LATE MODEL ROUNDUP - Presented By Five Star Racecar Bodies
News From The Bullring, Blizzard, USPRO and More
A wild and crazy Hawkeye 100 Presented by Coors Light and Cassill Motors is now in the record books. When all was said and done, Wyoming, Michigan driver, Brian Campbell survived an ASALMS Northern Division record, 15 cautions to win his Third ASALMS North Feature of the 2007 season after taking the lead from multi-time Hawkeye Downs Speedway Late Model Track Champion, Brad Osborn on Lap 63 and then held off challenges from ASALMS Challenge Division Points Leader, Travis Dassow and new ASALMS Northern Division Points Leader, Charlie Menard to score the win.
Campbell in his Tech Financial Services/Boyne Machine/Ford Fusion won his second consecutive Feature and third North victory of the year. The 28-year-old won the last North race held, the Wolverine 100 at the Dixie (MI) Motor Speedway on August 17, 2007 as well as the 2007 ASALMS North Season Opener at the O'Reilly (IN) Raceway Park at Indianapolis on April 28, 2007 when he came from 27th to earn that win!
Campbell was determined with two strong runners in Dassow and Menard behind him as the Wyoming, Michigan driver would make no mistake in holding off the Wisconsin based duo to claim his Third ASALMS Northern Division Feature win of the 2007 Season!
Dassow, who earlier in the evening broke the track record in ARP Bodies/Aluminum Racing Products Qualifying, finished second over new ASALMS Northern Division Points Leader, Menard who started 15th. Local favorite, Kyle Hinrichs finished a career high Fourth while Rookie of the Year title contender, Jesse Saunders rounded out the Top Five.
BIRMINGHAM SUPER SERIES
Dennis “Tink” Reno, Jr., has won many races and titles at Birmingham International Raceway, but taking the checkers in a 100-lap event had eluded him until Saturday evening, when he won the Birmingham Super Series Late Model Challenge Labor Day 100. Reno took the lead on the 75th lap and held off early leader Jeff Letson in the final laps. What started off as a game of chase Letson became a race of surprises and disappointments.
Series points leader Gary Sanford, Jr., set the pace with a fastest qualifying run around the 5/8-mile paved oval of 20.938 MPH/107.46 mph. Hard racing began immediately as Letson took the lead and laid down territory behind him.
The second and final 2007 USPRO Cup Series appearance will be during the prestigious Winchester 400 weekend for the CRA Super Series as the USPRO Cup Series will run the Winchester/Sneak Peek 50 Part Two on Friday and Saturday October 12-13, 2007. The Winchester 400 for the CRA Super Series will headline the weekend on Sunday October 14, 2007.
With last Friday night’s rainout of the Blizzard Series Super Late Model event at Pensacola, FL’s Five Flags Speedway and the subsequent rainout of the Miller Lite SLM event at Mobile Speedway (AL) Saturday, Labor Day weekend was not kind to Super Late Model drivers on the Gulf Coast.
The Gulf Coast Bonus Bucks $1000 bonus to the driver with the best two-night average finish between Pensacola and Mobile could not be awarded over Labor Day weekend, but Tim Bryant, promoter of the Blizzard Series at Five Flags has moved the Bonus Bucks program along with his rained-out race to this coming Friday, September 7th, and has partnered with South Alabama Speedway in Opp, AL for their race on the 8th.
The highest average finish between the two nights at Five Flags and South Alabama will be awarded a $1000 bonus, making for the potential of an $10,000 weekend if a driver is able to win both races. Five Flags’ Blizzard race is $4000 to win, while South Alabama’s SLM race Saturday is $5000 to win, then add in the bonus, and it could be a wealthy weekend for one SLM driver.
Illiana Motor Speedway will host the 46th annual Tony Bettenhausen Memorial 100 Classic presented by Lisa Thomas Salon on Saturday night September 15.
A definite Midwestern late model stock car racing tradition, the event will carry a record purse of more than $25,000 at stake with $3,000 going to the race winner. The list of previous winners and near-winners is second to none with many of those drivers going on to climb the ladder in various major leagues of auto racing.
Despite a small field that made up the starting line-up for the reduced 35-lap Feature, the Six cars that remained put on an excellent show in front of a stellar crowd in Eastern Indiana and when 35 laps around the world's fastest ½ mile was complete, Fort Wayne, Indiana veteran, Al Cook Jr., took the win in the USPRO Cup Series Winchester/Sneak Peek 35 Part One.
Tommy Cook, Al Cook Jr's younger brother who's also from Fort Wayne, fought off a hard-charging Bob Varney to finish second while Varney settled for third. Bob Sibila Jr., came home fourth as 17-year-old Royce Mason II completed the Top Five.
Jason Dietsch established the USPRO Cup Series Track Record with a 16.421, which measures out to a fast 109.616 MPH. With the small field on hand, a complete inversion was in order and after one car loaded up as a result of a Practice crash, that being Kevin Todd, six cars would take the green flag on Labor Day Monday Afternoon.
Al Cook, Jr. won the USPRO division feature at Winchester. (Chuck Gonzalez Photo)
Brian Campbell took another ASALM North victory at Hawkeye Downs. (Chuck Gonzalez Photo)
Sanford was working on second-running Gary Nix and had taken the position when Roger Cain’s spinout brought out the second caution. Sanford had raced Nix and took the spot as the caution came out, but was put back to the last green flag lap position. Reno pitted for adjustments under this caution after keeping a top five running position since the beginning of the race. Reno had to work his way back up as the laps began to tick off in the second half of the race.
As Letson continued to lead, Sanford took Nix’s second spot on the 51st lap. On the next circuit Serio was going after Nix, but tapped Sanford. Both cars hit the wall. Reno came onto the scene full-bore and the wall took his right side and rearranged the suspension and flattened a tire. Reno missed the disabled cars, however, and came into the pit. The right front was flat; the lower control arm was bent like a pretzel. A flood of help descended on the Reno pit and the hammered out number X2 returned to the track. Sanford and Serio looked irreparably damaged.
"Tink" Reno was on top of the tough field in Birmingham. (51 Photo)
It was a great show for the next few laps as Reno and Nix diced it up. Reno took the lead on the 75th lap going inside Nix in turn one. Letson and Sanford had made their way back into the top three and running in that order behind Reno as the laps wound down. Letson mounted his final charges, getting a fender along side Reno at times and Sanford slowly shaving off distance between himself and Letson. Reno had the race won when the 100th lap was completed, with Letson, points leader Sanford, Nix, and Justin Cruise following.
Explaining his surge to the front, Reno talked about the line he drove. “When I was in the pack I couldn’t drive like I needed to because I didn t have a clean track. Once I got around, I could run faster.” His outside groove duel with Letson in the final stages was testament to his assessment of where he could race the fastest.
Dustin Ash of Las Vegas scored his sixth Super Late Model feature of the season Saturday night at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was his third consecutive visit to victory lane in Bullring Super Late Model competition. While Jimmy Parker Jr. led the early stages of the 40-lap finale, Ash moved up to third by lap 2 and grabbed second place on lap 12. On lap 21, Ash made an inside move on Parker as the pair raced down the back straightaway and he took the lead. Tom Lovelady finished second and Scott Gafforini was third.
The USPRO Cup Series has completed their portion of the World Stock Car Festival at the famed 0.500 Mile High-Banked Paved Oval of the Winchester (IN) Speedway in Winchester, Indiana.
Lisa Thomas Salon with locations in Orland Park and Tinley Park, specializes in contemporary designs for men and women’s hair, skin and nails will be this year’s event sponsor. Owners Tom and Lisa Kmak are excited about their sponsorship. “It’s an honor to sponsor this prestigious event that has so much history and tradition associated with it and it’s a great opportunity to get all our employees out to see our race team in operation”
For the first time ever, Fireworks by the Mad Bomber will also be part of the 46th edition Tony Bettenhausen Memorial. “We wanted this event to be a little extra special as its our 60th season of stockcar racing, said Mike Mikuly Owner and Promoter of Illiana. “The Mad Bomber has a real fireworks extravaganza in store for us”
Also on the nights card will be Turbo Stocks and the Wild & Crazy Circle Restaurant 4 cylinder Pure stocks highlighted by extended feature races.
Eddie Hoffman is an Illiana regular and is sponsored by the same company presenting the race there on September 15th, Lisa Thomas Salon. (51 Photo)
The Bettenhausen Memorial “100” honors the legendary Tony Bettenhausen. The Tinley Park, IL native made 14 starts in the Indianapolis 500 with 5 top-ten finishes. Sadly, Bettenhausen’s life ended during a practice crash at the famed Speedway in May 1961 while testing a car.