May 23, 2002
Car Count Swells To 140+ In 2nd Race Of The Season At SCS
Tommy Elston made it two in a row at Scotland County SPeedway with a victory in the late model feature race May 18.
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The season premiere at Scotland County Speedway May 4 was nearly perfect. If one asked promoter Terry Hoenig about the opener, his one wish may have been to see a few more cars. Now he knows to be careful what you wish for.
The track's second race of the season, May 18, nearly doubled the car count from the premiere, jumping up from 82 all the way to 140 race cars in the six classes.
While Mother Nature had been tough on SCS, forcing a rain out on May 11, the rain actually helped out the Memphis track May 18, closing other area tracks, sending all the racing action in the Tri-State area to Memphis.
The extensive field of cars meant three heat races in every class but B-modifieds and stock cars, with the hobby stock division requiring four heats as well as a B-main feature.
The two-man cruiser class led off the feature events with a full field of 24 cars. The 11 car of Seiry and Shilling took advantage of a front row starting spot to jump in front of the pack at the onset of the race. They quickly drew a challenge from Hudson and Arnold in the 34H ride.
The two cars went back and forth before the 34H went underneath in turn two to take the lead. That didn't last as the yellow flag came out before the lap could be completed.
It took just two more laps after the restart for Hudson and Arnold to regain the lead, which they would not relinquish from that point on. The 11 car lasted just a couple more laps before heading to the pits.
Durbin and Woodside finished second in the 2D car followed by #23 Hetrick and Hasting and #87 Peters and Peters.
A flat tire in the heat race meant first week winners Jody Small and Tony Briggs started on the 11th row. That didn't stop the 35 car from making a run through the field, passing some 15 cars to wind up in seventh place.
Hudson and Arnold won the first heat race. Seiry and Shilling won heat #2 while Taylor and Taylor won heat #3 in the 2T car.
The second 20+ car field came to the track for feature #2, the Miller Lite A Modifieds.
For the second straight race Steve Grotz took the 22G to the head of the class early in the contest and looked to be the car to beat.
He had to hold his form through a total of six cautions that halved the field from 22 to just 11 cars by checkered flag time.
The third caution had a big impact on the outcome of the race and prevented a replay of week one's finish. The 18 car spun in front of the hard charging Mark Burgtorf in the 69M. The collision sent both cars to the back of the pack and preventing the 69M from trying to come from behind two consecutive races for the win.
Then again it may not have mattered at all as Grotz was fast all night long. He held off challenger Tony Fraise in the 45 for the second half of the race to take the victory. Fraise was second followed by Jim Roach in the 13 car. Burgtorf moved all the way back up to finish fourth followed by Jim Fuller in fifth. Paul Lawson was sixth in the 33 car and Lynn Monroe took seventh.
Grotz, Lawson and Burgtorf were winners in the heat races.
The four heat events as well as the B-main whittled the hobby stock field from 30 to 21 cars starting the main event.
For the second straight week the class had more than 20 cars on the track to start the contest and unfortunately for the second straight race the checkered flag was thrown while the race was suspended under yellow flag.
The event got off to a slow start because of some quick starters, with two restarts caused by some premature jockeying for the front spot. The third time wasn't the charm for the 29 car, which smashed into the guardrail in turn two, forcing another restart as well as a momentary stoppage for repairs. Mark Holt took the 11 car to the pits with a flat tire during the caution.
It proved to be only a pit stop as the 11 car came back out at the back of the pack and made short work of the rear end of the line, passing 10 cars on the way back into contention.
Newcomer Bruce Summers (77) went to the front of the pack early on. He held off challenges from track veterans Jeff Soper (43S), Tony Becerra (2) and Roger Dresden (1) to maintain the top spot. Soper, Becerra and Dresden went back and forth in second, third and fourth positions with Dresden holding the honors at the midway point.
Holt was making a run toward contention, moving into seventh place before the car gave out in the front stretch. That brought out the yellow flag. That quickly turned into a red flag when several cars got together coming off turn four, collecting the front runners and sending the 9 car into a roll before ultimately ending up on its roof.
As the clean-up commenced the checkered flag fell on the contest leaving Summers with the victory. Dresden was second followed by Becerra, Soper and Justin O'Haver in the 02 car.
Summers, Soper and Becerra won heat races along with Bobby McCartney (1M).
Chris Larson quickly took control of the B-modified feature to take his first victory of the year at SCS. No other race results were available at press time.
A field of just 12 cars did not limit the excitement in the Stock car main event that saw cars going four-wide coming out of turns four and one on several occasions.
Josh Walker pulled in front of the pack from his second row starting spot. Mike Robinson was in tow from his third row start to quickly take hold of second in the 78R car. Heath Huggins had the 1 car in the mix along with the 56 of Ryan Meyer giving the fans plenty of action early in the contest.
Walker had a strong lead in the first half of the race but a pair of cautions brought him back to the pack. On the second restart Robinson was able to get by to take the lead as the cars went side by side through turns one and two.
Robinson held off Walker to win his second consecutive race at SCS. Walker took second followed by Randy Stadler (12), Brian O'Neal (5B), and Huggins.
Walker and Robinson also took home heat race victories.
Typically the late model class doesn't do quite as much paint swapping as some of the other divisions - high dollar cars can make a driver think a little differently.
That was not the case Saturday night (actually Sunday morning by this point) as 26 cars packed SCS for a grand finale to an exciting night of racing.
The auto body repairs started immediately in turn one when Jason Krigbaum did a 360 in the 11 car collecting Justin Fuller and sending both cars to the back on the restart. They were joined by the 56 and 1 cars after they got together trying to check up behind the initial crash.
Tommy Elston moved the 45 car all the way from his 10th row start into fourth place in just a couple laps.
Joey Gower opened the contest in front in the 31 car but it didn't last long as Tony Fraise put the 45DW ride into first before the next circuit was completed. Elston was just one lap off the charge, pulling into second place on the next go around.
That didn't stand as the race's second caution fell before the lap was completed when Fuller was collected with the 35 car and the 4 car in turn four, bringing out the wreckers to separate the compacted rides. That halted a big push by Fuller as he was steadily moving back toward the lead from the rear of the line.
Elston didn't slow down after the restart quickly moving back into second place to challenge Fraise. The two friends battled it out for a couple laps before Elston pulled around and then pulled away from the rest of the field.
Three more yellow flags didn't even bring Elston back to the pack. Fraise took second on the night with Gower finishing third. Gary Webb was fourth followed by Mark Burgtorf in the #7.
Heat race wins went to Jack Matthews (30), Rich Westhoff (3W) and Tom Bowling (14B).
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