BLOOMINGTON, IN (August 9, 2008) -- Last night Bloomington Speedway fans witnessed the first Indiana Midget Week show ever run on the red clay of Bloomington Speedway. The all open wheel program offered side by side racing in every lap of every...
BLOOMINGTON, IN (August 9, 2008) -- Last night Bloomington Speedway fans witnessed the first Indiana Midget Week show ever run on the red clay of Bloomington Speedway. The all open wheel program offered side by side racing in every lap of every race run.
The weatherman was really the race fans' friend last night. There was no hint of rain anywhere. And, the temperatures were moderate giving us the best weather possible for an August evening.
Many of the USAC midget racers who came to compete in this special show brought their sprint cars in order run both ends of this special program. Many of those who don't normally race sprint cars arranged for a sprint car ride anyway.
Programs like this add variety to our schedule. We run the same three classes (Safety-Kleen Sprint Cars, O'Neal Wood Products Modifieds, and Tire & Wheel Center Super Stocks) in most of our shows; because we believe that they give the fans a good show just about every week. However, a special program like the one that we ran last night is the kind of spice that makes our annual schedule special.
USAC NATIONAL MIDGET SERIES --
Last night was the first time that the USAC National Midget Series cars have taken on the red clay of Bloomington Speedway since 1994. The late Kenny Irwin, Jr. set the midget track record at 12.256 seconds on that evening. Last night 33 of the 48 cars entered were faster than the existing track record. When qualifications were concluded the track record was 11.811 seconds; and it belongs to Chad Boat. It's amazing how much faster these little cars became in fourteen years.
With the computerized timing equipment that USAC now uses they qualified in groups. And, during his qualifying session, Rex Norris III got crossed up and flipped. Although Cole Carter was in the first turn when the red flag waved, he somehow missed it and drilled Norris whose mount was laying on its side in turn four. He emerged from his car, apparently uninjured; but he probably wasn't too happy with Mr. Carter. This error on Carter's part didn't set too well with the assembled fans. Sweet also flipped during qualifications; however, since, he had a qualification time, he was in the night's program if his crew could get the car repaired. And, they did.
In the first heat Brad Loyet started on the inside of the second row and raced to the win followed by Levi Jones and Gary Altig.
In the second heat, Danny Stratton started on the tail and drove to a convincing win over Cole Whitt and Bryan Clauson. You had to feel sorry for Keith Kunz and Pete Willoughby. They had their two cars in the same heat race along with Danny Stratton, Bryan Clauson, and Garrett Hansen. It's certain that they were glad that they got Morgan's time back when he transferred from the semi; however, his premature exit from the feature made that a mute point.
Dave Darland came from the inside of the third row to win the third heat in the famous Steve Lewis owned "nine" car while Tracy Hines and Dakoda Armstrong took the remaining transfers to the feature.
Steve Buckwalter, Thomas Meseraull, Brad Kuhn, Shane Cottle, Brady Bacon, Davey Ray, Todd Wanless, Jeff Bland, Jr., and Bradley Galedrige took the rest of the transfers from the heat races to the feature.
When the green flag dropped to start the first semi feature, fast qualifier Chad Boat charged into the lead followed by Adam Clarke and Garrett Hansen. Dustin Morgan started fifth; and by the time the first lap went into the books he was running fourth. On laps 8 Morgan passed Hansen to take third place; and on the following lap he moved into second place. On the tenth lap Morgan moved into the lead where he would finish. Boat salvaged a second place finish and a transfer to the feature.
Brad Sweet and Chris Windom started at the front of the second semi feature. Sweet led the semi flag to flag with Windom in his wake. USAC National Midget Series points leader Bobby East and USAC Western States Midget Series regular Josh Ford were entered into the field as provisionals; and the grid was set for the first USAC National Midget Series feature in 14 years on the red clay.
When the midgets were lined up for the start of their feature Dave Darland and Brad Sweet shared the front row. Davey Ray and Chris Windom were in the second row followed by fast qualifiers Bryan Clauson and Chad Boat. Sweet charged from the outside first row starting position to take the lead followed by Darland, Windom, Ray and Boat. On lap five Ray passed Darland and Sweet to take the point. Ray would lead the rest of the way to the checkered flags. On lap eleven Sweet passed Darland to take second; and, one lap later, Cole Whitt moved into third place.
Whitt moved into second place on lap 20 only to lose it back to Sweet three laps later. Whitt recaptured second on lap 28. However Sweet would not be denied; and, on the white flag lap, he took second place back and Whitt would have to settle for third. Tracy Hines and Gary Altig rounded out the top five.
SAFETY--KLEEN SPRINT CARS --
A total of thirty Safety-Kleen sprint cars unloaded to compete for last night's feature win. Most of them were our regular Safety -- Kleen sprint car racers. However, a fair number of them were on hand to compete in Indiana Midget Week; and they decided that they might as well run a sprint car while they were here.
In the first Safety-Kleen sprint car heat, Dickie Gaines raced from his fifth place starting position to take the win. Jon Sciscoe came home second trailed by Kent Christian, Ethan Barrow, and Dylan Burge.
Bobby Stines won the second heat followed by Jeff Bland, Jr. who raced from the tail to finish second. Mark Perry III, Ty Deckard, and Lance Grimes rounded out the top five.
Jon Stanbrough won the final heat race from his fifth place starting position. Mike Hess started on the pole and salvaged a second place finish. Dave Darland, Jesse Cramer, and Jimmy Light took the balance of the transfer positions.
Bub Cummings and Ricky Williams started on the front row of the "B" feature; and Cummings took the initial lead. However, on the third lap, Williams took over the point and held it to the checkered flags. Chris Windom started 12th and raced to an impressive third place finish. Chris Babcock and Shayne McElhinney took the final two transfer positions.
Bobby Stines and Jon Stanbrough started on the front row. It was no surprise that, at the end of the first lap, Jon Stanbrough had the lead. And, 24 laps later, the win was Stanbrough's. Dickie Gaines started third; and, on lap two, he passed Bobby Stines to take second.
Dave Darland started ninth; and, by the time that the tenth lap went into the books, he was running fourth. On the 11th lap he took third; and on lap 13 he moved into second where he would finish. Dickie Gaines finished third; and Jon Sciscoe finished fourth. Chris Windom started 18th and drove to a potent fifth place finish.
-credit: bloomington speedway