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Searching the Internet and found a little blurb on Kyle from
The Open Wheel Times by Kevin Eckert, Executive Editor. Scroll down to the
highlighted blue text.
August 23, 2007 Speedway, Indiana: Canada is rising in sprint car power. Within the past
month, the World of Outlaws played to packed houses in Alberta and Ontario.
Though the Southern Ontario Sprints have been recruiting more than a decade, Canadas
impact prior to 2000 was slight. British Columbia conducted a few races for Skagit
regulars. Alberta fed a few cars to Montana, and Manitoba drivers dropped into the Dakotas
a few times per season. Quebec was restricted to single weekends on the autodromes
sanctioned by the United Racing Company or Empire Super Sprints. URC was always astounded
by the adulation they felt from great Granby crowds. ESS kept Ontario happy at
Merrittville, Cornwall and Brockville while venturing to Quebec arenas at Edelweiss and
Rive de Sud. Within the past four years, ESS sanctioned its first races in SOS strongholds
of Ohsweken and South Buxton.
Montreal modified drivers now purchase sprint cars with broken English. Last year, Alain
Bergeron became the first Canadian champion in the 23-year history of ESS. He is now
followed into ESS events by fellow Frenchmen such as Steve Poirier, Michael Parent, Daniel
Lampron, Normand Beaudreault, Kayle Robidoux, David Herbert, Yan Bussiere and Lee
Ladouceur, a rookie in one of four cars owned by Cornwalls Brian McDonald.
Picton, Ontarios Chris Jones, a 358 modified racer who purchased a sprint car from
Poirier, finished fourth at Brighton in his first try. In his ESS debut, Jones finished
fifth from row seven at Brockville followed by an eighth-place at Cornwall.
McDonald, New Hampshires Anthony Cain and Robidoux raced in front of one of
Cornwalls largest crowds in a Sunday race won by New Yorks Jeff VanDusen.
Canastota, New Yorks Tommy Wickham, the 21-year old nephew of former Port Royal
regular Dave Wickham, recorded the first sprint win of his three-year career by parking
his J&J in front of a capacity crowd at Brockville. Toms uncle Dave was seventh
on the Springfield mile with the World of Outlaws in 1982 before winning at Selinsgrove
and Cortland, Ohio.
New Yorks first Dave McLeod Memorial will be at Genesee Speedway on Saturday, August
18. In cooperation with ESS, ASCS Patriots and Southern Ontario Sprints, the McLeod
Memorial will mark the first ESS event in Batavia since 1991.
Lori Flath, daughter of seven-time ESS winner Adrian Flath and wife of six-time winner
Jeff Cook, belted into her husbands spare for Canadian coins at Brockville ($250),
Cornwall ($300 twice), Edelweiss ($375), Granby and Drummond, each of which pay $450 to
start an ESS A-main.
It warms my heart when Australians like Brooke Tatnell and Kerry Madsen get to thrill
Canadian race fans by participating in an American series.
Western Australias Shane Finch basked in his first WoO win circle at Ohsweken with
Jason Sides, and accepted an Australian Sprint Car Poll award for Shane Krikke at the
Indianas Steve Kinser owns more than 850 sprint car checkered flags from America,
Australia and Juarez, Mexico but until Friday in Alberta, had never won in Canada. In
1981, Steve chased Winnipeg winner Sammy Swindells Nance 1n.
North Dakotas Donny Schatz grows stronger every day. His dominance of the Knoxville
Nationals put one in mind of the Kinsers era. Every opponent was tied to the top
except Schatz, who could maneuver wherever he wanted. Donny used the Front Row Challenge
to test a JEI chassis in his first Oskaloosa appearance since a 2004 SCRA ride for Daryl
Saucier. He now has Ricky Warner back and bigger bank from Tony Stewart. Those in his dust
are not sleeping well.
Minnesotas Craig Dollansky toasted fourth ($26,000) in the final party of the
Knoxville Nationals until his children coaxed him to go to bed. Craig and crew chief Mike
Woodring (selling Jeff Cook his first sprint car) took third in Edmonton, Alberta.
Daryn Pittman and Jason Meyers, eight WoO wins between them this season, were surprise
spectators of the Knoxville Nationals final this year. The biggest surprise starters were
Travis Cram and Dion Hindi.
Washingtons Jason Solwold made his third straight Knoxville Nationals final, and
came from row nine to nail seventh Sunday at Edmonton, where won in 1998-2002.
South Dakotas Justin Henderson, passing more cars at the Knoxville Nationals than
anyone, earned eighth in Edmonton on Sunday in the Jolt Rocket.
Since it opened in 1991, Edmontons dirt track has sold naming rights to Labatts,
Budweiser and currently, Castrol. Its first WoO dates were under SLS Promotion from
Wisconsin, which worked hard to weather Saturday rain.
Langley, British Columbias Travis Rutz, St. Albert, Albertas Jeff Hodgson, and
Edmontons Tim Gee got $700 WoO starting money. Sunday was the first WoO A-main for
Tim the former series traveler since Haubstadt 1989.
I remember hitching a ride on Yukon Freight Lines with Tim and dad Gordy Gee in 1988. We
returned from a Wilmot All Star race groggy from lack of sleep, yet Tim did not rest until
he watched the Edmonton Oilers hockey replay.
Hodgson was a snowmobile hill climber (crazy canuck) before stumbling into sprint cars. He
has learned much since the night when he told temporary crew chief Rob Hart that the only
thing that he knew for certain about shock absorbers was that the little ones went on the
front of the car.
LeDuc, Albertas Adams brothers, debuting at Skagit with NSCS last month, were
slowest of 33 World of Outlaw qualifiers Sunday at Edmonton. Cody (24) and Casey (18) run
Maxims for their father Bryan Adams. Cuts like a knife.
Washingtons Chad Hillier, fourth at Edmonton in 1998, debuted in Knoxville 360
Nationals and Knoxville Nationals last summer. Just before this years return,
Hillier lost crew chief Tyler Swank to Terry McCarl.
Niagara Falls, Ontarios Fred Cade, winning his first race at Ohsweken last year,
made his first trip to the Knoxville 360 Nationals but departed for home after a prelim
It was only a matter of time before the Knoxville 360 Nationals exceeded the Knoxville
Nationals in car count. The former drew 112 drivers from 23 states and four countries,
while the latter represented 105 drivers from 25 states and three countries.
There were 29 drivers who did both 360 and 410 Nationals (Jonathan Allard, Billy Alley,
Eric Baldaccini, Brian Brown, Don Droud, Clint Garner, Kaley Gharst, Ben Gregg, Josh
Higday, Jan Howard, Skip Jackson, Johnson (Jason, Wayne and J.D), Ray Allen Kulhanek,
Garry Lee Maier, Tayler Malsam, Randy Martin, Jeff Mitrisin, Rager Phillips, Larry
Pinegar, Jack Potter, Travis Rilat, Natalie Sather, Chris Schmelzle, Nick Smith, Shane
Stewart, T.J Winegardner and Scott Winters) meaning that in a ten-day span, 188 different
drivers rolled through the Marion County Fairgrounds.
From Allison to Zoutte, the other 159 were Anderson, Antill, Armfield, Bakker, Ballou,
Barger, Bartz, Beaver, Becker, Bell, Bennett, Bergman, Blair, Blaney, Blonde, Brahmer,
Bruce, Cade, Campbell, Carlson, Chadd, Chaney, Chapman, Corbin, Cornell, Crall, Cram,
Danley, Deavers, Densley, Dewease, Dobesh, Dobmeier, Dollansky, Dover, Eyler, Farrell,
Felmlee, Fisher, Giannetto, Glennon, Golik, Grosz, Hafertepe, Hagar, three Halls,
Hannagan, Harms, Haudenschild, Hebing, Heimbaugh, Henderson, Heser, Heskin, Hillier,
Hindi, Hockett, Hodnett, Horstman, two Housemans, Howland, Ideus, Ingalls, Ingle, Ishii,
two Jacobs, Jennings, Kaeding, Kearney, Kemenah, King, Kinser, Lambertz, Landis, Landon,
Lasoski, Linder, Logan, Long, Lutar, Lutz, Lynch, Madsen, Maeschen, Martens, two Martins,
Mather, Mayes, McCarl, McMahan, Meyer, Meyers, Michael, Minter, Mock, Moore, Morgan, Moro,
Mosher, Moyer, Mulheim, Neighbors, Norman, Paulus, Pittman, Rahmer, Roberts, Runge,
St.Arnold, Saldana, Schatz, Selenke, Selvage, Shaffer, Shepard, Shepherd, Shilling, Sides,
Sloan, four Smiths, Snyder, Solwold, Sowell, Stewart, Stutts, Sutherland, Swenson,
Tatnell, Thompson, Van Haaften, Vaughn, Wasmund, Weuve, two Whites, Wilson, Wimmer, Wolfe,
Wright, Yeager, Young and Zomer.
Californias Tyler Spath, part of the first wingless Bandit tour of 2005, stopped at
a wingless 360 event at Eagle, Nebraska on the evening prior to the Tournament of
Champions and Front Row Challenge.
Kasey Kahne adjusted his agenda on the fly. Initially, he was to race the Sage Fruit
basket in the Front Row Challenge. Then it rained. The four Kahnes huddled and opted to
leave. Pitted at the Dodge dealership in Knoxville, Kasey cleaned his T&E trailer and
posed for the occasional picture. Jac Haudenschild was parked there too, and I joked to
Kasey how Haud needed a ride for the Ultimate Challenge. They did go to Oskaloosa but only
to see their Mopar boys Brady Bacon and Kevin Swindell. More rain. Now it was decided that
Kasey should drive in the Nationals for the first time in four summers. Had he been able
to qualify Wednesday at Knoxville and Friday at Watkins Glen, Saturday and Sunday races
were feasible. Then it rained again. Kahnes qualifying night now moved to Friday,
rendering it no longer feasible. Kasey will race his sprint in his own fundraiser with
Tony Stewart at Skagit on Wednesday, August 29, and may prep by flying from Bristol to
Grays Harbor on August 26.
Ricky Im just a sign painter from Carlisle Warner, winning seven of 32
for Kahne and Saldana between Knoxville National trophies with Schatz, reminded how these
Nationals were the first in decades that British Columbias Frank Carr (Jimmys
dad) was not present with a bowl of rum-soaked fruit. Rick blames Franks fruit for
causing Smoke to soil himself on his way to winning Watkins Glen in 2005.
Hawaiis Larry Woodward, once fielding an Ascot Park ride for Buster Venard, peeled
the wings from Brooke Tatnells ride and flew Mike Spencer from Los Angeles to Des
Moines for an Ultimate rainout between Spencer wins at Perris and Santa Maria.
Decatur, Illinois racer Kaley Gharst won his Knoxville 360 Nationals prelim, won the
pre-Nationals 410 feature, and took the Tournament of Champions to give Gharst eleven wins
and the Southern Iowa Speedweek point lead. Eighth at East Bay this winter in his first
wingless adventure, Kaley was ready to go topless again. Then it rained. Kaleys car
owner Bruce Williams and crewman Scott Ritchart readied a second Maxim for Western
Australias Ryan Farrell, fourth-place finisher at Oskaloosa. In 1984, Ritchart won
at Knoxville for Gil Sonner and made his only Nationals final.
Rain made the Front Row Challenge a mud bog. Drunken barefoot girls swaying to sounds from
the mobile Dingus kicked the week off right! It has become tradition for wingless stars to
party through a winged race before their guaranteed $30,000 jackpot.
Brad Sweet, following Bud Kaeding into Adam Mains car for 360 Nationals, hot lapped
at Oskaloosa as teammate to Hunter Schuerenberg and Truckers 24-hour servicemen.
Sweet found a spot in Keith Kunz midgets like those in which he led Gas City and his first
Shane Cottle, dropping a $10,000 MSCS victory to Schuerenberg at Haubstadt, won at Kokomo,
formed a Pace team with Dave Darland for Oskaloosa, and boarded a Beast fielded by Pace
crew chief Daryl Saucier to win Gas Citys midget meet. This weekend, Cottle lassoed
the Larry Cannon Memorial at Danville and finished fifth in the Tony Bettenhausen with the
Larry Contos champ car.
Jon Stanbrough, parking Foxco 53 after it exploded in the lead for $10,000 at Haubstadt,
was at Oskaloosa to pilot for Peterbilt of Northwest Ohio. During the Indiana Midget Week
doubles, Jon jockeyed Bob Parkers troublesome midget and the sprint of the Baldwin
brothers, who also had a champ car for Stanbrough at Springfield. After winning for
Baldwin at Kamp and Kokomo, Stanbrough raised his season total to 25, four more wins than
second-best Rod George in western Pennsylvania.
Ultimate Challenge awaited an ultimate storm. Even as drivers were meeting, crews loaded
cars and braced for the inevitable. When it refused to rain right away, hot laps came due.
Monday mud had been pushed aside. A cursory spray from a balky water truck was too little
too late. Dust reminded me of afternoon photos from the Iowa State Fair circa 1982. A
second splash accomplished little. When rain arrived with vengeance, it proved a futile
dance. For the first time in seven summers, Oskaloosa would host no wingless sprint race.
Remarkable that in Knoxville, where cell phones scarcely worked a few years ago, people
now hold weather maps in their hand.
Wednesday was as hard as rain can fall. Two inches in twenty minutes was one report. Water
was over the hiking boots that had given me grip amid Osky muck. Jason Sides offered a
pair of flip flops, and went so far as to dry my boots in the sun, once that appeared.
Such southern hospitality Judy Sides did instill.
Tim Kaeding was at Oskaloosa ready to fly a sprint car without wings for the second time.
The first produced a Tulare red flag (2004) for Beef Packers. After taking the last
transfer into the last race of the Nationals ($7000), topless Tim and the McMillens became
more than an Osky tease by scoring second and third in all five Bandit races at Greenwood,
South Coffeyville, Creek County and Kansas City.
Duke McMillen, winning 11 of 21 at Chico with Tim Kaeding in 2001, has a glorious wingless
history with jockeys like Johnny Tiner, Jimmy Sills, Nick Rescino, Mike Wasina, Jan
Opperman, Leroy VanConett and Johnny Anderson, who won a prelim to the 1979 Western World
When he upset USAC at the Eldora opener, Californias Robert Ballou seemed in store
for a stellar rookie campaign. Yet in his next 28 starts, Robert saw no more wins.
Knoxville Nationals illustrated that wingless regulars like Robert, Jesse Hockett and Neil
Shepherd twitch too much at the worlds biggest wing ding. Tour N Topless on
the other hand, ended with Ballou bagging three wins in a row. Starting tenth in the first
410 feature ever at Creek County, he had the lead in five laps to win $4000. Robert then
wrapped a sweep of Kansas City with a $10,000 win in a Don Ott Maxim. Another $2000 came
for tying Tim Kaeding for best five-night run.
If there were an award for worst looking car at the Knoxville Nationals, the flat black
tail with soapy white number 81 would have won in a walk. A year after lifting
the Pace USAC team to ninth at Nationals, Nebraskas Don Droud stuck Marty
Johnsons car in another final. Junior ran both sprint classes at Greenwood before
finishing fifth at Kansas City for Jack Yeley, defending 10k winner with Brad Sweet.
Damion Gardner, attending Knoxville Nationals with his Pace makers Bob Curtis and Matt
Hummel to help Shane Stewart, crashed in the TNT opener at Greenwood. Gardner flipped
again at Creek, cut a left rear tire in second with four laps left at Lakeside, and
salvaged tenth from the ninth row of the Ron Shuman Classic. Wishing to assimilate, he
obtained a DRC but is such a stubborn Demon regarding set-up that his rookie USAC season
has been a bust. Dennis Roths recent purge to JEI found Damion acquiring an
ex-Lasoski Eagle that he has yet to race.
Jerry Coons, a Creek County racer with Berl Whittemores midget (1994) and Barry
Grabels sprint car (ASCS Speedweek 1995), returned with a Richard Hoffman sprint car
that was eliminated in a Boat accident. Bidding the Bandits farewell, Coons came 550 miles
overnight to carry his USAC midget lead into Macon and wheel the Weirich champ car at
Arizonas R.J Johnson was rained out at Oskaloosa and opened with a sixth-place peak
for the week at Greenwood. The big news out of Phoenix is that Johnsons car owner
Bob Martin has purchased Manzanita Speedway. Bob is a good guy and true race fan who wants
the best for his beloved Manzy.
Norman, Oklahomas Danny Jennings tried his ninth Knoxville 360 Nationals but after
falling seven spots short of his prelim final, bounced 550 miles home to his two Oklahoma
City classes. Fourth in Creek Countys wingless ASCS activity in 2003, Danny became a
Bandit for Ken Kantor, who had his XXX rated obscene by Brandon Wimmer during a Nationals
B-main disaster. Matt Rossi ran over Kantors car at Creek. Next night at OKC,
Jennings took third with two barrels and first against ASCS Sooners with an injected
Tulsas Cody Cordell, micro manager that won a wingless two-barrel sprint show at
South Coffeyville three months ago, made its Bandit feature in the first 410 race ever at
Mid-America Motor Speedway.
Gary Taylor, a Washington native who relocated to Colorado, took on Indiana Midget Week
and Tour N Topless. After an SMRS midget win at Central Missouri Speedway, Taylor
tackled USAC fourth at Kamp. Coffeyville accounted for Garys first wingless 410
start since SCRA ran Hollywood Hills in 2004. Ninth at Creek County, Taylor crashed Friday
at Lakeside and raced Saturday in Cody Cordells car.
Ohios Ricky Williams, fifth at Lawrenceburg and eighth at Bloomington as a 2007
sprint rookie, made his Bandit debut by winning Fridays B-main at Kansas City.
Dave Darland and Mat Neely departed Springfield too late to compete in Kansas City heat
races. Instead, they tagged a qualifier (twin heats basically) and the B-main. Dave drove
Truckers Ten from row eleven to seventh. Levi Jones was slated to drive Jeff
Walkers second car (Cowboy Clayton reclaimed his saddle) but given the late hour and
sting of losing Springfield, Levi skipped the trip.
The third annual O'Reilly Sprint Bandit TNT Midwest Swing saw 20 of 68 drivers compete all
five nights: Ballou, Chad Boat, Charles Davis, Droud, Tony Everhart, Gardner, Hockett,
Johnson, Kaeding, Cory Kruseman, Mike Leslie, Jesse Mack, Bret Mellenberndt, Mat Neely,
Schuerenberg, Shepherd, Brady Short, Casey Shuman, Michael Trimble and Cole Whitt.
Jesse Hockett, taking a 360 to Salem to save his 410 for Oskaloosas $30,000, grew
better from fifth at Coffeyville to fourth at Creek and third in the Ron Shuman Classic
that announced Jesse to America in 2003. Sunday at Sedalia, Hockett ran a WOW 360 in the
68th start of his sprint season.
Cory Kruseman, a Kentucky winner of a program that hospitalized Daron Clayton and Chad
Boespflug, delivered three sprint cars to Oskaloosa (Trimble and Austin Mero were pupils)
and acquired a 71 midget that was transported 300 miles down river to
Belleville, Illinois. In the 153rd St. Clair Fair, Kruseman (Gary Scelzi 41) finished
fourth in the Arnold Knepper Memorial.
Kevin Swindell, absent from Knoxville Nationals for the first time in three summers, had
as good an Indiana Midget Week as his Indiana Sprintweek was bad. Second at Kamp and
Kokomo, Kevin captured his first USAC win on dirt at Lawrenceburg. Mom and dad remained in
Iowa where Sam helped Sam Hafertepe become rookie of the year. Amy revealed that Sammy
declined Davey Rays offer of the Mecum midget for Sun Prairie.
There is probably some devout reason why no Swindell has ever raced at Angell Park.
My dedication to the Knoxville Nationals was never tested more than the Belle-Clair Fair
followed by four nights of sprints and midgets on four Indiana bullrings. Then it rained
enough in Iowa to float a cooler, followed by the weakest racing in recent memory.
Beyond the dwindling 410 fields, there is concern to update Nationals handicapping. The
days of drivers getting from tenth to fourth in a ten-lap heat are all but extinct. Were
ticket buyers happy to see Ben Gregg and Bob Weuve win heats? Perhaps by reducing wings to
16 feet, passing will increase and make the ten invert a moot point.
Change comes slow to the Knoxville Nationals. For the first 14 years, no one transferred
from anything. In 1974, Larry Kirkpatrick and Doc Dawson became the first to progress from
B-to-A. It took another 12 years for third and fourth-place to lift John Stevenson and
Marlon Jones into an A. After 47 years, it is time to grant more than two transfers from
the C. Kerry Madsen and Jason Meyers would have bettered the B-main.
Mississippis Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ascended from D (2004) to C (2005) to B (2006)
during Knoxville Nationals while finishing fourth in its 360 Nationals of 2005. He
followed an Indiana Midget Week win at Kokomo with his first winged race in five months.
Reunited with the J&J in which he ravaged Ohio Speedweek 2006, Stenhouse led Sharon
until the 50-lap distance proved too far. USAC boss Tony Stewart was on hand to race a
modified. Saturday saw Stenhouse steer their Chevrolet Maxim champ car first under the
checkered after 75 of 100 scheduled miles. At 19 years, 10 months and 16 days, Stenhouse
became youngest to ever win a Tony Bettenhausen 100 that is 47 years old. Eleven grand was
the events first five-figure check since Chuck Gurney and Junior Kurtz netted
$13,600 in 1985. Mario Andretti and Andy Granatelli grossed $10,200 for their 1969
Bettenhausen 100 win.
Bettenhausen has been gone since 1961 Indianapolis 500 practice, but champ cars racing
around the Illinois State Fairgrounds for 27 years before that tragedy. Billy Winn (1934),
Rex Mays (40), Ted Horn (48), Johnnie Parsons (49), Bill Schindler
(52) and Johnny Thomson (58) were winners of what became the Bettenhausen 100.
Saturdays Springfield qualifying was 16 cars old when rain arrived. After two and a
half hours, an ARCA truck race began at 2:45pm. USAC used practice times to set the
largest field of champ cars (39) ever on dirt. Wet weather at Orlando in 2000 accounted
for a 43-car collection that remains the biggest in Silver Crown history.
Practice laps assembled the first all-Illinois front row in 73 years of Springfield champ
cars. Levi Jones became the first Land of Lincoln racer to claim the Bettenhausen pole
(118mph) since his crew chief Bubby Jones did it in 1978. Outside the Olney Outlaw was
Saybrooks Mitch Wissmiller, who won a heat the previous evening at Danville. Levi
led 28 miles, then hounded Stenhouse so hard that his right rear tire shredded two laps
from the prescribed checkered.
Springfields grandstand was to be vacated by 4:30 to prepare for Joe Walsh, author
of albums like The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get; So What; You Bought It: You Name
It; and Got Any Gum? Only at the Illinois State Fair could the same grandstand seat allow
one to watch living legends like Roger Rager and Joe Walsh.
Johnny Parsons, posting seconds at Springfield for Tassi Vatis (76) and Gene Nolen
(89), fourth for Bob Kammerer (95) and sixth for Steve Chrisman (94),
also ran the Bettenhausen 100 for Carl Gehlhausen (74), Ray Smith (79) and
Richard Snell in 1983. Sixth on Saturday when the 62-year old became leader in Springfield
Silver Crown starts (25) was his best in nine Bettenhausens for Ricky Nix of Benton,
Be it champ car, midget or sprint, Springfield's Donnie Beechler has always been amazing.
In only his fifth race in three years, Donnie finished ninth on the mile Saturday.
Pennsylvanias Ray Bull, fighting for six straight midget titles (2000-2005) against
ARDC, debuted a Mega Motorsports champ car last summer at Springfield and DuQuoin.
Starting it in Saturdays 16th row, Ray ranked 13th after 75 miles.
A.J Fike raced USAC champ car and ARCA stock car in successive Springfield afternoons.
Josh Wise turned some of ARCAs fastest practice laps before crashing.
Jon Stanbrough flipped at Springfield and collected Chris Urish, Mike Hess and Dickie
Gaines, who drove for hometown boy Scott Long. Hess had his fuel cell split and erupt in
flames that severely burned Mikes machine and the cars of Gaines and Urish. A few
hours later, Longs sprint car crossed second in at Mount Vernon driven by Alex
Bob Galas, winning the Tony Bettenhausen 100 with Gary Bettenhausen in 1983, was forced to
surrender USAC number 12 after 20 years. For the sake of Roger Penskes
development program, Billy Wease cannot look like Ryan Newman if he is handed number 112.
Bobs driver Saturday was Hud Cone, who hustled 150 miles to Mount Vernon only to get
wrecked in the B.
Murphysboro, Illinois veteran Randy Bateman started the Bettenhausen 100 and made it to
Mount Vernon in time to transfer from the second heat. When the former I-57 Raceway took
rubber, Randy finished fourth in his finest run in ten years.
Mitchell, Indianas Kevin Briscoe, winning at least 125 times since 1988 at Haubstadt
(46), Bloomington (32), Lawrenceburg (20), Paragon (9), North Vernon (6), Putnamville (3),
Brownstown (3), Loogootee, Terre Haute and Kentucky tracks at Bardstown and McHenry,
earned his first Illinois victory since 1996 on Red Hill. Saturdays win at Jefferson
County (K&L or I-57) was the first by the Briscoe Homes Foxco Stealth since last
summers KISS card at Paragon.
Shane Stewart, an Oklahoma native now residing in Indianapolis, has 66 wins in a 15-year
career that has touched 159 tracks in 33 of the United States, five Australian
territories, New Zealand and one Canadian province from Washington at Grays Harbor and
Skagit to Oregon at Lebanon, Cottage Grove and Medford; California at Chico, Calistoga,
Tulare, Hanford, Bakersfield, Perris and Ventura; Las Vegas, Nevada; Arizona at Manzanita
and Tucson; New Mexico at Las Cruces and Hollywood Hills; Denver, Colorado; Billings,
Montana; Winnipeg, Manitoba; North Dakota at Fargo, Bismarck and Grand Forks; South Dakota
at Huron, Winner, Sioux Falls and Jefferson; Nebraska at Greenwood, Eagle, Beatrice,
Butler County and McCool Junction; Kansas at Belleville, Wichita, Topeka, Mayetta, Kansas
City, Pleasanton, Salina, WaKeeney, Dodge City, Jetmore and two Hutchinson tracks; his own
Sooner State at Muskogee, Pocola, Salina, Creek County, Oklahoma City, Lawton and two
Tulsa tracks; Texas at Lubbock, Amarillo, Wichita Falls, Fort Worth, Devils Bowl, Kilgore
and three Houston tracks; Louisiana at Union Hill and Champion Park; Arkansas at
Texarkana, Little Rock, Yellville, Batesville and West Memphis; Mississippi at Tunica and
Magnolia;Tennessee at two Memphis tracks, Bulls Gap and Bristol; Missouri at Benton,
Farmington, Pevely, Lake Ozark, Sedalia, Cameron, Bolivar, West Plains and two Joplin
tracks; Iowa at Davenport, Oskaloosa, Knoxville and Corning; Minnesota at Jackson,
Arlington, Princeton and Redwood Falls; Wisconsin at Cedar Lake, Superior, Oshkosh,
Plymouth, Beaver Dam and Wilmot; Illinois at Joliet, LaSalle, Farmer City, Jacksonville
and Granite City; Kentucky at Calvert City and Florence; Indiana at Lawrenceburg,
Bloomington, Haubstadt, Terre Haute, Putnamville and Kokomo; Michigan at Lake Odessa and
Hartford; Ohio at Fremont, Attica, Lima, Eldora, Waynesfield, Chillicothe, Portsmouth,
Hilltop Orrville and Sharon; Pennsylvania at Mercer, Franklin, Lernerville, Bedford, Port
Royal, Selinsgrove, Williams Grove, Susquehanna and Grandview; New York at Rolling Wheels,
Fulton, Fonda and Lebanon Valley; Hagerstown, Maryland; Charlotte, North Carolina;
Talladega, Alabama; Florida at Volusia County, Putnam County and East Bay; Western
Australia at Perth and Bunbury; Queensland at Brisbane and Toowoomba; South Australia at
Murray Bridge, Mount Gambier and Adelaide; Victoria at Warrnambool, Avalon, Echuca and
Mildura; New South Wales at Wagga Wagga and Parramatta City; and Mount Maunganui, New
Winning twin $10,000 prizes with a Ron Shaver 360 at Skagit and Knoxville, Shane Stewart
and crew chief Paul Silva sat fourth with four laps left in their 410 prelim when a Shaver
410 went up in smoke. Shane took the backdoor into his seventh straight final. Wednesday
on the third Hartford track in Stewarts experience, I-90 amounted to the sixth win
in nine 360 starts for the Doyle Harley-Davidson riders. Victory photos are enhanced by
Silvas girl Lori Organ, daughter of the final winner in West Sacramento history in
Friday on the Jackson Speedway where he debuted with Terry Brown in 1996, Stewart touched
wheels with second-place Scott Winters, spun 360 degrees and finished sixth, which became
fifth pending the annual disqualification of Chuck Swenson. Last summer, Swenson was
stripped of the Tournament of Champions. This year, it was the Jackson Nationals.
X is too often Swensons score rather than car number. He should be
inspected on arrival.
Minnesotas Jackson Nationals has assumed many forms in 29 years. The first five were
wingless 317 events. In 1983, it expanded to winged 430s like the Doug Howells four driven
by Danny Smith to second behind Rocky Hodges (Sonner 47) in 1983 and Bobby Davis (Suiter
18) in 1984. The 89 Nationals split 410s and 360s into separate races and by 1990,
it was solely a 360 show.
Gary DeWall (91) won $2000, Lou Kennedy (95) netted $3000 and Doug
Wolfgangs WISSOTA 360 took $4000 in 1996, which was $5000 less than he grossed with
a Davey Brown 410 at the Jackson Nationals of 1985. Before rain arrived, the 2007 Jackson
Nationals was to pay the same $5000 that Marv DeWall won in 1979.
My only Jackson Nationals was in 1988 with Rich Bubak, who fell three spots shy of the
final in a Challenger owned by Dave Thorpe. Twenty years later, Thorpe helps Chad Boat and
Bubak (observing the 2007 Knoxville Nationals) races any class Colorado National has to
Sacramentos Ken Woodruff, winning the 84 Jackson Nationals with Bobby Davis
and 97 Knoxville Nationals with Dave Blaney, nudged Natalie Sather into the A-main
of her Knoxville prelim. Nevertheless, he did not bring her back for the final. Natalie
notched ninth in the Jackson Nationals.
Grain Valley, Missouris Brian Brown, opening the Knoxville 360 Nationals by flipping
himself and Randy Martin, made his first 410 final at Nationals assisted by
Australias Brendan Telfer, toolman to Max Dumesny. In the Johnson 27, Brown bagged
fourth in the Jackson Nationals. Back on his Yeagers Harley-Davidson 21, Black
Jack was paid for winning the Missouri State Fair race for a third straight summer.
IMCA, NSCA, WoO, WOW, All Star and NCRA winners at the Missouri State Fair include Jud
Larson (1956), Arizonas Bob Cleberg (59), Californias Porky Rachwitz
(60), Arnold Knepper (61), Bobby Unser (62), Al Unser (63), Greg
Weld (64), Jim Moughan (66), Grady Wade (68), Earl Wagner (71),
David James (72), Jan Opperman (75), Sonny Smyser (77), Gene Gennetten
(78), Shane Carson (78-79), Randy Smith (79), Mike Brooks (81),
Tim Green (81-82), Bobby Davis (83), Rick Ungar (84), Ron Shuman
(85), Sammy Swindell (85), Mike Trent (92), Danny Smith (93),
Danny Lasoski (94), Rickey Hood (94), Gary Wright (96), Garry Lee Maier
(97), Danny Jennings (98), Ricky Logan (99) and Mike Goodman in 2000.
Danny Smith, running the Knoxville Nationals for 30th time in 31 years (he missed 82
for a broken back), had a Nationals crew containing a writer from the Des Moines Register
and an Aussie with blonde dreads. Fifth in Mayetta and Hays, Smith stopped in South
Coffeyville for a non-wing fling on his way to West Memphis. Recalling a Riverside finale
around 1981, Danny saw the wood pile shrink during the annual bonfire until someone took a
chainsaw to the bleachers for more.
Indianas Danny Smith and Okahomas Danny Smith squared off at Coffeyville. If
they were a little closer to Ohio, perhaps Daniel Smith could join them.
And the Tyler Thompson who accompanied All Stars to Kansas and Arkansas is from Cape
Girardeau, Missouri. Tyler Thompson of Des Moines is the son of Bob Thompson, car builder
and sprint winner during the Missouri State Fair of 1990.
St. Joseph, Missouris Mallory Armfield did a Knoxville 360 Nationals prelim and
Tournament of Champions before meeting All Stars on Thunderhill. Wingless for one Kansas
City heat, Armfield was eighth as a Winged Outlaw Warrior at Lebanon in his best run in
seven years. Sunday at Sedalia, Mallory got wet with WOW.
Liberal, Kansas traveler Jason Martin made the Knoxville Nationals A-main before
surrendering the fight to remain on the road with the World of Outlaws, which now carry 20
drivers with perfect attendance. Martin managed third against All Stars at Hays.
Litchfield, Michigans Chad Blonde, winning in first looks at Hilltop, Benton and
Farmington, was a 2007 Knoxville Nationals rookie who won his first start at West Memphis.
Saturdays conclusion saw Blonde blitz leader Jeff Swindell until climbing Chris
Williams to rip Riversides fence for the second straight night.
Riverside resulted in Swindells first All Star win since 1985 when Jeff and Daryl
Saucier pilfered Pittsburgh between WoO dates at Hagerstown and Selinsgrove. Swindell was
also successful in the 1983 All Star finale at Eldora with the Nance 1n.
All Star hype preceding Riverside had a ring of familiarity until I realized that Swamp
words were my own. Bryan Swamp Autello confessed to copying my Ditch
description of three months ago, though without proper credit. Imitation is the sincerest
form of flattery. There is slight regret at not seeing my by-line attached to Guys
Gary Wright took a $5000 win out of Hays, Kansas and followed All Star into The Ditch
despite a long aversion to the place. Back before he was bound to ASCS points, Wright
would skip Riverside if it fell at the end of speedweek. The gumbo is so fast and so
narrow that there is frequently contact such as Saturday when Gary and Brian Paulus
tumbled down the frontstretch.
Lincoln, Illinois charger A.J Bruns, third and fourth this weekend in West Memphis, towed
400 miles overnight to Farmington from the first winged 410 feature in 16 years at
Missouris Jerrod Hull, third on the high banks of Montgomery County, landed Liberty
where Frankie Kerr defeated Danny Smith (Fox 56) and Robbie Stanley (Hampshire 63) in
1991. Hull then made his first start in six years at Fremont (The Track That Action
Forgot) according to Swamp. Fifth in his homestate at Malden with a USCS 360, Jerrod
finished fifth again on the Clay Hill track formerly promoted by Larry Sides.
Clint Weiss (combat soldier stationed at Georgias Fort Benning) and Dewayne Prince
ran as Riverside All Stars before joining USCS at Clay Hill where Weiss was eighth.
Springfield, Nebraskas Jack Dover, plucking two Eagle wins last year, was a
Knoxville 410 rookie who returned home with an Eckley 360 that grabbed Greenwood and his
third win at Eagle in an Eagle.
Mark Dobmeier is tough. After bending steel while leading the Knoxville Nationals C-main,
Dobmeier dragged his aching carcass to wins at Sioux Falls and Grand Forks to reach 16
wins on his stellar season.
Kevin Rudeen, a Knoxville Nationals car owner to Canadas Jimmy Carter (1999-2000)
and Shane Stewart (2005-2006), made a Nationals rookie of Tayler Malsam, seventh at
Oskaloosa and Sioux Falls. Saturday at Skagit, Taylers third-place was his best of
Tacoma, Washingtons Evan Margeson marched to his seventh WMRA win in nine races
Saturday at the Wenatchee Super Oval with a Beal Beast powered by an Ed Pink Ford. Harold
Beal has a legacy of fast midgets with people like Pat Bliss, Rick Moss, Hank Butcher,
Mike Gregg, Paul Durant and John Starks.
Washington Midget Racing Association hold a Flake and a Snake. Woodinvilles Skeeter
Flake held a Nissan in front for two laps of Wenatchee, where Ethan Snake
Livernash coiled third. Last month, Margeson and Spanaway Snake made an Ohio USAC trip to
Toledo and Mansfield.
Clovis, Californias Brian Gard pulled the first Petaluma midget win since 2000 and
Chuck Gurney Jr. Petaluma BCRA winners have been Rick Bussell (1982), Jimmy Sills, Floyd
Alvis, Hank Butcher, Mike Appio, Terry Tarditi, Matt Alvis, Billy Boat, New Zealand racers
Brett Horrobin (93) and Dean Alexander (99), Australian guests Adam Clarke
(98) and Mike Figliomeni (99), Wisconsins Greg Nelson, Matt Streeter,
Scott Nail, John Sarale, Thomas Meseraull (99), Scott Clark (2000) and USAC Ford
Focus faces Bradley Galedrige (2004) and Alex Harris in 2005.
Chicos Ryan Kaplan, a 2003 Petaluma winner with Ford Focus, took third with a winged
410 at Silver Dollar, fourth with BCRA at Placerville, and slipped an Eagle past Kody
Swanson after 47 of 50 to win the western USAC 360 show at Altamont. Gimme shelter!
Kyle Miyata Larson, the Sacramento kid who changed
California law that ran racers out of state, became a Civil War winner in ten tries.
Saturday saw Larson emerge as Petalumas youngest victor at 15 years, 18 days and 89
Visalia, Californias Greg Bragg, spending three Perris seasons with SCRA and CRA,
beat a Bakersfield Focus group and went full midget racing with Bay Muffler in 2006,
winning at Watsonville and again at Bakersfield. As replacement for Kiwi
Alexander, Bragg achieved a Bandit sprint win Saturday at Santa Maria in his fifth try.
Visalia, Californias Jesse Mack raced nine nights in a ten-day stretch of Indiana,
Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kansas, returning home to still reign Bandit point leader (433 to
373) over Jimmy Thompson of Grover Beach.
Phoenix, Arizonas Jeremy Sherman, hording 10 wins in 17 starts this season, sat idle
since Fourth of July as Arizona ceased in desert heat. Sherman became so bored that he
made his first Perris appearance in over a year to drive a Dwight Cheney car that coated
him in hot oil and blistered Jeremys foot.
Keith Rauch, an Arizona racer who relocated to Colorado, won over POWRi midgets at McCool
Junction, Nebraska and regional ASCS sprints at Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Albuquerque, New Mexicos Derrik Ortega, a 16-year old fifth-place finisher Friday at
Hayden, Colorado, chased Rauch for second Saturday at Sweetwater Speedway. Ortega had been
third at Prescott with a wingless 360 and fourth at Tucson with a winged 410.
New Mexicos Mike Archuleta, recording the 305 Renegade victory Saturday near his Las
Cruces abode, was a regional ASCS winner in 1997 in Juarez, Mexico.
Travis Rilat, seventh in the Knoxville 360 Nationals and ninth in the Tournament of
Champions, was a Nationals Non Qualifier who laid rubber Saturday afternoon for Saturday
nights D-main grid. Home to Houston, Rilat blew through the Gulf Coast from last to
first in an F&J XXX. In 2003, Rilat won the first wingless 360 show at Creek County.
Brian Carter from Frisco, Texas finished fourth in a 305 sprint car Saturday at the
Kennedale Speedway Park adjacent to Cowtown Speedway in southeast Fort Worth. During his
day job with the World of Outlaws, Carter unveiled a 2008 calendar devoid of Ditch (keep
it goin Guy) and Kokomo, bolstered by debuts in Virginia and Wheatland. WoO plans to
end six and eight-year absences from Watsonville and Wyoming, expand Ohsweken and Bulls
Gap into two-night stops, and cut Calistoga for first time in 20 Labor Days.
Bill Rose, a World of Outlaws rookie in 2006, coached his car into three straight A-mains
as Bloomington/Putnamville/Kokomo tutor to Idahos Mike Murgoitio. Back behind the
wheel, Bill took third at Lawrenceburg in his best wingless finish since a second for
Billy Wilkerson at the 2005 Perris finale.
Fremont, Californias Shane Golobic, son of Baylands racer John Golobic, achieved
victory at Lawrenceburg in his 15th start on Indiana dirt days after his 16th birthday.
New Zealands Michael Pickens, second at Wilmot and seventh at the Belleville Midget
Nationals, finished fourth in a sprint car Friday at Bloomington, where he did three weeks
for Bill Biddle in 2005.
Ohios Jonathan Kettlewell, second with WSoA 305 at Flint and second with HOSS 410 at
Anderson, took tenth in his dirt debut Saturday at Waynesfield.
Ohios Todd Kane climbed in a Fisher Maxim owned by Glenn Gresham and in their third
start together, topped Jim Nier and Dean Jacobs to win at Chillicothe. Deans sorry
Nationals were soothed by $10,000 for winning the World Challenge.
Mark Keegan, taking 12 titles in 19 Attica Raceway Park campaigns, dedicated
Saturdays 55th win there to Eric Phillips, the track founder who died during the
week. "This place was his dream, Keegan commented.
Frank Benic, father of the car owner outside Saturdays front row in Kansas City,
continues to draw raves for his Mercer Raceway Park surface. His son Scott was especially
sorry to see Brady Short changed at Oskaloosa, where Benic Maxims carted $60,000 for wins
with Boston Reid (2003) and Levi Jones in 2005.
Five thousand dollars for Pat Cannon marked the largest 358 winners share since Billy
Pauch borrowed P.J Chessons car to win $10,000 at Susquehanna to close 1997. Cannon
defeated Dave Calaman, Joey Borich, Mike Walter and Sean Michael who, together with
Seans car owner Jim Nace, represent more than 70 years of Selinsgrove savvy.
Blane Heimbach, hitting 21 wins in seven Selinsgrove seasons, could not contest $5000
because he broke his throttle leg Friday at Williams Grove.
When it rained on Nationals but had not yet postponed, Fred Rahmer restlessly watched
others drink beer. When he hit the track, Rahmer hit the wall hard enough to end his 13th
Nationals with a fractured tailbone. It reminded of Pauch breaking his arm while
hot-lapping for the 95 Nationals. Limping home, Fred gritted his teeth and won at
Williams Grove and Lincoln.
Aaron Ott, a Trail-Way 358 winner and son of Rahmers engine builder Don Ott, led six
laps of the 410 feature Saturday at Lincoln until contact with The Edge Brian
Montieth took Ott around.
During the Knoxville Nationals, Lincoln waived points while Williams Grove did not. Jeff
Shepard had been so consistent (Top Ten in 16 of 22) that he continued to lead the
standings despite being in Iowa. Triple 20s at The Grove saw Shepards boss John
Zemaitis provide a purple people eater for T.J Stutts just in case Jeff needed a spare. Al
Hamilton and Steve Siegel helped Rahmer and Lance Dewease toward titles in this manner in
2001 and 2002.
Shepard locked into his eleventh straight Nationals final by winning on opening night
beneath a Travis Branch helmet. Thursday was not Jeffs first $12,000 victory at
Knoxville however, having taken the 1200lb Nationals of 2002 for Denny Ashworth.
Third at Lincoln was the best 410 finish by Steve Buckwalter in 67 starts. An eleven-time
winner in five ARDC seasons, Steve has been in a midget just three times since Chili Bowl.
Dave Ely, winning four of ten ARDC A-mains this season, made his Indiana debut in Jack
Yeleys midget at Kamp, Gas City and Lawrenceburg before returning to Gene
Francowiaks sprint car at Hagerstown.
For the first time in five years, Smokey Snellbaker ran a sprint race. It happened in a
358 at Lincoln, where Smoke beat Jan Opperman and Kenny Weld to win the opener of 1971.
Kramer Williamson, who ran a USAC champ car and URC sprint victory in successive
Hagerstown weeks of 1986, won the Maryland URC return Saturday in a Pink Panther of his
own Kramer Kraft construction.
Delawares Becca Anderson, ninth as a 2006 WoO rookie at Haubstadt and Kokomo,
returned to URC to place Jimmy Martins machine third at Orange County, New York.
Rocky Mount, Virginias Don Satch Worley, last southerner to win a
Martinsville modified race (1992) has run eight VSS 305 sprint races on five tracks for
French Grimes. Satch is a cult hero who was ninth for Buddy Arrington in the 1974 Old
Dominion 500 at Martinsville, put the Clarence Steak House Vega on the pole of the 1976
Spring Sizzler in Connecticut, earned eleventh for Jack Beebe at the 1978 Dover 500, and
ran an Arrington Busch car at Daytona in 1983.
New Jersey modified star John Blewett III died happy. Lou Cicconi invited him to Mansfield
for a supermodified debut. Seventh in the opener, John improved to fifth. I had a
really great time, John said. I don't race much without radios or mirrors. A
lot of series could take a page from this series. These guys drive with a lot more respect
than we have on say the Whelen Tour and even the weekly series. I see radio driving a lot.
The closest thing to a super I've raced are the modifieds we ran at Flemington. We
had a lot of horsepower there. I've never driven anything with a wing before. It's similar
to the (three-quarter) midget I ran at Atlantic City for Lou but that (indoor) track is
small and tight and you can't use the horsepower. This is definitely not like anything
I've ever driven before.
Five days later, Blewett was killed in a modified at Thompson, Connecticut. At least he
enjoyed a good ISMA injection before he left.
On the night after John died, Mike Ordway Jr, tried extra hard in the Ollie Silva Classic
at Lee, New Hampshire. I wish we could have gotten the win for Johnny Blewett but
I'll take a second to Perley. We'll keep John in our prayers.
Chris Perley won the Silva Classic before becoming the biggest winner (45 in 13 seasons)
in International Super Modified Association history at Oxford, Maine. Perley has picked
off an amazing 22 of the last 34 ISMA A-mains.
Vic Miller, who owned the sprint car on steroids in which Ollie terrorized the
1970s, finished first with Perley and second with 66-year old Bentley Warren of
Strong, Maines Vern Romanoski led 14 laps in his homestate before surrendering to
the Miller machines. After 72 of 75 laps, Ohios Larry Lehnert (towing 830 miles to
Oxford) left the track. Under caution, Romanoski ran over Dave Sanborns exhaust
collector, tearing an oil line and the best run of Verns life.
"It would have been nice to finish behind Perley and the legend Bentley,
Romanoski remarked. I run one of Bentley's old numbers: the 5. It would have been a
great finish for me in Maine in front of the people who support me and came out to see me
J. Scott Martel scored sixth at Oxford Plains for Bruce Budnick while summoning New
Jerseys Jon Gambuti to the Jim Martel machine. In his first super start in two
years, Gambuti led Lee before being penalized to seventh for jumping a restart.
Joe Gosek, getting his first Oswego win by beating Bentley Warren (Bowley 5) in 1984, now
has 37 wins in 23 Oswego Speedway seasons (fifth-best) after a Saturday sponsored by
Burkes Home Center, long a Gosek supporter. Jim Shampine (87), Bentley (66), Eddie
Bellinger (51) and Nolan Swift (41) are the only Oswego winners with bigger numbers than
Ontario, New Yorks Chuck Hebing, qualifying quickest in his first Knoxville 360
Nationals, scored two ASCS Patriot victories in 21 hours by following a late night at Penn
Can with Canandaigua in his Cobra Trailers Maxim. "It's always nice to win in front
of the hometown fans; the ones that saw me run the modified here for so many years,
Canandaiguas half-mile trembled beneath the World of Outlaws for 13 straight
seasons. In the last one in 1999, Stevie Smith defeated Donny Schatz and a field spiked by
Pittman (Sonner 47), Tim Shaffer (Helm 11), Tatnell (Johnson 7k), Shepard (Zemaitis 1z),
Dale Blaney (Hughes 94), Kevin Gobrecht (Dave Blaney 93), Johnny Herrera (Cormack 1bk),
Joe Gaerte (Holbrook 8h), Travis Whitney, two Swindell and a pair of Kinsers. In 1997,
Haudenschild (Elden 22) clocked Canandaiguas record lap of 14.73.
Brad Noffsinger, fifth at the Jerry Weld Memorial (I-70) and eighth at the Jayhawk
National (old Lakeside) during a 1982 Knoxville Nationals tour for Arizonas Gil
Suiter, finished fifth Saturday on the asphalt of Kenly, North Carolina.
Candia, New Hampshire brothers P.J and Jake Stergios finished fifth and tenth in Plymouth,
Indiana before pulling their USAC Ford Focus midgets 600 miles to Chemung, New York. The
brothers Stergios finished fourth and fifth Saturday at the former Wall Stadium where
Blewetts learned to race.
Snail mail goes to 4979 West 13th Street, Speedway, IN 46224. Voice mail goes to (317)
607.7841 or e-mail Kevin@openwheeltimes.com.
The Open Wheel Times