Short Track Roundup (3/18/98)

18 March 1998


Mobile, Ala - Time once again to take a look back at the short track action
around the country over the past week. For those in the Southeast the cold
weather that gripped the region forced the postponement of many events such
as the two big Late Model races in Tennessee while in the Midwest it was
the rain that caused the postponements and cancellations.

One of the biggest events on this past weekends calendar was the T. Wayne
Robertson Memorial 200 at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. Taking home the
winners check of more than $11,000 was Phillip Morris who led the last 24
laps. Finishing in second was Rodney Sawyers and David Blankenship came
home third.
Another big money race was held at Myrtle Beach (SC) Speedway and the
$10,000 went to Charles Powell III who got the win in the Sleep Inn 250.
Jamie Skinner was second and Sean Graham third. 

At Nashville (Tenn) Speedway USA Andy Kirby took the win  in the Late Model
event with Craig Welsh second and Joe Buford third. In the SuperTruck race
it was Jimmy Valentine leading David Matheny Jr and Allen Carter to the
finish. At Montgomery (Ala.) Speedway USA the Coca Cola 100 was won by
Chris Mullinax in a Dennis Reno owned entry. Glen Middlebrooks was second
and Ronnie Sanders took third. At Columbia Motorsports Park, Lake City,
Fla. the Late Model win went to Joe Lynch followed by Michael Haigh and
Chris Yarbrough. More Trucking news saw Kevin Barrett win the PARTS Pro
Truck Series opener at Lanier Speedway in Georgia, with David Wragg taking
the win in the NWRS Late Model event.

In Sprint Car news the World of Outlaws did get one race in at Pike County
Speedway in Magnolia, Miss. where it was more of the same as Mark Kinser
got the win. Second place went to Danny Lasoski while third was Stevie
Smith. Mark continues to lead the points with Steve Kinser in second and
Johnny Hererra holding on to third. Better watch out for Jac Haudenschild
though as the ‘Wild Child’ is closing in rapidly on the leaders.

Paul McMahan won the Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Raceway in Chico,
Calif., but the news from this venue was not all good as young Bud Kaeding
suffered concussion, third degree burns on his hand and a broken elbow when
he was involved in a crash during the race. Reports are that he is doing
well and a full recovery is expected. Following Paul across the line was
brother Bobby in second and Todd Bammer took third.

At Lincoln (Pa.) Speedway Craig Eash was the winner in the Sprint feature
with Billy Pauch second and Jeff Shepard third. Williams Grove (Pa.)
Speedway fans saw Shepard go to the head of the class the next night as he
garnered the win ahead of Todd Shaffer and Pauch. Boyd (Tx) Raceway held
the first IMCA Sprint race of the 1998 season and the opening night winner
was Jeff Day. Johnny Miller and Skip Wilson rounded out the top trio.

The SCRA returned to Perris (Calif.) Speedway and it was Jay Drake who took
the checkered flag for his first win. Cary Faas was second and Mike Kirby
came across in third. Richard Griffin currently leads the points standings
followed by Mike Kirby and Rip Williams. Good News for Bloomington (Ind.)
Speedway is the return of Pennzoil as the corporate sponsor of the
“Pennzoil Cup” Sprint Car Series. Lets give a call to Billy Felts Jr. who
in just his fourth time behind the wheel of a midget came home the winner
in the Western States Midget event at Bakersfield, Calif. Felts lead Brian
Stanfill and Clay Klepper to the checkers.

All Star Sprint fans will be happy to know that Scott Hall is back with the
series as the PR Director, although I have no idea why the series ever
thought about changing that position. Scott is one of the best in the
business and does a great job of getting the All Star news out to both
media and the fans...Glad you are back Scott. The Northern Sprint Tour has
signed Hy-Per-Lube as their sponsor for the coming season.

The dirt Late Model activities took a beating from the weather with both
big races in Tennessee postponed another week due to cold. Also hit was the
Sportsman race at Cordele (Ga.) Speedway. The National Late Model Sportsman
Series did race at Lake City (Fla.) Speedway and Billy Godowns took the win
with Gene Ross in second and Wendell Durrance taking third. Durrance held
on to a slim point lead thanks to his third place finish. At Cherokee
Speedway in Gaffney, SC, Billy Scott was the winner, with Roger Hamrick and
Clint Elkins the next across the finish stripe. 

Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway completed the postponed Winter Bash and it was
Rodney Franklin who won that race. Second went to Gary Stuhler with Rick
Eckert in third. There were also two more Late Model Features at Hagerstown
that same evening but the winner was the same in every race as Franklin
notched up a hat-trick of wins. Gary Stuhler and Steve Shaver followed
Franklin across the line in both the other two races.

JAX Raceways finally got its season opening race program completed, and
despite the fact that the track has been remodeled and now is supposed to
have two or three grooves it was still a pretty one groove track for this
race. Donnie Hall was the winner with Gary Barrett second and Gary Spivey
third. The money keeps rolling in for the Big Johnson National
Championship. An additional $13,500 has been posted so now there will be a
payout for the top five in the final standings. This could be the best
thing for dirt Late Model racing since the invention of tear-offs!

This coming week will be a full one, if the weather cooperates, with two
big Late Model events in Tennessee as the cars will start at Cleveland and
then move on to Bulls Gap. The World of Outlaws will return to make up the
rain postponed date at Houston and then head up to Mesquite for the Spring
Nationals. NARC will be at Tulare’s Thunderbowl and the SCRA will return to
Manzanita. For asphalt fans the place to be is Mobile, Ala for the ProCup
race at Mobile International Speedway where they will attempt to start 36
of these monsters on the tight half mile....ought to be very interesting.
The Rattlesnake 100 will also take place in Opp, Ala this weekend. Wherever
you are they should be some great racing on your local short tracks as more
and more of the venues spring into action, so head out for an enjoyable
evening at your local track, where the stars of tomorrow race today. Have a
ball, Ya’ll!

John Kaiser -- The Auto Channel

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