BLOOMINGTON, IN (June 23, 2001) - The Northern All Star Late Model series made its first visit to the famed red clay of Bloomington Speedway in two years on Friday night. These guys seldom get a chance to run on a good, heavy race track; and many...
BLOOMINGTON, IN (June 23, 2001) - The Northern All Star Late Model series made its first visit to the famed red clay of Bloomington Speedway in two years on Friday night. These guys seldom get a chance to run on a good, heavy race track; and many of them probably didn't know just what to do with it. Track conditions and the parity among the competitors made for plenty of door to door racing all night long. The fact that these guys can get those big sleds around the track as fast as they do is truly amazing.
Bob Pierce got the evening off to a good start by setting quick time by herding the # 32 around in 12.088 seconds. In preliminary competition, Pierce, Doug McCammon, Jim Curry, and Don O'Neal took the heat race wins. Since only three cars transfer from each heat race, nearly half to the field had to find their way into the feature via one of the two B Mains or through a provisional. Jim Curry and Mark Barber won the two "B"'s while Marty O'Neil and Scott Smith each used one of their cherished provisional to find their way into the Northern All Star Late Model feature.
When the green flag fell to start the feature event, Pierce and O'Neal began a battle that would last the entire race. Pierce had begun to stretch out the lead a little; but as they began to get into lapped traffic O'Neal went high taking the long way around while Pierce held the more popular "huggy pole" line. It looked like Pierce would be blocked by backmarkers and O'Neal would slip past him. However, Pierce threaded his way through traffic and managed to edge O'Neal for the victory. Jim Curry held on to finish third ahead of Doug McCammon, Shawn Negangard, points leader Steven Hillard, Doug Ault, Darrell Lanigan, Dan Sturgeon, and Jay Mobley.
Randy Petro of Columbus seldom gets the opportunity to run at Bloomington Speedway; but he drove like he had been racing on the heavy red clay every week for twenty years. He began his evening by pulling the # 1 pill out of the bag. This put him on the pole for the first heat race in which he beat a strong Adam Sasser. He then won the dash to earn the right to start on the pole for the feature event.
Don Kiger, another newcomer to Bloomington Speedway, and Bloomington regulars, Matt Boknecht and Richie Lex, won the other heat races.
Rookie Shelby Miles lasted through the crashfest that the "B" Main turned out to be to earn a flag to flag victory. Brandon Short finished second in the "B" followed by Richard Biggs and Roy Bruce, Jr.
It was clear that Petro had to be the heavy favorite as the race began; however, it was also clear that it wasn't going to be a "gimme". In the early going Richie Lex and points leader Matt Boknecht were giving Petro all he wanted. As the race wore on Lex began to drop back as Adam Sasser came through traffic to mount his own challenge. Petro held on to win trailed by Boknecht, Sasser, Rodney Harris, Jr., Lex, John Demoss, Don Kiiger, Jay Humphrey, Lee Hobbs, and Shelby Miles.
Tire & Wheel Center Super Stock action began with Brad Cummings, Rick Hines, Perry Bruce, and Steven Hunt taking the heat races. Cummings went on to take the dash to start on the pole for the feature event.
Tom Plotz took the "B" feature to transfer to feature. Diane Grubb, Travis Todd, and Steven Morin also transferred from the "B".
Cummings led the feature flag to flag; but he did not have an easy route to the victory. Early on, Rick Hines pressured Cummings; but Perry Bruce quickly took Hines' place as the front line challenger for Cummings. However, with only four circuits to go, Jeremy Hines moved around Bruce to take second. Bruce held on for third trailed by point leader Gregg O'Neill, and Trent Niflis.