2005 SPEEDFEST: FRIDAY RAINOUT NOTES by Jeremy Troiano
Bradberry, Barnes, Kittleson & More
With Friday night's rainout, there wasn't too much to talk about. So here, we'll have just a few notes from Friday at SpeedFest.
SURPRISE, SURPRISE - BARNES RETURNS
Just when we thought Chuck Barnes Jr's 2005 SpeedFest was over as quickly as it started, Barnes made a surprise return to the track with a fixed car on Friday night. However, he was not able to show all of his hard work after the night's events were rained out.
Barnes had originally thought that his #55 was too far damaged to be fixed. However, after further evaluation, the team figured they could fix the car. The team got an offer to use Florida racer Steve Dorr's shop not that far from the track, and that is what they did.
Just before the scheduled start of Friday night's feature, Barnes and his team pulled back into the track, unloaded
as quick as they could in hopes of starting at the back of the field for Friday night's race. They got the car ready, but the rain kept them from showing off all their hard work.
They will be back on Saturday.
SEVERAL FEWER DRIVERS IN THE PITS FRIDAY
As we've reported all day here on 51, there were several fewer teams in the pits on Friday than there was on Thursday.
Several drivers were taken out as part of all of the accidents from Thursday night. Others had mechanical problems take them out of contention.
A total of 49 cars attempted qualifying on Thursday. Just 35 did on Friday.
Some of those missing included Barnes Jr., Charlie Bradberry, Jimmy Cope, Scott Hantz, Fain Skinner, Gordie Ryan, Dave Jackson, Erik Darnell, Andy Dyndul, Matt Hawkins and George Gorhan Jr.
Evan Jackson was the only casualty from Friday afternoon. Jackson lost control of his #56 during practice and slammed into the wall. He loaded up and headed back to Indiana.
A FEW MORE SATURDAY?
While there were several less guys in the pits on Friday, the field did pick up one extra car and is looking to pick up a couple more come Saturday.
Billy BIgley showed up to the track on Friday and practiced well, but never got a chance to race thanks to Mother Nature. Saturday, officials are expecting a few more drivers to show up for the 200-lap feature, including hotshots David Hole and Ted Musgrave Jr.
Chris Davidson will also show up on Saturday to drive his father, Greg's, backup car.
BRADBERRY LIKELY NOT DONE
Charlie Bradberry wrecked his car "big time" on Thursday night. On Friday, he was at the track, but as an interested observer.
However, Bradberry's "pit neighbor," Ronnie Sanders, came over and asked him if he'd be interested in driving his backup car come Saturday. Bradberry said he'll accept.
It will be a change for Bradberry, whose team will work all day Saturday trying to get the car ready. Sanders'
Chuck Barnes Jr came back on Friday night after this big accident on Thursday. (51 Photo)
backup is a Frankie Grill-built chassis, while Bradberry normally runs Port City cars.
GOOD RETURN FOR HAMNER
Josh Hamner had a Thursday he'd like to forget. He qualified 34th, made the show via a provisional, and then finished last in the feature after getting bumped into the wall on the first turn of the first lap.
Friday was a little better for the youngster, who is running his first four-barrel Super Late Model race this weekend.
After a full night's work to repair his damaged #38, Hamner came back to qualify in the top-five on Friday before the night's race was rained out.
ANOTHER MISSING MEMBER
Another name missing from Friday's practice and qualifying sheets, and for the second day in a row, was Travis Kittleson.
Kittleson has been very ill over the last two days with a stomach virus. Kittleson practiced on Thursday, but didn't qualify or race. On Friday, the team didn't even show up to the track and his hauler remained locked up and closed all afternoon long.
It is still up in the air if the Florida favorite will make it back out for Saturday's 200-lapper.