Short Track Roundup (9/17/97)
17 September 1997Mobile, AL - It's time for another look back at the action packed week that was on the short tracks across the nation. As the season gets closer to the end, the races get bigger and carry more meaning. The NASCAR Winston Racing Series ended over the weekend and there are plenty of folks waiting for the big computer in Daytona to crank out the final results. While we wait here's what happened last week.
Track Championships were decided at many tracks with Phillip Morris taking the title at New River Valley, VA; Charlie Harris won the Championship at Thunderbowl Speedway, Valdosta, GA; Bruce Yackey the Champ at Colorado National; Phil Rozum wearing the crown at Lorain County, OH; Conrad Morgan is the Champion at Slinger Speedway, WI and Bubba Gale took the title at Mobile International Speedway, AL. Kingsport Speedway, TN crowned Jeff Agnew Champion; Tri-County Motor Speedway, NC saw Dexter Canipe win the title; Dean Ward is the Champ at Ace Speedway, NC and Jason Oates won the title at San Antonio Speedway, TX.
The asphalt Late Models were in full song this weekend with the only sour note being in Tenino, WA where the Northwest Tour race at South Sound Speedway was a victim of showers. No makeup date has been announced. *** The Southwest Tour had no such problems in Las Vegas where Bryan Germone was the victor. Finishing in second was Doug McCoun with Craig Raudman third. Germone took over the points lead with the brothers Raudman, Chris and Craig, right behind. *** The ARCA cars were at Gateway International Speedway in Madison, IL and Mark Gibson passed Tim Steele on the last lap to take the win. Steele hung on for second and Frank Kimmel was third. *** The All-Pro brigade went to Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL and Eddie Mercer led the most laps and crossed the finish line first, but could not make it through the Tech inspection where he was disqualified for an illegal carburetor. Ron Young got the win, Hal Goodson was second and Larry Raines third. *** ASA went to I-70 in Odessa, Mo and Brad Loney took the win when point leader Kevin Cywinski lost his motor. Brandon Sperling was second and Scott Hansen finished third. *** The Busch North teams were at New Hampshire International Speedway and Ted Christopher was the winner ahead of Kelly Moore and Ricky Craven *** The Featherlite Modifieds were also at the same track and Reggie Ruggiero made a late pass to beat Ed Kennedy and Mike Stefanik. *** Southern All Stars visited Senoia Raceway, GA where Russell Bearden survived for another win with Buddy Broome and Tim Fryar the next two in line. Fryar's third place tied him with Johnny Brazier for the points lead. *** The Florida Pro Series had two races, the first at Orlando Speedworld where Scott Bramlett beat Rob Underwood and Lee Faulk to the line and the next night at New Smyrna Speedway where Ronnie Burkett was the winner over David Rogers and Tony Ponder. *** The USAR Sportsman Series raced at Bronson Speedway, FL where Doug Moff took the win with Mario Gosselin second and Bobby Shelton third. *** North of the border Dave Whitlock won the CASCAR race at New Brunswick International Speedway in Nova Scotia, and along with it he won the National Championship. Peter Gibbons and Kerry Michs followed him to the line. *** Tom Hernly Jr won the Midwest Independent Super Late Model Series race at Michigan Ideal Speedway with Clayton Semenske and Andy Bozell rounding out the top three. John (Torch) Oosterhouse won the series Championship. *** Truck racing is on the upswing with Ron McCreary taking the win at Hialeah, FL in the Southern Pro Series and Danny "Coon" Ayers the victor at St Augustine, FL in the PARTS Series. *** Some news from the asphalt scene finds Dick Anderson recovering from an injured shoulder and ribs. "It only hurts when I breathe," says Anderson! *** Rick Day will resurrect the SARA sanctioning body to take over the running of the Sportsman and Modified series that ran this year under the USAR banner. *** Kim Shaver is leaving the Goodies Dash series where he served as Series Director.
The Dirt Late Models had a busy week as well with the Hav-A-Tampa crews at Portsmouth Raceway Park, OH where Rick Aukland, who has made a habit of winning the big purses this year, stepped in and did it again as he took the $15,000 check away from the series regulars. Billy Moyer was second and Steve Francis came home third. *** The Busch All Star series went to Farley, IA and Jeff Aikey went home with the win. Rick Wendling and Brian Birkhofer were the next two across the finish line. *** The 15th Annual I-55 Nationals were held at Pevley, MO and in the preliminary race, Randy Korte was the winner with Billy Drake and Brian Wolfmeier following him home. In the main event the next night, Korte had to do some following himself as he finished in second behind Shannon Babb. Roger Long took third.*** At the Illinois Fall Nationals at Springfield. IL Billy Moyer took the win on the Mile long track with Bob Pierce and Tony Izzo Jr the rest of the top three. *** Rick's Late Model Series went to Central Mississippi Speedway in Winona where Mike Head beat Johnny Stokes and John L Cliett to the checkered flag. *** In WISSOTA action at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen, SD Gary McNeil got his first ever win with Johnny Correll and Mitch Johnson in trail. *** Southern All Stars dirt cars were at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, SC for the 13th Annual Stick Elliot Memorial and Mike Duvall led Jeff Smith and Jack Pennington to the checkers. *** The National Late Model Sportsman Series saw rookie Terry Lumley show everyone the way around Thunderbowl Speedway in Valdosta, GA as he took the win ahead of points leader Gene Maine and Chris Usry. *** The Deery Brothers Late Model Series visited 34 Raceway in West Burlington, IA where Mark Burgdorf was the winner. Gary Webb and Harry Walker were the next two.
The World of Outlaws spent another week on the West Coast with races at Hanford, CA which saw Sammy Swindell get the win with Mark and Steve Kinser the next two under the flagstand, and at Santa Maria, CA where Brent Kaeding beat the series regulars to the line. It was the first win for a Californian since 1991 when Kaeding himself turned the trick. Sammy Swindell was second and Stevie Smith third. *** The Frigidaire All Stars went to Brownstown, IN and Jeff Shepherd was the winner with Kelly Kinser and Danny Smith in second and third. The next night it was Lawrenceburg, IN for the Hoosier Fall Classic, and Gary Wright got the checkered flag with Kevin Huntley and Joey Saldana rounding out the top trio. *** The USAC Silver Crown cars raced at Gateway International where Pat Abold, noted Super Modified driver, proved he could handle a Silver Crown car as well as he swept to the win ahead of Dave Steele and Dan Drinan. *** The Empire Super Sprints began their action at Erie County, NY with Dan Kaszubinski coming home first. Mike Lauterborn and Carig Lane were the next two. The series then went to Tri-City Speedway, Franklin, PA and Bob Felmee got the win with Craig Keel second and Points leader Mike Woodring third. *** ARDC held its season finale at New Oxford, PA and Mark Freeland took the checkers ahead of Walt Stearly and Ray Bull. Ed Stimely Jr finished sixth, but that was good enough for him to claim the 1997 series Championship. *** At Memphis Motorsports Park, TN Gary Lee Maier beat Mike Wald and Brook Tatnell to the line in ASCS action. Tatnell got revenge the next night across the river at West Memphis, AR as he beat Terry Gray and Maier for the win. *** The USAC Skoal Midgets made their last appearance of the season at 16th Street Speedway, IN and it was Billy Boat with the win. Jason Leffler came home second with Tracy Hines third. *** In Las Cruces, NM Rickey Hood took the win in ASCS Renegades action.
That wraps up our look back at the action, but there is still plenty more to come before the season ends. There are some big races coming in the next couple of months such as Main Event X at Columbus Motor Speedway, OH this weekend, Yakima Speedway's Fall Festival in Washington, The 'Loan' Star Oktober 'Fast' at San Antonio Speedway, The World Classic in Birmingham, AL, the National 100 at East Alabama Speedway and of course it all culminates with the Snowball Derby in Pensacola, FL. There is still plenty of racing left, so head out to your local track and see some of the best racing action around. Have a Ball, Ya'll!
John Kaiser -- The Auto Channel