I had a three-day weekend last week and I used it to pick up a couple
of new tracks. The stops:
Friday, July 5 ... Clay County Speedway, Flora, Ill.
This is a 1/4-mile dirt with a bit of banking. It looks racy and the
facility is OK. The racing was less than OK, though.
There were 19 UMP mods, 17 super streets and 20 bombers. The cars
were split into three heats, and the features started straight up
from the heats. That pretty much meant the points leaders wound up
starting up front.
It was track No. 471
Saturday, July 6 ... Lebanon I-44 Speedway, Lebanon, Mo.
If you heard about the truck race or IRL race, you know what the
weather was like in this part of the country. If you haven't heard,
it was hot. Really hot.
I-44 is a 3/8-mile paved D-shaped oval. The curved part of the D is
the backstretch and seems to be elevated a bit. The track sits in
like a bowl and the grandstand seating reminded me of long park
benches secured to the hill that leads down to the track. The
grandstand admission was $8; and the "wild side, the backstretch and
first and second turn areas where you could watch from your car (and
where you could bring in alcohol, which wasn't sold there) cost $10.
The view from the grandstand, high or low, was outstanding.
Well, tonight's fields were even more disappointing than last
night's. Ten late models, 10 late model stocks, 10 modifieds, 11
sportsman and 15 pure stocks.
However, tonight the racing was really pretty good because here the
points leaders started in the back. And the cars were pretty closely
matched. The late model feature winner, Tim Swearengin, started ninth
and took the lead on the 27th of 30 laps. The mod winner, Terry
Holtkamp, started fifth, took the lead about lap 11 of 25 and then
had to hold off points leader Jim Hayes.
The facility was nice and the show was well run. If they had even 18-
20 cars in every division, this might be a really good show.
It was track no. 472.
Sunday, July 8 ... Angell Park Speedway, Sun Prairie
This show drew about 32 midgets and also Ed Esser (of course), Allan
and Nancy Brown and Kevin Eckert.
Unfortunately, every time I go to Sun Prairie I'm reminded that the
track isn't maintained like it used to be. And the racing's not the
Tonight's feature was good, though. Matt Westphal took the lead at
the start, lost it to a Davey Ray slide job, got it back from Ray and
survived a last-lap repass try by Ray, who spun in the fourth turn.
They also had a handful of minisprints, which ran a heat and feature.