AVSS opener awesome for Blonde. Shelbyville MI- The Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Super Sprint Series opened the 2003 season at the fast Â½ mile Baer Field Speedway and taking the first feature of the year was Litchfield MI driver ...
AVSS opener awesome for Blonde.
Shelbyville MI- The Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Super Sprint Series opened the 2003 season at the fast ½ mile Baer Field Speedway and taking the first feature of the year was Litchfield MI driver Jason Blonde.
The two-day event part of the Baer Field open wheel spectacular was an incredible success with a huge field of cars in the AVSS pits with 28 cars checking in and 27 taking qualifying attempts. The racer capturing the Hamilton Trucking fast time award was Terre Haute IN driver Kevin Newton. He set quick time at 15.006. The three-time AVSS champion Gary Fedewa was second quick at 15.040 and Rick Baker was third at 15.053.
The three AVSS heat races were captured by Troy Underwood who picked up the first United Trailers heat win of the season, Jeff Bloom who scored the Dowker Engines heat and Johnboy Hotchkiss who took the third heat sponsored by Wolverine Steel.
Promoter Tom Isch who decided to award all 26 cars starting positions in the feature canceled the B-main. There was a scary incident in heat two when Bill Jacoby of Marshall MI was involved in a five-car accident and flipped his car once. He however was fine but the car suffered much damage.
With the decision to eliminate the B-feature it was time to line up the 26 car main event which was scheduled for thirty laps. The top six cars were inverted and redrew for their starting positions, which placed Blonde on the pole and Kevin Newton to his outside. The giant crowd cheered the always-popular three wide AVSS salute to the great sprintcar fans in the Hoosier State and then it was time to strap in tight and get ready for 26 cars battling for 30 laps.
The feature started with Newton using the high line to his advantage and taking the early lead. It was on lap three when the first caution flew for a multi car accident in turn one involving Kevin Feeney, Ben Hidy, Mike Astrauskas, Dennis Craft and Jerry Kelly. When that was cleaned up the field restarted single file and Newton continued to lead followed by Blonde. The second and final caution flew on lap 14 when Chris Hettinger's car stalled on the apron of turn one and a quick yellow was needed.
The race restarted and just after half way Blonde started trying his move to the top side of the track and finally on lap 22 was able to accomplish his beautiful pass for the lead and actually pull away from Newton over the last seven laps. While this was happening an incredible battle was developing for third and fourth between Curt Shumaker and Mike Ling. It was later discovered that Shumaker had a left rear tire going flat, but he was able to hold off Ling who had started ninth and take the third paying position. In an amazing run from 16th Tom Fedewa was able to take the final top five finish.
The rest of the top ten were Baker sixth, Bloom seventh, G.Fedewa eighth, rookie Brian Lay ninth and Feeney tenth after the early accident.
The young driver Blonde driving for his new car owner Jim Brown of Komoka ONT was very happy to be in victory lane and thanked all the crew and Southwestern Truck Service his major sponsor. The great crowd cheered its approval of Blondes drive and can look forward to three more appearances of the winged warriors of the AVSS at the Fort Wayne IN oval.
The AVSS stars head for their home away from home the Auto City Speedway in Flint MI this coming Saturday May 3 when we see if the track record 12.98 by Hank Lower will be broken because the new asphalt has been poured last fall and now we find out how low can we go.