namars: Namars Speedrome notes 2000-09-15

by Janie Vogel www.ILikeRacing.com NAMARS SPEEDROME NOTES: The NAMARS organization is here tonight and also again on Friday night, September 29th as a trial run for a possible weekly show here at the Speedrome next year, tentatively on ...

by Janie Vogel
www.ILikeRacing.com

NAMARS SPEEDROME NOTES: The NAMARS organization is here tonight and also again on Friday night, September 29th as a trial run for a possible weekly show here at the Speedrome next year, tentatively on Thursdays.....

25 NAMARS Championship Midget cars and 14 Kenyon Cars were in the pits tonight.....

This race was co-promoted by both NAMARS and legendary Midget driver Ralph Ligouri, who has spent this year running the regular Speedrome shows for owner Joel Cohen.....

Rick Treadway is competing in this NAMARS event after having a very successful year running his Midget here during USAC's weekly Regional Series, where he currently sits tied for second spot. Treadway has an interesting week coming up as he leaves Sunday for Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, KY to test an Indy Racing Northern Light Series car for his father's team, Treadway Racing, owned by Fred Treadway. The team will be in Kentucky testing Rick all day Monday, then current IRL driver Davey Hamilton will take over the wheel for a Firestone tire test on Tuesday and Wednesday. Hamilton is in line for what may be a vacated spot or two on that team next year.....

The Kenyon cars also ran with NAMARS here. These are full-sized, self-starting Midgets designed by Mel and Don Kenyon a few years ago as an economical alternative to running with the more expensive NAMARS or USAC organizations. Most sanctions require drivers to be at least 16 years old, however, to run a Kenyon car a driver only has to be 12 years old, allowing kids to get a great head start on a career in professional auto racing. 12-year-old Josh Allison is the youngest competitor here tonight. The economical part comes in their engine department, as the Kenyon engines are capable of being fit into another full-sized Midget that may be more competitive in USAC or NAMARS, thus eliminating the car owner having to buy all new equipment when he/she wants to move up. Mel and Don Kenyon were on hand here at the Speedrome wrenching on their famous #61 car, piloted by Mel's son Brice Kenyon, who has made numerous starts here throughout the years and is a regular NAMARS competitor.....

The day was beautiful and sunny, but the night turned awfully cold here at the Speedrome, with temperatures dipping into the 40s.....

NAMARS' "Road To Indy" program was brought close to home tonight when the world-reknowned Indianapolis Motor Speedway Safety Team arrived for duties for tonight's show. The drivers were in excellent hands should any mishap occur.....

Driver Travis Welpott, who led the NAMARS point standings going into this Speedrome show, was very close to clinching his first major open-wheel championship, but had a motor let go at the end of his hot lap session, ending his night prematurely. He didn't give up, though, and got help from Kenyon driver Shane Hollingsworth for the Midget Feature, which allowed Welpott to clinch his first major title after finishing 12th....

Nice to see former driver Jim Keeker here watching the trackside activities. Jim was a fierce competitor in many different open-wheel divisions until a horrible accident at the "Copper World Classic" a few years ago left him unable to race anymore, although able to lead an active, normal life in every other way.....

Rookies in tonight's NAMARS field included quick qualifier and former feature winner Aaron Pierce, Travis Miniea, John Mount and Thomas Briggs.....

Between the NAMARS Midgets heat races and the start of the Kenyon Car Feature, NAMARS held a driver autograph session for the fans whereby all of the drivers at the Speedrome stood at the base of the grandstand and interacted with the fans. The night was going so smoothly as far as time they needed a filler, and this was a nice 'thank you' to all of the fans who braved the cold weather to support NAMARS' first venture into Speedrome territory.....

Dave Baumgartner, who has been a regular on the NAMARS circuit but has been concentrating on the ARCA Midget division this year, was here tonight observing and helping when he could, but ended up with a driver's suit on by the end of the night, as he found a Kenyon car that he could jump in and tag the tail of the NAMARS feature.....

An Indy Racing Northern Light Series showcar for driver Scott Sharp who runs for the Kelley Racing Team was here on display outside of the main grandstands.....

The Speedrome, although known for its weekly, regional shows, is really a very fine facility capable of holding major national shows on a regular basis. With seating for about 5,000, this is a great place to come watch a race, as the amenities are all very fan-friendly. As opposed to other short tracks which choose to ignore the the fans need for ongoing knowledge, the Speedrome has a wonderful, big scoreboard high above turns one and two, which regularly updates fans as to the top-five running cars, as well as the lap count - both things fans desperately want to know throughout the night (especially here on a super-tight, small oval where lapped cars quickly get in the way, causing confusion as to who's doing what at the front of the field). Good food is served all night in the pits and general admission areas, as well as beverages including beer, and the bathrooms are spacious and well-stocked. Reasonable prices, ample parking and easy access from the main I-465 freeway make this a pleasure, if not a bargain, for anyone seeking a racing fix throughout the year. When Feature time approaches, there's never a dull moment, as this is a tough track to navigate, with passing skills held at a premium, allowing for exciting racing every time the gates open.....

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Midget
Drivers Scott Sharp , Josh Allison , Rick Treadway , Travis Miniea , Aaron Pierce , Shane Hollingsworth , Dave Baumgartner