namars: Bloomington Speeday report 2001-08-17

BLOOMINGTON, IND. (August 18, 2001) - Justin Marvel leads NAMARS FIVE CROWN NATIONALS sprint car feature flag to flag while A.J. Fike dominates the midget feature A total of 84 cars unloaded at Bloomington Speedway to take on the famous red clay...

BLOOMINGTON, IND. (August 18, 2001) - Justin Marvel leads NAMARS FIVE CROWN NATIONALS sprint car feature flag to flag while A.J. Fike dominates the midget feature

A total of 84 cars unloaded at Bloomington Speedway to take on the famous red clay in the third leg of the NAMARS Five Crown Nationals. Going into Friday evening's action at Bloomington Speedway, Jay Drake and Brandon Petty had won in the sprints; and Matt Westfall and Tracy Hines prevailed in the NAMARS midget portion of the NAMARS Five Crown Nationals. The series concludes tonight at Lincoln Park Speedway in Punamville, Ind.


When the green flag fell to start the feature event Jon Stanbrough took the lead took the lead; but his advantage disappeared when a yellow flag flew due to a shunt involving Chris Gurley and A.J. Anderson. Gurley's car was damaged and could not restart, but Anderson got to the work area and got his flat tire changed. He was able to tag the tail of the field for the complete restart. On the second start, Eric Burns took the lead but lost it to Justin Marvel on the second circuit. Jon Stanbrough took over the point for the following three circuits. But, on the sixth lap, Justin Marvel took the point in his Booe Brothers #7 for good.

Jon Stanbrough pressured Marvel during the early going; but Marvel gradually pulled away by driving the bottom line to perfection. Stanbrough held off Bloomington Speedway points leader Kevin Briscoe and later Eric Burns to hold onto second place. Burns came home third trailed by Briscoe, Gaines, Eric Shively, Kevin Thomas, Danny Holtsclaw, Kent Christian, and Derek Scheffel.

On the 17th circuit, Briscoe spun; but he kept his foot in it to do a 360 degree spin and kept going. He lost some momentum; and Dick Gaines II took third while Eric Burns passed Briscoe for fourth on the following circuit. While he had no effect on the feature win, Briscoe's ability to keep his #5 sprinter going when he spun, probably gave him his second Bloomington Speedway sprint car championship. Two time track champion Derek Scheffel was only nine points behind Briscoe going into last night's competition. Scheffel had made the feature; and, though he was starting at the back, he was pretty certain to move up. Briscoe could have had trouble finishing close enough to Scheffel to hold onto his points lead. However, that was not to come into play as Briscoe went on to finish fourth as Scheffel would up tenth. After starting 19th, Scheffel's tenth place finish was a great effort; but it wasn't good enough to gain ground on Briscoe in the points chase.

In preliminary action, Marvel, Stanbrough, Wil Newlin, Burns, and Holtsclaw won the heat races while Gregg Dillion and Kevin Thomas won the B features.

The most serious event of the evening occurred in the first sprint car heat when Ande Possman got crossed up with his front wheels in the air. His right rear got a bite; and he flipped violently down the front stretch. His safety equipment did its job; and he walked away from the crash; but his car was done for the evening.


A.J. Fike dominated the midget feature, taking the lead at the green flag and losing it for only one lap during the middle of the race. The Galesburg, Ill. driver has been taking the midget competition by storm this season. He is running third in USAC National midget points behind Dave Darland and Jay Drake; and, in limited appearances, he is 23rd in NAMARS points. Kevin Olson finished second from his pole starting position followed by Michael Kendall from Auckland, N.Z. and Brad Kuhn. Matt Westfall charged from 17th to finish fifth ahead of Bobby East, Critter Malone, Travis Miniea, Teddy Beach, and Ron Gregory.

NAMARS points leader Travis Miniea started in third place in the feature event; but the race had barely begun when his mount began pouring blue smoke from the exhaust. Obviously, his motor had trouble and was operating at less than peak horsepower. But his oil supply held out even though the cloud of blue smoke hung in the air completely around the race track; and he brought the car home in ninth place.

Doug Cross of Shaker Heights, Ind. was impressive in bringing the Eddie Griffith owned midget home 15th after starting dead last.

In preliminary action, Miniea, Olson, Gregory, Greg Lueckert, and A.J. Fike won the heat races while Critter Malone and Westfall took the B features.


On Friday August 24, the Bloomington Speedway season will continue with sprints, O'Neal Wood Products Open Wheel Modifieds, and Tire & Wheel Center Super Stocks. Top ten awards will be presented to the sprint car competitors; and there will be a powder puff race for the ladies.


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Series Midget , Sprint
Drivers Brad Kuhn , Tracy Hines , Travis Miniea , Jay Drake , Bobby East , Teddy Beach , Matt Westfall , A.J. Fike , Ron Gregory , Jon Stanbrough , Doug Cross , Chris Gurley