Short Track Roundup (10/15/97)
15 October 1997Mobile, AL - It's time for another look back at the happenings over the past week around the short tracks. It is already the middle of October and most tracks have completed their weekly racing schedules and this is the time for the All Star races. Only a few series are still running, and those are mostly in the Southeast, where even now the coolness of approaching winter is being felt.
Probably the biggest event the past weekend was held at Syracuse, NY where the fabled mile hosted the modifieds for Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds. In the 358-Mods the winner was Kenny Tremont with Joe Pazek and Jimmy Horton the next to the stripe. The Fays 300 for the DIRT Modifieds saw Danny Johnson take the win ahead of Jeff Heotzler and Brett Hearn. *** The World of Outlaws began the week at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, MO and Stevie Smith made his first outing with Ingersoll-Rand as a sponsor a winning one. Mark and Steve Kinser were the next to the checkers. The tour then moved on to I-55 Speedway in Pevley, MO where Sammy Swindell swept both races in the U.S. Dirt Nationals. Mark Kinser and Danny Lasoski followed him home in the Preliminary race while Jac Haudenschild was second in the Finale with Steve Kinser taking third. *** The Silver Crown cars were in Sacramento, CA where Dave Darland led the entire way to the checkered flag. *** In Las Vegas, NV the SCRA teams saw Rip Williams come from the rear to take the win over Rich Griffin and Mike Boat. *** Hagerstown, MD was the site of the Big Fall Classic where lance Dewease won the Sprint car race with Sean Michael second and Dan Dietrich third. *** In the Weld Memorial in Abbottstown, PA Jeff Shepard was the victor with Fred Rahmer and Lance Dewease the next two in line. *** In Indianapolis, IN at 16th Street Speedway, Steve Knepper won the final race of the season for the midgets with Brian Gerster and Roger McCluskey Jr trailing him to the finish.
The asphalt scene saw the Hooters Cup Late models visit peach State Speedway in Jefferson, GA where Bobby Gill took the win and the $12,000 check. Billy Bigley Jr was second as he came from the rear and Jimmy Cope took the third spot. Freddie Query still leads the points but the gap has closed to a mere 30+ markers. *** The Southern All Stars Late Models returned to Heart O' Dixie Speedway in Sayre, AL and Mike Harmon showed the rest the way to the finish line. Buddy Broome was second with Barry Martin in third. *** The Florida Pro Cars were at Charlotte County Speedway in Punta Gorda, FL and David Russell led the entire 125 laps to take the win. Lee Faulk was second and David Gentry fought his way into third. *** The Mid Atlantic 300 was held at Caraway Speedway near Asheville, NC and Greg Marlowe was the winner of the big race with Steve Loftin second and Steven Grimes third. *** The Winston West Series was at Mesa Marin Speedway in Bakersfield, CA where Sean Woodside got the checkered flag first with Larry Gunselman and Gary Smith trailing him home. *** Scott Liver took the win at Columbia Motorsports Park in Lake City, FL *** St Augustine, FL saw Eric Platt win the Late Model race there. *** NEPSA closed out the 1997 season at Seekonk, MA where Jeff Stevens took the win.
There was plenty of action on the dirt Late Model scene led by the rain delayed Hav-A-Tampa Shootout at Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, GA where Billy Moyer claimed the win in the Shootout and the Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Racing Series Championship. Oh, he did get a tidy sum of $49,600 for winning the 100 lap affair. Donnie Moran took the second spot with Scott Bloomquist in third. *** The National Late Model Sportsman Series went to Savannah, GA's Oglethorpe Speedway where Gene Maine received the win ahead of Ivedent Lloyd and Billy Godowns Jr. *** The Southern All Stars Dirt Series were at Talladega, AL, on the Talladega Short Track, right across from the Superspeedway and John Jones beat Greg Skinner and David Gentry. *** The Jambalaya 100 was held at Pike County Speedway in Magnolia, MS and Jason Smith led Donnie Barnhardt and Kenny Merchant to the checkers. *** At the newly opened Kentucky Lake Speedway in Gilbertsville, KY, Shawn Toczek was the winner in his first ever appearance at the facility. *** In the Late mode Portion of the Big Fall Classic at Hagerstown, MD, Rick Eckert rushed back from Georgia to take the win ahead of Rodney Franklin and Rodney Combs.
There are some big races looming on the horizon, with the All American 400 at Nashville Speedway USA this weekend along with the finale for the ASA ACDelco Challenge Series taking place in Kenly, SC. There is a big dirt Late Model race at Thunderbowl Speedway in Valdosta, GA and the National 100 is fast approaching at East Alabama Motor Speedway. There is still plenty of action to be found on the short tracks around the country, so head on out to the nearest track and witness some of the stars of tomorrow in action today. Have a Ball, Ya'll!
John Kaiser -- The Auto Channel