Short Track Roundup 07/01/97
2 July 1997Mobile, AL - Its time to take another look back at the past weekend and see what happened on the short tracks, but first a little news that might be of interest. It was announced that Len Gough has left Hooters, or more properly, United Speed Alliance Racing, and that make the fourth of the racing hierarchy to leave the series this year. It seems to me that the only person left in that organization who has any knowledge of racing is Fritz Augustine. Rumors run rampant around the series, but nothing that can be confirmed. It was also announced that Southern National Speedway has canceled the Hooters Cup event scheduled for July 12th. The reason cited was "contract problems". I am beginning to wonder how much longer this series will be around.
The NASCAR Winston Racing Series standings are a mystery to me. How does a racer with 10 wins in 10 starts only get a .888 rating while one with 11 wins in 12 starts gets a .902 rating? Seems to me that if you are perfect you should be on top, but that is not the case in this system. There are more variables that just wins and starts to be figured into the formula, but how they do it is a secret.
On to the action, and taking a look at those wild sprints and midgets first, where Brent Kaeding took the win at El Dorado County Speedway in California as part of the NARC Speedfest. NAMARS results saw Jim Hettinger beat Sarah McCune to the finish at Columbus, OH with Kevin Nichols taking third. The Skoal USAC Midgets were in Anderson, IN and Tracy Hines was the winner and again Sarah was in second. Ted Hines finished third as he did the next race at New Castle as he followed Robby Flock and Jason Leffler to the line. The World of Outlaws went to Oklahoma City to make up a rained out date, which suited Mark Kinser fine as he was the winner over Jac Haudenschild and Danny Lasoski. The second race saw Stevie Smith take the win over Steve Kinser and Haudenschild. Over in Nebraska at Eagle Raceway Mark again took the checkers with Dave Blaney and Greg Hodnett following him to the line. Sammy Swindell still leads the points with Steve Kinser second and Dace Blaney third, but better watch out for Mark as he is coming fast.
The Frigidaire All Star sprints headed up to Ohio and at Buckeye Raceway in Orrville Keith Kauffman beat Joey Saldana and Kelly Kinser to the finish. At Eldora Speedway in Rossburg Kenny Jacobs took two wins as he beat Kauffman and points leader Frankie Kerr in one race and led Craig Dollinsky and Kerr in the other. Jennerstown, PA was the place for the ARDC and there was no brotherly love evident as Lou Cicconi Jr beat brother Bob and Tim Dietz for the win. Down in El Paso the ASCS Renegades came to town for three races and Rick Zeihl won all three.
Taking a look at the full bodied cars, the ASA went to I-70 in Missouri and Mike Garvey dominated the race for his second win of the year. Brad Loney and high points man Kevin Cywinski followed him to the line. Bobby Dragon took the NASCAR Busch North win at Nazareth, PA as a prelude to the truck race. Jerry Marquis and Mike Stefanik were next. On the west coast the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour was at Mesa Marin and Steve Portenga got his first victory of the year as he stayed in front of Mark Reed and Doug McCoun. The brothers Raudman are one-two in the points with Chris leading Craig by 88 markers. The Iceman Series saw last year's champion get his first win of 1997 as Dave Kuhlman led Scott Baker and Glenn Gault home at Baer Field Speedway in Indiana. Another defending champion getting his first 1997 win was Johnny Brazier on the Southern All Star tour. Brazier won at Anderson Motor Speedway in South Carolina. Ronald Walls was second and Tim Fryar closed the points gap to just two points by taking third. John "Torch" Osterhouse took home two wins in Midwest Independent Super Late Model Series action and in the MASCAR race at Scotia Speedway in Canada Dave Gorveatt won his first on the series. The Hooters Sportsman Series raced at Charlotte County in Florida and Wayne Morris won his fourth in a row.
On the pitchin' it sideways scene, Hav-A-Tampa took on Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, SC and again the defending series champion got his first win of the season as Freddy Smith beat off the challenges of Jack Pennington and Billy Moyer to take the big bucks. The STARS Late Models were in West Virginia for two races, at Beckley, Mike Bolzano got the win, his first of the year with Rod Conley second and Steve Francis third. That Bolzano win stopped a run by Francis of three wins in four races. The next night at Mineral Wells Bart Hartman beat Francis and Steve Shaver for the $10,000 payday. Southern All Stars 9:1 Late Models saw Tim Day dominate for the second time this year at his home track of Seven Flags in Douglasville, GA. Two other local drivers, Steve Seagraves and Joe Armistead Sr followed him home.
On the NASCAR Winston Racing Series scene, Jeff Agnew made it 5 out of Seven at New River (VA) while Shane Huffman was the winner at Hickory (NC). Robert MCCormick won at Jax Raceway (FL) and it was Eddie Mercer with the victory at Five Flags (FL) Speedway. In Nashville Joe Buford got a pair of wins, and yes, Binkley won the truck race. Mike Porter Sr and Tam Topham split a pair of wins at Kingsport (TN) Speedway and Bubba Urban was first to the line at Southside (VA). Mark McFarland won another at Old Dominion (VA) while at Tri-County (NC) Dexter Canipe took his fifth win. Canipe also won the next night at Greenville-Pickens (NC) his twelfth win in thirteen races. Over at Carraway (NC) Shane Kennedy was the victor and at Concord (NC) Greg Peterson got the checkered flag.
That's our look back at the past weekend on the short tracks around the country. This coming weekend is the Fourth of July and what better way to enjoy a day with the family than at the short track nearest you. Most will provide fireworks both on the track and off and you can't get a better "bang" for your buck anywhere. I'll be back next week to wrap up the action that you might have missed. Have a ball Ya'll!
John Kaiser -- The Autochannel