Tracks: Bloomington Speedway has Three New Track Champions
2 September 1998ROOKIE EARNS PENNZOIL CUP
BLOOMINGTON, IN - Last Friday's final point event of the season produced close racing and exciting finishes at Bloomington Speedway. With all of the points totaled, Bloomington will crown new track champions in all three regular divisions at the next two racing events.
In only his first year campaigning sprint cars, Derek Scheffel put together a consistent season to earn Bloomington's Pennzoil Cup sprint car title. Scheffel finished in the top ten four times, with two fourth places being his best results. Interestingly, one of the Columbus driver's fourth place finishes came with a wing, and one without. Scheffel qualified sixth fastest for Friday's Sheldon Kinser Memorial, and locked up the title when he finished fifteenth.
Before driver introductions prior to his first Sheldon Kinser Memorial, Derek reflected on the sprint car title. "It's my rookie season," he said, "and we've worked real hard and tried to run all the races here. It will always be important to me with the history this track has."
Scheffel, who came to sprint car racing from the UMRA TQ midget series, pointed out that his biggest hurdle was having to learn quickly. "We're rookies all the way around. It's new to me, and new to my team. I think we've all done real well to get it figured out, and that's what it takes."
Eric Burns finished second to Scheffel but slipped to a 26 point deficit. Last year's Pennzoil Cup winner, Brad Fox climbed from eighth to third in this season's final standings when he was the fastest qualifier and ran sixth in Friday's main event. Robbie Rice slipped to fourth, a point behind Fox, with Friday's tenth place finish. Past track champion Kevin Thomas ran fourth and climbed to fifth in the standings. With a strong second place on Friday, Kevin Miller jumped from tenth to sixth. Justin Marvel, Butch Winings and Dickie Gaines finished a single point apart, with Marvel seventh and Winings and Gaines tied for eighth. Brian Hayden joined the top ten when he ran ninth on Friday.
Matt Tiller and John DeMoss entered Bloomington Speedway on Friday night tied for the lead of the open wheel modified division. Tiller earned the championship as DeMoss suffered through a frustrating night. When a car spun in front of him, DeMoss was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, which ended his race and his title hopes. Tiller's eighth place on Friday was enough for a four point advantage.
Other than Tiller and DeMoss sorting out the top spot, there was only one other change in the modified top ten. Winning his third feature of the year, Kerry Norris climbed to eighth in the final standings. In five events, Norris had three wins, one second and one third place finish. Albert Webb took third in the standings and Ray Humphrey fourth. Brian Campbell's second place on Friday earned him fifth in the points. The second five in the standings are Richie Lex, Troy Jarvis, Norris, Bret Barr and Rodney Harris Jr.
Perry Bruce won his second WalMart Tire & Lube Express street stock feature as he claimed the division championship over Cory Brown. Bruce's opening night victory set the pace as he put together five top ten finishes during the season. Although Brown failed to register a victory, his three second place finishes, and five top tens, gave him a solid second place standing. J.D. Francis and Joe Lucas traded spots in the points. Francis took third place when he ran second to Bruce on Friday night. Lucas finished fourth. While Gerald Todd, Don Bush and Greg O'Neill held their point positions, Steve Hawkins advanced one spot and Don Short advanced three in the last race. Michael Purtlebaugh slipped from eighth to tenth in the final standings. Roy Bruce Jr. dropped out of the top ten by one point, and finished eleventh.
The Pennzoil Cup and sprint car division trophies will be presented during Racin' Fest '98 on September 18. Bloomington Speedway moved Racin' Fest from Sunday afternoon to Friday night as part of the NAMARS midgets Triple Crown. It will again pair sprint cars with the NAMARS racers.
The WalMart Tire & Lube Express street stock division and open wheel modified division awards will be presented during the Third Annual Street Stock and Open Wheel Modified Nationals in Memory of Pat Birch on Friday, September 25th.
1998 BLOOMINGTON SPEEDWAY FINAL POINTS
Pennzoil Cup Sprint Cars
1. Derek Scheffel 348, 2. Eric Burns 322, 3. Brad Fox 275, 4. Robbie Rice 274, 5. Kevin Thomas 260, 6. Kevin Miller 259, 7. Justin Marvel 256, 8. Butch Winings and Dickie Gaines 255, 10. Brian Hayden 239
Open Wheel Modifieds
1. Matt Tiller 453, 2. John DeMoss 449, 3. Albert Webb 445, 4. Ray Humphrey 438, 5. Brian Campbell 433, 6. Richie Lex 390, 7. Troy Jarvis 363, 8. Kerry Norris 353, 9. Bret Barr 347, 10. Rodney Harris Jr. 345
WalMart Tire & Lube Express Street Stocks
1. Perry Bruce 362, 2. Cory Brown 356, 3. J.D. Francis 347, 4. Joe Lucas 334, 5. Gerald Todd 305, 6. Don Bush 304, 7. Greg O'Neill 298, 8. Steve Hawkins 294, 9. Don Short 286, 10. Michael Purtlebaugh 275