Bloomington report 2001-08-10

BLOOMINGTON, IND. (August 11, 2001) - Sprint Week is past; but the Bloomington Speedway season still has a lot more racing in store for us. Plan to be at Bloomington Speedway on August 17, August 24, September 14 and September 21. The competition...

BLOOMINGTON, IND. (August 11, 2001) - Sprint Week is past; but the Bloomington Speedway season still has a lot more racing in store for us. Plan to be at Bloomington Speedway on August 17, August 24, September 14 and September 21. The competition last night is just an example of what we have to look forward to for the rest of the season.


There may well be no driver to whom a Bloomington Speedway championship is as important as it is to Derek Scheffel. Derek won the Bloomington Speedway championship his first two years in sprint car competition. He missed winning the championship last year; but he came into the 2001 season committed to returning to the top of the point standings. Competition at Bloomington Speedway is not without its complications for Scheffel. Like most of our competitors, Derek has a "real job". He works second shift at Cummins Engine Company; and he is supposed to be at work on Friday nights. But, Derek hasn't missed a Bloomington Speedway non winged sprint car show since he started racing sprint cars.

The 2001 season got off to a bad start for Derek. He made the feature; but he got collected by another competitor. He would earn a feature finish; but he wound up 18th. It was not the kind of evening he had in mind. That was to be his worst night of the season so far. After that he scored a third, a fifth, a win, and a sixth place finish. Last week he finished 14th in sprint week competition. This week Derek collected his second victory of the season on the red clay of Bloomington Speedway. Also at the top of the standings, Kevin Briscoe also has two feature wins. Gregg Dillion, Kevin Thomas, and A.J. Anderson all have a win each. Briscoe and Scheffel are virtually in a dead heat for the championship. Next week's feature will decide the championship.

This week Eric burns grabbed the lead from his second row starting position when the green flag fell. On the fourth circuit Scheffel moved into second place. On the 14th lap, Scheffel slipped past Burns to take the point. However, Burns also wanted the win very badly; and he dogged Scheffel until the yellow flag stopped the action on lap 23. On the aborted 23rd lap, Justin Marvel had passed Burns and very nearly got by Scheffel. On the 24th circuit, Marvel passed Burns to take second; but, on the white flag lap, Burns moved back into second; and Marvel had to settle for third. Dick Gaines II started ninth and worked his way up to fourth with Kevin Briscoe who went into the evening following him through the field to a fifth place finish. Levi Jones, fast qualifier Kevin Miller, Kevin Chambers, John Heydenreich, and Kevin Thomas rounded out the top ten.


Ray Humphrey started the feature fifth; but he was very hungry for his first win of the 2001 season. On the green flag lap he moved into second; but he lost second to Shelby Miles on the second circuit. On the third circuit, Humphrey got back past Shelby Miles; and began a battle with pole-sitter Adam Sasser that would last most of the rest of the race. Humphrey took the lead on lap six and held it until lap 21 when Sasser would get past him on a restart. However, Humphrey quickly gathered it up and recaptured the lead on the following circuit. He never surrendered the lead after that; but Sasser continued stalk him. He was ready to grab the lead should Humphrey make a mistake. Humprhey made no mistake; and Sasser had to settle for second. Rodney Harris, Jr. came home third followed by Shelby Miles, Richie Lex, Clint DeMoss, point leader Matt Boknecht, Brad Cummings, Brad Brown, and Joey Baker.

Points leader Matt Boknecht didn't have a very good night; but it ended much better than it started. He started 14th and worked his way up to seventh.


Last night was the only night that the bombers are to compete on the famous red clay of Bloomington Speedway this season, so there was no points race to consider. Everyone just wanted to win the feature event. After the event was scheduled, Racers Alley South sweetened the pot with an extra $100 for the winner; and, a couple of weeks before the race, Prince Excavating stepped up to the plate and added another $100 for the winner as well $100 for the dash.

Ray Godsey won the dash money and earned the right to start on the pole. He jumped into the lead when the green flag fell and seemed prepared to lead the race flag to flag. However, on the 17th circuit he tangled with a backmarker and had to go to the tail. Two laps later he spun again and was done for the evening. Jim Ruddick, who started next to Godsey on the front row, inherited the lead when Godsey went to the tail and was able to hold off Matt Cummings for the rest of the distance. Sam Chastain came home third ahead of Robert Green, Matt Jacobs, Larry Harris, Kent Wagner, Roger Absher, Tom Courtney, and Johnny Ray.


Next up at Bloomington Speedway is the NAMARS Five Crown Nationals on August 17. This sprint/midget doubleheader features no qualifications but lots of racing. Pits full of open wheel racers can be expected from this event. Dirt midget racers don't have a lot of places to compete; and they turn out in large numbers when a race is run. Many of these cars were built to run the 16th Street Speedway; and they're still around when an opportunity like this arrises.


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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers John Heydenreich , Levi Jones , Tom Courtney , Johnny R , Sam Chastain , Robert Green