The aromas of I-35 Speedway changed this past weekend, August 11 and 12, 2017 as the 2nd Annual Smokin’ Trackside Barbeque Bash was held. A normal aroma is the smell of racing fuel as the powerful engines of the racing machines take to the track on Saturday night. A new aroma permeated the track beginning Friday as the smell of brisket, chicken, ribs, and pork cooking in the smokers of various Kansas City Barbeque Society competitors invaded the track. Racing and BBQ, what can be more American?
Friday night events include music by AJ Gaither One Man Band and a People’s Choice BBQ event where teams voluntarily cooked chicken wings sponsored to the track in a non KCBS sanctioned event. The wings were then taken to the Trackside Bar and Grill (and gone in 60 seconds or so it seemed) where the general public (you and me, this year I did not get any!) sampled the various cooked wings and voted for their favorite. Congratulations to Pit Stop Catering for winning this very tight race by one vote over two other tied teams.
Behind the scenes work in preparation for the BBQ Bash included new trash barrels prepped and distributed, cones were placed to mark reserved spots for the teams, tables and chairs were brought up for the judges, and of course all the behind the scenes administrative work of organizing judges and BBQ teams (most of this completed by Kyle Johnson). Speaking of BBQ teams, ten of the 25 teams in competition this past weekend are ranked in the Top 30 of over 6000 teams nationwide.
Thank you, Mother Nature, for the nice temperatures!
All the above led to a great night of racing. A night with lots of great late passes. In the E Mods, JJ Baumli made a late pass of Randy Smith, as the Smith machine encountered an issue on the last lap. Speaking of last lap, Randy Ainsworth had led the first 14 laps of the B Mod feature. He was fueled by his sponsor and BBQ competitor Wabash BBQ. On the last lap coming out turn 2 Ainsworth’s #57 machine lost traction enough to allow the hard charging Doug Keller to pull even with him on the bottom side. The race into turn 3 was exciting with Keller taking the checkered. In the Stock Cars two of the best in the area were squaring off for our excitement. Last year’s USRA Nationals winner Brett Heeter earned a pole position start, track points leader Dean Wray was starting outside second row. At the drop of the green, Heeter took the lead running the high side, Wray worked his way directly behind Heeter. Knowing you can’t pass the car in front by following him, Wray started working the bottom side lap after lap after lap, then on a restart after a yellow flag, Heeter went to the middle, Wray went to the top and made the pass. Just think this kind of racing is a prelude to what is coming when the USRA Nationals are held in October at I-35 Speedway.
Congratulations to our other winners on the night, Chris Heitman in the Vintage, Dennis Elliott in the A Mods, Austin King in the Sport Compacts, Ethan Lamons in the Pure Stock, and Chad Fuller in the Grand Nationals. Also congratulations to the A Mods, 20 laps green to checkered!
Also behind the scenes this week, the camping area is ready! Just another great improvement at I-35 Speedway! One of our great sponsors, McCarthy Autogroup representatives took a tour of the area! It is available for use for the upcoming lunar eclipse if you are interested. The track lies within the total dark area.