Short Track Roundup (7/15/97)
16 July 1997Mobile, AL - After the frenetic activity of last week, things settled down this week around the nations short tracks. Many series were off this week but there was still more than enough action for everybody. Heat and humidity were the big players this weekend as most of the eastern half of the nation swelters in the summer boiler.
The action began early in the week with the United Midwestern Promoters Summer Nationals continuing their run through the center of the nation. These dirt Late Model races provide some high excitement and some really good racing. The week started at 67 Raceway Park near St Louis, MO and Rick Aukland beat Billy Moyer and Kevin Weaver to the line to maintain his points lead in the series. From there it was on to Banner, IL and John Gill claimed the victory in that one followed by Billy Moyer and Randy Korte. there was excitement both during and after the race at Macon, Il. Shannon Babb was first across the line in a car he borrowed from Virgil Bilbrey just moments before the start when the engine in his own mount died. After the race Babb was found to be 20 pounds light at the scales and disqualified. Seems that Babb weighs 160 pounds and Bilbrey weighs 240 pounds and there was no thought given to adding weight to the car in the hectic moments when the drivers were swapping seats. Babb did make three tries at the scales, spinning his tires to gather some mud under the car, but to no avail. The win went to Ed Bauman with Billy Drake second and Kevin Weaver third. It was on to Farmer City, IL and Bill Frye was the winner in this one as he edged out Gary May and Roger Long. Long would come back at Fairbury, IL to beat Bob Pierce and Bob Pohlman Jr to the line. Aukland still holds the points lead as the series continues its jaunt next week.
The Hav-A-Tampa crowd was at Jackson Motor Speedway in Mississippi and there Donnie Moran took his second Magnolia State win of the year and fourth overall on the tour as he beat Ronnie Poche and Mike Boland across the line.
The STARS tour went to Hagerstown, MD where the winner was Gary Stuhler over Todd Andrews and Booper Bare. For Stuhler the win gave him a triple-triple, three wins at Hagerstown, three wins on the STARS series and three wins in the Conocheague 100.
The Deery Brothers Summer Series visited Quincy, IL and Mark Burgtorf took the victory with Dean Wagner second and Harry Walker third. Jeff Aikey continues to lead the points.
On the pavement side of the Late Model scene the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series joined forces with the Craftsman Trucks in Louisville and Hal Goodson, the 1995 All Pro Champion was the victor. Rookie of the Year contender David Reutimann took the runner-up spot and Steve Christian was third. Jeff Fultz still leads the points in the series, but the margin is narrowing.
The American Speed Association descended on Cedar Rapids, IA where it was a case of deja vu as Kevin Cywinski once again held off the veterans to take the win. It was Kevin's second in a row, third of the season and 6th in the last two years. The LaFavre racing team is doing a super job with a great driver, and they deserve the accolades they are getting. All they really need now is a sponsor. Finishing second at Hawkeye Downs was Scott Hansen with Gary St. Amant in third. Mike Eddy had another strong run and has slipped into the top ten in the points standings, which of course are led by Cywinski.
The NASCAR Goodies Dash Series ran at Greenville-Pickens and Charles Powell III was the winner with Robert Hoffman second and Monk Gulledge third.
There was a new truck series making its debut outside its birthing ground of North Georgia this past weekend. The Professional Association of Racing Trucks, PARTS for short, went to Montgomery Speedway in Alabama and put on a pretty good race despite a short truck count. These trucks use small blocks and automatic transmissions and are reasonably inexpensive to buy. Ricky Wilson was the race winner.
Joe Shear won in ARTGO action at Grundy County, IL and Stan Boyd won the Iceman Series event at Toledo, OH.
The open wheelers were out in full force over the weekend, with NARC taking on San Jose and Randy Tiner taking the win. Randy Hannigan was second with Kevin Plyant making a last lap pass to gain third.
At Perris Speedway in the southern half of the state the winner in SCRA action was Rip Williams followed to the line by Jay Drake and Ron Shuman.
The Frigidaire All Star Sprints began the weekend at Crossville Speedway in Tennessee where Kelly Kinser was the winner. Tyler Walker took second and Frankie Kerr was third. A Quick trip to Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA was on for the next night and this time Kenny Jacobs took the checkers with Van Gurley and Danny Smith rounding out the top three. Then it was back to The Volunteer State to finish out a rain-delayed program at Atomic Speedway and Dean Jacobs was the winner with Frankie Kerr second and Joey Saldana third.
The World of Outlaws saw a new name at the top of the points list this week as Steve Kinser used a last lap pass of Stevie Smith to take the win at Red River Valley in North Dakota and jump past Sammy Swindell in the points chase. Mark Kinser was third in that one. The previous night the tour had been at Cedar Lake, WI where Mark had taken the checkered flag with Swindell second and Steve in third. In the second race at Red River Stevie Smith took the win followed by Steve and Mark.
The NAMARS tour was in Kokomo, IN for the Wolverine Nationals and in the end it was Kevin Thomas ahead of Brian Gerster and Jason Leffler. Nice paycheck for Thomas in this one.
The Empire Super Sprints went to Jamestown, NY and Doug Emery got the win. Bill Coffey and Lance Yonge followed him home.
As per usual there was action all across the nation in the NASCAR Winston Racing Series and a few of the winners from the eastern part of the country were Steve Whitener at Jacksonville, FL, Mark Smith at Motordrome, Wes Troup at Old Dominion, Joe Buford with his fourth in a row at Nashville, David Hyder at New River Valley, VA, Chad Mullins at Concord, NC, Mark King taking two at Lonesome Pine, VA, and Barry Beggarly taking the win at Orange County, NC. Phil Warren won his fifth of the season at Southamton, VA as did Bubba Urban at Southside, VA. A first time winner was Dennis Gallion at Tri-County, NC who beat the all conquering Dexter Canipe for his victory.
That about does it for this week, but I would like to thank Todd Turner of Dirt News Digest for his insight into some of the dirt Late Model reports. Once again I encourage you to visit your local short track this weekend where you will find some great racing action, plenty of good times for the family and it won't cost you an arm and a leg. Have a ball, Ya'll!
John Kaiser -- The Autochannel