BLOOMINGTON, IND. (August 25, 2001) - April 24th at Bloomington Speedway belonged to second generation drivers. Shortly after hot laps the top ten in sprint car points at Bloomington Speedway were recognized for their season-long efforts. Kevin...
BLOOMINGTON, IND. (August 25, 2001) - April 24th at Bloomington Speedway belonged to second generation drivers. Shortly after hot laps the top ten in sprint car points at Bloomington Speedway were recognized for their season-long efforts. Kevin Briscoe received his second track championship; but the name "Briscoe" has been around Bloomington Speedway much longer than that. Dick Briscoe paved the way for Kevin to go sprint car racing. And he is still there, turning the wrenches on Kevin's sprint cars.
Briscoe has a simply fantastic season. His worst finish all season was an eighth during Indiana Sprint Week when the pits were full to overflowing and when all of USAC's top competitors were in competition. He had two feature wins and only one other finish out of the top five. That, race fans, is consistent performance.
Two time Bloomington Speedway champion Derek Scheffel had a rough week. The troubles began when Derek's biggest fan and one of his most faithful volunteer crewmen, Zeke Day, died unexpectedly from a heart attack. And, as if that weren't enough, Derek lost his maternal grandmother a couple of days later. Her death was not unexpected; but it certainly took its toll. Preparing a race car for competition properly took a back seat; and Derek was sidelined for the evening. However, he did attend the awards presentation to properly thank all of those who helped him finish in second place in the points.
Kevin Thomas finished third in points. He won the opening night race and finished in the top ten every race he ran. As he accepted his award he commented, "I love to race at Bloomington Speedway because it is always well prepared; and it is one of the few tracks that still qualify. At other tracks, it's a matter of luck. I crashed hard just before the sprint week started; and we didn't get the car put together in time to run here. If we hadn't missed that one it would have made the championship race really close with Kevin and Derek.
Eric Roberts ran strong all season; and he was our Jeff Gordon Rookie of the Year; and finished seventh in the points. Eric is also a second generation driver. His father Dan Roberts had raced for years; and decided that it was Eric's turn. In 1999, Roberts put Eric in a TQ and teamed him with Jason Setser. He learned a lot in the TQ; and he learned more in the midget in 2000. This season Eric moved into sprint cars; and he ran strong everywhere he competed. He certainly seems to be a driver with a big future in sprint car racing. Marc Jessup and J.T. Stapp got honorable mention for Jeff Gordon Rookie of the Year.
Kevin Chambers finished fifth in the points and was our Steve Kinser Most Improved Driver. He made every feature; and had four top ten finishes.
Eric Burns finished fourth in the points trailed by Chambers, Danny Holtsclaw, Roberts, Dave Peperak, Jared Fox, and Josh Cunningham.
Sprint Car Competition -
Competition began with Nick Nabor setting quick time; and Kenny Carmichael, Kevin Miller, and Eric Burns winning the heat races.
In the "B" Feature, Kevin Briscoe drove to a convincing victory with Jimmy Laser coming from fifth to finish second. Brad Marvel, in his first race of the season, came home third; and Critter Malone came from eighth to finish fourth. Josh Cunningham finished fifth to take the final transfer spot.
In the feature event, Dick Gaines II, yet another second generation driver, took the lead on the opening lap from his third place starting position. However, the action came to an abrupt halt on lap four when Nabor barrel-rolled off of the fourth turn. On the restart, Gaines went back into the lead. Kevin Briscoe took second and immediately began working on Gaines. It looked like he might win his third feature of the season; however, he spun and had to go to the tail. Eric Roberts took second. Briscoe's chance for a third victory were gone when he spun in turn four tangling with another car and breaking his right rear wheel. Kevin Thomas got sideways missing Briscoe; but, in the process, Thomas collected Justin Marvel who got on his head. All three of them were done for the evening.
When the action resumed, Gaines drove on to victory; however, during the closing laps Eric Burns moved through the field; and, on the 24th circuit, Burns moved past Roberts to take second. However, he was unable to get past Gaines and had to settle for second. Roberts held onto third trailed by Danny Holtsclaw, Dave Peperak, Kevin Miller, Jared Fox, Gregg Dillion, Kenny Carmichael, and Brad Marvel.
O'Neal Wood Products Open Wheel Modifieds -
Richie Lex, Troy Jarvis, Ray Humphrey, and Clint DeMoss won the modified heats to earn the right to run the Blackwell Trucking Dash for Cash. Ray Humphrey won the dash to earn the pole for the feature event. Gary Trammell took the lead on the third lap of the "B" and held it until the checkered flags waved. Rodney Harris, Jr. was impressive as he moved from the tail to finish second. Jay Scott also had to come from deep in the field to finish third. Brent Payne took the final transfer spot. The real show, however, was Adam Sasser effort to earn a transfer spot and hold his own in the points race. It seemed like every time he would get close to a transfer spot, somebody else would drill him and spin him out. There are several drivers who have one coming from the rapid number 79.
In the O'Neal Wood Products Open Wheel Modified feature, Richie Lex took the lead at the start of the race and held it for the entire distance. Ray Humphrey gave Lex all he wanted as the two ran side by side for much of the race. Humphrey had to settle for second. John DeMoss came home third trailed by Troy Jarvis, Clint DeMoss, Larry Raines, Matt Boknecht, and Gary Barrow, Jr., Jay Humphrey, and Jim Reynolds.
Tire & Wheel Center Super Stocks -
One of the largest Tire & Wheel Center Super Stock fields of the season showed up to compete Saturday night. The heat races were won by Danny Harris, Chris Hillman, Steve Hollars, and Greg O'Neill. Harris started on the pole of the dash and stayed there. Points leader Greg O'Neill came home second in the dash.
In the Tom Cherry Muffler by feature, Terry Arthur took the lead from the outside of the first row and held it to the end. Dan McCoulough, in his first visit of the season to Bloomington Speedway, came from the fourth row to finish second while Michael Purtlebaugh finished third. Doug McCoulough, also making his first visit this season to Bloomington Speedway, came from 14th to take the final transfer spot.
Greg O'Neill led the Tire & Wheel Center Super Stock feature from flag to flag. Chris Hillman took second when the green flag fell with Steve Hunt behind him. Jeremy Hines, who began the evening in third place in super stock points started in ninth place. He knew that he needed to finish ahead of either O'Neill or Brad Cummings. He gradually worked his way through the field. On the fourth circuit he took fourth place. On the 13th circuit, he took third where he ran until the 19th lap when he moved into second place past Chris Hillman. He chased O'Neill for the balance of the race; but he was forced to settle for second place. Hillman came home third trailed by Steve Hollars, Brad Cummings, and Chris Deweese in a rare visit to Bloomington Speedway.
Steve Bowlen, who is making a comeback after an 18 year absence from the sport, finished seventh ahead of Trent Niflis, Doug McCoulough, and Michael Vest.
Coming to Bloomington Speedway -
Bloomington Speedway will take a couple of weeks off for the Labor Day weekend and for the World 100; however, we will be back in action on September 14 with Dizz Wilson Shootout for winged sprint cars. This show should draw a lot of the All Star competitors who will be running the Fall Classic at Lawrenceburg Speedway the following night as well as several of our regular competitors who plan to bolt on a wing and use their experience on the famous red clay to take on the traveling stars
Our season will conclude with our 6th Annual Indiana Super Stock & UMP Modified Nationals on September 21. Don't miss either of these great shows.