Short Track Roundup (9/24/97)
24 September 1997Mobile, AL - The 1997 racing season for many series and tracks is winding down. Now the "second season" begins, the All Star races are in plentiful supply and racers have the opportunity to run for money and not worry about points. As the transition progresses over the next few weeks, it means plenty of action on the nation's short tracks. Here is the weekly look back at the action of the past week.
Columbus Motor Speedway, OH hosted one of the biggest races of the year this past weekend as Main Event X took to the track with 71 Late Models on hand vying for the $15,000 winner's share. John Doering Jr is the man with the money in his pocket after the race. John Grega finished in second with Tim Ice third. *** The Winston National Short Track Championships were hosted by Rockford Speedway, IL and Joe Shear passed Steve Carlson late in the race to take the win. Carlson was followed across the line by third place Larry Middleton Jr. *** The USAR Hooters ProCup cars went to South Boston Speedway, VA where Mario Gosselin padded his points lead with a win over Marty Ward and Brad May. *** Those who remember the United Stockcar Alliance favorably will be pleased to hear the Don Nerone, Roby Helm and others will attempt to bring the series back in 1998 to fill the void left by USAR pulling out of Late Model racing. There also may be Sportsman and Modified divisions as support for the Late Models. *** The American Speed Association went to Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, IA and in a thrilling three car wide finish Scott Hansen claimed his second checkers of the season. Scott Carlson was second as he nosed out an ailing Mike Miller machine that was losing an engine. Hansen and Carlson made contact after the line with both spinning out. *** The Goodies Dash cars were at Hickory Motor Speedway, NC and youngster David Hutto took the win ahead of points leader Mike Swaim Jr and Brian Sockwell. *** The Northwest Tour ended its season at Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls, ID with Greg Biffle taking his first win in 150 races with the series. Biffle will move on to the Craftsman Trucks next year. Kelly Tanner finished second and wrapped up the series Championship while Rick Schultz was third across the line. *** The Southwest Tour was in Tucson, AZ and Steve Portenga got the win. Bryan Germone was second and Mark Groskreutz third. *** TIDA ran at San Antonio Speedway where Greg Davidson was the winner. Rookie Bubba Naumann took second and clinched the Rookie of the Year title while Champion-Elect Jay Watson took third. Following the race TIDA announced that it will not sanction any more races at San Antonio Speedway due to what it deemed "unethical practices" by the track owners and management. *** The Texaco-Havoline Series raced at Airborne International Speedway in Plattsburg, NY where Brian Hoar was the winner over Dave Whitcomb and Kip Stockwell.
The dirt Late Models are still finding plenty of action, and dollars, out there to race on and for. The STARS series put $21,000 up for the winner of the Pittsburgher 100 at Pennsylvania Motor Speedway in Pittsburgh, PA and riding in from Fargo, ND was Rick Aukland to claim the cash. Aukland was able to hold off Scott Bloomquist and Gary Stuhler over the final laps to claim the win. *** The Missouri Dirt Late Model Championships were held in Sedalia and in the preliminary event Billy Moyer was the winner with Bill Frye and Al Purkey next across the stripe. When it came down to the big bucks it was Wendell Wallace who showed the field his heels and ran away with the $10,750 purse. Frye and Moyer were the next two at the line. *** The SUPR Late Models went to Boothill Speedway in Shreveport. LA and Ronnie Poche took home the $8,000 check as he crossed the line in first. Donald Watson and Doug Ingalls rounded out the top three. *** The NASCAR Busch All Stars ran the Liberty 100 at West Liberty, IA and Steve Boley beat Steve Kosiski and Ray Guss Jr to the stripe for the win. *** Southern All Stars 9:1 cars were at Cleveland Speedway, TN and Jeff Stansberry proved he is the master of the track with his third win as he beat Phil Coltrane and Jake Lowry home. *** In WISSOTA action at Jamestown, ND Mitch Johnson copped the win with Jeff Wildung and Hank Berry the next two and at Monomonie, WI Jimmy Mars captured the laurels ahead of Ashley Anderson and Rick Egersdorf at Red Cedar Speedway. *** The Kenny Simpson Memorial was held at Brownstown, IN and C.J. Rayburn came home the winner. Jim Curry took the runner-up spot with Bob Pierce third. *** In Glasgow, KY they held the Kentucky Klassic and Billy Drake took the win with Jeff Wilson and Jerry Inmon trailing him to the line. *** The Wayne Coakley Memorial in Paducah, KY saw Steve Russell get the win with Ed Dixon and Shannon Babb the next two. *** In Hazard, KY it was the Coal County Classic and Eddie Carrier Jr was the victor leading Billy Hicks and Mike Faykus to the checkered flag.
The Open Wheeled machines were in full song at Rossburgh, OH as Eldora Speedway hosted the USAC 4 Crown nationals. Jay Drake beat Tony Stewart and Jason Leffler in the Midget race while in the Sprints it was Jack Hewitt over Kevin Doty and Dave Darland. Hewitt also was the winner in the UMP Modified feature. The Silver Crown race saw Kevin Huntley take the win with Ryan Newman second and Eric Gordon third. Dan Drinan was knocked unconscious during the event and was taken to the hospital, but is reported to have suffered no serious injuries. *** The Frigidaire All Stars went to Granite City, IL and Tri-City Speedway where Tyler Walker took the win with points leader Frankie Kerr second and Skip Jackson third. The next night the series was in Benton, MO at Missouri International Race Park and Gary Wright beat Kelly Kinser and Joey Saldana to the line. *** It was Gold Cup weekend in Chico, CA as the World of Outlaws continues its West Coast swing. Dave Blaney took the preliminary race followed by Brent Kaeding and Paul McMahan. In the final Blaney again led Kaeding to the line with Steve Kinser taking the third spot. Blaney moves into second in the points ahead of Steve with the two wins and not far behind leader Sammy Swindell.
The NASCAR Winston Racing Series is over for 1997 and Dexter Canipe was the victor and will collect $132,500 at the banquet in Nashville later this year. Canipe parlayed 17 wins, 3 seconds and 1 eleventh place finish at Greenville-Pickens Speedway into the big payday. Canipe also won the track Championship at Tri-County Speedway, NC but Jeff Starnes will be the representative at the NASCAR banquet as a driver is only allowed to represent one track. *** Jeff Agnew won the Double Quik/Winston 200 at Lonesome Pine Speedway, VA While David Blakenship won the 100 lap feature at Southampton, VA.
That wraps up our look back at the past week around the short tracks, but there is plenty of action in store for the coming week including the Hav-A-Tampa Shootout at Dixie Speedway, GA. I'll be back next week to recap the action and fill you in on what you missed, but take the time to visit your local track this weekend and experience some great racing before winter closes in. Have a Ball, Ya'll!
John Kaiser -- The Auto Channel