Short Track Roundup (8/27)
27 August 1997Mobile, AL - Most of the short track Racing was done by the sprints and midgets this past week and that's where we begin our look back at the action that took place last week. My best guess is that with the NASCAR TV broadcasts Friday and Saturday nights, most Late Model series took the weekend off. We are still here and here's the short track news for the week.
Knoxville and the Nationals are synonymous for Sprint car fans and they are about to become more so. Knoxville, TN, not Iowa, will host the Southern Outlaw Sprint Nationals on September 5th. The site will be Atomic Speedway and expect to see cars from the ASCS, Sprint Bandit Series and the Dixie Outlaw Sprint Series all on hand for what officials hope will become an annual affair. *** The Frigidaire All Stars Sprint cars made their traditional trek through the midwest on the Thunder thru the Plains III Tour. The first stop at Eagle Raceway was rained out, but at Belleville, KS Keith Kauffman opened the mini-tour with a win, followed home by Dean Jacobs and Aaron Berryhill. On to Wichita, KS and Dale Blaney was the victor with Mike Peters and Keith Kauffman next in line. A day off then to Tulsa, OK where Kauffman again took the win, Joey Saldana was second and Kenny Jacobs third. The finale was held at Oklahoma City where Saldana took the win with Gary Wright and Tyler Walker rounding out the top three. *** The World of Outlaws made a mid-week stop in Rock Springs Wyoming and Greg Hodnett got his first WoO win of the season as he beat the Swindell brothers Sammy and Jeff to the checkered flag. The series then moved to Elma, WA where Sammy Swindell was dominant, winning both nights and taking command of the points race. Steve Kinser chased Sammy home both nights with Dave Blaney third in the Preliminary race while Stevie Smith was third in the second event. *** The first Championship of the season was awarded in Hanford, California where Brent Kaeding won the final Golden State Challenge Series race ahead of son Brandon and Randy Tiner and by doing so captured the GSC crown for 1997. The previous night Brent had won the Budweiser Shoot Out over Jason Lund and Steve Kent to retain his lead in that series points battle with four more races left on the schedule. *** The Empire Super Sprints went to Jamestown, NY and Dan Kaszubinski took the trip to Victory Lane. Doug Emery and Tom Taber were next across the line. Mike Woodring still holds the series points lead.
In Midget action, Grundy County Speedway hosted the Illinois State Championships and Michael Lewis was the winner in this one as he headed David Baumgartner and Marty Davis. *** NAMARS went to Lawrenceburg, IN and Rich Camfield left with the win. Dave Ray Jr was second and Jeff Flesher third. Mel Kenyon still holds the series points lead. *** Out west it was the same old story at Perris Speedway in SCRA racing as Rip Williams kept his stranglehold on the track with another win. Cory Kruseman and Steve Ostling were the next two home. *** USAC Regional Midget action at 16th Street Speedway, IN saw Steve Knepper lead Robbie Flock and Tony Elliot to the checkers. *** The ARDC cars were in New Oxford, PA and Tim Deitz took the win followed by Mark Freeland and Bryan Kobylarz.
Taking a look at the asphalt racing action, Bob Senneker broke a winless string of over a year as he captured the win at the Milwaukee Mile in ASA ACDelco Challenge Series action. Gary St. Amant was second and Scott Hansen third. Points leader Kevin Cywinski finished in sixth and still has a big lead. *** Jeff Storm took the win in MASCS racing at the same track, his third series win in a row. Jason Hicks and Kurt Wallick were the rest of the top three. *** NEPSA cars went to Canaan, NY and once there Mike Rowe came out the winner with Ralph Nason and Benji Rowe following. *** M-40 Motorsports Arena, MI hosted the Michigan Independent Super Late Model Series and that was just great for Andy Bozell who grabbed the win. Dick Harrington was second and third went to Torch Osterhouse who continues to burn brightly as the series points leader. *** The Northwest and Southwest Tours got together in Evergreen Washington for a joint party and it was Gary Lewis taking the win ahead of Monte English and Rick Schultz. *** In the Renegade 300 at Louisville, KY, Bobby Gill beat Roland Issacs and Keith Gardner for the $10,000 + payday.
On the dirt Late Model scene "Mr Big Purse" Rick Aukland took home another $20,000 as he won the STARS sanctioned North/South 100 at Union, KY's Florence Speedway. Donnie Moran and Skip Arp took the next two spots and some nice cash too. Hav-A-Tampa will be back in action next week in Tennessee for a $20,000-to-win race and if Aukland shows up he would be my choice for the win. *** In the 5th Annual Topless 100 in Locust Grove, AR local hero Billy Moyer took off his roof and then took off with $37,700 of Promoter Mooney Starr's money. Finishing in second was Scott Bloomquist and third went to Terry Phillips. Next year the race will pay the winner $40,000 with $20,000 for second. *** In UMP Outlaw Nationals action at Clarksville, TN Doug McCammon led all the way for the win, besting second place series points man Steve Barnett and points leader Tony Izzo Jr. *** That's all we hear from the dirt late models, some took the weekend off, but for most they just didn't get the word out for us to report.
Taking a quick look at some local tracks we see that Andy Houston took a win at Hickory Speedway, NC and Robert Powell picked up the win at Myrtle Beach, SC. Wes Troup won his seventh of the year at Old Dominion, VA while David Blankenship won his second at Southampton, VA. Barry DeSalve took the win at Clearfield, PA Mike VanSparrentak got the checkers at Kalamazoo, MI. Rob Akoury won at Columbia Motorsports Park, FL and Bubba Gale won at Mobile International Speedway, AL. Thunder Road, VT saw Skip Stockwell with the win while Robbie Dean was the first across the line at Columbus, OH.
That's about it for our weekly look back at the short track action around the country. This weekend is Labor Day and what better time to visit your local track and enjoy a great show. Most tracks will have a special show planned at regular prices and it is some great family entertainment. Have a Ball, Ya'll!
John Kaiser -- The Autochannel