Bloomington Speedway report 2002-04-19

Briscoe/Hobbs/Hines score opening night Bloomington Speedway victories. BLOOMINGTON, IN (April 20, 2002) - Bloomington Speedway's got its season off to a great start last night. As always, the track was immaculately prepared; and the entire ...

Briscoe/Hobbs/Hines score opening night Bloomington Speedway victories.

BLOOMINGTON, IN (April 20, 2002) - Bloomington Speedway's got its season off to a great start last night. As always, the track was immaculately prepared; and the entire facility was prepared to receive our favorite guests - race fans. Rain threatened everywhere; but not a drop fell on Bloomington Speedway. The weather was warm. Life was good.

SPRINT CARS

Justin Marvel set quick time in qualifications beating out Kevin Chambers, Kevin Briscoe, Derek Scheffel, Bobby Stines and Kenny Carmichael. It seems like each year some drivers moves to a whole new level over the off season. Last year it was, hands down, Dick Gaines II. This season it looks like Bobby Stines may be the driver on the move. His best finish last year at Bloomington Speedway was an 11th; and he only made the feature about half the time.

However, as the evening progressed, it became obvious that Kevin Briscoe was going to begin this season the same way he ended the sesaon last year - winning. Unless schedule conflicts get him, he'll be hard to stop from repeating as Bloomington Speedway sprint car champion. What did Briscoe do over the off season to maintain his edge? Nothing! Briscoe commented, "This Stealth is the same now as when we rolled it off of the trailer last season. We did nothing to it over the off season."

Last night was Briscoe's third race of the season. His first night out he lost a heartbreaker to Kevin Thomas when a late race yellow flag kept him from reaching the lapped traffic which would probably have let him get past Thomas for the win. The second night at Twin Cities, Briscoe won going away. Second place finisher at Twin Cities last Saturday and their defending track champion Jason Knoke said, "Kevin was in a whole different race. We had nothing for him tonight."

Briscoe started sixth in his heat race and drove to an easy win. Hud Cone and Kent Christian both won their heats from their inside front row starting positions.

Jared Fox led the "B" Feature flag to flag; however the excitement in this event was the spirited battle for the final transfer spot between Lance Hayden and Tim Spindler of Columbus who was making his first appearance in a sprint car. Spindler beat Hayden by a nose as the pair crossed the finish line. Hayden's momentum seemed to carry him on into the first turn where he hooked a marker tire and flipped wildly. Kenny Lacey, Jimmy Laser, and Eric Roberts snagged the other three transfer spots.

When the green flag fell to start the feature, Kenny Carmichael took the lead with two time Bloomington Speedway track champion taking second ahead of Bobby Stines and Kevin Briscoe. On the third circuit Briscoe passed Stines and Scheffel to take second. On the fourth lap Briscoe moved into the lead; and it quickly became clear that, barring some kind of catastrophe for Briscoe, the win was decided. Kenny Carmichael chased Briscoe for the entire distance; but he was running at the head of the race for second. However, the battle for third was spirited indeed. Justin Marvel and Brian Hayden battled lap after lap with Marvel finally edging Hayden for third.

Friday night's race marked the beginning of Brad Marvel's return to sprint car competition with sponsorship from Dr. Harlen Hunter of Bedford. He started 11th and finished a respectable 7th - not a bad comeback effort.

Tim Spindler of Columbus did a good job in his maiden voyage in his new sprint car. He made the feature, stayed on the lead lap, and was able to roll the sprinter back onto the trailer at the end of the night. As a driver, I'm certain that he would like to have done better; but, as a car owner, I'm certain that he appreciates the fact that the car has lived to run another day.

O'NEAL WOOD PRODUCTS MODIFIEDS

Lee Hobbs did it all at Bloomington Speedway last night. His good fortune came at the pill draw when he pulled out the #4 pill to earn the right to start on the pole of the first heat. He went on to win his heat and the dash. Then he led the feature event flag to flag to score his first feature win in over a year at Bloomington Speedway. However, 2000 Bloomington Speedway track champion Adam Sasser gave him all he wanted. Sasser came from his 11th place starting position to take fourth on the 11th circuit. He passed Ryan Thomas three laps later. On the 15th lap he moved into second and chased Hobbs to the checkered flag. Darin George finished a strong third ahead of John DeMoss. Defending champion Matt Boknecht came home fifth.

Jeremy Hines of Seymour made a strong modified debut in his beautiful Niebel Engines sponsored machine. He ran into trouble in his heat race; but he came from seventh place to win the first modified "B". This put him in a deep hole to start the feature; but he drove the machine from the 17th starting position to finish an impressive seventh.

Hobbs, Paul Bumgardner, Tim Wright, and Ryan Thomas took the heat races while Hines and Carlos Bumgardner won the two "B" features.

TIRE & WHEEL CENTER SUPER STOCKS

Seymour's Rick Hines had about the same kind of night in Tire & Wheel Center super stock class that Lee Hobbs enjoyed in the O'Neal Wood Products modified class. The only difference was the luck of the draw. Hines was fifth in the pill draw; buy he still won his heat and the dash. He then went on to lead the feature from start to finish. Like his son, Jeremy, Rick Hines is running with Niebel engines sponsorship this season. While watching these two run, I could almost see Glen Niebel smiling from under his trademark straw hat. He would have been proud of the job that Ray McClure did putting these two engines together.

Greg Kendall did a good job in bringing his beautiful #44 home to a second place finish trailed by Marty Cooper and Danny Harris. Jack Frye won the "B" to earn the 16th starting position; and earned "hard charger" bragging rights by bringing his mount home fifth ahead of Ralph Groomer and Trent Niflis.

Two years away from being able to drive his mom's grocery getter to high school, Zach Carney has been racing half his life (7 of his 14 years). He got tangled up with another car in his heat race; but he still managed to bring his mount home third and earn a transfer to the feature event. He held his own in the feature to finish eighth.

In preliminary action, Rick Hines, Gerald Todd, and Danny Harris took the heat races. Not bad for 14.

-bloomington-

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Kevin Chambers , Kenny Carmichael , Hud Cone