Friday, March 16, 2012

Is It June??

As I was standing there pumping some of that BP liquid gold into my tank last evening, the six o’clock sun was still warm, there was waves of heat coming off the asphalt and the smell of freshly cut grass was in the air. All of a sudden it hit me, whenever I have all of these senses hitting me at once, more often than not I am fueling up for a trip to the races. But this was March 14th, just the middle of March, and it is eighty degrees for the second day in a row with an extended forecast that calls for highs in the sixties or higher for the next fifteen days. Amazing!

With this kind of weather I would usually be scrambling to try and make it to my first race of the year and there would have been options within a reasonable distance this weekend. Beatrice, Nebraska, and Humboldt, Kansas, are both running two-day shows this Friday and Saturday while down in the St. Louis area Belle-Clair Speedway kicks things off tonight with the “Shamrock 40” and Highland Speedway follows that up on Saturday night with the “Lucky 40”. And, if you wanted to drive past St. Louis down to Malden, Missouri, the USCS Bootheel 200 is going on this weekend. However, playing the odds and knowing how the weather usually is around St. Patty’s Day, I actually made plans that do not include racing for the next two weekends. Here is hoping that all of these events are a great success with full pit areas and overflowing grandstands. It takes guts to schedule a race for mid-March in this part of the country, and when Mother Nature does give that risk her blessing you hope that the reward is handsome.

As of right now the extended forecast for next weekend’s events looks good as well with the USMTS running at LA Raceway on Friday night and at I-35 Speedway in Winston, Missouri on Saturday night. The MLRA Late Models will kick off their season in Springfield, Missouri, on Saturday night and Belle-Clair will also be back in action with the POWRi midgets that night.

Hopefully the weather will continue to cooperate as we end March and start April as my “first race” target is now the Deery Brothers opener at Farley on the 31st and then either Vinton or Quincy on April 1st.

Dismal weather forecasts for March 10th in Springield, Missouri, gradually improved as the date neared the Springfield Raceway was able to get their rescheduled Turkey Classic in the books last Saturday. The pessimistic weatherman actually caused the Batesville Raceway in northern Arkansas to cancel their three-day show early and, as it turned out, it looks they would have been just fine all three days. Twenty-eight Late Models made the trip to Springfield with Jack Sullivan taking the win in the GRT house car. Fellow Arkansas drivers Jon Kirby and Kyle Beard made a rare trip north and finished fourth and seventh respectively. Al Humphrey pulled his #6 Late Model down from Nebraska, this time with Dylan Smith on board taking a ninth place finish. The week before Humphrey’s driver was Missourian Jesse Stovall who found himself on the throne, literally, after winning the Tuckasee Toilet Bowl Classic in Clarksville, Tennessee. I believe that Stovall was in his own equipment at Springfield where he finished 16th.

There 34 cars each in the A-Mods and the B-Mods with Terry Phillips and Kris Jackson taking the wins. Jesse Sobbing, the defending Turkey B-Mod champion, finished fifth. As noted before, I would have liked to have been at Springfield last Saturday night, but I sure am glad that I missed it and you can check out the next two entries down the page to see why.

Here’s hoping that you have the opportunity to go racing somewhere soon to kick off the 2012 in style!

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