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Tidbits welcomes a new track to the list of tracks that have their ad placed here. I-44 Riverside Speedway in southwest OKC. Next year to be known soley as Riverside Speedway, the 1/8th mile track was taken back by original owner and builder Mark Bannister around midseason in hopes of turning our the track. And from all indications talking with several, the car count and crowd is on the upswing.
While the ASCS2 shows produced large crowds, this past weekends S.O.W.S. midgets and non-wing 600's saw very large crowds with Saturday nights one of the largest in the season. Tidbits stayed close to home and made our first visit to the track in at least five years and was impressed that racing action actually started only three minutes late of the 7:30 PM start time. Sitting with James Lenhart, we were thoroughly impressed with the racing and the way the track held up all night long. Thirty-two midgets and 43 non-wing's show up on Friday night Sooner Midget Nationals opener with a complete show for the midgets that paid $1000 to win. Counted five different states that was represented, led by Kevin Bayer of Bixby surviving mid-race back and forth slide jobs for the lead with Alex Sewell of Broken Arrow through the races midway point before Sewell finally slowed to a stop and out of contention on lap fifteen.
Bayer looked to have the twenty lap feature well in hand but Brad Loyet had other ideas. The Missouri driver, fresh off capturing the ASCS Warrior region sprint car championship, made a late race charge with two laps to go and coming out of turns three and four, got a run underneath Bayer and raced him to the finish line. Bayer would hold on with a half a car length victory that was not only worth $1000 but a $150 bonus for being the highest finishing Echo-Tech midget.
With racing action over at 10:35 PM (that's right, right at three hours to run this program) I kept up with text messages from John Rittenoure at the USRA sanctioned Brill Motor Speedway in Meeker where I found they were at intermission.
Loaded for road rage, the Cobalt and I made our way to Meeker and 45 minutes later and constant text updates, came my surprise the the pro stock feature, the second feature of the night out of five, was in a red flag delay due to a health issue in the pits by a mini stock guy who reportedly had a heart attack.
Action got underway at 11:45 PM and I was able to witness Chad Weber, one of only four cars to stay in action in the pro stock division, claim the victory while Brent Swift won the champ sprint feature. The limited modified feature was won (and deservingly so) by Kip Hughes while Randy Timms won the modified feature.
USRA sanctioned champions at Brill Motor Speedway are Chad Davis (modified) after a year long battle with Kyle Sweeney, Chris Wilhite (emod/limited mod), Johnny Reed, Jr. in pro stocks, Travis Cobb in champ sprints and Gil White in esprints.
The race program got done at 1:10 PM.
On Saturday night it was a late decision to go back to I-44 Riverside Speedway for night two of the Sooner Midget Nationals with $3000 going to the midget feature winner. Rusty Dukes of Missouri captured the victory over Bayer and Houston's midget veteran Ronnie Burke, Jr.
Jeff Stasa and Patrick Stasa, both of Kingmon, Kansas and regulars on the NCRA sprint car circuit, finished fourth and eighth respectively. Ironically, Patrick finished fourth and Jeff eighth in the final NCRA sprint car point standings that was won by CJ Johnson of Quinter, Kansas.
Both nights at the track were ran really well and while I won't comment on one "official decision" that occured (or actually didn't) on the race track, Cody Brewer and his SOWS midget officials and drivers as well as the whole staff at the track should be proud as it seemed to be a very successful two nights.
Here is hoping this midget Sooner Midget National deal can become annual.
One week earlier it was off east to Thunderbird Speedway in Muskogee for the ASCS sooner region finale. Sadly, it was also the final racing appearance, both as fan and official) for Will Hale. Will, who had been employed by Creek Nation Truck Stop in Okmulgee, was recently promoted to General Manager which prompted his decision. Will started working at Creek County Speedway back in 1994 and started flagging at the track one year later. His first shootout as official flagman was in January of 1995 and the Chili Bowl as well. He would become a regular flagman in and around Oklahoma ASCS shows as well.
One tough indian when he had to be but soft and gentle by nature, Will never came to the track with a bad attitude and gained respect by many of drivers and was stern on the flagstand. Will will be missed by many including myself, as we would always text each other while at the track and was always good for a conversation.
You'll be missed my friend and good luck with your new career.
Jason Johnson of Eunice, Louisiana and fresh off a third place finish the night before at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Missouri in the ASCS Warrior region finally, took the lead at the start and never looked back to claim the victory and become the first repeat Sooner region victor in the previous twelve events. Johnson was on a rail up near the tracks wall and was never challenged by Dustin Morgan or a mid-pack starting Danny Wood.
All Joe Wood, Jr. of OKC had to do was start the nights "A" feature and claim his second career ASCS Sooner region championship and that task was mission accomplished as he finished sixth in the event.
Thunderbird Speedway will see a change over the winter as they are building a new three-eighths mile inside the half mile for 2012. Promoter Dennis Slater is unclear if the half mile will be used at all. Stanley Slater informed me prep time and maintence on the track was getting to be too much as well as hard on equipment.
The final event will take place on the 1/8 mile track with micros set to due battle on Friday and Saturday night, October 28-29. More information is forthcoming.
The track will not be hosting a NCRA southern sport mod event in 2012 and special events for the track are still being put together.
Tommie Esets, Jr. informs that the USAC midgets and sprints will be back in 2012 as will the normal two day WoO sprint car show set for television. The URSS 305's and specials for the IMCA modifieds and sport mods will also dot the 2012 schedule as will the Lucas Oil ASCS National tour, which will also be televised on a taped delay basis. I have dates for all the above but they are not to be released for at least another week.
There will be no NCRA sprint car event at the beautiful Dodge City Raceway Park.
My contact from Amarillo informs that Todd Hammock and Cycle City Promotions will host an indoor midget and ASCS2 type rules event indoors at the Amarillo National Center at the fairgrounds the first weekend in November. I am working on details and will post them as soon as I do.
There are also talks of somebody leasing Route 66 Motor Speedway (Amarillo) and hosting the tracks first ever WoO sprint car event. We will see if this holds true.
Charles Holley informs the next OKC Racer's Reunion will be held on Tuesday night, November 1st there at Holley's BBQ at the corner of NW 39th Expressway and Portland on the west end of the shopping center. The first green flag waves at 6:30 PM.
With the rainout at the last scheduled NCRA southern sport modified event on October 8th, Chad McNamara of Ponca City is your 2011 champion, his second and three years on the tour after sitting out last year.
With 30 points separating him from last years champion Todd Decker of Edmond and rookie leader/champion Brandon Smith of Amarillo, one would think the powers to be would pull out all stops to get at least one more points race in, even if it were to be held at some point during the two DAY Enid Winter Nationals on October 28-29 (both start times 1:00 PM). It could have shaped up to be a great weekend with a large car count to put even more drama into the battle for the points championship. But, as the saying goes, "It is what it is."
The 2012 Lucas Oil Late Model schedule is out and the tour will be at Lone Star Speedway in Kilgore, Texas on Saturday night, March 31, 2012.
If word on the street and the hints are true there could be a "wow" factor on the 2012 Lawton Speedway schedule. I hope to get information when this weekends Devils Bowl Speedway's Winter Nationals have concluded.
Word has it that Norman, Oklahoma micro driver Christopher Bell will drive Rick Ferkel's sprint car at the WoO season finale weekend November 3-5. Christopher ran the "Ohio Travelers" sprinter back earlier this season.
Don't forget to make plans for the Oklahoma area's last outdoor race for 2011 which is the afore mentioned Enid Speedway Winter Nationals. Click banner for all the details.
Spoke earlier of Brill Motor Speedway and their weekend finale, Earlier in the day an NBC representative with a film crew spent three hours at Oklahoma Sport Park in Ada at the scene where Kip Hughes pulled out Terry Muskrat of his burning stock car in the much played and talked about event that has been scene national wide. They interviewed Coy, who shot the video and later went to Meeker to Kip and Terry and to shoot some racing footage. The rep was on behalf of the tv show "Caught on Tape" and will be shown sometime in January.
Oklahoma Raceway (formally Lake Country Speedway) should have their 2012 rules for all competing divisions complete and announced within the next week or so and you will be able to find them here.
That is all for this edition of tidbits. Next update we look to have some confirmed 2012 race dates that would concern you as well as racer plans for 2012 and other tidbits.
We plan on either the Devils Bowl Winter Nationals (preferred choice) and/or Humboldt Speedway for the big USMTS $15,000 to win modified event where 76 entries have been received thus far. Where ever you travels may be this weekend, be safe, take care and as always "Watch out for the other guy!"