The 22nd week of racing at I-35 Speedway brought 100 cars into the pits for competition. A summer day even though it was officially autumn brought strong south winds most of the day and a high temperature of 91 according to my truck at 3 P.M. Days like this make track watering a challenge, yet in the words of racecar owner Clint Baker, that track was perfect, it had slick, it had heavy, it had everything, perfect just perfect.
Congratulations to all those who finished first because as you know everyone who shows up to race is a winner! Chris Mercer topped the 14 car E Mod field with JJ Baumli and Randy Smith close behind. This was Mercer’s 5th win of the year, Smith leads with 8 wins, the class has seen 7 different winners. Billie Hoover topped the nine car Grand National field. This was Hoover’s 5th win of the year, Donnie Brown leads with 10 wins, the class has seen 4 different winners. This class has grown through the year with new contestants Kacey Shields and Landry McGahauey in attendance this past week. The 15 car Vintage class saw a mix of two vintage classes. The highlight to this race was the hood coming up on leader Houston Johnson who still managed to bring the car home in second to Ron Lefholz. Kerry Ayers claimed his second Pure Stock feature win of the season, Cletus Murray leads in points and has 6 feature wins among the forty different competitors and 10 different feature winners this year. James Lemke won the 11 car Sport Compact race. This class continues to grow each week since Austin King contacted us in August and asked if we would bring back the class. The 19 car B Mod feature was claimed by Eddie Schwope Jr. making his third win of the year. There have been 70 different competitors in this class with 11 different winners, Bud Wilson and Doug Keller leading with 4 first places in the win column. The Stock Cars saw Dean Wray claim his 17th win of the year, to date there have been 5 different winners and 50 different competitors in this class. The A Mods was quite a race with first time I-35 Speedway winner Gunner Martin taking the checkered. Seventy-Five A Mods have competed at the track this year with 10 different winners, points leader Dennis Elliott leads the way with seven.
What a week behind the scenes, it involved gale force winds and yellowjackets! Let’s start with the gale force winds, if you look to the north over the pit grandstands you will see several American Flags flying! Yes, at I-35 Speedway we are proud of our country and the American Flag is flying all over the facility. Where the new flags are flying is the new second level cat walk. In the process of being built, should be completed this week, Wednesday Tony and Mike finished the structural work, Thursday we finished the flooring, Friday we began the railing project.
Anyway, back to the flags, Mike had this great idea to put these flags up and they are beautiful! However, on Tuesday we started this project and when it came time to put up the flags the winds started blowing out of the south, fortunately, we did not unfurl them until we had them secured. Which leads back to work on the cat walk, each day the winds got higher and higher, and trying to carry and lay plywood can be a challenge in a wind. Not to mention as you get to the far east end for some reason the winds howled through there and Tony kept reminding me if I took a wrong step the sudden stop might not be good. Hmm, I guess for the USRA Nationals if you need to dry your hair just go up to the second level of the cat walk and receive a free blow dry. Now that I think about it with the flags in the background, hair blowing on our model wives, it would be a great place for a photo shoot (Lisa, John, Jessica, Judy)!
Now as many of you know, Mike Johnson likes his facility to look pristine, which means hours behind the weed eater! This week I was weed eating the grassy knoll, not the one in Dallas, but the grassy knoll around the camping area lake. I must say it looks so good! However, as I was weed eating suddenly I felt a sting, then another, then I took off running, probably only God was able to witness this sprint but the yellowjackets kept following me. In the end, I had six stings and discovered that yellowjackets live in the ground and will attack their prey (me) for up to 100 yards. That explains the last sting as I had one attached to my sock and he got my ankle about 30 minutes after the initial attack. Guess who got the last word though, found their hole and doused it with gasoline, without getting stung. Oh the fun of working at a racetrack!
This week, September 30, you will get your money’s worth when it comes to racing. Our usual classes plus Vintage, Midwest Lightning Sprints, and the season ending points battle for the ULMA Late Models! Can’t help but think of the Hank Williams Jr song ARE YOU READY FOR SOME RACING?