Saturday, April 21, 2018

Simpson Scores MLRA Win On The Big Track at Davenport

The last two times that I have watched Chris Simpson win MLRA features he did not have to pass a single car for position the entire night. Why you might ask? Because both of those events used the "time trial and then start the fast guys in front format". But on Friday night, on the historic half-mile at the Davenport Speedway with the passing points format in play, Chris Simpson earned his front row starting position for the 30-lap main event with a thrilling run in his heat race that generated more of a crowd reaction than either of the two previous victories that I had witnessed.

A stout field of thirty-five Lucas Oil MLRA Late Models signed in on an evening that would normally be considered on the cool side, but by comparison it was balmy as several race fans showed up in shorts and were carrying no coats. It wasn't that warm though, trust me. With the passing points format drivers drew for their starting position in one of four heat races and Simpson drew the seventh starting spot in heat two, a race that was stacked with competition including his brother Chad. Rob Toland jumped out to a big early lead in the eight lap race as the Simpsons quickly worked their way toward the front. With four laps remaining Chris moved to second with Chad chasing in third, but they had a lot of ground to make up on Toland. That gap closed quickly and with two to go both drivers were within striking distance. Toland hugged his low line and despite a bit of a push in turns one and two he was able to maintain the lead to the white flag. Through turns one and two Toland was again able to hold back the challenge, but when that push happened again between turns three and four he left the door open and the crowd went nuts as both Chris and Chad slipped by in the final turn to take the win.

Note to the MLRA, you don't get that kind of a crowd reaction using the Start Me In Front, I'm Fast format.

Rightfully so the run from seventh to first earned the pole position for the main event and while Chris got a nice jump at the start it would be Brian Shirley who would lead the field off turn two and all the way back around for what appeared to be lap one, but with Jesse Stovall stopping against the wall at the exit of turn four the caution waved and it was determined that the lap was not scored. With an original restart this time Chris Simpson would lead the field from the drop of the green with Shirley in hot pursuit.

As the leaders approached traffic for the first time Simpson found the car of Mason Oberkramer in his low line and it looked like Shirley might have an opportunity on the high side exiting turn four on lap eight only to have the caution wave when Frank Heckenast Jr. spun in turn four. On the restart Chad Simpson dropped Shirley back to third and while they could keep Chris in their sights they could not mount a challenge. At this time the race was for second and on lap twenty-two it looked like something broke on Chad's car as he entered turn one and drove straight into the outside wall for the final caution of the race.

Again Shirley would stay close to Chris over the final eight laps, but there would be no challenge as Chris captured the $5,000 winner's check in flag-to-flag fashion. Shirley would finish second ahead of Tyler Bruening who used the cushion to run up from twelfth to third. Tony Jackson Jr. was steady in fourth, Payton Looney came from the ninth row to pass Jason Feger in the closing laps for fifth. Feger had a big run as well getting as high as fourth after starting nineteenth before finishing sixth ahead of B-Main winner Jordan Yaggy. Rich Bell came from 21st to eighth, J.C. Wyman from 22nd to ninth and Heckenast recovered from his spin to complete the top ten.

Some attrition did assist those big advancements, the most noteworthy being Will Vaught who was on the move in fifth before he dropped from the race at lap fifteen. Vaught had started eleventh.

The support class counts showed how the Davenport Speedway drivers feel about racing on the half-mile as usually they are double this on Friday nights. Just seven Street Stocks signed in with six starting the feature, but you only need to two to have a good race and that was the case as Jesse Owen and Jeff Struck Jr. went at it. Owen was the pole-sitter and paced the field from the start until Struck moved from sixth to second. Struck would nose into the lead on lap eight only to have Owen battle back to score the lead again on lap nine. Struck would strike again though on the following lap driving under Owen down the back stretch and the defending track champion would lead the final three laps for the win. Owen was second followed by heat race winner Jeremy Gustaf in third with Jeffrey Peterson and Donnie Louck next in line.

Fourteen IMCA Modifieds including Brekken Kleinschmidt who had escaped the frozen tundra of Shawano, Wisconsin, for the night took the green flag for twenty laps of feature racing with Eric Barnes leading the first half of the race. Jeff Larson and Justin Kay were now up to challenge and when both Barnes and Larson left the bottom open exiting turn four Kay moved from third to first on lap eleven. There would be no catching Justin from there as he would take the win after starting the race from the ninth position. Barnes would hold on for second with Rob Toland coming from the back to finish third. Toland actually started the race from fourth, but he stopped in turn two on the first try at a start and had to restart from the rear. Freeport, Illinois, drivers Larson and Kenny Kostenbader completed the top five.

The Northern Sport Mods would close out the evening with a twelve lap main event that featured three of the best in the Midwest. All Iowa Points champions Tony Olson and Tyler Soppe as well the Illinois Points champion in the division Dustin Schram were all in the field with Olson passing Chance Huston on lap two to take the lead. A caution on lap five for Andrew Burk and then a red flag for a fire under the hood of Brandon Setser's car slowed the race and in the final laps it would be Keith Blum who applied the pressure on Olson. Tony would fight him off though and take the win with Blum, Schram, Soppe and Randy Lamer completing the top five.

The night's racing action ran off in tight fashion with the final checkered flag flying just before 9:30. In fact I was able to catch some laps of the Modified feature at the CJ Raceway on my way home! A big thanks to promoter Bob Wagener for the hospitality and as always it was good to visit with officials Ken Reimers, Mike McGuire and Bret Sievertsen. Looks like I need to step up my game a bit as when Carrie Rouse greeted me at the pit gate I saw that she had been given flowers by ace photographers Dennis Krieger and John Vass. Then again I will never be able to top those two when it comes to a touch of class.

Racing returns to the quarter-mile for the regular season opener at the Davenport Speedway next Friday night and the MLRA Late Models return on Friday May 4th, with competition that night on the short track.

The MLRA now moves to 34 Raceway tonight for the tenth running of the Slocum 50 and it will the first time that I will miss that event as I have a wedding to attend. Hopefully you will be there in my place!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tuesday Notebook: April 17, 2018

The unprecedented April weather has prompted a couple of promoters to make some unprecedented moves as did you know that you can go racing tonight? That's right, depending upon your location and what time you are reading this you might still be able to road trip to Brownstown, Illinois, tonight as the Fayette County Speedway is going to run a Tuesday night program of Late Models, Modifieds, B-Mods, Street Stocks and Hornets. Hot laps are at 6:30 with racing to follow. If I wasn't still fending off the effects of a Spring cold I would be making the trip.

Another unusual addition to the calendar comes this Thursday at the Marshalltown Speedway. After having his World Nationals moved from March to September for the second year in a row and then having his Frostbuster wiped out two straight weeks, promoter Toby Kruse has announced that he will race both Thursday and Friday this week with the Twin Highbanks Hustle. Of course that is now in jeopardy as yet another April snow storm threatens the area for Wednesday with the weather gurus wavering on just where and how much snow, ice or rain will fall.

That nasty weather forecast has already canceled the opener at the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa on Wednesday night. The track will try again on Wednesday April 25th.

We were thankful to get the two Frostbuster races in last Wednesday at Donnellson and Thursday at Vinton since the weekend weather went downhill quickly as predicted. There was a large contingent of northern race fans on hand for those two races and it was entertaining watching them check forecasts for different areas to see if they should continue their race trip or head back home where some were expecting, and received more than twenty inches of snow.

Yes, there was some racing held at dirt tracks in our region over the weekend, but you can bet that the conditions were less than ideal at each. The I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Nebraska, had their Bugeater Bash on Friday night where Jamie Ball topped a field of fifteen Nebraska 360 Sprints. There were 47 NCRA Modifieds in the pits at 81 Speedway in Wichita Friday night with Tanner Mulens taking the win and Salina Speedway in Kansas also raced with their regular season opener on Friday night.

The Humboldt Speedway in Kansas held their tenth night of racing already for the 2018 season having only been rained out once on April 6th. One of the surprise entrants at Humboldt on Friday was Modified driver Travis Peery from Williston, North Dakota. Peery had made the trip down for the IMCA Frostbusters where he finished 14th at Donnellson and failed to make the show in Vinton, so rather than driving through a blizzard to go back home he headed south where he was fifth in a field of nine NASCAR Modifieds at Humboldt. Then on Saturday Peery made the tow back into Missouri as the Springfield Raceway braved the elements and he again finished fifth in the USRA Modified main event.

Other tracks that raced down in that direction this weekend included the Red Dirt Raceway, Creek County Speedway, Thunderbird Raceway and the Salina Highbanks Speedway in Oklahoma while in Arkansas both the Crawford County Speedway and the Diamond Park Speedway raced. Of course at DPS it was another "secret race" where you can see pictures, but can find no actual results.

It is the same story at Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky where photos on the Facebook page show a solid crowd on hand for the grand re-opening of the speedway, but as of yet there is no listing of results to be found. They have a beautiful new website with both a 2018 Schedule and a Results tab, but as of yet clicking on either yields no additional information. Hopefully they can get that straightened out soon. They did however announce this week that for this Friday's show any driver that pulls more than 75 miles to race with them will be admitted free. Then on Friday April 27th the track will host the ASCS National Sprint Car Series. Hopefully somebody will tip off Scott Traylor with the Racin' Boys who continues to promo the event as being held at the Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway, because if that is where he goes all he will be watching is cars and trucks using the new interchange.

Ahead of the cold front a couple of tracks in Indiana were able to race on Friday night with the Daugherty Speedway in Chase drawing a solid field of seventeen UMP Pro Late Models with Chad Stapleton taking the win and at the Bloomington Speedway Kyle Cummins won the Sprint Car feature, Kentucky's Tyler Nicely topped the UMP Mods and Ethan Barrow was the best of a full field of 305 Race Saver Sprint Cars. It also appears that Route 44 Speedway in Liberty raced on Friday night, but for now at least it joins a growing list of events in the region as one of those "secret races."

Come on promoters, make sure that your Race Results are being communicated properly either on your website or Facebook page (preferably both!) and don't just assume that the service you were using last year (SpeedNet Direct for example) is still functioning properly. I have never understood why a promoter who uses every method possible to tell you about a race coming up will then totally drop the ball when it comes to then letting people know what happened. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but when somebody does that it tells me that "what happened" wasn't worth talking about so it makes me not really care much about the fact that you are now telling me what is going to happen this week.

The cancellation of the opener at Oskaloosa tomorrow night will hopefully allow me to put this cold bug to rest, because I would have been sitting out there in the cold and wind anyway had they tried to run. If I feel better on Thursday and if they still race at Marshalltown, then I might just make the trip and on Friday night I plan to catch the MLRA Late Models on the historic half-mile at the Davenport Speedway.

On Saturday night the tenth annual Slocum 50 will be held at 34 Raceway near Burlington and it will be the first time in those ten years that I will not have the microphone in my hand for at least part of the night as I have a friend's wedding to attend. I will miss it very much as not only will it be a great night of racing, but it is also a night to celebrate the "racing family" in memory of Brent Slocum. I know that both Brian Neal and Danny Rosencrans will give you all the details in the days to follow at Positively Racing. Hopefully I can come right back on Sunday night and catch an event at one of the tracks in the area.

The weather guy promised that tomorrow will be the last snow of the season with temperatures rising steadily over the next ten days. Let's hope that he is right this time and that all of you can get out to the tracks that you choose to support! See you on the Back Stretch.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Carter Nips Marriott; Murty, Schaefer and Stanton Are Winners at Vinton's IMCA Frostbuster

I know that I have used this story line before and if I ever find it in the archives I will link it here, but you should never get up and leave until the final checkered flag waves at the Benton County Speedway in Vinton. That was the case again on Thursday when the second night of the IMCA Frostbuster mini series rolled in to town with a full field on hand to compete on a race track that was prepared about as damn close to perfect as you would ever see. And this is in an area where there was still snow in the ditches as I drove into town! Don Burkey and his track prep crew along with promoter Mick Trier, race director Mike Van Genderen and the entire BCS Team should be recognized for their efforts and while I usually give a tip of the hat to these folks when summing up a "Back Stretch", they all deserve lead paragraph recognition for this one.

The Modified feature topped off the night with twenty-four cars lined up for twenty-five laps of racing and there was plenty of action in turns one and two on the opening lap. Third starting Tyler Droste drove hard to the bottom in turn one and then slid up the track in turn two leading for a split second before the front row of Cory Wray and Kyle Brown zipped back around him. Wray the pole-sitter was actually fourth for a split second, but would come back to lead the field on lap number one. The caution would then wave as Droste went over the top of turn two putting one of the pre-race favorites to the back of the pack.

On the restart Hunter Marriott made his move to the front with Cayden Carter and Kyle Brown in hot pursuit. Both challengers appeared to have the speed to challenge the leader, but they were wrapped up in their own battle racing side-by-side much of the time before the caution waved again on lap ten for a Dan Menk spin in turn two. One lap after the restart Droste's frustrating night came to an end when he shelled the driveshaft out of his Modified and just one more lap would be scored before Nate Hughes spun in turn two.

The race looked the same going back to green, although Richie Gustin was now sticking his nose into the mix battling Brown and Carter for second and after a few laps Marriott had opened up a bit of a lead over Carter who was now established in second, and Gustin who was still chasing in third. With the laps winding down the lapped traffic was minimal and Marriott appeared to be in control with at least five car-lengths on Carter and that prompted some of the crowd to start scurrying out of the stands. I'll even admit that I was gathering my belongings and getting ready to make a quick exit, but as the white flag waved there was Carter driving to the inside of Marriott heading into turn one. The two young stars raced wheel-to-wheel through one and two and it was Carter with the bite down the back stretch to take the lead and soon the win in another thriller at Vinton. Gustin finished third, but I was later told that he had been disqualified for "an illegal box" so that moved Brown up to third at the pay window while Joel Rust would be credited with fourth.

Damon Murty drew the pole position for the twenty-lap Stock Car feature and as the winningest driver ever at Vinton that pretty much sealed the deal. Damon had to work for it though as Kody Scholpp quickly moved to second and was applying the pressure on the leader only to have something go awry in the motor on lap fourteen. It was a rough two nights for the young Canadian as he ended up on his side during a multi-car pileup the night before in Donnellson. A caution with five laps remaining gave Todd Reitzler a shot at repeating his performance the night before where he passed Murty late for the win, but that would not happen here as the "Chelsea Charger" soon celebrated in a victory lane that, at this rate, may someday be named after him. Reitzler was second, Brian Mahlstedt finished third but failed tech inspection with carburetor issues allowing Steve Meyer and Jay Schmidt to claim third and fourth.

The twenty-lap Sport Mod headliner had a tough time getting started with five cautions waving in the first three scored laps of racing. Once underway though the fans were treated to great high/low battle for the lead between Arie Schouten and Jonathan Logue. Shouten riding the cushion would lead those first three laps before the low side favored Logue who nosed ahead on lap four. Schouten came back to lead lap five before Logue was back in front again the next lap and then Schouten went back out front on lap seven. On the next lap Schouten entered turn one a little too high though and slipped over the top of the banking handing the lead back over to Logue and dropping him back to fifth in the process.

Now it looked like this would be Logue's race even though he had Joey Schaefer in hot pursuit and as the white flag waved Logue suddenly slowed and pulled to the high side. At first it looked like he had mistaken the white for the checkers as he drove around the high side at half throttle for the final lap, then just past the checkers he spun into the infield. The scent of rear end grease filled the air but after getting out to look Logue told an official that the steering had broke, but regardless it was Schaefer who took the win ahead of Tyler Soppe, Sam Wieben, Joe Docekal and Ethan Braaksma. It was another big run for Soppe, the defending IMCA National Champion, as he started the race from fifteenth.

The Hobby Stock main event was a good one as well featuring some good ol' fashioned bumpin' and bangin' between the leaders as they battled for the victory. Bradley Graham would lead until lap six, but Eric Stanton was on the charge after starting eleventh and he would take the point from there. Bryce Sommerfeld was racing hard in third when he spun on lap nine and at the same time the motor let go on Jeremy Purdy's car leaving a streak of oil all the way from the end of the Back Stretch through the top side of turn four. The clean up process took quite some time, the only break in the action during the night, and once back to green David Rieks came a calling on the leader. Rieks squeezed under Stanton in turn four to take the lead with five laps to go, but Stanton fought back and the two traded plenty of paint and made the sparks fly as they wrestled for the win. Stanton would pull back out front on lap twelve and while Rieks was right on his bumper the final three laps he raced him clean as Stanton took the win. For me at least it was great to see two drivers fight this hard for the win but not wreck each other, something that is usually not the case in the so-called higher levels of our sport.

Justin Wacha finished in the third spot, Graham was fourth and Matt Pohlman rounded out the top five.

The Micro Mods were on the card as well with a solid car count that included a couple of the best Mod Lite drivers from central Iowa. I assumed that the Mod Lites would dominate, but man oh man was I wrong. These little Micro Mods flat out fly around this tacky quarter-mile and Waukon's Chad Dugan made a final lap pass to take the win. Dallon Murty rallied to finish second as race long leader Derek Knutsen settled for third.

Announcers Jeff Kropf and Ryan Clark kept the crowd informed and entertained throughout the night and a big thanks to Ryan for the Positively Racing mention.

Tonight's Frostbuster at the Marshalltown Speedway has been canceled, but Toby Kruse will come back next week with two nights of racing dubbed the Twin Highbanks Hustle with racing on both Thursday and Friday April 19th and 20th.

The Deery Brothers Summer Series opener at the Davenport Speedway for tonight has been canceled and a makeup date is being considered.

The regular season opener at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson for tonight has been canceled.

As of now the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars at the Jacksonville Speedway is still on. Road trip?


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Shryock, Howes and Anderson Dominate, Reitzler and Taft Win Close Ones at Lee County's Frostbuster

After a one week delay the four night swing for the IMCA Frostbusters kicked off on a nice Wednesday night at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa. Actually the weather was really nice compared to what the area has experienced recently as on Monday morning nearly an inch of snow covered the southeast Iowa facility. On this night though the temperatures stayed in the sixties with the sun even making one dazzling appearance emerging from the overcast skies just before setting on the horizon.

One hundred and twenty-three cars signed in for the five division show, perhaps down a bit due to the rescheduling and the less than desirable forecast for this Friday and Saturday, but solid nonetheless and there was a nice mix of locals and travelers on hand including a couple of Sport Mod drivers all the way from Sidney, Montana, in Kyle and Phillip Keller. Californian Ethan Dotson was here with his Modified, but we have seen him setup shop here in the Midwest before as the Mod field also had drivers from Kansas, North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

At the end of the night though they would all be chasing the northern Iowa veteran Kelly Shryock who took the lead during a wild sequence on lap five of the Modified main event. Pole-sitter Shawn Ritter had set the pace for the opening laps before Chad Holladay charged underneath him going into turn one. As Holladay completed the slider in turn two, both he and Ritter lost momentum and that allowed Shryock to drive under both of them to take the lead just before the first caution of the race waved for a Joel Rust spin. A caution for debris one lap later only delayed the inevitable as on the next restart Shryock pulled away and cruised to a comfortable victory. Hunter Marriott made a nice run up to second after starting in the sixth row, but he could never get close enough to challenge the leader. Cayden Carter started seventh and finished third, Jeff Aikey was fourth and Holladay completed the top five.

The twenty lap IMCA Stock Car feature was a dandy, but it sure didn't start out that way. As the twenty-three car field was coming to green the outside second row car of Abe Huls got turned sideways at the flag stand and the scramble was on. When all was said and done nine cars were strewn across the front stretch with one of them, driven by Canadian Kody Scholpp, turned over onto its side with a brief fire breaking out in the engine area. All drivers were okay and while most of the cars involved were able to restart it was a disappointing end of the night for Scholpp who was impressive in winning his heat race on his first visit to LCS.

Damon Murty would secure the lead from his front row starting position while behind him the battle was fierce for the remaining top five positions. Following a lap thirteen caution for a track tire that had been punted onto the speedway in turn two, Murty now faced a challenge from Todd Reitzler. Finding a grip on the bottom of turns three and four Reitzler was able to take the lead by a nose at the line for lap fourteen, but Murty was not about to give in. With three laps remaining Murty was able to use that same line to squeeze under Reitzler as the two crossed the stripe in a virtual dead heat, but Todd was able to use the high side in turns one and two to regain the lead. Damon gave it one last shot on the final lap coming up a few car-lengths short as Reitzler scored the victory. John Oliver Jr. was close behind in third followed by Tom Bowling Jr. and pole starter Jason See.

Young Austin Howes is already having a memorable season after towing his Sport Mod to Arizona for some winter racing action where he came away the point champion and now he has kicked off his Midwest season in style as well with a Frostbuster victory. One of the drivers that he raced against in Arizona, Arie Schouten would lead the opening laps until caution waved for a three car spin in turn two on lap five. Following the restart Howes would go to work on Schouten and on lap eight Austin was able to sweep around the outside of turn four to take the lead. Schouten would battle back though to take the lead back on lap ten only to have Howes return the favor a lap later. From there the driver from Memphis, Missouri, would pull away for the victory. Jake McBirnie started tenth and had himself within striking distance over the final laps before finishing second, Austen Becerra came from twelfth to third, Tyler Soppe had an amazing run coming from fourteenth to fourth and what made it "amazing" was that he ran the second half of the race with his left front wheel flopping in the wind. If the race would have had another caution, Soppe would have had to head for the pits. In his first ever appearance at Donnellson Schouten who is from Blair, Nebraska, finished fifth.

It only took three laps for Shannon Anderson to come from the sixth starting spot to take the lead from Eric Knutson in the Hobby Stock feature and he would go unchallenged from there to take the win. The race was stopped only once when the right front wheel came off of Nathan Ballard's car and, as far as I can recall, this might have been Anderson's first ever appearance at Donnellson. Eric Stanton started from the fifth row and raced his way up to second, Leah Wroten took third, Knutson would finish fourth and David Rieks was fifth.

The fourteen lap Sport Compact feature had some interesting twists and turns to it with Barry Taft leading the opening laps. When Oliver Monson slowed on the back stretch that sent Jason Ash for a spin and the caution would wave on lap three. On the restart Josh Barnes would put the challenge on Taft and he would take that lead away on lap five. Barnes seemed to be on his way to victory when with just four laps remaining his right front wheel broke off exiting turn four. This would put Taft back out front for the restart with Ryan Havel now to challenge from second, but Havel's car lost power two laps later to bring out one last caution. Jake Benischek would drive under Taft on the restart and he would lead the field to the white flag, but Taft went elbows up in turns one and two to pull off a nifty high to low move to take back the lead down the back stretch and secure the win. Benischek was the runner-up, Darin Weisinger Jr. had a nice run up from eleventh to third, William Michel came from the fifth row to take fourth and Brandon Reu completed the top five.

The field was stout tonight with the defending All Iowa Points champion present in all five divisions with three of them, Shryock, Anderson and Taft taking feature wins. Nathan Wood and Tyler Soppe were the other two.

After having new dirt added to turns one and two about four weeks ago, and then with a couple of snowfalls since then the track rutted out pretty good in the middle of those turns much to the chagrin of promoter Mike Van Genderen who had spent most of the night after Tuesday's practice trying to get it packed in. Those who are familiar with the Lee County Speedway know that a rough track is the exception rather than the rule and you can bet that many hours of work will go in to getting it smoothed out as soon as possible.

The show started close to 7:30 as advertised and wrapped up just before eleven o'clock allowing me to get plenty of sleep so that I can make the trip to Vinton tonight for round two of the Frostbusters at the Benton County Speedway. Hope to see you there!


Monday, April 9, 2018

The One That I Missed!

Late last week in How Brave Are You? I gave you those tracks that at the time were still going to try to hold their races despite the terrible weather forecast for the weekend. Eventually all of those tracks canceled making it look like a clean sweep for Mother Nature in the states that we track with our Specials schedule at Positively Racing. Turns out though that I missed a track as the Diamond Park Speedway in Nashville, Arkansas, did go ahead and race on Saturday. Or at least I think they did as there have been no results and no follow up comments to their last post on Facebook stating "Come on to DPS we are racing."

In my defense though DPS is one of those tracks that I have been unable to get a Schedule or Results from despite the fact that they have a Facebook page and a website. The home page of the track website tells you that the 2018 Racing Season begins on March 24th and asks you to "please share", but when I click on the Schedule link I see nothing. Please let me know if you see something different! And I get the same look on the Results page as well. Yes, I can see the victory lane photos from March 24th on the Facebook page, but there are no names given and I can click on a Smugmug link that will give me all kinds of race night pictures. Apparently though nobody can take the time to make a post that that actually gives the results.

In this day and age there is no excuse for running "Secret Races".

I still haven't been able to find the results from opening night March 31st at the Peoria Speedway either. Once again I can see feature winner pictures as well as a Smugmug link to 126 pictures from the night on Facebook, but no results. When I asked about it through a Facebook message the response was that the Results could be found on their website. Yes, they do have a Results tab on the track website, but as of this writing if you click it you will be taken to the track's Speed Net Direct page with results from September 30th of last season.

I am guessing that they just don't realize that Speed Net, a service that I believe to be on its way out, is just not up to date because if you go directly to Speed Net Direct and look at their "Most Recent Results" you will find that they come from March 17th at the Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina. That little exercise did reveal a tidbit of information that you might be interested in as the winner of the 19 car Limited Late Model feature that night was Pat Rachels. Pat is a second generation driver, the son of Terry Rachels and Mary Drake, and he went to high school in Knoxville, Iowa. Pat did a little dirt track racing around here, but with an education at Clemson University he now pounds the pavement in the southeast with a little bit of help with some friends from back home as you can see from this picture that I blatantly stole from his Facebook page.

Anyway, here's hoping that Peoria gets things straightened out with Speed Net, or moves to someone else so that we can see the results from the quick little quarter mile during the 2018 season.

On Sunday afternoon I went to the Memorial gathering for Conrad Olson who passed away on March 17th at the age of 80. One of the owners of the Olson Brothers Custom Shop, Conrad and his family were a fixture for many, many years at 34 Raceway in Burlington and the love and respect for him and his family showed as a large crowd gathered to pay their respects. It was a like a family reunion for the 34 Raceway family, old and new with one former driver telling me "I'll bet that 90% of the people in here owe him money because he never charged you what he should have for all that he did." Another veteran driver looked around the crowded room and said, "this is incredible. I sure hope that when I go that this many people remember me in this way." Rest in Peace Conrad,

We have snow on the ground here in southeast Iowa on this Monday morning, but with a temperature that is to push above 50 on Tuesday and jump to near 70 on Wednesday the opener of the IMCA Frostbusters at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson is on as scheduled. The practice night along with the King of the Hill races for Tuesday may be a bit iffy though, but keep an eye on the track's Facebook page where they do a great job of keeping you updated on what's happening.

My plan is to bust out of this late winter with three nights of racing this week, Wednesday night at Donnellson and Thursday night in Vinton for the Frostbusters and then Friday night in Davenport with the Rebel 5K opener for the Deery Brothers Summer Series. Hope to see you on the Back Stretch!