Short Track Roundup (11/05/97)
5 November 1997
Mobile, AL - The Southeast faced another weekend of rain and Thunder, but somehow got most of the races in. In the Southwest the weather was fine and there was some great racing to be seen. Although the racing season is winding down, there were plenty of races for short track fans this past weekend.
The NASCAR Touring divisions wrapped up their seasons as the Southwest tour held their finale at Phoenix International Raceway where Scott Hansen took the win followed to the line by Ron Eaton and Rick Carelli. Bryan Germone won the battle for the points and will wear the Championship Crown for 1997. *** The Featherlite Modified tour was at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia and Mike Stefanik won his tenth of the season, narrowly edging out Tony Hirschman and Jan Leaty. *** Richmond also hosted the Ukrop/General Mills Fall 300 for the Late models and it was Wayne Grubb with the win. Jeff Agnew was second and David Blakenship finished third. *** Texas International Drivers Association President Neil Upchurch announced his retirement and the end of TIDA Late Model racing. There have been many problems on the Texas scene and Neil has done a wonderful job for 21 years and just had enough. Hopefully the Texas Late Model drivers will find a series to race with. *** The demise of the Hooters Cup Late Models was announced a few weeks ago and they held their final race at USA International Speedway, Lakeland, FL this past weekend where Freddy Query led only the last three laps to take the win. Bobby Gill finished in second and in so doing captured the points title and the $50,000 prize by one point!. Defending Champion Billy Bigley Jr finished third in the race and the points. *** In Concord, NC Greg Marlowe outdueled Mike Herman for the win in the American General Finance 200 with Kevin Love third. *** Lee Faulk took the Florida Pro win at Citrus County Speedway in Inverness, FL as he led David Russell and Dave Pletcher to the checkers. 3 red flags in this one so it was a rough one. *** Chuck Hiers was the winner in regular action at St Augustine, FL. *** The Alabama 200 was once again delayed by rain and will now take place on November 15th.
The World of Outlaws continued their trek towards Las Vegas with a top at Manzanita, AZ where Stevie Smith captured the win as he passed Mark Kinser five laps from the end on Friday night. Dave Blaney was third. Kinser was not about to let that happen again and Saturday night he beat Smith to the line and took the win with Sammy Swindell finishing in third spot. *** The ASCS Renegades had three races scheduled for their final weekend of action, but got rained out at Texarkana, AR before moving on to the Devil's Bowl Nationals in Mesquite, TX. Edd French took the win Friday with Mike Peters and Jamie Passmore trailing him home. On Saturday it was Mike Peters who was out front at the finish and French chased him across the line. Gary Lee Maier took the third spot.
The dirt Late Models had an active weekend with Wendell Wallace taking the win in the Fall Classic 100 at Whynot Speedway in Meridian, MS. The win, worth $15,000, was delayed a week due to rain and even so had to suffer through a few showers to get it in. Billy Moyer was second and Ronnie Johnson third. *** IN the National Late Model Sportsman Series grand finale at Golden Isle Speedway in Brunswick, GA, 1996 Champion Ivedent Lloyd led flag to flag for the win with rookie Steve Jones Second and veteran Skip Pannell third. *** At Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, SC they held the NC/SC Steel Head Championships and it was Ricky Weeks who took the win. *** The Southern All Stars 9:1 Late Models were at Cleveland, TN for the Ghostbuster 40 and it was Rodney Dickson who beat David Millians and Shawn Chastain for the win. *** In Muskogee, OK Terry Phillips passed early leader Skip Arp with 12 laps left to take the win. Arp finished second and Donnie Barnhart was third. *** In Chatham, LA the winner was Johnny Virden taking the win over Waylin Morris. *** The Commonwealth Cup at Kentucky Lake Speedway saw Bob Pierce collect the $5,000 winner's check as he beat Randy Sellars and Doug McCammon.
This weekend sees the Southern All Star Asphalt Late Models visit Peach State Speedway for the World Classic and the Dirt Late Models will be at East Alabama Speedway for the National 100 and at Gaffney, SC for the final STARS race of the year. There is still action to be seen on the short tracks, so head out to the nearest event and see some really great racing. Have a Ball, Ya'll!
John Kaiser -- The Auto Channel