The Bob Lockard/Bob Meyers memorial race at Grundy County Speedway in Morris IL was a fitting stage for the U.M.A.R.A Sportsman Midget event on Saturday July 8th. With a full field of racecars in attendance and drivers anxious to go into the break...
The Bob Lockard/Bob Meyers memorial race at Grundy County Speedway in Morris IL was a fitting stage for the U.M.A.R.A Sportsman Midget event on Saturday July 8th. With a full field of racecars in attendance and drivers anxious to go into the break as victorious, the night was filled with both joy and disappointment.
Doug Orseske would experience the first joy when he qualified with the fast time. Tonight that held even more importance to the Orseske family, as the car owner Diana is Bob Meyers niece, one of two men tonight was to honor. As fast qualifier Doug flew one of the two American flags during the national anthem. Doug set his goal on continuing to bring racing glory to his family tonight but Joe Knipple, Tom Shilkuski, Loran Critchett Jr., and Sean Murphy, the rest of the top 5 qualifiers were not about to just give Doug, the wins, he would have to earn them.
Sean Murphy would take an early command of the first heat, with Loran Critchett Jr., allowing him very little breathing room. In the third lap Tom Shilkuski would have to pull of the track due to oil difficulties that would plague him the rest of the night. One lap later Bob Guess would find himself having engine difficulties that would cause him also to leave the track. In the fifth lap Rich Peceniak, in the back straight would hit the wall with enough force to shatter his rear end and cause engine damage. Rich kept it together and safely removed his car from the track. This may not have only ended his night but his season. After the restart, Sean once again took off pulling away from the pack, this time putting a gap between himself and Loran.
<pre> #5 Sean Murphy #17 Loran Critchett Jr. #33 Joe Knipple #11 Frank Riess #0 Doug Orseske #52 Jim Opatic #99 Rich Peceniak #38 Bob Guess #23 Tom Shilkuski
</pre> From the start of the second heat you could see that Mick Bilhorn was set on taking home his heat win plaque tonight. Basil Hicks tried to turn up the heat, but Mick would continually blow out his flame. Dave Ohlendorf made an impressive run from the back of pack to challenge Terry Guimond for third in order to secure a place in the feature, that pass he would make in the seventh lap. Dave than tried to catch and pass Basil, but Basil would not budge and Dave had to settle for third as Mick crossed the start finish line.
<pre> #10 Mick Bilhorn #22 Basil Hicks #1 Dave Ohlendorf #7 Terry Guimond #31 Matt Daily #88 Mike Smith #28 Rick Shoemaker #28k Kevin Langston
</pre> Rookie Kirk Jobe who started near the rear of the final heat made an impressive run. First obstacle would be the #69 car of Jim Ziarkowski. Jim held him back for the first couple of laps. Kirk kept his eyes on the track, and it would pay off big. Coming off turn 3 into turn 4 he saw his opening. Not only did Kirk pass Jim but also Jack Knox and Rich Sponholtz catapulting him into the lead. Jack, than made his move and was able to pass Rich but did not have the window to pass Kirk, who brought home his first Midget checkered flag.
<pre> #28 Kirk Jobe #57 Jack Knox #69 Jim Ziarkowski #9 Rich Sponholtz #77 Bob Kenning #3x Lee Beckwith #94 Joline Deheve-Slomka #31x Scott Brzeczak
</pre> The final race would once again give Doug the opportunity to bring remembrance to his family's tradition of racing. Doug would start on the pole, and his job for the next twenty-five laps was not to let anyone pass. Joe Knipple our current points leader wanted the honor of the win all for himself. In each corner Joe would close the gap, and in each straight-a-way Doug would begin to pull away. In the seventh lap Bob Guess would find himself facing the wrong way on the track, bringing out the yellow flag. This would be a real test for Doug and his engine, which has had trouble during restarts. Not this time though, as the green flag waved Doug put his foot to the floor and gave it all he had. Joe continued to stay right with him and the crowd watched every inch as Joe continued to get closer and than Doug would pull away again. In the 22nd lap the yellow would come out again, giving Joe another hope that he could get around Doug on the restart. The track once again went green but this time would not even last a half of lap before another spin would bring out the yellow. Doug would later state that it felt that the 22nd lap was never going to end. This time when the race re-started it was a neck to neck dash between Doug and Joe. But this race, as well as this night, belongs to Doug and Momence Speed and Marine sponsored Midget.
<pre> #0 Doug Orseske #33 Joe Knipple #17 Loran Critchett Jr. #31 Matt Daily #11 Frank Riess #22 Basil Hicks #10 Mick Bilhorn #1 Dave Ohlendorf #69 Jim Ziarkowski #88 Mike Smith #28j Kirk Jobe #57 Jack Knox #9 Rich Sponholtz #52 Jim Opatic #77 Bob Kenning #94 Joline Deheve-Slomka #23 Tom Shilkuski #7 Terry Guimond #3x Lee Beckwith #5 Sean Murphy #38 Bob Guess