Updated - Sunday, October 18th, 12:45pm ET
Abilene Speedway (TX) - Another beautiful day greeted racers, teams and fans for the second day of the Ryan Bard Memorial, Southern Challenge. Several new drivers and teams signed in for the IMCA classes, along with 20+ cars for the Young Guns, Jr. Mini Stock Championship.
Young Guns Director, Tony Hernandez stepped up for the safety of his kids making a trip to Paul LaPaires rollover simulator mandatory. Great Move on his part to prepare his kids in case of emergency.
Two drivers, opted to try to re-qualify with Trevor Egbert dropping his Big B-Main starting spot in the IMCA Modifieds, and Tim Clonch giving up his in the IMCA Southern SportMods.
Jeremey Gossett locked up the outside front row for Sunday’s Big A-Main taking the Saturday A-Qualifier. Gossett, who led flag to flag, didn’t have it easy as he had to hold off a former IMCA Modified Rookie of the Year, Trevor Egbert, who pressures him all race long.
At the drop of the green on the 20-lap, 20-car IMCA Modified A-Main Qualifier, Gossett jumped out front, with Trevor Egbert getting second from cousin, P J Egbert. As P J Egbert fell back on the high side, Varion Sisson took third with Austin Huskey moving up to fourth. P J Egbert spun off the top of turn 1 to bring out the yellow on lap 1.
Once back to green the field stayed in line, until T. Egbert began looking inside J. Gossett on the bottom. T. Egbert then took a peek on the high side the following lap before settling in. As the battle calmed, J. Gossett and T. Egbert inched away from Sisson and Huskey.
Huskey then began to put the heat on Sisson as the race came to halfway showing J. Gossett, T. Egbert, Sisson, Huskey and Philip Houston in the top five with T. Egbert again looking for way around J. Gossett. In the pack Chris Elliott was challenging Bo Briley for sixth as T. Egbert kept the heat on J. Gossett for the lead.
Husdkey found a way past Sisson on lap 14 for third as the top three ran nose to tail. John Gober found himself in trouble after contact with David Elliott on lap 14 bringing out the yellow. Coming to the restart, Sisson jumped out of line going by the restart cone on the wrong side bringing the caution back and sending Sisson to the tail.
On the restart, T. Egbert made a charge on J. Gossett for the lead but couldn’t get the spot. In the fight for the last Big B-Main transfer, Tim Clonch got by Mike McCarthy on lap 16. With two to go, the top three were nose to tail, as battles broke out further back. Coming to the checkers a big stack up shuffled positions for fifth on back as J. Gossett held off T. Egbert the victory.
East Bay Raceway Park (FL) - The first sign of autumn brought cooler temperatures to East Bay Raceway Park Saturday night. Fortunately for the fans the racing on the track was as hot as ever as around 100 cars took to the track for a full night of racing action.
The Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds hit the track first for their 15-lap feature event. Jeff Mathews started on the front row and wasted no time in taking the lead. Mathews won the race in convincing fashion. It was his 10th win of the season in the Gagel’s Open Wheel Modified class. Austin Sanders started 7th and finished 2nd. Brian Hollifield finished 3rd. Bobby Dixon and Shane Burrows rounded out the top-5. Mathews and Tim Gay won the heats.
In the Street Stocks 14 cars were on the track for the 15-lap feature event. Donnie Reed is the points leader and Buck Skinner has the most feature wins with 8 in the class this season. Skinner and Reed were battling for position in the early laps when the Reed vehicle spun collecting Skinner. They were forced to the back of the field turning the lead over to James Hook. Once in the lead Hook survived numerous restarts and a late challenge from Donnie Reed to capture his first win of the season. Hook has been close to a victory numerous times this season and was excited to celebrate with family and friends in victory lane. He stated that he was just trying not to spin out. Reed finished 2nd. Thomas Pratt finished 3rd after a strong run. Buck Skinner battled back to a 4th place finish. Tim Spencer, Sr. completed the top 10. Spencer and Reed were victorious in the heat races.
The Q Auto and Injury Attorneys Limited Late Models were in action again with their 15-lap feature event. John Bradley added to his victory total with his class leading 6th victory of the season. He held of the challenge of a very hungry JR Prather, Jr who was looking for his first win of the season. Prather, Jr. finished 2nd. Roger Crouse ran strong and battled for the lead early coming home with a 3rd place finish. Tim Gay and Alex Boerner both regulars in the top 5 this year finished 4th and 5th respectively. Bradley and Crouse won the heat races.
The South Shore Auto Sales Late Models 25-lap feature event saw 24 cars take the green flag at the start of the race. The race should have been called the “Jeff Mathews Show” as Mathews started 3rd and quickly launched his vehicle to the lead. Once in the lead all Mathews had to worry about was the lap traffic. Mathews took the win, which was his 7th in this class of the season. In total Mathews has won 17 feature events this season in two different classes at East Bay. Travis Varnadore ran in the top-5 all night long and finished 2nd. Doug Watson finished 3rd. Philip Cobb battled to a 4th place finish. Mark Haase rounded out the top-5. Haase, Travis Varnadore and Mathews were victorious in the heats.
In the Outlaw 4’s Brian Danforth notched his second win of the season after a late lap pass on Billy Howard.
Matthew Haynes was leading early and spun causing him to go to the rear of the field. Howard finished 2nd. Cecil Martin picked up his 2nd top-5 of the season with his 3rd place finish. Travis Staats and Michael Gulvin rounded out the top-5. Martin and Dan Chambers won the heat events.
Thomas Nelson drove to victory in the Fan Participation Race.
Indianapolis Speedrome (IN) - The World's Home of the Figure 8® has unfortunately had to postpone the racing scheduled for Saturday night October 17th. The decision comes with race time forecasts calling for temperatures in the upper 30's. These unseasonable numbers are almost twenty degrees below the normal averages. The event postponement comes in the best interests of our loyal racers, teams, fans, and track employees. Early forecasts call for a return to regular status as temperatures rise for the week ahead.
This Fall Festival round one, featuring the 10th Annual Stock Snowball 100 Figure 8, is rescheduled for next Saturday October 24th at 7pm. Also on the bill for that event will be the Peters Auto Service Hornets, Roadrunners, Faskarts, and Junior Faskarts.
Orange Show Speedway (CA) - Mark Shackleford called Saturday night’s 100-lap Super Late Model main event “absolutely insane” and it would be hard to quarrel with that description.
John Manke won the race, Shackleford won the championship when Linny White’s car rolled to a stop with two laps to go, there were 10 caution flags, the electronic scoring quit working for awhile and a good time was had by all at Orange Show Speedway.
White, the 2008 champion, said his bid for a second straight title turned into a case of “championship blues. If there was an accident, I was in the middle of it.” It was damage sustained in some of those incidents that contributed to the motor and rear end problems that left him parked in the infield of the quarter-mile oval while Shackleford was chasing Manke to the finish.
Shackleford, the 2004 champion, had started the double points race 6 points behind White. He finished 14 ahead.
“I feel horrible for Linny White,” he said. “He was better than me all night. My tires went away and I was slipping and sliding all over the place. But hey, I won.”
Manke, the fourth leader, got the top spot on lap 83 when he passed White, who had been sent to the back of the field after an incident just five laps into the race. Following Manke and Shackleford across the line were Barry Karr, early leader Glen Cummings and David Ross.
Earlier, Chad Schug, of Oak Hills, got his first Legends Cars title, but literally had to sweat out the final 7 laps of a 35-lap race won by Cale Kanke, of Granada Hills. Schug, who went into the event 20 points head of Brent Scheidemantle, had his car burst into flames 28 laps into the race. That relegated him to a 12th place finish and Scheidemantle could have won the title by finishing first or second.
Scheidemantle wasn’t in his own car, since that one had been destroyed when the throttle stuck and he hit the wall during Friday night’s practice. Instead, driving the Ford owned by Paul Vitale, of Wildomar, Scheidemantle had to settle for fifth and Schug took the championship by 6 points.
Aaron Anderson, 13, of Lancaster, capped his championship season by winning the 20-lap Bandolero main. Anderson, who won the California state title and stands sixth nationally in the Young Guns (11-14) division, was followed to the finish by Ryan Cansdale, 10, of Laguna Beach, who is No. 1 in the state and No. 4 in the nation in the Bandit (8-11) category.
Points leader Christian Copley, of Santa Ynez, got his Chevrolet to the front on the opening lap and never was headed in winning the 35-lap SouthWest Tour Truck race over Dalton Kuhn, of Vista, and Jeff Williams, of Newbury Park.
The three-quarter or TQ Midgets of the National Midget Racing Association made their only appearance of the year at the speedway and West Evans, of Clovis, took the 25-lap main event over Scott Dobson, of Newbury Park, who won the championship. The race, which capped the 17-race season, was the only one of the year on a paved oval.
Harry Kuenniger, of San Bernardino, brought the night to a close by winning the 20-lap Trailer race in his Outlaw Figure 8 car.
Rockford Speedway (IL) - James Swan took flight tonight at the Rockford Speedway, pacing a field of almost 200 cars in setting fast time and collecting the Short Track News Fast Qualifier Award at the 18th annual Bahama Bracket Nationals. On a chilly October day, Swan was blazing fast, laying down a blistering lap of 14.333 seconds to top a field of 150 bracket cars. In addition to that, 44 Hornets took to the track as Brad Chandler set the mark to beat with a quick time of 17.135 seconds. 30 races were conducted as most of the field was set for tomorrow's Bahama Bracket 50-lap feature events.
The racing action at the Bahama Bracket Nationals is different from most events seen throughout the year, as cars from all divisions qualify and are then placed into brackets based on their qualifying times. After the 150 bracket cars qualified, it was James Swan topping the field and pacing the 'A' Bracket as each racing machine was placed into one of four brackets according to their time trials.
Throughout the evening, the action was intense on the high-banked quarter mile, as cars that were evenly matched duked it out for the opportunity to cement themselves into the feature field. Each bracket had four heat races as the top four drivers locked themselves into the 50-lap main events tomorrow, earning the chance to potentially win a trip to the Bahamas.
Teams that missed out on their chance to advance through the heat race battled their counterparts in the 15-lap Bermuda Bashes, a last chance heat that put two more drivers into tomorrow's feature fields.
Several area tracks were well-represented, as Rockford's own contingent of drivers led the way with 49 attendants for the weekend. The half-mile Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, Indiana had a strong collection of teams on hand, as 42 drivers made the trip. 17 teams that call Cedar Rapids, Iowa's Hawkeye Downs Speedway home journeyed across the Mississippi River to compete.
After a marathon day of racing had come to a close, a few familiar faces loomed large heading into tomorrow's full slate of action. Josh Nelms, fresh off the highlight of his career up to this point, a victory in the Budweiser 200 and the title of 2009 National Short Track Champion, qualified fifth and broke out in the heat race, putting on a display of driving acumen as he looks to add another win to his resume.
James Swan, fast qualifier and a venerable veteran on the Midwest racing scene, looked ready to take home another victory at the Bahama Bracket Nationals. His Big 8 Series compatriot, John Paul Odegaard, looked to defend his 2008 title in the 'A' Bracket, sending a clear message to the field that he was in top form again with a heat race victory.
Those three drivers and over 190 more will be on hand tomorrow looking to take home a TIKI torch, bragging rights, and the chance to make a tough decision of pocketing the winner's purse or selecting a trip to the Bahamas instead. The racing action promises to ratchet itself up a few levels as the Last Chance Events kick off the jam-packed day of excitement at the historic speedplant. Spectator gates open at 10am, with practice getting underway at 10:15am. The green flag will wave at high noon, as the 18th annual Bahama Bracket Nationals heat up with four 50-lap features. The day concludes with the Fabolous Foo Foo Races, 12-lap battles that are fraught with thrills and spills.
The Speed51.com Grassroots Racing Recap showcases the winners of weekly racing events throughout the country in the headlining division(s) of local short tracks.
If you represent a track and would like for your results to be considered for the report, please e-mail your track press releases and/or results to Twist@Speed51.com.
Releases that are well-written and concise will be given priority. Releases where the winners and divisions are mentioned in the opening lines are also much easier to incorporate into this feature and will stand a much better chance of being used. Due to the number of short tracks across the country, we cannot guarantee that every track will get into the report every week, but we will do our best to showcase everyone we can.