UMARA: Sportsman Midgets at Grundy County 2000-07-02

July 2, 2000 U.M.A.R.A. Sportsman Midgets By Kathryn Clark For some of the U.M.A.R.A. Sportsman drivers this was just another night, for others it was the last day of a long weekend of racing. With the Grundy County Fair in Morris, IL lights...

July 2, 2000 U.M.A.R.A. Sportsman Midgets
By Kathryn Clark

For some of the U.M.A.R.A. Sportsman drivers this was just another night, for others it was the last day of a long weekend of racing. With the Grundy County Fair in Morris, IL lights and music as background for the speedway there was a whimsical feeling about the track.

With an increasing number of Sportsman Midgets qualifying in the 16-second range every tenth of a second counts. Tonight Joe Knipple in the INR Beatty Lumber Co. car #33 would gain the honors of fastest qualifier. With Loran Critchett Jr., Sean Murphy, Matt Daily and Doug Orseske all having very close times behind him.

The evening's mood would quickly change when during the first lap of heat number 1 Aaron C. Willis was shoved into the wall on the front straight away, totaling his Midget. Aaron himself walked away with only a slight concussion. When the heat restarted Bob Shreffler took the early lead with Doug Orseske close on his tail. By the third lap both Sean Murphy and Joe Knipple would find ways around Doug, as would Loran Critchett Jr. and Rich Peceniak in lap 4, while Sean was passing Shreffler for the lead. Joe took second place in lap 7 and started gaining on the leader. By the last lap Joe was posing a threat, but Sean brought home the checkered flag.

<pre> #5 Sean Murphy #33 Joe Knipple #17 Loran Critchett Jr. #99 Rich Peceniak #31 Matt Daily #10 Mick Bilhorn #1 Dave Ohlendorf #0 Doug Orseske #21 Bob Shreffler #28 Rick Shoemaker #91 Aaron C. Willis

</pre> At the start of the second heat 3 rookies would occupy the front spots, but at the end of the first lap only Jim Ziarkowski, in the Traffic Jams Towing, of Bartlett IL, #69 would be left. Terry Guimond and Basil Hicks had moved into the 2nd and 3rd positions and were turning up the heat. For 8 laps Jim held back the veteran drivers, with a style that looked like he was one with his car. That was until Jim, by his own admission, made a rookie mistake, while coming around turns three and four he glanced up at the scoreboard, and in that split second Terry and Basil saw their only opening and took it. Jim fought to get back around them but they held to their lines. Basil in a last turn effort tried to get under Terry to no avail and Terry crossed the finish line first.

<pre> #7 Terry Guimond #22 Basil Hicks #69 Jim Ziarkowski #57 Jack Knox #88 Mike Smith #9 Rich Sponholtz #28j Kevin Langstrom #3x Lee Beckwith #94 Jolene Deheve-Slomka #56 David Thompson #1n Mike Bettenhausen # 23 Jim Helland

</pre> Doug Orseske would hold the pole position for the final race on tonight's card. Dave Ohlendorf and Matt Daily stuck to him like for glue for the first couple of laps. Meanwhile, Sean Murphy started making his charge from the 8TH position, as the maze of cars looked like an open road moving him to 2nd place by the 5th lap. Now it was up to Doug to hold his ground. Dave Ohlendorf had company of his own as Loran Critchett Jr. and Rich Peceniak tried to find ways around him to break into the top five. In lap 10 Loran made his move in turns 1 &2, with Rich following suit in turn 3 & 4. The crowd was fixated on Sean Murphy as he stole the first place spot right out from under Doug in turn 4 of the 12th lap. Once out front Sean left nothing but a streak of red behind him. Doug now found himself in a battle with Matt Daily to hold on to second place, until in lap 17 when Matt would experience trouble with his car pulling off into the in field. This would bunch the cars up and give Doug another shot at Sean. Meanwhile, Joe Knipple, the season only two time feature winner, was working his way up through the pack and was now in 6th position, and Loran Critchett Jr., the defending feature winner was now in third. As the green flag waved Sean once again took off leaving nothing but that red streak behind him. Doug also managed to space himself from Loran Critchett Jr. It was very patriotic of the U.M.A.R.A. Sportsman to finish the night with the RED of Sean, the WHITE or Doug and the BLUE of Loran.

#5      Sean Murphy
#0      Doug Orseske
#17     Loran Critchett Jr.
#99     Rich Peceniak
#33     Joe Knipple
#1      Dave Ohlendorf
#7      Terry Guimond
#22     Basil Hicks
#88     Mike Smith
#57     Jack Knox
#9      Rich Sponholtz
#69     Jim Ziarkowski
#10     Mick Bilhorn
#28k    Kevin Langston
#31     Matt Daily
#3x     Lee Beckwith
#94     Joline Deheve-Slomka
#56     David Thompson
#77     Bob Kenning

This Saturday July 8, 2000, Grundy County Speedway in Morris IL. , will host the Bob Lockard/Bob Meyers memorial race. A full night of racing is on the card with many of the fans favorite drivers from both the U.M.A.R.A. National and Sportsman's classes. Hope to see you at the races!!!

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About this article
Series Midget
Drivers Sean Murphy , Mike Smit