BLOOMINGTON, IN (July 14, 2001) - Many drivers are superstitious about Friday the 13th. Fortunately for Derek Scheffel, he isn't one of them. There is no question that Derek knows the fast way around Bloomington Speedway. He has the 1998 and...
BLOOMINGTON, IN (July 14, 2001) - Many drivers are superstitious about Friday the 13th. Fortunately for Derek Scheffel, he isn't one of them. There is no question that Derek knows the fast way around Bloomington Speedway. He has the 1998 and 1999 track championships to prove it. However, the level of competition on the famous red clay has continued to improve; and Derek has had to improve along with it to maintain his position. Over the past couple of years, Kevin Briscoe has become the man to beat. And, Kevin Thomas is running at Bloomington Speedway on a regular basis; and he's a hard man to beat anywhere. When you add drivers like Greg Dillion, Kenny Carmichael, Eric Burns, Jared Fox, etc. to the mix, a Bloomington Speedway feature win is indeed hard to come by.
Derek started the evening by setting quick time for the second week in a row. He then rolled onto the track and won his heat race by a wide margin. Of course, he still had to start in the sixth spot in the feature. He caught a break when Wil Newlin, who started on the front row, spun on the first circuit mandating a complete restart that moved Derek up to the second row for the restart. Kevin Thomas jumped into the lead with Briscoe right behind him with Greg Dillion and Kenny Carmichael also in the mix. All of these guys have had success at Bloomington; and none of them were going to be a soft touch. Thomas, Briscoe, etc. all went for the bottom; but Derek had believed that the top would be the fast way around. He went quickly to the top and rim-rode the balance of the race. On some laps it worked for him; and on others it didn't. However, he was confident that it was the place to be; and he was committed to running up there.
On the fifth circuit, Derek moved into third behind Briscoe and Thomas. On the lucky 13th circuit, Derek passed Thomas for second. Two laps later, Derek took the lead. Briscoe saw Derek running on top so effectively; and he went up on top himself. However, the top side didn't work nearly as well for Briscoe; and he went back to the bottom. He always had Derek in range; but, unless Derek made a mistake, he wasn't going to get past him again. Although Derek seemed to be getting a little loose, he made no mistakes; and a well-earned victory was his. Briscoe held onto second, with a couple of lapped cars separating his from third place Thomas. Dillion, Carmichael, and Butch Winings rounded out the top five.
Briscoe and Danny Holtsclaw won the other two heats, while Mitch Cunningham took the B Feature. This week's competition should bring the points race very close to a three way tie for the lead in the race to the Bloomington Speedway championship.
Denny Campbell held off Brad Cummings for all 25 laps of the Tire & Wheel Center Super Stock feature. Cummings tried every line on the track; but Campell was not to be denied. Perry Bruce and Greg Kendall often made it a four way battle for the lead; however, much of thei time they were so busy battling for third that they had no time to worry about taking the win. Terry Arthur came home fifth. Greg O'Neill and Jeremy Hines who came into Friday night's competition lost ground in their battle for the Tire & Wheel Center Super Stock championship.
Cummings took the Lee & Sons Trimming first heat; while Campbell won WRC Outdoor Power Equipment heat 2. Trent Niflis prevailed in the third heat while Campbell took the dash for cash. The O'Neal Wood Products Open Wheel Modified feature had Ray Humphrey taking the lead from the outside of the second row on the first lap. Sasser, Clint DeMoss, and Gary Trammell were right on his tail. Humphrey held the lead for ten circuits while Sasser and DeMoss battle for second. However, on the 11th lap, Sasser moved into the lead; and Matt Bokecht passed Clint DeMoss for third and passed Humprey for second on the following circuit. From that point until the checkered flags waved, it was a three way battle for the win with Sasser always on the point. On the white flag lap, Humprey passed Boknecht for second. Boknecht held third ahead of Richie Lex and Gary Trammell.
In preliminary competition, Clint DeMoss, Sasser, Trammell, and Humphrey won the heat races. Sasser won the Blackwell Trucking Dash for Cash while Gary Barrow, Jr. prevailed in the "B" feature.