All Star Ohio Speedweek Pit Notes By Scott Hall ROSSBURG, OH - July 1, 2000 - Before the races Friday at Lima, Frankie Kerr and Stan Shoff sent a message announcing their retirement from racing. The 39-year-old Kerr and his owner were a team...
All Star Ohio Speedweek Pit Notes
By Scott Hall
ROSSBURG, OH - July 1, 2000 - Before the races Friday at Lima, Frankie Kerr and Stan Shoff sent a message announcing their retirement from racing. The 39-year-old Kerr and his owner were a team for the past 11 seasons. He will go down in the record books as the number four all time feature winner with the All Stars with 54 wins. Frankie and Stan want to thank all the fans and fellow competitors for 11 years of support. They said, "We've had a lot of fun and it's been great 11 years, but we feel the time is right to go out as a winner." Kerr did go out a winner, capturing the final feature of his career Tuesday at Fremont. Everything is for sale, including their motorhome. All of us at the All Stars wish them all the best. Kerr totaled his tow rig just north of Delaware, OH Wed. in a highway accident when his rig rear-ended another semi. No one was injured, and Todd Kane's father, Marty Kane obtained a truck and trailer to try and help Kerr and crew get to Chillicothe Wednesday, but they could not get to the track in time to race and returned to Fremont to regroup. Kerr had to use a provisional starting spot Monday at Wayne Co. after a terrible run in the B Main. "If it looked terrible from the grandstands," Kerr said, "just imagine how it felt in the racecar." Wayne County's show was run 35 years to the day the speedway opened. That same night, Butch Schroeder had to scratch from the A main when a fuel coupler broke while lining up for the feature. Then at K-C, Jason Dukes ran over Schroeder's front end in a heat race, sending him into the inside guardrail. Schroeder's crew got the machine repaired in time to run the B main.
*** The Speedweek championship for Kenny Jacobs was his first in a week with seven winners in seven races and put him to within two markers of Rodney Duncan in the season-long championship points chase. The Ohio Speedweek wins by Jeff Shepard, Byron Reed, Kevin Huntley, Ed Lynch Jr., Phil Gressman and Frankie Kerr were their first All Star wins of 2000, making it 18 different winners in 28 All Star races this season. A total of 98 drivers representing 11 states (N. Carolina, Delaware, Ohio, Pa., Indiana, California, Arizona, Missouri, Washington, Colorado and Kentucky) and New Zealand were on hand for the week, which consisted of a 1,200 mile jaunt across Ohio. A total of 17 drivers attended all seven shows, with Kelly Kinser, Mark Keegan and Rodney Duncan competing in Speedweek all 18 years.
*** Kevin Huntley's win at K-C was his 44th career All Star win. His last series win was at the July 3, 1998 Lima Speedweek show. He became the 11th different winner in the last 11 All Star races run on the K-C oval. The winners, in order, from 1998 are Frankie Kerr, Joey Saldana, Kelly Kinser, Kenny Jacobs, Dean Jacobs, Byron Reed, Butch Schroeder, Alvin Roepke, Kasey Kahne, Rodney Duncan and Huntley. All 24 drivers were running at the finish at K-C. The next big show coming up at K-C is the 11th annual Freedom 40 on July 29, paying $10,000 to win. Past Freedom 40 winners include Jack Hewitt (2), Huntley, Charlie Fisher, Joey Allen, Schroeder, Randy Kinser, K. Jacobs and Roepke. Driver Butch Schroeder and owner Rick Daugherty split following Wednesday's K-C event. Reports are that Schroeder will return to action shortly in his own No. 17 and the Daugherty No. 7 is temporarily parked.
*** Kelly Kinser changed engines Wed. at K-C after failing to fire his engine for time trials. He then started last (21st) in the B main and won it to transfer to the A main. He then passed 16 cars to finish eighth in the A main. At Lima, hinser went to the rear twice, and still finished second. At Sharon, Eric Hysong got over the wheel of Marty Ling and flipped entering turn one. A tire flew off his car, into the pit area, hitting the Bailey Racing Products truck. The impact smashed Bailey's door and broke a window.
*** Mercer, Pa's Joe McEwen competed Sunday at Attica and Monday at Wayne Co. In the B Main at Wayne Co., his arms and hands began tingling and hi legs felt rubbery. He went to the doctor Thursday, and they gave him a heart catheter. No blockage was found, but his heart was not pumping enough blood. Doctors hope to treat the 38 year-old's condition with medication.
*** Seattle's Susan Niven and Mary Jo Manzanares of SprintCarBiz.com were on hand all week promoting their off season cruise Dec. 3-10 with drivers and their Sprint Car Racing For Beginners booklet. They also conducted a driver's seminar Tuesday at Fremont entitled "Survive and Thrive with the media."
*** The second place man in all time All Star wins, 49-year-old Jack Hewitt, with 56 wins, was a surprise Speedweek entrant in the Hannig Construction No. 16 after running mostly non-wing shows all season. "There just isn't enough non-wing racing to go around," Hewitt said. "So we came to run some winged stuff. But we need to get better at it. I guess I should have run some before this week." Hewitt's team mate, Todd Kane, was entered for Speedweek but did not race due to ill effects (broken shoulder and racers' red eye) from a violent crash in Terre Haute, IN a week prior.
*** For the second year, San Jose's Jason Statler made the tow to the Midwest for Speedweek. He plans to hang around until mid august, basing his operation out of Kasey Kahne's Indy shop or Bud Kaeding's shop. As Statler says, "I'm still struggling with the slick tracks. My foot's too heavy for them." Statler finished seventh at Lima on a track which featured a two foot high cushion.
*** SCOA driver Calvin Landis of Phoenix made his first Midwest venture for Speedweek. Since the SCOA runs a spec tire, Landis had trouble adapting to the open tires used by the All Stars. "We ran last year's tires," Landis, who only raced seven times prior to Speedweek, said. "And we couldn't figure out why we couldn't get going. I was pitted next to Kenny Jacobs Tuesday and he told me this year's tires are so much different and better than last year's. They didn't have any Goodyear's at Fremont to buy, but I have one tonight (Wed.). The reason I came out here was the weight rule. My car with fuel is about 1260 lbs. It's a lot heavier than the outlaw cars. We want to run weight rule shows so we'll be competitive. We'll probably run Thunder Through the Plains." Landis finally got his car going good Monday at Wayne Co., but his fuel began shutting off in the corners. He hopes to attract enough sponsorship to run with a touring series next season. The tow in from Phoenix cost Landis $400 in diesel fuel to get to Ohio.
*** North Carolina's Billy Wilburn made the tow to K-C Wednesday and Sharon Thursday. He had hoped to tow up to Wayne Co. on Monday, but the Rusty Wallace pit crew member was delayed in returning from Sears Point. After spending half a day at the Pittsburgh airport, Wilburn finally arrived home mid-Monday. He was heading home Friday to travel with his NASCAR team to Daytona.
*** Todd Gracey appeared to have Sunday's Speedweek opener well in hand until the final caution with nine laps to go. "The car was getting loose and I moved the wing back under the yellow," Gracey recalled. I was jerking the steering wheel back and forth to warm the tires and got the wing too far back and couldn't get it back forward. It made the car too tight," he concluded. "Tonight I told the guys to get that lever out of there so I couldn't mess up the wing any more," Gracey added with tongue firmly in cheek. After his third place finish Monday at Wayne Co., Gracey admitted he didn't touch the win in the feature, but he probably should have moved it back near the end of the feature.
*** Marty Ling and Tim Kern were penalized two positions each Tuesday at Fremont for cutting through the infield, dropping them out of B Main qualifying positions.
*** John Ivy burnt a valve Sunday at Attica after qualifying for the A Main through his heat. He was through for the evening and the week. At the beginning of the B Main Sunday , an aborted start saw Ed Neumeister take a nasty end-over-end flip down the front stretch. Neumeister was not injured. Neumeister returned to race Monday but Ivy did not. Mark Keegan was leading his heat Saturday at Eldora when he had to go pitside with engine problems, which ended his evening.
*** Kiwi driver Kerry Jones brought his own Mopar engine from Wiauku, New Zealand and dropped in into the Eagle chassis of Mechanicburg, Pa's Rob Petersen. Jones towed to K-C Raceway for the All Star race the week before Speedweek, but got rained out. The 6-time NZ champ then ran Friday at Williams Grove, qualifying for the feature but another driver wiped out his front end while lining up for the main. He then ran Lincoln on Saturday and failed to make it out of the B Main. In the Speedweek opener, he was mired in the C Main. Tuesday at Fremont, Jones was being lapped by Jason Statler in the B Main and spun, collecting Statler, taking the California driver out of a qualifying spot. "I'm not used to the slickness of these tracks," Jones said. Ours at home never get this slick." While at Sharon, Jones said, "Our tracks at home are a lot smaller that this, they could fit in the infield out there. I've never seen a race track this big." Although Jones failed to make a feature all week until Eldora, he hopes to return next season. Owner Petersen may drop a 358 engine into his chassis and run a few KARS races in Central Pa., or let the chassis sit until Jones returns next summer.
*** Owner/Promoter Ed Skillman drive's Sharon's water truck. Across the front of the windshield it is lettered "www.outtamyway.ed"
*** All Star PR Director Scott Hall will transmit live internet updates from Butler Motor Speedway in Quincy, MI at their All Star show next Saturday July 8. Visit www.allstarsprint.com/live.htm next Saturday starting at 6:30 p.m. kk