Bloomington Speedway season opener preview

Bloomington Speedway season opens with Sprints, Modifieds, & Super Stocks on Friday, April 19. BLOOMINGTON, IN (April 6) - It seems like it's been a year since we last watched the best short track drivers around take on the competition on ...

Bloomington Speedway season opens with Sprints, Modifieds, & Super Stocks on Friday, April 19.

BLOOMINGTON, IN (April 6) - It seems like it's been a year since we last watched the best short track drivers around take on the competition on the famous red clay that is Bloomington Speedway. Mike Miles has added countless loads of the red, sticky stuff that helps to make Bloomington Speedway special; and he's been working it for weeks to make certain that the competitors have the best possible racing surface on April 19.

Bloomington Speedway is opening with the three classes that will be in competition all season. There will be races over the course of the season that one of the classes won't be running; but they will certainly provide the base on which our racing programs will be built. The facility as well as the program will be ready for competition on April 19. Mike Miles has spent the entire off season getting the track and the rest of the facility ready. The track will be smooth; and, with a little luck with the weather, stay heavy all night long. The rest rooms and concession stands will be clean; and the staff will do everything possible to see that the program keeps moving.

Kevin Briscoe , our 2001 sprint car champion, is expected to be back to defend his title. However, the 1998 and 1999 champion, Derek Scheffel, finished second in the points last season; and he is determined to move back into the top spot in 2002. To the Scheffel family, their performance at Bloomington Speedway is their primary gauge of their season. Competition at Bloomington Speedway demands a lot of commitment from this team - especially from Derek. Derek works the second shift at Cummins; and he has to take a vacation day every week to compete at Bloomington Speedway.

Kevin Thomas, Eric Burns, Kevin Chambers, Danny Holtsclaw, Eric Roberts, Dave Peperak, Jared Fox, and Josh Cunningham rounded out the top ten last season; and most of them will probably be back with the championship in their sights. Thomas will be back in the Rodney Reynolds Rock Steady Racing machine; and he always runs strong at Bloomington Speedway.

There will also probably be a good crop of rookies trying to break into the top of the non-winged sprint car ranks. One of these guys to watch is Tim Spindler of Columbus. He has been very successful in mini-sprint and midget competition and is moving up to sprint cars. He has been working all winter on a TCR/Gaerte; and he is expected to make a strong run at the rookie title. Of course, he would like to be the second driver to win the championship as a rookie; however, that would have to be considered a long shot.

Matt Boknecht of Seymour will be back attempting to defend his O'Neal Wood Products open wheel modified championship. However, he has new competition in 2002. 2001 Tire and Wheel Center super stock champion, Greg O'Neill will be switching to modifieds. O'Neill's father in law, Steve Hunt, is retiring from the cockpit and will be helping Greg with the modified. O'Neill was hard to beat in the super stocks; and there is no reason to believe that he will be any easier in a modified.

The competition in the modified division should be brutal. In addition to O'Neill and Boknecht, past modified champions Adam Sasser and Ray Humphrey can also be hard to beat. John DeMoss, Richie Lex, Rodney Harris, Jr., Shelby Miles, Clint DeMoss, Roy Bruce, Jr., and Jason Sims can all be expected to mount their own drive for the modified championship.

With O'Neill moving to the O'Neal Wood Products modifieds, one might expect the Tire & Wheel Center super stock class championship to be a little more attainable this season. However, one who thought that would be sadly mistaken. Jeremy Hines finished second in the points last season will be back along with his father, Rick Hines, who plans to run full time this season. Both cars will be powered by engine from Niebel Engines. With most of the other top points winners expected to be back the Hines' will have plenty of competition for the title. Brad Cummings, Trent Niflis, Terry Arthur, Chris Hillman, Mel Bigham, Perry Bruce, and Steve Hollars can be expected to be in the hunt for the title again.

However the points battles turn out, the route to the championships should be exciting. Don't let the Bloomington Speedway championship drive begin without you. Be at Bloomington Speedway on April 19.

Pit gates will open at 4:30 PM, the grandstand gates will open at 5:30 PM, hot laps will start at 6:30 PM, and racing will begin at 7:30 PM. General admission is $10 for this event (children are admitted free to the grandstand when accompanied by a paying adult); and pit admission is $20. Coolers are permitted; but glass containers aren't. Overnight camping is also permitted.


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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Bruce Perry , Kevin Chambers