Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Almost Race Day

Despite what the weatherman seems to think, racing season is nearing in this corner of the world. As we wait on a decision on the two day Spring Nationals this weekend at the Scotland County Speedway in Memphis,Mo., a pair of tracks will kick things off with car shows. The Quincy,Il. mall will be the scene for the Quincy Raceways preview this Saturday and Sunday. New track owner/promoter Jason Goble has been busy preparing for his first full season after hitting the ground running with a handful of shows last fall. Quincy Raceways will kick off the season on Sunday, April 8 following a pair of practice nights. The track will be rotating several classes during the season, with 305 sprints cars on the card opening night and UMP crate late models debuting the following Sunday. 34 Raceways in West Burlington, Ia. also has new owners in 2018, and Brad Stevens and Jessi Mynatt have spent many hours getting the 3/8 mile track in shape. They will host a car show this Sunday at Deery Brothers in West Burlington. Opening night at 34 will be Saturday, March 31, with the 360 Sprint Invaders and crate late models topping the card. At this time, it looks like my first night at the track will be the second night of the Spring Extravaganza at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, which is set to take place on Friday and Saturday March 23 and 24. The Illini 100 featuring World of Outlaw late models is also set for that weekend, and the MLRA two day show at LaSalle,Il., is on tap March 30 and 31, as well as another two day program at the Scotland County Speedway. On Friday, the 30th, Tri City Speedway in Pontoon Beach,Il. will host their 2018 opener. It has not been so many years ago that we had to scramble to find a race within driving distance in March, yet now it comes down to several good choices! Of course, there is hardly an off season any more, and while Jeff Broeg was taking in the action last Saturday in Beatrice, Ne., the Springfield, Mo. 1/4 mile hosted the Comp Cans late models, with veteran Jack Sullivan topping a 21 car field. It was the first visit of the series to Springfield, as this race has previously been sanctioned by the MARS Dirt Car series. Unfortunately, the MARS series had several issues in 2017, including a last minute pull out of a pair of races in Iowa. Just when it looked as though the series may be no longer, promoter Chris Tilley purchased the brand. Although he got a late start, Tilley has managed to build an abbreviated schedule for this season, beginning with the annual two day Toilet Bowl event at Clarksville,Tn. at the beginning of March. Twenty plus late models were checked in at Clarksville, so hopefully Tilley can revive the MARS brand. With the MARS problems last season coupled with a dispute at LaSalle between promoter Tony Izzo and the World Racing Group, the Lucas Oil MLRA late model series has swooped in to grab a foothold well north of their former target area. After sanctiong the late March show in LaSalle, they will come back with a pair of shows in Davenport, Iowa, including one night of action on the 1/4 mile and another on the big 1/2 mile. Davenport was one of the tracks left hanging by MARS in 2017. And the new owners at 34 Raceway also reacted to the MARS snafu by bringing in the MLRA folks as the sanctioning body for the popular Slocum 50 on Saturday, April 21. The Lee County Speedway in Donnellson will host the MLRA one time in 2018, on Thursday, May 3. I would urge you to take advantage of the special events calendar on the Positively Racing home page, as I have hardly scratched the surface of early season specials for both " fender car " and open wheel fans. And as always, check with the particular track before leaving home. See you at the races!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 in Review and a Look Ahead

As 2017 winds down here in the frigid midwest, it is time to take a look back at my racing season. The year started out with a pair of March rainouts at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, before things got rolling in April. In the end, I was able to make it to 48 nights at 16 tracks in three states. As usual, Quincy Raceways was the leader, with 18 total nights. Next was Lee County, with 12 nights. Then came two visits each to 34 Raceways in West Burlington, Iowa, West Liberty,Iowa Raceway, Scotland County Speedway in Memphis,Mo., and Tri City Speedway in Pontoon Beach,Il. Single visits came at Bloomfield, Knoxville, and Tipton, Iowa, Peoria, Spoon River Speedway in Banner, LaSalle, and Jacksonville, all in Illinois. Moberly, Missouri was my destination one time, and with an assist from Jeff Broeg, I capped off the season with first time visits to a pair of new venues, the Springfield,Mo. Raceway, and the Dome in St Louis,Mo. I might add here that I count any night that I make it to the track, even if a cancellation occurs after I arrive. Fortunately that happened only two times in 2017. If you are a regular reader, you probably know that although I enjoy all types of dirt track racing, late models are my class of choice, and I was entertained by 53 feature events covering a host of rules and sanctions, everything from steel blocks at Peoria to the high powered Lucas Oil late model series at Knoxville, and everything in between. Along the way, I enjoyed a variety of action, including sprint cars, midgets, modifieds, stock cars, hobby stocks, and yes, even mod lites, and 4 cylinder competition. Having retired in late summer, I hope to be able to change things up a bit in 2018 and hopefully take in a few more week night shows in addition to being able to travel more on Fridays and burn the candle a bit more on Sundays. With this in mind, I am anxiously awaiting the release of the schedule for the Deery Brothers IMCA late models. Like me,the legendary series will see big changes in the coming year. The tracks in Farley, West Liberty, and Dubuque, Iowa have been series strongholds for many years, indeed making up just over half the 2017 schedule. However the Farley Speedway Promotions group has decided to go a different direction with their late model rules, adopting a package that opens the class to a variety of engine packages. Apparently the Independence, Iowa Speedway, another long time series supporter,is also switching to these same rules. Also at this time, it is uncertain if any events will be held at West Liberty in the coming season. Although this was no doubt a setback for the Deery series, it looks as though officials have regrouped and are now in the process of putting together a more diversified schedule. Nine tracks hosting ten races have been identified in a preliminary press release, with more supposedly in the works and a full schedule is due out in January. One change of note thus far is the event originally announced at 34 Raceway has been moved to Tuesday, July 3. This should result in a solid car count and hopefully a packed grandstand for new owners Brad Stevens and Jessi Mynatt. Crate late models have replaced the IMCA cars on the March 31 date at 34 along with the Sprint Invaders. As noted earlier, this will be the first full season of operation at Quincy Raceways for Jason and Robert Goble, and I saw even more improvements to the facility in a visit earlier this month. UMP crate late models will share the spotlight with 305 sprints in 2018, so keep an eye on the schedule for the Sunday night races. Scotland County Speedway is adding events to the new season. While again hosting race nights in March and again in the fall, and also during the county fair, they will be adding some dates when the Lee County Speedway takes a few nights off. With Mike Van Genderen the man in charge at both tracks, this should be a seamless and successful endeavor. The Midwest Late Model Racing Association, MLRA, continues to make inroads in this part of the midwest. Along with returning to Lee County, the series has a pair of dates at the Davenport, Iowa Speedway, and several trips to LaSalle,Il on tap. As of now, they do not show return trips to Scotland County, or Moberly, but it is still early. And perhaps the biggest feather in their cap is the sanctioning for the first time of the Slocum 50 at 34 Raceway. It will I believe,be year number ten for the memorial event which pays $10,555 to the winner. Because of the change in sanction, the race has been pushed back one week to April 21. The change comes after the controversial happenings in 2017, when the MARS series pulled out of the event at the last minute, citing weather concerns, and leaving the Cornbelt Clash group as a lone sanction. With a rough first season for the fledgling owner of the MARS series, it has been announced that Chris Tilley has purchased the operation. He is working on putting together a schedule for this coming season, no small task considering the foothold the MLRA has gained to the north and the Comp Cams series to the southwest. Tilley has plenty of experience in operations, including working with Ray Cook and his Southern Nationals series, as well as owning a late model and modified series on his own, so perhaps he can have success rebuilding the MARS brand. With the late model drivers heading to Arizona next week for the Wild West Shootout ahead of Speedweeks in February in Georgia and Florida, there really is no such thing as an " off season " anymore. Driver - owner changes, new chassis, etc. are being done on the fly. Of course the move by Bobby Pierce away from his family operation will be one closely watched in these parts. Bobby was something of a semi regular for several seasons at Quincy Raceways along with Brandon Sheppard, and both of these young stars have huge followings in this area. Along with its many unique aspects, racing at the Dome served to shorten my off season. Still with a howling wind and temps in the single digits, it seems like a long way to March! Thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

One More Night at the Track

After an abbreviated first ever visit to the Springfield,Missouri Raceway for the rescheduled Turkey Bowl, I was working on putting a wrap on my 2017 season. But an offer from "the Boss" to ride along to night number two of the Gateway Dirt Nationals at the Dome in St. Louis was too good to pass up. For a host of reasons, including inclement weather, I had passed on the inaguaral event in 2016. But the chance to attend my first ever indoor race and my first ever race in December while someone else did the driving sounded like a deal. After a trip to "the Hill" and some outstanding barbeque, we made our way to the in door arena along with north of 10,000 like minded fans for a full late afternoon and night of open late model and modified racing action on the 1/5 mile oval constructed over a two week period under the direction of Kevin Gundaker at the behest of promoter Cody Sommer. 107 UMP style modifieds signed in for Thursday night qualifying, and while I did not keep a count on Friday, I would guess all returned for Friday. 93 late models took time trials on Thursday and all returned, plus Billy Stiles, who broke down on the way to Missouri from Pennsylvania, but was allowed to tag the tail of a heat race on Friday, swelling the count to 94 super late models. As always, Jeff Broeg has a spot on recap of the nights action on the Backstretch elsewhere on this blog page, so I will just add some observations in this report. As a stand alone event at a regular racing venue, the Dirt Nationals would be open to more than a little criticism. But when you take into account the uniqueness of this event, much of the criticism melts away. To come into an enclosed facility with obvious space constraints, bringing everything from the dirt itself to the walls and everything else needed for a race program of such a large magnitude, is an amazing undertaking. I think it is important to understand the this be viewed an an "event" more than a racing program. As I said, it may not compare favorably to say the Dream, the World 100 or the Knoxville Late Model Nationals, but it is racing in the midwest in December! I do not do the extensive traveling that many of my friends in the racing world are able to do, but I was able for the first time to see dozens of drivers in both divisions that I have never had the opportunity to see in person, while at the same time watching them compete against drivers I watch on a regular basis. And if you are going to have the extended amount of down time required to filter the air - and do track maintainence - what better place than indoors where you can visit with friends you have not seen for a couple of months. Unfortunately for them and me, the modified drivers I am able to watch every week at Quincy Raceways, Michael Long and Dave Weitholder did not have good results, and while local late model standouts Jason Perry and Dustin Griffin were preentered, neither made the trip, at least not with their cars. I was able to give Dustin a scolding for showing up as a bench racer, like myself! The new owner/promoters from Quincy Raceways and 34 Raceways, as well as veteran race director Mike VanGenderen were among the attendees, all taking notes,and receiving advice, I am sure. After hearing some horror stories from the 2016 event, we did pack overnight bags "just in case," but the action began on time at 3:00, and the final checker waved at 9:55. Second generation driver Hudson Oneal was a popular winner in one of the two 20 lap $5,000 to win late model features, and there is no doubt he has a bright future ahead. The same can be said for the winner of the second main event, Gordy Gundaker, a St Charles,Missouri native, who calls Quincy his " second home" after graduating from Quincy University as an outstanding catcher on the baseball team. Gordy was a two time feature winner at Quincy Raceways in 2017, and I just realized he is living my childhood dream, a baseball player and stock car racer! It was my first time to see modified driver Tanner Mullins, and he was impressive capturing the $5,000 modified top prize. A couple of other drivers who have spent more than one night in victory lane at Quincy, Bobby Pierce in his #32 late model and Ray Bollinger wheeling his #77 modified collected the big checks on Saturday while I was up the street at the Scottrade Center benefitting from some free tickets while watching the St Louis Blues defeat the Winnepeg Jets in NHL action! After two successful runs on the third weekend in December - following the PRI race show in Indianapolis, I see the 2018 Dirt Nationals date has been set for November 29,30 December 1. What this means for the competitors and the fans remains to be seen, as there were mumblings about a possible open wheel type show as well. But what I can say is I came away happy to have been in attendance and looking forward to a possible return trip next year. Now that my 2017 season is truly over, I will be back soon with a recap of my year. Thanks for reading, and Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

News and Notes

Although there are still a couple of races left for 2017 here in Missouri, the " off season " news marches on. New 34 Raceway owners/promoters Brad Stevens and Jessi Mynatt have released a preliminary schedule for their inagural season at the storied West Burlington, Iowa facility. Racing is set to begin on Saturday, March 31 featuring the IMCA Deery Brothers Summer Series late models and the 360 Sprint Invaders. This was my first race of 2017, with a solid field of cars, including 33 late models. The following week, April 7, the IRA sprints are on the card. The tenth annual Slocum 50 late model event has been pushed back one week to Saturday April 21 for 2018. The reason for this appears to be due to the securing of a first time sanction by the Midwest Late Model Racing Association. The MLRA has a record of sucessful shows over the last several seasons at area tracks, and should bring in a solid field of drivers from Iowa, Illinois, and their home base of Missouri, as well as some other national standouts. They will be coming off a two day show the week prior at the Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland,Mo. Other highlights of the schedule include the Sprint Invaders featured again on May 27 and for their season championship on September 29. Also, Tony Stewarts All Star Sprints are on the card for July 29. At this time, the management team is stil working on more possible specials, as well as fleshing out the lineup for the weekly Saturday night shows. Meanwhile, there is good news for the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, as race director Mike VanGenderen has signed on for three more seasons, through the 2020 campaign. Mike has consistently provided a crisp, efficient Friday night program at the fairgrounds 3/8 mile facility, including a pair of highly sucessful MLRA shows the past couple of years. Speaking of the MLRA, my sources tell me that they will abandon time trial qualifying in 2018 and go back to the passing points format that had worked for them previously. It is no secret that the biggest names in dirt late model racing prefer time trials, with the top qualifiers then starting up front. Unfortunately, this often produces little passing up front, both in the heats and features. The " follow the leader " action also usually robs us of a multi groove track come feature time. I don't know if I am in the majority or not, but I much prefer passing points over qualifying. At any rate, I think it is safe to assume the the $10,000 plus winners check for the Slocum 50 will still draw plenty of heavy hitters. The full MLRA schedule is due to be released this Saturday, November 18. Quincy,Il. Raceways has already released a preliminary schedule, with more special dates to be announced. In the meantime, the new owners of the .29 mile bullring have scheduled an informational meeting for this coming Sunday, November 19 at the speedway concession stand at I believe 1:00 to discuss the possibility of reintroducing a two person cruiser class. The Gobles are proposing this as a truck class, and they have received positive responses, as well as calls for the revival of the two person car class, which enjoyed a successful run of five or so seasons several years ago. Anyone interested should check out Quincy Raceways on Facebook. As I mentioned at the beginning, there are still a pair of races to be had withing driving distance in 2017. This Saturday, November 18 will be the running of the eleventh annual Turkey Bowl at the Springfield,Missouri Raceway. The late afternoon event features open late models and modifieds, as well as B-mods, Midwest mods and Legend cars. Then the second annual Race at the Dome extravaganza in St Louis will feature late models and modifieds on the indoor track. With area racers traveling to Arizona in January, then to Florida and Georgia in February, I guess " off season " is a loosely defined term!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Some News, Some Thoughts

The new owners of Quincy Raceways have released a tentative schedule for 2018. As might be expected, there was a lot of reaction, both positive and negative, but I will leave it at that. Highlights of the schedule include a loose rotation of eight classes along with a September 16 visit by the Sprint Invaders. The season is set to kick off with a Quincy Mall car show on March 17 followed by a couple of practice nights. Racing is set to begin on Sunday, April 8 with UMP modifieds, IMCA sport mods, IMCA stock cars, IMCA (I assume) sport compacts, and mod lites. One week later, the crate late models make their first appearance of the season, followed one week later with 305 sprints as the featured class. Beginning in May, the crate late models and 305 sprints will basically rotate Sunday nights through the month of August, with things changing up a bit in September. Midgets also make a few appearances on the schedule. The owners will also be working on a date for the UMP late model Summernationals, with more information to follow. The schedule appears on the Quincy Raceways Facebook page. A post on a racing forum this week concerning the name of an upcoming event got me to thinking - plenty of time for that now that I am retired and racing season is winding down. The poster was pointing out that the first running of an event should not be called the 1st Annual and I started to think about ads for races in general, which led me to consider what I look for when searching for information. So here is what I look for: 1- where is the race? I have seen tracks use ads that apparently appeared in the local paper, and the track location is not given 2- when is the race, date and time, including hot lap and race times? 3- what classes (and sanctions) are running, and if it is a multiple night show, what classes on which night? 4- what is the cost of the event, grandstand and pit prices? 5- some information about the purse, just so I have an idea of who might be inclined to show up 6- is there a pre entry list? 7- if the event has been held in the past, who was last years winner? 8- contact information, especially for race day in the event of inclement weather. Did I miss anything? Then there are the things I do not care about 1- What the promoter chooses to name his show. The release of the Quincy Raceways schedule is just the first salvo of what figures to be an intriging off season, so buckle up, here we go!

Monday, October 30, 2017

The 2017 Curtain Falls at Quincy Raceways

Despite the chilly temps and stiff breeze, Quincy Raceways went ahead with their 2017 season finale on Sunday afternoon. The decision came mid week to open up the rules to an " open competition " format, with the payout based on car counts. This decision drew in some " out of town " cars, and caused a few locals to stay home. The start time was also moved up , with hot laps scheduled for 2:30. Unfortunately, a problem getting water for the water truck caused a delay, and still it was not possible to obtain enough water. The result was a dust problem, with a southern breeze making for an uncomfortable time in the early part of the program for those in the grandstand, and a vision problem all evening for the competitors. Five classes were on the card, with heat race action beginning just before 4:00. The USAC/IMRA D2 midget heat race saw the car of Austin Archdale take a nasty tumble between turns one and two, ending the night early for the #2 and also the #3 of Sean Coat. Following another track watering session and a candy dash for the kids, it was feature time. First up was the modified 20 lapper. Shaun Deering took off from row one, with Ray Bollinger breaking free from a three wide battle for second. Heat race winner Kevin Morrow had drawn the seventh and final starting spot, but he had moved to fourth when the only caution of the event came out as Charles Baker appeared to have his engine expire on lap five. Deering used the high line around the .29 mile oval, while Bollinger stayed down low. Bollinger pulled alongside the #16 on lap seven, but Deering used his high side momentum to fight off the challenge. By mid race, Deering had opened a sizable lead over Bollinger, while Morrow moved to challenge Chris Spaulding in the Jeff Yates #70 for third. Not only did Spaulding fight off the #28, but he soon ran down Bollinger by using the high line that was working for Deering. On the final circuit, Spaulding charged ahead of Bollinger, claiming the runner up spot to Deering at the checkers. Bollinger finished third ahead of Frankie Wellman and Morrow. Craig Roden finshed in the sixth spot. The remaining six midgets were up next for 20 laps. Front row starter A J Johnson and third starting Sean Murphy crossed the line side by side as lap one was scored. Johnson looped his ride on the slick surface on lap two, and following the single file restart, Andy Baugh powered to the lead. As the cars began to search for moisture in the bottom groove, Johnny Murdock moved to second on the fifth circuit. Baugh built his lead by diving to the bottom of the track in the turns, then powering to a middle line in the straightaways, while Murdock hugged the low side all the way around. With no further cautions, Baugh cruised to his second win in two tries at QR this season. Murdock ran second ahead of Murphy,Jason Allen, Johnson, and Mark McMahill. A dozen sport mods/B mods then came to the oval for 18 laps. A mixup on lap one brought things to a halt, with Chad Hickam getting the worst of the deal, ending his run early. Justin Ebbing started on the pole and led lap one, with another caution one lap later. Back under green, fifth starting Kevin Tomlinson, wheeling the #17 normally driven by Brandon Lennox, jumped to third. The cars fell into a single file line on the bottom of the track, before a trio of mid race cautions slowed the action. After the stoppage on lap eleven, things setlled down. Fourth running George Wilson tried his luck by jumping out of line and testing a higher groove, but he fell behind Tyler Burton before falling back in line. As the checkers waved, it was Ebbing with a flag to flag win. Rick Barlow Jr had started in row 2, moved quickly to second, and picked up the runner up finish. Tomlinson, Burton, and Wilson completed the top five. There were only five entries in the stock car division, with only two QR regulars on hand. After a lap one yellow for polesitter Brian Gaines, who spun his #44G, the 15 laps went non stop. Jimmy Myers put his #007 out front and went unchallenged throughout. Mid Missouri veteran Rick Girard took over the second spot on lap five, but could not reel in the leader, settling for second. Track champion Brian Hoener came home third ahead of Gaines, with Jerry Jansen collecting a DNF with possible suspension damage. The final feature of 2017 saw seven sport compact/hornet cars racing for 15 laps. Jeffrey Delonjay used a pole position start to jump to an early advantage. By lap three, he was well out front, with visting Dakota Girard, David Prim, Jaden Delonjay, and Barry Taft fighting for position. Jaden took third on lap four, and one circuit later, the right front wheel came off the lead car of Jeffrey. Girard and Jaden restarted side by side, with Girard gaining the advantage. Soon, a two car battle for the lead developed between Girard and Taft, while Prim and Jaden Delonjay dueled for third. As the leaders were coming to the white flag, Taft got a run inside the leader, taking over the top spot. Girard tried to fight back as the leaders came through turns three and four on the final lap, and he spun his #0. Taft picked up the win, Jaden Delonjay crossed the stripe in second, ahead of Prim. Girard was able to refire to come home in fourth, with Alvin Cooney and Jordon Jones rounding out the field. With the Gobles having taken the reigns late in the season at Quincy, it appears no firm decisions have been made as far as what will happen in 2018 at the historic facilty, at least as far as classes run, etc. It is just one of many unanswered questions for tracks in my area, and indeed all over the midwest. I have a feeling I will be spending an unusual amount of time searching for info and reporting it here as the off season progresses. But since I am now retired, what else do I have to do?!? One early tidbit is the addition twice per month of the UMP Pro Crate late models at Tri City Speedway in Pontoon Beach,Il. This could be a big plus for QR if the new owners decide to continue the division. I may have one more race on my 2017 schedule, depending on the weather, but either way, check back often and I will do my best to keep you informed as we await 2018!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Shiverfest Lives Up To Its Name

Trying to ignore temps in the 30's accompinied by a brisk breeze, Darryl and I headed out Saturday for one more trip to the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson for the 19th edition of what is now known as Shiverfest. It was a marked difference from last years warm temps, but even though it sounds silly, the weather is part of the allure of this show. As a concession to the cold, promoter Mike VanGenderen moved the start times up a bit, with hot laps rolling off at 3:00 for the 117 car field. Again, this was far from a record turn out for the six class program, but many folks do not care to fight the cold, and others think it is simply too hard on engines, etc. But there were more than enough competitors on hand to make an entertaining show, with 33 sport mods topping the bill! A total of 15 heat races were staged along with a pair of B mains for the sport mods which came after the sport compact feature and a few hot laps for a KIDZ MODZ car on hand. All but four of the 29 four cylinder cars on hand took the feature green. for 15 laps. A multi car pile up on the opening circuit eliminated three cars, and back under green, pole sitter Josh Barnes powered to a big lead as a battle developed behind him between Darin ( DJ ) Weisinger Jr., Barry Taft, and Bandon Reu. Taft made contact on lap seven as he moved around Weisinger for second, and just as Weisinger was charging back on lap eight, Michael Hamilton drilled the guardrail between turns three and four. It appeared his throttle may have stuck, and he actually split the steel rail, narrowly avoiding a scary outcome. He appeared uninjured, and track workers went to work to make temporary repairs. The delay added up to about 25 minutes when it surely could have taken much longer. Back to racing, Barnes again pulled out to a big advantage. With five laps to go, Reu took over the third spot and tried to challenge Taft for second. As the checkers waved, it was Barnes scoring a flag to flag win ahead of Taft, Reu. Trent Orwig and Chuck Fullenkamp. A dozen hobby stocks were up next, with Gene Nicklas leading lap one. Dustin Griffiths moved up to challenge on the next trip around, and the duo raced side by side for several laps, with Nicklas using the preferred high line while Griffiths fought down low. With about six laps remaining, Griffiths, who also competed in the stock car division in a different car, took command, then moved to the higher line around the 3/8 mile oval. From there he scored the win, followed by Nicklas, Mike Kincaid, Aaron Martin, and Randy Byerly. The late models were up next, and although only eight cars signed in, it was an interesting mix of UMP crate cars, IMCA spec engines, and I believe one steel block powered machine. Derek Liles and heat race winner Gunner Frank lined up in row one for the 20 lap main event, but it was Tommy Elston powering to the lead as the first lap was scored. The yellow waved for first time late model pilot Aric Becker as he spun in turn four, and on the Delaware restart, Port Byron,Il. driver Chuck Hanna took second from Frank. A yellow for debris came on lap five, then the final stoppage came near the halfway mark when Frank encountered a mechanical problem, possibly clipping the front stretch fence, sliding down into Liles, then coming to a stop on the infield apron. From that point it was green flag racing, with Elston picking up another win. Hanna drove to an impressive runner up finish, holding off a hard charging Liles. Lee Hoover, a new name for me, came home fourth in the #1 machine Kevin Blackburn had raced at Memphis,Mo. earlier this month, and Becker scored a top five in his first late model action. Kelly Pestka ran sixth, with Frank scored seventh. IMCA racer Eric Sanders mave have lost an engine in the heat race, as he pulled to the infield with smoke trailing his #95. It was now stock car time, 15 cars strong. Todd Reitzler used a front row start to lead lap one, with Abe Huls charging to second. Johnny Spaw joined the lead pack on the second go around, and the front trio began to pull away. Huls used the inside line to grab the lead on lap six, and a side by side battle developed for the runner up spot between Reitzler and Spaw. The veteran Spaw took the spot two laps later, and now it was Huls running the bottom, Spaw using a high on corner entry, dive to the bottom move in second, and Reitzler running the high line. The caution waved on lap tweleve, when John Oliver Jr appeared to have a tire go down, and he contacted the fence in turn one. Back under green, Reitzler moved down the track, but there was no catching Huls. Spaw held second ahead of Reitzler, Mike Hughes, back in the stock car ranks after dropping to hobbys for a few weeks, came home fourth and Griffiths was fifth. The sport mod field had been whittled down to 24 cars for the main event. Tanner Klingele bolted to the lead from his pole start, with a three wide battle behind him for second. Austen Becerra took command of the spot on lap two, with row four starter Brandon Lennox moving to fifth. The caution waved on lap three, and I apparently missed a pass, as Becerra was lined up in the top spot for the restart. As he stretched his advantage, Klingele and Sean Wyatt battled behind him. Tenth starting Brayton Carter was on the move, entering the top five as Lennox spun between turns three and four with 13 laps remaining. Carter jumped from fourth to second on the restart, with another caution one lap later. Back to racing, Becerra took the high line and Carter hugged the bottom, but the yellow waved again one lap later. On this restart, Becerra seemed to not take off, jamming up the field, bringing out the yellow. As the cars circled the track, Becerra was pointed to the back of the reallignment. After a bit of discussion, he fell in about three rows from the tail. This put Klingele back out front, ahead of Logan Anderson and Tony Olson. One lap later, Anderson powered to the lead, and one more lap saw Becerra reenter the top five. With seven circuits remaining, Anderson had opened a sizable lead, and Becerra moved to fourth. Five laps left saw Becerra in a three car battle for second with Olson and Tim Warner. Austen secured the runner up spot with four laps left to run down the leader, but Anderson was up to the task. At the checkers it was Anderson, Becerra, Olson, Warner, and Lennox. The final event on the card was the 20 car, 22 lap modified feature. 18 competitors took the green, with Milo Veloz jumping to a big lead from his outside row one start. By lap four, tenth starting Cayden Carter had advanced to fourth, and the yellow flew for debris. On the restart, Carter charged to second, then raced past Veloz for the lead. It had developed into a two car scrum when the caution waved at the halfway mark. Veteran Bruce Hanford had lined up in row six, but now jumped from sixth to third. Hanford, Tyler Madigan, and Kyle Brown battled behind the leaders, when Veloz began trailing smoke out of his machine. Carter opened a straightaway lead as he worked through slower traffic, cruising to the win. Veloz finished second, still trailing smoke, and Hanford, Madigan, and Brown filled out the top five. The action concluded somewhere around 7:30, another efficiently run program. This afternoon, Sunday, I will be heading to Quincy Raceways for what may be my final race of 2017. The Gobles are staging an afternoon program featuring open competition modifieds, sport mods, stock cars, sport compacts and D II midgets, with the purse tied to car counts, and the modifieds possibly racing for a $1,000 to win. Hot laps are scheduled for 2:30, when the temperature is supposed to be in the fifties, so come on out for one more show!