Looking Back at The 2007 Short Track Season
The 51ers Select 51 Stories Worth Remembering From The Past Season
REMEMBERING JBIII –
Sadly, 2007 was the year when we lost John Blewett, III – who of the most hardcore racers, and most genuine individuals, out there. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
A FEW 51 EXCLUSIVES –
Every year, the 51 Gang looks towards the future with our Short Track Draft.
As the members of the 51 family get ready to enjoy some downtime for the Holidays, it is a good chance to look back at the past year and remember some of the biggest stories, as well as some of our favorite tales, of the race season in our mirrors. We have polled our staff and came up with some stories to revisit that have captured the essence of the 2007 short track racing season. So whether you missed them the first time, or want to relive some of the memories of this year, here are a few selections to enjoy:
John Blewett, III will be sorely missed.
Short Track Power is a 51 tradition. We looked back on just who had the most power in the sport in 2007. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
MEETING THE DRIVERS…AND A FEW PEOPLE BEHIND THE SCENES –
Joey Logano put up some big numbers in 2007, but aside from all of that, he’s just a typical teenager. CLICK HERE FOR MORE They call him Brooksie, and when it comes to the Modified portion of Florida Speedweeks, he is one of the most key people to making sure that the show goes on. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Before the season even started (and before he won yet another PASS North title), Ben Rowe knew that he was living a racer’s dream… CLICK HERE FOR MORE He’s been to Cup and back, but this was the year that short track legend Mike Garvey returned to the USAR Pro Cup Series. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Patrick Laperle made the tough decision to step away from Super Late Models this year and focus on his Late Model program (it worked too, Laperle won the 2007 ACT Quebec Series title and the prestigious Milk Bowl at Thunder Road Speedbowl). CLICK HERE FOR MORE Tony Ricci is a jack of all trades in racing. He builds cars, hangs bodies and turns wrenches. Did we mention that he is a winning Modified driver as well? CLICK HERE FOR MORE Mike Olsen is embarking on a new stage of his racing career. See how he plans to transition from a championship-winning driver to a team owner. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Up to a point, Bobby Measmer, Jr.’s racing career mirrors those of any short track racer doing it right. Start in a division at your local track, win in that division. Win more in that division and then move up to repeat the process. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Jack Landis is one of the good guys of short track racing, and 51 caught up with him during Florida Speedweeks. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Michael Pope is making a name for himself by making the right moves on the track. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Chris James lost his legs in an accident at a racetrack, but he didn’t lose his desire to drive racecars and returned to racing in 2007. His story of inspiration is nothing short of amazing. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
RELIVING THE RACES -
The final Blizzard Series of the year at Five Flags Speedway had everything – a tie for the championship and a popular racer at the track announcing that if he could just win the Snowball Derby again, he’d retire on the spot. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Donny Lia had a dream season in 2007, but nothing might have been better and more emotional than winning at Martinsville just weeks after JBIII’s passing. CLICK HERE FOR MORE The cars were different at Oxford’s TD Banknorth 250 this year and that allowed a racer long on talent, but short on funds, to climb from the stands to win big. CLICK HERE FOR MORE If you really want to look back at some racing, how about seeing what the good old days of racing on the beach at Daytona was like, with Denise DuPont’s coverage of the Daytona Racers’ Reunion. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Jan Leaty has been around the block a few times, but he still know who to win big. How big? How about THE Race of Champions at Oswego? CLICK HERE FOR MORE After being part of a winning team in the Snowball Derby as a teen, Augie Grill got the experience victory lane in the short track classic as a driver this season. CLICK HERE FOR MORE In a race that featured what many people were calling one of the strongest single USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series Southern Division fields of all time, there was no way that a rookie was going to win. Right? Well, Matt Hawkins didn’t get that memo. CLICK HERE FOR MORE This year’s Mason Dixon Meltdown wasn’t decided until the final corner. That was great for Ben Rowe, but not so good for Corey Williams. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Jimmy Blewett approached racing a little bit different at Florida Speedweeks this year, and as a result, he won the Richie Evans Memorial. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Ryan Lawler took a big step in his racing career this season by winning one of the toughest shows of them all – The Winchester 400. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
It wasn’t a race, but it sure was a big show. The folks at Speedway Illustrated put on their own Speedway EXPO this year and to say it was a hit would be an understatement. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
It was never a question of if Joey Pole would win in ACT Late Models. It was all about when he would. That question was answered at Seekonk. CLICK HERE FOR MORE David Stremme called Corey Williams and offered him an ASA Late Model ride. Williams accepted – and made the most out of it at Orange County. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
Whether he is racing his own #4 Modified or turning wrenches, it is a good bet that you will find Tony Ricci at a race track at any particular moment during racing season. (Jim DuPont Photo)
Want a wild finish? This year’s final moments of the Rattler would be hard to beat. CLICK HERE FOR MORE It was another year and another Matt Hirschman victory at the North South Shootout Modified show in Concord, North Carolina. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Andy Seuss came to Music City with big dreams for the spring Southern Modified show there, and he left with a trophy guitar. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Eddie MacDonald doesn’t have a big budget for his race team, or any Cup-team support, but he still was able to win in the Busch East Series race at Stafford. CLICK HERE FOR MORE “Old School” Bobby Gill beat the rain, and the competition in South Boston Pro Cup show. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
Augie Grill's winning racecar gets towed to victory lane after the conclusion of The Rattler.
The past is never far away during Florida Speedweeks. (Jim DuPont Photo)
There are plenty of generation racers out there… but nothing beats seeing a father watch his son win for the first time. Just ask Mike Cope after son Travis’s first SLM win. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Donny Lia has been trying to win at Stafford for a long time, but every time he came close the wheels would fall off his wagon (literally even on one occasion), but this time, everything worked out just right for him in the Spring Sizzler. CLICK HERE FOR MORE He might just be a skinny teenager, but Joey Logano played the role of Goliath well in the West Series opener at Phoenix. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Andy Bozell has a pretty good record of winning in the Kalamazoo Klash and he extended it even further in this year’s event. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Alex Yontz took right to the new track surface at Bristol Motor Speedway when the UARA-STARS visited the track this summer. CLICK HERE FOR MORE There were hundreds of racecars at the Boone Nationals this year, but only one big winner. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Dennis Setzer returned to his roots in a big way at Martinsville Speedway this year. CLICK HERE FOR MORE It might be dirt, but its still one of the biggest races of the year… and it was Tony Stewart taking the win in the Chili Bowl in 2007. CLICK HERE FOR MORE New Hampshire’s All Star Speedway had a new look in 2007 and they ended their season with a bang – by running a big open show for Super Late Models, Modifieds and big-block Supermodifieds. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Eddie Hoffman sounded like a broken record in the ASA Late Model portion of the All American 400 by winning a race at the Music City Motorplex again. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Johnny Van Doorn is making a name for himself in short track racing, and a victory in the All American 400 sure helped with that cause. CLICK HERE FOR MORE Johnny Clark grew up watching his Dad race. This Father’s Day, the younger Clark gave him a very nice present in return for the memories, by winning at Unity Raceway. CLICK HERE FOR MORE It was a turf war when Robbie Pyle won the ASA Late Model feature at Berlin early this summer. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
Once Scott Chubbuck's #77 came back to earth, he was able to wheel it to victory in the season finale at All-Star Speedway (Jamie Williams Photo)