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Short Track Roundup (8/20/97)

20 August 1997

Mobile, AL - It's time to once again look back on the happenings on the short tracks for the week that was and it was a fairly busy week. Two big events, the Knoxville Nationals and the 50th Anniversary of Hagerstown Speedway highlight the week's activities.

Sprint car fans had their fill of the action this week as the World of Outlaws Amoco Knoxville Nationals took place over five days at Knoxville Speedway in Iowa. The first night saw Mark Kinser set the fast time in qualifying and then go on to win the Preliminary feature to make the big show. Thursday night it was the "Wild Child", Jac Haudenschild, who made a fabulous run through the field to grab a win in the 'A' Feature. On Friday Gary Wright was the winner in the 'A' feature while Dave Blaney took the win in the 'A' Scramble. Despite all that it would still be Mark Kinser on the pole for the big finale. Everyone was forced to wait a day longer as rain washed out Saturday's proceedings right after the 'C' Feature was held and so it was on to Sunday. Dave Blaney was able to take his first ever Nationals win after Mark and Sammy Swindell got together trying to avoid a wrecked car. For Blaney it marked the second time in seven days that he picked up a $100,000 check as he also won the "Historic Big One" at Eldora the week before. Finishing second to Blaney was Greg Hodnett and third went Danny Lasoski. *** The Nationals were not the only action for the Sprinters this past week, the Empire Super Sprints went to Merrittville Speedway in Thorold, Ontario where Mike Lauterborn beat Graig Lane and points leader Mike Woodring. *** The USAC Silver Crown cars were at the Illinois State Fairgrounds where Dave Darland captured the Tony Bettenhausen Classic ahead of Russ Gamester and Donnie Beechler. *** In midget action, NAMARS held two races, the first at Dixie Motor Speedway in Birch Run, MI where the winner was Jim Hettinger. Ken Nichols and Chris Hayes followed him across the line. At Springport, MI Jimmy McCune took the win as he bested Hettinger and Nichols. *** The SCRA ran at Perris Speedway, CA and the result was a predictable one as Rip Williams took yet another win. Richard Griffin was second and Mike Kirby third. *** At Indianapolis Speedrome the USAC Midgets had Michael Lang taking the laurels with Daryl Campbell and Tim Mehner in the next two spots. *** The Mel Kenyon Classic was held at Indianapolis Raceway Park and Ryan Newman was the winner here as he led Chris Scultz and Jason Leffler to the checkers.

Many of the big names on the dirt Late Model scene were in Hagerstown, MD to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the fabled track. On Wednesday Todd Andrews led off the action by capturing the win in the Richard Bonebrake Memorial. Rick Eckert and Clint Smith were the next two. On Thursday it was the turn of the STARS Late Models to take the track and Donnie Moran was the winner ahead of Andrews and Gary Stuhler. In Friday's Invitational race it was Bill Frye with the win, Billy Moyer was second and Bob Pierce third. Saturday was the big one with the $50,000 top prize going to Donnie Moran. Gary Stuhler and Bart Hartman followed the winner home. *** Ponderosa, KY was another track celebrating an Anniversary, its 25th and Mike Jewell won the big race there. *** Southern Raceway in Milton, FL hosted Rick's Dirt Late Model Series for two races and Mike Head grabbed the win in the first race but the next night had to settle for second as John Stokes took the victory. *** The American Late Model Series made their first Indiana appearance at Brownstown Speedway and Steve Barnett led Mike Jewell and Jim Curry to the finish. *** In the Armadillo Nationals at Lone Star Speedway in Texas Ricky Ingalls was the winner, Ronny Adams finished second and Wendell Wallace was third. *** The National Late Model Sportsman Series went to Penton, AL and Gene Maine became the first three time winner in a single season on the fledgling tour as he beat Cecil Eunice and Billy Godowns Jr. *** Sedalia, MO was the site for MLRA racing and Tony Phillips was the wire-to-wire winner, Al Purkey was second and Gary Gorby third. *** Chris Smyser won the IMCA Deery Bros Summer Series event at Hawkeye Raceway, IA.

On the asphalt racing scene, the ASA cars were at Anderson, IN and Gary St Amant was in Victory Lane with a hard fought win over Rick Beebe and Bob Senneker *** M.K. Kanke took the Southwest Tour win at Colorado National Speedway. David Karst was second and John Metcalf third. *** The Northwest Tour landed in Portland, OR and Gary Harding continued his love affair with the track as he racked up his fourth tour win there. Gary Lewis was second across the line and Greg Biffle third. *** CASCAR was at Cayuga, ONT where Dave Whitlock took the trip to the winner's circle with Dan Shirtliff and Jack Monagham following him home. *** TIDA Late Models raced at Twin Cities, TX and Jay Watson is making a mockery of the series with his fourth consecutive win. David Starr pressured Watson at the end but finished second with Jeremy Thompson third. *** Brian Ross took a trip off the track before coming back on it to win the Indiana Championship Late Model Series stop at Anderson, IN. Brian Rievley and Kenny Tweety were next to the line. *** In the Kalamazoo Klash, Andy Bozell picked up the $10,000 winner's check heading Ken Scheffler and Rich Jackson to the finish. *** At Star Speedway, NH the Busch North tour saw Mike Stefanik take a trip to Victory Lane. Brad Leighton was second and points leader Dave Dion third. *** in USAR SloCup, er, ProCup action at USA International, FL Gene Watson took the win ahead of Tim Edwards and Mario Gosselin. *** Jeff Storm took the MASCS win at Michigan Ideal Speedway beating Bobby Gutknecht and Mike Monroe. *** Hialeah Speedway, FL held the Sportsman Six-Pack and Joe Winchell took the checkers first ahead of Ricky Rogero and Bobby Beauchemin the series points leader.

The NASCAR Winston Racing Series is coming down to the wire with just a month left before the winners are determined. Here are the leaders in the 10 regions around the country. Atlantic Seaboard - Allen Chinners Jr from Summerville, NC; Blue Ridge - Dexter Canipe from Greenville-Pickens, SC; Great West - Bruce Yackey from Colorado National; Heartland - Andy Kirby of Nashville; Mid America - Paul Proksch from LaCrosse, WI; Mid West - Raymond Guss Jr of Farley, IA; New England - Jimmy Broderick from Stafford, CT; Northeast - John Blewitt III Flemington, NJ; Pacific Coast - Robert Hogge from Watsonville, CA; and Sunbelt - Clay Dale of Lanier, GA.

That wraps up our look around the short tracks for this week, but there will be plenty of action at your local track this coming week. Get out and support the racers in your area and you will have a great time. Have a Ball, Ya'll!

John Kaiser - The Autochannel