The summer racing season draws to a close and the final battles for the Indianapolis Speedrome's regular season championships, honors and awards are just a week away. From the high-tech Late Models and Modifieds to the Low-budget Roadrunners...
The summer racing season draws to a close and the final battles for the Indianapolis Speedrome's regular season championships, honors and awards are just a week away. From the high-tech Late Models and Modifieds to the Low-budget Roadrunners the garages all around Indianapolis prepare for one last charge.
The Carmel Sod Modified has been the scene of one of the tightest points battle in the track's 60-year history. Defending champ Billy George captured the 50-Lap feature in a duel with new points runner-up, two-time champ Jim Begley. Their nose-to-tail duel snaked through traffic from the green and included a near-tragedy with young Bruce Newlin, Jr. that ripped body panels off George's car and all but cut down a tire.
Doug Greig wore a brace left over from last week's pit injury but managed to take fifth in the race and a solid hold on third in the points. The heartbreak of the night was hard-working Billy Boyer's motor woes that left him out of the feature. Boyer dropped to fourth in the points standings and is barely mathematically still in the championship hunt.
Cynthia Sizemore put a lock on the Rookie of the Year honors over Chris Shrum I and Timothy George. All three newbies have made every show this season with Sizemore snaring a historic feature win.
Greig had locked up the 2001 Race City Auto Sales Legend Car championship last week but Rookie of the Year honors are still up for grab between Carl Hawkins and Chad Cory. Rodney Smith captured Friday's main in a rough ride around some scrappy racers including Steve Blankenship, Cory and series sponsor David Sutton.
Kenny Turnipseed, Jr. captured his second feature in the Yardarm Bomber Figure-8 cars over Ken Casto but the season points chase has been decided for Scott Settles.
One more race will decide the Race City Auto Sales Bandoleros chase. After winning the last go all Michael Hadley has to do is start the feature to be the Speedrome's youngest champion. James Robertson has a chance to tie the season chase if he can win and get Hadley grounded.
Fifty-three weekend warriors tried to get in to the 5th running of the Kenny's Auto Sales 50 for Chuck's Race Car Parts Stocks. Twenty-four were tapped from last Friday's qualifying events and twelve more were chosen Saturday for a 50-Lap melee. A horrendous crash between front-runners Gregory Jines and Larry Hahn brought out a red flag with two laps to go handing Corey Turner the win over Jimmy Kirby, Charlie Hargraves, Speedy Teepe and Don Miller. Teepe's top finish and hard luck for series veteran Jack Smith gives the sophomore from the Roadrunner division a big lead in the season's points.
Another pair of Roadrunner graduates will head into this Saturday's and Sunday's shows to battle for Rookie of the Year honors. Chris Shrum I holds a 55-point lead over Bill Montag with 120 points possible in the Stocks this weekend.
Bruce Tunny started the season right by winning both features in the April 8th opener and heads into the closing weekends with a strong lead over Rodney Sizemore after winning Saturday's 100-Lap Late Model Figure-8. Hard luck took out championship contenders R. J. Norton, Jr. and Bill Tunny, Jr. early in the go. Jack Dossey, Jr. returned to the fifth-mile for the first time since a hard crash took him out for two months with hand and wrist injuries. Dossey challenged in the closing laps to prove he still had the stuff. Curtis McMurtrey finally shook the monkey off his back, winning his first feature in the evening's 25-Lap Oval event.
The Bobby Ellett Memorial Late Model Rookie of the Year award is still up for grabs between Keith Richee, Bill Ellis, Casey White and Robert Downey, Jr. Richee has led the chase for most of the season but hasn't been able to pull away from his fellow tyros.
The Sunshine Cafe Roadrunners are enjoying their most competitive season ever with thirty-two drivers mathematically in the hunt for the Championship. Kerry Wright, Barry White and Casey Victery have pulled away from the field but there are no guarantees in the volatile division. Weekend wins went to Barry Coy, Dean Smith, James Curry and first timers D. J. Rhodes and Joe Stewart.
The teams prepare for their final weekend capped by Sunday's 1-hour Figure-8 Endurance Race that will settle the Late Model Championship chase for 2001. Racing goes green Thursday for the final NAMARS midget program; Friday with the Modifieds, Legend Cars, Roadrunners, Bomber Figure-8's and Bandoleros; Saturday is the Late Models, Stocks and Roadrunners; Sunday the Late Models go with their 25th Annual 1-Figure-8 Endurance Race plus the Stocks and Roadrunners. Green flag falls at 7:00PM all three nights.