namars: Indianapolis Speedrome 2000-09-15

NAMARS DEBUT AT THE INDIANAPOLIS SPEEDROME A SUCCESS DESPITE FRIGID TEMPERATURES; TRAVIS WELPOTT CLINCHES FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP CROWN OF CAREER; ROOKIE PIERCE IS NAMARS MIDGET VICTOR WHILE DECKARD TAKES KENYON CAR CHALLENGE by Janie ...

NAMARS DEBUT AT THE INDIANAPOLIS SPEEDROME A SUCCESS DESPITE FRIGID TEMPERATURES;
TRAVIS WELPOTT CLINCHES FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP CROWN OF CAREER;
ROOKIE PIERCE IS NAMARS MIDGET VICTOR WHILE DECKARD TAKES KENYON CAR CHALLENGE

by Janie Vogel
www.ILikeRacing.com

Indianapolis, IN (September 15) -- On a winter-like night in central Indiana, the Indianapolis Speedrome came alive with the inaugural appearance of the NAMARS Championship Midgets partnered with traditional Speedrome Kenyon Cars, with 50-lap points-paying Features scheduled for both. Although most of the NAMARS competitors had not seen this tight, 1/5-mile legendary oval that is famed for launching the careers of such superstars as Tony Stewart, John Andretti and Jeff Gordon, they were not intimidated on this night that saw "Super Rookie" Aaron Pierce claim top honors in the NAMARS battle, with Kris Deckard dominating the Kenyon Car feature. NAMARS' venture to this venue is a "trial run" for a potential weekly regional series they are hoping to wage during the 2001 season. Another NAMARS Championship Midget Car race is scheduled for Friday night, September 29th to conclude the research, which thus far, has been positive.

The traditional weekly Wednesday night Midget shows at the Indianapolis Speedrome usually feature no qualifying for the Midget and Kenyon Car divisions, but under NAMARS sanction, both NAMARS and the Kenyon divisions went through that normal ritual, placing the 25 NAMARS Midgets and 14 Kenyon Cars present in the pits into three or two heats, respectively. NAMARS heats were won by Thomas Briggs, Rick Treadway and Matt Maners. The two Kenyon Car heats had victories claimed by Jamie Williams and Wesley Rohrabaugh. The cars were lined up based on heat race finishes, and then the cars not making it into the top-four positions in their heats were placed after the heat race frontrunners for the Feature lineups.

In the NAMARS Championship Midget Feature, Travis Welpott, a shoe-in for series champion when he signed into the pits on this night, was scheduled to run the #45 car in the Feature to gain more NAMARS points, but prior to the Green Flag, the #45 pulled to the infield, leaking oil. Welpott was frantically searching for a Kenyon Car to get into the field but had no luck (at least for the time being) as the field took the Green. However, that was a short-lived start, as Rick Treadway, starting 7th, got tangled with another car and spun to a stop in turn 2, bringing out a Yellow Flag before one official lap could be scored. This caution flag gave Welpott time to tag the end of the field with the #48 Kenyon Car originally campaigned by racer Shane Hollingsworth just a few minutes before - not a bad substitute car as Shane is consistently near the front of the Kenyon Car races.

"Irish" Jimmy McCune got the jump at the Green Flag and pulled to a sizable lead over Matt Maners and pole sitter Adam Neutzel, who bobbled to third, tried to pull back in line but ended up getting out of shape and spun into the infield, causing a Yellow Flag on Lap 3. He got pushed off and restarted at the tail. The restart order then showed McCune, Maners and now David Fuhrman, in his Kenyon Car, restarting in third. Friends and rival karters Jason Burgess and Brice Kenyon lined up 4-5. At the single-file restart, McCune led, but not by much over a very strong Maners and a charging Fuhrman, with those three breaking away a bit from the field. Dave Baumgartner and Kenyon pulled to the infield on lap 6, and then a Yellow Flag came out for Neutzel who parked in the infield, too close to the racing surface. The restart order was then McCune, Maners, Fuhrman, Burgess and now rookie Aaron Pierce in fifth. Under the Yellow, Sondi Eden, celebrating her birthday on this night, pulled to the infield out of the race after apparent contact with the wall and Neutzel.

The single-file restart had McCune once again on the point over Maners, who was on his tail, and Fuhrman in third, with Burgess and Pierce, who looked to be attached at the bumper, behind. Impressive rookie Travis Miniea was sixth but running all by himself, then a pack of cars led by Treadway, who had to come from the back, and Thomas Briggs followed. By lap 13 the leaders were into lapped traffic. On lap 18 Burgess looked to have a problem and fell back a bit, handing the fourth spot to Pierce. Pierce took third on lap 22 and started to challenge the leaders. Lap 25 saw Maners dip to the low side of leader McCune, but he thought better of that move and pulled back into second. Maners made it stick the next time, taking the lead on lap 27, and pulled away from the other frontrunners. Maners had a strong lead, with Treadway heading to the front - first to fifth, then taking a three-wide approach to taking over third. On the White Flag lap, however, something happened to Maners' car and he came to a stop in Turn 2, causing a Yellow Flag situation which results in a Green-White-Checkered finish. Under the Yellow, race-long frontrunner McCune pulls to the infield with apparent mechanical problems. Suddenly, under Yellow, there was a three-car pileup in Turn 4 that took out some of the cars running at the back, most of which restart at the tail again. The final laps saw Treadway get around one of the lapped cars, but eventually finish second to a strong Aaron Pierce, once again showing the tough NAMARS competitors that this rookie will be a hard person to beat the rest of the year and into his sophomore season.

The 12th-place finish by Travis Welpott, after an eventful evening, was enough for him to clinch the 2000 NAMARS Championship Midget Car Series Championship, Welpott's first major title.

The top-10 spots in the NAMARS Feature were claimed by: 1) Aaron Pierce, 2) Rick Treadway, 3) David Fuhrman, 4) Jason Burgess, 5) Matt Maners, 6) Travis Miniea, 7) John Mount, 8) Jerry Frickman, 9) Thomas Briggs and 10) Gregg Cory.

The Kenyon cars also ran with NAMARS here. These are full-sized, self-starting Midgets designed by Mel and Don Kenyon a few years ago as an economical alternative to running with the more expensive NAMARS or USAC organizations. Most sanctions require drivers to be at least 16 years old, however, to run a Kenyon car a driver only has to be 12 years old, allowing kids to get a great head start on a career in professional auto racing. 12-year-old Josh Allison is the youngest competitor here tonight. The economical part comes in their engine department, as the Kenyon engines are capable of being fit into another full-sized Midget that may be more competitive in USAC or NAMARS, thus eliminating the car owner having to buy all new equipment when he/she wants to move up. Mel and Don Kenyon were on hand here at the Speedrome wrenching on their famous #61 car, piloted by Mel's son Brice Kenyon, who has made numerous starts here throughout the years and is a regular NAMARS competitor.....

The Kenyon car Feature started out on the wrong foot, with a Red Flag having to be drawn before the first lap was completed for the front row duo of Williams, on the pole, and Rohrabaugh, who tangled and hit the wall hard. The drivers were fine, the cars weren't, actually being physically attached to eachother, with both out for the night. The Red Flag caused about a 30-minute delay to the program. Legendary journalist and former racer Crocky Wright, who is a regular here, said that the hit those two driver took was about the hardest one he's seen here. After a short yellow a lap or two after the start, the Kenyon Cars put on a Green Flag show the rest of the way - Congratulations to Kris Deckard on the win! And to "Super Rookie" Aaron Pierce for his NAMARS victory!.....

As planned, the entire night of competition was over prior to 10:00 pm, allowing fans to head to the warmth of their homes at an extraordinarily reasonable hour.

NAMARS INDIANAPOLIS SPEEDROME RACE RESULTS:
Friday, September 15, 2000

QUALIFICATIONS:

1) 26P Aaron Pierce, 12.584, 2) 5T Rick Treadway, 12.656, 3) 61K Brice Kenyon, 12.758, 4) 32F David Fuhrman, 12.810, 5) 51B Jason Burgess, 12.833, 6) 23M Matt Maners, 12.843, 7) 8R Tony Reed, 12.928, 8) 61M Jimmy McCune, 13.004, 9) 17N Adam Nuetzel, 13.014, 10) 31F Jerry Frickman, 13.090, 11) 45P Kelly Pendleton, 12) 77M Travis Miniea, 13.182, 13) 8C Gregg Cory, 13.261, 14) 5R Richard Keech, 13.316, 15) 23J John Mount, 13.444, 16) 20E Sondi Eden, 13.548, 17) 44H David Hair, 13.549, 18) 8N James Baxter, 13.593, 19) 10T Thomas Briggs, 13.763, 20) 78K Kyle Burch, 13.862, 21) 6L Jeff Leonard, 14.086, 22) 21B Michael Bridges, 14.304, 23) 18W Travis Welpott, NT, 24) 59S Jim Sawyer, NT, 25) 11V Jerry McPherson, NT

HEAT RACE #1 LINEUP:
Row 1: Michael Bridges - Thomas Briggs
Row 2: Sondi Eden - Gregg Cory
Row 3: Jerry Frickman - Tony Reed
Row 4: David Fuhrman - Aaron Pierce

HEAT RACE #1 RESULTS (top 4 transfer to the A Main)

1) Thomas Briggs, 2) Sondi Eden, 3) Jerry Frickman, 4) David Fuhrman, 5) Gregg Cory, 6) Tony Reed, 7) Aaron Pierce, 8) Michael Bridges

HEAT NOTES: Bridges scratched before the green, moving Eden up to the pole. Eden got the jump at the start and pulled to a small lead over Briggs. On lap 4, a Yellow Flag came out for an Aaron Pierce spin in turn 3. At the Green, Eden resumed the lead over Briggs, with single file racing the rest of the way through the field. By lap 6 Briggs was challenging Eden to the inside but didn't make it stick. On that same lap, Pierce once again brought out the Yellow Flag by spinning on the frontstretch, and tried to loop the car around to keep it going, but ended up stopping. He restarted at the tail of the field once again. At the restart, Briggs tries to challenge Eden again, but she kept the lead for the time being, until the White Flag lap, when Briggs took the inside line and the lead to the checkers.

HEAT RACE #2 LINEUP (top 4 transfer to the A Main):
Row 1: David Hair - Richard Keech
Row 2: Kelly Pendleton - Jimmy McCune
Row 3: Jason Burgess - Rick Treadway
Row 4: Kyle Burch

HEAT RACE #2 RESULTS (top 4 transfer to the A Main):

1) Rick Treadway, 2) Jimmy McCune, 3) Jason Burgess, 4) Kyle Burch, 5) David Hair

HEAT NOTES: McCune was strong at the start and led Treadway, who was following close behind and Burgess a little ways back in 3rd. Only two other cars competing, and they were both further back. By lap 4 Treadway was challenging McCune for the lead, but McCune held the advantage. Burgess ended up closing to the frontrunners by lap 5, but stayed in 3rd the rest of the way. On the White Flag lap, Treadway made contact with McCune nudging his way into the top spot to win the heat.

HEAT RACE #3 LINEUP:
Row 1: James Baxter - John Mount
Row 2: Travis Miniea - Adam Nuetzel
Row 3: Matt Maners - Brice Kenyon
Row 4: Jeff Leonard

HEAT RACE #3 RESULTS (top 4 transfer to the A Main):

1) Matt Maners, 2) Travis Miniea, 3) Brice Kenyon, 4) Adam Neutzel, 5) John Mount, 6) Travis Welpott (in #45 car)

HEAT NOTES: Kenyon got out of shape and bounced to the infield at the green, but he continued, with Mount holding a strong lead over 3-wide racing further back. By lap 4 Maners took over the lead with Neutzel working his way into second, but not for long, as Miniea got into third, then into second a corner after that. Nearing the end of the race, Maners held a strong lead over Miniea, with lots of track until the rest of the cars. Maners took the win.

FEATURE LINEUP (top 12 cars taken from heats, then the cars lined up after that based on where they finished in the heats, then the semi cars in order. Top 7 cars inverted)

Row 1: Adam Neutzel - Jimmy McCune
Row 2: Matt Maners - Jason Burgess
Row 3: David Fuhrman - Brice Kenyon
Row 4: Rick Treadway - Jerry Frickman
Row 5: Travis Miniea - Sondi Eden
Row 6: Thomas Briggs - Aaron Pierce
Row 7: Tony Reed - Gregg Cory
Row 8: John Mount - David Hair
Row 9: James Baxter - Michael Bridges
Row 10: Travis Welpott - Jeff Leonard
Row 11: Kyle Burch - Dave Baumgartner

FEATURE RESULTS (50 laps):

1) Aaron Pierce, 2) Rick Treadway, 3) David Fuhrman, 4) Jason Burgess, 5) Matt Maners, 6) Travis Miniea, 7) John Mount, 8) Jerry Frickman, 9) Thomas Briggs, 10) Gregg Cory, 11) Tony Reed, 12) Travis Welpott, 13) Jimmy McCune, 14) Jeff Leonard, 15) David Hair, 16) James Baxter, 17) Sondi Eden, 18) Adam Neutzel, 19) Brice Kenyon, 20) Dave Baumgartner, 21) Kyle Burch,

FEATURE NOTES: Welpott was scheduled to run the #45 car in the feature to gain more NAMARS points, but prior to the Green Flag, the #45 pulled to the infield, leaking oil. Welpott frantically searched for a Kenyon car to get into the field but had no luck (at least for the time being) as the field took the Green. However, that was a short-lived start, as Rick Treadway, starting 7th, got tangled with another car and spun to a stop in turn 2, bringing out a Yellow Flag before one official lap could be scored. This caution flag gave Welpott time to tag the end of the field with the #48 Kenyon car originally campaigned by strong racer Shane Hollingsworth just a few minutes before - not a bad substitute car. Burch pulled to the infield prior to the Green flag. McCune got the jump at the green and pulled to a sizable lead over Maners and then pole sitter Neutzel, who bobbled to third, tried to pull back in line but got out of shape and spun into the infield, causing a Yellow Flag on Lap 3. He got pushed off and restarted at the tail. The restart order showed McCune, Maners and now Fuhrman, in his Kenyon car, restarting in 3rd. Friends and rival karters Jason Burgess and Brice Kenyon lined up 4-5. At the single-file restart, McCune led, but not by much over a very strong Maners and a charging Fuhrman, with those three breaking away a bit from the field. Dave Baumgartner and Kenyon pulled to the infield on lap 6, and then a Yellow Flag came out for Neutzel who parked in the infield, too close to the racing surface. He got out of the car and walked to the gate to the pit area. Restart order was then McCune, Maners, Fuhrman, Burgess and now rookie Aaron Pierce in fifth. Under the Yellow, Eden, celebrating her birthday today, pulled to the infield out of the race after apparent contact with the wall and/or Neutzel. The single-file restart had McCune once again defending the top spot over Maners on his tail and Fuhrman in third, with Burgess and Pierce, who looked to be attached at the bumper, behind. :Miniea was 6th but running all by himself, then a pack of cars led by Treadway, who had to come from the back, and Briggs followed. By lap 13 the leaders were into lapped traffic already. On lap 18 Burgess looked to have a problem and fell back a bit, handing the fourth spot to Pierce. Pierce took third on lap 22 and started to challenge the leaders. Lap 25 saw Maners dip to the low side of leader McCune, but he thought better of that move and pulled back into second. Maners made it stick the next time, taking the lead on lap 27, and pulled away from the other frontrunners. Maners had a strong lead, with Treadway heading to the front - first to fifth, then took a three-wide approach to taking over third. On the White Flag lap, however, something happened to Maners' car and he comes to a stop in Turn 2, causing a Yellow Flag situation which results in a Green-White-Checkered finish. Under the Yellow, race-long frontrunner McCune pulls to the infield with apparent mechanical problems. Suddenly there's a three-car pileup in Turn 4 that takes out some of the cars running at the back, most of which restart at the tail again. The final laps saw Treadway get around one of the lapped cars, but eventually finish second to a strong Aaron Pierce, once again showing the tough NAMARS competitors that this rookie will be a hard person to beat the rest of the year and into his sophomore season.

KENYON CARS INDIANAPOLIS SPEEDROME RACE RESULTS:
Friday, September 15, 2000

QUALIFICATIONS:

1) 48 Shane Hollingsworth, 12.475, 2) 22 Ron Gregory, 12.528, 3) 21S Shawn Stout, 12.574, 4) 71 Ted Beach, 12.692, 5) 83 AJ Ganino, 12.742, 6) 97 Kris Deckard, 12.830, 7) 14 Wesley Rohrabaugh, 12.896, 8) 31 Jamie Williams, 12.902, 9) 28 Scott Thomas, 13.157, 10) 51 Mike Nigh, 13.277, 11) 21M Mike Schenker, 13.436, 12) 56 Josh Allison, 13.452, 13) 43 Scott Hawkins, 13.763, 14) 77 Brian Harmon, NT,

HEAT RACE #1 LINEUP:
Row 1: Scott Hawkins - Josh Allison
Row 2: Mike Schenker - Mike Nigh
Row 3: Scott Thomas - Jamie Williams
Row 4: Brian Harmon

HEAT RACE #1 RESULTS:

1) Jamie Williams, 2) Josh Allison, 3) Mike Schenker, 4) Mike Nigh, 5) Scott Thomas, 6) Scott Hawkins

HEAT RACE #2 LINEUP: Row 1: Wesley Rohrabaugh - Kris Deckard Row 2: AJ Ganino - Ted Beach Row 3: Shawn Stout - Ron Gregory Row 4: Shane Hollingsworth

HEAT RACE #2 RESULTS

1) Wesley Rohrabaugh, 2) Kris Deckard, 3) Shawn Stout, 4) Ted Beach, 5) Shane Hollingsworth, 6) Ron Gregory, 7) AJ Ganino

FEATURE LINEUP:
Row 1: Jamie Williams - Wesley Rohrabaugh
Row 2: Kris Deckard - AJ Ganino
Row 3: Ted Beach - Shawn Stout
Row 4: Ron Gregory - Shane Hollingsworth
Row 5: Scott Thomas - Mike Nigh
Row 6: Mike Schenker - Josh Allison
Row 7: Scott Hawkins - Brian Harmon

FEATURE RESULTS:

1) Kris Deckard, 2) Ron Gregory, 3) Shane Hollingsworth, 4) Ted Beach, 5) Shawn Stout, 6) Jamie Williams, 7) Scott Thomas, 8) Mike Nigh, 9) Brian Harmon, 10) Josh Allison, 11) Mike Schenker, 12) Wesley Rohrabaugh, 13) AJ Ganino

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About this article
Series Midget , USAC
Drivers John Andretti , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Josh Allison , Rick Treadway , Travis Miniea , Jimmy McCune , Ron Gregory , Aaron Pierce , Shane Hollingsworth , Adam Nuetzel , James Baxter , Dave Baumgartner
Teams Williams