Short Track Roundup (02/05/98)

5 March 1998


Mobile. Ala - March may come in like a lion, but the roars it makes are
generated by all those racing engines revving up all across the country.
There was plenty of action on the short tracks over the past week with
something for everybody.

In Marysville, Tenn they held a 100 lap Late Model race on the high banked
clay Smokey Moutain Raceway and Skip Arp, who is definitely the hottest
driver so far this year, passed Freddy Smith at the start and led every lap
for the win. Smith took home second with Jack Boggs getting a hard fought
third place. Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA held its season opener,
another 100 lap event, and Wayne Echols was the winner ahead of Jody
Coltrane and Marty Massey. At Hagerstown (Md) Speedway the Late Model
winner was Gary Stuhler with Frankie Plessinger in second and Rodney
Franklin finishing third. Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, SC opened its 1998
season with Dennis Franklin leading the feature flag-to-flag for the
victory over Mike Duvall and third belonging to Doug Sanders.

Sprint car fans will be pleased to hear that Kenny Jacobs was supposed to
have been released from the hospital wearing a special back brace to
protect  his injured back,. He has a compressed Sixth vertebrae and doctors
are saying it will take about six to eight weeks to heal. Kenny himself
wants to race at Eldora on April 4th.

The United Sprint Car Series has announced that they will hold a 6 lap, 6
car Dash for $6,000 at the USCS Sprint Car Nationals to be held at East
Alabama Motor Speedway in Phoenix City, AL. Qualifying will take place
during the season at regular USCS events. 

Mark Kinser has started out the season on a tear with two wins in just the
first three races on the World of Outlaws circuit. Kinser swept both races
at the Silver States Shootout in Las Vegas, NV, beating Jac Haudenschild
and Dale Blaney in the preliminary Friday night and then coming back to
best Johnny Herrera and Stevie Smith Saturday night. With his last win at
Vegas, Mark took over the points lead with Johnny Herrera and Steve Kinser
tied for second 19 points behind.

The SCRA Sprints returned to Perris Speedway in southern California and
once again Rip Williams was the class of the field taking the win from
Rodney Argo and Jeremy Sherman. At Lincoln (PA) Speedway Sean Michael
bested Jeff Shepard and Tim Shaffer for the win; while at Williams Grove in
the season opener for that track it was Fred Rahmer grabbing first place
laurels while Shepard took another second spot and Ed Lynch Jr nabbed
third.

The Winston West Series raced in mid-week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and
it was Kevin Harvick who took the checkered flag in front of Tony Toste and
Jerry Glanville. The Southern All Stars finally got their season opener in
after being rained out last week and it was Ronnie Sanders who took home
the win. John Wilkinson III went to the rear of the field in an attempt to
win the race and a $10,000 bonus for doing so, but he came up one spot
short with a second place finish. Mike Garvey took the third spot. The
Florida Pro Series opened its season at Columbia Motorsports Park in Lake
City, FL and it was Billy Bigley Jr. who took the win. Mike Franklin Jr
finished second with Glen Whitney taking third. 

The Hooters ProCup series opened its 1998 season at the fast 3/4 mile USA
International Speedway in Lakeland, FL and despite new engine rules that
provide more horsepower these cars are still slower than Late Models by
almost 10mph on this track. The slower speeds does provide tighter racing
but it was still defending Champion Mario Gosselin who picked up yet
another win as he dominated the event. Jay Fogleman came home second and
Mike Laughlin was third.

NAMARS, who sanctions midget racing in the midwest, announced that it will
now get into the truck racing game as well. NAMARS/Rally Race Truck Series
was announced this week with races to be held in conjunction with the
midgets on both dirt and asphalt. The trucks will be full-sized Ford, Chevy
and Dodge pickups with V-8 power. 1998 will be an exhibition season
allowing teams time to prepare and test the new race trucks and then in
1999 the series will begin competition.

There will be all sorts of action this coming weekend with some of the
highlights being the ARCA cars on the Atlanta Motor Speedway and the World
of Outlaws visiting Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA. The NARC series opens
its season in California at Hanford and the SCRA will be in El Centro, if
the weather will cooperate. The first event of the new Big Johnson National
Championship for the dirt Late Models will take place at Bulls Gap, Tenn.,
as they hold the Volunteer 100. Talladega Short Track will open its season
with Red Farmer, a living legend, beginning his 50th year of driving a race
car.

Many other tracks around the country will be starting their 1998 seasons
now that March has arrived so take this opportunity to take the family to
the races and enjoy some of the best competition and family fun to be
found. Don’t worry about missing any of the action as we will be back next
week to wrap it all up for you. Have a ball, Ya’ll!

John Kaiser -- The Auto Channel

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