ASA LM Leftovers:  Toledo Speedway  by Charles Krall
Michigan Drivers, Ohio Drivers, Mad Drivers And More
Campbell & James Not The Best Of Friends

Tempers flared after the crash that eliminated then-leader Brian Campbell from the Glass Breaker 200. The crash happened on a restart on lap 136 when Colt James dipped to the inside coming off turn two, and the two drivers made contact sending Campbell spinning into the turn two wall. While the car was not seriously damaged, it did enough damage to send Campbell behind the wall and resulted in a 26th-place finish in the 27-car field.
Campbell (#77) and James (#15) got together late in the event.  (James McDonald Photo)
Campbell, son of veteran late model racer and multiple winner at Toledo Fred Campbell, was dejected and upset following the crash.

“The car took three to five laps to come in,” Campbell said. “It was a restart and we were just trying to get going, and we just got taken out. He (James) just went down and flat took me out. All I can say is I hope the put him to the back for that.”

James obviously had a different perspective following the race.

“He chopped me,” James said. “I was down low and didn’t have anywhere to go. I feel bad that he got crashed, but he did the same thing to me at Nashville. I’ve been put to the back before and they didn’t send me to the back this time so the officials must not think I did anything wrong.”

Lone Ohio Native Ends With Sour Note

There was only one Ohio native in the field for the Glass Breaker 200, that being Tipp City’s Kris Stump. Stump ran competitively through the first quarter of the race, holding down a top-five position and looking like he had a car that could run up front all night. But a scrape with the front stretch wall on lap 64 ultimately led to a hard crash in turn one, ending his night and doing heavy damage to the car.

“We got into the wall at the start finish line,” Stump said. “It didn’t seem to do a lot to the car, but for some reason it caused the throttle to hang wide open. I got on the braked hard but it just locked them up going into one and we hit the wall pretty hard.”

Stump was credited with 27th finishing position.

Solid Run For Menard
Welcome Back Kuhlman

While there was only one Ohio native in the field, one Michigan driver could likely drive Toledo Speedway with his eyes closed. Former Iceman Series champion Dave Kuhlman has won dozens of races on the fast high-banked half-mile since he started competing regularly at the track in the mid 1990s. He picked up a ride at the last minute in Larry Varney’s familiar No. 116 Chevrolet.

“We know we aren’t going to be the fastest car out there, but if we can stay out of trouble and make all the laps we should be able to bring home a good finish,” was what Kuhlman said just before strapping in. He appeared on track for a very respectable top ten finish before losing the handle late in the race. As it was, he still held on for an eleventh-place finish, the last car on the lead lap.

Simko's Return Not What He Wanted
Charlie Menard (#13) had a solid run at Toledo.  (ASA LM photo)
Charlie Menard started on the front row with 25 drivers in his rear view mirror. But following a spin within the first 10 laps, Menard instead found himself looking at 25 drivers in front of him instead. But with the entire race still in front of him, Menard kept out of most of the trouble, with only a minor spin with Kuhlman midway through the second half slowing his progress.

“That was the driver’s fault,” Menard said in reference to his first spin in turn two. “I got down and clipped the rumble strip and just lost it. We have a good car so if I can keep it out of trouble and keep the tires on it we should be able to come home with a good finish. I’d be happy to come out of here with a top ten.”

He did just that, scoring ninth at the flag.

Menard was also happy to race at Toledo Speedway because he could keep an eye on some of the family’s business interests. The speedway is just across the street from a tract of land that will soon be home to a new Menard’s superstore.

Michael Simko goes for a spin at Toledo Speedway.
Michael Simko made his return to Toledo Speedway after being involved in one of the most watched motorsports incidents of 2006 in last fall’s Glass City 200. Of course, everyone knows that Simko and Don St. Denis famously agreed to disagree after a crash in the late stages of the track’s premier wedge body late model event, with the video footage shown on every sports highlight program and many hard news shows as well.

“I can race in the ARCA REMAX Series now, and I can come back and race the late model here June 1,” said Simko, who was again in the media spotlight all weekend.

To his credit, he had a wide smile on all weekend and seemed to enjoy the added attention.  Simko ran strong throughout the first three quarters of the race, even breaking into the top five.
Unfortunately, he was involved in a couple of incidents not of his doing. The first incident just before halfway sent him into the wall at the start finish line, damaging the left rear of his car. He was able to recover from that crash and still managed to run in the top ten before being swept into the lap 144 crash in turn two, ending his day. Simko was listed as 21st at the finish.

Long Day For Some

While 27 cars took the green flag, there were 29 cars on the grounds for Friday’s all-day practice. Iowa driver Jim Ross had the throttle stick open on his No. 14 Chevrolet, sending him hard into the turn one wall in the first practice on Friday. Ross was uninjured in the crash but his car was irreparably damaged.

Then, in the final session of the day on Friday Derek Bischak crashed his No. 31 Chevrolet in turn four, forcing him to withdraw from the event as well.

The action continued during time trials as well as John Wes Townley backed his primary No. 09 ride into the turn four wall. His crew, led by 2002 Glass City 300 and former ASA champ Joey Clanton, pulled out the backup car and Townley started the race from the 27th position. Unfortunately for him, he was also involved in the lap 144 crash, damaging his second car of the day.