BLOOMINGTON, IND. (September 15, 2001) - Mike Miles and the rest of the Bloomington Speedway team agonized all week about whether or not the Dizz Wilson Shootout should be run. Of course, we, like the rest of the world, have spent much of this...
BLOOMINGTON, IND. (September 15, 2001) - Mike Miles and the rest of the Bloomington Speedway team agonized all week about whether or not the Dizz Wilson Shootout should be run. Of course, we, like the rest of the world, have spent much of this week contemplating the meaning of the tragedy in New York, Washington, and Western Pennsylvania. The decision was finally made that our best opportunity to make a positive statement this week would be to refuse to let the terrorists responsible for this tragedy disrupt our lives any further. We would race. Of course, this kind of statement could not reasonably be made by national sporting events. The logistic problems created by the disruption of the air transport system would be too much to overcome.
Having decided that we would run our program as planned, we began to explore ways to make our statement even more meaningful. We invited the American Red Cross to attend the event and collect donations from our fans and participants to help with the relief effort. It was also determined that the portion of the 50-50 drawing not going to the winner should go to the American Red Cross as well.
At 7:00 PM, we joined the rest of the country in three minutes of silence followed by Karla Reynolds' rendition of God Bless America. Many of the fans present took this opportunity to light the candles that they had brought with them. The racing program then continued. However, that was not the end of our attention to the nation's tragedy. The fire crew elected to donate their pay to the American Red Cross; and 50-50 drawing winner, Jessie Taylor of Needham, asked that her winnings also go to the American Red Cross. Ronnie McClain of the Bedford Free Methodist Church expressed the thoughts that many of us were having in his invocation; and Karla Reynolds led the singing of our National Anthem.
WINGED SPRINT CARS
Randy Kinser, in the first qualification run that he had made all season, set quick time followed by Joe Gaerte Dick Gaines II, Kraig Kinser, Boston Reid, and Kevin Briscoe.
Derek Scheffel qualified and ran his heat race in the #20 Dougherty car; however, the car broke in Derek's heat race. While the crew had been preparing the 20 car for competition, Derek's car owners, his father Ron and his uncle Marty, had been finishing the assembly of Derek's new sprinter; and, by the time to run the semi came, they had it ready to run. Of course they were nowhere near having the car sorted out; but it was plenty good enough to earn a transfer spot into the Dizz Wilson Shootout.
In preliminary action, the heat races went to Kelly Kinser, Danny Smith, and Jimmy McBee. Mini-sprint veteran Curt Trainer beat out local favorite Jared Fox for the semi feature win trailed by Jim Stinson, two time Bloomington Speedway champion Derek Scheffel of Columbus, and 2001 Bloomington Speedway Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Eric Roberts who beat out Steve Phillips for the final transfer spot.
When the feature began 2001 Bloomington Speedway Sprint Car Champion Kevin Briscoe of Mitchell sat on the front row beside 18 year old Boston Reid of Logansport. When the green flag fell, Briscoe, who knows the Bloomington Speedway red clay oval like the back of his hand, jumped into the lead; and it looked like he might check out on the field. However, on the 17th circuit, Briscoe spun and had to go to the tail. Reid inherited the lead; but he still had his hands full; because veteran winged sprint car shoe Joe Gaerte was right behind him. On the 26th circuit, Gaerte got past Reid to take the lead; but Gaerte still had his hands full. Reid was right behind him; and, as if that weren't enough to handle, Dick Gaines II was coming.
As the leaders were coming down to take the white flag, Gaines' right front shock broke. The corner dropped, dug in, and sent Gaines tumbling into turn four. He crawled out of his mangled mount uninjured; but his evening was obviously over.
The red flag set up a two lap shootout for the feature win. Reid tried every line on the track to get around Gaerte. The pair went into the turn four of the final lap with Gaerte on the bottom and Reid going high. Reid held on and reached the finish line just ahead of Gaerte to take the Dizz Wilson Shootout and the first win of his career at Bloomington Speedway.
Bloomington's Kevin "Pup" Huntley came home third trailed by 16 year old Kraig Kinser, eldest son of the King of the Outlaws Steve Kinser. Kraig's teammate and uncle Randy Kinser who was competing in only his second race of the season came home fifth ahead of Randy Smith, Brian Carlson, Briscoe, Jimmy McBee, and Tom Busch.
O'NEAL WOOD PRODUCTS OPEN WHEEL MODIFIEDS
Going into the last night's racing action, Matt Boknecht held a thin 16 point lead over Adam Sasser. The points race had been nearly dead even before the August 24 racing program; but, during August 24 racing, everything on the track except the pace car seemed to hit Sasser. The bottom line was that he failed to make the feature and fell behind in the points race. In order to hold on to a real chance at the O'Neal Wood Products Open Wheel Modified Championship, Sasser was going to have win while Boknecht would have to have the kind of evening that Sasser had the previous race. It was not to be.
Richie Lex started on the pole beside Shelby Miles. Lex held off initial pressure from Shelby Miles and then from Darin George and Ray Humphrey. Humphrey got by Lex to take the point on 12th circuit. However, Lex pressured Humphrey as much as he had been pressured. Humphrey held off Lex until the 17th lap when Lex took the lead for good. Humphrey held onto second until the 24th lap when Adam Sasser moved past Humphrey into second. Humphrey held onto third trailed by George, Boknecht who clinched the championship, Rodney Harris, Jr., Troy Jarvis, Clint DeMoss, Ryan Thomas, and Jason Sims
In preliminary action, Miles, George, Sasser, and Lex won the heat races. Lex prevailed in the Blackwell Trucking Dash for Cash while super stock pilot regular Perry Bruce took the semi.
TIRE & WHEEL CENTER SUPER STOCKS
When the Tire & Wheel Center Super Stocks unloaded Greg O'Neill held a 12 point lead over Jeremy Hines. As the evening progressed the task that Hines had ahead of him continued to grow. He finished 5th in his heat race just out of a transfer spot. He won the semi; but this meant that he started 17th in the feature event. He still had a chance at the championship; however, with O'Niell leading the points and starting the feature on the front row, Hines' chances were slim indeed. All hope was finally lost on the second circuit of the feature when he pulled his broken mount into the infield.
O'Neill took the lead when the green flag fell to start the feature and he held it until he passed under Rusty's checkered flags. Trent Niflis chased O'Neill for the entire distance; but he couldn't get past him. Jay Deckard came from his fifth place starting position to finish third while Brian Campbell came from the semi and an 18th place starting position to finish fourth. Chris Hillman came home fifth trailed by Michael Purtlebaugh, Danny Harris, Ralph Groomer, Perry Bruce, and Mike Jones.
Niflis, O'Neill, Bruce, and Hillman won the heat races while Niflis took the dash. Hines won the Tom Cherry Muffler "B" Feature.
The Bloomington Speedway season will conclude on September 21st with the 6th Annual Indiana Super Stock & UMP Modified Nationals in Memory of Pat Burch. Each feature will pay $1,250 to start with proper decals and $100 to start. The top ten points awards will be presented at this event.