By Danny Burton
Danny Burton’s Hoosier Race Report appears courtesy of OpenWheelRacers.com
Yet another hot and humid Hoosier weekend it was. Like a few hundred of my closest pals I refrained from staying inside, preferring to be at an area short track. I’m glad I did. Not only did I get to see a couple of first time winners, I spent some good times with plenty of like minded friends. We could not care less how each other vote, worship, or work. We only enjoyed the racing and the company, in no particular order. But Brad Sweet at Bloomington, along with Derek Franks at Lawrenceburg, quite possibly enjoyed themselves even more than the fans. Brad garnered his first sprint car win at the Bloomington Speedway while Derek outran Brett Burdette to take his first sprinter victory anywhere at the Lawrenceburg Speedway.
A badly needed nap preceded my trip to Bloomington where 36 sprint cars patiently awaited my arrival. (Not.) The usual suspects were on hand with “newbies” like PA’s Jimmy Light, Casey Shuman, and Curt Eldredge, who said hello to the turn four embankment on the first lap of hot laps. Jamie Williams, from my own town, was on hand to test the high banked red clay. Occasional visitors Tom Busch and Craig Dori had also made the trip.
Kevin Briscoe’s dad, Dick, was feeling a bit under the weather and wasn’t on hand to work his usual magic on the white #5. But Kevin still did well enough to take the first of four heats over Casey Shuman, Kent Christian, and Chris Babcock. The second heat was plagued with three yellow flags and timed out with Jimmy Light winning. Josh Cunningham was second with John Memmer third. Josh’s big brother Mitch also transferred into the feature. Jon Sciscoe took a tumble on the backstretch in the third heat, ending his night. A bit later the ageless Dave Peperak did the same. Neither were hurt, but both were done for the night. After all this, Brad Sweet won, followed by Chris Windom, Ty Deckard, and Dickie Gaines. Hunter Schuerenberg won the incident free last heat. Jared Fox, Bobby Stine, and Jason Holt trailed.
The B Main had plenty of cars and action. Kenny Carmichael Jr. came from eighth to win, taking Cole Whitt, Tom Busch, and Danny Holtsclaw to the feature with him. But Busch had to load up with mechanical problems, and Steve Rone, who started 12th in the B, took the 20th starting spot.
Chris Windom and Jimmy Light “won” the re-draw, making up the front row. Shuman, Briscoe, Scheurenberg, Sweet, J. Cunningham, Fox, Christian, and Memmer made up the rest of the front part of the 20 car lineup. Right away Holtsclaw and Babcock made an early exit as Windom took the lead. Sweet steadily worked his way to the front and was in second when Windom did the unthinkable: he spun in the treacherous turn two while leading; this was on lap 16. Sweet had the lead but his win wasn’t yet signed, sealed, nor delivered. K. Briscoe was in the neighborhood and ready to pounce. But….it didn’t happen. Sweet, who had been pressuring Windom before the spin, held on after a lap 19 re-start to take the win. Shuman was third with Scheurenberg fourth. Cole Whitt drove a very steady race taking fifth after starting way back in 18th. J. Cunningham was sixth with Light holding on for seventh. K. Carmichael Jr. had his own impressive run, moving from 17th to eighth. Fox and Deckard rounded out the top ten.
More of the same this coming Friday at Bloomington as it will be a good night to be a labor union member, especially a union construction worker. Come on to Bloomington and say hi to Chuck, the retired Teamster, and yours truly, the semi-retired letter carrier and former union officer.
A late start on Saturday after work and my toughest choice was whether to go to Paragon or Lawrenceburg. Haubstadt, even with the time change, was still too far away, after working till 5 p.m. local time. And Paragon promised to be an outright marathon as they would be starting the show with two make-up sprint features, followed by their regular programming. So it was off to da ‘burg for a night down by the river (Ohio). Garrison Keillor and company kept me chuckling on the 80 minute drive east. Ah yes, old fashioned radio was a fine alternative to today’s packaged music.
Troy Link got things underway by taking the first heat over Rick Vaughn, Mark Hall, Mark Goodnight, and Steve Wilmot. Jason Knoke outran Brett Burdette, Derek Franks, Springer Smith, and Mark Wunderlich to win the second heat race. Rookie Jamie Williams won the third heat over Tony Beaber, Dakoda Armstrong, Rodney Stone, and Tad Jenkins. No B Main tonight; I’d pass time by checking out the modified heats, super stock heats, and the mini-sprints, too. And then there was the cheeseburgers, the company, and the simple pleasure of being at a place that is much like home to me. The only thing missing was seeing Tom Wieck on his four-wheeler. Let’s hope and pray that Tom and also Dick Briscoe both get well soon.
Kids Burdette and Williams led ‘em to the green with Link, Vaughn, Knoke, Beaber, Hall, Franks, Armstrong, and Goodnight trailing. For much of the first part of the race Burdette and Williams fought it out for the lead, trading it too many times for this slow old man to count. But behind them, Franks was on the move. Halfway through and Williams led Burdette, Vaughn, Franks, Knoke, Link, Beaber, Hall, Armstrong, and Stone. Franks got around Vaughn a few laps later and joined the Burdette/Williams party. And on lap 21 he took the lead, stretching it out to the end. Burdette had an equally impressive second place. Knoke was a steady third with fellow hometown kid Williams hanging on for a fine fourth place finish. The “Wild Thing” (Vaughn) was fifth. Stone, Link, Beaber, Armstrong, and Springer Smith finished six/ten.
This coming Saturday will be HARF/DARF night at Lawrenceburg. HARF and DARF members get in really, really cheap, namely half price.
Elsewhere around the state, Daron Clayton won the MSCS/$10,000 to win feature at Haubstadt. And Jon Sciscoe, along with Josh Cunningham, won the makeup features. Later it was Josh, Kerry Kinser, and the incomparable Joe Roush winning the regular 25 lappers. Rick Coe was the modified winner way up at Angola. Jon Stanbrough was tonight’s (Sunday) winner at Kokomo as Ryan Pace went to the crash house after a mean meeting with the wall. John Gill was the dirt late model winner at Brownstown on Saturday while Brent Londeree and Derek Fisher won at the Jackson County Fair races this past Thursday. Brandon Petty won at Gas City on Friday night. The traveling Hooter’s Cup series visited the Salem Speedway on Saturday with Rick Agnew winning. Casey Shuman won at Lincoln Park. At Shadyhill it was Kevin DeYoung, Adam Loehmer, and Toby Howard winning. Kamp’s Speedway saw the Dan and Dan Show. Dan Walden was the late model winner while Dan Hamstra (again) was the modified champ for the night.
Taking boxing lessons from either Alex Tagliani or maybe Paul Tracy, I’m…
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