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: May 10 results (May 11) STARS: Boggs wins Bluegrass Nationals at Florence =================================== SHORT TRACK AUTO RACING STARS (STARS)
UNION, Ky. (Saturday) Polesitter Jack Boggs, searching all over Florence Speedway for the best groove, finally used the high side to repel a mid-race charge by Rick Aukland as he captured the Bluegrass Nationals at the half-mile oval in northern Kentucky.
Boggs' 75-lap, $8,000 victory was his second of the year at Florence, and he had his hands full with Aukland both times. Two weeks ago, Boggs won the $5,000 Spring 50 title, catching a break when Aukland was forced to give up the lead under caution because of a loose fuel line.
On Saturday, Aukland was a dozen car lengths behind in second, while Bart Hartman won a late-race tussle with Steve Francis for third place. Steve Barnett started 10th and advanced to fifth. Darrell Lanigan, Mike Balzano, Bob Pierce, Davey Johnson and Mike Jewell finished sixth through 10th on a cool and clear evening.
Boggs built a lead of more than half a straightaway early in the race, and looked as if he might run off and hide. But as he entered lapped traffic a third of the way through the race, Aukland began to creep closer and eventually began matching Boggs move-for-move.
By the 35th lap, Aukland was occasionally taking peeks under Boggs in the corners, and Hartman -- despite suffering damage on his right front when Delane Browning clipped him after colliding with Tim Hitt on the frontstretch on the 18th lap -- soon moved into contention to make it a three-car battle for the lead.
The caution flag came out on the 49th lap when Mike Benedum and C.J. Rayburn spun just in front of the leaders coming out of Turn 4, and when the green flag appeared again, Boggs decided to give the high side a shot.
"I felt pretty comfortable after I got up there and started running," said Boggs, whose radio spotter told him he was three-tenths of a second faster in the new groove. Gradually, Boggs began rebuilding his lead back up to half a straightaway by the 58th lap as Aukland's hopes began to fade.
"We kept moving around and trying to find a little different line," Aukland said. "Jack got pretty good when he moved to the high side, and I didn't figure out it was better out there until later on, by then he had a pretty good lead on us."
Although Boggs' high groove lost its effectiveness when other drivers joined him on the top side, he was far enough ahead to move back down into the middle of the track and easily hold off Aukland.
"I think I probably made a few mistakes driving, but we're just happy to get a good finish," Aukland said. "We've been breaking down and falling out of a lot of races lately, and it's good to finish one."
Hartman felt good about his car until his brush with Browning, which caused enough handling problems to make him settle for a third-place finish. "The right front's bent and it messed the steering up and I really couldn't steer it that well," Hartman said.
CAR COUNT: 46 late models.
FAST QUALIFIER: Steve Francis.
FAST DASH (six laps; sets first three rows of feature): Jack Boggs, Tim Hitt, Steve Francis, Darrell Lanigan, Troy Green, Mike Balzano.
FIRST HEAT (10 laps; top three advance): Bart Hartman, Bob Pierce, Davey Johnson, Barry Bragdon, Rick Eckert, Kevin Claycomb, Steve Landrum, Ryan Markham, C.S. Fitzgerald, Marty O'Neal.
SECOND HEAT: Rick Aukland, Mike Jewell, Jim Curry, John Gill, Don O'Neal, Shawn Toczek, Scott Earl, Jeff Wilson, Doug Ault, Ken Kenneda.
THIRD HEAT: Rod Conley, Steve Shaver, Mark Barber, Delane Browning, Jesse Lay, John Mason, Brandon Green, Gary Green, Mike Benedum, John Holt.
FOURTH HEAT: Steve Barnett, Kevin Weaver, C.J. Rayburn, Rick Corbin, Delmas Conley, Randy Boggs, Mike McWilliams, Audie McWilliams, Brian Wilhite, Tony Lay.
FIRST CONSOLATION (12 laps; top two transfer): Rick Eckert, Delane Browning, Jesse Lay, Steve Landrum, Barry Bragdon, John Mason, Ryan Markham, Kevin Claycomb, Brandon Green, Mike Benedum, Marty O'Neal, C.S. Fitzgerald, Gary Green, John Holt.
SECOND CONSOLATION: John Gill, Delmas Conley, Mike McWilliams, Rick Corbin, Jeff Wilson, Randy Boggs, Scotty Earl, Shawn Toczek, Audie McWilliams, Doug Ault, Tony Lay, Don O'Neal, Brian Wilhite.
FEATURE (Pos., driver, car no., hometown, chassis, laps, earnings) 1. Jack Boggs (B4), Grayson, Ky., MasterSbilt, 75, $8,000 2. Rick Aukland (12), Fargo, N.D., Rayburn, 75, $4,000 3. Bart Hartman (75), Zanesville, Ohio, MasterSbilt, 75, $2,500 4. Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., Rocket, 75, $1,500 5. Steve Barnett (89), Franklin, Ind., Rayburn, 75, $1,400 6. Darrell Lanigan (29), Union, Ky., MasterSbilt, 75, $1,300 7. Mike Balzano (68), Parkersburg, W.Va., Rocket, 75, $1,200 8. Bob Pierce (23), Danville, Ill., Warrior, 75, $1,100 9. Davey Johnson (1j), Greensburg, Pa., Bullitt, 75, $1,000 10. Mike Jewell (9), Scottsburg, Ind., MasterSbilt, 75, $900 11. Troy Green (3), Independence, Ky., MasterSbilt, 75, $800 12. Steve Shaver (30), Parkersburg, W.Va., Rayburn, 75, $700 13. C.J. Rayburn (1cj), Whiteland, Ind., Rayburn, 75, $600 14. Barry Bragdon (77), Wheelersburg, Ohio, Rocket, 74, $550 15. Rick Eckert (24), York, Pa., Rayburn, 74, $540 16. Rod Conley (71r), Wheelersburg, Ohio, Rocket, 73, $450 17. Delmas Conley (71), Wheelersburg, Ohio, Rocket, 73, $440 18. Kevin Weaver (B12), Gibson City, Ill., Rayburn, 73, $400 19. Tim Hitt (68), Weston, W.Va., Rocket, 72, $400 20. Mike Benedum (25), Bristol, W.Va., Rocket, 47, $400 21. John Gill (75), Mitchell, Ind., MasterSbilt, 42, $440 22. Mark Barber (00), Vernon, Ind., Rayburn, 24, $400 23. Jim Curry (7), Norman, Ind., Rayburn, 18, $400 24. Delane Browning (57), East Bernstadt, Ky., Rayburn, 18, $440
NOTES: The Bluegrass Nationals had been rained out four of the past six years .... the feature ended by about 11 p.m. .... the track lighting was a little shady, especially in Turn 2 .... C.J. Rayburn got loud cheers from the crowd when he rallied from the tail to finish third in his heat .... Ken Kenneda was driving a late model for the first time in four years .... Gary Green drove brother Troy Green's backup car .... Mike McWilliams was in the No. 30 normally piloted by Randy Robbins .... among late-arriving drivers were Randy Boggs, Jeff Wilson and Don O'Neal, who was debuting a new yellow MasterSbilt .... O'Neal was contesting for a transfer spot in the second consolation when his ignition failed .... Kevin Weaver was coming off a victory Friday night at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway, where he outdueled Shannon Babb .... Delane Browning nipped Jesse Lay by a whisker for the second transfer spot in the first consolation .... Steve Barnett was in side-by-side duels with Steve Francis and Darrell Lanigan during the feature .... John Gill lost a motor in the feature.
NEXT STARS RACE: May 24, Muskingum County Speedway, Zanesville, Ohio, $10,000 to win.
CREDIT: Todd Turner <DirtNews@aol.com> of DirtNews Digest. -------------------------------------------------------------