Short Track Roundup (10/29/97)

29 October 1997

Mobile, AL - The past week was a light one for the short tracks. By the time that Mother Nature got through playing nasty games on racers around the Southeast it was even lighter. But, there was still some action to report on so lets take our weekly look back at the week that was.

The biggest race on tap was the Taco Bell 300 at Martinsville, VA with a $25,000 check awaiting the winner. There were 117 Late Models that showed up for the event, postponed one week due to bad weather, but in the end the race was decided on the final corner of the final lap. Billy Hogan, running in third, watched the front two cars of Eddie Johnson and Brian Beggarly get together and tag the wall as they went through turn four, made a move to the bottom, and flashed across the line in first place. Steve Loftin came home in second and Phillip Morris was third. *** The Southwest Tour also made up a rained-out race as they returned to Mesa Marin Speedway in Bakersfield, CA for the Port City Racing 200. M.K. Kanke took the win in dominating fashion with Bryan Germone second and Kurt Busch third. Germone took a commanding lead in the points with just one race left on the schedule, while John Metcalf wrapped up the Rookie of the Year honors. *** Montgomery Speedway USA was the site for the Alabama 200 where Mike Harmon took the pole in qualifying. That was all the action as the rain came and the race was postponed until Nov 1. *** At Columbia Motorsports Park in Lake City, FL Scott Liner took the Late Model win. *** At St. Augustine Speedway, FL, Lawton Minchew inherited the victory when the leader at the flag failed to pass tech inspection. *** At New Smyrna Speedway, FL it was David Rogers first across the line in the Florida Governor's Cup. Jack Cook finished in second with Bruce Lawrence in third. *** The Hooters Cup Late Models visited Desoto Speedway in Bradenton, FL and Bobby Gill took the win and in so doing took over the point lead from Freddy Query as the series heads for its last race this weekend. Jimmy Cope was second and Dick Anderson took third.

Tazewell, TN was the site of the Fall Dirt Track Championships over the weekend and Rex Richey set the fast time in qualifying and then chased Scott Bloomquist to the checkered flag. Freddy Smith was the third place finisher *** At JAX Raceways in Jacksonville, FL Steve Whitener took the win in the final race of the season, but it was third place finisher David Browning who took the season long Points Championship. Robert McCormick was the Rookie of the Year. *** Whynot Speedway near Meridian, MS was the locale for the Fall Classic 100, but after qualifying and heat races were completed the rains came and the race was postponed once, then twice and will be run this weekend. Wendell Wallace has the pole for the $15,000-to-win event. Ronnie Johnson, Billy Moyer and Mike Boland fill the rest of the front two rows. *** At Cherokee Speedway, Gaffney, SC the Late Model winner was Ricky Weeks, Buckshot Miles is the Track Champion.

The World of Outlaws continued a westward swing that will wind up in Las Vegas with a race at Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces where Dave Blaney took the win ahead of Stevie Smith and Jeff Swindell. Two nights later in Lake Perris, CA at Perris Speedway Mark Kinser was the victor in the preliminary feature with Stevie Smith and Dave Blaney following him to the line. In the Finale the next night it was more of the same as Mark completed the sweep, again beating Blaney who took second, Steve Kinser was third. In the points battle Swindell has a 150 point cushion over Blaney with Steve Kinser just a few more back. *** The USAC Silver Crown final points came out and Brian Tyler is the Champion.

That wraps up the week's action on the short tracks, but this coming weekend is promising to be a busy one with the Hooter's Cup finale at Lakeland, FL, The NLMS Showdown on the Coast at Brunswick, GA, and the World of Outlaws at Manzanita, AZ. Of course there are the rainouts to be made up and a big dirt Late Model race in Muskogee, OK. There is plenty of action, so head on out to the nearest track and catch some of the best racing around. Have a Ball, Ya'll!

John Kaiser -- The Auto Channel

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