October 10, 2002
Speedway Draws More Than 175 Cars For Season Finale
Promoter Terry Hoenig presents the $1,000 check to the Midwest Challenge Cruiser Championship winners Jim Bishop of Libertyville, IA and Joe Wright of Bloomfield, IA.
The 2002 racing season at Scotland County Speedway went out with a bang at the season finale. Actually it went out with a bang, a boom and lots of other loud noises as an over-flowing field of more than 175 cars had more than its fair share of crashes.
While the racing action kept the crowd entertained well into the night the largest ovation from the fans came when promoter Terry Hoenig and Scotland County Fair Board president Phil Aylward stepped on to the track during an intermission to announce that a contract has been signed to bring back the popular promoter for the 2003 race season at the Memphis track.
As Hoenig's first year has been deemed a success so to was the premier of the Midwest Cruiser Championship October 5th. The first annual event drew more than 60 two-driver cruisers to compete for the grand prize of $1,000.
While the big purse drew plenty of cruisers to compete the rest of the show was brimming over with cars as well. The hobby stock class drew 45 cars while a big field of A modifieds made it three divisions requiring a B-main race to set the final field of 24 cars to start the feature race.
The full field had the track rumbling until two in the morning with racing of all types. The stock car class, a last minute addition to the agenda, opened up the evening's feature races.
Only 11 cars took to the track and when it was all said and done it was a familiar face in the winner's circle. Mike Robinson (78R) capped off a stellar season at SCS with one last victory in 2002.
The A-modified class had a big showing Saturday night with 38 cars forcing a B-main to trim the field to 24 cars. The heavy traffic caused problems early in the feature event as it took four starts to get the first lap in the record book.
A spin in turn four brought out the first caution but it was the second yellow flag where most of the damage to the field was done with a total of four cars heading to the pits after a crash coming out of turn one. Mark Burgtorf finished out his tough 2002 season at SCS on lap one, as he was collected in the crash in the front stretch. The wreck took out three-quarters of rows two and three along with Jim Roach and the 13 car.
Roach got a round of applause as he sped back onto the track from the pits to make it to the back of the pack for the restart.
Dennis Elliott (29) of Mt. Ayr, IA, along with Jim Fuller of Memphis in the 88 car started on the front row but quickly were pressured by the 11 car of Mike Hughes as well as the 11D of Darin Thye. Hughes had started on the fifth row but had proven his car was going to be a frontrunner by winning the trophy dash earlier in the night.
The crowd saw a familiar sight as the 45 car of Tony Fraise steadily worked its way up in the pack to slide into third. He ultimately got by Thye to grab second but Hughes was running away with nearly a half lap lead.
By the halfway point Hughes was passing lapped traffic and was showing no signs of slowing down. That picture changed a bit when the 45J car of Jim Gillenwater spun in turn three bringing out a caution.
Just two laps later debris on the track brought out another yellow flag. Neither restart bothered Hughes a bit, as he showed no signs of slowing down, quickly pulling back ahead of Fraise. The 45 car was busy trying to hold off Thye, as the 11D car ultimately got by to finish second behind Hughes. Fraise was third followed by Ryan Meyer (82M) and B-modified track champion Chris Larson (67).
Another capacity field followed up that race as the hobby stocks sent 24 cars out for the feature race.
Front row starter Duane Miller in the 3M car gave the crowd a scare as he rolled his ride numerous times in turn three with the car ultimately ending up on its top. Rescue workers had to extricate him from the car as a major fuel leak posed even more problems. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital with what was believed to be a broken arm.
Pole setter Rick VanDulsedirt (1R) went to the head of the class on the restart followed by the 11 car of Mark Holt. Greg Johnson (22J) of Burlington, IA squeezed his way into the picture pushing between VanDulsedirt and Holt to take the lead.
Holt got taken out by the 10 car of Louis Lynch in turn one and the Memphis driver went to the back of the pack where he should have been joined by Lynch. The 10 car stayed in the third spot but came up lame later, throwing a wheel and heading to the pits.
At the halfway point VanDulsedirt reclaimed the lead going under Johnson out of turn four. The 18 car of Kris Walker of Oskaloosa, IA worked its way into the picture coming all the way from the back of the pack to challenge for the lead.
With just one lap remaining VanDulsedirt spun in turn four turning the lead over to Walker.
On the restart Walker and Johnson were side by side for two laps before the 22J car got the edge coming out of turn four to take the checkered flag.
Tony Becerra ran a strong race to finish third followed by Zach Sobaski and Jeff Soper in the 43S. Doug Small of Memphis finished sixth while Holt worked his way back up the line to finish ninth.
A field of 20 Wild Things, the popular four-cylinder racers from Lee County Speedway entertained the crowd prior to the final race. Dave Burdette was declared the winner of the race after the 24 car was disqualified. Wild Thing rules state the driver can not lead for two consecutive laps until the final two laps of the race.
The field of 64 cruisers had been narrowed down to just 24 through seven heat races, two B-mains and one "last chance" race. Two dozen cars from across the tri-state area took to the track for the grand finale with hopes of claiming the $1,000 top prize.
The 30-lap race proved to be a case of survival of the fittest with only 13 cars crossing the finish line.
Jenny and John Peterson of Oquawka, IL, jumped into the lead at the start of the race taking the 24 "Rainbow Warrior" car to the front ahead of the 22 car of Bob Malone and Marty Hull. Bobbi Jacks and Jared Durbin positioned the 2D car in third while Jeff Delonjay and Herb Murry (32) of Quincy moved up to fourth place.
The 32 car made its move to take over the lead. One lap later the picture changed dramatically as the 2D and 22 cars got together in turn three before going over the backside of the track. That ended the night for Malone and Hull but the 2D car was able to return from the pits with plenty of time left in the race.
Delonjay and Murry continued to lead the pack ahead of the 24 car when the third yellow flag fell on the race after a three car crash in turn three.
The Petersons took advantage of the restart to push their 24 car past the 32 car into first place. That didn't last long as Delonjay and Murry recaptured the lead on the next lap holding down the spot through the midway part of the race.
Their luck ran out three laps later as the 32 car threw a wheel ending Delonjay and Murry's night.
The Petersons retook the lead on the restart but the 24 car was laboring and began to fade late in the contest. That opened the road for the 20 car of Jim Bishop and Joe Wright to take over first place. Eddie Dierker and Jerry Powers of Plainville, IL made a move at the same time taking over the second spot with the 187 car.
With five laps to go the 20 was causing some stress for the drivers as one of the hood pins gave way. The hood started to catch wind and threatened to blow open. Fortunately for Bishop and Wright the second pin held and allowed them to take the checkered flag.
Dieker and Powers took second in the 187 followed by Jacks and Durbin who brought the 2D all the way back through the pack. The 64 car of Sam Halstead of Danville, IA and Russ Harrison of Mt. Pleasant, IA was fourth. Rounding out the top five was the 75 car of Aaron and Rod Summy of Muscatine, IA.