished third with Dixon close behind in fourth. Boller dropped to fifth but knew all he had to do to secure the points championship was finish in the top 10. So he settled into fifth
where he finished and won the track championship. Zadina went from 15th to 2nd to win the hard charger award.

Next up were the Grand Nationals. Bud Wilson and Travis Walker led the field to green. Wilson wrestled the lead away from Walker. Nick Newton, making his first appearance in a Grand National at I-35 Speedway, quickly moved up to battle Walker for second. Wilson would get a flat right rear for the second straight week and anded the lead to Newton. Newton went on to get the win. Chad Clancy worked his way up from the back to finish second. Walker held on to third while Austin Johnson fought to finish fourth. Jim Peeler was fifth. Wilson had a comfortable lead going into the feature and just by completing a lap won the championship. Clancy won the hard charger award.

The IMCA SportMod class had Randy Ainsworth and Brad Whitney on the front row. Two veterans that know their way around a race track. Ainsworth has been quietly strong all year long, but tonight he wasn’t quiet about anything on the track. Midway through the feature he got a heavy dose of Jeremy Pittsenbarger flying around the outside. The outside went away and opened the door for Eddie Schwope Jr to move into second. Doug Keller, who has won the last two features, was looking for the first place battle but just couldn’t get to Ainsworth and Schwope’s bumpers. Schwope fought into the lead with just a lap to go, but Ainsworth powered back door to door. Coming out of the turn four to the checkered they were door to door and at the line, Ainsworth found just enough bite to beat Schwope by less than a foot. Keller finished third. Pittsenbarger and Whitney were 4th and 5th. Ainsworth was the points leader so winning guaranteed him the championship. Caleb Dennis is becoming the most regular hard charger as he moved from 18th to 9th.

The IMCA Hobby Stock feature had Eric Stanton and Mich Ross on the front row. Stanton jumped into the lead with Ross keeping pace for about five laps. Stanton then started pulling away to go on and win. Ross was comfortably in second where he finished. Alex Anderson, Eddie Ingram and Anthony Fletchall rounded out the top five. Stanton added to his points total which in turn gave him the championship. Tyson Overton started last and was the only driver to gain more than one position from his starting spot, so Overton was the hard charger.

The IMCA Modified class entered the track for the final feature of the night. Cory Wray and Jason Estes occupied the front row. One attempt at the green flag saw Wray quickly jump to the lead and try to get away from the field, but a yellow prevented that. Back to the original restart and second attempt saw Estes jump out to the lead. Wray would drift back a couple spots early. Estes kept the lead but Blake Peeler showed his power on the outside and took the lead. Darren Shaw followed Peeler into second. Peeler held the lead for several laps with Shaw only a couple car lengths back. With just a handful of laps left Peeler rounded turns three and four but lost traction right in the middle of the corner, Shaw flew around the outside and on to the win. Peeler held on for second. Wray, at one point, had slipped way back but found his way to a third place finish. Jim Hopkins looked very good for the second straight week finishing fourth. Steven Glenn had worked his way up to battle at the front early in the feature but drifted to a fifth place finish by the checkered flag. Wray led Estes by several points and went on to win his second straight IMCA Modified championship at I-35 Speedway. Shaw also gained 5 spots in the feature to be the hard charger.

This Saturday, October 6th is the finale of the 2012 racing season at I-35 Speedway with the Show-Me Spectacular featuring the SportMods, Stocks, and Hobby Stocks. Be sure to visit www.i-35speedway.net for the Show-Me Spectacular information. Gates open at 4:00 pm with racing at 7:00 pm. Dirt Trackin at its Best at I-35 Speedway.
Chet Querry, PR

Speedbowl loses NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program to weather

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Waterford, CT – Waterford Speedbowl was forced to cancel its NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing program scheduled for Saturday, September 29th. A lingering light rain and drizzle persisted over the speedway for several hours, preventing track drying efforts from successfully occurring.

With Saturday’s cancellation, just one event remains on the track’s 2012 NASCAR racing season. The annual Finale Weekend hits the famed Connecticut shoreline oval October 5th-7th. Fourteen feature races are included in the blockbuster weekend of racing, bolstered by extra-distance races for the track’s weekly NASCAR divisions.

Due to the postponement of Saturday night’s event, which was slated to be presented by R & G Sealcoating, two of the track’s weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series point championships are virtually locked up. Unofficially Dillon Moltz of Waterford holds an 81-point bulge over the competition in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model division while Ken
Cassidy Jr. of Lisbon takes a 126-point lead in the Mini Stock division into the final weekend of racing. Pending final official review by track officials, each stands in line to be named champion in their respective divisions. Championship battles for SK Modifieds®, Street Stocks and SK Light Modifieds will be settled at Finale Weekend in the Speedbowl’s other
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions along with titles in additional regular track divisions.

Highlighting the Finale Weekend racing card will be championship-deciding battles in a 50-lap feature event for the SK Modifieds® while the Street Stocks will compete in two feature races over two days – a 25-lapper on Saturday evening October 6th, followed by a 50-lap race on Sunday, October 7th. The additional Street Stock feature was added to the schedule earlier last week after the division suffered from multiple rained out races during September. Action from the visiting NEMA Midgets, NEMA Lites and Northeast Mini Stock Tour divisions are also all part of the 13-division extravaganza.

The weekend begins on Friday, October 5th with rotating practice sessions for all Finale Weekend race divisions. Pit gates open at 11:00am, with practice from 12:00pm through 5:00pm. Friday Pit admission is $25.00 per person and grandstands will be closed.

Saturday, October 6th is anchored by seven feature events along with all qualifying races. Pit gates open at 7:30am with rotating practice sessions getting underway at 9:00am. Qualifying rounds are scheduled to begin at 2:00pm with feature racing to follow. Saturday’s attractions include a 50-lap Northeast Mini Stock Tour race, 25-lap NEMA Lite feature,
25-lap Outlaw Stock race and the additional 25-lap Street Stock feature. The Super X-Cars, X-Cars and Bandolero 20-lap feature races round out Saturday’s activities.

Sunday, October 7th begins with the popular Speedbowl Pit Party. Fans will be able to see the cars and meet the stars on the Speedbowl frontstretch prior to racing. Pit gates open at 7:30am Sunday, grandstands open at 9:00am with the Pit Party commencing at 9:30am. Following the pit party, racing will begin shortly after noon. Sunday’s feature lineup includes 25-lap races for the Legend Cars, SK Light Modifieds and NEMA Midgets along with 50-lap features for the SK Modifieds®, Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models, Street Stocks and Mini Stocks.

General admission for Finale Weekend is priced at $35.00 for a two-day adult grandstands pass, with youth age 6-14 admitted for $10.00 for a two-day pass. Two-day pit admission is $40.00 for licensed members and $50.00 for those not holding a valid racer license. Race fans are encouraged to visit Speedbowl.com or contact the track office at 860.442.1585 for more information.

Bacon Sweeps Night #1 of Hockett Memorial

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Wheatland, MO – On night number one of the Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial, Brady Bacon was unstoppable as the Broken Arrow native swept both the W.A.R Sprints and Lucas Oil ASCS presented by MAVTV A-Feature events this past Friday night.

“We’ll see what happens tomorrow. That’s the big night and it’s the most important” commented Brady in Victory Lane. “I got that Jesse Hockett Helmet painted so maybe that has something to do with it. I’m glad to win in Jack’s car and I’m glad to win in my car so hopefully we can do this again tomorrow.”

Rolling off from the outside of the front row, the Fatheadz Eyewear No. 99 would ride second as Brian Brown assumed the point in the Casey’s General Store / FVP / Searsboro No. 21. Riding the top shelf of the rough Lucas Oil Speedway, Bacon
would see his opportunity on lap four as Brown slipped exiting turn four, allowing Bacon to diamond the corner for a bottom side pass entering turn one.

The races lone stop came on lap five for an incident that saw Marion, Arkansas’s Derek Hagar flipping nearly half the length of the back straight-a-away after Justin Henderson was left with nowhere to go as Brad Loyet got crossed up exiting turn two. Loyet and Henderson would return with Hagar out with a 22nd place finish.

Underway with fifteen laps remaining, Bacon would quickly extend his lead as Brown worked to hold off the hard charging Tony Bruce Jr. Rollin the high side of the “Diamond of Dirt Tracks”, the Oil Medics No. 18 would keep pace with Brown’s Casey’s General Store No. 21 who worked the middle to bottom of the racing surface.

Working through slower traffic, the battle for second would go from two to four as Wayne Johnson and eleventh starting Shane Stewart joined in the mix near the midpoint of the night’s 25 lap feature event.

Finally clearing Brian Brown on lap sixteen, Bruce would run out of time to get a run for the lead as Brady Bacon stormed to his seventh A-Main win of the year. Tony Bruce Jr. crossed the line second with Brian Brown holding on to claim the final step on the podium. Using slower traffic, Shane Stewart grabbed fourth on lap twenty-two with Wayne Johnson landing just outside the lock-ins for Saturday’s A-Feature in fifth.

Jonathan Cornell was sixth with Jason Johnson coming from fifteenth to seventh. Brandon Hanks also charged forward from eighteenth to eighth with Johnny Herrera and Jack Dover making up the top ten.

The 2nd annual Hockett/McMillin Memorial concludes Saturday September 29, 2012 with race time set for 6:30pm CDT.

Championship? I’ll Flip You for It!

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

(St. Croix Falls, WI)–Over the winter of 2010/2011, the leaders of the Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) put into place the framework for a new type of sprint car. This new car would sport the traditional sprinter frame and suspension, and forgo the modern-day top wing. But unlike modern sprinters, this “new traditional” sprinter would utilize an abundantly available and affordable engine. The thought process behind this development – lower costs will allow more drivers access to sprint racing, keep the playing field even and competitive, and racing excitement would ensue. As clearly as the UMSS Traditional Sprintcar Series (TSCS) visionaries saw the future, no one could have envisioned the events that transpired over the weekend at St. Croix Valley Raceway.

To close out its first full season of operation, St. Croix Valley Raceway hosted the two-night Badger State Championships. On the schedule each night were the UMSS Traditional Sprints, a complete show each evening. Reigning TSCS champion Kevin “Rocketman” Bradwell arrived on Friday night, trailing Rob Caho Jr. by a single point in the 2012 title chase. A season-high and series-high turnout of 14 TSCS sprints were on hand with Johnny Parsons and Jack Clark picking up heat race wins. The redraw for the scheduled 20 lap feature race saw rookie Ryan Olson on the pole with the three title contenders of Caho, Bradwell and Parsons in the second through fourth starting positions. Olson bolted into the early lead ahead of Caho, but the bid for his first sprint car win came to an end after six laps when the rear-end in his sprinter broke and he coasted to a stop on the back stretch to bring out the first caution. On the restart, Parsons made an incredible charge on the bottom and went from third to first. A second yellow for a spin in turn four slowed the pace once again. Parsons led laps seven and eight before Caho took the top spot on lap nine. Seeing what Parsons had done a few laps earlier, Bradwell used the low line to get by Parsons on lap nine. The third yellow waved for a spin in turn two with nine laps in the books, and on the restart Bradwell blasted under Caho in turn four to lead lap ten. The final yellow light blinked on when Tom Porter lost the left rear tire on his sprinter with ten laps scored. At this point, the number of laps was reduced due to time limitations and the threat of rain approaching. Bradwell went on to lead the final six laps while Caho rode home in second ahead of Parsons in third. Clark and Jeff Pellersels completed the top five. The win for Bradwell, his series best seventh of the season, left him tied with Caho going into Saturday’s finale with Parsons still mathematically alive in the title chase.

That’s when things got really exciting.

Bradwell won the opening heat on Saturday night, but TSCS does not award points for heat races, so the win was inconsequential to the championship. Caho, after starting fourth, was going for the lead in his heat race when he came together with the leader, Katrina Sautbine. On a lightning fast track, the contact with Saubtine was just enough to upset #78 of Caho, sending him spinning down the front stretch. Mid-spin, Caho’s rear tire dug into the clay, flipping him violently at the entrance to turn one. Quite sore but otherwise unharmed, Caho gingerly extracted himself from his torn up mount and made the longest walk in motorsports, back to his hauler, with any serious notion of a championship dashed. Sautbine went on to win the heat, her first race win since graduating from the karting ranks.

In the pits, the assessment of Caho’ ride was grim. Fellow TSCS competitor Lucas Milz offered to forfeit his starting spot in the feature, allowing Caho the use of his car – so that the championship could be decided under a green flag, instead of red flag. However, UMSS rules stipulate that a racer cannot race a feature in a car in which he did not qualify. So the generous offer from Milz had to be declined.

But the collective spirit of the racers wasn’t broken. Attention immediately turned from the rule book back to Caho’s sprinter. Fuel cell, wheels, linkages…the list of components needing replacement was built and attacked. Among those offering to help included Caho’s championship foil, Kevin Bradwell. A veritable swarm and mechanics and pit-helpers buzzed about Caho’s sprinter. Using spare parts from Caho’s trailer and, when needed, parts off of Milz’ car, Caho’s crew – with the help of several of Caho’s competitors – began the task of stripping and rebuilding the #78. With several minutes to spare, Caho’s sprinter was reassembled and race ready.

The anticipation and electricity in the air during the three-wide salute to the fans prior to the feature was a welcome diversion for the chilly spectators, eager to see this epic clash for the championship title. Bradwell started outside of the third row, with Caho at the back in row six. Open Wheel Nationals champion Johnny Parsons III immediately vaulted from his third starting spot to the point at the drop of the green. Parsons, a long shot championship contender, was doing everything he could to claim the title, and he could do no better than a win. Entering turn four on the second lap, Katrina Sautbine, Jeff Pellersels, Denny Stordahl and Jack Clark were all involved in a wild crash, with Pellersels and Clark both flipping their cars. Clark took the harder tumble, but both Pellersels and Clark would emerge from the carnage unharmed. Unfortunately, neither car was race worthy afterwards. On the restart Bradwell was quickly up to second and with three laps in the books, Caho was up to third. For the middle section of the race, it was a high-tension, nerve-wracking affair as the running order remained Parsons, Bradwell, Caho through lapped traffic. With Parsons’ advantage shrinking on lap fifteen and Bradwell applying pressure for the lead, Parsons lost the handle on his car coming out of turn three. The spin collected Bradwell as Caho took evasive action up high. During the spin, Bradwell’s car throttled over the implement tire in the infield and came to a rest, upside-down, between turns three and four.

Fortunately it was an “easy” roll for Bradwell, and both Parsons and Bradwell would be able to continue, restarting from the back of the field while Caho, sporting Milz’ #60 fuel cell, inherited the lead. Both Bradwell and Parsons immediately charged forward, slowed only by a final caution with two laps to go. The half-mile championship dash started with Parsons in fifth, Bradwell in fourth. At the white flag, Bradwell had gotten past both Sautbine and Stordahl and was staring down the #78/60 ride of Caho. With only a quarter of a mile to work with, Bradwell closed the gap, but ultimately did not have enough left to pull of the clean sweep championship drive. On the final lap, of the final race, after both top contenders flipped their cars and were able to continue racing, Rob Caho Jr. won the race and the season championship by a single point. An exhausted and disappointed Bradwell finished in second ahead of Parsons, Sautbine and Stordahl.

Although the dramatic sprint car battle will be most remembered by the hearty fans in attendance, the weekend featured an abundance of racing in other classes as well. A pair of heavyweights dominated the weekend in WISSOTA Midwest Modified competition. On Friday night, Jason VandeKamp and Justin Oestreich brought the field to green with VandeKamp grabbing the early lead. By lap three, seventh starting Ryan Olson had caught VandeKamp and the pair commenced a race-long donnybrook. Frequently racing in parallel, the race for the win was fever-pitched with the lead duo often times negotiating traffic amidst their joust. The traffic was heavy enough late in the race to finally force the race for the lead to go single file, with VandeKamp possessing the advantage. At the final double checkers, it was VandeKamp picking up his first win at The Valley since the Open Wheel Nationals on June 29. Olson settled for second ahead of Oestreich, Ryan Bowers and Vince Corbin.

Saturday night saw Kevin Marlett and Vince Corbin pacing the field and Justin Oestreich darting for third to first on lap one. Oestreich held strong until lap six when Friday night’s runner-up, Ryan Olson, slipped by into the lead. Just past halfway, Oestreich slid back to third as VandeKamp claimed second. Through the last handful of laps, VandeKamp tried in vain to repeat Friday’s result, but to no avail as Olson claimed his first SCVR win of the season in the track’s final race of the summer. VandeKamp was second to the stripe in front of Oestreich, Corbin and Marlett.

The final UMSS Micro event of 2012 was co-sanctioned with the MinIaKota Micros based in Worthington, MN, resulting in an eye-popping 20 miniature sprint cars clogging the pits on Friday night. Trey Thesenvitz and Sandy Traaseth paced the twenty micros to Shaun Cimfl’s green flag with Thesenvitz holding the point early. Fourth and fifth starting Kris Wilke and Wade Huisman quickly squirted up to second and third and Wilke eyed up Thesenvitz. By lap three, Kalab Johnson worked around Huisman and into third while Thesenvitz stretched his lead up front. By the race’s midpoint, SCVR regular Ty Sampair had cracked the top three and front of the pack would remain unchanged up to the end. Thesenvitz made the long haul from Jasper, MN worthwhile by posting a win in his SCVR debut in front of Wilke, Sampair, Chris Breen and Mike Nichols.

After Nichols and Gunner Cummings led the field to green on Saturday night, many of the same players from Friday ran up front again. Nichols led with Cummings holding second through lap four before when #97B of Breen claimed second. With Nichols leading, Breen jostled for position with Wilke, Ryan Schuur and Huisman. There were no changes in the top three over the final six laps, resulting in the first career micro win for Nichols, the Brookings, South Dakota eighth grader. Behind the elated Nichols were Breen, Wilke, Huisman and 2012 MinIaKota champion Tim Ottenbacher.

Friday night’s Pure Stock line up featured eleven cars, with Dustin Doughty and Tony DuBois pacing to green. A pile-up in turn two of lap one eliminated the only two cars to win at The Valley this season – Jay Folz and Jason Havel. On the restart, Doughty led with Tony DuBois in tow. At the crossed flags, DuBois over took Doughty and led the rest of the way, claiming his first win of the season over Doughty, Brandon Davis, Krysta Swearingen and Kyle Hallin.

Only four Pure Stocks made the return trip for Saturday night’s contest, and Jason Havel, having made repairs from the previous night, spotted the field about a half a lap at the start. Regardless of the advantage, in only a few laps, Havel caught and passed the three car field and cruised to the win over Jon Wigchers, Oliver Swanson and Kyle Dahlheimer. The win marked a track best thirteen for Havel on the season.

A handful of Future Fours were in attendance for their final two nights of racing, including both members of “Team Rollover”, Damon and Dylan Roberts. Dylan and the #10a of Oliver Swanson led the five pack to green with Roberts grabbing the lead and maintaining it throughout. Behind Dylan, Damon had a spirited battle all race long with Nicki DuBois and Swanson. At race’s end, it was Dylan Roberts picking up his third win in four weeks over Swanson, DuBois, Damon Roberts and Brandon Opsahl.

DuBois didn’t return for Saturday, but the Future Fours were joined by Hope Tucker and Karen Koltunski for the season wrap-up, upping their numbers to six. Damon Roberts led the opening lap of the finale before giving way to Swanson on lap two. Once in front, Swanson cruised to his first win in over two months, and third of the summer, in front of Damon Roberts, Koltunski, Dylan Roberts and Opsahl.

Night number one of the two night affair was kicked off by the Northern Vintage cars. Paul Dolphy was presented his trophy in the full body division by St. Croix Valley superfan Austin Tilton. And as per Northern Vintage custom, Dolphy immediately awarded the winning trophy right back to his presenter, sending young Austin home with the majestic 40-inch tall prize. In the Modified division, an elated Mark Peine posed in Victory Lane along with presenter Maeghan Milz in front of his #54 Modified. Like Tilton, a happy Milz carried home a trophy rivaling her in height. Night number two for the Vintage cars saw Josh Stirrat carry home Rick Heber’s trophy in the full body division and Makayla Cassavant claimed Butch Bethke’s modified trophy.

The final event on the raceway’s calendar is the track’s rather unique swap meet on Saturday, October 6. Vendors will receive free admission, and the track will be open for buyers and sellers to test drive any potential purchases. Pit passes will be $5 for this event and “track passes” are $30 for car and driver. The track will also be hosting an awards banquet in January to celebrate a successful 2012 racing season. Details for the banquet will be available on the track’s website, www.scvraceway.com, once they are finalized, as well as their Facebook page.

First Entries Filed for Vermonster 150 Enduro at Devil’s Bowl Speedway

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

WEST HAVEN, VT – Entries are flying into the mailbox at Devil’s Bowl Speedway for the West Haven, VT track’s “Vermonster 150” Enduro on Saturday, October 20 at 1:00pm. The Enduro is a long-distance survival-of-the-fittest race featuring bone-stock race vehicles bulling, jamming , slipping, sliding, smashing, and crashing their way toward the checkered flag, and will be held rain, shine, or snow.

Jeff Murray of Georgia, VT was the first to file an official entry, quickly followed by Bret “The Jet” Williams of Sudbury, VT. Murray, who has chosen No. 35, plans to pilot a 1997 Honda Civic in his first Devil’s Bowl Enduro appearance of the season. Williams will run the same No. 56 Saturn that he ran in the latest Enduro at Devil’s Bowl on August 24.

Eric “Mongo” Messier of Hinesburg, VT is also expected to file an official entry for the Vermonster 150; Messier is undefeated in Devil’s Bowl Enduros in 2012, beating Tony Andrews of Middlebury, VT in June and Andy Botala of Grand Isle, VT in August.

The Vermonster 150 is offering a winner’s purse of $1,500, contingent upon 50 or more competitors. The most recent Enduro at Devil’s Bowl drew over 40 starters, and anticipation for the Halloween-themed Vermonster 150 is sky-high. Cars, minivans, and light-duty pickup trucks are eligible for competition, with only safety modifications allowed. Drivers from regular racing divisions at Devil’s Bowl Speedway or other tracks will be permitted to race but may be subject to handicapped starting positions.

The Vermonster 150 will also host the always-exciting Spectator Races – single-lap elimination races for street-legal vehicles of all types. Drivers will need to provide proof of valid registration and insurance and will need a helmet in order to compete. Spectator Race winners in 2012 at Devil’s Bowl included Gary Grant’s 2008 Ford Mustang and Pat Cram’s 1982 Pontiac Grand Prix.

General admission for the Vermonster 150 Enduro is just $5.00 for adults, and free for children 12 and under. Entry to compete in the Vermonster 150 is $50, which includes the driver’s pit pass. Crew member and Spectator Race competitor entry is $30. Enduro rules and entry blanks are available on the Devil’s Bowl Speedway website at www.devilsbowlspeedwayvt.com or by calling (802) 265-3112. The event will be held on Saturday, October 20 at 1:00pm – rain, shine, or snow.

Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, VT, four miles north of Exit 2 on US Route 4. For more information, call (802) 265-3112 or click www.devilsbowlspeedwayvt.com. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is on Facebook at facebook.com/devilsbowlspeedway and Twitter at @DevilsBowlSpeed