Briscoe/Hobbs/Deweese score opening night Bloomington Speedway victories. BLOOMINGTON, IN (April 18, 2003) - The weather was great. The pits were full. The stands were full. The track was heavy. Everything was normal at Bloomington Speedway.
Briscoe/Hobbs/Deweese score opening night Bloomington Speedway victories.
BLOOMINGTON, IN (April 18, 2003) - The weather was great. The pits were full. The stands were full. The track was heavy. Everything was normal at Bloomington Speedway. Kevin Briscoe and Lee Hobbs found victory lane on opening night for the second year in a row. Chris Deweese tallied his first opening night win and the second of his career on the red clay of Bloomington Speedway.
SPRINT CARS -
Kevin Briscoe surprised everybody when he pulled onto the track in what appeared to be Danny Roberts black 21x. On closer inspection, however, it proved to be the Roberts 21R. Roberts has hired Briscoe to drive his cars in the USAC dirt car; and they decided to run it at Bloomington as kind of a test for the new machine. Briscoe is expected to be back in his familiar white #5 for most of the Bloomington Speedway races; and Roberts is expected to field only one car here. His son Eric, will continue to pilot that one.
From victory lane Briscoe said, "I want to thank the Roberts crew for giving me a great car to drive tonight. I've been under the weather all week; and I wasn't sure that I could make it through the night. I'm going to be driving the USAC dirt sprint races for Danny; and we decided to bring the car here tonight to shake it down. I'm obviously very happy with it."
The victory was the first for a Danny Roberts car at Bloomington Speedway. He got close a couple of times with his son Eric, a former Bloomington Speedway Rookie of the Year, in the cockpit. Roberts and Briscoe should be a combination that will be hard to beat. Roberts almost always puts a fast car on the track; and his crew's careful preparation of the car makes mechanical failures rare. Briscoe knows Bloomington Speedway red clay oval better than anybody except track owner, Mike Miles.
When the green flag waved to start the feature, pole-sitter Jason Knoke charged into the lead; and, right behind him, Justin Marvel hooked a marker tire and turned sideways in front of the field. Somehow, everyone kept going; however, there was considerable contact among those at the front of the field. As it turned out, Tim Spindler's car had suffered too much damage and he pulled off of the track.
Knoke led the five circuits; but everyone could see Briscoe coming. Briscoe took over on the sixth circuit and never looked back. Kevin Thomas came from his fourth row starting position to take second position on the 10th lap; but he was destined to finish second. Justin Marvel came home third trailed by Knoke, Kenny Carmichael, Jimmy Laser, Dick Gaines II, Jared Fox, David Waltman, and Bobby Stines.
Three time Bloomington Speedway champion Derek Scheffel had a bad night. They dropped three valves in their newly-freshened motor in hot laps. A friend of Derek's, Butch Wining, graciously turned him mount over to Derek. Following qualifications, they set the car up to fit Derek's driving style; and he probably gave it as good a ride as it's ever had in the heat race. However, on the tenth lap of the feature, lady luck kicked Derek again. He got tangled up with Kevin Chambers and, apparently, Jimmy Laser and flipped. During the red flag, Derek got into an altercation with Laser that would get him disqualified for the event as well as the next two events.
On the restart, the red flag waved again for a tangle including Dick Gaines II, Glenn Scott, Brian Hayder, and Bobby Stines. Gaines got crossed up and very nearly flipped; and Scott and Hayden both flipped missing him.
Kevin Briscoe had quick time followed closely by last season's Rookie of the year, Tim Spindler. Kevin Thomas and Jason Knoke were both very impressive in their heat race wins, both winning by half a lap. Hayden and Gaines took the other two heats, while Glenn Scott and Brian Hayden prevailed in the "B" features.
O'NEAL WOOD PRODUCTS MODIFIEDS -
Last season's co-modified champion Lee Hobbs grabbed the lead at the green flag and never looked back in a feature that went flag to flag under the green. Ray Humphrey came from the fourth row to finish second in his beautiful new car. Shelby Miles finished third ahead of Jesse Cramer, Brady Short, last season's other co-champion Matt Boknecht, J.P. Hume, Brandon Short, Rodney Harris, Jr., and Cullen Goodman.
In preliminary action, Hobbs, Brady Short, Brandon Short, and Al Flick took the heat races; while Phil VanSant and Joey Baker won the two "B" features. Brady Short took the dash.
TIRE & WHEEL CENTER SUPER STOCKS -
As is often the case, the Tire & Wheel Center feature was the most closely contested race of the evening.
Prior to the start of the season, Chris Dweese proclaimed that his main goal for the season was to win the Bloomington Speedway Tire & Wheel Center championship. He got started on the right foot tonight. He started on the front row with Chris Hillman who led the first two circuits. Deweese passed Hillman for the lead on the third lap and led to the checkered flags. Lap after lap it appeared that Hillman would be able slip under Deweese in the space that Deweese's line left open at the bottom of the track coming off of the turn. He would sometimes get his nose under Deweese; but he could never keep it there. Deweese appeared to have just too much motor for Hillman on the Bloomington Speedway straights..
As if trying to catch Deweese weren't enough for Hillman, he also had to hold off Danny Harris, Lee Hobbs, and 2002 Bloomington Speedway Tire & Wheel Center champion Greg Kendall. Harris came home third trailed by Lee Hobbs, Greg Kendall, Jeremy Stierwalt, Kim Blevins, coming from a 16th place starting position, Ralph Groomer, Steve Bowlen, and Ben DuBois.
Deweese, Hillman, and Mickey Hines won the heat races while Blevins took the "B" feature. Hillman won the dash.
April 25 Great Lakes Outlaw Sprint Series (Gloss) winged sprints ($2500 to win $250 to start plus O'Neal Wood Products modifieds and Tire & Wheel Center super stocks.
May 2 Dizz Wilson Memorial - non winged sprints, O'Neal Wood Products modifieds, and Tire & Wheel Center super stocks