By Danny Burton
Danny Burton’s Hoosier Race Report appears courtesy of OpenWheelRacers.com
A society that makes a priority of remembering and honoring those who are a part of its past is a society that has gone a long way toward progress. Such a society will surely thrive and, at worst, continue to exist. More to the point the American short track/open wheel segment of our society does rightly honor its own when it can be done.
Already this year I’ve been to races that honored Hoosier open wheelers Sheldon Kinser and Calvin Gilstrap, not to mention car owner Bob Darland. And on September 2, Saturday, it was Dick Gaines’ turn at the Lawrenceburg Speedway. One has no way of knowing, of course, but one likes to think that Dick Gaines, among others who went before, had a special seat to watch the action and appreciated it in a way that we cannot fathom. In years to come, perhaps the feature winner, Jimmy Light, will appreciate his feat even more than he does now. The $3,000 that Jimmy took away for winning will be long gone at some point, but his memories and appreciation for who Dick Gaines was and what he has meant will be around for much longer.
46 sprint cars out of over 100 jammed the pits at Lawrenceburg on another lovely Saturday night as September began. Again, it would be six heats and only the top two going straight to the featch.
Right away things began to happen as Bret Burdette took the first heat over Ron Shuman’s boy, Casey. Marc Arnold checked out to win the second heat with Larry Beck second. Blake Fitzpatrick beat out Matt Westfall for the third heat win. Jimmy Light outran Joss Moffatt for the fourth heat race win. Kyle Wissmiller took a tumble along with Kent Christian in the fourth heat. Both were okay. The fifth heat was owned by Brent Beauchamp with Derek Franks second. And Cole Whitt won the sixth heat with Brady Short trailing.
The track was re-worked in time for the two B mains. Ricky Williams Jr. led Kyle Robbins, Bill Rose, and Dickie Gaines to win the first. In the second consolation, Lance Grimes did some air time without getting upside down, and then continued. But he still had to retire as Kevin Briscoe won, dragging Coleman Gulick, Zac Osborn, and Rick Vaughn into the A main with him.
The time between the sprint B’s and the Gaines Memorial was well spent, one might say. Talking, laughing, joking with fellow fans and then someone heard a familiar noise. Back to the grandstand we went, like ants coming out of the woodwork. The Man from Maine and yours truly led the pack back in time to see the gang of 20 getting lined up.
Heat race winners Burdette, Arnold, Fitzpatrick, Light, Beauchamp, and Whitt were at the front of the pack wanting the prestige and the cash. Right away a yellow flew as Fitzpatrick had issues and was done. Then lap two saw a red flag as Burdette spun and was nicked by Beauchamp. Both got upside down; both were okay but finished. Whitt was also involved. Arnold took the lead on the re-start over Light, Shuman, Westfall, Moffatt, Short, Beck, Franks, Williams, and Robbins. Arnold held off Light for 16 laps before the kid from Pennsylvania took over for good. Lapped traffic was not a factor as the race went green all the way after the early stoppage. Following Arnold was Shuman, Short, and Moffatt. Matt Westfall was sixth, with Williams, Franks, Gaines (from 19th), and Larry Back rounding out the top ten.
Jerry Back won the super stock feature. Nelson Gingery won the pure stock main event. Coleman Gulick, doing double duty, won the mini-sprint feature.
Modifieds take over at Lawrenceburg this weekend with racing both Friday and Saturday, with a $6000 to win/100 lapper on tap for Saturday night.
Chris Edges Critter
Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of driving on Interstate 64 probably more than any other Interstate other than I-65. From Richmond, VA to Mt. Vernon, IL, I’ve become familiar with much of the highway, especially the sections that stretch from Covington, VA to Louisville, KY and from New Albany to Haubstadt, IN.
Much of 64 is hilly, starting somewhere east of Charlottesville, VA and continuing all the way to just northeast of Evansville, where the land begins to flatten out somewhat. Corn fields appear and one can see a bit farther than just the next hill to ascend or descend. North of Evansville I-64 intersects U.S. 41, one of the longer federal highways still around. Go north on 41 and there you are. Just a few miles north of the interstate you’ll find the Tri-State Speedway, or Haubstadt, as most race fans call it. There are probably a few other race tracks that are called Tri-State Speedway, but there is only one Haubstadt, the crown jewel of southwestern Indiana.
Racing at this 1/4 mile bullring is great for a few reasons. For one thing it’s a good ways off for most Hoosier sprint car/short track fans. It’s tough for many of us to make it to the track for every race. The track’s schedule is not exactly packed, as Haubstadt now only runs special events. And race fans are treated rather well, with facilities that are as good as can be at a short track.
A fine Sunday night on a holiday weekend it was with the Midwest Sprint Car Series putting up 5 grand to win a 40 lap feature. 43 sprint cars were in the house and that number included plenty of hot dogs, who were hungry for the $5000.
Chris Windom, whether he knew it or not, gave us a peek at what was to come as he took the first heat. Chase Stockon jumped out of gear while leading. Windom took the lead with a Grade A slide job on Kyle Cummins for the lead. Cummins came home second with Jared Fox third.
Hunter Schuerenberg took the lead in the second heat, but John Memmer had other ideas. He put a wicked slider on Hunter to take over. Schuerenberg fought back and put some serious pressure on the local kid. But Memmer was up to the challenge until he got too much of a bite going into turn one. He took a nasty tumble into the billboards, tearing a hole in a radio station’s advertisement and landing between the wall and the signs. Except for the roll cage, the car was pretty much trashed. Memmer was okay. Schuerenberg won with Dickie Gaines and Jeff Bland trailing.
Troy Link moved from last to second in the first two laps of the third heat. But Troy was victimized by a less than stellar move by Thomas Meseraull in turn three and was out. Bubba Altig won with Meseraull using much better judgment in coming back to take second. Eric Krockenberger was third, scoring a feature starting spot. More passing was on tap in the fourth of five heats with Daron Clayton coming from last after a re-start to win his heat with Alex Shanks and Bret Burdette also making it to the main. Chris “Critter” Malone won the fifth heat over Chris Urish and Danny Holtsclaw.
Chase Stockon came from 11th to win the C Main, with Patrick Bruns, Jerry Ruble, Kelly Deckard, and Patrick Budde all tagging the tail of the B. Brady Short won the B, leading Bobby Stines, Geoff Dodge, Stockon (from 16th), and Aric Gentry.
Schuerenberg and Malone were the front row with others such as Windom, Altig, Clayton, Cummins, Gaines, Meseraull, Shanks, and Urish all behind them. Malone jumped to the early lead as Gaines spun early (with help). Schuerenberg took over after the re-start and held on despite Windom’s best efforts. Malone was determined not to go away as he stayed close by, with all three taking turns at one point leading within a lap. Daron Clayton was up to second by lap 14 when he spun. He would make a charge after re-starting on the tail spot. 20 laps/halfway gone and Scheurenberg led Windom, Malone, Urish, and Short. Three laps later Windom took over, only to give it back in lapped traffic on lap 31. A lap 34 caution for a Jeff Bland fire bunched the field up for a six lap trophy dash. But in turn three after the re-start Hunter smacked the wall and flipped, giving it up. He was okay but done for the night. One was tempted to think that the race was Windom’s, easily. But one also forgot to tell Malone, who came up a few inches short at the end to take second. Lost in the excitement was Brady Short, who had come from 16th to finish third. Clayton overcame his trouble to take fourth. Chris Urish overcame a penalty for not stopping quickly enough when the red flag flew to take fifth. The second five was Jared Fox, Kyle Cummins, Brett Burdette, Alex Shanks, and Geoff Dodge (from 18th).
Everett Bradham won the modified feature.
Though I was blocked in on all four sides, I managed to exit the parking lot and arrived downtown at the casino to happily discover that my wife had not, in fact, lost my retirement on the boat.
The MSCS next runs a weekend double header on September 28-29 at Moler Speedway and the Florence Speedway.
Haubstadt shuts the door on the 2007 season on September 16 with an enduro with a demolition derby as well. I nearly choked with laughter when a certain person wondered if they would re-work the track for the derby.
Shane Cottle won on Friday at Gas City and also at DuQoin on Sunday as the USAC Silver Crown division ran on the old dirt mile one more time. . Jeff Bland and Geoff Dodge were winners at Lincoln Park. Casey Shuman won for Paul Hazen at Kokomo. In dirt late model action, Steve Barnett won both the feature and the championship at Brownstown. Daryl Herbert was the modified winner at Union County. Brian Gerster showed he can run with the wing as he won in HOSS racing up at Angola. Brad DeYoung was the Shadyhill/UMP modified winner. Toby Howard won in the IMOD division.
Trying to keep my feet in the air so no one will see at most public rest rooms, I’m…
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