Eldora, Winchester reports to 95-08-12

This was a major sprint car weekend here in the midwest, with four consecutive nights at Eldora and one at Winchester. Wed: USAC sprints at Eldora. Biggest crash-fest I've seen at a USAC show in a long time. Only serious injury was Terry Pletch...

This was a major sprint car weekend here in the midwest, with four consecutive nights at Eldora and one at Winchester.

Wed: USAC sprints at Eldora. Biggest crash-fest I've seen at a USAC show in a long time. Only serious injury was Terry Pletch who broke his collar bone. Dave Darland, one of the best racers around, got into the turn 3 wall hard during qualifications and destroyed his car. Feature was one of the best ever. Byron Reed, U. of Toledo college student, beat Jack Hewitt. Hewitt was tight on Reed's tail for most of the race, the two of them running very high through the turns and nearly banging the concrete on every lap (if you've ever been to Eldora you know that that can be fatal).

Thurs: Passed up the All-Stars at Eldora to take in the USAC sprints at Winchester. As you may know, Winchester has been re-re-paved after the disasterous re-paving in May. Kenny Irwin set a new track record of 123+ mph. By the end of the first heat it was obvious that the track was back to its historic greatness. Lots of two-wide running and plenty of passing. Lots of credit has to go to track owner Roger Holdeman who publically admitted that he screwed up the paving and then fixed it. Roger and wife Linda (who describes herself as "a woman with balls") are a class act. Feature was won by Chet Fillip, followed by Tony Stewart and Doug Kalitta.

Fri: Eldora again for WoO. I think putting a wing on a sprint car is an abomination, but the WoO boys sure do know how to race. Stevie Smith came through the field to take the feature after battling furiously with Dave Blaney and Sammy Swindell.

Sat: Earl Baltes, the natural heir to P. T. Barnum, stages the 3rd annual Historical Big One, paying $100,000 to win ($1500 to start). Charlie Fisher sets a NTR in qualifying (didn't hear the speed, but the old record was 133+ mph--that's really honkin' around a half-mile track!). 24 cars start the main, but all have to earn it through their heats. Lots of cars in the joint, and lots of good drivers go home early, including Mark and Randy Kinser, Billy Pauch, and Jack Hewitt. Steve Kinser, Jac Haudenschild, and Dave Blaney run very close though the feature until Blaney drops out. Kinser and Haud run side by side lap after lap, with Kinser eventually taking the win. After a race-long battle, Keith Kauffman takes third from Frankie Kerr with just a few laps remaining.

Sun: Come home and watch the Indycar boys try to go two-abreast through a 30 mph turn without running over each other.

Phil

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Series Sprint
Drivers Tony Stewart , Doug Kalitta , Steve Kinser , Dave Darland , Jack Hewitt , Sammy Swindell , Chet Fillip , Billy Pauch , Dave Blaney , Jac Haudenschild