Trackside Now: 2008 Early BIRd - Sunday, Feb. 24th
Ken McFarland Wins Early Bird 125
2008 Early BIRd
Featuring 125-Lap SLM Race
February 23rd-24th
Birmingham Int'l Raceway
Birmingham, AL
Sunday 6:10pm CT (7:10pm ET) - All cars have passed tech, and that will do it for us here at Birmingham.  Visit Speed51.com next week for the full race recap from the 2008 Early Bird 125.

Sunday 6:00pm CT (7:00pm ET) - With a spin through the grass of the football field here at Birmingham International Raceway, Ken McFarland took the checkered flag.

Earlier in the race, McFarland pitted, but unknown to many at the track, he didn't take on tires.  Instead, his crew made an adjustment to his car and saved the tires until a late pitstop when someone threw a water bottle on the track, forcing the yellow flag.  Most of the leaders pitted for tires, and when it all shook out McFarland got to the lead to win the Early Bird 125.

Josh Hamner crossed the finish line second with a flat right rear tire. 

Here is the unofficial finishing results:

1) #14 Ken McFarland
2) #38 Josh Hamner
3) #x2 Dennis Reno, Jr.
4) #4 Chris Whorton
5) #3 Chris Serio
6) #41 Gary Nix
7) #49 Jeff Fultz
8) #145 Billy Melvin
9) #89 Lee Hansard
10) #11 Clint Folsom
11) #91 Heath Hindman
12) #82 Donnie Wilson
13) #29 Andy Antinoro

Sunday 4:55pm CT (5:55pm ET) - The checkered flag is out.  Ken McFarland has won the Early Bird 125 Super Late Model race.  We are going to head down to victory lane and get reaction from the drivers.  We will be back with a race recap and full results later.

Sunday 4:51pm CT (5:51pm ET) - A major shuffle occurred on the restart as everyone tried to get to the front. Ken McFarland was the one able to wrestle the lead away with Josh Hamner following him through.

There are just 10 laps remaining.

Sunday 4:48pm CT (5:48pm ET) - The GREEN FLAG is out with 106 laps complete. 

Sunday 4:47pm CT (5:47pm ET) - Gary Nix didn't pit, so he will be the leader on the restart.  Jeff Fultz is the first off pit road with Ken McFarland out second.  Josh Hamner came out third and Dennis Reno, Jr. came out fourth with a slow stop. 

Sunday 4:46pm CT (5:46pm ET) - The YELLOW FLAG is out at lap 103 for a water bottle in the groove in turn one.  The whole field is expected on pit road.

Sunday 4:43pm CT (5:43pm ET) - There are just 25 laps remaining in the Early Bird 125. Ken McFarland still leads Dennis Reno, Jr. as the two drivers have pulled away from the rest of the field by a half straightaway.  Gary Nix is third with Jeff Fultz hanging right with him.  Chris Whorton sits fifth.

Sunday 4:37pm CT (5:37pm ET) - Ken McFarland stalked the back bumper of Dennis Reno, Jr. for multiple laps and even drove under him a few times, but it took until lap 80 for McFarland to get far enough around Reno for the lead.

Josh Hamner has seemed to fall off the pace a bit after the pit stop and is now sitting sixth.

Sunday 4:32pm CT (5:32pm ET) - The GREEN FLAG is out with 71 laps complete.  Dennis Reno, Jr. leads Ken McFarland, Chris Whorton, Chris Serio and Josh Hamner.  There are eight cars on the track for this restart.

Sunday 4:31pm CT (5:31pm ET) - Jeff Fultz, Gary Nix, Billy Melvin and Josh Hamner pitted during this yellow.  Hamner beat Fultz off pit road.  Nix has the hood up and is still sitting on pit road.

Sunday 4:30pm CT (5:30pm ET) - The YELLOW FLAG is out at lap 65.  Lee Hansard has slowed and come to a stop in turn four.

Sunday 4:28pm CT (5:28pm ET) - Ken McFarland is taking full advantage of the fresh tires he acquired during the earlier caution, running up to second.

Sunday 4:21pm CT (5:21pm ET) - The GREEN FLAG is out with 46 laps complete.

Sunday 4:20pm CT (5:20pm ET) - The YELLOW FLAG is out at lap 44 as Clint Folsom has backed his car into the turn three wall hard.  He was able to drive away, but there is extensive damage to the back of his car.

The top five remains the same from the restart a lap prior.

Sunday 3:58pm CT (4:58pm ET) - The GREEN FLAG is out with 43 laps complete with Dennis Reno, Jr. leading Josh Hamner, Jeff Fultz, Chris Whorton and Chris Serio.

Sunday 4:17pm CT (5:17pm ET) - A few of the drivers in the back of the field have made pitstops.  The only driver up towards the front of the field to make a stop was Ken McFarland from the third spot.

Officials said Heath Hindman’s oil cooler was broken, so he is done for the day.

Sunday 4:13pm CT (5:13pm ET) - The YELLOW FLAG is out with 39 laps completed.  There is reports of fluids on the track and the officials are going to check the track to make sure everything is ok.  Just a few laps prior to the caution, officials were looking at Heath Hindman’s car as it was smoking going into the corners.

Current top five at the yellow: 1) Dennis Reno, Jr., 2) Hamner, 3) Ken McFarland, 4) Jeff Fultz, 5) Chris Whorton

Sunday 4:07pm CT (5:07pm ET) - 25 laps are in the books and we have green for all 25.  The field has spread themselves out a bit and Josh Hamner has been able to move his way into the second position.

Top five: 1) Dennis Reno, Jr., 2) Hamner, 3) Ken McFarland, 4) Jeff Fultz, 5) Chris Whorton

Sunday 4:01pm CT (5:01pm ET) - Ken McFarland used the high lane to get the early jump on Dennis Reno, taking the lead for the first few laps, but Reno stalked McFarland and took the lead at lap three.

During the first five laps, Donnie Wilson was black flagged for fluids coming out of his car.  He has made it to pit road.

Sunday 3:57pm CT (4:57pm ET) - The GREEN FLAG is out.  We will update as we can.

Sunday 3:53pm CT (4:53pm ET) - Early problems for Andy Antinoro. Before the green flag, his car is having ignition issues.  His car is now back in the pit area as the field circles the track ready for the green flag.

Sunday 3:50pm CT (4:50pm ET) - The cars have been fired and are on their pace laps.  The green flag will come out momentarily.

Sunday 3:45pm CT (4:45pm ET) - A few notes before the start of the race.

Billy Melvin said he is down on power, but is just going to ride around and watch the race, hoping to make a move later in the event.

Jeff Fultz took a few laps on the track at the back of the Open Wheel Modified feature in his Super Late Model.  We checked with Fultz during driver introductions.  They had to change a carburetor on his car and was making sure it was ok to go.

Josh Belter loaded up his car and headed home for unknown reasons.  Belter didn't make a qualifying attempt yesterday either after practice.  That means 13 cars will start the Early Bird 125.

Sunday 3:30pm CT (4:30pm ET) - Seven cars started the wild 30-lap Mini Modified feature.  When it ended it was Lee Streetman taking the checkered flag in a Ford Pinto, the first time that car make has entered victory lane since 1995.

Driver introductions are next for the Super Late Model feature.

Sunday 2:45pm CT (3:45pm ET) - During a late caution in the Open Wheel Modified feature, Roger Wood, Jr., who was dominating the nine-car race, stopped in turn four

Sunday 2:45pm CT (3:45pm ET) - During a late caution in the Open Wheel Modified feature, Roger Wood, Jr., who was dominating the nine-car race, stopped in turn four to have officials check under his car for possible fluids coming out.  After it appeared to not be an issue, Wood resumed his spot at the front of the field on the restart and went on to win the 30-lap feature.

Next up is the 30-lap Mini Modified feature.

Sunday 2:10pm CT (3:10pm ET) - 10 cars took the green flag for the 30-lap Limited Sportman division feature.  A few cautions for single-car spins slowed the action, but at the conclusion of the race it was Roger Cain taking the victory.

The 30-lap Open Wheel Modified feature will begin momentarily.

Sunday 1:45pm CT (2:45pm ET) - Jarred Washington won the 20-lap Renegade feature.  Six cars started the race.

The 30-lap Limited Sportsman division feature is rolling around the track now about to take the green flag.

Sunday 1:25pm CT (2:25pm ET) - A total of 13 cars started the 20-lap Mini Stock feature.  In the end, it was Mike Collins taking the checkered flag.

The 20-lap Renegade race is up next.

Sunday 12:50pm CT (1:50pm ET) - The first feature, the 20-lap Mini Stock race, has made their way to the front stretch.  The National Anthem is just moments away with the Mini Stock feature to follow.

Sunday 12:40pm CT (1:40pm ET) - Chris Serio is cautiously optimistic about today's race.  He said that his car wasn't completely up to speed yesterday and they might be fighting a bent clip, but he is going to give it his all today and hope for the best.

Sunday 12:35pm CT (1:35pm ET) - The driver's meeting has concluded and the drivers and teams are preparing for the features to start here shortly.

WIth only 14 Super Late Models in attendance for the Early Bird 125, many might think the mood here is a bit down.  That isn't the case though as the drivers and the track officials are excited for the racing action that will take place today.

Sunday 11:40am CT (12:40pm ET) - The driver's meeting is about to start.  We are going to head down and listen to the words for the day.

Sunday 11:15am CT (12:15pm ET) - While we are waiting for the action to start on the track, we checked out the pace car.  A local Toyota dealership has jumped on board with the revitalization of Birmingham International Raceway by sponsoring the pace car, a Toyota Camry painted with colors similiar to Tony Stewart's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car.

Sunday 11:00am CT (12:00pm ET) - Here is today's starting lineup for the Super Late Model Early Bird 125.  Note: Ken McFarland elected to start on the outside row (pole-setter's choice):

Early Bird 125 SLM Starting Grid
1st ) #14 - Ken McFarland
2nd ) #x2 - Dennis Reno, Jr.
3rd ) #38 - Josh Hamner
4th ) #82 - Donnie Wilson
5th ) #4 - Chris Whorton
6th ) #41 - Gary Nix
7th ) #91 - Heath Hindman
8th ) #49 - Jeff Fultz
9th ) #29 - Andy Antinoro
10th ) #3 - Chris Serio
11th ) #89 - Lee Hansard
12th ) #145 - Billy Melvin
13th ) #11 - Clint Folsom
14th ) #16 - Josh Belter

Sunday 10:30am CT (11:30am ET) - It is a great morning here at Birmingham International Raceway (AL) for the Early Bird 125 Super Late Model event.  Unlike yesterday, the sun has been popping out between clouds and the weather is a bit warmer.  It looks like it is going to be a great day of racing action.

Here is today’s schedule:

10am – Pit gate opens
11am – Church service
11:45am – Driver’s meeting
12:30pm – Mini Stocks line up on front stretch (first feature race)
12:55pm – National Anthem
1:00pm – Racing action
> 20-lap Mini Stock (20-min limit)
> 20-lap Renegade (20-min limit)
> 30-lap Limited Sportsman (30-min limit)
> 30-lap Open Wheel Modified
> 30-lap Mini Modified (30-min limit)
> 125-lap Early Bird 125 Super Late Model feature

In the Early Bird 125, caution laps will count, but the last five laps will be under green flag conditions.

NOTE: Birmingham International Raceway is located in the Central Time Zone.  All updates will be based off local track time.
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The new Pace Car here at BIR is sporting NASCAR driver Tony Stewart's colors.
Ken McFarland's car is seeing something today that it didn't yesterday: the sun.
Chris Serio's car gets the finall check-over by his crew before the start of the Early Bird 125.
The drivers get their final instructions by the officials during the driver's meeting.
Mike Collins won the 20-lap Mini Stock feature.
Jarred Washington took the victory in the 20-lap Renegade feature.
In the Limited Sportman class, it was Roger Cain taking the checkered flag first.
Roger Wood, Jr. went to victory lane in the Open Wheel Modified feature event.
Lee Streetman took a Pinto to victory lane in the Mini Modified race.
Ken McFarland sharing victory lane with his spotter for the race, NASCAR legend Red Farmer.
Josh Hamner crossed the finish line with a flat right rear tire.
Ken McFarland went and did doughnuts in the football field after winning the Early Bird 125.