June 13, 2002
Elston Makes It Four In A Row At SCS
Spiderman has been one of the summer's biggest movies and so far at Scotland County Speedway a driver that fits that description has been dominating the racetrack just like his namesake has been doing on the big screen.
While it's not his official nickname, at least not yet, the description came to mind Saturday night as Tommy Elston zoomed around the raceway clinging to what proved to be a fairly slick surface for the rest of the racers.
Elston started on the third row but wasted little time moving to the front. He didn't need spider webs shooting from his wrists to reel in the four cars ahead of him. The 45 car handled masterfully around turns one and two, the tough spots for the rest of the field.
Jason Krigbaum took the lead early from his pole position. Early on his car looked up for the challenge as he pulled ahead of Tony Fraise in the 45DW and Terry Schlipman in the 42. Elston quickly changed that picture as he passed both challengers coming out of turn four down the front stretch.
Spiderman had a firm grip on the middle groove, a spot no one else had been able to use all night. Krigbaum tried to maintain the lead on the low side but by the midway point Elston had caught the 11 car and left it in his dust.
From that point it was smooth sailing for Elston who remained perfect at SCS this year, winning his fourth straight race. That shutout the competition from collecting the $100 bounty from Cunningham Fertilizer. Elston cashed on $50 of that reward and told the rest of the field to "Bring it!" next week when he heard the bounty had been boosted to $150.
Krigbaum finished second on the night followed by Schlipman, Fraise and Rich Westhoff in the 3W. Heat wins went to Elston and Schlipman.
The other hunted driver did not fair as well on June 8 as Mike Robinson's efforts to make it four in a row fell just one car short in the stock car feature.
Jim Redman of Lockridge, IA, took advantage of a front row starting position to lead the race from start to finish. Robinson began the race with the 78R car on the third row. He made things exciting by passing the rest of the pack early on to move into second place.
But Robinson was never really able to challenge the 14, instead having to battle off Josh Walker in the 78 car in a battle for second.
Redman not only took the checkered flag but he also picked up the $100 bounty on Robinson who finished second. Walker was third followed by Ryan Cook in the 27R car who made a hard charge late in the contest. Jason Cook took fifth in the 27J.
From there the night got a bit ugly, with two features going to the checkered flag while under caution. While NASCAR fans are familiar with the phrase "Rubbings in Racing" it's doubtful that that's what promoter Terry Hoenig wants to see on his dirt track on Saturday nights.
However, that didn't stop a couple cars in both the A and B modified features from doing a little extra jockeying for position.
The A Modified feature looked like it might produce its first Scotland County winner of the season. Bob Dale started on row one in the 12 car with Jardin Fuller one row back in the 33. But it was actually Jim Fuller, who started on the fifth row as well as Lynn Monroe, who started in the back of the pack after being taken out by another driver in the heat race, that appeared to have two of the fast cars on the track.
Dale jumped to the head of the class at the drop of the green flag. Jardin Fuller was in tow taking second followed by Tony Fraise who lept all the way up from the fourth row into third place.
Fraise didn't wait there long as he moved past Fuller and then Dale to gain the lead just two circuits later.
The first caution of the night came when the 22G of Steve Grotz shut down on the front stretch after he had gotten together with the 18 car leaving both with flat tires. Grotz took advantage of the stoppage to get to the pits and return at the rear of the pack with a new tire.
The restart didn't change much at the front as Fraise and Dale remained one and two. However Jim Roach changed that off the return to green when he passed Dale for second.
That became a familiar move for the Kahoka driver as three consecutive cautions forced Roach back to third on the restart.
Finally on the fifth restart Roach was able to get by Dale for good to move into second and build a cushion behind a solid lead for Fraise. Dale had third all to himself while Hank DeLonjay of Quincy, IL, was duking it out with Jardin Fuller for fifth. The action got physical in turn four when DeLonjay slid into the 33 car, forcing Fuller out of the race.
The 35 car didn't last much longer either as turn four did him in as well when he spun in front of the 97K car and the wreckers had to be brought out to separate the cars.
All the while this was going on Lynn Monroe quietly was burning up the track from his 21st starting position. The 21M car looked like the fastest car on the track as he sped through the pack all the way up to fifth spot.
At the same time Jim Fuller had brought the 88 car back into contention after a slow start from the 10th starting slot. He stayed in the middle of the pack for the first half of the race before finding some extra juice late in the contest.
The 88 and 21 didn't get a chance to complete the run as the checkered flag fell during the sixth caution of the affair, sending Fraise to the winner's circle for the second straight race.
Roach took second followed by Dale, Jim Fuller and Monroe. Heat race victories went to Mike Long of Canton in the 18, DeLonjay and Roach.
While the B-modifieds did make the checkered flag under green it was nearly as rough as there was at least one car out there that could have used a battle ram instead of a front bumper.
The contest got off to a smooth start as Chuck Ancell pulled into the lead off the first lap followed by Jerry Poor in the 86. The two built a comfortable cushion on top ahead of a trio of cars, Josh Foster (77), Bobby Cookson (8Z) and Chris Larson (67) battling for third.
Larson, who started on the fifth row, eventually got past the pack taking third and then quickly wrestling away second place from Poor.
After the first spin out of the race just past the halfway point, Larson got the jump on Ancell on the restart. Poor held onto third followed by Foster and the 15 car of Phillip Cossell.
The second yellow flew when Jack Evans Jr. got into the back of the 15 spinning Cossell.
The 00 was in the middle of the third caution as well when he tapped Poor in turn one spinning out the 86. This time he wen to the back of the pack with his victim.
That was all behind Larson who after getting by Ancell low in turn four never got another challenge, returning to victory lane for another trophy and payday from SCS. Ancell finished second followed by 2001 track champion Danny Daggs (04) in his season debut. Cookson was fourth followed by Foster.
Larson and Kelly Smith (41x) picked up the points for the heat race wins.
The Hobby Stock division proved it would not be outdone for excitement as well as physical contact (isn't there some wrecker service or autobody shop out there that can take advantage of this natural advertising option?) as the class quickly is becoming a fan favorite with exciting racing action.
A full field of 24 cars clogged up the racing lanes early on as a number of the top points racers were stuck behind a dozen or more cars to start the night.
That didn't prevent Doug Small from quickly leaping the 4D from the third row to the front seat on the bus. He pulled ahead of 55 Jim Lynch and 02 Justin O'Haver and quickly ran away from the field.
Mark Holt (11) and Bob Lynch (4X) started side by side on row five. They took different routes early on. While Holt was stuck behind the traffic jam Lynch busted through the middle to give Small his first challenge.
A couple cautions brought Small back to the field and had Lynch in third behind O'Haver.
A little more racing action was sandwiched in between two more spinouts, seeing Holt flying up to fifth spot and Lynch leap frogging to #2.
By the midway point Lynch finally found his way around Small who fell back to second ahead of Holt and Tony Becerra in the 2 car.
An extended delay occurred next when cars got together in turn four leaving the 77 of Bruce Summers on its top halfway around the corner.
The final restart of the night saw Holt make his move off turn four. He bolted through the front stretch splitting the 4X and 4D cars taking first place. It was short lived as the momentum spun the 11 car in turn two, collecting the 4X car in the process.
That brought out the final yellow flag of the night as the race went to the checkered flag while the track officials were sorting out the collision, giving Small his first victory of the season.
Becerra was awarded second, followed by O'Haver, Dave Warner (9) of Keosauqua, IA, and 29 Bobby Magruder of Brashear.
After last week's excitement of not one, but two roll-over accidents the Two-Man Cruiser class was relatively calm.
Lance Stott and Paul Kropg led most of the way in the 2 car before giving way to 32 car late in the race. That lasted until a flat tire with just one lap to go, allowing Stott and Kropg to take the checkered flag.
David Hudson and Sarah Small were second in the 34H followed by Josh Foster and Todd Moon in the 09. Danny Buford and Doug Ruth of Downing were fourth and Donnie Peters and Greg Peters of Quincy, IL finished fifth.