DirtNews Digest Your Online News Source for Late Model Dirt Track Racing "Get Some Dirt On Your Computer!" Todd Turner, editor Email address: DirtNews@aol.com Web site: ...
DirtNews Digest Your Online News Source for Late Model Dirt Track Racing "Get Some Dirt On Your Computer!" Todd Turner, editor
Email address: DirtNews@aol.com Web site: http://members.aol.com/dirtnews/digest =================================== CONTENTS: Aug. 22-23 results (published Aug. 24) STARS: Aukland wins North-South 100 at Florence =================================== SHORT TRACK AUTO RACING STARS (STARS) North-South 100
UNION, Ky. (Friday and Saturday) Rick Aukland of Fargo, N.D., took the lead from Skip Arp on the 26th lap went on to take home another big 1997 paycheck, this time $20,000 at the 15th annual North-South 100 at Florence Speedway.
"This is big," said Aukland, who won his first race at the northern Kentucky oval. "We have come close here before but just couldn't do it. We finally have a win at Florence."
The feature was filled with close racing with many cars showing cosmetic damage afterwards, however Aukland was able to stay ahead of the action for the most part.
The polesitting Arp -- who won the Hav-A-Tampa event at Florence on July 19 -- looked strong early, managing to wrestle the lead from Steve Francis after the two battled side-by-side the first few laps. A caution for Jim Curry's flat tire on lap 5 would slow Arp for a moment but the Georgetown, Tenn., driver was fast on the restart as he pulled away slightly from Aukland, who had gotten under Francis for second.
As Arp entered lapped traffic, his lead on Aukland was shrinking quickly. Aukland, in his Rayburn chassis with a new Pontiac Grand Prix body, used the lapped cars to set up Arp and take the lead.
"It took me awhile to get by Arp -- about 20 laps I guess -- but I finally boxed him in behind a lapped car and was able to get under him there," Aukland said.
The race would remain green until just after the halfway mark. At that point the cars on the move were Bart Hartman and Bob Pierce.
The 16th-starting Pierce was up to seventh while Hartman, who started 13th, was all the way up to fourth and Donnie Moran had now moved into the eighth spot after starting 15th.
Arp was staying fairly close to the leader after the restart. However that would change after about 75 laps when Aukland suddenly took off, eventually stretching out to a half-track lead.
"For a long time I was faster in (turns) 1 and 2 than I was in 3 and 4," said Aukland. "Then I got it anchored down good in 3 and 4 and I took off after that."
Moran would continue his methodical march to the front until matching up with Francis in the late stages of the event. The former STARS champions battled intensely for the second spot after they each had gotten around a slightly fading Arp.
With only six laps remaining Moran and Francis made contact, cutting down Francis' left-rear tire. He would ride out the remaining laps and drop to 12th in the finishing order. Moran held on for second ahead of Arp, Hartman and Pierce. John Gill, Mike Balzano, Jack Boggs, Tim Hitt and Darrell Lanigan rounded out the top 10.
CAR COUNT: 58 late models.
FAST QUALIFIER: Eddie Carrier Jr., 17.135 seconds (half-mile oval).
FAST DASH (sets first three rows of feature): Skip Arp, Steve Francis, Rick Aukland, Steve Smith, Mike Jewell, Eddie Carrier Jr.
HEAT WINNERS: John Gill, Jack Boggs, Darrell Lanigan, Rick Eckert.
CONSOLATION WINNERS: Booper Bare, Jim Curry.
FEATURE (Pos., driver, car no., hometown, chassis, laps, winnings, reason out) 1. Rick Aukland (12), Fargo, N.D., Rayburn, 100, $20,000 2. Donnie Moran (99), Dresden, Ohio, MasterSbilt, 100, $10,000 3. Skip Arp (31), Georgetown, Tenn., GRT, 100, $5,000 4. Bart Hartman (75), Zanesville, Ohio, MasterSbilt, 100, $3,000 5. Bob Pierce (32), Danville, Ohio, MasterSbilt, 100, $2,500 6. John Gill (75), Mitchell, Ind., MasterSbilt, 100, $2,000 7. Mike Balzano (E1), Parkersburg, W.Va., Rocket, 100, $1,800 8. Jack Boggs (B4), Grayson, Ky., MasterSbilt, 100, $1,700 9. Tim Hitt (68), Weston, W.Va., Rocket, 100, $1,600 10. Darrell Lanigan (29), Union, Ky., MasterSbilt, 100, $1,500 11. Rick Eckert (24), York, Pa., Rayburn, 100, $1,400 12. Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., Rocket, 99, $1,300 13. Steve Shaver (30), Parkersburg, W.Va., Rayburn, 99, $1,200 14. Steve Smith (3), Powell, Tenn., MasterSbilt, 98, $1,100 15. John Mason (72), Millersburg, Ohio, MasterSbilt, 98, $1,000 16. Booper Bare (00), Rockbridge Baths, Va., Rocket, 98, $1,040 17. Rod Conley (71r), Wheelersburg, Ohio, Rocket, 98, $1,040 18. Delmas Conley (71), Wheelersburg, Ohio, Rocket, 98, $1,040 19. Mike McWilliams (30), Walton, Ky., MasterSbilt, 97, $1,000 20. Eddie Carrier Jr. (1), Hazard, Ky., Rayburn, 96, $1,000 21. Jim Curry (7), Norman, Ind., Rayburn, 41, $1,040, handling 22. Gary Green (7up), Independence, Ky., Rayburn, 33, $1,040, engine 23. Mike Jewell (9), Scottsburg, Ind., MasterSbilt, 25, $1,000, cooling 24. C.J. Rayburn (1cj), Whiteland, Ind., Rayburn, 18, $1,040, engine
NOTES: After the checkered flag was thrown, Francis drove up and hit the left rear of Moran's car .... Moran got a $500 fine when he checked in at the gate Friday for not having a STARS decal on his car during his Aug. 14 victory at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway .... the win by Aukland in a Rayburn snapped a streak of six straight North-South 100 victories by MasterSbilt .... John Gill debuted a new MasterSbilt .... Eddie Carrier Jr. set fast time in his trip to Florence .... among drivers failing to make the feature: Dan Schlieper, Don O'Neal, Kevin Claycomb, Jerry Rice, Randy Boggs, Jackie Boggs, Audie McWilliams and Shawn Toczek.
STARS POINT STANDINGS (through Aug. 23): Steve Francis 7,510; Mike Balzano 6,160; Tim Hitt 6,120; Rick Eckert 6,090; Steve Shaver 5,220; Rod Conley 5,000; Bart Hartman 3,980; Barry Bragdon 3,580; Delmas Conley 3,480; Todd Andrews 3,300.
NEXT STARS WEEKEND: Aug. 30, Interstate 79 Speedway, Shinnston, W.Va., $7,000 to win; Aug. 31, Pennsboro (W.Va.) Speedway, "Hillbilly 100," $10,000 to win.
CREDIT: Terry Mynhier <TA4UK@aol.com> and Bret Emrick of STARS.